Sunday, November 7, 2010


I have had a few "issues" and have decided to go private as of
Monday, Nov. 8th

I have this blog to express MY opinions, MY thoughts and MY ideas.

I don't intend for anyone to be offended or hurt. But I don't intend for me to have to hold my tongue about my religion, my family or my wants/needs/desires. So in order to not hurt anyone in my process . . .

It's time to go private!

I know there are some of you who read
and I LOVE all your comments and thoughts.
PLEASE ask for an invite!!
I love reading about all of you too!

. . . .whirlwind . . . WARNING! Loooong post!

The past few months have been cRaZY!!
My emotions have been up and down.
My soul tormented with questions..
My heart broken and repaired numerous times.
My mind wild with questions and answers.

Where to start? First, Geoff didn't get the job in Colorado. Is it a lost hope? No. They could hire him . . . sometime. But for now it's not happening. They hired a part-time, 'fresh out of college' kid for less money. We understand, in this economy, but we were very heart broken! Our faith was shaken a bit but we know the Lord must have something else in store for us. On the other hand, Geoff is back at the plant (only a 3 mile commute to work) again, which in turn saves us gas. And within the first 2 weeks back, he's clocked over 60 hours overtime. With a company that has told employees for the past year "NO OVERTIME!" numerous times - we are very grateful and feel very blessed. Poor guy has been on 12 hour shifts for the past month and extremely tired but he is a hard-working, amazing man who loves his family enough to sacrifice in order to provide for his family. We are hoping with this overtime, that the bills and Christmas will be an easier load this year. He's anxious to have Thanksgiving off and be back on normal hours.

BUT . . . guess what? We're moving! We were in hopes it would be to Colorado but instead it will be just a couple of miles north. We have been renting the home we're in for 4 years. We love the ward, the neighborhood and the people that surround us (well, most of them) and it's been a difficult decision but there are so many things that we must consider. First is our income vs debt in this home! It's ridiculous what they are charging for this "area". We knew it going into it, but we were desperate to get out of the situation we were in (that's a whole other story) and we needed to move our family to place where we'd feel safe and secure. This opportunity opened and we are grateful for the time we have been here. We've prayed and fasted and prayed and fasted some more about this and we know it's right for our family at this time but can I tell you how hard it is? I'm so sad to 'pull' my kids from the friends they thought they'd have forever. We had planned to rent for 2 years and then buy the house. But the economy hit and the owners aren't in a position to sell and we are 'stuck' renting a house that has repairs I'm not wiling to pay for and they can't or won't do for us. So, it's time to bail out and find a new home. Everything seemed to fall into place with our new home. A childhood friend found me on FB and we had lunch a few times in the spring and kept up with each other through emails, posts, etc. One morning I saw on her FB status that her husband got a job in Oregon and they were moving. She also mentioned that she was needing to rent her home. I emailed her about the exciting but sad news that he got a job (that's always great) but that she was leaving after we just reconnected again. We planned to meet and catch up. I asked her about her house and she gave me a few details and invited me over to look. A few days later I went over to visit and see the house. I loved it but there were some concerns. Nothing big but my girls have had separate rooms for 5 years and she only had 3 bedrooms. I looked at the rest and the floorplan was great for my teaching, it has a basement which will be nice for the hot summers, and I loved how open the floorplan was. I let her show me around and then I waited. She told me what they were thinking for rent and I about committed to it then without asking Geoff! It was just what our budget needed and I was ready to do anything to get into it! I wanted so badly to leave right then and call Geoff and tell him all about it but I needed to stay and visit. :) Don't you hate when your excitement outweighs your plans for the day?? LOL
Needless to say, Geoff was much more level headed and the first thing he asked before I could even tell him about the house, was how many bedrooms. Grrr! Why does he always ruin it for me? I avoided and avoided it until he finally stopped me and asked me again. I told him and he immediately answered no. I pleaded with him to just take some time and think about it. We really needed to get out from under the debt this home we're in and this might be the answer. He shook his head but agreed. I used every waking moment over the next few days to figure out 'my side of the case'. I measured rooms, I measured beds, I wrote out our income/debt, I wrote pros/cons. You name it! I just knew the Lord didn't us to buy a home in Arizona right now, and He didn't want us in Colorado just yet but He needed us in this home and He put it in our path at just the right time! Geoff finally agreed to go see the house and he liked it . . . a lot! He agreed, if we could get our girls to share - it would be perfect. We presented the idea to the kids. We always include them in decisions and this one was no different. It's always with the understanding that Mom/Dad have the final say but we want their input. We hope it's helping them to learn how to make decisions and weigh the options. There were tears, there were upset girls but they agreed to pray about it and join the family fast about it. We were to go see it that Sunday evening. To make this long story just a tad shorter - we are going to move there! The girls are ok to share and actually excited to have a new room to design. They kids love the basement and the big backyard that has NO pool. Whodathunk!? They don't like having a pool. They want a big grassy backyard with a trampoline. LOVE IT! That I can give them! We will move the week between Christmas and New Years and I'm anxious to start new and fresh! It's only 2.3 miles door to door and yet it's a new ward and stake.
Here's to new beginnings!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blog Stalking!!

Ok - with life feeling a little 'blue' and in honor of the cooler weather, I've been looking at crafting/home decor blogs. It takes over my free time. I surf and surf and surf . . .

