Sunday, April 24, 2011

Speaking of Grass...see last post

We definitely have not stood still the past few days. I guess you could say "the grass is not growing under our feet!" Too bad though, I wish it would because I'm getting tired of watering our polka dotted front lawn!

Nevertheless, I digress.

On Friday, Sam and I dropped the boys off at my parents house for the entire day (thank you sooooo much Mom and Dad!) and headed to Moroni, Utah. Sam's Uncle Jack passed away and we were heading to his funeral. Every time I attend a funeral I'm always in awe that we can summarize somebody's life into just a few hours. I love to hear stories from loved ones that are so important to them, that they made the cut into the funeral talk. Uncle Jack was quite the character...always telling stories and making others laugh. He was a hard worker, living in Jerusalem Utah (did you even know there was a Jerusalem Utah??) in the summers, working the land and taking care of horses, cattle, and being a turkey farmer. He was the last of his siblings to pass away. It was very somber to watch Sam's older brothers and sisters mourn over the passing of Uncle Jack. Sam's parents divorced when Sam was a toddler, so Uncle Jack was like a father to many of the Sweet kiddos. Jack's last name is Bailey. In Sam's childhood, the Bailey cousins were to Sam what the Oram cousins are to me. They were tight, yo.

Uncle Jack with my nephew, Nick. April 2001

When we walked into the church we saw a gorgeous display that Jack's kids had created:

I've known Jack for 13 years and I've never seen him wear anything except those striped bib overalls. In one hand or pocket he usually had his pliers and the other hand was a Mountain Dew. Yeah, Jack was a cool dude!

Jack was married to Enid. Enid and Sam's mom are sisters. Enid passed away in 1988 so I never knew her but I hear she was the FAVORITE Aunt. Everybody loved Enid!

Here's Belva and Fontella.....or FonBelva as we like to call them! The last two Jackson sistas! Sam's mom is Fontella. :) When we were trying to think of what to name Carson, Sam's brother tried desperately to get us to name him FonBelva. ha ha! These two are thick as thieves. They are always good for a hug and a laugh.

This is the house that Jack built. I don't know if he actually built it, but I think that was the title of a book I used to read when I was a young 'un. Fern told me that they first just had the basement and then later on they added the top portion. I'm not a gambling woman, but I'd venture to bet that the satellite dish was a recent addition. :)

Jack served in WWII and the Korean War so we had the 21 gun salute at the cemetery.

My favorite picture that Sam took: Jack's only son J.L. (Sam's cousin) suffered a brain aneurysm almost 6 years ago. He has made steady improvement in his health since that day. He was presented with the flag from Jack's casket. It was a very touching moment, especially when J.L. saluted the presenter.

Jack's kids. I love these guys!! Maureen, Cindy, J.L., Joann, and Jeanene.

One of my first impressions meeting Cindy: We were at Jack's cabin in Jerusalem and Cindy was helping her dad vaccinate, brand, and castrate some cows. Cindy was doing the bulk of the work and tossing those, **I'm blushing**, testicles across the field! It was like a car accident, I seriously could not look away! She earned my respect that very day because I can't even touch raw meat, let alone doing something like THAT!! ha ha! Seriousy though, the Bailey children are the most kind, caring, and wonderful people. Enid and Jack did a great job raising them!!

On Saturday, we celebrated the Easter Bunny side of Easter.

The kids woke us up too early to find their baskets. They were pretty eager.

They were pleased with their haul.

Okay, who's going to tell Cameron his fake smile needs some work? NOT IT!

Hyped up on sugar makes kids do weird things.

Yesterday happened to be my dad's birthday too! As he was cooking his own birthday dinner to feed us (his choice, don't be hatin'!) we decided to have an Easter Egg hunt. Sam and I filled the eggs. Do you think we filled them all nice with regular candy?


We just used whatever we could find around the house: crushed leaves, hair mousse, pennies, crystal light, old marshmallows, was fun!

