Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Game Plan Activity

 The YW got to vote on Sunday from a list of movies we could watch tonight. They of their own free will & choice voted for "The Game Plan." I don't know if my LOVE of The Rock had any part in them voting for that movie, but that's the one they chose. So, that's what we watched tonight when they came over. We wanted to do a fun & low key activity to try and get some of our less active YW to come. But, 3 of them were out of town and 2 of them never responded to our texts.

But, we still had a GREAT time. We had a lot of treats (which were left over from camp), and had a pretty good turn out. In the summer it's hard to plan activities b/c we never know who's gone on vacation, who's sick, who's in town, etc. It's good for me to host the activities at my house, b/c then it FORCES me to clean! LOL.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Whistle While You Work

 This picture doesn't do the colors of this tree justice, but when I was pumping gas tonight on my way home the pretty lime green and sherbet orange leaves caught my eye. They almost looked like fall colors, which is strange since it's summer.

After dinner tonight, Autumn & I got busy cleaning the house since the YW are coming over tomorrow. I vacummed and then she mopped (she actually loves mopping). I also did 3 loads of laundry (washed, dried, folded AND put away), cleared off all the kitchen counters, and finally put away all the stuff from camp. It feels good to have a clean house,

Monday, June 27, 2016

Freaky Weather & FHE

 You can't tell from this picture, but there was a torrential downpour on my way home from work today. The crazy thing is that as you can see in this picture, it was bright and sunny out. SO WEIRD!
 For FHE tonight, Nate grilled bacon and eggs and potatoes out on the grill. It was delicious! While that was cooking, Olivia had fun with silly Snapchat faces. We also watched part of Hello, Dolly! We all LOVE musicals.

Olivia is growing up so fast just look ... she's already driving! LOL. It was a fun evening together as a family.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


 I quietly snuck this picture from my vantage point on the couch of Nick & Autumn having a conversation as they ate breakfast. I don't remember what they were talking about, but I thought it was cute of them to be so deep in conversation w/ each other.

Our home teachers came over at 3:30, and we're so thankful they make sure to visit us every single month. After they left, we had a very leisurely afternoon. We watched a movie and Autumn did her Barbies' hair and had fun playing. She's so tall for her age that I forget she's just a 9 year old girl. 

She LOVES doing hair, and has been watching lots of hair styling videos on youtube. She was so proud to show me this hairstyle she came up w/ for her doll. Since she loves doing hair so much and being creative it makes me wonder if she'll be a beautician/hair stylist when she grows up?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Temple, Swim, Fireworks

 I'm so thankful that I got to go to the temple this morning. It's always such a peaceful & spiritually uplifting place to be. After the temple I went and got my nails done b/c 3 of them were broken and janky from camp. I went w/ gold glitter French tips this time for something fun & different.

 When I got home I texted Sis. L to see if her kids wanted to come swimming w/ Autumn & me. It's her birthday today and that way she could have some quiet/alone time. We went and picked them up and went swimming for 3 hours! It was a lot of fun, but I feel so bad for the 3 girls, b/c the pads of their fingers are rubbed raw to the point of bleeding! I guess they kept touching the bottom of the pool and the rocky sides a lot.

We dropped them off, came home, got showered and went to Donna's wedding open house. I am so thrilled that she got remarried after being single for so long. But, I am going to miss her so much! What started out as just being her visiting teacher turned into a great friendship.

After the reception we came home, changed clothes, relaxed, and then went over to Liz & Liberty's at 9:30 pm. We went and laid out on the trampoline to watch our city's fireworks show. It's perfect b/c we could see the fireworks really well but we didn't have to deal w/ all the traffic. As soon as it was over we hopped in the car and were home and in bed within 15 minutes.

Friday, June 24, 2016

K & K Face Swap

 I love getting texts w/ pic like this from Riannon throughout the day. I'm glad Autumn's having fun, that she's spending time with family, and that she's a good helper!

 After I picked Autumn up tonight, we went over to D's to say hi to them b/c Autumn hasn't seen the girls in a while. While Karri and I talked, Autumn had fun swapping faces w/ them.

This one w/ Kylie cracks me up. Their noses both look so pointy. We finally left at 6:00 so we could come home and have dinner. I asked Autumn if she wanted to go see a movie or go do something fun since it's Friday night, but she just said she wanted to veg out at home and "organize" her room. I'm glad that she feels comfortable and home and that she likes being a homebody.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Israeli Scout Troupe Performance

 We moved our YW activity to tonight, b/c our whole area was invited to attend a performance from a caravan scout troupe from Israel.

 It had a mixture of boys & girls, and they performed lots of cultural songs and dances.