Be careful . . . it's addicting!! But check out some of the links on the side! Amazing and FUN stuff!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Santa - -

The past few weeks I've been completely and utterly humbled! I've learned humility, patience, and many other valuable life lessons. Some days have been emotional, others frustrating, others joyful and others stressful. But all in all, I'm learning and growing and completely satisfied.

Today was a great day - even with my migraine. I cancelled lessons because I feared the piano and singing just would aggravate it. I rarely ever cancel my lessons, simply because it means I have to make the lessons up at some point - so what's the point? But today I needed it. I napped, ignored my chores, went to lunch with friends and napped again. After dinner was over, my sweet Jon-boy did the dishes, Kylee-doll helped finish up the table decor for YW's on Wednesday, Maddi-boo helped pick up the front room and Dakota-stud picked up the laundry room and swept the kitchen. Even though I really didn't do much, a lot still got done and I appreciate the help from my family! Even my sweetie, Geoff, brought me a drink. It's now 10:30pm and the kids are in bed, the dishwasher is running, the floors are swept and mopped and the washer has a load going. Geoff is gone to work til morning, so I will work on the computer (or play) til I'm tired and the laundry is ready for the dryer.

While I wait I thought I might write my letter to Santa tonight.
My sweet little Maddisen (9 years old) handed me an envelope today. It was addressed to Santa and she asked me to drop it in the mail tomorrow when I was out running my errands. I told her I'd be happy to but she was early this year, to which she replied, "Well, it's gives him time to save some money since everyone has money problems right now."

My sweet, sweet Maddi - if only you knew!
With all the troubles in the world these days, I thought my letter this year would be less selfish and so here's what I wish for, in simple words, without getting too deep . . .

1 - The standard wish for most - Peace on Earth.
Will we ever fulfill the prophecy in the bible of the lion to lie with the lamb? Sometimes I wonder why we all just can't get along. I appreciate the differences with people and think that's what makes our friendship/relationship so intriguing, but there is no need to pull a gun on each other.
2 - A happy family
I want nothing more than the have my family all get along for one FULL day. Some days it seems almost possible and then the dream is killed by bedtime. Some mornings we don't even make it the first hour without someone complaining about something.
3 - A clean house
Now don't get me wrong - I've been much better about keeping up on this since my stint from theatre but even with all the work I do, it never fails that I have more to do before they go to bed. I know one day it will go away with the kids and I'll miss it but doing dishes and laundry seem like deja vu every day!
4 - To have no enemy
Why can't we all get along? Just like #1 and I will work to do my part. No gossiping, no judging, no assuming. I will do my part - do you think Santa could help those who oppose me?
5 - Happiness!!
I'd love to keep a smile as often as possible. Wives tale says that it takes less muscles in the face to smile. If this is true, I must remember this if I don't want to look too old too fast. I want to be able to find the good or positive in even my trials and troubles.

These are my top 5
- - -
What are you going to ask Santa for???

Friday, September 24, 2010


I've never claimed to be an early to bed/early to rise kind of person. But I had set some goals and one of them was to be up every morning making a hot breakfast for my kids. Well, Geoff works nights once a month for 7 days straight. I don't sleep well when he's gone - I hear every sound, I worry about the kids and I just find it's easier to do things when he's gone. So, it is a productive time of the month - I work on the computer for my calling, I sweep and mop my kitchen (which I hate to do during the day because I use a steam mop and it makes it warm in the room), I organize cupboards, I dust (who does that?), etc etc etc. I will admit that most of the time I do spend most of the time on the computer. I surf for recipes, make documents for my calling or studio, games (I love word games) or chat with friends (if they are awake like me). And sometimes I call Geoff at work and we talk (thank goodness for unlimited night time minutes), if he's not too busy.
I tell you this because he's been on his nightshift for 2 nights and I'm already dragging during the day! It's starting to wear on me and I haven't been very productive during the day. And this heat isn't helping!! I am worn out before I even get the kids out the door to school. I haven't given up my goal of making sure they have a hot breakfast on school days but I can't guarantee I don't grab a cat nap after they leave.

Here's hoping for me to either get to bed earlier
for this night shift to end soon so I can sleep!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Planting seeds in my garden . . .

I've been busy getting things ready for a young women's special meeting called Evening in Excellence. I am the Personal Progress leader in my ward and this is an evening to spotlight the girls work. I have been asked to put together a program and the theme is FOREVER BLOOMING: My Garden of Values.

As I started trying to decide where to go with this, I came across an amazing outline online about taking each value and representing it with a flower and comparing them. I loved it! But now the hard part comes - I have to come up with the flowers and how they compare and write it out. They only gave one idea and I didn't like the flower they chose, so I now have to come up with all 8 values, 8 flowers and 8 comparisons. Some might find this overwhelming but I LOVE LOVE LOVE to do this kind of stuff!

It started the weekend my kids were out of town with my parents and I started researching. Geoff and I were home alone. No interruptions. Nothing to do but enjoy the quiet and each other. I'll keep this rated G and just say we had fun but we still had lots of down time. So, I used my time to work on the computer, while Geoff played his computer game. :) Yes, we're geeks!

