Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Here is our sweetie pie McKayla as a cheerleader. This is the only completely homemade costume this year. I guess she likes the GB Packers. I wanted her to be a Wildcat (a la High School Musical) but she loves green. Pom-poms courtesy of Christmas decorations.

Next is Madison who wins the costume prize this year. She is Miss America. This is why she is the winner: She wanted to be Miss America since last year (longevity award.) She already had the dress, so we just had to add the crown which we already had, buy ribbon and paint "Miss America" (very quick and easy), buy fake flowers (on sale), (least expensive award.) And finally, I did not see any other Miss Americas out there (creativity award.) She also never complained once (favorite child award.)

Maya was Belle. She wanted her boyfriend to dress as the Beast. He dressed as a penguin. He is no longer her boyfriend. This costume was hanging at Stater Bros. and cost $12.99. She wanted it. For $12.99 it was hers. (simplicity award) However, she did not like the way the seams scratched against her tummy and so after many tears, I duct-taped the seams down. Smooth and sweaty were preferable to scratchy and bulky.

Next our little mermaid, Monterey. Now, truth be told, this really was the easiest and cheapest since we just borrowed it from Grandma Diane's dress up box. However she kept changing her mind so many times, it did not feel stress free. Ultimately, I just figured I would ignore her requests and just put it on her and it worked. This side view shows how very cute this costume really is.

McKayla wore her costume to school and went to the Spooktacular (def: a party/dance/carnival that was put on by her school) afterwards. Tiny Tots had a big ole' party with carnival activities so the big girls had their party too. Madison was allowed to wear fall colors at school. And no parties. Bummer. But my little trooper maintained a positive attitude all day. Thank goodness for Madison.

We trick-or-treated in the neighborhoods with the girls' friends. It was so much fun to see the big girls say trick-or-treat and thank you at all the houses.

Here is the group right before we left. Moments later the first candy was in the sack and the tears and apathy were replaced with joy and giggles. Who said chocolate does not solve every problem? They never met my girls.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

4th Week of the Season Plus Other Fun

We had our soccer marathon today: all three girls played at the same time. Luckily, my mom is still in town, so we had three adults cheering.

Maya, once again had an incredible game. She scored twice and was really upset when she missed one and the other team scored one. The other parents and the coach were cheering like crazy because they know when Maya get the ball, she can RUN! She has a Dash run which I'm sure she has developed from watching countless hours of the Incredibles. When I told her she ran like Dash, she said: "Mom, I can't run on water." This child always has an answer.

Madison's game was next. They are not losing by as much anymore. The score was 0-2. Madison claims that they are losing because of the other people on the team. I'm sure she is right.

McKayla's game was really good. They won 6-3. She played goalie one quarter and had a great save and a great kick that was right to one of her team members. The girl took it and scored immediately so it was like an assist.

On Sunday at church, we had the annual Primary Sacrament Program. It is my favorite meeting of the whole year because all I do is laugh and cry. McKayla and Madison sang together and all three had speaking parts. Monterey wanted to join in so she sat up on the stand with Maya. When the class went up, they asked Ryan if she should have a part and he said no. She would have done it. Afterwards he wanted to know why I let her up on the stand. I had a choice: let her sit up there with her sister and take advantage of extremely patient people OR have her scream at being separated from her sisters and miss the program by sitting with her in the foyer. I chose the easy way out. The highlight of the program for me, besides all the efforts and antics of my own children, was when the children's chorus sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives accompanied by Dallin on violin and Jake on guitar. That song is awesome sung by children.

McKayla is playing volleyball on her school team. They played today and she earned the team four points for her service and two more hitting back served balls. They won against Paige Middle School, three games to zero.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Southern Living Party & Life

I have so much to write. So here are a few little blurbs for the blog.

Costco: Where else can I get dinner for five (Ryan was at his MBA program) for $7.64?

Last Friday, I had my Southern Living Party. We had lots of people and lots of fun. It was a Christmas-themed party to get people thinking about their guest list. So I made my six favorite Christmas Cookies and shared the recipes for all of them. I hope everyone had a good time. It sounded and looked like everyone had a good time. Thanks to all for coming. The little girls came out when everyone was (almost) gone and snagged the last two chocolate chip cookies.

