Sunday, January 30, 2011


Julianne, report card in hand, went with her friends to Krispy Kreme a few days ago. Apparently they give out a free donut per A grade. Her 4.0 GPA equalled 7 donuts.
I wasn't trying to sneak a donut! I was just curious as to what kind she had in there, I swear!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gem State Invitational

Brandon had a meet in Boise...well, Meridian, actually...this past weekend. It was his first out of state meet and was definitely bigger and a bit more prestigious than the home grown meets we've been doing. Teams from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Utah and Idaho were all there. We drove up Thursday afternoon with my cousin Camilla and her son Davis in tow. The whole team was staying at the same hotel so for Brandon it was like some big sleepover with all his teammates. They all went swimming Thursday night and ate breakfast together Friday morning. Lots of laughing. This team is like a family and all get along remarkably well. They help each other and cheer each other on. When someone finishes a routine, they all jump up to give him a hug, knuckles or a pat on the back. The older level boys will come early to a meet just to hang out with the younger boys who are competing, to give them moral support....which means the world to Brandon because he looks up to them so much. These boys have some serious team unity going on and it's awesome to watch.
Brandon did well at this Gem State Invitational. His injured chest is healing and didn't bother him as much this time. And even though he is still not healed quite 100%, he won 4th place all around in his division and as a level 5 team, they won 1st place.
Next weekend: the Blackjack Meet in Las Vegas.

Watching TV and hanging out with Davis in the morning before breakfast.

Running in when their team was announced at the beginning of the meet.

1st place for the level 5 team!!! (Brandon is the one holding the plaque.)

Brandon and Davis with their coaches Gabe and Adam. Brandon absolutely adores these guys. They push him, they can be stern with him when they need to be. But they also very obviously, in word and action, love him. And Brandon lives to make them proud.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A warning

I know I've mentioned it briefly already but just for posterity's sake and all....this is what COULD happen to you if/when you try snowboarding for the first time. Just a warning. Your leading foot could kind of spin around unexpectedly. And then you just might have to throw your hands out to catch yourself as you fall to the snow below you. And then maybe you might feel a sharp pain rip through your wrist causing you to yell something. Most likely "OUCH" if you are Julianne. Possibly something worse if you are me. A trip to the Insta Care for x-rays will then follow the next day when you realize that your arm is swollen and you can't do much with it without experiencing A LOT of pain. And though you will be thankful that x-rays show no actual fracture, (the official diagnosis will be "a bad sprain") you'll still have to ice it daily, take lots of ibuprofen and wear a splint....not exactly the most trendy of accessories.'ll get lots of attention.
So there you have it...just so you know what to expect.

P.S. Did I mention that she claims snowboarding was SO much fun, despite the injury, that she's anxious to try it again?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My new TV/sitting room

Remember this room? The one that used to be Lilian's before the bedroom shuffle back in November? Remember those plans I had to turn the room into a TV/sitting room? Guess what? I did it!

A first glance from the door. (And yes, that is a Christmas wreath STILL hanging on the window. Sigh. I've got 8 wreaths still hanging on various windows and coach lamps outside. Can I pretend that they are Valentine decorations? They do have red ribbons!)

A piano in my TV/sitting room? Yeah. This is where Bryan and I decided to compromise. He's not a big TV watcher which meant that he was less than thrilled about my ideas for this room. This piano used to sit in our living room...and when the Christmas tree went up in December we moved the piano to the empty room to make space. He decided that having the piano in this room was actually kind of nice. I remembered that he'd said before how he wished he had some kind of screen up on the wall above the piano for his lessons and tutorials. Ding, ding, ding!!! I suggested that we mount a TV on the wall above the piano! It could be a TV room for me and a piano room for him. He agreed and the rest is history. :)

This is a love sac couch. We have another matching one downstairs. I originally pictured an entirely different kind of couch in this room but in the interest of saving $$$ we decided to use this one for now. We may swap it out in the future but in the meantime, I pretty much wrapped my entire decorating/color scheme around a black couch and a black piano.

Skinny little mission style bookshelf from Home Decorators Collection. I built it myself! Well, I didn't actually go out and cut the tree down or anything....but I did put the thing together when it arrived in numerous pieces. How cool am I?

The matching mission style table and cute little lamp from Target.

The past year or so I've been enamored of this whole "Keep Calm and Carry On" theme. Always liked the message of it all...especially in times when I am dealing with anxiety. Then I learned the history behind it. The British Ministry of Information produced these posters at the beginning of WWII in an attempt to raise public morale in the face of impending invasion. Which got me even more excited about it, being the history buff that I am. I decided that my TV/sitting room was the perfect place to hang one of these posters.
The pictures of London's Big Ben and Paris' Eiffel Tower also came from Target. I stumbled across them back in December, fell in love with them, and bought them on the spot...deciding that I would work them into my decor somehow. I think a good portion of this room comes from Target...the rug, curtains and square wall shelves are also from there.

And, of course, the craft closet....

