Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Playing in the bubbles

Remember when I did that 5k Foamfest in early August? This one right here? The obstacle course with the foam and the mud and the water...yeah, that one. I got some pictures back yesterday. I have to admit, I laughed good and hard when I looked through them all. I also found out that two of our team members suffered broken ribs from the big, foamy slip and slide. (!!!) And yes, I had all sorts of bruises, scrapes and bumps in weird places after the race was done...but broken ribs? Oh my....OUCH! All the same, I'm still totally planning to join up with the "TransFOAMers" next year to do it all over again.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Getting ready for Homecoming

Are you ready for the big Homecoming dress reveal?? The big day was this past Saturday. And wow, they didn't name this dress "Sparkling Cinderella" for nothing. I may be biased and all, but I think Cinderella's got nothing on my daughter. Prince Charming would've chosen her in a heartbeat...Rebekah looked absolutely stunning.

(Props to Julianne for being our photographer for the night.)

Pictures of the door scene with all its boutonniere and corsage glory and also shots of the whole Homecoming group coming up soon....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

She has a drivers license.... official one, not just a learners permit.  But our two available vehicles are less than ideal for a newly-licensed-sixteen-year-old driver.  Big Ford F-150 truck.  Or little cherry red stick shift sports car.  Eh.

Plus, like I really want to give up my mode of transportation so Rebekah can drive to school, park there all day and leave me stranded at home?  Nah, don't like that idea at all.

So Bryan and I, unbeknownst to Rebekah, took his lunch break today and went car shopping.  You know how people have companies, stores or services that they frequent?  For example...I have a specific hairdresser, I have a bike store guy.  Some people have a specific grocery store or particular brand of running shoes that they always buy.  Yeah, we have a dealership.  We've now bought 4 cars from them, at least 3 from the same salesman, even.  They know us and like us.  And we've always had a good, stress free experience there.  (Willey Ford in Bountiful.  Seriously, go see them if you need a car!)

So it was of course, the first place we visited.  Looking to buy a used teenager type car, we knew that maybe we'd have to do some more looking around, but we thought we'd at least start with our guy, our dealership....just to get an idea.  The 3rd car he showed us, Bryan was sold.  "I don't really love car shopping," he said.  "This seems like a good deal on a car that would work well for us.  Let's just do it."

So in less than 2 hours we picked out a car, bought it, and drove it off the lot.

When Bryan got home from work this evening, he asked Rebekah if she wanted to practice driving.  She said yes, but then asked, "Which car?  Do I have to drive the red one?"  Bryan smiled and nodded. "Yes, we'll be taking the red one."  (wink, wink)

Rebekah was a little confused as to why I followed her out onto the front porch with the camera.  And to her credit, when she first saw the car, she asked..." it for me?  Or is it a new car for you, Dad?"

And in reality, it isn't necessarily her car.  This 2002 Ford Escape is another household car designated for teenager use.  Julianne will also learn to drive in that car, and they will share it.  But for the time being,'s hers.  And she was delighted.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Empty bookshelves...

“Bookshelves” by Seth Skogerboe

Towers on a wooden floor,
filled with people, stories, more.
Wise men, foolish. Whispers. Roars.
Of course, I speak of bookshelves.
See the stories pouring out.
One overflows with magic trout.
(The best ones, proud, stick bookmarks out.)
There’s stories on these bookshelves.
Poetry flows like water, sweet.
In some, I hear the tramp of feet,
going off to fight, or greet.
Whole worlds on my bookshelves.
Each one is a special portal.
One shows true love. One shows immortals.
Some of them just make you chortle.
The power of the bookshelves.
My parents home is filled with bookshelves in almost every single room.  Only a couple that can actually be moved...the rest, built by my father over the years as my mother's book collection (and to some extent, my dad's) expanded.  My parents are moving out of their home this week, a place they have lived for 34 years.  You can box up and pack books, but not the built in bookshelves that were their resting place.  So the rooms in their now soon-to-be-former home, look like this: 
My mom has ruthlessly whittled through her books, deciding which to keep and which to pass on. (She even gave her daughters the option of going through her reject pile before carting them off to D.I.  It felt a bit like wandering through a really well stocked used bookstore.)  All the same, until my dad builds the new bookshelves that he has promised in the new house, most of the books are now resting here:

