Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Early morning hike.
Cleaning the grave-site and tombstone.
 My babies from oldest to youngest.
Early morning deliveries, and end of day.

Mason visiting Grandpa.
My beautiful family!
Missing Steve, sure love him!
Lunch at Hires.
Missionary shopping.
Barbecue with the Browns'.
Happy Memorial Day!

Swigs, and Cops

Swig cookies, with 'dirty' fountain drinks are the new rage.  Dirty means adding coconut syrup.  A small snack shop named Swig offers these delicious drinks. They are also known for their fabulous cookies.  The 'Swig' sugar cookie is among the favorites.

Pinterest has had an abundance of recipes mimicking the 'Swig sugar cookie'.  We have made these delicious cookies twice - once with the original sour cream frosting, and once with cream cheese frosting.  Half the kids life the original frosting the best, and half the other. I like them without frosting.  I'm not much of a frosting fan.

Sunday after dinner, we made Swig sugar cookies.  We realized after making them that we didn't have any diet coke.  You have to have a 'Swig' cookie with a 'Swig' drink.  After reading our instagram, Molly and family came to the rescue.  They dropped off a case of diet coke, with a bottle of coconut syrup.  How nice is that!  We shared our cookies with them, and all had a great time!  Thanks Larsen Family!

Later that night Lizzy and I drove to Centerville to take my sister a be-lated birthday gift.  As we were turning from 5th South onto Orchard Drive, I saw some flashing lights in my rear-view mirror.  Dang!  I always seem to get pulled over, but this time I wasn't speeding.

I had the dog on my lap, and a smile on my face, hoping we could leave ticket free.  The women police officer stated, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" "No, I do not, I wasn't speeding," I honestly replied.  I was as kind as possible to her since, I REALLY didn't want a ticket.  "I'll need your license and registration," she demanded.   "I pulled you over because one headlight and one brake light is out," she pointed out.  "Why, thank you officer, I had no idea," I continued to brown nose.

She returned to her vehicle to check things out, while I prepped Bella for the finale.  Bella sat on my lap with her best look, when the police officer returned.  "My, what a cute dog you have," she stated.  Yes, my plan was working.  "I could have given you a citation, but since you were unaware of the situation I'll let you go with a warning," she said.  "Where are you going? she questioned.  I wanted to say, none ya business, but decided to be polite.  "To my sister's to give her a birthday present," I stated.  "Ok, well drive safe," she ended.  Phew!  No ticket!

On the way home from our delivery, I was driving up Mill Street when I saw flashing lights behind me.  I couldn't believe I was being pulled over again!  Lizzy and I burst out laughing because we knew why this time.  When the officer came to my window we were still laughing.  He got a big grin as I said, "We just barely got pulled over by a female officer, so I can guess why you pulled us over."  He made me describe her and promise to get the problem fixed as soon as possible and let us go.

Watch out......the cops are out this Memorial Day Weekend! Good thing I didn't have my coconut syrup in the car with me or things may not have gone as smoothly;).

Making our 'Swig' drinks.
'Swig' sugar cookies.
Lizzy's photography when we got pulled over.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Home Run

There are many times in a single parent's life when you have to miss a game, concert, or dance recital due to conflicting events. Tonight was one of those nights. I was at Bountiful High watching Mike's "secret talent", while Ben was playing baseball.

All of my children were dispersed either watching Mike, or other wise occupied. I didn't have enough tickets for Lizzy to attend the performance at Bountiful High, so she and a couple friends went to support Ben.

I text Lizzy frequently throughout the concert asking for a baseball up-date. Her responses were, "He caught the ball", and "he can't pitch." What? "He caught the ball" meant, he caught the ball and made a double play. "He can't pitch" meant, that he had already pitched too many innings this week and was not allowed to pitch. She is NOT the person to have in charge of disseminating sports up-dates.

I left as soon as possible from the concert since I thought "he can't pitch", meant that he wasn't pitching well. When I arrived at the ball park I was met with a very happy boy. Ben had hit an over-the-fence, home run! His home run brought in 2 players and himself.  Not quite a grand slam. He had the ball in hand, grinning from ear to ear. I was so excited for him! Way to go Ben!

Ben and his fan club:  Liz, Baylee, and Aly
Sibling love.
Home run!

Hidden Talent

Bountiful High Dance Company Concert
Dance #22 Who says we are not Dancers?
Who knew my athletic son had such talent?

