Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Look what I found

Isn't this the most adorable picture? I found it on the internet (duh). It is of the following: "Two-and-a-half-month-old Persian leopard cub Chui, left, and her nine-year-old mother Cezi, seen in their enclosure, in Budapest Zoo, Hungary, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008."

I've never been to Hungary, but now I want to go see these leopards up close. I love large cats as well as small cats. I prefer large cats, though, to be in the wild or zoos, not up close and personal. :)

I've been updating my Facebook. I had forgotten I even joined, when I received an e-mail today from some person I never heard of to join her as a friend. I bought something from her off of e-bay about two years ago. Needless to say, I didn't join her, but I asked some people to be friends. AND I think I found a friend from high school. I haven't kept in touch with anyone since moving to Utah. Not that I was keeping in touch before we moved.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Oven cleaning

I have banished everyone to the basement. Yesterday when Jeff cooked the roast beef for his birthday he commented that the oven could do with cleaning. So, I turned on the oven to clean this afternoon. The whole upstairs is pretty much full of smoke. Luckily not enough to set off the smoke detectors. We have windows open (it's 20º outside), fans going, and some unhappy cats. Greymalkin came downstairs crying, but when I followed her back upstairs to bring her back down, she hid. Hope we never have a fire where I have to find her!

Jeff has put in the studs for the new door to what is now the hall bathroom. After we are finished with everything, this bathroom will open into our new room. I decided not to go to school today. So, I am organizing "my" room. This used to be our guest room, but we don't have guests and I need a place to scrapbook, stamp, and do homework. I need to bring down a desk that is upstairs. First I have to convince Jeff to help me bring it down. It's pretty heavy. It was built in the late 40's or 50's when a lot of furniture did double duty. This desk has three small side drawers and knee space, but it also has a pull out table with ugly rattan on it. So it's a desk/table combination. D has a desk/dresser that was my grandmère's. It is a secretary type desk with three drawers below. When the top is up it takes up almost no room, when the top is down it is the desk's writing surface. It is from the same era. I believe these were built to accommodate the many people who were living in small homes and apartments after WWII.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yet another birthday!

Today, Jeff is 46! Happy birthday dear.

When we were pregnant with D, the only request Jeff had besides a healthy baby was for a different delivery day than his birthday. Bad enough that it is so close to Christmas, he just didn't want to share it. You know I don't blame him. Until family members started to die of old age, we had quite the holiday birthdays going. Here's the list:
  • Dec. 15: Carl Gassen (my brother-in-law's father, died March 2006, in his 90's)
  • Dec. 17: Lillian Coryell (my father's mother, died Aug. 2003, 91 1/2)
  • Dec. 18: Deirdre
  • Dec. 24: Grandma Dottie (my mother-in-law's mother, she's been gone for awhile. Awful of me, but I don't remember when she passed away. After D was born, I do know that. Pretty sure she was in her 90's too)
  • Dec. 25: Brian Harris (our nephew on Jeff's side, Phyllis' son)
  • Dec. 28: Jeff
  • Dec. 29: Charlie Carney (my stepmother-in-law, I think that's her birthday, awful again of me, 20 years and I'm still not sure)
  • Dec. 29: Linda Spencer (my cousin Jim's wife, again I'm not positive, but pretty sure)
  • Dec. 31: Fred Spencer (my cousin)
Quite the collection of birthdays there in a two week time. Plus in January are four more: 5th: Nicole Spencer (daughter of Linda), 18th: Jim Spencer (husband of Linda), 28th: Barbara Spencer (mother of Jim and my aunt obviously), and 30th (I'm pretty sure on the date and don't feel like going upstairs to check my planner): John Carney (brother to Jeff).

The home remodel is moving along. Jeff has been stringing speaker wire the last few days. The new sound system will be on the south side of the new room. Wire needs to go to the speakers in the living room and the kitchen, plus the speakers in the new room. We have the most amazing speakers in our kitchen! I love being able to put on music and have it play in there, but not be blaring through-out the house so that I can hear it in the kitchen. Right now they aren't attached to anything, as we are listening to everything off of the TV sound system. Sounds complicated right?! You see Jeff builds speakers too. So, we have amazing speakers in our living room and we had speakers in our old sitting room for the TV. Now that the TV is in the living room :( all are connected to the receiver for the TV. But the kitchen ones are still (or were until today) connected to the receiver for the stereo system. Sorry, I just don't seem to be able to explain it properly.

Back to wiring: almost all of the electrical is finished. Jeff thinks we can hang drywall on Tuesday. Yippee! So, I'll be off to school tomorrow. The semester ends the Friday after we return (idiotic, I know) and I am nowhere near being ready with assignments to grade. I also need to prepare some for next semester.