I'm done now and the presentation is amazing, if I do say so myself. Although, I don't consider it to be only my work - I had lots of inspiration! I wish I could share with you all of the values and flowers but that would take too long. But I have to share something, so here is a taste with one of my favorites -


Zinnias are among the most popular of garden flowers. Butterflies are particularly attracted to them. They are also called “youth-and-old-age”.

My life is like garden. Every choice I make is like a seed. I decide what I want grow in my garden. If I plant good choices, I’ll enjoy love, peace, joy and closeness with the Spirit. If I plant bad seeds, I’ll grow unhappiness. Luckily, if I don’t like the plants I’m growing, I can choose to weed by repenting. Seeds and choices are very similar. We choose what to plant, but we can’t decide what will come up --- that was already decided by what we plant. We can choose our actions, be we can’t decide the consequences for those actions. Just like seeds grow up into plants that make even more seeds, my choices have long reaching consequences -- sometimes expanding, other times limiting my future choices. If I learn to make righteous choices, I’ll have great blessings and the opportunity for many other good choices in the future.

Man! That was a hard decision - they are all soooo good! I'm so pleased with how it's all coming together. But I share this for one reason - I feel like this has been written for me! Thus the reason I don't feel like I wrote this alone.

I love the quote we are putting on the handout - - -

All the flowers of all the tomorrows are

in the seeds of today. - Indian Proverb

For some reason this speaks to me. With all the changes I've been making in my life, this just confirms to me that what I'm doing today will "blossom" tomorrow. Kylee had an opportunity to go to a young women's conference this summer and it was entitled "Time to Blossom". The conference was to help each young woman to understand her self-worth, to know that she is a beautiful daughter of God, and to discover her potential to make a difference in the world. Isn't that what we all want? To know that what I'm doing today will make a difference tomorrow? If we plant the seeds today - the flowers will bloom tomorrow!!

Have a great day and plant some seeds!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Apples or Onions??

I'm sure most of you have heard the analogy of carmel treats - one being an onion and one being an apple. You have no idea what's inside until you take a bite. They both look good, they both look tasty. Then you take a bite and WHAM! It's either really good or really bad!
I know it's supposed to be about morality and how it looks ok on the outside, blah, blah, blah . . . . but . . . here's my analogy:

I've had some pretty good apples in life.
But I've also had some pretty strong onions.

But lately, I think I'm getting a carmel apple and after I bite into it - - -
I find a really strong onion!


My recent LIFE ONIONS:
1 - Having a really good day, and then I go check the mail and find yet another bill that's delinquent.
2 - We pray and/or fast about work and feel really confident things are going to be ok and then Geoff gets called to a mandatory meeting where he's told health benefit rates are being raised again (twice in about a year) and that his 401K may be going away and they are looking at 2 week fur-lows! WHAT??
3 - We go yet another day without any word on the job we really need/want in Colorado.
4 - I lose yet another student to scheduling conflicts. Although I should be thrilled they are getting leads in shows and it's rehearsals that are conflicting, the money is nicer.
5 - Yet another kid who's upset they didn't get a birthday party or birthday present or can't take an extracurricular activity because of money or because I have to teach and there is no way to get them to and from.

BUT on the other hand . . .

My apples have been some of the JUICIEST I've had in a looooong time!! I've been enjoying the fun of having more time to myself and family. Here's a list of the fun (yes, I think they are) things I've been working on - -

1 - Making contact with old friends.
This includes drink runs, lunches, FB chats, emails and good ol' phone calls.
2 - Learning to coupon.
I've always been fascinated by saving money and getting lots for a little. So, after connecting with an old friend, I found out she is a master coupon-er. I've been 'trading' Sonic drinks (happy hour, of course) for coupon lessons. I've just been collecting them and learning the trade so far. No savings yet, but I will keep you posted. I'm determined on this one!!
3 - Going to food storage classes and learning to cook healthy, edible stuff with it!
Ok, so I've only gone to one class so far (today) but it was AWESOME! The classes are free and I'm learning what to do with all this wheat, rice and beans I have in my storage and now I can use it and rotate it. Check out her website - This woman is a god-send and I'm thankful to have found her. I hope I use what I've learned and become more diverse.
4 - I take time to play the piano . . . for me!!
I play for lessons. I play for church. I play for . . . blah, blah, blah. I LOVE that but I LOVE to play for ME! I was recently given some AMAZING music (arrangements of primary songs and hymns) by my brother. I take the time to play through at least one a day! Lately, after dinner is over and the kids are working on homework, Geoff is either at work or on the computer (depending on his shift) - I will turn off the tv and go in and play. It's so relaxing and I notice a mood change in my home when I do.
5 - I'm trying to find something new everyday. Whether it be a new word, a new friend, a new product, or a new feeling. I am out to make a change in who I am! I will conquer the fear of all these changes and although I get down, and upset and feel like everything I do is a bite into an onion - I will overcome my fears and learn to take leaps and chances and be happy!!


And I'll add to that:
But sometimes you find an apple and you weep HAPPY tears!!

What are you going to find today - an apple or an onion?
But more importantly - - -
what are you going to do with it and how are you going to handle it?

Had an awesome APPLE day today! Trying really hard to find the sweet apples everyday, because that's really what it's all about!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sugar Daddy or Little Ol' Lady??? Help Google!

