Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brace Face

Dr. Glauser is an awesome orthodontist. My kids love him. His office is fun - he has video games in the waiting rooms and PSP's for the kids to play while in the chairs in the back. He is funny, rides dirtbikes and has cool cars. Every time we go, we take special note of what car is parked in Dr. Glauser's spot. He has a few different ones.

I'm pretty sure I have made several of his car payments and maybe a few mortgage payments as well. We are on our third set of braces over here - I think I deserve a parking place with my name on it. As soon as we get one out of braces another one goes on.

Courtney's beautiful smile was revealed in June.

Nicole's two front teeth came in really crazy. She now sports two little brackets that will straighten them out in preparation for more braces later on.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Greatest Camping Trip That Wasn't or All of The Work and None of The Fun

I'm okay with camping...now. See, we have this really great trailer that hauls all of our stuff, it has two queen sized beds, two twin beds, a bathroom with a toilet and shower and a full on kitchen with fridge, freezer and convection oven. Camping is not as much work as it used to be.

But it is still a lot of work. Most of the work is before the trip; hooking up the trailer in the front yard so that the fridge can cool down, filling the water tanks and packing up all of the stuff that we will need.

(The trailer, sitting in front of our house, where it sat long enough I'm pretty sure we will be getting a letter from our HOA)

Then you have the unloading after the trip is over. Most of the food is eaten so there is less to carry back in to the house, but the clothes are filthy and usually stink like camp fire.

Camping is all about what comes in between those two chores - all of the fun is after you get to the mountains. Food tastes better eaten outside, the kids are having a blast and I can usually get some really good reading done in between short jaunts on the motorcycles. I love this part of camping vacations.

Last weekend we decided we needed to get away from this blasting heat and hit the high country. Alan was recently released from his Bishopric calling and so we felt like we could rebel a little and take an entire weekend. We haven't done much camping in the last year or so because it is really too much work to do for only one day.

Last Thursday we picked up our trailer and made all of the preparations. I packed everything up on Friday, Alan got home early and loaded the motorcycles and all of the heavy equipment. We were on the road less than 30 minutes after the kids got home from school.

And we were back home about an hour later.

About 20 miles out of town, we noticed smoke coming from the rear wheels of the Suburban. One of the brakes engaged and wouldn't release. We pulled in to the parking lot at the river to let it cool down. The kids walked down and put their feet in the water. Yippee! That was their fun for the weekend.

All of that work preparing and we had to come home and unload everything. The kids cried a few tears. And let's be honest - I did too. We are hoping to give it another go here soon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back to School!

I know I am a little bit late posting this, but I was having a hard time uploading my pictures, and what is a 'back to school' post without pictures?
(I know it is weird that our Welcome sign is hanging on the inside of the house, but it has been really windy at night and the sound of that banging on the front door scares me)

This year was momentous for Morgan. She started Junior High! She is a big 7th grader! She was nervous and there were all kinds of shenanigans getting her registered so she didn't get her schedule until the night before school started. She didn't get her first choice for an elective, she wanted Drama (surprised?) but ended up with Girl's Choir and she is happy with that. She only has one teacher that one of the older kids had. I'm kind of glad, I would like for her to just be Morgan and not Devon or Courtney's little sister. She is such a special girl, watching her walk to the gates of the Jr. High made LOTS of salty tears spring up. I just want her to be happy.

Courtney is in 8th grade. She is taking all of the Honors courses available, orchestra and Student Council. It is funny to me how much Courtney has blossomed. When she started kindergarten, I never thought she would make it, I was sure we would have to home school her because she was so painfully shy. I'm so proud of the young woman she is becoming.

Devon is also in 8th grade and also taking all Honors courses. His two electives this year are Spanish 2 and Introduction to Business. He has had more homework from his electives than from his regular classes. That is the kind of boy he is, he takes school very seriously and works hard. He is also hoping to make the basketball team and do well in football and track.
What are the chances of having three kids in a 2 year middle school? I wish that they were all best friends but I know that they keep pretty far away from each other at school. They all have loads of friends. I know it won't be long until Devon is dating his sister's friends and vice-versa.

These two pictures make me laugh, they were taken in the car by my friend Shannon - her daughter, Samantha, is on the left in the back seat and is in 8th grade as well.
Morgan looks so happy to be going to school and the other 3 look bored, mad, tired and NOT excited to be going to school!

The Junior High kids started school on August 6th. Nicole didn't start until Monday, August 11th. She really enjoyed those few days of just being with Mom. Nicole is in 2nd grade and has a new teacher, Miss O'Grady. She has her two best girlfriends in her class, Andrea and McKenzie. I don't know if that is good or not, I guess time will tell!

On the 2nd day, Nicole wanted to get her picture taken in front of the door again. In fact, we have done it every day since school started. I'm getting quite a collection.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Want to Move to Greece

Look at this beach!
I want to live here and swim in the ocean every day.
I would eat olives and feta cheese and pita bread.
I would yell OPA! Whenever I broke something.
I would jog in the sand and think of the Chariots of Fire music.

I went and saw Mamma Mia last night with my friends Pam, Deana, Heather and Shannon.

I know everyone else saw it two weeks ago but we were busy.

It was worth the wait.

I already knew I like the music.
Who doesn't love ABBA?

Those songs brought back so many memories.

I remember being in Oklahoma at my Grandma's ranch, sitting
in my cousin's station wagon. They were from Dallas and they were the only
girl cousins I really had.
We would sit in their station wagon and listen to their ABBA eight tracks.

(please don't with the old lady jokes)

They were older than me and I thought they were so cool with their Texas accents and their deodorant.