D spent Friday and part of yesterday at Sarah's. They had a sleep-over and played Nintendo DS a lot. Sarah invited another girl over, Savannah, and the three had a blast. She has been pretty much reading and playing new DS games since Christmas. Last night we played Harry Potter Clue. It's a little different from the traditional game. For instance, you have to make your final accusation in Dumbledore's office. So if several people think they know the answer, it's a race to see who can get to the office faster. We played two games and if I remember correctly, D won both of them. We had a lot of fun; it's been awhile since we played a family game.

Friday, December 19, 2008

And the remodel continues

The latest update. I don't have better pictures right now. I haven't taken any (you know gone over the weekend) lately. The new wall is up (just studs right now). The old hall wall from the back of our bedroom closet is partial gone. We walk through the old closet to get to our bedroom. It's sort of a maze right now. The electrical has been a problem for Jeff as he tries to figure out what wires go where and power what. As stated before, our electrician wasn't the best. It's pretty exciting to see the way the area is shaping up.

And here is Jeff relaxing on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. He worked all weekend on the house, but had to read The Color Purple for class on Monday. After only four and a half years Rocky and Greymalkin have declared a slight truce. We gave Rocky a reprieve right before Thanksgiving. He actually has perked up.

On to me:
I was accepted into The University of Utah. My classes start on Jan. 14. I will be taking two classes Spring semester: one on Wednesday and the other on Thursday. On days that D and I have gymnastic meets than I will travel up to SLC three days in a row. I haven't figured out how I will make it through the next couple of years, but somehow we will manage. When I leave school on Tuesdays, I will have to be prepared for classes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I need to move Scouts to Tuesdays. I will miss Service Unit meetings unless they are moved, and worse I'll miss Stamp Club for Feb., Mar., and April., maybe even May depending on my finals schedule. I can do this—at least this is what I keep telling myself. Wish our family luck for the next two years.

Deirdre is 12!

Yesterday was Deirdre's 12th birthday. According to her, she had a good day. After school was scouts. She lead the opening with questions from her P.A. training. We planned which activities we would do to earn the Cookies & Dough IPP. The girls decided as one of their service projects to create a matching game for the daisies. We will use the game at the cookie kick-off in January.

She received a Beatles T-shirt from us that she is wearing to school today. The Beatles is her favorite band. She also received Across the Universe dvd from us. We watched it over the summer and bought the soundtrack, but she also wants to be able to watch it over and over. She got a sweater, Harry Potter Scene It, and a hair accessory set from Grandmum and Granddad. From her cousin Fred she received the entire Dark is Rising chronicles. It's a great set of books. After reading the Twilight series four times in about four weeks, the Dark is Rising might seem "easy", but she will love them. She received other gifts from her Auntie Barbie, but I don't have my list in front of me. From us her big gift was a new digital camera with a case and memory cards. She hadn't asked for one, but her old was really beat-up and has limited memory card abilities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What have you done?

To participate, just copy and paste in your own blog, and bold all of the things you have done. It's kind of fun!!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (does DisneyWorld count?)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestor (does this mean the original ancestor who came over on the Mayflower or closer? Either way I've been to England and France, as well as, all the states, except Hawaii)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (does Elvish count—that's what my mother and sister said I spoke as a toddler)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (I think it's at the Louvre?)
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser (um, no not really, we had to keep going on to Glacier Nat'l Park and couldn't wait for it to actually erupt)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (I don't remember :( )
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (does a PBS television production count?)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (as a child and an adult!)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason (are you kidding me! never in a billion years)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (drove past when in D.C., again no time to stop and actually tour)
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (married to a published author, though)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (drove past)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (eew!)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (called several times while living in Chicago, always sent home)
91. Met someone famous (Rudolf Nureyev for one and a ton of other dancers, and Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, and Governor Thompson of Illinois back in the late 70's)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument

I decided to participate too. I tag anyone who has the time to do it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our busy weekend

Last Thursday (12/11) was the Candlelight program. All the orchestras, bands, choirs, guitar, and music appreciation classes all performed. Then the candles were presented to worth local citizens. This little old lady was one of the recipients. She was so funny. She is 97 and lives in Manti. Her 97th birthday was the next day. She stood on the stage at the Eccles Center and said "I'm wearing my gardening shoes, my cowboy shirt, and my hair hasn't been combed in a week." What could the audience do but laugh. This year there were seven eighth graders with 4.0 g.p.a's from sixth through current semester to present. Some years there are only a couple. With luck Deirdre will be one of the presenters next year.

