Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Lil Sis!!!!

Today my sister turns 33 years old. I can't believe how old we're getting, even though she hasn't been told that she is over "whatever" age, mam. So, to be the total buggy big sister I sent her a text earlier in the morning. Then I said happy birthday on facebook. Now I'm doing the ultimate happy birthday by showing her as she grew up. There are many holes in the years but I think I've covered the important ones.

I also have to add that on my birthday our mom will call me and say, "blank years ago I was in labor right now." Today while we were talking she said, "33 years ago right now I was in labor." I was completely confused, today is not my birthday. It took me a minute to put it together that she was talking about Becca. Duh! So, 33 years ago, my mom was in labor with my little sister. My life was never the same. Sorry Becca, I know today is your day, but it is still all about me :)

I can't believe how little Becca is in this picture. I think she is about 3 years old and she always had her elephant with her. Because our Uncle called elephants "numpanuts" (since it's not really a word, I think I spelled it right), that was her numpanut. Later when she was in school the kids got to pick their favorite stuffed animal to put a cast on. Becca picked her numpanut and put a cast on the trunk. From then on that poor numpanut had a heavy cast on it's trunk. He never sounded the same either.

We would spend so much time making a bed on the living room floor to watch movies. We also spent tons of time using all those blankets to make forts in any room that we could. There were several forts that had a living room, a kitchen, and at least 2 bedrooms. We were amazing fort builders. We were also amazing "bed" builders. It didn't go that smooth as we got older and taller, we couldn't share that afghan anymore or much of anything else. I still have that afghan, my Grandma Shiflett made that for me.

Look at how wonderfully I lined up these two pictures when I scanned them. The only way I could have made it worse is if they were on their sides. Above is one of Becca's school pictures. I'm thinking 4rd grade or so because her ears are pierced. I had to wait until I was 12 years old and Becca got to get her ears pierced at the same time.
I'm not sure if there was any rhyme or reason with this picture, but with any of these kinds of pictures is there any kind of strategy other than smile at all times in case the flash goes off. I'm thinking we were supposed to pull a funny face because Becca has her checks puffed out, Jessie isn't playing along, and somehow I ended up squished between their chests. Of all the times that I have been squished between these two, I'll take this one, every other time they would both have a handful of hair and would be playing tug-of-war with my head.

After our mom graduated from Nursing school, she took us on vacation. We went to Jenny Lake in Jackson Hole. We had so much fun and it was such a wonderful time together. Even though you can't see us very well, I have always loved this picture of us together. We were at that time in life when we didn't spend much time together, so this is a special moment. I think we even got along for the majority of the week we were there.

This was at Kris and Scott Moffitt's wedding reception. We all got to be servers and we all look so amazing. From left to right: Me, Becca, 2 cute girls I didn't know from the Moffitt side, and Jessica. I love the fact that I have the big hair documented on Jessie. I don't even think I ever got my hair that high. It was such a beautiful evening and we all felt so grown up serving the guests.

Happy Halloween!!! I think out of all of us who have worn that costume Becca looks the best. She is always so beautiful and looks amazing in anything. I do have to add that when it comes to Halloween, Becca's best costume was the evil witch from Sleeping Beauty...she had the part down and did her make up just like in the movie. It was a little scary how good she looked.

Just an amazing picture of Becca taken in front of our apartments. Beautiful!!!

Becca and Mom at Becca's Graduation. I was so proud of her, she had to overcome so many obstacles to make it to graduation. She not only made it to graduation but she did it with grace and maturity. She has always been strong but this is truly when she started to truly bloom and show some of her talents.

Becca has always been a wonderful Aunt to my boys. I love this picture with all of us around Kelton when he was a newborn. My boys have the best Aunt who loves to just hang out with them and other times spoil them. She has always been very involved in their lives and you can tell that they have a good relationship.

Another example of her being involved with their lives. This is Kelton's 2nd birthday. She also came out and helped me throw a friend party for one of his birthdays and she has always been to every birthday dinner for her nephews. I couldn't ask for a better sister to be involved in my boys lives.

Here is Becca now. She is so strong, independent, smart and beautiful. She set a goal for herself that she would learn to ride a motorcycle and this is her baby. She has my nephew with her in this picture. She is constantly learning and excelling at her job and in her personal life. She has her own business that she does on the side making jewelry (which is about all I wear now). She is to talented.