Madison's friend Kiki came and played with Madison while her mom shopped. The big girls love Kiki and played and danced and dressed up and sang and did flips with her. I am exhausted just typing that in. We were finally done a little after ten. We then went to bed and started the marathon day that was addressed in my previous post. (By the way, do not worry about the 5 am cooking. I normally get up at that time anyway. I get more done when I work before everyone else gets up, so it has just become a habit.)

The pink dress Maya is wearing was given to us by Jody Lagunas, who always provides us with the cutest cast-offs. We got the dress on Monday night. Maya wore it on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and 1/2 day on Friday (Monterey got it for the morning.) We washed it on Saturday. Sunday she could not find it (we hid it.) She wore it on Monday (she found it.) And again today. I think it is safe to say it is her favorite dress. This picture does not do it justice becasue it is the bottom that makes it so cute.

Sunday night we had family dinner at our house. I made the Broccoli Cheese Soup again, but this time served it in bread bowls with salad, kiwis, gingerbread, and Halloween cookies that the older girls decorated. (I chopped the onions and broccoli the day before for both soups.)

Ryan wanted to do a really nice salad lunch for his work, but all professionals were beyond his budget. So he asked me to do it. Since I just did it at school three weeks ago, I agreed. (See the October 5th post.) So Monday night, after FHE, we went to Costco and Henry's for all our fresh produce. My mom and I started the procedure of cleaning, chopping, and packaging the thirty different offerings for the salad bar. This morning, we dropped the big girls off at Tiny Tots, came home and finished the lettuce and tomatoes, packed the car, drove, and set up the salad bar for about 60 Marriott employees. Ryan was happy, although they ran out of ranch (almost unforgivable by Ryan's standards, but I did not expect that people would suck it down like Coca-Cola.) I am just patiently waiting to make sure Ryan brings home all of my dishes since I had to leave at 11:30 to pick up the big girls.

Speaking of big girls, the other day, we were listening to the radio and the DJ introduced the song Big Girls Don't Cry and Maya said: "That's not true 'cause I'm a big girl and I cry."

So tonight I am on my way to Dream Dinners to try it out. McKayla and I are going together and making six dinners. This is a trial to see if we like it. I went to a "party" a few weeks ago and loved it so we will see if this is a one time deal or a once a month deal.

The other big change is that I have been substitute teaching for either people I know or at the girls' school. Just this limited group has been keeping me busy. Ryan has be able to take the girls to Tiny Tots in the morning. Monday through Thursday, my mother-in-law, Diane, has been able to pick up the girls and watch them until I am done, when I pick them up from her. On Friday, I either don't sub or I rely on the kindness of others. The first week, I was almost ready to say forget it. It was not worth the stress as I was trying to coordinate everyone's schedule. But since it is just two to three days a week, we have gotten into an okay groove. So, we will see. In the meantime, it is bringing in some much needed income as we continue to adjust to the MBA program, Tiny Tots (admittedly a bargain but still $260 we were not paying a few months ago) and our continued resolve to NOT use credit cards for ANYTHING.

So there you have it, the many ramblings of a modern-day mother.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

3rd Week of the Season

Today was Picture Day at Soccer AND Super Saturday at Church. Translation: Extremely busy. Lisa's mom is in town and joined us on all adventures. So here is the break down:
5:00 Lisa up, make Broccoli Cheese Soup, keep warm in Crockpot.
6:00 everyone up, shower, dress for soccer, do hair
7:15 leave house
7:30 Maya's soccer pictures
8:00 Maya's game (She played great. She scored one goal and started exhibiting what could be considered rudimentary defensive skills.)
8:45 Breakfast at Maxy's Grill
9:45 Drop McKayla off for check in, drop soup off at church building
10:30 McKayla's game (Her team lost. The score was 2-1. They were very evenly matched and it was quite an exciting game.)
12:00 Lisa & Dixie to Super Saturday. Quickly learn craft, share recipes, and eat soup for lunch. Visit with friends. Ryan & girls eat at home.
1:15 Madison's pictures (Ryan & girls go, we meet up later.
2:00 Madison's game. (They lost 4-1. It felt much closer AND they were rumored to be the best team in the league so the loss did not sting as much. We were joined at the game by Grandma Diane, Uncle Matt, and Kym & Chris - it was such a pleasant surprise to have them all there: rare and appreciated.)3:00 Swimming (yeah!!! the pool is heated and felt perfect. It was so hot out there today so the pool was just what we needed to feel rejuvenated.)
5:00 Dinner at Pat & Oscars, decided by Maya the "winner." (The family meal deal is only around $21. Can't beat that.)
6:00 Baskin Robbins (Ryan still knows how to put a smile on his sweetie pies.)
6:30 Dishes, clean rooms, decorate for Halloween, laundry, prep for tomorrow
7:30 Family Movie Night: Happy Feet (while I blog.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

