Monday, July 3, 2017

Cub Camp

Palmer went to Cub Camp for two days.  The first day he went to a camp called Construction Junction.  There he toured a train and shot BB guns, among many other fun activities.

The second day I was able to accompany him as a chaperone to Dragon Masters camp.  The boys made leather bands, carved wood, practiced with a sword and shield and did some archery.  It made for a lot of fun and a lot of dirt!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Palisade and Manti Pageant

We went on a day trip as a family to Palisade State Park to join our friends, the Fordhams and the Smiths, who were camping there for the weekend.  The campsite/lake are just beautiful!  We played at the lake, rode canoes, played in the sand, jumped off the party deck and the kids caught little fish in nets.  Violet took a nap in my arms on the beach as I talked with friends.  It was all lovely!  We ended the visit with a yummy spaghetti dinner together at their campsite.

Then Greg, myself and the kids went on to the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti.  We experienced a small Mormon miracle ourselves and happened to find a parking spot right next to the temple grounds, only minutes before the pageant started.  The kids, especially Palmer and Brody, loved the pageant!  Greg and I both thought it was better than we had remembered and felt the spirit strongly.

It was a wonderful day in every way.  Brody thanked me for "taking them on an adventure" the next day and for a few days after.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Nine Month Old Violet

 Violet is nine months old now!  She is such a joy to have; we all just adore her.  She just started crawling, cast and all.  She is pretty slow and lopsided with her left arm at a permanent 90 degree angle, but she's made it work and gets herself around.  She continues to be happy and smiley.  She giggles easily.  She loves Greg right now!  When he comes home from the day, she wants him, right then.  If he needs to do something and doesn't get right to her, she is heart broken!  She is really enjoying feeding herself table food, and is doing great gaining weight!  She was in the 5th percentile this past visit with the doctor, and is no longer diagnosed failure to thrive.  This is what is going on with Violet at nine months of age.

Stats: 15 lbs. (5%), 27.75 in. (50%), head circumference (24%)

She's learned: to crawl and to shake her head no

She likes: table food, self feeding, Daddy, baths, peek a boo, her bottle, toys, the baby jumper, going on dates with just mom and dad, playing with her siblings, jumping on the trampoline (done softly with Dad or siblings) and baths

She dislikes: being alone and baby food

Things about her/she does that makes us laugh: pats your back when you pick her up, snorts when she's excited, sticks out her tongue, squeals, baby babbles, toothy smiles and big belly laughs

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fractured Ulna

Brody was playing on the floor with Violet one night and rolled her over from her belly to her back.  Her arm got stuck behind her and she cried out loudly.  She kept crying and wouldn't move her arm, so we figured her elbow had come out of socket again.  Greg and I couldn't get it back into place, so Greg took her to instacare.  The doctor also couldn't get it back into place, so he sent her to get x-rays.  Violet came back from the scans happy and moving her arm, so we all assumed the x-ray technician popped the elbow back into place, which is exactly what had occurred the last time her elbow dislocated.  Imagine my surprise when the next day I received a call from the radiologist saying Violet had a fractured arm.  We immediately took her into instacare to get her arm in a splint and then later that week took her to Primary Children's Hospital for a cast.

She did not like the splint, and got very frustrated with it.  The cast hasn't bothered her at all.  In fact, she sometimes plays with it by banging it against things, or chews on the soft wrap underneath the hard cast.

Brody felt awful for hurting her.  He loves her so much and was crushed that he had injured her.  That night as I was trying to comfort him, he didn't even want to be hugged.  He just wanted to be alone and cry.  It broke my heart.  I've never had a child not want to be comforted before; it was a very adult reaction.  Brody was a little nervous to touch her for a couple days after the accident, but is now back to himself.  Brody and all the other kids signed her cast and drew hearts on it.