And what about that corner of the living room where Bryan's piano used to sit? Now that the Christmas tree is down, is that corner just sitting empty and lonely? Nope! Check this beauty out:This is what I officially spent my Christmas money on. (Thank you, Lynn and Carol!!!!) Although Bryan claims that with all my other TV/sitting room purchases, I've spent his Christmas money as well. Hmmm.....
I'm still experimenting with what I want to put on top of it which is why there are some empty frames up there. But isn't it pretty?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We Like To Read

All three of my oldest kids were out with friends last night and had eeked every minute they could out of the evening, all coming in exactly at their 10:30 curfew and no earlier.

Point being, it was late.

A little past 11:00, as I was passing through the living room in an attempt to turn off lights, lock doors and more or less shut down the house for the night I was surprised to find all three of them reading, each inhabiting a different couch or chair. Brandon had fallen asleep but the other two were going strong. I had thought that they were down in their rooms, maybe not fully asleep but at least winding down for the night.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. For me, winding down for the night does include reading. Doesn't matter how late I'm going to bed or how tired I am, I refuse to turn off my lamp until I've read at least a page or two. I guess my children take after their mother....

(By 12:40 Rebekah had fallen asleep but Julianne was STILL reading.)

Julianne reading: "Flipped" by Wendelin Van Draanen

Brandon reading: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" by Jeff Kinney

Rebekah reading: "The Lost Hero" by Rick Riordan (and hiding her face because she was irritated I was trying to take her picture.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Randomness of the past few days.

*Had lunch with my sweet soprano friends and sisters on Monday.
*Bought new phones for the house...our other ones were cutting out on me in the middle of conversations, not holding a charge and more or less just infuriating me.
*No cavities for Rebekah at the dentist. But braces may be in her near future.
*Julianne went snowboarding for the first time. Results of which included x-rays on her wrist to determine if it was fractured because of a fall. Just a sprain. Splint, ice and ibuprofen are her constant companions.
*Brandon went skiing. He didn't fall and hurt anything. But he is still on ibuprofen 24/7 for his injured chest muscles/ribs. I think he is getting better. Boise meet coming up in a week and a half...
*New semester started. Rebekah dumped Geography and Computer Tech and replaced them with T.A. and Social Dance. Julianne gets Utah Studies and Art replacing P.E. and Choir.
*Amaryllis and paper whites are growing. Plants make me happy. I wish I didn't kill them so often.
*Found a few new recipes that I'm anxious to try out for dinner. I wish I liked to cook more.
*Got all excited about setting up a new excersize and diet log on-line. Now if only I could get myself out of bed to do a work-out so I actually had something to log.
*Lilian is having more timeouts lately...the result of more screaming temper tantrums. I don't love this. Good thing I do love HER.
*Have a horrible feeling that I accidentally deleted months worth of pictures off my computer. Hoping and praying that Bryan has them backed up. I think he does.
*Saw "Born Yesterday" at Hale Centre Theatre with my sisters, mom and friend Linda. Having season tickets is awesome.
*Had lunch with Rebekah. Talked about boys. I love that she likes to share stories and experiences, concerns and excitements with me.
*Haven't seen much of Bryan this week. Long hours. I miss him.

*A picture for those of you (Dad) who feel like a post must always include something to look at besides just words... :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

First gymnastics meet of the season

If a picture is worth a thousand words then this one kind of tells the story of Brandon's meet this morning. He says he had fun....hanging out with the team, the whole excitement and atmosphere of a meet. But he is NOT recovered from his injury of a week and a half ago. The look on his face as he gritted his teeth and powered through his rings and parallel bar routines made me cringe. It was extremely obvious he was in a lot of pain. This picture was taken after his rings routine. I told him it would be completely okay if he sat out and didn't do parallel bars. His coaches told him the same. But they also gave him some tips and encouragement and Brandon decided to do it...mostly so he could have the chance to place in all around when the awards were being given out. And place he did. He took 7th place all around in his age division. Pretty good for being injured!
The boy that Brandon has his arm around is his cousin, Davis. Well, second cousins really. His mother, Camilla, and I are cousins. How awesome it has been for the two of them to be teammates! They are two years apart in age but both competing in level 5. In a few weeks we have a meet in Boise and the four of us (Brandon, Davis, Camilla and myself) are doing the drive up together and sharing a room. Brandon is hugely looking forward to having all that time with Davis. Frankly, I'm rather looking forward to it myself!

Brandon did some gymnastics drawings a few days ago. Just more evidence that the kid eats, sleeps and breathes gymnastics these days. :)

Iron Cross on the rings

Pommel horse

High bar

Hand stand on the rings


Brandon's coach emailed this picture over. An extra from the photo shoot they did a few weeks ago. Makes me smile. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday: Graduation Twins

My 20 year high school reunion is coming up this summer. I knew it, of course, but just recently I've started to receive info about it. Time, place, date. The planning has begun. So I'm freaking out just a little bit. 20 years....really?? It makes me feel so old!
This picture is Bryan's brother, Steven, and me. We graduated the same year. Obviously at this point we are high school friends and not brother and sister-in-law. Bryan was on his mission and none of us knew what the future held. But Steven and I always thought it was funny that we look so similar in the picture despite any blood or even in-law relation.
June 1991

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This right here is 4 brownies, 6 cream puffs and 3 eclairs. They are leftover from last night's book club that I hosted at my house. And right now they are looking mighty tempting....