I've always teased that I need a Sugar Daddy but lately, I've been almost serious! Tonight as I was trying to stretch my dimes into TEN dollars in the budget, I thought maybe I could do a Google search for a little old lady that has extra money to spare. If she knew how hard we try and we still can't seem to make it, maybe she'd be willing to spare a little. I'm not asking for lots. Literally. It's amazing how just 4 digits would help keep my head above water, save me some embarrassing phone calls, and keep me kinda happy. The stress that money brings is just beyond crazy! I have been taught not to tell family secrets but I have to get this off my chest so I can sleep. And I kind of see this as my journal, so . . .

I hate avoiding phone calls - afraid it's bill collectors.

I hate telling my kids "sorry, can't afford that" for even the smallest of items and sometimes necessary things

I hate being so nice and allowing students to pay late, knowing that I will not be able to make my own bills on time

I hate being so accommodating with my students needing time off for shows, that I lose the income while they do

I hate not being able to meet friends for lunch or even just a soda because I don't have a dollar to spare

I hate not having a chance to even go on a date with my husband because money is so tight

I hate. I HATE. I HATE!!

Sometimes I just want to give up!! I can't always rob Peter to pay Paul. I'm beginning to stress over Christmas that's coming. We NEED this new job and we need it NOW!! Why aren't they calling? Why are they dragging their feet?? Come on already! Help us out!!

Ok - I'm done ranting. Well, probably not, but I'm hoping my next post will be HAPPY!! It has to be, right?? So if anyone knows a little old lady (I think that might be better than a Sugar Daddy, don't you?) - pass her my name!

Here's hoping for a money tree to grow in my backyard tomorrow!

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Wonkavator at Ground Zero!

**DISCLAIMER : This is in NO WAY meant to make light of or poke fun at our remembrance of Sept 11th.**

"An elevator can only go up and down, but the Wonkavator can go sideways, and slantways, and longways, and backways and frontways and squareways and any other ways that you can think of!"

My emotions this week have been on a Wonkavator! ALL OVER THE PLACE! One minute loving my life, one minute hating it. Yet another I feel I'm making the wrong choices and yet another I'm thrilled with way things are going and where they are headed. I know I should be happy with what I've chosen and if not, then I need to make the changes needed. However, I don't think it's because of the choices, but the change. I didn't think change was a big deal to me but because so many things are changing so fast, I'm feeling like I'm standing in mud in a rainstorm - slip sliding and fishtailing as I go. Almost unsure of my ground and if I'm heading in the right direction.

"The term ground zero (sometimes known as surface zero or zero point) is used to describe the point on where an explosion occurs. It is also used in relation to disasters to mark the point of the most severe damage or destruction."

Am I damaged? Did I have an explosion? Not literally . . . but . . . my heart is hurting. Aching if you will. I'm not afraid to cry. I cry A LOT! I cry if I'm happy, if I'm worried, if I'm upset and even if I'm mad. I cry during commercials, music (duh!), when I talk to friends, when I'm alone mopping my floor. I'm just an emotional and very "deep-thoughted" person (is that even a word?) who wears her heart and feelings on my sleeve. And lately my emotions have been very HIGH! I can read a scripture and become overwhelmed with emotion. I can see a friend and just want to hug them and tell them how much I love them. I see my kids giggling and laughing and talking at the kitchen table eating dinner and/or working on homework, helping each other and my eyes well up. I know nothing is particularly 'wrong' with me but I can usually keep my tear ducts in check. Not so lately.

I have a pretty close knit family. My sisters (all 5 of us) and my brother can talk about anything. My favorite thing to do is talk to them - sitting around a table. We tease, we laugh, we do get serious (sometimes) and we share. Lately I've felt a little pulled away or the desire to just lash out and tell to leave me alone. I appreciate their concern and their input about us not moving but they don't see my bank account, they don't see the tears I cry over not being able to make our bills, they don't see the heartache of my husband, who feels he can't provide a decent living for his family, they aren't here when the power goes out because we couldn't pay the bill on time, they don't see the tears from my kids who don't want to go to a birthday party without a gift in hand or can't go to an activity with friends because I don't even have $10 to send with them.
Why is that so hard to understand?? Why is that so hard to support?

I love you, too. But families are forever! I can live in a neighboring state and still call, still come home for holidays and since work will pay more, I'll be able to visit. I truly love you but please try to understand.

And another thing:
Why am I doubting my decision to stop doing theatre - PAYING theatre - to be home like the prophet and Bishop have asked? I NEED to be here with my family! I have prayed so very hard and so very long about this. I have cried so many tears, yelled at myself alone in the house, and just slept the afternoon away because of my doubts. The Lord wants me HOME - why doesn't Obama or the economy or society, for that matter?? Why is Satan working so hard to make my choice harder than it should be? Pardon me, but DAMN HIM! Damn him to hell and back! Leave me alone to my sweet husband and children! Let us be happy in our normal sized home but allow us to have power. Allow us to have just a little extra so that we can have smiling kids. We're not asking to be millionaires - just be comfortable. Not feeling like we're wearing shoes that are too tight or have holes in our pockets. LEAVE ME ALONE!!


WOW! That felt good! I have plenty to more I could say but why? The doubt is "his" doing, not mine! I'm happy with what I've chosen - I CAN WALK AWAY WITH MY HEAD HELD HIGH!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

I've suffered enough . . .

Now do they need to?