 It was really well done, and I'm glad we got to attend. Most of the songs were in their native tongue, so we couldn't understand them, but we felt the spirit of what they were trying to share.

 At one point they had all of us in the audience get up and they taught us a few dance moves to one of their songs. Autumn & I had way too much fun w/ that. The highlight for most of the people attending was when they did a Frozen medley of songs. For the last song they had both the American & the Israeli flag waving. That was neat since we had both Mormons & Jews there watching the show together. I wish that we as a human family could realize that we have so much more in common than we have differences!

For refreshments we had Costco cookies & water. Autumn & I stayed until the very end to help clean up. She looked like Santa Claus as she carried this bag of trash on her back out to the car. I taught her the sneaky trick of holding the trash bag out the window as we drove the 3 bags of trash down to the trash can. That way you don't have to carry them as you walk all the way down to the dumpsters. Plus, if anything is dripping it drips onto the ground instead of dripping inside your car.

Also, a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Lasses! It was sooooo much fun getting to spend 2 weeks with her when we went to South Africa. I love that we can go weeks without talking, yet we pick right up where we left off when we do talk. She's so much fun & I'm so thankful that we're sisters AND friends! LOVE YOU, LASSES!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mom!

So, we had a miracle happen this evening w/ Autumn's hamster, Humphrey. I was in the kitchen cooking and Autumn brought him into the kitchen in his hamster ball. She needed help putting the lid on tight, b/c it's really hard to do. I was at a critical point in the cooking and couldn't stop stirring something or it would burn, so I told her to wait just a minute. All of a sudden, I heard the ball hit the ground and Autumn started crying. She had dropped it on accident b/c she was trying to tighten the lid herself. I hurried and took the food off the stove and went over to investigate.

I picked up the ball, and it looked like Humphrey's leg was broken w/ the way it was sticking out from under him. But then, when I tipped the ball to move him closer to the hole, I noticed he wasn't moving at all. I looked at his eyes and they were completely glossed over. Humphrey was dead! Now mind you, Humphrey had fallen down a huge flight of stairs on accident at his first home before we got him.

I sadly told Autumn the news that he was dead and she LOST IT! She crumpled into a ball on the floor and started sobbing and saying, "I killed my hamster! I killed my hamster!" I tried to give her a hug and tell her it would be OK, but she just needed some alone time to grieve so she went to her room. I needed to finish cooking dinner, so I gently set the hamster ball w/ the dead Humphrey inside of it on top of the trash in the trash can. That way we could go outside and bury him after dinner next to Autumn's goldfish, Dash.

I felt so HORRIBLE & said a silent prayer that Autumn's heart would heal and that she wouldn't blame herself for his death. That she would realize it was a complete accident. As I was finishing cooking dinner, I heard a noise. I stopped what I was doing and listened carefully. It was coming from the trash can. I rushed over and Humphrey was moving around!!! I ran to show Autumn & her tears of sorrow changed to tears of joy. She was so happy and told me that Heavenly Father gave her a miracle by bringing her hamster back to life!

Riannon let me borrow this book yesterday when I was over there, b/c it's about Hawaii. I spent most of last night & the rest of this evening reading it. I'll most likely end up staying up way too late tonight to finish it. I LOVE to read, but it consumes my life and I don't get anything else done. So far it's been interesting. It's set in the late 1800's/early 1900's, and is about a leprous colony.

Today is Mom's birthday, and Dad treated ALL of these sister missionaries (the men dropped them off and went golfing) to a super fancy breakfast in Mom's honor. I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father sent me to my INCREDIBLE parents. They set such a great example for me. I'm grateful that my Mom is more than just my mother, she's my best friend. I am so excited for them to come home so I can spend more time w/ them.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Beauty School Haircut & New Bunk Beds

 Riannon texted me this picture today while I was at work. She wanted a haircut, and while they were there she had them trim Autumn's hair to make it even from when I tried my best to cut it. They went to a beauty school & for the haircut AND eyebrow was for Autumn it was only $14! Awesome!

 She also sent me this pic and said this is what the hot afternoons like around their house. The girls just relaxing and watching a movie surrounded by Legos. LOL!

 When I went to pick Autumn up, Nate was so excited to show me this nice Pottery Barn bunk bed they got from Dr. G for free. Nick had helped him go pick it up in the truck and bring it to Nate's house. They had the bottom part set up, but hadn't put the top bunk on yet. I told Nate I could help him. It ended up being more tricky than I thought it would be, but Nate is SUPERMAN & used his wrestling strength to basically support the whole bed while I hurried and picked up my end. We got it in place and it looks super nice!

 After that we sat and all visited together for a while. Nate had fun doing some Snapchat funny face pics.

