Archive for June 2012


June 21, 2012

You may have noticed that I didn’t post my regular “It’s Gotta Go… ” yesterday. It was on purpose. WHY I skipped it, I’ll let you know in the next few days (when I have a few minutes to sit down and compose). But have a little look at this… if I HAD posted, this is what it would have been about. My head isn’t big enough to contain the huge eye roll that ensued when I saw this story. Really people? This is what you’re worried about? Vagina, vagina, vagina! THAT probably gave you a heart attack! | News – Top Stories – Lingerie Boutique Owner Battles Store Window Criticism.

The Good, The Bad, and The Chocolate Brownies

June 18, 2012

Yesterday started off good, except that I woke up really early (which is always pretty lame when I CAN sleep in). But that changed pretty quickly. I got a call around 9 a.m. from my oldest, who was at his dad’s for the weekend. When I missed the call that came on our home phone, and then he quickly dialed my cell, I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right.

There had been a fire at his dad’s house. While there wasn’t too much damage and everyone got out of the house, the kids were pretty freaked out. Not everyone escaped unscathed. The kids dad had been injured in his successful attempt at putting out the fire. Injured enough that he was taken by ambulance to the hospital and had to have surgery to repair 2 severed arteries and a damaged muscle, as well as have other injuries stitched up. I do have to give a shout out to Ian and Cooper, who were the ones who smelled the smoke, discovered the fire, and alerted their dad. Everyone else was still asleep, and if the boys hadn’t done exactly as they’ve been taught, who knows what would have happened. They are heroes!

I will admit it did cross my mind that I was glad that I wasn’t still in that house and in that situation, and it really wasn’t my problem. However, some of the most important members of my family WERE there, and those 3 people ARE my priority and responsibility. I didn’t hesitate to get in my car and “rescue” my children as soon as I hung up the phone. When I drove over to the house to get the kids, 2 of the 3 burst into tears as soon as they saw me. Have you ever been through something traumatic, but kept it all together UNTIL you see a certain someone, and then the floodgates open. It was hard to see the fear in the kids eyes. Especially Emma. She was so scared by what had happened, and was so worried about her dad. I was just happy that my babies were OK, and that I could be there for them. Even though I knew they were OK, I couldn’t relax on the drive over to the house until they were safe in my arms.

We took all 5 of the kids to lunch and to play miniature golf. While I know it’s not the Father’s Day afternoon that had been planned and anticipated, and all didn’t go as planned nor was it ideal, this was kind of an emergency, and my kids really needed their mom.

Long story short, their dad will be OK (after a few weeks of recovery), and I think the fear and shock for the kids has started to wear off. BUT, I haven’t talked about the good part yet!

We were having everyone (think 18 people) over to our house for a Father’s Day dinner. My dad’s ribs (seriously, some of the best I’ve ever had), fresh scones that my mom made in the backyard, twice baked potatoes and some yummy salads were what I call an awesome banquet. The brownies covered in marshmallow and caramel… heaven. Let’s just say that I don’t think anyone went to bed hungry.

The food was amazing, but watching all of the kids run around and play together was my favorite part. And it wouldn’t be a summer party at our house without an impromptu water fight. The best was watching my 2 year old nephew wield the hose and soak all of his cousins. And thanks to Greg, water balloons helped in the wet and wild fun :).

If nothing else, yesterday reminded me of what is most important in life… family. We are there for each other during traumas, when we’re scared, and when life isn’t going great. But we also get to share the best of times together. Whatever the circumstances, we’ve got each others backs and we get to experience life’s highs and lows together. And I wouldn’t want to live this life any other way.

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Father’s Day

June 17, 2012

Fathers… kind of a big deal. Luckily I’ve got two great dads in my life. My father AND my husband.

I know I’ve said it all before, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

My dad is an amazing man, and is someone who is always there for his family. I can’t tell you how many times he’s bailed me out when I’m in a bind (no, I’ve never actually been to jail). I’m incredibly lucky to have been born to a man who is the definition of honor, generosity, and general awesomeness.

So to my dad… Happy Father’s Day!

And to the other man that gives dads around the world a good name, or puts them to shame…. my husband. Greg is there for his kids no matter what. When I’m all kid’ed out, he’ll spend hours playing games, watching their favorite shows, and spending time with them. I have no doubt that when they’re older, they will have countless memories of what an amazing and involved dad he was.

To my husband, thank you for being an amazing man that our children can look up… a man that will help our girls to know what to look for in a husband, and a man that the boys can look at to see what being a good husband and dad is all about.


Not Cool

June 16, 2012

Last night as I was lying in bed, attempting to recover from a full day in Park City at the Alpine Slide, Greg yelled out from the other room, “There are cops here”. My heart jumped out of my chest for a minute. I mean, I hadn’t done anything wrong, but you never know these days.