I think resistance is futile at this point. Good thing I ran 4 miles this morning. Maybe that will equalize things a bit.

(And yes Mom, I giggled a bit thinking of the Borg from ST:TNG when I typed that "resistance is futile" line.) :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A note from Rebekah...

Found this in Rebekah's chocolate drawer today. And no, I was NOT having a chocolate craving, actually. I was in her room for another reason and she had left the drawer open....

A couple of days ago I begged for a slice of her chocolate orange. Mine are gone. And they aren't in stores any more now that Christmas is over. But Rebekah still had one! I told her I had seen it in her drawer. She was a little appalled to find out that I knew she had a super, secret, chocolate drawer. (Like it was hard...she's always leaving her dresser drawers open.) After sharing with me I suppose she saw wisdom in moving said chocolate knowing that it would be vulnerable with her at school and me at home. To my credit, I did not immediately start searching for the new hiding place...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday: Hippies

My cousin Tom found this picture recently as he was going through some old things. It's a picture from 1972. Those are my parents in the middle! Depending on what part of 1972...they are either engaged or newly married. My Dad's siblings, Mike and Shannon, are also in the picture.
Tom's take on the picture:
" I was going through those old slides of Grandpa's that Dad scanned. Look like in 1972, some hippies got hold of the camera and took this picture of their festivities. Those crazy hippies and their mumu's and Louis L'Amour paperbacks. Man, the past was sure a weird place!" :)

We all got a hearty laugh out of the picture. But honestly, I think they look great! And I think my Dad still has that hat....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Our handsome gymnast

Is this a handsome boy or what? Not only does he have some serious gymnastics moves, you should see his six-pack! He is one buff kid! He's competing at level 5 this year. He has 2 hour workouts 4 times a week...and he absolutely loves it. His first meet for the season is in a week and a half. Unfortunately, he injured himself at his workout yesterday afternoon. A strained chest muscle? An out of place rib? We're not quite sure yet what is wrong but he is in a lot of pain and we're watching him closely. Whatever it is, I'm sure some rest and time off is in order. He has worked so hard and has been so excited about these upcoming meets! I hope this injury doesn't sideline him for long.
Brandon loved this action shot at first. But since bringing it home, he's continually bugged by the fact that his knee is bent. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Roses = Smiles

I was grumpy yesterday. Really grumpy. Nothing seemed to be going my way. Brandon throwing up at school and needing to be checked out early? Yeah...didn't see that coming. He seemed fine when he woke up. Someone turning off my oven while I was baking a casserole for the that after 40 minutes after supposed "cooking" the meal was still raw? That about reduced me to a frantic puddle of frustrated tears. Or maybe my problem is that I'm hormonal. Yeah. In hindsight that's probably it. But. When I was at the store yesterday (not at all happy to be there since I had done my big shop the day before...) I saw these huge, fat, gorgeous roses. And in my hormone befuddled mind I decided that they would make me happy. So I bought them. And put them in a vase next to my bed. And you know what? They have made me smile every time I have walked into my bedroom. Maybe today things will go a little better.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Year round Christmas decor?

I took down all the Christmas decorations this past week. It's taken me a few days, actually. Little by little. Yesterday the tree that has been sitting dark and undecorated in the corner of my living room since Wednesday, finally got hauled downstairs. But I decided there was one decoration that I wanted to keep up a little while longer. I'm thinking that the mistletoe hanging from the ceiling fan in my bedroom could be a good addition to my bedroom decor year round...

(Oh shoot. I didn't realize it was that dusty up there till I took this picture....)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ice Skating

It was 11 degrees outside today. I was shivering non-stop all morning...despite the various layers of clothing I had put on to combat said shivers. It was on this ridiculously cold day that we decided to go ice skating. Contradictory, you may ask? And I haven't even yet mentioned the ice cream run we made later in the evening! But ice skating had been on The List. The "activities-we-will-do-during-Christmas-break" list. And here we were on the last day before school starts again (well, if you don't count Sunday) still having not gone skating despite trying to get it planned and done almost daily since school let out.
It took us a little while to get the hang of it. It'd been over 5 years since the last time we went ice skating as a family. Lilian, of course, needed constant hand holding. She was terribly proud of herself just for keeping her balance at a dead stop on the ice. The kids all fell a few times. Mostly in the pursuit of speed and tricks. They laughed and popped right back up...still skating circles around me. By the end I was feeling a lot more comfortable and was taking a Lilian-free spin around the rink when somehow I lost my balance. I'm not even sure how it happened. All I know is that one moment I was upright and exhilarated...the next I was on my back on the ice. I laughed if off and shakily climbed back up to my feet. And then carefully and gingerly made my way back to where Bryan and the kids were. It's too bad none of them saw my fall. It was rather spectacular! And I have some good bumps and bruises to show for it.