Recently, I have suffered for choices I made years ago. I choose, not really by my own doing, to return to work about 10 years ago. Geoff had lost his 2nd job in 2 years and we were stressing financially. He decided to return to school but I knew that I would need to work to make it through . . . especially with 4 kids!

We were blessed by the way work came our way. I found a job teaching at a local performing arts studio almost instantaneously, which in turn helped me to return to teaching full-time very quickly. I had a full studio in no time and started filling my time with lots of students and in turn . . . more money!

One evening I went to see a student in a show. Afterwards I was visiting with new friends and was offered an opportunity to music direct a show. I obliged and that was the start of a fruitful, yet LONG 5 years of shows and students that filled my time, day and night.

I was able to pay bills but eventually I wore down. I had lost so much time and memories with my kids . . . for what? I know, I paid my bills and we survived. But I wonder . . . was it really worth it all??

I gave up so much that I will NEVER get back. And I'm suffering for it . . . or at least I think I am. I am trying to rebuild my relationship with each kid. They are "relearning" what I expect of them, they are adjusting to the fact that I am home, I'm adjusting to the fact that I am home. We have had to adjust all over!

"Do I miss it?" I get asked this a lot. "You are too talented to stay away." Thanks but no thanks. I have suffered by way of emotion and loss of what I cannot get back, that I have to stop and think . . . I've suffered, do they need to as well?

I think the answer is a simple . . . no.

Is it time for resolutions? ? ?

Well, for me it is!
The start of a new school year is the BEST time for me to start new goals. Schedules are back, the kids are gone during the day for me to accomplish some of them and I'm in a "new mode".

Below are my goals and I share them because I believe responsibility is key to keeping a goal. If I share them, I feel a sense of responsibility to you, as readers and friends, that I must keep them going so I don't disappoint you. (Remember my list of things about myself, where I shared how I don't like to disappoint people and want everyone as a friend.)

1 - GET UP with or before my kids!
In the past I have been so busy with shows and theatre that mornings were a blur for me. I wouldn't wake up at all, leaving my kids to get ready on their own or I would get up only to drive them, in hopes that they got everything done (including their own breakfast) by themselves. I'm 'airing' my dirty laundry here to prove that this is BIG for me.

2 - MAKE a HOT breakfast every school day!
I have usually bought cold cereal, bagels, bread for toast, poptarts, frozen waffles, etc. for my kids to 'make themselves'. Well, since I'm able to be home more now, I will send my kids prepared for the day with a full tummy!

3 - I WILL stay away from theatre!
Don't fret - I will still perform . . . someday. But for now, I must keep my distance, as hard as it is. And truthfully, it's not hard right now. I have NO desire to be there, to leave my family, to sacrifice my TIME anymore.

4 - I WILL limit my teaching hours!
I MUST not teach past 6:15PM every evening and I will keep my Fridays OPEN for whatever I choose. I also inform ALL new students that flexibility is a MUST! I am a MOM FIRST and I will tend to that first. If they are not ok with that - go find another teacher. So far, all have agreed and there have been no complaints.

5 - I WILL drink one glass of water for every glass of Dr. Pepper!
I tease that my Dr. Pepper is my "mormon coffee" but it's gotten out of hand. It's almost like I'm an alcoholic and MUST have it every day. Scrounging for change in order to suffice my craving and need. I will wean myself off of so much!

6 - I WILL keep up on all housework and laundry!
Again, with theatre, it was not always easy! But I am going to do one load of laundry every evening. Making sure it makes it to the dryer before I head to bed and it will be folded and the kids will put it away before they leave for school in the morning. I will give myself the weekends off. :) Dishes will be done after every meal - no matter how tired I am! And I will do one additional chore every day - such as vacuuming, bathrooms, sweep and mop. If I keep up on it at least once a week, the house doesn't get that messy and I should be able to stay on top of it all.

7 - I WILL keep up on my "spiritual needs"!
This includes, but is not limited to, family prayers, scriptures, personal prayers and my calling.

This is it for now. I may add more but I think my "plate is full". I am thrilled to set them and keep to them. Knowing that I will be rewarded with more than just the temporal needs for all of these things.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hang on . . . here we go!!

The rest of the summer was crazy fun and a whirlwind! It was really a summer for our Kylee. She had LOTS going on but our family had fun too! :)

So . . . here we go . . .

We started the summer off by sending our Kylee to a BRAND NEW program - Time to Blossom. An EFY for 11-16 yr old girls only! It's pilot year was here in Arizona at the Mesa Hilton. She had a blast with 250+ girls running around the hotel with amazing speakers and programs. She is ready to do again next year! Check it out if you have a daughter - They are having 3 next year around the country!

Kylee then headed off to our ward's Journey Retreat for the Young Women. The theme this year was 'Come What May and Love It'.

Then . . . Here she is getting on the bus for Girls Camp! She's a wild one and the new Beehives love having her as their President because she's so fun. She was released just 2 weeks after camp since she's turning 14 yrs old and moving on to MiaMaids.

Here she is with a couple of great gals from the ward. She loved camp, as usual!

The day after she got home from Girls Camp, Kylee got braces. We've been going to the orthodontist for 4 years and when he finally said she was ready, you'd have thought she won the lottery! She was so excited! For now she has an expander on top and lower braces. After the top has moved enough, then they'll add braces on top. She's anxious for that, too!