I am very happy that you survived me jumping off the bed onto you when you were a newborn baby. I'm glad that your hair grew back after all the times that I cut it off. I'm not so sure if I'm glad that you endured and put up with me as your bossy big sister because now your my bossy little sister.

I am in constant amazement with your ability to have gone through all the surgery you have had and the constant pain that you are in and yet you will not let it slow you down. You just keep going and doing all the things that I think others thought you wouldn't be able to do.

Happy Birthday! I love you!!!!

T's first Court of Honor

Last night we attended the first court of honor for Taylor. He already had his interview to make sure he really did the work and that he had done all that was required to advance in rank. Last night is when it was all made official with him receiving his tenderfoot and second class.

Taylor worked really hard and was even able to work on some of the things with his brother. There have been times that scouting has provided us with good family bonding time.

One of the traditions for all scouts (cub scouts and boy scouts) is that when you pass off something or you advance in rank that the scout places the pin on their mom. They then have to give their mom a hug. Taylor was good about just giving me a big hug. Kelton is the complete opposite, we have to either grab him and force him to give me a hug or we just go without. Usually it's easier to go without and not share our dysfunction with too many people.

There were several boys who received rank advancements last night and even though we are just clapping for someone else, I liked the picture of us. I love the look that Taylor is giving the other boy. Classic Taylor :)

I just had to add this picture because this is Kelton's best friend Ethan and his mom and dad. We have had so much fun getting to know them. I also had to leave the two gentlemen at the bottom of the picture in the green shirts. In the earlier post when Taylor was interviewed, these are the two that interviewed him. I'm pretty sure that at times these two are the biggest kids in our Scouts!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Obvious signs

I made Sweet and Sour Meatballs for dinner last night when we were at our friends house. I should be totally domestic and make my own little meatballs, but that is never really in the cards so I usually buy them. I like the ones from Costco the best but due to time and convenience, I went to Wal Mart this time. There was this little sign on the bag of meatballs that I'll tell you about in a second. But, I need to start here with this silly picture of hamburger helper. When I went to the Wal Mart site and searched for frozen entrees the very first picture that came up was this:
Cheesy Enchilada Hamburger Helper
Since when has hamburger helper ever been found in the frozen food isle?

Back to dinner last night. While I was opening the bag of meatballs, that looked similar to this but these are the Italian style and I had the Homestyle which is in a blue bag. I know you really needed to know this. I know how important the small details can be that the color of the bag be described and which style meatballs I used. I mean it's not like I'm giving you the recipe, but, I could. Anyway, this was the brand that I used and the bag and meatballs are the same but a little different :)

On the front of the bag there was this little sun shaped yellow sign that said:
"contains Protein"
Since I was at my friends house I could think of many things to say, however, I stuck with the, "well, duh it's meat." I love to see the obvious on objects and think of totally sarcastic remarks to add to it. Last night some of the thought I had were:

*Here's your sign (borrowed from one of my favorite comedians)

*Really? Thanks Sherlock!

*No shit Sherlock, their made out of hamburger. Hello!! This was what I really wanted to say but I held back. So, instead of sharing my potty mouth with just one or two people I am now sharing it with the whole world.

This has been fun, I may need to keep doing this when I find other things out there with the most obvious comments right on them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Arena Football Baby

I took the boys to see the Utah Blaze play last night. I had also called my Sister-in-law Karen to see if she would like to come. They did, so we met up with Karen and Trevor at the Energy Solutions Arena ready for some football. We had so much fun visiting and yelling at the ref's and before things got to serious I had to get a picture of my boys while I could still get their attention.

We were all so excited to realize that "Big Budda" was the person who was doing all the entertaining during time outs and in between the quarters. I love "Big B" so much that I have changed my morning news channel just so I can watch him. He is so funny. Even before I really knew who he was I loved the character he played in a Mormon comedy movie called "The RM".
Sorry for the blurry picture, this was the best of the pictures that we got and it was because Karen took it. Also pictured is the mascot for the University of Utah. They had several mascots from all the different sports teams here in Utah and along with the U of U mascot they had the Utah State University mascot. They were all hilarious and I think the best part was watching them jousting on tricycles. We laughed so hard!

The game started to get really intense and the boys were glued to the game. Every time I tried to talk to them they would slightly turn their head, glare, and turn back to the game. This was their first time to a football game and it was also Karen and Trevor's first time. We all had a blast watching all the tackles and all the times that those tackles ended with the players going over the wall into the crowd.