Deirdre and I spent Friday and Saturday at Trefoil Ranch. It snowed like crazy on Saturday. When we got to the bottom of 189 it was closed. Boy were there a lot of angry people. Unlike last year, there were only about 25 people there (mothers and daughters). D and I deliberately tried to pick activities that we didn't do last year. So we learned about Kwanzaa instead of Hanukkah, the Netherlands instead of Russia and did new crafts. It was a lot of fun. The girls were older this year too. There were a few 8 year olds, but most were 11 and 12. The food was pretty good too. We ended early on Saturday, so we could get on the road a little earlier. D and I drove on up to Salt Lake City to spend the night there. Because…

We had our annual tickets to The Nutcracker by Ballet West. This was the last year Deirdre wanted to the Sugar Plum Fairy party after the matinee. We have been going to The Nutcracker since D was four and the party afterward since she was six. We spent the night at Embassy Suites and did some shopping before the ballet. We were scheduled to see Beau Pearson as the Snow Cavalier and the Waltz of the Flowers Cavalier, but he hurt his shoulder in Madam Butterfly rehearsals. So we were treated to Soloist Jason Linsley in Snow and Principal Christopher Rudd in the Waltz. Both of these males are my favorites with the company. Due to Beau's injury, Ballet West has brought in a male guest artist to help with the performances. We decided that next year, we might go to an evening performance, spend the night in SLC, and then do Christmas shopping the next day on the way home.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Twilight—the series! and more

Deirdre has now read the series at least three times. It might be four. She insisted that I too read the series. I capitulated and read. I didn't like Twilight, but continued to read to find out if Bella actually became a vampire and low and behold eventually she did. I liked New Moon the most, followed by Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, and finally Twilight. I thought if they said "I love you" one more time in that book, I was seriously going to smack someone.

Deirdre went to the movie for the third time today—again with Sarah. Now, I am not a movie person to begin with, but the pictures just do not make me want to see this movie.

Remodeling is going slowly, but steadily. We have garage lights and living room lights back, and two new walls! I will post pics soon. Jeff is recovering from the flu. Both he and D have a cough. Once they get them, I hear coughing for weeks.

D and I will be heading to Trefoil Ranch this weekend for a mother/daughter Christmas bonding with Girl Scouts. We will spend Saturday night in Salt Lake, because we have tickets for the Nutcracker on Sunday. We have been going to see Ballet West's production of The Nutcracker since D was four. We usually have pretty close seats. Last year, they were the front row. Jeff has been a couple of times, but the ballet is usually a mother/daughter activity. We do season tickets and have a good time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving & Construction messes

The picture on top is what the living room/hall/foyer looked like on Tuesday. The bottom picture is what it looked like yesterday when I got home at 6ish. We have no electricity in part of the living room, dining room, or kitchen. Luckily all three of those rooms do have some power in the plugs. Also the appliances are on different breakers. Our electrician was an idiot, I believe. He had to come back twice after we moved in and it would have been more times, if Jeff hadn't just figured it out on his own. But we are talking electricity—the one that kills if not used properly.

Today, Jeff has been dealing with attic insulation. The drywall on part of the ceiling had to be taken down, as well as, some 2 x 4's. This means a ton of insulation has fallen to the floor. So far, he is at 10 bags of insulation to be put in the dumpster. At some point either today or tomorrow we are hanging new drywall on the ceiling. Luckily it is only a few pieces that need to go up. Although, I think I prefer hanging the ceiling rather than walls. I don't remember, I have deleted the Thanksgiving of 1995 and summer of 1996 from my brain. When we decided to try for a baby, we also decided to finish the basement. So, the summer before Deirdre was born, we drywalled. Hard to believe that was 12 years ago.

This is the first remodel that we have done that doesn't have us thinking "resale" value. We might have really changed how much our house is worth by deleting an upstairs bedroom, but at the same time we are making the remaining two rooms larger. But we aren't selling until D leaves for college, if then. Who knows what the market will be like. No matter what we sell the house for, it will most likely be more than we built it for even with the additional costs of the remodeled kitchen, both upstairs bathrooms, the finished basement, and now this one.

I have a pumpkin pie baking in the oven as I type this. I love pumpkin pie! I like pecan pie even more, but D doesn't so it's pumpkin for us. We are having Cornish Hens, stuffing, mashed yams (mashed potatoes using a yam), peas, maybe spinach souffle (I had to buy it when I saw Albertson's had it), rolls, gravy, and pie with real whipped cream. Jeff doesn't really like turkey and D hates it, so Cornish Hens it is. Cornish Hens are easier to cook than a turkey anyway. I am also about to make the honey butter for the scones for tomorrow's bake sale in Manti. I have the dough thawing for the scones. I also have Rice-Crispy treats, brownies, and maybe sugar cookies to make. This is one of our fundraisers for Girl Scouts. Besides a small profit from cookie sales, as a Service Unit, we do two big fundraisers: the Manti bake sale, and during pageant time we clean the tables at the "food court" and hand out the Sanpete Messenger's pageant insert to the people entering the temple grounds. The majority of girls in our Service Unit live in Manti. As a matter of fact, our Junior troop there lost more than half its girls to aging out (They should have come to mine, but didn't reregister.), the troop was down to about 7 girls. She is back up to 17!! I can barely get 5 to come to our meetings.