The best was when Dexter opened up the egg packed full of brown sugar. He wasn't quite sure about it.

My dad's birthday dinner was WONDERFUL! Tri Tip Steak grilled to perfection! Happy Birthday Dad, we love your guts!!

You know what else we love? This cake!!! It's called "Put the Lime in the Coconut Cake". It's Uh-MAZE-ing! My mom did a great job because none of us could keep our hands off of it! Pure dangerous. That cake should be called "danger cake". For realsies.

The festivities continue in a few hours because we're heading back to my parents house and having a traditional Easter Dinner. Have I mentioned how much I love living this close to my parents? Happy Easter everybody!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Funky Grass

This past Saturday was absolutely gorgeous! No rain, which is rare these days, and the sun was shining. I decided it was a perfect day to get rid of our funky grass.

Ever since we moved into this house, 9 years ago, we've had patches of weird grass that grows amongst our Kentucky Blue grass. I thought it was crab grass, but I asked Scotts Lawn Service about it one day and they told me it wasn't crab grass, it was a type of grass that grows in the South. Not sure how that grass made its way to my lawn, but whatever....I just knew it needed to be gone. Over the years more and more patches have started growing.

My blog skills are slacking because I didn't take any before pictures. However, there are about 15 or so patches that Sam dug out with a shovel, leaving holes anywhere from 6 inches to 12 inches deep all over our yard. It looked like some bizarre connect-the-dot game. After they were all dug out, he then back filled them with dirt, which is when I decided to grab the camera. At this point my parents took mercy on us and joined in the fun!

The kids played outside all day while we were working. I loved it! Carson forgets he is 10 years old and is too big for Cameron's toys. Check Parker out, he was gathering some speed so he could slam into Carson. I just let it happen. :)

After the holes were packed with dirt, we placed this Lawn Patch stuff on top. It's basically grass seed mixed with shredded newspaper and other types of moisture-holding fluffy stuff. I'm supposed to keep it wet and in 7-14 days we should start to see some new grass growing. Right now our lawn looks crazy with blue polka dots all over it.

I really hope it works because right now I feel like the crazy old lady who scares her neighbors....I'm constantly watching those patches so kids and dogs don't walk through them. Yesterday a couple was walking their dog by my house and the dog totally walked through about 6 patches. I STERNLY said "HEY! Don't let your dog walk through those patches!". Yep, I've become one of those people.

Even with the ugly polka dots, it's so nice to look on my front lawn and not see all the ugly grass sticking straight up. I'm hopeful!

Yesterday for dinner I made something yummy! I found a recipe for pulled pork sandwiches. First, you put pork in your crock-pot the night before with a bottle of regular BBQ sauce. Put the crock-pot on Low and go to bed. I did just that. By 5am the next morning I was gagging at the strong meat smell in my house. "It's going to be a long day" I thought. Sam's alarm beeped at 5:30am. I said "Hey Sam, will you plug the crock-pot into an outlet in the garage"? He suggested doing this the night before but I dismissed the idea. Sorry Sam, you were brilliant! So he moved the crock-pot and all was well. I had some yummy pork cooking in my garage all day! By about 3pm I brought it inside and drained off the BBQ sauce, melted fat, and I shredded the pork. Even at this point I could eat a whole portion!

I refrained to just a few bite-fuls! Then I added a bunch of "Sweet and Spicy" BBQ sauce and let it get hot again. Sooooooo delicious!

To the equation, add a chewy hard roll and some swiss cheese.....perfection! Try it today! The recipe called for Boston Butt Roast but I just used pork shoulder because that's what I had.

By the way, see all the crusty cooked on BBQ sauce on the sides of the crock-pot? Yeah, I wasn't able to get it all cleaned off until this morning! I'd recommend using a crock-pot liner to save yourself the trouble.

