Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

At the MTC the Missionaries were are snuggled in,
with visions of Spanish and Christ in their heads,
With a promise to write on Christmas day a letter or two
to keep the family at bay.

The Nutcracker was over, boy, was that a relief,
Driving to Sandy was something we could now do in our sleep.
But the Dew Drop Fairy did a wonderful job,
and not just according to her mom and her dad.
And the last performance came around with roses for the soloists,
the Snow Queen, the Sugar Plum Fairy and our Dew Drop, the top three.

On a mixed note, we had to finally say goodbye to a friend,
And help his family who mourned him because it was his mortal end.
He struggled three years until 16 when his body couldn't fight anymore,
but you see, three years of chemo and radiation and more, his fight was valiant and we'll miss him evermore.

And then we had family, which is always a treat, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with just enough to keep us fed, but not too much to eat ;).
Oh, the Christmas cards, well, I guess it's a good thing they say Seasons Greetings,
Since we haven't lifted a finger to get them out to our friends or family this year.

And then comes the time when just our little family gathers and says to each other, "Merry Christmas and we love you... and can you believe we survived another?"
So no matter your position this Christmas season finds you, may the light of Christ find you and warm you this day.

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to my loving Rob!

To Rob, Happy Birthday! You put up with so much crap, you eyes are a perfect shade of brown. Thanks!
We love you, your kids and you loving blogger (I mean wife)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Opening "Night" for Cast B Nutcracker

Saturday at 2pm was opening "night" for Elizabeth at the Nutcracker.
Thanks to the High Priest Leadership Christmas get together, we actually ended up seeing it. Normally we don't see her perform until closer to the end of her run.
But needless to say, she was beautiful! Those long legs and wonderful performance was great to watch! Her months of practice have paid off!
Dew Drop Fairy is the only soloist that is not a partnered soloist making it easier and harder at the same time. Her choreography is technically difficult while not as necessarily as showy.
Her corps of Waltz of the Flowers did a great job, too.
One show down, three shows this Friday, Saturday and Monday night, closing performance.
Go, Liz!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The MTC Adventure

Yes, today was the day...

the big day...

we've all been waiting for...

Jeff, Elder Billings, went to the MTC.

The drop off was smooth.

The morning was nice.

And I didn't cry...

I was proud.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

In a year of change in our family, all I can say is, "Happy Thanksgiving from all of us Turkeys."

Monday, November 23, 2009

REAL Salt Lake takes the MSL Cup

All of us futball fans would like to stand up and finally say "HA, we told you so." And MLS has taken hold in Salt Lake City as REAL SL took the coveted MLS Cup (sort of like the Superbowl but better) after shutting down last year's champions in the first round. We proudly wear our colors and thank Checketts for keeping REAL here over overwhelming odds. We love our new pitch, we love our new coach, we love our new team, but mostly we love our new cup!! REAL 5-4!!

“The ball is round. The game lasts 90 minutes. The rest is just theory.”

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jeff's Farewell November 29th

It's hard to believe, but Jeff's farewell has finally gotten here. Next Sunday, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, at 2:50 (come at 2:30 for seats) at 650 S 200 East in Bountiful, he will give his final talk. PLEASE come and join us saying goodbye and good luck to Jeff.
There will also be an open house at his grandparent's home immediately following the meeting at 1397 S Stellaria Cir. in Bountiful that we would love to see you (and even your kids) at.
I can't believe it has gotten here so fast! But he is so spiritual ready to go, now if we could just get the rest of his things ready we would be set. He goes into the MTC on December 9th, only 4 days after his birthday.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