Well have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I'm off to clean and cook.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Volunteer thoughts

As the SUD-Bud for our Service Unit, I am in charge of finding ways to honor our volunteers. For our October meeting, I copied an idea that I received from Jostens many years ago. It involved M&M's as "pills". Each color represented a "cure" for a different problem. I made cute little "diaper pouches," filled them with M&M's. I wanted everyone to have at least two of each color and then a few more. They took forever to make 40 of. The top one shows the different components and the bottom one shows the finished product.

supplies used: all SU DP Ghostly Greetings, CS Basic Black, Whisper White, and Pumpkin Pie, Batty for You, Pumpkin Pie classic ink, scallop and 1 3/8 punches, misc. ribbon (from WalMart :( ), I printed the list on my laser printer on white cardstock.
For November's meeting I enlisted Deirdre's help. She doesn't like to CASE (Copy and Share Everything) ideas. I keep telling her it's how teachers function. Beg, borrow and steal ideas! She was very unhappy that I don't have a lot of patterned papers in fall colors. I tend to go for soft subtle backgrounds. I had just purchased some "holly" paper from ZIM's (25 sheets for $2), but it looks fall, not Christmas and I had another patterned "fall" color paper that she liked (also from ZIM's going out of business sale). I was going to make all 36 like the more complicated one below, but decided it was going to take waaay tooo long!!!

supplies used: SU scallop square, scallop circle, horizontal slot, and tag corner punches, orange cardstock unknown source, four different fall ribbons from Michael's, patterned paper from ZIM's, laser printer for tag.
We had a great assembly line going. Deirdre punched the orange tags and put the scallop papers on the mints and stuffed the bags with mints. I punched the scallops (those punches are a devil to use) and tied the bags closed and tied the tags on. They didn't take nearly as long as the previous month's. Then I left them at home! So everyone will get two in December.

I already have my idea planned. I am going to use my new BigShot and new Top Note Bigz die. I am doing red/white peppermints in bags with the TopNote used as the closer. I just don't have the "inspirational" saying or the stamp set decided yet. I already have the paper for the closers and the peppermints too. I need to get working on these soon too since the house is going to need my help soon too.

An update

Yes, that really is a squid on Deirdre's head. All the girls did it during the dissection lab at CIMI.

Life has been really crazy the last few weeks. When we drove up to get Deirdre from the airport we were re-ended by another driver on I-15. Some idiot stopped in the car-pool lane causing all of us behind him/her to slam on our brakes. The woman behind just couldn't get her Suburban to stop fast enough. Our van was in the shop for three weeks and it cost her insurance $4500.

Below are the before and current pictures of Deirdre's old room. We decided to remodel. So far there is no drywall in two of the upstairs bedrooms or flooring. We are down to waverboard in bedrooms and the hall. I'll try to update as we go. Or I really should say as Jeff goes, since he is the one who is doing all the work so far.

There seemed to be so much more to update, so I was putting it off. But now, I can't seem to remember any of it. Clearly a reason for updating more often.

Monday, October 6, 2008

CIMI update

"The girls had a great visit at the Long Beach Aquarium. Stephanie says they got to drag net some plankton, look at lots of marine life, and were still pretty excited to be on the way. There was also a chance that the girls were going to be shuttled to the ferry, eliminating the dreaded 10 minute walk with luggage. The girls were enthusiastically supportive!"

The above came in e-mail today from our "at home" contact. Every time a group of Girl Scouts travel, there has to be a "at home" contact person. This way if there is a problem, or in the CIMI trip case updates, this contact person does the contacting.

I ran into (not literally) Mr. Halling at WalMart. I have only met him once at Parent/Teacher Conferences. I kept asking myself "who is that man? why does he look familiar?" On the other hand he remembered me and asked how D was managing on her trip. Actually he asked "how's the world traveler?" It's interesting some of her teachers were excited for her opportunity to attend CIMI and others only saw it as missing class time. As a teacher, I know that what we do in class is the most important thing (it isn't really, but we all like to pretend). As a parent, I know that opportunities like this can't be missed.

On that point of not missing opportunities I nominated D (sneaking of me I know) as a student for the People to People Leadership Summit program. I also nominated some of my students, which is what they wanted me to do. I read about this program that was started by President Eisenhower in 1956 and it sounds fantastic. Of course I scoured the site for information regarding the cost, but it couldn't be found. I believe that by nominating her, we will receive information. All they wanted was an address, gender, and grade in school. The summits are held at places like Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, George Washington University, and Columbia. According to the website "As a Leadership Summit Student Leader, you'll join some of the world's top 6th through 12th graders for a week of interactive and hands-on training from top college students, college educators, and professionals in your area of interest."