With: Brant Dolling, Broc Dickerson, Chad Barlow, Cody Wiseman, Jack Tooley, Junior Hamilton, Michael Gubler, Mike Brown, Mo Manu, Ricky Medrano, Rylee Stafford, Taylor Holman, Tevin Byington, Jaren Tucker, and Wyatt Peters

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yard Work

Our yard has needed some tender loving care this year. It was time to lay new mulch; re-sod some areas; and do a general clean-up. Between school, work, and an extra yard job, Mike hasn't had a lot of time. I wanted to hire it out, but he insisted on completing the work himself. He said that this was his way of helping to pay for his mission. What a great kid!

 Mike spent countless hours preparing the yard for mulch. He even laid outdoor fabric in the gardens to eliminate weeds.  The many hours he spent in the yard, sometimes involved working until late in the evening.

 Today I purchased some beautiful flowers, and plants to finish off the yard. I asked my good friend, Becky Parry, to help me arrange the flowers. She has a great eye for decorating - both inside and out. We arranged the flowers in the front yard, removing them from their cartons and placing them where she thought they would look the best. I was invited to Sarah's for dinner, which was fabulous, and was planning on returning home to plant flowers into the night.

 As I drove up to my house I couldn't believe my eyes. All of my flowers and plants were planted! It looked beautiful! I was a little stunned, so much so, that I stopped the car jumped out, left the door to the car open, while taking in the situation. I thought perhaps Mike had a little extra time before he left to plant them. As I walked around, I realized that ALL my flowers and plants were planted, and that they were planted by someone who had a great eye for design.

 My front and backyard look absolutely gorgeous! My back patio was even cleaned off, another job that was going to done another day. As I was viewing my beautiful yard, I got teary knowing that someone or several someone's had done us a great service. When I told Lizzy I was getting teary she said, "Well, flowers are hardly something to get teary about." Kids - someday they will have a house of their own and realize how happy that makes a mother.

 When I called Becky Parry to thank her, she him-hawed around about who had done such a great service. She finally confessed to calling several families in our neighborhood to come help plant. Thank you Parry's, Stobbe's, and Smith's! What a wonderful surprise!

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Good Night At The Ballpark

The Mueller Park Little League baseball fields are just a hop, skip, and a jump from our home.  If you love baseball like I do, there is something special about the hometown baseball fields.  Ben enjoys spending time at the fields even when he isn't playing.  He gathers with friends to watch each other's baseball games, hang out at the snack shack, assist with announcing, or congregate with the fans.  Hopefully, mischief is minimal.

Baseball if such a fun game, but it can be intense.  In recreational baseball, exceptional, good, bad, and mediocre games are inevitable.  You have to endure the good, the bad, and the down right ugly.

Friday night Ben had a great game.  Ben pitched the first 3 innings.  The first 2 innings, there were three batters up, and three batters out. He struck them all out. The third inning, he walked two, and  struck the rest out. One walk was a good friend of his, a few smilies were exchanged as they went head to head. He had a good game at the plate too, with one hit to the fence; one walk; and one grounder.

The Cub's (Ben's team) played a completely different game tonight than last night.  Thursday night was hard to endure with a loss against the DBacks.  Friday night the entire team was playing well.  They had a great win against the Cardinals.

What a fun night at the ballpark!  Way to go Cubs!


A teenager's favorite day, is the day she gets her braces off.  Smiles are more abundant, and the world seems like a happier place!  Happy Day! 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Believe it or not, I failed to take any pictures on Mother's Day.  So, you'll have to imagine in your mind as I describe a wonderful Mother's Day.

I was awaken in the morning by breakfast in bed, from Ben.  He not only served me breakfast, but made it himself.  It was a wonderful breakfast consisting of, Captain Crunch cereal, and a piece of toast with a heart in the middle that he had cut with a cookie cutter.  How adorable is that?

The kids all came over and made a fabulous meal of pomegranate chicken, with Parmesan potatoes, and grilled vegetables. They topped it off with a wonderful chocolate bundt cake with vanilla ice-cream. We laugh every time we make a bunt, and put flowers in the middle where the hole is.  If you haven't seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding you might no understand our humor.

The kids spoiled me with wonderful gifts, and touching notes. Ben's note made my heart melt:

I have the most wonderful children in the entire world!  I am so happy that I am a mother, there is nothing in the world I'd rather be!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hike Week

With the onset of warm weather comes the desire to be outside.  Lately, we have enjoyed the abundance of hiking trails, in "our neck of the woods".  Kate and I began the week climbing the small hill (or as I refer to it mountain) located directly East of the Temple off of Bountiful Boulevard. It is a short hike, but to save time we hiked directly up the face of this magnificent hill.  My energy level was low from already walking from our home to the trailhead.  We brought Bella just in case we happened upon a snake.  Yes, we may have referred to her as "snake bait".  We figured if someone had to be sacrificed it should be a non-human.  Really now, we love Bella and would have fought for her. With Kate's loud noises, and my heavy breathing, I am sure we scared away any would be predators.  This short hike is worth the exertion.  The view of the temple and valley are gorgeous!