Yesterday Cameron was looking at the celing and said "Daddy, can you take me up there?" as he's pointing up. So Sam obliged and Cameron practiced walking on the ceiling. It was just so random. Cameron never laughed or anything, he just acted like Spiderman for a few seconds and then went about his business. Almost like in his mind he thought "okay, I can check that off my bucket list". I love him!

Last week Carson's teacher called me at home because he was so frustrated. Carson had been working on one math worksheet all day and had only completed 1/3 of it. So he called to tell me he was sending it home with Carson and he better get it done that night. I decided a few months ago that I was going to quit trying to explain myself or Carson when stuff like this comes up. I know we work hard at home and stuff like that does not happen because I'm a slacker or because Carson isn't smart. Does that make sense? I just politely said "okay". I guess he made that call in front of Carson because in the 10 minutes left of school, Carson quickly finished the worksheet! He did it all right too! He still brought it home because his teacher said "well, your mom is expecting it so you better bring it home.". I thought it was funny! I don't know why he day dreams all day, but it never fails, when push comes to shove, he pulls through! However, he thought he was in trouble so on the way home he picked this tulip out of our yard and said "Hi mom, I brought you this flower." He was very timid. It was cute.

This morning I was doing my hair and Cameron walks into the bathroom. He was standing on top of the toilet dancing around. He lost his balance and then fell, flat onto his face, onto the rug below. I just sort of watched him (I have a problem with delayed reactions to things). Cameron stood up, had a disgusted look on his face, and said "sheesh, I almost peed my underwear" and then he stood in front of the toilet and went to the bathroom. Holy cow, it was hysterical!!! I'm sure it hurt because the side of his head, right by his eye is all skinned. I think he hit his head on the stool on the way down. I can't get enough of him!

Monday, April 11, 2011

We Be Loyal

Carson asked me the other day what "Webelos" stood for, "cuz I forgot!". Without even thinking, I answered "We Be Loyal" and I said it like I was a gangsta. The sad thing, is that I thought I was right. I really thought it meant that. Sam patiently replied, "No, it stands for We'll Be Loyal Scouts". Oh yeah. I'm the worst.

Despite my lack of knowledge in the field of scout acronymns, Carson did earn his Webelos badge last week! We've been busy little bees regarding scouting so he earned quite a haul! He was supposed to pin the Webelos Mothers Pin on me, but the cub masters just gave us a baggie full of all his pins so here we are sorting through them to find the right pin. Nothing like standing in front of a room full of people trying to find a needle in a haystack! Oh, notice Carson's plaid scarf? Yeah, we didn't have a slide-thingy (I told you I stink at scout terms) so Sam just zip-tied it on him. I really wish I got a close up picture. It was just awesome!

Sam first tried using this metal...uh....thing...for Carson's scarf. It was too big. So he just let Cameron play with it. He stuck in on Cameron's ear and it kept the grumpy child happy all during pack meeting! My friend said he looked like Shrek and we should paint him green and he'd have a fabulous Halloween costume!

At one point all the scouts were supposed to draw something they have faith in. Here is Carson's drawing: "Cave of Faith Crystals". What the............?

You know why I love Spring? It snowed for 3 solid days last week....but we had zero accumulation! OH yeah!

On Saturday I "cashed" in a groupon deal I had purchased awhile ago. 3 hours of eco-friendly cleaning! SCORE! My blinds were dis-gust-a-pating. I never dust them because I never think about it, until they are so nasty that they require a slat-by-slat scrub down. So, I had my blinds, stove, kitchen floor, kitchen sink, and upstairs bathroom cleaned professionally. Just looking at my sparkling white blinds makes me smile. Now, if I could just remember to dust them regularly.....

This morning I was helping Cameron get dressed when I suddenly had the shivers. I looked up on his wall at a picture Carson taped there.....and freaked out! Somebody put that NASTY butterfly on his picture!!! I have no idea who did that!! Fern, Sam, or are on my hit list until I get to the bottom of this! If you know me at all, you know I'm not a FAN of butterflies...