The Beauty of the "Yester-years" of Gymnastics

This video of Oksana Omelianchik at the 1987 Worlds just blows my mind. No one has done a triple full punch front in years.

And just in case you thought release combinations on women’s bars were something new, take a look at Natalia Yurchenko back in 1983! The bars were closer together in 1983. Some of the moves couldn't be done today, because of the current distance of the bars. She just flies through the air. Ashley Postell of Utah, who finished her NCAA career last spring, and Courtney Koupets of Georgia are two of the best bars workers in college gymnastics right now. They both do absolutely amazing bar work with numerous release moves.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


This is the whole group that left for Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI). There are 28 girls from sixth through tenth grade and four adults. The girl immediately to the left of Deirdre is the one who she will probably hang out with the most. Hopefully she is in D's group. I don't remember her name or I could look it up in my information packet. They flew out this afternoon and return at 10:30 Friday night.

One of the girls designed the picture and at their last CIMI meeting they tie-dyed the shirts. They decorated flip-flops too, but I just remembered that so they're not packed with D's things. Luckily the adults made the reservations before all the new flight rules went into effect, so everyone could check two "bags"—for most this meant a suitcase and a sleeping bag. They snorkle several times—once at night, disect a squid, learn about the ocean and science.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Well to save myself a little bit of money, I decided to become a Stampin' UP demonstrator. I did not do this to start a club or host scrapbooking nights. I have no clue what I am doing when it comes to cards or scrapbooking. I did this solely for the discount. I haven't decided if I will set up a website or not. It seems a bit much for something that will probably never be used. I already maintain a school website with numerous pages, a scout website with numerous pages, and this blog. That is about as much as I can reasonably do. Jeff only let me become a demonstrator with the understanding that it doesn't add any time to my life. Doing a club or anything would add time, so those are out. Scouts and scrapbooking/stamp club seem to take more time than he would like anyway, no sense in adding to those.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bridging Invitations

This is the invitation I made for the ceremony. I sent the cards through my color printer and then did the fronts. I used a musical wheel that I bought off of e-bay. The wheel is stamped in Brocade Blue, while the words and star is in Night of Navy. I used Apricot Appeal for the other stars and the ribbon. I used the new SU scallop edge punch for the front right edge. I didn't really know what I wanted to do with the invitations, so I just "winged" it. I thought they turned out rather well.

Below are all five of the invitations with Jessie, Samantha, and Deirdre behind them. They wouldn't let me take a picture without them in it.I edged the circles with Night of Navy for the smaller one and Chocolate Chip for the larger one. I used my favorite set for the stars. As you can see from the photo each invite was slightly different. I let the girls pick which one they wanted.

I have to add that the pictures were taken in the 4th ward's Primary room—our new home for scouts. Or it was our new home until the Achievement Days decided they would meet there at the same time! So, we are moving into the Relief Society room across the hall. Makes more sense anyway. All of the girls will be moving into Young Womens at some point this year, except poor Samantha has to wait until August. They won't want to meet in the Primary room after they have moved up to YW.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman's death

One of my favorite actors died last night. Paul Newman was only 83, but cancer can get you at any age. When I came home from the Bridging and Awards Ceremony, Jeff told me. I realized that I really don't know any of the "young" actors. So, all the actors/actresses that I love are dying off. I loved the following quote from Robert Redford:
"There is a point where feelings go beyond words. I have lost a real friend. My life — and this country — is better for his being in it." — Robert Redford.
As a family, we watched in August The Sting and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. So, Deirdre knows who he was and, of course, he was in Cars two years ago.

What a sad day for Joanne Woodward and the world in general. They were married for 50+ years. Such an uncommon occurrence in Hollywood. It probably helped that their main home was Connecticut. There are certain actors that you really don't want to ever die, because when they do, it draws home the age of your parents.

Yesterday was my mother-in-law's 75th birthday. I have decided that parents are not allowed to ever die. I, personally, can't imagine life without those people in my life. Even if I don't contact them as often as I should, I know that they are in Salisbury, MD or LaGrange, IL living their lives. The very thought that they might not be is awful to say the least.

Deirdre had Parent/Teacher Conferences on Thursday. She has straight "A's." Her mid-term shows a "C" for Orchestra, but she didn't know that she was supposed to be handing in practice sheets. That grade was resolved, and even more importantly by Deirdre, not me. She has had to learn to talk with teachers herself. I can't always "bail" her out. This becomes even more important as she gets older. Her current goal now is to start college two years before the rest of her age group at 16 instead of 18. With the grade skip and the fact that she can easily earn 7 credits a year instead of 6, like the rest of her friends, it will probably happen. This means that in five years (!!!), she might be off to college.