I just had to get a picture of the arena to show how small the field is that they play on. Arena football definitely goes faster than NFL games. They still had to throw out those yellow flags a lot and I was so tired that by the time there was only 6 minutes left of the game I was so irritated every time I saw a yellow flag and even more irritated when I saw a red flag. Both times that the coaches challenged a call there was no need to, I think they just like to be able to throw something. Just a thought.

You can tell that the pressure is starting to get to them. I wish! This was them "posing" for a picture because I wanted one of the three of us at the game. I love boys!

Here is a much better picture of us. Thank you Trevor for taking the picture. Now if I could just figure out a way to make boys smile. I even tried bribing them and then told them that I wouldn't bring them again if they didn't cooperate, I guess this was them cooperating.

And, of course I had to get a picture of the boys with Karen and Trevor. I love how they all squeezed in together. I was trying to get their attention to just look the same way so I could get the picture, but they all squeezed together. It turned out so much better. I love all the different looks they were giving.

The game was so much fun to watch and it was so intense through most of it. If you have the NFL network then you could have been watching it as well. I guess I should mention that they were playing Kansas City. The game was tied for the majority of the time and then right at the end the kicker for Kansas missed the field goal (yet again). The Blaze won by one point. It was awesome! The kicker for Kansas was (I'm being nice here) having an off night. That poor guy only made two field goals (could have been 3, I wasn't always paying attention). If it wasn't for that there would have been a different outcome, but instead the Blaze won. Thank you kicker for Kansas!!!

We can't wait for the next game. It is against the New Orleans Voodoo. We're going to have to come up with something good to take to the game so we can be annoying like everyone else. I have an idea in mind but it's a really good idea and I don't want someone else out there taking my morbid but awesome idea :)

Snow in June?

I was sitting outside reading a couple days ago and looked up and was enjoying the view when I really noticed how much snow we still have up in the mountains. Here it is the end of June and we still have enough snow that 2 of our ski resorts will be open for another week or two. I love how beautiful the snow capped mountains are. I just like the snow, so I love to see snow on the mountains any time of the year. I'm just not so used to still seeing it this late in the year.

Because of all this beautiful snow, we have had a lot of areas flooded. A lot of our farmland has been ruined and we have a lot of families that have now lost all their crops for the season and therefore have lost their income to support their families. Many homes have been flooded as well and some families can't even get to their homes without parking a long way away from their home and wading into the water and walking to their home. We have also had several children drown in the rushing water that is coming down through our streams and rivers.

We live in a desert and it has been devastating to watch so many people get hurt and have their livelihoods taken from them by a gift that we are always praying for, water. You are all in my prayers and I hope that all of our neighbors are doing the same. Even though I am one of the lucky ones that hasn't had to deal with the flooding (yet), I feel as though I need to thank all the volunteers that have filled and placed sand bags to help protect homes. I love the community that we live in where everyone jumps in to help each other!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The above picture is Moon Lake. I love going to this lake and the owners of the resort send out emails periodically with pictures attached. This is one of the first pictures they sent out once the roads were clear of snow and they could get to the lake. Everything up there is so peaceful and beautiful. We all love to spend time there when we can get away!

After I took Kelton to school a few days ago, I saw these clouds in the sky. At first the back two were attached and looked like an hourglass. By the time I could pull my car over and get the picture they had separated. I still love this picture, it was such a beautiful way to start the morning.

Simple things like these two pictures help to remind me that there is always something good and beautiful to be found. We just need to keep an eye out for it and be looking with the right attitude.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My little adult

I just have to share a Taylor story. Last week at school he was putting up with one of the girls in his class that is kind of a class bully. According to Taylor, she isn't very nice to anyone.

After being hit a few times, Taylor looks at her and says, "Is this really the kind of attention you want? Are you not getting enough attention at home? Since you feel that you can treat me this way then I can treat you the same way you are treating me."

I asked Taylor if he really did say that or if it was a story and he said that he really did say that to this girl. My next thought was, what did your teacher say? Taylor told me that his teacher said he sounded like a little adult.

When my boys start to act up and push me to the end of my rope I will ask them what kind of attention they want to receive from me. Do they want to stop acting and doing things they know are wrong and have positive attention or keep going and get negative attention. I guess at some point they have listened for Taylor to say it to a classmate. I'm glad he picked up on one of my more appropriate lectures.