She only has to wear the cast for three weeks.  She's so small and petite, the cast draws a lot of attention and sympathy from others.  I was pretty upset about it for the first few days, and got teary eyed just about every time I looked at her.  I just hate when my kids are hurting; I don't handle it well.  I'm grateful for a level headed husband who is always ready to steps up and help out.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Palmer's Basketball Birthday Party

Palmer chose to have a basketball themed party this year.  We had 20 kids here for the party and a lot of extended family came by too.  Everyone in attendance signed a basketball for Palmer to keep as a memento.

We served pizza, vegetables and dip and cheeseballs for lunch.


We played reverse charades with basketball terms, pass the ball (played like hot potato) and red rover (I tied this one in to the theme because basketball players are traded to different teams).  Red rover was really fun, but a bit more dangerous than I had anticipated.  We had to eventually end the game because I was afraid someone was going to break an arm, or get whiplash!

We sang happy birthday and enjoyed some cupcakes with chocolate basketballs on them.  Palmer requested carrot cake, but I figured that wouldn't go over too well with all the kids, so I made vanilla cake as well.

Palmer was spoiled with presents.  Some of his favorites were: a fidget spinner, fighting robots, Snap Circuits, a kids cookbook, a remote control car, and of course money.  We are taking him to see Dan TDM Live in August for his gift.  He is a big fan of Dan and had been watching intently to see if he was coming to Salt Lake on tour.  He announced his tour dates, and Salt Lake was not on the list.  Greg and I thought we were off the hook, haha!  Then he added a few shows, Salt Lake included and Palmer was jumping off the walls, he was so exited about it.

Thanks family and friends who came to celebrate Palmer's 9th birthday with us!  The party was a great success and the birthday boy had a wonderful time!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

More Special Order Cupcakes

I took a little break from cupcakes after I had the baby.  About 6 weeks after I had her, I started up again and have been busy making and selling cupcakes since.  I can't believe how well my cakes have been received and supported by our friends.  It's really been a blessing for my family, financially, and  myself, creatively.

 devils food cake with chocolate and vanilla buttercream, pumpkin cake with cream cheese buttercream and lemon cake with strawberry buttercream (one of my most popular orders and what I call strawberry lemonade) for a 70 year olds birthday party

 red velvet cake with cream cheese buttercream (also not pictured, devils food cake with cream cheese buttercream, devils food cake with milk chocolate buttercream, and white cake with strawberry buttercream) for a missionary farewell

 devils food cake with vanilla buttercream, purple people eaters for a Halloween party

 pumpkin cake with cream cheese buttercream, devils food cake with milk chocolate buttercream, devils food cake with mint buttercream, white cake with strawberry buttercream, and peanut butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream (120 all together!) for a wedding

 white cake with vanilla buttercream for two boys' birthday party

 devils food cake with mint buttercream and red velvet cake with cream cheese buttercream for Greg and my places of work and home and visiting teaching Christmas gifts

 red velvet cake and cream cheese buttercream for a school staff Christmas gift

 lemon cake with strawberry buttercream and devils food cake with cream cheese buttercream for a half marathon after dinner

 lemon cake with strawberry buttercream, red velvet with cream cheese buttercream and white cake with milk chocolate buttercream for a baby blessing luncheon

 devils food cake with milk chocolate buttercream and white cake with vanilla buttercream for a baby shower

 white cake and vanilla buttercream with a twin boy baby shower

 white cake and vanilla buttercream for a Valentines party

 devils food and white cake mixed with milk chocolate and vanilla buttercream mixed, camouflage cupcakes for a boot camp themed Blue and Gold banquet

 strawberry lemonade cupcakes for a school office staff

 white cake with vanilla buttercream for a girls night get together

white cake with vanilla buttercream for a home Norwex party

Thanks all for supporting me and letting me be part of your special events!

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Life of Joy and Service

Today marks 10 years since my dear mom passed away.  At times, I still miss her so much it literally makes my heart ache.  But most of the time, although I miss her, the actual pain of it is dulled.  When I think of her, it is almost always with happiness and not hurt.  Today she has been on my mind since the moment I woke up to a text from my older sister, to myself and my younger sister, with the simple words, "Thinking of Mom today."  That's all she needed to say.  We all knew the love, the respect, the remembrance, the heaviness and even the pain those words carried.