My life today

I just thought I would give you a feel for my life... up at 6 or 6:30 when my daughter gets breakfast, short nap until son and I get up for the day an hour or so later, rush and do errands with Jeff... today it was flowers to my mom for her birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom), chat with the 'rents for half hour or so, go put picture into the Clipper and find out why we stopped getting it, get a canvas tool kit at home center for a first aid kit for mission, go to Asmus Copy Center (Hi, Mary) and copy every piece of paper accumulated to this point about Jeffrey, go home. 
Have lunch together. Put together all visa and travel document information for the Church Travel Office. Call and find out if they need the Yellow Fever Documentation he must travel with. Seal envelop and hope that everything is in there including all 8 pictures (what are they going to do with 8 visa pictures??). Pause briefly and think heavy thoughts about how my little boy really is leaving in less than a month to the MTC then Panama.
Take 30 min. nap to be awaken by face wash by 2 year old Rottie. Lovely. Liz gets home. Needs the car IMMEDIATELY to go see her elementary school librarian who is retiring. Shuffle through and organize other copied papers. Liz returns, she wasn't there.
Sit with and talk to Liz while she has a snack since she didn't make herself a sandwich for lunch today. Get Jeff to bag and compost leaves before weather changes. Feed dog, again. Instant Message Rob. Having a bad day and not interested in cooking dinner. Have to leave earlier because of bad accident on the freeway. Call carpool and move up pickup time. Feed Liz, again.
Drive to Sandy for Nutcracker practice, missed most of the slowdown. Drop off carpool. Take tired husband to dinner at Hires (not as good as the one downtown somehow). Almost like a date, but if it were a date, we would both be asleep. Go wander around stores for hour and fifteen until practice is almost over. Drive back to studio and wait for then pick up carpool and drive home.
Get home, 9:15 ish, dog is excited to see the three of us and just wants some attention. Son joins us in the front room on the floor (Mr Mac bags and other mission stuff on the couches) and we just kinda scratch the dog and discuss bed. Rob goes to bed (9:45 at the latest). Liz hits facebook, Jeff goes to his room, I sit down to talk to Liz. She goes down to bed about 10:15/10:30. I pick up my book to try to calm down enough to sleep (The Time Traveler's Wife - five stars so far).
Now I am starting to relax after getting too emotionally involved in the book because I feel like Jeff is going to disappear like that for 2 years and I forget things like he does. It's 12:40. I'll be asleep before 2 am.  Then tomorrow, I'll start again. Sometimes having two very busy teens/adults can be taxing ... but I love it. I love them. And I love my husband and appreciate him so much, he's my life.
Not meant to complain, just a rundown of my day. I don't stop and think about the nitty gritty of it much.
I read this and realized I left out of my rundown the most important person that I include everyday, I say my prayers and sometimes even get to scripture study. Couldn't go on without my Heavenly Father.
Keep Smiling =0)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To the Veterans

To the Veterans on this Veterans' Day, those from wars long past and those still being fought. A thought from Music and the Spoken Word delivered May 24th, 2009 by Lloyd D Newell, Remember the Heroes.

In the comfort and security of our lives, we sometimes foget the debt we owe to those who left behind their own comfort and security and paid the ultimate price that we might live free.

When the United States entered World War I, David Endicott Putnam was a freshman at Harvard University. Too young to enlist in the fledgling American aviation corps, he traveled to France, where he served with distinction as a pilot. A year later, he joined the Americans as a flight commander of the 139th squadron.

One of the most highly decorated Allied pilots of the war, David was credited with bringing down as many as 20 enemy aircraft. In letters to his mother, he wrote; "Combat after combat comes my way, and without boasting I'll say that I generally meet them head on ... 'You nearly lost little David' again this morning...A miracle saved me...This I will say, that if I go, I will die fighting."

On September 13, 1918, David noticed several enemy planes pursuing an Allied biplane. He attacked, and he saved the biplane, but he was unable to save himself. He was shot though the heart and perished.

In a letter he had left for his mother in the event of his death, David said: "There is no question about the hereafter of men who give themselves in such a cause. If I am called upon to make it, I shall go with a grin of satisfaction and a smile."

At this time, we also honor those Veterans who fought recently on our own soil at Ft. Hood and give a special prayer to those who had family who died or were injured, or were otherwise impacted by those cowardace acts.

From a family of Veterans, I wish all Veterans everywhere a very special day of dignity and gratitude from us all. Happy Veterans Day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Busy, busy... sigh.

You know how things are suppose to come to you at certain times for certain reasons, you know everything in it's season. Well, this is my busy season. Not only do we have mission to prepare for and AP classes to worry about and Nutcracker to practice/perform and work and church. I think everyone knows the feeling here. The holidays have finally started to hit and life just gets busier. Now I find out that Liz's friend and her mom, my friend, already have tickets to New Moon, so we probably won't end up going for a while after it opens and I've been counting down on my blog for almost 200 days.... ah, sigh.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Family Photo Shoot

This past weekend, after 2 months of planning and waiting, we had a family photo shoot with Lindsey of Lindsey Jane Photography. She is in our ward and was one of Liz's Young Women's advisors until just recently. She did a workshop where they used Liz as a model a year ago, and the pictures turned out wonderful, so we decided to have her do a family picture for us before Jeff left on his mission.  So in the cold, at Wheeler Farm, we had a fun hour of shooting photos... ok, as she says, the funnier you feel the better the photos will look, which turned out to be true. Our proofs are done and some of her favorites are on her blog if you want to take a look. My favorite thing overall is the color of Liz's jacket! Let me know what you think.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Piggy Flu Update (H1N1 Flu)

Liz is the only one in our house to get the flu. I don't know what, but we're doing something right. We figure it will hit the week of the farewell. Anyway, the reason I update today is last night Liz's eardrum burst. For those of you who have had little ones go through it, it actually gets harder when a teenager is in pain for a day in her ear, nothing releves it then suddenly it bursts. The doctor says she has to be seen if the fluid continues to drain or if the pain continues or in a week to make sure it's healing correctly.