I have to say, I have really struggled with this move.  When I showed up a couple of days ago to help pack and haul, I was already in tears.  Trying frantically and failing to wipe away evidence of my emotion, I finally had to own up to it and say, "So...I'm going to cry, okay?  Just ignore me."  My dad teased me a little bit.  "You realize, you are the only one having this problem?  Just think" he said, "if you were packing up the house because we were dead?"  Well that was certainly a morbid thought.  But it did put some perspective on it.  That would indeed be much worse.  Still, I shed enough tears that I was wishing I had thought to wear waterproof mascara.  And the more I thought about it the more I realized that the reason I am having such a hard time (besides that fact that I am an overly sentimental person anyway) is because I had such a great childhood.  My parents raised their 5 girls with love and humor and the gospel.  Five-part harmony birthday songs and sleeping under the Christmas tree in December.  Sunday popcorn on the back porch and family dinners each and every day.  Chores and homework.  Family Home Evening and scripture reading.  Sisterly spats and sisterly bonding.  Every room in that house has memories.  And so in a way, I feel like I am saying goodbye to more than just a house.  It almost feels like I am saying goodbye to a family member.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dress shopping

(Friday we had Lilian tag along.  Let's just say she was much more of a hindrance than a help, if you know what I mean.  Saturday we had to pick up Brandon from gymnastics in the middle of our shopping hours so he came along to the last couple of stores.)

We spent a good 9 hours this past weekend on the hunt for the perfect Homecoming dress.  Rebekah was asked by Hunter, a boy that she has been liking and hanging out with since last fall.  He asked Rebekah to the big dance 3 weeks before school even started.  Knowing she's been dating many different guys...I guess he wanted to make absolutely sure that she was HIS date for Homecoming.

This is Rebekah and her friends Jenny and Patricia.  And no, this is NOT Rebekah's dress.  Though I do have a picture of her in it, she has expressly forbidden me from using it here on this blog.  I think she wants to wait until we have pictures of the final product with the hair and the makeup and the shoes....(Oh crap.  We still have to go find shoes.)  Patricia was trying to decide between these 3 dresses and it was decided that if they all put one on and stood side by side in front of the mirror, maybe it would help.  But don't they look pretty?

In my day Homecoming was fairly casual.  We wore dresses that were only slightly nicer than what we wore weekly to church.  Not the case here.  And while I think many high schools tend to dress for Homecoming in shorter cocktail type dresses, apparently at Rebekah's school, it's about 50/50.  The majority of the girls at the stores we stopped at were trying on big, fluffy concoctions.  It took Jenny awhile to convince Rebekah she wouldn't be overdressed if she picked a long dress.  (Jenny is a senior and is speaking from experience, thankfully.  Rebekah, of course, wouldn't really trust anything I said...)  And also, thankfully, there are lots of little formal dress stores that not only rent dresses but also do add sleeves to a previously sleeveless dress.

Homecoming is this coming Saturday.  Stay tuned for official pictures of the big day!  A hint:  Rebekah's dress is called "The Cinderella."  She is going to look stunning.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Favorite Photo Friday: Sleepy Kaden

I pretty much took the summer off from my Favorite Photo Friday series.  It wasn't a conscious kind of just happened.  Because of a computer that was MIA for a few months, I didn't have easy access to a lot of my older pictures.  Nor was my scanner working which meant I couldn't use even older pictures that I did have access to because there was no way to get them from scrapbook to computer.'s back!  Feel free to do a little happy dance if you wish. (Ha!)

May 2, 2009

This my youngest sister "Aunt Rachel" who loves all of her nieces and nephews "thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!!!"  (You'll have to imagine the outstretched arms that goes along with this pronouncement).  And this baby is my sister Mary's little Kaden.  A mom and sisters trip to St. George is the backdrop for this setting in May of 2009.  Rachel, a newlywed in Cedar City, was due to move to Atlanta with her husband the next month.  So we flew Mary and Kaden in from Texas and and road-tripped our way down to St. George, picking up Rachel on the way to spend some girly time together before the big departure.  We made an impromptu visit to Kiddie Kandids to get some portraits of the five of us and while we were there little Kaden tuckered out in Aunt Rachel's arms....right before my eyes (or camera lens, as the case may be). As fast as I could take the pictures...that's literally how fast he fell asleep.