Tomorrow, I will post pictures from the Bridging and Awards Ceremony for Scouts. My girls are now official Cadettes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What's my name?

I "stole" the following from Heather Atwood's blog. As a teacher, I am used to "borrowing" ideas from people all the time. No sense re-inventing the wheel, or in my case lesson plans, when I can let other people put the time and energy into it. :)

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car): Thisbe Odyssey

YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fav hobby/craft, fav weather element + “Tour”): The Reading Raining Tour

YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fav ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo

YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name): C-car (yeah, that makes sense)

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal): Purple Cat

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, hometown city): Rebecca LaGrange

YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first):

SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink):
The Green Water (ooh, that sounds sooo scary!)

STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Chanel #5 Chocolate

WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names):
Francis Theodore

WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter):
Farland Frankfort

SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Fall Rose

CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”):
Apple Sweatie

That was a ton of fun. Just what I needed today. The whole school has been sick. The faculty is falling like flies: headaches, sniffles, etc. I went to school and stayed until 9:45, which is when the sub got there. Of course by the time she arrived, I was feeling a little better. I came home and slept from 10:45 until Deirdre came home and slammed the front door at 3:10. My body just shuts down like that when I get sick. Of course there is tons to do this week, with the girls bridging on Saturday.

We sat outside WalMart for 5 hours on Saturday and didn't get any stuffed animals. We have a ton, but still a few more wouldn't have hurt. I had to deal with bored and fractious girls. Plus, a ton of people who wanted to buy Girl Scout cookies. If we had been selling cookies, we would have made a killing. But, no, we sell those at booths in the colds of March :( and go door-to-door in the "lovely" weather of late January/early February. For those wondering, cookie sales start Jan. 17. (I have students asking all the time when they can buy cookies. I should just sell the extra I have in my garage.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This is what my nickname means, although I have been called by "Kate" as long or longer than "Catherine".

What Kate Means

You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.
You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.
People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.
You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

Above it says that I can flaky and irresponsible, Never!!

And this is for "Catherine" similar, yet different :)

What Catherine Means

You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.
You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.
People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.
You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
Just like a horoscope, I can see parts of "me" in this. But it's all fun and games. We need some of that right now.


All of the sixth graders have to take either orchestra, band, or chorus; Deirdre chose orchestra. When she moved into seventh grade, she stayed in orchestra. She chose to play the violin. I have no idea how difficult it is in comparison to other instruments having never played anything except the recorder (badly) and "banging" on the piano. I do know that many children (students) play the flute. Three of my Girl Scout troop girls are playing the flute.

With my tin-ear, or whatever it is, I can sort of tell when D can't hit a note correctly, but other than that I have no clue. I have almost no rhythm sense. When I had bad days during my dancing years, my teacher would have to clap the beat for me. When we did solo work across the floor I had to count from the start to the end of the entire group demonstrating. This meant counting to eight for five minutes or so. Anyone reading this who was a student when I did the Junior Prom will now understand why every song had to have a strong beat. If it didn't, I couldn't pick it out and teach the dance.

Deirdre is one of four new violinists in seventh grade, so they are "taught" by an eighth grader. Clarissa must have the patience of a saint to help these seventh graders. She is awesome fierce on the soccer field too! We love Clarissa!! And she lives around the corner!!! (I'm liking exclamation points tonight!!)
Deirdre is following in her great-grandmother's footsteps by picking up the violin. My grandmother played until she got married. My great-aunt, her sister, played the piano and could have been a concert pianist, but in 1924 women didn't do that. They got married instead. In hindsight, she should have been the concert pianist; she would have been much happier. My cousin, Jim, also played the violin. I always wanted to play and instrument, but there wasn't money for my ballet lessons ($1200 a year+), and instrument lessons. Plus, it wasn't like here in Ephraim where someone knows someone who teaches piano or another instrument. The suburbs of Chicago are a lot harder, surprisingly, to find teachers of instruments.

Right now, Jeff is helping D with her timing on "Ode to Joy". She has the notes down, but her timing is lacking. Some of her lack of timing is that she is not 100% sure of the notes yet, but as she improves, so will her timing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Soccer and CIMI

Deirdre had an overnighter on Friday at the Girl Scouts of Utah's main office as a trial run for CIMI. We are in countdown mode for that trip. Oct. 5 will be here sooner rather than later. They tie-dyed their airport shirts, ate (it seems non-stop), discussed The Island of Blue Dolphins, played games, and ate some more before going to sleep at 10:45. Parents begin picking girls up at 8-ish, but most didn't come until after 9:00, which was the actual pick-up time. D said she had fun and can't wait until October. She really likes the PA's (program aides) assigned to her group of nine girls. There are 24 girls including six PA's and 4 adults going.