2nd Week of the Season

Maya started the day with her 10:15 game against the Pixies. Maya's team won (as did the Pixies.) Maya scored four goals (the first one of those was for the other team because she has not quite mastered the concept that the teams are shooting in different goals.) If you ask her she will say she scored ten. In the first quarter, she was running along at the back of the pack. In the second quarter she sat out. When I told her it was time to go back in for the third quarter, she said it was more fun to watch than to play. I told her it was time for someone else to take a break. She went in reluctantly and then all of the sudden was on fire. She kept running at the front of the pack, had great follow through and kicked it all the way in three times. We are so proud of our Maya.

We left that game and quickly hurried over to McKayla's game which started at 10:30. The rest went with her so it was just Maya and I that came toward the end of the second quarter. As I was approaching, I saw McKayla in the goalie box wearing the goalie stuff (don't you love how I have embraced the official lingo.) McKayla has not only never played goalie in the last three years, but did not even practice for it. I panicked. How could they put my baby in there without any practice in such a high pressure position? I was both worried that she would start puking and ready to yell at the coach for exposing her to too much pressure. So I come up to Ryan ready to let someone have it and say "What the heck is McKayla doing in the goal box?" As if he should have been the one to stop it from happening. His response: "She just blocked two amazing attempts, one in the air with her arms extended." I was speechless - not an easy feat. She was awesome. And she loved it. And she wants to practice it so that can be her new position. She did not let any goal pass her. Her team won 4-1. She was out the third quarter, but when a teammate took a fierce faceball and had to leave the field she was back in covering for her as middle. She had a great game.

Madison's game was next, at 12:00. They lost 1-2, which was not nearly as bad as last week and my dire predictions for this week. Madison had some action, but her offensive players did a great job keeping the ball mostly on the other side. Their coach gave them oranges and since she sat out the third quarter, my girls spent their time wanting me to take pictures of them with oranges in their mouths.

Monterey was the best cheerleader of all. She likes cheering and clapping: " Let's go (sister's name) Let's go!" She likes sharing their snacks. She likes spending time with each person as she goes from person to person. She really liked when Grandma Diane came for a few minutes to see McKayla play. She likes saying she has to go potty two minutes after someone else left to use the restroom, after we repeatedly asked her if she needs to go. Monterey is the best little mascot ever.

Those who win get to decide where they want to eat, so McKayla and Maya chose Lamppost Pizza. Ryan wanted to go to Port O' Subs but Maya explained he was not a winner and had no vote. He glared at me wanting to know what I had started. This has been our tradition since the start, several years ago. Parents only get to chose if nobody wins. Since Maya's team will win every game, I don't think he will ever get his way this year. Poor Ryan.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Family Fun Night

Tonight was Free Family Night at the Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert. Did someone say free? So we decided to make a night of it.

First we went to Ryan's work at Marriott to meet his new boss Anthony. We got there at 5:00 so many people were leaving, but we still managed to see some old friends and meet a few new ones. Eric Gillis was there and when he heard we were going to the new and only Sonic (in the desert) afterwards, he insisted that we order the chili-cheese tater-tots and the cranberry limeade. We said we would, but he did not trust us so he wrote it out for us. So here is his note along with the chili-cheese tater-tots and cranberry limeade. I hope this is proof enough for you or do you need the receipt as well?

But, I get ahead of myself. We then went to the Museum, which is filled with incredible interactive exhibits that the girls love. First they made their own pizzas at the pizza parlor. Then they went grocery shopping at the grocery store. Next cruising on a police motorcycle. Dress-up, a ride on the pulley system and the elastic maze were the last adventure of the evening.

So then we went to Sonic. We did love Eric's suggestions and we generally had good food. The service was horrible, but that will probably improve over time. The ordering system had really bad speakers so everyone was yelling every items four times. So I think we will wait until they get all their little kinks out. McKayla and I are limeade fanatics so I'm sure we will be back to try every flavor.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Uncle Bud, Camilla Kimball

Yesterday my Uncle Bud passed away. We went to visit him just two months ago (see August 2nd post.) My mom and I felt we needed to go right away, even though we did not know he had cancer until after we returned home. That was pretty much the motivation for the whole vacation, which is why we started in Denver. I am so glad we saw him when we did. He was a WWII veteran. As a nation, we are losing more of them everyday. Here is a link to his obituary.