Nerf Wars

With us having mostly boys in our family, we have a lot of testosterone. One way that it comes out is through Nerf gun wars. It is fun to see the kids running around with their guns and playing. Most of the time they aren't even shooting each other, surprising I know, but they like to go after some supernatural thing and fight together. I'm thinking that means that we have let them watch way to much on the Syfi channel and lately it has been Fringe. We have also probably let them watch to many syfi and western movies. Either way they are boys and love to have a good Nerf gun war!

Taylor, Kelton and Kenny each got Nerf guns for this past Christmas. They already had a few Nerf guns already and now I think that what we have could be officially considered a Nerf gun arsenal. Kelton and Taylor had fun getting all dressed up in their gear and had to include their winter gear in with their outfits. They will wear their face masks for Nerf wars but I never did see them wear them outside during the winter. I wish I had gotten a picture of the time that Taylor came out with his scarf wrapped around his head and said that he was a terrorist. Even though I felt as a mother that I needed to teach him that it wasn't really right to either pretend to be a terrorist or make fun of them; it was so funny!

This kind of play didn't just start this year, it has been going on for a while. I was looking back through some pictures and found this picture of Taylor and Chase playing while Jessie and I were making fudge. Sometimes you just have to take control and take a hostage. :)

There are times when we don't have enough Nerf guns and this was one of those times. Jackson was still having a ball with his gun even though it didn't shoot it made a lot of noise. Let me emphasis that again, it made a lot of noise. I love how he is making such a face for his picture.

Just a couple weeks ago my friend from middle school came to visit and we had them over for dinner. It didn't take long before my 2 boys and their 3 girls were in an all out Nerf gun war. It was so fun to watch them play and get along. My boys had been so worried because Nikki just had brought 3 of her children with her and they were all girls. It didn't stop them from pulling on the masks, filling their back pockets with ammo and let the darts fly. I really wish I had gotten more pictures of that evening. Each of Nikki's girls had put on the face mask and gear, it was awesome!!

I did get a picture of the pockets filled with ammo! I wouldn't have even thought of that and I don't think I've seen any of the boys do that. Way to be innovative and make sure you were prepared!

I did get this picture of Nikki's youngest in the face mask and her Nerf gun. She was just having a ball. I'm really sad that I didn't get a picture of her in Taylor's Fedora, but she had that on for a while and could have been a true mobster.

I know that there are some of you out there that wouldn't agree with me letting my children play with guns. Like most of the hosts on "The Talk". But I love seeing my boys playing and having fun. I'm not going to make this a political post. I was just having fun looking back through pictures and remembering all the fun that they have had. I know that even though I have never actively taken part in any of their Nerf wars, I do know that when I have taken a nap in the front room I have waken up later and found Nerf darts on me. I'm trying to stay positive and think it was accidents but I'm pretty sure that when I'm in a deep sleep they could be using me for target practice. What do ya do?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

When I grow up...

There are some things that I don't understand in life and one of them is putting smoke stacks on regular trucks. It's even worse when there is only one, it reminds me of a unicorn. So, I decided that I needed to dedicate one blog entry to these trucks. This is what it reminds me of:

When I grow up I will be a full size semi!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Laundry, laundry, dishes, oh more laundry!

Every Monday morning laundry sounds more like a curse word than a normal chore we all do. I haven't been able to figure out how or why we can dirty so much laundry in a week and that is with me doing all of our laundry on Monday and finishing up a little bit on Tuesday. Then on Friday I will do a couple loads to make sure we have what we need for the weekend. Laundry and dishes, they never end and I think I have dirt fairies that come through when I'm not looking and dirty extra glasses and add grass stains to clothes that I know my boys have not worn yet that week. I don't even have socks go missing (although now that I have admitted that they will), I just have something that multiplies laundry for me.

Last week at Relief Society we talked about stretching our budget. There were so many good and helpful hints. Our Relief Society President must have spent several days making up samples for everything she was going to talk about and I am so thankful she did. I don't think I would have made up any of the recipes that she brought if I didn't have a sample. She didn't bring food recipes, she brought recipes for laundry soap, dish detergent, fabric softener and liquid (and foaming) hand soap. I have to say that using up the rest of my store bought laundry detergent is killing me. I completely love the homemade laundry detergent so much more. I will also never do another load of whites without it, never!