They won their last game in soccer. It ended in a tie, so a best out of 5 shoot-out was done. The girls scored on three of four kicks. D was the goalie for the second half and missed one, but stopped several from entering. In defense, she has much improved. She goes up on the ball and has quite the leg on her. As goalie, she was drop-kicking almost to the center of the field. A shame there aren't more games. We only have four plus one "practice". The No. Sanpete teams are the same. No one is quite sure why the northern teams aren't playing us and vise-versa.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Learning to cook

Today Deirdre made the jump into making brownies. She has helped with salads and other simple things in the past, but this is the first time of making anything by herself. Jeff was at WalMart and I was at work (sounds like the start of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas) when she decided to make brownies. I only had about three phone calls. She followed a mix, but there were still eggs to break open without getting shells into the mix. I haven't tasted one yet, but they smell good.

On the soccer front there have been two games against the other Ephraim team. They won the one on Thursday and lost on Saturday.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Huge News!

All we did was ask for a placement math test to see if we could move Deirdre into Pre-Algebra. Well, we got that and more! Based on her Algebra I test score of 76%, her CORE test scores from last spring, and her IOWA test scores, the school recommended we move D into seventh grade. After much deliberation, we did just that on Thursday, August 28. She spent seven days in sixth grade!

So far, it is working. Based on her ability to finish a Pre-Algebra assignment during class that the rest of the students had been working on for two days, we are pretty confident we made the correct decision. She did the entire assignment in her head too, to the amazement of her classmates. She isn't too happy that she has to show her work in math, but hopefully math will get harder and she will have to show her work.

Soccer begins on Tuesday. We are all quite pleased with her coach. Last year was such a disaster. In Scouts we are trying to finish a bunch of badges, a Bronze project, and bridging requirements before September 30.

Every Saturday in September is devoted to Scouts. After Labor Day weekend, the next Saturday I have that currently isn't full is in October! And, I know that I will be packing D for CIMI on the first Saturday of October. We will have spent the night in SLC on the following Friday to pick her up from CIMI, so that Saturday is shot too. Looks like UEA weekend is currently open—six week from now. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We Did It!

Today is our 20th anniversary. We did absolutely nothing!!!! School has started and as usual it's the end of the month.

I remember when we lived in Chicago and raided the laundry jars for money to buy food at the end of August. With Jeff not getting paid from June until the end of September, money was extremely tight. At least now we have credit cards to help us when money is tight. Of course that's probably why money is tight today (as in the present).

We spent our anniversary making decisions about D's future (see above). At least it was family oriented.

I do have sad thoughts about Jane and Rich. This would have been 30 years for them last June. I always thought families were supposed to increase in size, not decrease.

Rich's birthday would be in a week or so—Sept. 5 and Jane's on Sept. 23. I really hate the month of September. Birthdays and death anniversaries abound. On the bright side, my parents will be celebrating 44 years of marriage on Sept. 19. My mother-in-law's birthday and brother-in-law's birthdays are also in September, the 26 and 30 respectively. Hard to believe that Jordan will be 19!

Well here's to hoping for twenty more years.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


We are back from our Gooseberry/Fishlake troop camping experience. We left Monday, Aug. 4 and returned on Wednesday, Aug. 6. The girls and I had fun and now they can bridge up to Cadettes. The other girls will move up too, but they won't have earned the bridging award. The girls rotated through several activities on Monday and Tuesday. I helped with the "Flower Pounding" class where they dyed fabric from pounding on fabric with flower petals taped on. They turned out for the most part much better than anyone can imagine. Sami's was the best and I am horribly jealous :). It rained off and on all of Tuesday, but when it was time for the skits and campfire the rain started coming down heavily so everything was moved to the barn.

This is on our last day outside the cabin the girls slept in. It was a messhall originally when the Forest Rangers lived at Gooseberry during the 20's to 50's.

With Samantha watching, Malynn, Sarah, and Deirdre teach the "Elephant Song" on Tuesday evening in the barn. All three girls had been to Camp Cloud Rim in July and learned it there.

This is the whole group on before everyone left on Wednesday. Deirdre is in the back third from the left; Samantha is in the middle; and Sarah is on the right side with the bright blue jacket.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I love that title! Last night I went to a PMS party at Erin's. We scrapbooked for hours. This is what I accomplished.

Several people wanted to know who the little girl in the pictures was. Boy was everyone surprised when I said "Deirdre." Of course the pictures are from nine years ago. I found them in a drawer in the laundry room. A strange place for pictures but they worked for what I was doing. Now only 11 1/2 years of scrapbooking to do.