I was trying to figure out the connection between Camilla Eyring Kimball (Spencer's wife) and Henry B. Eyring so I picked up her biography to figure it out. While thumbing through it, I rediscovered a great quote:

"I have always had an inquiring mind. I am not satisfied just to accept things. I like to follow through and study things out. I learned early to put aside those gospel questions that I could not answer. I had a shelf of things I did not understand, but as I have grown older and studied and prayed and thought about each problem, one by one I have been able to understand them better.

A woman, to be well rounded in her personality, needs many experiences in and out of the home. She needs to be concerned with church, school, and community. If she buries herself inside four walls, she does not reach her potential. She needs to keep growing, to keep aware of the world in which her children are growing. In order to do this, she should be interested in educational advancement and worthwhile endeavors in her community."

I love Camilla.

Here is another:
"I cried almost everyday the first year of our marriage. I wonder now how Spencer ever stood it. He did grow calloused and would say, "Go ahead and cry. You'll feel better when you get through."

I read her book years ago for some YW goal thing because my mother handed it to me, and I remembered I loved it. As I was thumbing through more sections, I decided I am going to reread it. Now that I have had a handful of kids, I could not believe how much more I love her and her honesty, her candor, her down-to-earth tell-it-like-it-is way of writing.

By the way, Henry B. is Camilla's nephew. His dad was her brother. So growing up it was Uncle Spencer and Aunt Camilla.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

General Conference Weekend

Watching General Conference for us is always a marathon weekend. This year, because of soccer and parties, we DVR-ed Saturday and so then had a lot to watch in a short period of time to catch up. Sunday was much better, keeping with our tradition of a big breakfast served right as conference starts. We had made-to-order omelets (swiss, mushroom, avocado shown here), country potatoes, bacon, and blueberry muffins.

Elder Costa quoted this poem which prompted the discussion:


If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

(Click on link to read the whole poem)

Lisa (to McKayla): Have I told you I love you today? McKayla: Yes mom. Lisa (to Madison): Have I told you I love you today? Madison: Yes mom. Lisa (to Maya): Have I told you I love you today? Maya: Yes mom. Lisa (to Monterey): Have I told you I love you today? Monterey: Yes mom. Lisa (to Ryan): Have I told you I love you today? Ryan: I don't think so. Lisa: Then I have to show you. (Lisa pounces on Ryan) Madison: Why are you two always doing that every conference? (a couple of minutes later) Lisa: Did you take a shower yet? Ryan: Why? Do I stink? Lisa: I wouldn't say you have a stench, but there is a certain aroma. Ryan: (laughter for the next 2 minutes.)

Sometimes I think it would be better if we just went to the building and watched. We would probably be better behaved. Of course, we remember the talks better when we have a point of reference.

The last talk of the conference by Dallin H. Oaks prompted a discussion. He talked about choosing between something that is good, better, and best. I think it was a good talk that will probably be a point of discussion for many people. Ryan and I immediately started going through our family's schedule deciding that we are balanced and were doing pretty well with that. The MBA is the biggest strain, which we agree is necessary and temporary. The bishopric calling is the next biggest strain, again we know that is okay with us. Other than that, we do eat dinner every night together and seek to keep our girls well-rounded, yet prioritize things like church activities and Family Home Evening. All we can do is our best. Crazy busy is still better than crazy lazy.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

1st Day of the Season

The day started at 9:30 with Maya's game. Her team won! The other team (the Mermaids) did too, because at this stage, everyone who plays is a winner: no score, no goalies, and above all NO NEGATIVITY. They just kind of let them run. It was the cutest thing ever. My jaw hurt from smiling so much. Maya did really well. She made great contact with the ball, tried to slow other players down by grabbing their shirts, never got distracted (by flowers, bugs, other players, etc.) She did have to go potty half way through and Ryan did not know where the bathrooms were at the middle school (I had found them at the previous practice with Monterey, and it was a maze) so she missed part of it. We were so proud. She is #2 in blue. Go Fireflies!