Our second hike of the week consisted of  The Wild Rose Trail in NSL.  It connects to other trails as well, so you have to pay attention or your hike, or it could become very long.  It is a beautiful hike in the upper foothills of NSL.  We hiked on a day after it had rained, it was absolutely stunning with the green grass, colorful flowers, and lush trees.  On top of the trail is look-out-point.  A bench is located on top, to sit and enjoy the striking view.
Our third hike was was more of a Trek than a hike.  We decided to take a rest from our hiking, and take a leisurely walk along Bountiful Boulevard heading South.  As we strolled Mason along, Kate would say, "Just a little further," until we made it to North Canyon Park (about 5 miles round trip).  Mason was a trooper and had fun playing at the park.
Saturday was a more strenuous hike.  Our hiking crew grew to,  Meagan, Quinn, Ben, Kate, and I (and of course Mason and Bella).  Bella insisted on being carried, lazy dog, and Ben got a turn (short turn) carrying Mason on his back.  The hike begins and ends at the Wild Rose Park.  The Wild Rose trail connects with other paths leading over into City Creek Canyon in Salt Lake.  Needless to say, we took a few wrong turns, and are not sure where we ended up.  After climbing numerous hills (mountains to me), the kids would say, "oh just one more and we'll be there".  We finally gave up after 2 hours of hiking. We stopped at the top of one of the hills and enjoyed a great view looking into Salt Lake.

We finished off our excursion with free french toast at Kneader's for all mother's.  Yum!
If you wonder why we are hiking so much, the kids are planning on hiking the Na Pali Coast in June when we are in Hawaii.  It is a stunning hike with treacherous terrain.  The length is 11 miles in and 11 miles out, that has to be done in one day.  While some of the more adventurous kids will be making this hike, you will find me lounging on the beach, sipping a refreshing strawberry daiquiri - virgin of course.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My College Graduate

Sarah graduated from the University of Utah in Human Development and Family Studies, with a Minor in Consumer and Community Studies, on May 3rd.  What a great accomplishment!

According to the University of Utah, " The objective of the Human Development and Family Studies major is to provide students with an integrated knowledge and interdisciplinary understanding of family relationship and individual development over the life course.  The curriculum in the major is organized into two conceptual domains:  human development and family studies."  Wowza!

We are all hoping she can solve our family relation problems, and personal problems.  Is that too much too ask? Just kidding.  Wouldn't the world be a better place if all personal and family problems were resolved?

So proud of this girl!  She has been a dedicated student, studying intently, focusing on her degree.   Now she is off to the "real" world, and adamantly interviewing for a job.
Thanks to Tueller's Printing for these fabulous announcements.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Women's Conference

Women's Conference was held at BYU on May 2, and 3rd.  Kate and I were privileged to be asked to host at one of the venues.  We looked official with our lovely blue vests and badges. 

Ten's of thousands of women gather to be taught and learn gospel principles, family relations, womanhood, as well as other topics,  There were over 200 presenters who shared their perspective.  I was surprised by how many presenters were from my stake and even ward.  What amazing woman I am surrounded by.

My job was line control, making sure food and drink were not brought into the facility, and welcoming. Kate was the official counter. With her clicker in hand she was able to determine how many guests were in attendance and insure the facility was not over crowded. If you have ever been in the Smith Fieldhouse, you may know that it will probably never fill to capacity.

We had an enjoyable time visiting the Sharing Stations, and participate in the the humanitarian service project once our shift was over.  I am completely in awe at the organization, and talent of the Women's Conference Committees.  It was amazing to be a part of such an extraordinary and inspiring conference.

We spent the night at a hotel with friends, laughing and talking until the wee hours of the morning.  Friday, we were able to attend the opening ceremony and listen to Michelle King speak.  What a wonderful, up-lifting speaker she is.  We were only able to attend one more class before it was time for us to leave for Sarah's college graduation.

From BYU to the U......

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meagan's Birthday

It seems like just yesterday that I had my first baby.  My how time time flies! This past April 27th, it has been 25 years.  Twenty-five years since we held that sweet little newborn in our arms, grateful for the gift of life. Complete love and indescribable joy filled my heart, as I met each one of my children. There are no words to adequately express the love parents have for their children.  It's when that child has her own, that she begins to understand.

What a joy it has been to watch Meagan with her first born, little Mason. She is an incredible mother, sacrificing much to make sure he has all that he needs. Nothing brings a mother more joy, than watch her children find happiness in life.  Babies aren't the only thing that bring joy in life, but they defiantly are a large contributing factor.