Not just any deodorant but the awesome Tickle deodorant with the colorful lids.
That deodorant was the perfect microphone.
I loved the song I Have a Dream.
It was sung in the movie by Sophie played by this darling girl, Amanda Seyfried.
But let's be honest.
The whole move was all about Pierce Brosnin for me.
He is so handsome.
James Bond, Thomas Crown, Remington Steele. Hello? He is beautiful.
He wasn't the greatest singer.
But looking at him made it all okay.
I really loved the movie. All of it.
He may have been my favorite part.
Let's see another picture.

Okay, back to the music.

If I can't get Alan and another couple to dress up like Abba for Halloween, then I am going to force two of my friends to dress up like Donna and the Dynamos with me.

I couldn't find any pictures of them from the movie but I found this awesome shot of them from the play.

At the end of the movie, Donna and the Dynamos bust out with Dancing Queen.

That was all the cue we needed.

Led by Deana, a true dancing queen, we stood and danced for everyone in the theater.

People laughed but then some stood and joined us.

It was awesome.

Speaking of awesome.

While looking for pictures for this post. I ran across several from the movie premiere.

Colin Firth is in the movie as well.

His wife wore a yellow smiley face dress to the premiere.

Just in case you were looking for a Halloween costume too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


My friend Gina tagged me for this meme. Gina is a great person and an amazing photographer. If you have never checked out her blog you should!

Three JOYS: (I'm skipping the family, faith route - you already know I love them and they bring me more joy than I deserve!)

1. Hearing babies laugh. Nothing is better or more contagious than little tyke laughter.

2. Clean sheets! I love slipping into the bed when the sheets smell like the dryer.

3. Finding a bargain. The thrill of the markdown. My kids are so well trained that when we enter a store in the mall, they walk right to the back where they know the clearance is set up.

Three FEARS:

1. Something traumatic happening to one of my kids and I won't have the where with all to do something like call 911 or apply pressure to the bleeding. I wasn't home when Devon shattered his leg into 17 pieces - I think if I had been (well, he wouldn't have been jumping down the entire flight of stairs if I had been) I would have fainted or maybe just died of heart failure.

2. The world having too much influence on my children. All of this back to school stuff makes my stomach hurt. (And not because I spent almost $150 on school supplies yesterday)

3. Disappointing someone I love.

Three GOALS:

1. Lose 25 more pounds.

2. Do my visiting teaching every month - and do it right.

3. Fix my kids a decent breakfast before school.


1. Scrapbook paper. I hardly ever scrapbook anymore but I can't stop buying the paper!

2. This terrible series of YA fiction books that I am too embarrassed to even say the name of. I am so caught up that when the next one in the series was not available at the library - I went to THREE bookstores to find it.

3. Diet Rite Zero. Zero calories, zero sugar, zero sodium and zero caffeine. I am adding a warning however, if you are thinking of picking some up. There is something in the make up of either the soda or the can that makes it prone to exploding in the fridge. I have to be careful that the cans don't get pushed to the back.

Three RANDOM FACTS: (like you don't already know everything about me)

1. I served a mission in the South of France and I teach French at the elementary school that my kids attend. I have been home more years than I care to admit and my French is pretty elementary at this point.

2. I have a pretty impressive collection of Eiffel Towers chez moi.

3. I love French cheeses - but I prefer Belgian chocolates. Go to a Leonidas (San Tan Mall for locals) and try it out - you will never darken the door of Sees again. Leonidas used to be available only in Europe. I brought a huge box home from France. It was summer time and I was scared that the chocolates wouldn't make it- even in my carry on. The nice owners of the little Leonidas in San Tropez carefully wrapped my jumbo box in plastic and wet newspapers to keep the candy cool. It worked!

Breaking Dawn

Surprise! I'm doing a Breaking Dawn post!

Friday night, my friend Shannon and I took our daughters to Borders Books to participate in the festivities surrounding the release of the book.

We watched some of the shenanigans and then found a nice quiet place to sit and wait for it to be midnight.

Courtney's other BFF, Rachel showed up with her mom and joined our crew in the corner. We had all gone to the bookstore earlier in the day to pick up wristbands that would allow us to buy the book. We had numbers in the low 100's so we were pretty confident that we would get our book by a decent time and get out of there.
Super excited teenage girls
I was oh so wrong.

Around 11:30 they announced that the 300+ people who had come in to the store before July 25th to reserve a book would be getting their books first.

We watched as the books were wheeled out of the back room at a few minutes before midnight and then sat down to wait for them to start calling out the wrist band numbers. We waited and waited some more.
The nice moms. We are so nice that the pregnant one is sitting on the floor while the other two get footstools.

By 1:00 we were ready to pack it in. We surveyed the proceedings and determined that it would be at least another hour before we were allowed to purchase our books so we did what a SMART person would have done all along and what we wished we would have done an hour earlier.

We went to Wal-Mart. We walked right in, picked up the books and checked out. It took 2.5 minutes from leaving our car to swiping the card.The girls with their books in Wal-Mart (nice photo op in front of the men's restroom)

We were home by 1:15 a.m. Courtney and I read off and on Saturday. We tried not to read on Sunday. I finished the book early yesterday morning.

It was good.

Part of me is just glad the whole thing is over. I'm glad I read them. I have all four books. I may even read them all again at some point. Honestly, I think I lost the will to love them when my daughter and all of her teenage friends started to love them so much.

You have to check out this post Courtney made on her blog. When I told her that I thought that she could do something more appropriate on her Sabbath Day then sit in her room and read, she took pictures of her younger sister as a vampire. She colored her eyes in the appropriate colors etc...