This one of Nate & Autumn switching faces had us cracking up. Nate actually looks pretty handsome and Autumn look like a super creepy troll. SO FUNNY!!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Family Home Evening At The Amphitheater

 Tonight for FHE, we decided to go to the Summer Concert Series that our city puts on. Everyone was hungry for In-N-Out, so Autumn & I went and picked that up and headed to the amphitheater for the concert. When we got there, we were super surprised to see an In-N-Out truck that was handing out FREE hamburgers, chips, and drinks! So even though we just spent $20 on food at the restaurant that they were handing out at the concert for free, we got 2 free meals so we could take the extra home to Nick.

 I was carrying 2 blankets, my purse, the camp chair, and the food and I almost tripped and broke my ankle! Luckily I didn't fall, but my ankle is really sore and probably sprained. OUCH! Other than that, it was a great evening. The weather was 95 degrees, but it was actually really pleasant in the shade.

 Autumn is SUCH.A.GOOD.HELPER w/ Olivia. Olivia kept wanting to run down to the flat part of the amphitheater to dance around and play w/ the other kids. Autumn would follow her down there and chase after her to make sure she was safe. They're such cute cousins.

These ladies were sitting close to us and Olivia was OBSESSED w/ their dog. She kept going over to give it loves. The band that was playing was a Rolling Stones cover band, and I didn't know one single song they were singing. But, we still had a great evening together. We finally packed up and left at 8:45. I love it that today's the longest day of the year, but sad that from here on out it will start getting darker just a little bit sooner each night.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day 2016

We got to talk to Dad after we got done w/ church today to wish him a Happy Father's Day. He posted this on Facebook, and I wanted to document it here to preserve for future generations. It shows the type of man he is!!!

Happy Father's Days..........
I wanted to say thank you to my kids and family who wished me happy father's day. I also wanted to share with you something I thought of last night when I had not been able to call and wish my own dad Happy Father's Day.......

Last night (I am writing this Monday, 20 June) when I hadn’t been able to talk to my dad, and before I went to bed, I got thinking about how I had “missed father’s day” for my dad. I had tried to call him several times but he never answered (turned out he was at my brothers). I rationalized that I try to talk to him every 1-2 weeks, and that I could call him later this week to tell him I loved him and wish him happy father’s day, I still wanted to talk to him on father’s day if I could. As I was thinking about how I missed father’s day for my dad, I started think of my own kids and what father’s day meant for me as a father. I realized that today really wasn’t “Father’s Day” for me anyway. “Father’s Day” had occurred several times this year and I know will occur again. Several of my “Father’s Days” occurred:

Lisa Marie gave me several “father’s days” earlier this month. It was when as the Young Women’s leader for her ward (church congregation) she took the girls to girl’s camp. The next week she then went with the Beehives (younger girls) to their camp. It was a big sacrifice for her as she had to take vacation time from work, and be away from her daughter Autumn, to do this. It was also a sacrifice in that she doesn’t care to be outdoors but did it anyway so the young women could have their camp. Her service and sacrifice were “father’s days” for me.

Alexis gave me a “happy father’s day” when she was willing to share publicly on Facebook that she has been struggling with depression but has been able to come through a difficult time and is doing better. That is a lifelong struggle she has to deal with but I am proud she is doing so. She has also given me “happy father’s days” by persisting, despite her struggles, in working towards an online degree from BYU Idaho. She has had the support of her husband Jon, and their boys, and in that way they have also given me a “happy father’s days” as well.

Nicholas honored me with a “happy father’s day” several months ago when he gave a talk in church. That is something very difficult for him but he did it. He also honored me when recently we talked to Lisa Marie (who he lives with) and she was worried about him as he had not come home from work when she had expected him. It turned out he had stayed late making sure some dogs locked in a car in the parking lot were OK. His compassion and concern, even for those dogs, was a “happy father’s day.”

Nathan recently gave me a “happy father’s day” on Mother’s Day! As a police officer for our city, he “pulled over” mothers who were driving on Mother’s Day. He then gave them a rose and wished them Happy Mother’s day. In addition to those mothers he made happy, it was also a “happy father’s day” for me. 

It is wonderful that we set aside a “Father’s Day” (and Mother’s Day) but the real “happy father’s day” occurs when my kids do those things that bless others and are of service. This is what bring true joy, happiness, honor and respect into their lives and as such “honors me” as their father. There is nothing more that I as a father can ask for. I know it is the same with my father and I am grateful for that and how he and mom raised me. I hope I can honor him and give him a “happy father’s day” every day of the year. 

And by the way, it turned out that I did get to wish dad happy father’s day on Father’s Day. I got up early this AM and called him at 0545 our time here in Johannesburg, South Africa. That meant it was 2145 hours in Utah. He was still up watching the news so we did get to visit on Father’s Day, his time.  