Today I made this card for my former yearbook rep. She is getting married on Aug. 1 in the Salt Lake Temple. I am so happy for her. I don't have a "wedding set" of stamps, so I used my "Dreams and Dragons" set. I love that set and am so glad I won it on e-bay. The set is from 1996 and was re-issued in 2003 for the 15 anniversary. I could probably get rid of half my sets and just use this one over and over. I am sure Jeff would be thrilled.
front view
inside view (or at least part of it)
I used Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, WW, SU pastels for the dragon (the picture doesn't do it justice, it's a beautiful purple shade; the first picture shows the Pale Plum around the CB white)
I goofed on my sentiment. I hope they don't mind. I knew exactly what to write, but that isn't what I put.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

More softball

The softball team won last night 15-3. They play tonight at 8:00 for the championship. The team may also be going to state playoffs. We find out on Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can you believe?

It is hard to believe that June is almost over. The Ephraim Lions Tournament is happening right now for the softball team. Jeff's team finished the regular season at 4-4. If the Mt. Pleasant Lions Tournament is added then the season becomes 5-6. Still more wins than the girls have seen in the last few years.
June has been a month of sickness. Kate had Bronchitis from the end of May through the beginning of June. Then the stomach flu or Rotovirus hit everyone the middle of June. Deirdre ended up not doing the second session of swimming lessons because of it. Although, she did pass all but the butterfly in her first session of level 5. She hasn't taken swimming lessons for at least two years, so a repeat of level 5 was necessary.
The girls in Kate's Girl Scout troop have picked their Bronze Award project: the Ephraim Softball complex. The Bronze Award is the highest award a junior girl scout can earn. The girls have to have the project completed before the end of September when they bridge up to the next level—Cadettes.
We need to add some pictures to this blog to make it more interesting. Well that is all for now. The next game in the Lions Tournament is Friday at 5:45.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

School is OVER!!!

Deirdre and Kate are finished with school!!!
More people complimented Kate on her final yearbook than ever before. An irony in the making. It was certainly nice to hear no complaints about the book and to go out with a high. Her last book was the centennial and the 50 year edition. North Sanpete High School is 100 years old and 50 years ago Moroni and North Sanpete high schools combined into one school. Kate found the largest fun researching the beginnings of the school and why the school combined.
Deirdre brought home a huge amount of awards. She received the typical "Spelling", "Junior Genius", "Reading", and "Golden Sneaker". This year she also received IOWA Basics 90% in all areas. She should have received 99th percentile in all areas, but hey we can't have everything. She also received the "President's Education Awards Program" award. About 25% of her class received the award that was for academic excellence. The fifth grade teachers nominated members of the class for the award.
Now that school is over, the summer begins. Softball, swimming lessons, house cleaning, Scouts are all part of summer. It sometimes seems that summer is busier than the school year.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Deirdre received her braces today. She has been excited to get rid of her retainer, but now her mouth hurts and she isn't quite sure about the change. Besides her mouth hurting, it feels funny without her retainer in it. But, the braces are only for 18 months; soon they will be off.

The school year winds slowly down. Everyone is ready for summer vacation, although the tasks in front of us are huge. We are moving four rooms of furniture and various items. D is moving to the basement; the "sitting room" is moving into D's room; the family room is becoming D's bedroom; and finally the downstairs guest room is moving upstairs into the "sitting room" and the guest room turns into my craft and sewing room. I would have had a craft and sewing room all along if the builder hadn't suggested moving the basement bathroom, because of the whole-house shut-off water valve, which has been used once in 14 years and it wasn't an emergency. We love builders (NOT) :(

Softball practice has started and games start the last week of May. The junior troop is looking for a Bronze award activity. It has been difficult to find a service project that will take about 15 hours and include the majority of the girls.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wow we have a blog

News flash!
Kate no longer is the yearbook adviser starting in August 2008! Hallaluh!!! This has been an interesting Spring here in Central Utah. One day we have 70 degree weather followed by snow.

Jeff is coaching the city-league softball team this summer. The first practice is tomorrow. There are 17 girls on the team with 4 sixth graders and the rest are 5th grade.

Kate just spent Friday and Saturday with her Junior Girl Scout troop at Trefoil Ranch in Provo Canyon. After a night of not sleeping very well, and standing almost all day teaching classes or serving meals, it was no wonder that her back froze up on Sunday. Between the back (which has been a problem for years) and her knee (which probably need surgery this summer), it's amazing that she actually gets out of bed each day.

Deirdre is busy with testing at school and learning the May Pole dance at school. Ephraim Elementary is one of the few in the area that still has a may pole dance for the fifth graders. She gets her braces on May 5 and ironically enough is looking forward to it. She is quite tired of the retainer that she has been wearing for the last year and looks forward to not having to deal with one for 18 months.

Less than four weeks and D and Kate are out of school! Yipee!! Jeff is on finals week right now and graduation is Saturday. Lucky duck!