Here she is in the midst of it all. Happy as can be!! Crazy girl! :)

HERE'S THE FINAL PRODUCT! SHE'S ECSTATIC! We've been expanding and brushing a lot. She's been very good to keep with the rules too. We'll see if she keeps with them. :)

Just 2 days after Kylee's big day, we headed out for a family vacation! In the past we have had a trip here and there and they usually last about 2-3 days and not much more than that. But this summer we went to Colorado for a whole week! We went to Grand Junction first for our niece's baptism. This was for my sister, Mindy's oldest daughter - Carli. We had a blast and enjoyed the fun with family!!

This picture is out of order but it's the Eisenhower Tunnel we drove through between the Dare's and Daugherty's. The kids liked how we drove 'through' the mountain and hearing the history behind it from Dad.

While in Grand Junction we went to the Dinosaur Museum with all the cousins that were there. It was fun to see all the hands-on displays!

We love spending time with cousins! The Dare girls are so much fun and we've missed them since they moved. The kids had a blast at the museum, playing in the retention park outside their house with the "cold" rain and Grandpa's candy cannon, and playing Just Dance! on the wii. We also stopped back by on our drive home to Arizona and enjoyed even more time with them!

Next we drove over the Rocky Mountains to Longmont, just outside of Boulder. We stayed with our dear friends, the Daugherty's for about 4 days. It was absolutely beautiful weather and the kids loved all the rain. We enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. We saw deer walk in the street, even the highway. We saw the buffalo ranch and enjoyed time as a family with no real commitments.

We went to the county fair. I won't bore you with too many pics but we rode rides, ate yummy treats (gotta have a funnel cake) and saw horses, goats and humongus pigs! :)

We ate VERY well while we are there! We just HAD to eat lunch at Noodles. The adults went out to dinner at an old opera house that was revamped into a restaurant called Dickon's. And the rest of the time, Brian cooked for us. Amazing pulled pork tacos, yummy burgers, and tantalizing tubes&twirls (his own recipe). He is quite the chef and the kids really liked watching him cook! Thanks Brian!!

The best part was that I got to spend time with my BEST friend in the whole wide world (well, other than my Geoff)! We laughed and enjoyed spending time with both families for the first time ever! I love you Tawni!

Kylee - 9th grade

Freshman! Where has the time gone?? This is the last year with 9th graders in the junior high schools in Mesa. She is excited to be the "big guy on campus" and to be "making history" as the last 9th grade class at Poston Jr. High. She's excited to add Seminary to her schedule this year!

Jonathan - 7th grade

His first year in junior high! I just can't believe it. He's really grown up in past few weeks. His friendship with Kylee has grown closer too. It's nice to see them get along a lot better. :)

Dakota - 6th grade

Big man on campus! He's enjoying being the "oldest" in the school. He's a ladies man and has quite a few girls trying to be "his". We are working to keep him single. LOL!!

Maddisen - 4th grade

I can't believe my BABY is so grown up! She is really enjoying school and LOVES to read!

Kylee's 14th birthday! No party this year - she had almost 30 girls at our house for a swimming/homemade pizza party last year. But she got breakfast of french toast with buttermilk syrup, lunch from Ned's Krazy Sub and LOTS of fun things from friends! Spoiled with friends and fun! Can't believe how fast you are growing my Kylee-doll! We love you!!

Oh - just a bit of fun: On Friday following her birthday, she went to seminary to find a a sub and it was her grandpa! My Dad is an institute teacher and was asked to sub for her school. FUN!

Well, that's it for now. I'll try to be better about keeping up! Have a great week!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

20 Random Things about Jenn

Need some fun reading (well, I enjoyed writing it)? Here it goes:

1. I'm divorced. Just when I think everyone knows this, someone whom I've known for a while says they didn't know. I was married VERY young at 19 yrs and divorced by 21 1/2 yrs. I remarried 2 years later to my true love.

2. I HATE PEAS! I can't stand them from a can, frozen or fresh. They just make me gag. I used to tell people I was allergic to them, just so I wouldn't be embarrassed if they served them.

3. I used to tap dance competitively. I can barely do any "wings" or even come close to a "coffee grinder" now, but I used to be pretty good. I wish I was better though.

4. I am the oldest of 6 kids and they are all boys, except 5. Ha! (An old joke of my Dad's) I have 4 younger sisters and we are all very different - in looks, personality, mothering, etc. But we all get along and meet for sisters lunch often and can talk for HOURS!

5. I dreamed of marrying into a close knit, fun, active family. I got the very opposite but wouldn't trade my hubby for anyone!

6. I have only broken 1 bone in my lifetime - my left pinky toe. I was on the floor watching cartoons with my first husband (I told you I was young) and he went to tickle me and I got up to run away and my toe got "caught" on the hall doorframe. OUCH! Good thing I have an uncle for a podiatrist. You never think you'll need one but when you do, you are grateful.

7. I don't like to listen to the radio in the car. I used to listen to it all the time and loudly as a teen/young adult but since I've become a Mom - no thanks. Maybe it's because of the babies crying or kids talking with friends. Or the fact that I like to talk to my kids and their friends. Or maybe because I listen to music all day when I'm teaching but I just don't like it. Even if I'm alone - I prefer the quiet. It calms me.