I quickly realized that they were looking towards the house next door, and I was relived to know I wasn’t being hauled in for some of my more shameful activities (like watching Real Housewives). The police officer had a leash in his hand, and soon after he arrived, an Animal Control truck showed up as well. OK, it’s about a dog.

I walked into my front yard to see what was going on. When I heard it was about a brown pit bull, I walked right over to the cop and animal control guy. At that moment, they were pulling a frightened male pit bull from behind my neighbors garbage cans. I had seen this little guy before. He was still collarless (idiot owners) and very sweet. He’d wandered into our yard months before and played with Jake.

One thought as I crouched down to try and call over and pet the pooch was that 1) I might get yelled at by the two men for either interfering or putting myself in danger, or 2) get bit. Scared dogs do crazy things. Neither happened. I quickly explained that this dog was friendly and I had seen him before. The pup approached me cautiously and as soon as I started petting him, he wagged his tail and started licking me and the pants of the police man. The two men also seemed to relax and began to pet him when they realized that he wasn’t an attack pit like most. NOT!

This is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to dogs. Pit bulls have such a bad reputation and rap. I owned a pit bull, and he was incredibly sweet! I was nervous before I adopted him, until I did the research.

Did you know

  • Pit bulls have an 86% American Temperament Testing Society passing rate, which if you’re interested in reading about it online, is really good! It’s higher than miniature poodles, beagles, or collies. And a lot of other breeds as well.
  • According to the Humane Society of the United States, pit bulls are the “most abused, misunderstood dog breed”, comprising an estimated 70% of dogs housed and euthanized in urban animal shelters (HSUS).
  • Pit bulls were known in the early 1900’s as “nanny dogs” because they were tolerant and gentle with children. Helen Keller’s dog, “Sir Thomas”, was a pit bull, and so was “Petey”, the canine mascot of the Little Rascals. They are EXCELLENT family dogs, and are extremely loyal.
  • Pit bull bites draw more media attention than bites by other breeds. In a four-day study of dog-bite reportage, the National Canine Research Council found an anti-pit bull media bias. Each of three separate fatal attacks by non-pit bull breeds was mentioned only once or twice in local papers. Comparatively, one non-fatal pit bull attack was covered over 230 times in national and international newspapers, and on major television networks including CNN, MSNBC and FOX.
  • Pit bulls do not have locking jaws. Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia reports no difference between pit bulls’ jaws and those of other breeds.
  • A study by Dr. Brady Barr of National Geographic found the bite pressure (PSI) of a pit bull is less than that of a German Shepherd or Rottweiler.
  • Nearly 50 dogs from Michael Vick’s “Bad Newz Kennels” were released to sanctuaries to be rehabilitated. Despite abuse and torture, some have been successfully adopted (NPR).
  • Dogs are, generally speaking, trainable and controllable because they are intelligent domesticated animals. Pit bulls, likewise, are intelligent and domesticated, and like all dogs, they are obedient, friendly, and handle-able. LawDogs USA, for example, opted to use pit bulls exclusively as drug detection dogs because the organization found pit bulls to be so trainable and eager to please.

The stigma associated with this breed is heart breaking to me. I would love to own another pit, but sadly even the Mr. is nervous about them. All I know is my interactions with almost all pit bulls has been very positive. One barked at me and was kinda scary when I was running one day, but he left me alone. The only time I’ve been bit when running was by a stupid toy poodle that chased me down and bit my leg. Oh yeah, and that one small stupid dog (breed unknown, but I think a poodle type dog)  that bit my finger when I was 4.

As I was talking with the two men, I mentioned what good body condition he had, and it’s obvious he’s taken care of and not a stray. I also said something about how it was weird someone called it in, since dogs wander in and out of our neighborhood all of the time and NEVER has someone from animal control been called. It was obvious to me that a call was made simply because it was a pit bull. The animal control guy seemed annoyed NOT because of the call, but because of how people react to pit bulls, and said that this little guy seemed very sweet and was probably just lost. And that he hoped that this dog has a microchip, otherwise, the likelihood is that he will not be adopted and would be euthanized :(.

DOGS are not bad. Some people who OWN dogs are bad. Because of the pit bulls strength, loyalty and willingness to protect their owners, as well as other characteristics, some have chosen to use those characteristics as a weapon, to fight, or create fear in others. Dogs behaviors are a product of what they’ve been taught, not just a natural instinct.

My own dog, who was beaten and  abused (I hate thinking about it) is a barker. Especially with men. He will run up to a stranger, barking like he’s going to attack, and within about 5 seconds, he’s wagging his tail and licking face. The point is, even my sweet Jake is scarier that this cute pit bull, who was timid and frightened, and NEVER showed any kind of aggression.

I’ll hop down off of my soap box for now, but next time you meet a pit bull, how about assuming that he’s friendly and sweet, which he most likely his. Damn people.



It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

June 13, 2012

During the summertime, I’m all about going barefoot. You’ll find me without shoes in and out… At least inside my home and out in my own yard.