Mary, Kaden and the rest of their family live in Idaho now.  Much closer than Texas, so though I don't see them as often as I wish, it's still not too many months in between visits.  But Rachel continues on in Atlanta while her husband finishes up pharmacy school.  And I'm missing her tremendously today.

(And yes...that is my dad standing outside the window in the blue shirt.  It being a girls weekend notwithstanding, these were his he decided to tag along.)        

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An impromptu outdoor concert

We spent this past Saturday helping my parents move some big and awkward pieces of furniture out of their old house and into the new.  The most unwieldy of them all was of course, the piano.  We removed every removable piece we could in an attempt to make it lighter but the thing still weighed a ton.  And it had to be maneuvered down a flight of stairs!  My dad had offered to hire a professional piano moving company but his sons-in-law swore they could handle it.  And they did....even though it was an immense pain in the you-know-where.  I literally prayed for them and the piano as they made their way to the trailer.  But once on the trailer...well, when else do you get the opportunity to play a few rounds of Heart and Soul in the great outdoors?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never forget

Julianne and her friends are wearing dresses to school today.  They decided that it would be their way of honoring and remembering those who died eleven years ago during the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks.  These girls are 14 years old.  Which means they don't likely have any real memories of their own from that horrific day seeing as they were only 3 years old at the time.  But over the years they have been taught about what happened and why.  They live in a post-9/11 world.  They see and live with the consequences of that day...even if they don't really understand it as anything but normal.  Some of those consequences are unfortunate.  But others are less so, including an increased patriotism and knowledge of one's history that causes a group of jr. high girls to dress up to show that they will "never forget."

My memories of 9/11

Monday, September 10, 2012

Documented summer craziness

This is what you'd call summer-activities-as-evidenced-from-the-pictures-my-children-were-tagged-in-on-Facebook.  And thankfully they were....because my girls are not quite the obsessive picture taker that I am so I have no pictures of any events that I didn't actually attend with them.  Things like EFY, Girls Camp, Theatre Disneyland trip, Cousin Camp, etc.
So this is more for me and posterity, family history...what have you.  But here they are.

Cousin camp to St. George with his grandparents in June.

Odds and end cute pics with friends....

 EFY....she attended at the University of Utah.  Roomed with friend Nicole from the 'hood.  They had a glorious time.  Julianne pushed her friends to do Retreat for Girls again like they did last year.  But now that they are 14 and old enough to attend EFY, the friends all opted to go where the boys are.  Julianne was rather exasperated with them.  So I laughed really hard when she called home the first day.  "Mom!  The boys are AWESOME!"

The first week of summer Julianne headed to Disneyland for a performing tour as part of the local theatre group that she is involved in.  Besides performing in both Disney and California Adventure, they also got a backstage tour/workshop where they were run through a mock Disneyland performing audition.  Apparently it was great amounts of fun.  Lots of playtime in the parks.  And when you are a teenager, even the long bus rides are fun.  Especially if you are sitting next to a cute boy with really soft hair...  (wink, wink)  

And there was Girls Camp.  Both Julianne and Rebekah attended this one.  This year it was held at Camp Hunt, a boy scout camp primarily devoted to swimming and other such water sports.  So right at arrival, the girls had to pass a swim check!  Sounds like a very unique but fun girls camp.  
Apparently both girls completely zonked out on the church lawn while waiting for the trailer to be unloaded after arriving back in town.

Like Brandon, Rebekah and Julianne both went to St. George for cousin camp...but a different week specifically designed for the girl cousins.

Rebekah had a second girls camp to attend this summer....this one just for the Laurels, the young women 16-18.  (Rebekah is the 2nd from the left in grey.)  Rebekah raved about this trip.  I think it was a serious faith builder.  
(And in this pic...the 2nd from the right in turquoise.)

 Rebekah, our water baby, also went boating every chance she got with friends.  And learned to do all sorts of water sports that I can only dream about.
 (She apparently also really likes to jump....)

Season passes to Lagoon.  Not the family.  Just her.  Isn't it nice that she has friends that can drive?  They went weekly and I only had to drop her off a couple of times.

Rock climbing with the youth from the neighborhood....