Monday, November 19, 2012

A Few Odds and Ends

The weekend Kayden came home, was also Girl's Choice.  Malia asked Malachi, and they had a blast.  The group did a progressive dinner and games (some involving pudding being dropped into your mouth!)  They had a lot of fun!

 The Boys


Here's the whole group when they got to my house.  They had the main dish here, and played the winking game... which resulted in lots and lots of laughing.... in fact, someone laughed their gum right out of their mouth, and onto my carpet!


Anaya had her dance performance at the Festival of Trees last week.  Here's a couple links for her dances.  She did a great job!


and just because it was in the same folder as the dance clips, here is my favorite choir song from Kayden's senior year.  This is the most beautiful song:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Miss Hillcrest

I mentioned earlier that Malia auditioned for Miss Hillcrest and was chosen as a participant. I am so grateful that Malia is so independent.  Malia did this whole thing with very little help from me.  She found her own sponsors, sold and delivered all her tickets, scheduled and  recorded mock interviews, and then studied the recordings by herself, wrote everything by herself (I didn't even proof read), learned her piano song by herself (her piano teacher moved to St. George, but mailed Malia some music with her comments written throughout), and then when it came down to the day, because of work I realized I wouldn't be able to help as much as I would have liked to.  In desperation I called Rik's little sister Ana, who was visiting from New Mexico, and asked if she could come help for the two days.  She gladly came and was pageant mom for me.  She did Malia's hair and make-up, and went to the luncheon with her (THANK YOU SO MUCH ANA!!)

(Do you like my armful of math homework we were trying to get done through the performance?)

Because of my lack of involvement I was surprisingly blown away the night of Miss Hillcrest.  I had no idea what to expect, and she was stunning!  She was so poised, and her piano song was near perfect.  I sat in my chair teary-eyed the whole evening.  I was grateful for her loud cheering section in the audience, as I could barely get a squeak out.  Malia's platform had to do with WORK.  During her interview she expressed how important it is for youth of today to learn to work.  She focused on helping teens find and keep a job.  When I asked her why that's what she wanted to focus on, she told me that's what our family does.  We work hard, no matter what we are doing, and she was more than comfortable talking about how much working hard has helped her in her life.  Thank you so much to everyone who helped, sponsored, supported, cheered, interviewed, and made this a memorable experience for her!!

Way to Be Tough Kayden!

You may have noticed I didn't mention Kayden in my "Halloween" post. He dressed up in a bow tie to run a full marathon in the Provo Halloween Marathon.  I am so grateful he is tough!  He ran a 1/2 marathon a few weeks before his full, and ran so many miles training for both marathons.  And while he ran tons training, he didn't necessarily eat or sleep good (unless you count pop tarts and jerky....)  He told me once that is is doing the "freshman negative 15," because preparing food stinks!  Every time I talk to him he tells me he's starving!  The first weekend in November Kayden came home to finish up his mission papers.  He had his wisdom teeth pulled that weekend, but I still wanted to feed him as much as I could while he was home.  Rik and I wanted to take him out for lunch the day after his teeth were pulled.  We were thinking Mrs. Powell's or Geraldine's so we could have soup..... Kayden insisted on Billman's.  And when I pointed out that eating half a cow might be hard with his mouth a little swollen and sore, he told me he didn't care if he even chewed the food, he would just suck on it and swallow it whole.  So we went to Billman's where I watched him eat and fully loaded french dip sandwich (I don't even know how he got his mouth around it!), and two baskets of fries.  I am so grateful he's tough though.  He's surviving just fine at college on very little sleep and very little food.  He didn't use any pain medicine after his teeth were pulled (and had hardly any swelling).  The day after his marathon (he got 5th overall and 3rd in his age group cause he's awesome) he was really stiff and sore, but was asked to deliver Ensigns to the boys in his ward.  He said it was up and down stairs the whole time, and took his hours longer than it should have because it hurt so much!

Here's Kayden and his Aunt Tashina right before the marathon.  Have I mentioned that I am so unbelievably grateful that he has family so close.  Every now and again I feel like Kayden might need some "mom-ing," but am too far away to do it myself, so I just send a few texts, and know that he is all taken care of.  (Thanks SO much!!)

I am grateful that Kayden has had an opportunity to go to college.  And I am grateful that he's all the way in Provo.  It has given me a chance to get used to the idea of him gone.  He's been fine, and I've been fine.  Kayden's mission call in no longer at Church Headquarters, and is in the mail.  Because of the time he's had away at school, I am strangely at peace with him leaving on his mission.  I actually get more flustered with the nuts and bolts of the mission than the actual mission itself.  The thoughts of mission shopping, Christmas shopping, the December calendar, and working our millions of jobs brings on small bouts of anxiety.  But I am so excited for him!  I was also grateful he had to come home to finish his papers.  I absolutely loved having him home.  So proud of him!

Halloween 2012

We are thankfully on Thanksgiving break, so I thought I would add a "Thankful" spin on these few blog posts.  First off I'm thankful that the kids all wanted to use things we already had in a new, creative way this year for Halloween costumes.

Malia wanted to use her "minion" overalls from last year to be Luigi.  All her friends made plans to dress up as characters from Mario Party.  So fun!