I love the quote that says, "The most important thing a father can do for is children is to love their mother." ~ Theodore Hesburgh That is one of the MANY things that my Dad EXCELS at. Maybe it's his fault that I've been single for so long ... I have super high expectations b/c I've seen what my parent's marriage is like and I won't settle for less!

I am beyond blessed to be his daughter, and I'm even more thankful that Autumn has him for her Papa. He definitely has his shortcomings (don't we all), but I can honestly say that he's the hardest working person I know. He's also one of the most spiritual people I know.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Dive-In Movie With Riannon & Olivia

It felt good to be back in my normal work schedule today. I thought I would have a TON of work to catch up on since I was gone for 3 days. There was enough work to be caught up to keep me busy, but not overwhelmed, which is perfect.

 When I picked Autumn up from Nate & Riannon's yesterday, Riannon told me that their neighborhood pool was having a "Dive-In Movie," and asked us if we wanted to go with them. OF COURSE! Autumn & I went home, ate dinner, got on our suits, and went to the dive-in movie.

The movie they showed was Hotel Transylvania 2, and they even had complimentary buttered popcorn, caramel popcorn, and all sorts of drinks! The movie didn't start until 8:30-ish b/c it needed to be somewhat dark to see the screen. We finally left at 9:30 even though the movie wasn't over b/c we were tired and needed to get Olivia & Autumn to bed. Autumn & I got home at 10:00 and both fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Stake Beehive Camp ~ Day 3

 Us leaders woke up this morning to this! There was string tied all the way across the room and between the beds. It was a funny & harmless prank. But, it made me realize we must have all be REALLY tired for none of us to hear or feel the YW doing this. Good thing no serial killers snuck in, b/c we would all be dead!

 I got up, packed up all my stuff, and got it loaded into my car. I wanted to get as much done as I could before it got really hot. For breakfast we had fruit, and English muffin sandwiches w/ egg, meat, and cheese. After everyone was done eating they had us bring our chairs to one area of the mess hall to stack them all up.

After that, we had about an hour before the next activity. So, we had our girls pack up all their stuff and get it into our cars. That way when we were done, we could just leave and not be stuck packing.

 They had everyone meet in this big open field, and they split all the girls into 4 groups. They rotated through playing 4 different games. I was in charge of this one, which was them standing in a circle. There were 5 beach balls that had different questions on them that they threw to each other. The idea was that they answer the question that their right thumb landed closest to. They told the person on either side of them the answer, and then towards the end of the rotation I went around the circle and had each girl tell me something about the YW on her right.

The other rotations were a water balloon toss, a human knot, and moving a hula hoop down the row w/out letting go of the person's hand next to you.

 After all the girls had gone through all 4 rotations, they were brought back to camp where we blindfolded them and they did a tree of life activity.

 They had to hold onto this string and not be swayed by different voices to let go and follow the wrong path.

 If they stayed on the right path, it led to this "tree of life" that had little white packets tied to it. In the packets were some spiritual bookmarks and gifts. After everyone had completed the course, Sis. F gave the final remarks and we were done!

Here's our awesome group picture of everyone at Stake Beehive Camp wearing our camp shirts (they took this pic on the morning of the 2nd day). We gathered up all our girls and were the first group out of there!

We had the parents meet us at the grocery store parking lot near the freeway where they had dropped their girls off at 12:15ish. I have to be honest and say that I was NOT excited to go to Beehive Camp. I had to take an extra 3 days off from work, I had just finished our ward camp last week, I hate the heat, etc. But, I am so thankful that I went. It ended up being a lot of fun. Plus, I'm thankful I got to spend time w/ the new Beehives and get to know them better. I'm beyond grateful to Sis. B for coming to camp. What a trooper, especially since it's not even part of her calling.

 Riannon had texted me this picture earlier in the day of the girls eating popsicles outside in the shade b/c it was already getting so hot. Such little cuties!

I went and got Autumn at 1:00, and we came home, unloaded the car, and I went straight to the shower. It felt so good to be clean and not be sweaty as soon as I got out of the shower. Since we had the whole afternoon to ourselves, I asked Autumn if she wanted to go see The Jungle Book or the new Finding Dory movie. I thought she would for sure jump at the chance to go see a movie in the theater, but she said she just wanted to stay home in our pajamas and watch movies at home. That sounded great to me. So, we watched "Once I Was A Beehive," "Parent Trap," and "Hello, Dolly!" It was a great way to unwind from the past 2 weeks of camp. I feel rested and relaxed and ready to tackle all the work I have to catch up on tomorrow.