Disclaimer: I love all my children and I was equally excited about all their games, however my batteries in my camera died so there are no pictures of the others. This was not by choice and next week we will have those.

McKayla's game was next, at 10:30, which means 10:00 check-in, which means we had to leave Maya's game early since it was at a different location, which is why Ryan had potty duty with Maya instead of me. McKayla's team rocked. The score was 5-2 and the 2 were more flukes than real goals. In fact, nobody cheered when the other team scored because it was so unclear (the goalie stopped the ball but one foot was past the line.) Anyway, McKayla had some great plays. She plays defender and knew the other team's best girl and stuck to her like glue. She charged the ball, made big kicks, and really took a leadership roll with the other defensive players on her team. The only negative: the goalie was really bored (oh, well.) I am so glad she is on a good team. Go Breakers!

Madison had the 12:00 game. 11:15 check in, so we went from game-to-game. She played the Sparrows. They lost. There is not a whole lot to say, except that most of the players are really young and I don't think the coach knew how aggressive the teams played in this division so I think they will get better with time. The score was 0-6, ouch. Madison was on the #2 team in the valley last year, so she is a little stunned. They were always on the winning side of the 6-0 score. Good Luck next week, Go Tikibirds!

I had packed our lunch and we ate as the day went on, but I had forgotten the sunscreen so I got burned bad. Luckily, I got it the worst, because I always feel horrible when my babies look like they have been deep-fried. It always takes me a week to get everything together and I usually have to start on Friday night getting everything out. After we wash uniforms, they go directly in a bag with cleats and shin guards for the next week so we don't have to look for the missing sock on game day. It was fun to see all our friends on the field: soccer families, school families, church families. It was like a great reunion and it was fun catching up with everyone.

Afterwards, the girls had two birthday parties to go to: one with all four and one with only McKayla (this was after a sleepover, so McKayla had quite a busy weekend.) The one for McKayla alone was for a friend of her's who was involved in a car accident about three years ago. She is a sweetheart and a really nice girl, but she is still trying to overcome some of the physical problems (mainly in her legs) and has some mental delays as a result of the accident. Her mom told me tonight, that because of the accident, many of her previous friends had stopped being her friend (either they were embarrassed by her or uncomfortable because sometimes she kind of blanks out.) Her mom expressed how her previous friends were into money and image, and were now into shopping, inappropriate music, language, clothes, etc. But now, her new friends are really nice girls who are age-appropriate and not rude teenagers. They love her daughter for who she is and not what other people think. She said that in the long run, in many ways, she is happy that her daughter is able to associate with her current group and it was almost worth the accident just to make sure her friends were so kind and decent and had high standards. (Not that she doesn't wish she could recover completely.) But, she sees that there are other blessings that came out of it that she did not expect. I was in tears as she told me this. She is not a member of our church (not that it matters, but we talk a lot about having an eternal perspective in our religion, so it strikes me deep when someone else expresses it.)

I am so proud of McKayla for choosing good friends with high standards. She has naturally gravitated towards this group and they are so supportive of each other. Nobody sat them down and told them to be friends with this girl. McKayla just likes to hang out with nice people. All of them are different religions, but all understand the importance of high standards.

One more religious note: one of our church leaders passed away several weeks ago and was replaced today during the semi-annual conference. We knew it would be one of twelve choices. Everyone in both families ventured a guess at who it would be and I was right: Henry B. Eyring. (Just Kym's new mother-in-law and I got it right.) I adore him and could not picture anyone else- although they all would had been excellent. So I am very happy right now. (Even though now I must repent for my bragging.) It is always something.

Friday, October 5, 2007

One Down, Four To Go

Today we had the first teacher luncheon at Madison's elementary school. It was to celebrate the completion of the first month of school. Everything went really well. We had a salad bar with thirty-two ingredients plus dressings, breads, pasta salads, Chinese chicken salad, and pies for dessert. Everyone loved it and we got lots donations, so it was easier on me than usual.

Kodi watched the "big girls" and Helen loaned me beautiful linens. Thanks you to ALL that helped.

We had way too much lettuce (no matter what, I always overestimate one thing on the menu -- last time it was sausage, the time before chips.) So I am off to the local soup kitchen with eight Costco size bags of lettuce. The homeless will be getting salad tonight!

I'm going to one of those Dream Dinners Parties tonight. Will I get hooked? Will Ryan be home in time for me to actually go? We will see.