The reason I mention this is that the H1N1 is not just bad just for the flu itself, it's the infections afterwards that kill. PLEASE take it seriously and get the vaccine if you can, it's free in Davis County. The risks of the flu just aren't worth it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Hip Halloween Dance

What there's a dance today?  My date better get ready. Who is he? Well, it's Trevor Wilson, and it's Halloween time.

In a group full of poodle skirts, Elizabeth stood out, in a skirt from her Grandma and the awesome slip from her Great Aunt, she really looked the part. Throw in a scarf, a lime green sweater, period earrings and glasses and she's the perfect poodle nerd. Her date showed up with his hair greased, white t-shirt, leather jacket and converse, too.

They got together with their buddies for dinner at one of the girl's house's, lasagna, then off to the dance. It started with a brief spook alley which they had a screaming good time in, then the dance itself.

Afterwards, it was back to Megan's for rootbeer floats and talking before the bewitching hour and everyone's curfew.  From all accounts, it was a roaring success!

Couples pictures and group pictures are to follow.


                                               50's Ninja


When the Pigs Fly Part 2

Well, it's official, Liz has H1N1 or as we call it the "piggie flu". We mostly want to know when she is going to grow a tail. After a night of croup like symptoms, first major day that we knew she was sick at all, we went to the instacare and they were already worried about pnenomia because of how poorly she sounded. I kind of like the break in her talking, j/k, she's lost her voice for a full day now.  We figure the rest of us are probably going to get it at some point, soon, hopefully. So we won't be seeing you around for a little bit. Keep that hand sanitizer on the ready! Immunizations are available in Davis County on Tuesday October 27th at the Davis Convention Center if you haven't had it yet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What Do You Call It When Pigs Fly?

I've tried lately to keep things lite, so I'm not sure if anyone's reading them. But my sister gave me a link to her ward site for this article and after you read it you will be washing your hands and trying to get your kids the H1N1 vaccine, too. (more info at the end).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Do You Call It When Pigs Fly?

Swine Flu.

When the Relief Society President called to check on us this past Wednesday she awarded me the honor of being the first family in the ward with the Swine Flu. Wow, thanks. That is an honor we could have done without.

I kept thinking how I could write this funny post about our awful experience, but I just don't have it in me. I'm physically and emotional tired, but wanted to share and hopefully inspire you to get a flu shot, or get ready and stocked for a week with an unwanted guest.

Last Saturday when we were in Bear Lake for Conference weekend, Adam developed an awful cough. By evening he was throwing up and by the next morning my body was trying to do the same (luckily I do have amazing anti-vomit skills). We packed up as quickly as we could and left the cabin while expressing our deepest apologies to all our loved ones that were now potentially infected.

We raced back home as my fever, coughs, chills, and body aches came on in waves. By Monday morning Shem was sick too. I kept Kate home, anticipating her mild cough escalating in the coming hours.On Tuesday Adam was begging to see the doctor so he could get better. Our pediatrician saw him that afternoon and said, "That is the flu." While he didn't test for N1H1, he was confident enough he said we wouldn't need N1H1 vaccinations, just seasonal flu shots. He prescribed Tamiflu for Kate and Mason to shorten the course of their illnesses. ($110 - ouch)

That night after Kate and Mason had thrown up, Shem gave us all blessings. The Spirit was especially strong when he blessed Adam to begin healing from that moment forward. That night everyone slept...finally.

On Wednesday Kate, Adam, and Mason's fevers broke and the throwing up had officially stopped. However, the night before in an illness-induced stupor Shem had flushed about 8 paper towels down the toilet. At the time is seemed the most logical place to put them after cleaning up throw up in the bathroom.After a visit from a masked Roto-Rooter worker (we insisted on the mask) and a $255 check our drains were again in working order. Now if only our bodies...

That night my visiting teachers brought us Chicken Noodle soup and it started to look like we were really going to be okay.