So, to help "brighten" everyone else's week and help get everyone pumped to face our mountain of laundry (it's okay, we all have it. Sometimes I even need repelling gear to lower myself down as I sort it) I am going to share this amazing recipe with any of you who don't already have it. Some of you may already be using this detergent and are rolling your eyes right about now because I have just figured out what, quit possibly, my great-grandma used to do her laundry with. The other best part of this is when the cost is broken down for the liquid detergent it only costs you 1 cent per load to do your laundry.

Liquid Laundry Detergent
4 cups cold tap water
1 Fels-Naptha bar soap
2 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and borax. Stir well until powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. Next day, stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. Top load machine use 1/2 cup, front loading machines use 1/4 cup per load.

This detergent produces low suds and is excellent for high efficiency washers.

This recipe will make a lot of detergent, if you don't do a lot of laundry you may want to find a friend to share the detergent with. Or, if you want to share it so that a few of you can try it to find out if you like it, I would recommend that as well.

I have done several loads of laundry now and like I said my whites look amazing and none of my colors have faded at all. In fact they all look a little brighter too. I also like the smell!

I will keep posting the different recipes as I try them and some of the coupon web sites that they shared with us as I try using them. I did try the dish detergent and liked how my dishes came out. I may have to add that one next. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions on finding any of the ingredients.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where has June gone?

Where has June gone? I didn't realize that it has been almost half a month since I have written anything. Life has been a little crazy, but I think most of this is from a complete case of writers block. This is sad because I can come home from running the most simple of errands and have some story to go along with it. I have had so much on my mind and have been busy with my calling at church that when I have time to sit down the last thing I want to do is use my brain. I know, it's sad. Here is a quick update on each of us:

Taylor: Turned 12 on June 1st and I keep meaning to write about his birthday but is was one of those special birthdays that I didn't want to cheapen with some rambling update and random pictures. When I woke him up that morning I told him that I was this big (holding out my arms to show how big my belly was) 12 years ago that morning and then told him all about his birth and how wonderful it was. We talked about all that has happened in his 12 years. He wanted donuts for his birthday instead of a cake, so I took him and he picked out a nice selection of what he wanted us to have. Chris also got him some of his favorite ice cream bars. He received the Aaronic Priesthood and passed the sacrament this past Sunday. He is doing so good.

Kelton: Is out of school for the summer and started it off with a tooth ache. This tooth did have a cavity and our dentist did everything he could to not do a root canal. He explained that he really doesn't like to do root canals on kids as young as Kelton. After a few weeks of working to help the pain go away, we finally did the root canal today. He is doing good and has been such a trooper. He also started the summer off in some trouble and has had his phone taken away. I don't think it has even phased him, how do you get through to teenagers?

Rachelle: I saw a new Rheumatologist that could feel the inflammation in my joints and is sure that I have some form of arthritis and is leaning heavily towards RA. I had to have an MRI done of my hand and when I told my family about how I had to lay for the MRI I had them cracking up laughing. They had to use contrast and the IV hurt like hell. The MRI was done last week on Wednesday and I am still bruised where I was given the IV and then it decided to break out in hives over the weekend. It looks lovely :) Other than that I am still just doing the same. Most days are getting better and I am so thankful for my family who is such a huge support.

Kenny: He has been riding his bicycle to work a couple of times a week when the weather will allow it. He has his Diabetes under control and he just keeps losing weight. I would bet he is pretty close to the same size he was when we got married. He also went in for a check up with the dentist and had to schedule a root canal and have a couple of cavities filled. He ended up in the dentist chair for 4 hours, had 2 root canals and a cavity filled. That was last week on Tuesday. He is doing better but his mouth is still tender. He is having a hard time with healing slower than he is used to. He was complaining about how old he is because this wouldn't have bugged him a couple years ago. I feel bad that he is still having pain but I am so glad that we were able to take care of all of our dental needs.

The first half of this month has been busy with doctors/dentists but I think it should be slowing down a bit now. We also decided that we are going to try the Dave Ramsey way of keeping a budget and working our way out of debt. So far this month it has worked out great. We have kept to our budget and even put a little money in savings. We just need to keep doing this and we should be out of debt before we know it. I am so excited! And, it also means that I get to keep playing with numbers and working on our budget. I am such a numbers nerd :)