McKay (or should I say, Will from Ranger's Apprentice) wanted to use his black clothes, sword, and bow and arrows (he had to do a cake book report for school.  He did it on Ranger's Apprentice, so we made a round cake with a bulls eye frosted on the top and and arrow going into the cake right in the middle... so he had the bow and extra arrows from that project.)  But I was grateful that my mom made him the most perfect "Ranger's Apprentice" cloak.  He LOVES the cloak.  He would be outside playing, then curl up in a ball with his cloak, and yell at me to see if I could see him.  (If you haven't read the books.... what are you waiting for???)

Anaya wanted to be a blue butterfly.  I think her costume has less to do with the "butterfly" and more to do with the "eyelashes."  We used her dance recital costume, a shirt she had in her closet that matched perfectly, got some matching wings, and EYELASHES.

Taisha wanted to be a French artist (said with a French accent).  We had everything in the house for this costume.  Can I just say she is so easy. And I'm not just talking about her Halloween costume.  

I'm also grateful for teenagers that really wanted to "take the kids trick or treating" in the neighborhood, because they knew the neighbors would give them candy as well.  This was the group on Halloween night.  They all had a blast, and came home with tons of candy.  (Incidentally, we just found a small stash of Halloween candy behind a bookshelf downstairs in the basement with little teeny bites taken out of each one.... apparently we have a mouse with a sweet tooth... ew!!!)

(YUMMY!!  Do you see that bowl of candy corn and peanuts??  So grateful the school I work at introduced me to that combination.... SO yummy!!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Yellowstone and the Cabin

We had so much fun at the cabin this year! We went with my parents, and my sister Karissa and her kids. We spent Friday at the cabin, Saturday in Yellowstone, and Sunday drove up to Sawtelle Peak, stopped at Mesa Falls and fed the fish at Sweet Water. SO fun!! As an added bonus, it was cool, but there was no snow, the van didn't get stuck while driving up Sawtelle Peak, AND the food tasted good this time!

While we were at the cabin, there were a few changes announced.  First there was this:

Tyler Murphy is a returned missionary.  We kind of all had ideas how long Kristen would wait for Kayden (three years is a long time), but no one guessed she wouldn't even make it through the first quarter of school.  Oh well, I guess it's better to get that out of the way before Kayden leaves on his mission (the other night Kayden told me the whole thing sucks.  He's hurt, mad, and misses her like crazy all at the same time.  *sniff*)  Speaking of missions though, with the change in missionary ages, Kayden started his paperwork.  His papers will be done November 4th (after his wisdom teeth get pulled that weekend), and he's ready to go as soon as this semester is over.  He spoke in church today, and he and his roommates and FHE sisters did the musical number.  He was recently called as the Elder's Quorum 1st counselor.  He's still running too.  He did his first 1/2 marathon a few weeks ago, and is running his first full marathon next weekend in Orem.  I'm excited to have him home for the following weekend and spoil him a bit (except for that whole wisdom teeth part.)  We've missed him around here!

Homecoming 2012

Here's a few highlights from Malia's first dance.

Colton asked her with some really lively goldfish.  They are still alive, and are some of the funniest fish I have ever seen (they kind of remind me of puppies, if that makes any sense!)

This is Malia's dress that we got for $15 in Utah.  She LOVES the dress. Because a few members of her group had things going on the day of the dance, the decided to do the day date later (it was last weekend.)  That, along with the fact that Malia didn't want to have her hair or makeup professionally done, meant we had a really relaxing day and could take lots of pictures.  

Room Re-do's

When Kayden moved out, we did a little bit of bedroom changes. I think they turned out great!  Anaya moved into Taisha's room.  We added this art display cable from IKEA so Anaya can hang whatever art she wants, and it she doesn't want to hang anything, you can barely see it.  We also added a custom closet (that we should have done when Taisha was in the room.)

We have got lots and lots of bows, flowers, feathers, headbands and other hair accessories.  When I was trying to figure out how and where to store them, I came up with this idea.  I took the door off the hinges, stapled some grosgrain ribbon to the top and bottom, and side to side, and then clipped all the hair things to it.  For the headbands, I got the Command hooks that are made for extension cords. The best part is that it is on the back of the door, so you can't even see it when the door is open.

McKay's room had a huge transformation.  We took the bunk beds down, painted the walls grey, moved some of Kayden's furniture up, printed up and framed some of his favorite fictional characters and added some new bedding (McKay's favorite color is red, this was the only bedding I could find that incorporated the furniture colors and red.)  The pictures are Harry Potter, Batman, Link, the Legend of Korra characters, some of the Marvel heroes, and Will from the Ranger's Apprentice books.

And then Rik made him this fancy sword/bow/wand/air-bending-staff holder thing. I love it!  McKay's room is very "McKay," and most importantly, he loves it!

Taisha moved into Kayden's room.  I painted it orange, hated it, primed it and painted it this pretty blue color (thanks for helping mom!), and then we did everything else in black and white (Taisha's favorite colors.)  We got this picture ledge from IKEA.

Memory boxes from Micheal's and the thing above her bed was from Ross.

Rik and I made her a padded bulletin board to go above her desk (it's covered in Young Women hand-outs now.)

Rik also re-purposed an old mirror frame into another magnet board for Malia's room.  The rooms all turned out so good (better in person than in my pictures.)