On Thursday the kids were regaining their strength and getting hyper, Shem and I were completely exhausted, and Colin was starting to fun a fever. I took him to the KidsCare where the doctor gave him a prescription for Tamiflu. Before filling it I called the pharmacy to confirm they had some in stock. When I asked if Tamiflu is safe for infants the pharmacist said it had not been tested for children under 1. I called the pediatrician back and she apologized saying she had misread Colin's age and I should NOT give him Tamiflu.

Colin still has a mild fever and the rest of us are coughing and will probably continue to do so for another week. Kate and Adam are no longer contagious and will head back to school tomorrow. Here are the most important things I learned this week...

1. N1H1 is extremely contagious.
2. Tamiflu is really expensive, but it works really well. It is not for babies.
3. Don't flush paper towels.
4. Vaporizers and VapoRub help ease night time coughs.
5. Dye-free fever medication is much better than the pink kind (especially if you manage to spill most of the bottle on yourself and your baby in the middle of the night).
6. The power of the Priesthood is amazing.
Thanks for all the love and prayers, and especially for the love and support we got from our ward family.

The H1N1 is spread through contact, so keep those hands clean (Joleen good luck with Easton).  Davis County, as well as I think the State, is experiencing huge crouds at immunization stations and limited supplies. Children to 24 are able to get the immunization for free, in the form of a spray, for instance it is required for Jeff to go to the MTC.  To get the most current information about immunizations it in Davis County, or 801-451-3333.  Oh, and this doesn't cover the other normal flu, which you get at your local county health clinic, which is also out, but is available to all.

New Moon Movie Soundtrack

Ok New Moon Movie update, the soundtrack is out.
Haven't checked it out yet but will, my family will get used to it momentarily. Check the countdown for how long before the movie comes out.
Loved it since the beginning.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bear vs. the "E" Collar

This is Bear.

This is Bear, our puppy with his rubber chicken.

Bear is not a little dog. He's a Rottweiler.
He's 97 lbs. and 2 years old.

Bear had an accident and broke some glass
(ok, it was a storm window when the postman appeared).

He had to get some stitches and wear this lovely Elizabethan collar
(I recommend it to many parents now). The dressing had to last 5 days and the collar 14, it all ends on Friday.
These pictures were taken on Tuesday, 3 days after the accident.

These pictures were taken today.
Our collar has to last to Friday.
We don't like our collar.

It makes it hard to see and chew and get through small places.
So, we eat our collar.
The tape is clear duct tape (a great invention).

We are going to win against the collar.
We have 5 days to go and we can reach our toes now, see.
Mom and dad are at their wits end.

We love our puppy, really we do.
(and I think I've figured out the new way to blog pictures, yeah)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Elizabeth Dew Drop Fairy (Nutcracker) Tutu

Saturday, Elizabeth and her friend Katie (Snow Queen) helped out Mountain West Ballet at the Utah Arts Festival. Unfortunately, she HAD to wear her tutu and head piece. And since she had her ballet BFF Katie along in her tutu, they just had to take some pictures. I hope this helps everyone get excited about coming and seeing the Nutcracker (hint, hint). Hope you enjoy them.

Denim Quilts

Ok, I've already had someone ask me for pictures of the denim quilts. I'm almost done with the second top then I promice to post pictures of both of them - PROMICE. But they are turning out darling, and they go together so fast (when you have time to sew).  So something for you crafty, quilty or sewers out there to look forward to. :o)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sewing and Reading, and a Little of Everything Else

So, I haven't been blogging like I usually do because all I have been doing is reading and sewing. Reading the new Dan Brown book, the Lost Symbol. I gave it to my dad for his birthday in May (gift certificates are wonderful), and paid up when it came out. He read it and gave it to me. Great system I have for getting all the great new books :)  And I love thrillers by Dan Brown and some others (see list) because they are usually well researched, which this was seems to have been.

Now when I'm not reading, which seems to mean not sleeping lately (really screwed up sleep schedule), I'm sewing.  Years ago, like I can't remember when, I saw a picnic quilt that was made out of old levis where they used the pockets too so that the napkins and plastic silverware wouldn't fly away. It was so cute. So, in one of my more manic moments, I gathered all the levis that were worn out in the house and started keeping ALL levis that wore out no matter the color (yes, I have pink and red ones) or the condition (I have ones that have been under cars and thouroughly abused). I kept them in a box, or two or three, and started cutting them into blocks and strips (sashings) for making them later. Well, later finally came because my husband needs my sewing space so I have to clean everything up including all those levis. I put together my first top (hopefully there is a picture here) and bought red flannel for the back and I will tie it as soon as I finish the others. Yes it is twin size, approximately. The others, 2 queen size quilts with left over levis to be thrown out. Not many will just see the garbage can, they are too distroyed for even DI, but a few will. Pictures, lots of Pictures to come.  And with Nutcracker coming, more sewing, costumes, lots of costumes to come.