One of the best movie lines ever: In my world, everyone will eat rainbows, and poop butterflies! What's the movie??

Friday, April 01, 2011

Prayer Challenge

We have a fabulous Stake Girls Camp Director, who also happens to be a good friend of mine. She had this amazing idea to create a challenge to the young women of our Stake titled "Because I believe, I will not cease to call upon God". This challenge was also extended to the Bishopric and their wives (hence my involvement).

We were given a bookmark which listed a scripture for every day beginning today, and it ends the day before the start of Girls Camp in July. We are supposed to read the scripture and say our morning prayer. Then, at night, we do the same thing. Each day gives us a new scripture somehow related to prayer.

Today's scripture: 2nd Nephi 9:52 Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice

As I prayed and thought about that scripture, I chose to focus on the last sentence: Let your hearts rejoice. I decided I would choose to find the positive in the hardest situations that presented itself for the day. My decision would be put to the test before the hour had passed.

Cameron had his 3-year old check-up today with his pediatrician. Because my kids are off-track I had all three hooligans with me. We were traveling east on 6200 South and I was stopped in traffic. Suddenly, I am SLAMMED from behind. Ah crap, we were just rear-ended. As I try to gather my thoughts before leaving my car, this scripture/prayer challenge enters my mind. I immediately said to myself: Well, I'm grateful it's not snowing! Then I get out of the car and look at the TINY scratch on my bumper....I'm rejoicing it's just a scratch (we have about 100 other scratches on the bumper from previous adventures)! My rear-ending actually involved 3 cars. I was hit by a girl behind me, who was hit by the boy behind her. I'm thankful my back didn't start going into spasms! Then I look at the boy's car who caused the accident. It wasn't pretty.

He wasn't hurt, just freaked out. I'm grateful we all had insurance and proper registration, that almost never happens! Anyway, you get the idea....I couldn't believe how easy it was to remain positive.

We then went to the doctor appointment, we were late, but they were very accommodating. All was well with Cameron. We left the doctor's office and each of my boys received a sucker and a sticker. For some reason my kids like to put their stickers on their foreheads. These are huge stickers! See what I mean, jellybean?

A little later in the day I was at our church entering February Visiting Teaching numbers into the computer (I know, I'm a little slow!). Carson and Parker came into the room totally laughing. Carson said "Parker wanted me to take his sticker off really fast and look what happened!"

Yes, those are hairs. My heart rejoiced, you have to admit, that is FUNNY! I guess Parker is getting a head start on his receding hairline!

I tried to be careful whilst removing Cameron's sticker. There were only about 10 hairs stuck to his. Phew.

So, I'm excited to see what future unexpected events occur as a result of this reading/praying challenge. I told my friend today that I really hope there aren't lots of scriptures on "endure to the end" because I'm a little petrified to see what situations arise!

Some other thoughts/situations lately that make my heart rejoice:

Today my hysterical niece wrote on facebook: "One year ago I put on deoderant covered in cream cheese" What a GREAT April fools day joke! Seriously, brilliant!

The other day I told Parker "Go make your bed and then you can party like it's 1999. His reply: **snarky chuckle** that won't work because my watch is NOT telling military time!

Last week was Fast Sunday. I had to make a Texas Sheetcake for a firesid we were having at our house later that day. Carson wanted to help me make it. I said "sure, but don't you think that will be a temptation? We can't lick the beater or the bowl since it's Fast Sunday!" He said "well, can I still smell it?" My reply: "uhhhh, yeah..." He said "Perfect! You always make good stuff for other people and we never get a taste so a long time ago I had to learn to be okay with just smelling good stuff!" Aw man, I don't know if I should be proud of him or if I should take the knife out of my back??!!

I dyed the milk in my kids' cereal this morning. Parker LOVED it and chuckled while he ate. Carson pouted and sat on the couch. I just shrugged and thought "ya win some, ya lose some!"