Meagan's not only a wonderful mother, but a great wife, daughter, sister, and friend!  We love her!  Happy Birthday Meg!
So happy she is here!
Back in the 80's we didn't have ultrasounds unless there has a problem.  We had no idea whether she would be a girl or a boy.  I guess it is event what we thought she was going to be.  The same cradle that I used for her, is now painted white and was passed-down to little Mase.
Happy 25th!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Mighty Reunion

Steve served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, from 1980-1982, in Anchorage Alaska.  Mike has been called to serve in the exact same mission as his dad.  He will be serving from 2013-2015.

As word got out about Mike's mission, Steve's mission companions from 23 years ago began disseminating the news.  They were thrilled and excited for Mike.  Within days, a plan was established for several of Steve's old mission companies to meet up with us at El Matador to get to know Mike, and share stories and photos from their mission.

Brent and Angie Carling, Brett and Cindy Hales, Marilee and Brad Cordery, and Tracy Arave and his lovely wife, all joined us for dinner and a delightful night reminiscing about their adventures in the Anchorage Alaska mission.   They had some great stories!  I even learned what a "hooter" is.  Much different than my definition. Steve was always a character, and his shenanigans  didn't stop on his mission. Of course it was innocent, not breaking the rules type of mischief.  We laughed until we cried, about some of the pranks he pulled while serving in the mission office, and as a tracking missionary.

We spent 3 1/2 hours laughing (there were some serious stories) and getting to know one another.  Mike and I had a wonderful time, and were so grateful to such amazing friends that would take the time to share with us their experiences, and wonderful stories of Steve and his mission.  Mike is more excited than ever to serve in his Dad's mission.  I know he will come back with his own experiences, and his own love for the great people of Anchorage Alaska.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Churro Man

Do remember the "Churro Man"? This past weekend has been just as frustrating as Disneyland.

Sunshine Cafe was the breakfast spot to celebrate Meagan's 25th birthday.  Ben came along to help with the celebration.  We love the Sunshine Cafe and were enjoying our meal and conversation when I noticed that Ben had left.  I always assume he is leaving briefly for a visit to the restroom, but when he doesn't return promptly, I begin to wonder.

Quinn, kindly went to look for him, and found him lounging on the top of the covered bed of the truck.  When I  inquired about what he was doing, he stated, "Just resting".  Well, okay, then!  "Let somebody know next time",  I smirked.

I had a busy Saturday, dropped Ben at basketball practice only to return an hour later, and take him to Lizzy's dance recital.  I knew it wasn't his "cup of tea", but didn't have time to take him home.  I LOVE to watch Lizzy dance, and really enjoy all of CAA dance recitals.  This one was no different.

After he watched Lizzy dance, he began to get fidgety, and impatient.  "Mom, lets go.  We have seen Lizzy", he barked.  "No Ben,  I'm enjoying the concert, I whispered.  "Well, I'm walking home", he snapped.  Knowing, he would NEVER do such a thing, I ignored him as he walked out of the auditorium in the middle of a dance performance.

Thinking he was waiting for me in the foyer, I waited for a dance performance to end, and went out to find him.  Ben was nowhere to be seen.  Knowing Lizzy had already danced and could leave if she wanted, I called her to see if she could help me find Ben.  We went out to the Ben.  Up and down the streets to and from Bountiful High Ben.  In our Ben.

I returned to Bountiful High where Lizzy entered the lobby to look for him once more.  She happened upon Molly and Lindsey  (our friends that we went to Disneyland with).  As she told Molly our predicament, Molly said, "Well, we saw Ben leave the building, but he seemed to know where he was going.  One thing you don't have to worry about, is there are no Churro Stands on the way home", she chuckled.

After quite some time driving around we returned home again, where we found Ben.  "Where have you been"?  I scolded.  "I walked home, I was bored", he recounted.  "We searched the streets and you were no where to be seen", I refuted.  "Well, I hitched a ride with a neighbor",  he admitted.

I'm beginning to think maybe 10 year olds need leashes....not toddlers.

Words That Move Us

Contemporary, Jazz, and Hip-Hop, classes from Creative Arts Academy preformed in the recital - Words That Move Us. A narrator spoke about positive words and phrases that can change our lives for the better, as the dancers preformed.

Midnight in Paris was Lizzy's first dance and Rush Hour her second.  She has become proficient in tumbling, so they added a few tumbling tricks to the dance for her to perform.  She was fabulous!

It is also so fun to watch friends and neighbor girls dance!  What a great performance!

Photo by:  Suzie Driggs