And in my spare time, I take care of my daughter, which means driving to rehearsals in Sandy twice a week. And learn more about Panama and the things Jeff will need to take with him. With my friend's son in Columbia, just South of Panama, I have a feeling she will be a lot of help.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mountain West Ballet Nutcracker 2009

Elizabeth, for the 10th year in a row, will be participating in a production of the Nutcracker. Mountain West Ballet (MWB) is a community company that is semi professional that she has participated with the past 5 years. This year she tried out with some concern with her heavy school schedule. No longer a concern, she was talented enough to be cast as Dew Drop Fairy. Dew Drop Fairy is a soloist part with a corps of her own that dances to the Waltz of the Flowers portion of the Nutcracker. There is really only one part better than it, Sugar Plumb. She is outragiously excited and looking forward to her first traditional tutu.

Watch for upcoming information on performances in December!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Called to Serve - Jeffrey D. Billings

Elder Jeffrey D. Billings has been called to serve in the Panama City, Panama mission. He enters the MTC in Provo on December 9th. And we're all thrilled (including him).

Book Review: Mortal Instruments Trilogy

Well, since I finished a homecoming dress (who someone ripped out the sleeve at the dance that I have to fix), I'm taking a small break from sewing and doing some reading. I've found suggestions for new series that are easier reading, no Jane Austen right now. But I have found some great books.

The Mortal Instruments Trilogy, recommended by one of my favorite authors, Stephenie Meyer, is great. The City of Bones, City of Ashes and, my favorite, City of Glass, written by Cassandra Clare, is a great story of different dimensions and those that monitor and take care of them while being invisible to mere humans. There is action, adventure and just a little bit of first love as Clary tries to find out how she fits into this world that she has never known of, but obviously is part of. She learns she has an amazing and untapped skill in creating runes.

This is a great series, definate two thumbs way up from me and is appropriate for really any age, very little PG. There is one character that is gay, just so you are aware, but it is handled tastefully.  I really recommend this series to anyone and everyone. It's now one of my favorites.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Team Peeta

Some of you may have noticed a new icon on the side of my blog, Team Peeta. Ok, books review time: Suzanne Collins has released the first two thirds of her trilogy on, as the first one is called, the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is about a post United States nation that requires 2 children in each district to play to the death for food rations for themselves, their families, and their district. It is a great book that has some fantastic twists and turns and is appropriate for probably preteen through adult readers, even with it's story line.

Her second book, Catching Fire, is a follow up to the first and continues the plot with the same characters and the same fantastic twists. It just came out this fall, but it was well worth the wait. Also appropriate for preteen through adult readers.

I came upon these books on an on-line forum dedicated to helping moms find new books for themselves to read and has included things from Twilight to Jane Austen and Three Cups of Tea (all of which I recommend).  I'm working on another trilogy that once I finish it, I will let you know about them, so for I really like them, too.

When did I find time to read??

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BHS Homecoming 2009

Liz was invited by Taylor Alvey to Homecoming this year which was last night.  They went with a group of 10 couples in their group of good friends. They played photo scavenger hunt in the afternoon for fun, then for the evening, they split up into three vehicles (whoever put Liz and Taylor in the 8 person van didn't think it through, she was hyper apparently - duh), and went to one of the boy's uncle's house in Centerville for a lovely dinner.  Chicken Cordon Blue and all later, they finished up and took homecoming pictures. I haven't seen them yet but apparently, his house had some wonderful areas for single and group pictures. I'll post them when I get them.

Then back to the High School for the dance they went. Taylor had no problem keeping up with Liz's antics (like she started the hokey pokey at one point), with his own. We actually have a couple of shots of them at the dance obviously having a riot!

Taylor and Liz

Taylor, Branson, Taylor and Liz

After the dance, they went and had ice cream floats and looked at the pictures from the scavenger hunt and finish up the night right about midnight.

From what I can tell, Lz had a wonderful time. "I feel like a princess" was her phrase before the dance. Afterwards we heard lots of stories, but mostly she was just happy. She started off today on a bad note when the dog ate her corsage, but nothing could tarnish her memories of a fun homecoming experience.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Homecoming Dance - Evening Pictures

Liz after day activity - 2 1/2 hours to go
 Liz after 1 hour on her hair
Liz had to be sewn in to her belt. Then she discovered 
she could still twirl in almost 3 inch heels.

Liz and Taylor Alvey    Stories to follow in the next blog.