8. I want nothing more than to be everyone's friend. It bothers me when I find out someone doesn't like me. I want to be smiled at when I see someone I've met and know that they like me and are happy to see me. Sometimes I try too hard and I know it and feel like a fool afterwards but I can't help it. I know it's an insecurity but I just love people and want them to love me! I love the differences we all have! I appreciate those differences and want nothing more than to be your friend!

9. I love a clean house and sometimes I obsess about it. I used to be ridiculous about my home. I'd clean so much that my hands were raw and you could eat off my floors but after having kids and realizing it isn't the end of the world if there are a few dishes in the sink, I've relaxed. Also, having to go back to work and leaving Geoff and the kids home all day forced me to stop obsessing. Geoff would be doing homework all day and the kids had free reign sometimes. This about drove us to divorce! I would work a long day and come home exhausted from teaching to find dishes, laundry, messes and more to do. I couldn't complain because my kids were fed, happy and he was doing homework (which was important) but I felt like I had another job waiting for me at home. My kids know that I'm particular and when they clean their rooms they ask "Does it have to be clean or Mom-clean?" Sometimes I'm nice and just let them clean. :) But sometimes - it's time for Mom-inspections. If you ask them what I want for Mothers Day, Christmas, anniversary or birthday, they'll answer the same thing every time - A clean house and a happy family!

10. I love my Dad! He is my absolute most favorite person! We butted heads growing up - because we are a lot alike. But now I got to him for advise and counseling. I know he will give me the answer I need and not what I want to hear. He loves to be the life of the party - always telling a joke or keeping in the center of the conversation. He's well loved by all who meet him - people remember him from years back and with fond memories. He has a quote for everything in life and my favorite I have above my door. Every time we left the house as teens he would call out "Remember who you are" and my Mom would follow with "And what you stand for". Dad would remind us that we do not just carry our own name but our parents and family's name. We represent our parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. We must remember that when making decisions. I hope I make him proud!

11. and 12. (it was long so I gave it 2 answers) I took piano lessons off and on for about 6-7 years. It was a RULE in our home that everyone learned how to play the piano and you couldn't quit until you passed "the test". The test was you had to be able to play all the hymns in the hymnbook. Being LDS you would play for church more than you would play for anything else, so hymns were essential. I had been taking piano and started voice lessons when I was 14 yrs. Piano was primary and every 2 or 3 weeks, I could substitute piano for a voice lesson. I asked if I could quite piano and take voice all the time and I was told to "pass the test". My date was set for a Family Home Evening a month later. My Mom was going to Utah for the Music Education Week and when she returned I would have my test. Well, my Mom returned home with the NEW hymnbook! I was so worried!! New hymns and arrangements - could I pass? My brother thought he was going to be the tough guy and picked a couple of new ones and a mens arrangement in the back to play but I did it. I passed all 10 hymns that were picked and I got to take voice lessons every week! But I still love to play the piano - according to my mood! I dreamed of owning a baby grand piano and finally got one when we moved into our current home. I got a smoking hot deal on it (I was teaching out of a studio in a piano store and got it for cost) so I couldn't pass. If I'm happy, sad, upset, romantic or spiritually uplifted - you can tell by what I'm playing. My Dad told me that's what he missed the most when I moved out - I would play in the evening to unwind and he could tell how my day was by the songs I played. He could even tell what my dates were like by what I chose to play. Now my kids tell me they like it when I "play them to sleep".

13. I talk in my sleep. It usually only happens when I'm extremely tired but you can hold a conversation with me. I rarely divulge any secrets but I will tell you the truth, something I may not tell you the truth about if I'm awake . . . or at least that's what I've been told by my husband and friends. :) A couple of my kids do it too - I guess it's hereditary!

14. I love organization. This comes from my Mom. I am detailed about my bills and receipts. I'm picky about my documents on the computer. I love things organized but especially documents and papers!

15. I LOVE bare feet! I love shoes but when I don't have to wear them - even better! I love being without shoes, socks or anything on my feet! When I sleep I keep my whole under a blanket or sheet but my feet must be out. I don't like them covered. Wearing tennis shoes to workout, sports or hike drives me nuts and once I'm done - the shoes are the first thing I want to shed. I guess that's one good thing about living in Arizona - I wear flip flops 99% of the year! And if I'm in the car, they get kicked off. If I'm where I can slide them off, I do.

16. I am quick at learning computers. I didn't think anything of this until my father in law, who works in the computer business, started complimenting me on how quick I would pick up on new pieces of equipment he'd pass on to me. I was a receptionist at a medical center years ago (18 yrs ago when computers were pretty archaic) and they got a new computer program that I picked up on very quickly. I was asked to attend a class and train the building (6 floors, 50+ receptionist/surgery schedulers) how to use it. About 10 yrs ago I received my first Palm pilot from my father in law and it didn't have a manual (he passed it on to me when he upgraded) and I learned it all on my own. Then he would watch me quickly learn how to use my new cell phones, computers, remotes, etc. and now he brags about it. I feel that it's a compliment coming from Mr. Computer himself. I love creating documents and will stay up late creating something for my church calling or my teaching studio and figure out how to use all the different applications on my computer to do so.