I've been thinking of Mom today too.  And all my thoughts, all the memories that have been coming to mind revolve around two values that my mom held in excess: joy and service.

Anyone who knew my mom, knew she liked to party and laugh.  She organized and hosted more parties than I can count.  Every Sunday she had "family dinner" which consisted of hosting many different friends through the years, sometimes up to 30-40 people.  During those dinners we talked, played games and laughed until late into the night.  When my mom laughed, she did so wholeheartedly. Many people, even today, have expressed to me how much they miss that boisterous laugh.  She laughed hysterically at anyone who fell down; watching her view America's Funniest Home Videos was funnier than watching the actual show.  I once asked her if she would laugh if it was she who fell.  She confessed that she wasn't sure being in such poor health, a fall would probably be quite painful.  A few days later, as we were crossing an icy parking lot, she slipped and fell underneath a car stopped at a stop sign.  I instantly was concerned, as was the woman in the car, looking at me wide-eyed. I scrambled after my mother, asking and trying to check if she was okay.  She did not answer my inquiries for a long time.  As I was about to go for help, I heard her let out a gasp for air that continued into loud, uncontrollable laugh.  She could not respond because she was laughing too hard!  To my embarrassment, she also could not get out from under the car for several minutes because she was laughing too hard!  She liked to play around too.  As an adult, she got in a water fight with her best friend Betty inside our home, soaked everything.  In college I worked at a scrapbook shop.  She would happily come along with me on my shifts to scrapbook and talk with all the patrons for hours and then we'd go out to dinner afterward, closing down the restaurant.  I spent night after night, sleepily playing Boggle with my insomniac mother until I could no longer keep my eyes open.  I remember her often saying, "Just one more game."  She found joy in life; she made joy in life.

My mom was also a woman of great service!  She was one of the most generous people I know.  Financially, she would go without, or take less, in order to provide more for others.  She had a lot of physical ailments, which many would use as an excuse to hold back, but she found ways to serve that she could do despite her unable body. She offered to scrapbook for anyone she knew.  She'd take their piles and piles of pictures and lovingly compile them into books.  She bought the supplies and donated her time.  She scrapbooked more weddings of friends than I could keep track.  When a ward member's washing machine broke, she offered to wash and fold their families laundry and did so for months until they could afford a new machine.  When there were calls to be make for Relief Society, the Relief Society President knew Mom would make them for her.  She also volunteered to write letters monthly to many women in the ward that did not want physical visits from Visiting Teachers.  When I would say it was nice of her to do these things, she would always respond that she had the time, and she could physically do these things, so she did so happily.

Personally, I think these traits are pretty fabulous and admirable.  Obviously, my mother was a big influence on who I am and what I do with my life.  Anyone who knows me knows I also like to have fun!  This trait was passed down to me and I have embraced it.  I love to plan and host parties.  I love to socialize and to go out with family and friends.  I love to play games and to laugh.  I hope and pray that I am also known as a woman of service.  I try to keep the example of my mother's service as a guide for my life.  I want to be a help to others.  I want to show the love and care that I have for my friends and family in a tangible way.  Selflessness and charity are driving forces in my life.  I hope and pray that if someone is in need, they would know that I would happily and joyfully be there to help them.  As I have reflected upon memories of Mom today, I can see that she was all about enjoying life, and making life enjoyable for others.  Personally, I can't think of a much better way to live!  I am grateful everyday for the time I had with her and for her lasting influence.

Tonight as I was taking flowers to the mausoleum where she lies, I said to Greg that I am so sad she never got to meet our children, and how much I know she would love them,  He gently assured me that she knows our children and that she does love them.  I felt a comforting feeling telling me this was true.  I hope that through the stories I tell them and my actions as I follow her example of enjoying life and bringing joy to others, they too can know my mom and love her.