17. I am a night owl! It's by nature and I was trained young. My parents were married for over 4 years before I was born and being the oldest, they taught me everything they knew. And they knew how to stay up late. They would keep me up with them so I would sleep in with them, too. Lately, I would kill to sleep in but yet I don't always have that opportunity with kids and work and a hubby who has to be up early. Yet I still stay up late. Hence why I'm typing this at 2am. :) I love to clean at night but Geoff gets mad when he can smell the bleach while sleeping. I feel I get a lot more done at night - why waste it?

18. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color green. I love all shades of green - pea green, olive green, spring green, kelly green, you name it - I love it! I'm not sure why but it's been my favorite color since I can remember. I think at one point I liked purple but in my adult years - I'm a green kind of gal. It reminds me of nature and all things fresh and clean! If I have a choice, I always choose green. It makes me SMILE!

19. I'm a bit OCD. There are things that I do continually that leads me to believe I might be. I tap my foot to the lines in the street or the street lights as I drive by. I used to count them sub-consciencely but since I've had kids, not so much. Arrangements must be in their proper place.
Once I have set a decoration, it doesn't change unless I change it. Geoff or the kids will try to put it back correctly after dusting but I go fix it if it's not how I had it. The pillows on the couch and bed have to be in their place and I will fix them if they aren't. I have tried to relax over the years with kids but if you come to my home and I've had a chance to pick up - they'll be in the same place every time, I promise. :)
20. I'm annoyed by bad spelling or words with more than one spelling used incorrectly. If I can't spell a word, I look it up or don't use it. And if you don't know the difference between your,you're OR too, to, two OR here, hear OR they're, there, their - learn them or don't use them. Drives me insane!
I'm sure I could come up with a few more but that's plenty for now. Now it's your turn! Tell me about you! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

APOLOGIES . . . please accept??

I sure hope you can forgive me. I tell you I'm blogging again and of course, I get sidetracked. Again and again. I think I have nothing on my plate - summer camps are over, I've said no to theatre jobs - and yet, I still have tons to do.

So, quick recap:
1 - I was going to go to girls camp but Geoff had to work nights while I would be gone and my extended family were going to be up at the cabin. So therefore, I'm not going. I was sad but every time I prayed it just didn't feel right. Now I know why. I need to be here with my family. But I'm still doing a lot of the prep work. I know how hard it can be. My Mom was Stake Camp Director for years growing up. It's MONTHS of preparation and I had so much time on my hands in July, I figured I might as well put them to good use, right?

2 - I had an AMAZING experience to sing a choir. Not just any choir but the recording choir for Rob Gardner's new oratorio, "Lamb of God". I wish I had the talent this man possesses in just an ounce of him!! We had 2 quick rehearsals during the week and on Saturday we recorded all day. The music was GORGEOUS, the cathedral-like hall we recorded in was acoustically BEAUTIFUL, the people I had the pleasure of singing with were AMAZINGLY TALENTED and to put a cherry on the top - we were accompanied by the LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA! It was an all-around spiritually and musically fulfilling day!

3 - Kylee went to her quarterly orthodontist appointment last week, expecting to hear she still needed to wait for a few more teeth to grow in, and about jumped out of her chair when he said "well, looks like it's time to put those braces on"! She is beyond excited, ticked at her mom and still a bit upset at the doctor. Let me explain - she's excited because "all" of her friends have had braces and already gotten them off. She's the "last". (Don't we LOVE teen exaggeration!) She's ticked at me because they were ready to put them on this week but the only appt available would've been the day before she left for camp. You see - she's getting an expander on the top and she'll have to 'crank' it every night. I was NOT going to send my baby to camp the day after and let her be miserable without me around to love on her! So, the date was moved to Wed morning (first appt of the day at 7:40am - silly girl!) the day AFTER she gets home from camp. And lastly, she's still kinda ticked at the doc because he's not putting ALL her braces on right away. Did I mention she's not very patient, like her Mom? She will get bottom braces and the expander put in and then after the top has moved like he wants and the teeth come through - he'll put on the top braces. We're excited for her, not excited for the "drama" that's going to follow and my checkbook has STILL not recovered!! Yikes!

Well, I'm still helping get things ready for camp. Kylee leaves for camp in 2 days. Geoff is working hard at the job he really dislikes. The weather here is miserably hot and muggy since the monsoons can't get through the heat, so we just get the humidity. But on the other hand . . . we leave in 10 days for Colorado. We are still praying for our little miracle and that we'll get this job!! We NEED this change and really feel this is the best for our family!

Stay TOONed!
More TOON drama is bound to happen!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Daze

Gotta love the days of water and sun! I complain (a lot lately) about our heat and how ridiculous it is. . . but my kids tell me it's because I rarely go in the pool.

Well . . . I've been better this year than I have been in past AND today I even went in on my own, without them asking (or should I say begging me). We had diving contests, games, silliness and just downright fun. Here's some pics for proof and a few extras from the days I spent with my sisters at their pools as proof we've had some fun this summer!
Laying by the pool with my Lady-Lou, watching the kids play!
Kids goofing off!
Cute nephew, David, after a full day swimming
Studly Dakota!
Jonathan is gangsta! LOL
Maddi boo - my super smiley girl!
Maddi strikin' a pose!
Funny Cameron hiding from the sun

My cute nephew, Austin, who "did his hair cute" in the shower. . . all by himself! DUDE!
My silly, but gorgeous, Kylee striking a pose!

My too-studly-to-pose-for-Mom, Jonathan!
SEE! I was there!!