It’s a different story out in public, where I always wear shoes. A rule of thumb: I think that people should wear shoes in public places. I guess I’m old school like that.

Today I took the kids to Target so that they could spend some of the money they got for their grades. While there, I let them stop at the food court for some lunch.

Another family walked in behind us. Four kids, eight little feet, and nary a shoe to be found.

Not only do I find it gross for patrons, but I think its even more gross for the kids! Ringworm, glass, dog poo… things I’m sure can be found on any store floor. It’s not safe or hygienic for anyone. Plus, why would you want the gross germs of the general public breeding on your body?!

Parents: you can be a hippie, laid back, or too cool for school. But please, for the love of all that is holy, please don’t take your kids out in public without shoes. Cuz being barefoot where food is sold or served… It’s gotta go.


June 11, 2012

My sister and her kids are in town for the next couple of weeks. Since she is the only one currently living out of state, we really try to make the most of it when they come into town once a year and get all of the cousins together.

Today we made A LOT of it :). Early this afternoon we headed south to Orem to hit Hang Time, which is a warehouse that is pretty much covered with trampolines. The kids had an absolute blast, and it was organized chaos at it’s best. I was so impressed with all of the tricks that the kids preformed. And watching the big dodge ball fights… hilarious! I even kicked off my flip flops and performed a few flips of my own. The flips were easy, climbing out of the pits of foam…. not so much.

Here are just a few of the photos (the majority were taken on my sister’s camera, so I’ll at her mercy as to when I’ll get those).

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After all of that jumping, the kids were totally beat… Jumping around is a lot of work! After stopping to get a quick drink, it was time to head to our next destination… Planet Play near my home. We armed the kids with individual cards, each containing $15 for them to use for games as well as 2 activities. It’s so funny to see how differently the kids use their card. Some were out of money within an hour. Some still had $10 when it was nearly time to leave. Everyone managed to spend all of their money, earn tickets, and were rewarded with the super awesome prizes found at these types of places.

We also ate dinner at P.P. It’s not the best food I’ve ever eaten, but it’s not bad, and with the deal we got, it was perfect for our large group.

Before ending the evening, of course a few sleep overs had to be arranged. Ian is spending a few days with his cousins in Logan, and Charlotte (my sister in law) kindly stopped by our house so that he could pack a bag. While we were there, the kids AND Charlotte wanted me to get Sammy (our almost 6-foot python) out so they could hold him. All of the kids had a turn, and as always, Sammy was a perfect gentleman.

You may not remember, but a few years back my cute niece Lizzy was bit by a rattlesnake. You can read about it here, here and here. It was serious and very scary. Luckily she survived and there have been no lasting physical effects. But I’ve always wondered about how she would be affected mentally and emotionally. This picture should give you an idea:

I LOVE how resilient kids are.

We’ve still got quite a few plans for the rest of the week. I know that the kids will have so much fun spending time with their cousins, and I am pretty sure I will survive :).


June 10, 2012

Forgive me for not posting on Thursday as promised. OK, I didn’t really PROMISE, but I said I would, and I didn’t. I was waiting for some pictures to go along with my post… still waiting, so I figure it’s better to trudge ahead without instead of get even further behind.

I mentioned that I was one proud mama. Proud because Tuesday and Wednesday, after receiving all of the kids report cards, it’s evident that we’ve got some smart kiddos. Everyone did awesome! A big thumbs up to Emma, who got straight A’s ALL YEAR!

Riley also got straight A’s, and the other 3 kiddos ALMOST got there… all A’s but except for 1 B. Grandpa Jimbo pays for A’s, and came over Thursday afternoon to reward the kids for their sheer awesomeness.

When I became a mother 12 years ago, the thought of having a child in Jr. High seemed so far into the future that it didn’t seem real. Wednesday morning at Ian’s 6th grade “Celebration”, I can’t believe how fast those 12 years have gone by. JR. HIGH! I can’t believe it.

Lately I’m struggling trying to figure out what is right or appropriate when it comes to a kid who is turning into a young man. I can feel Ian approaching these apron strings with some seriously sharp scissors. In some ways I’m excited for him. Wanting to spend time with his friends and being more independent is what’s supposed to happen, right? But finding the balance between being a smart, responsible, and cautious mom AND letting my kid grow up is weird. I’m sure I’ll figure it out at some point. Until then, hopefully I won’t smother my child too much!

We’re enjoying these first few days without school, and kicked it off with a camping trip this weekend (which I’ll detail more at a later date). I have a lovely cold which decided to join my sinuses and lungs the day after school got out, but I’m determined to enjoy this week regardless.


It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

June 6, 2012

I’m filled with a lot of pride (the why, I’ll get to tomorrow), so sticking to my Wednesday’s post might be tough. I’ll suffer through it.

Today, let’s get to the not-so-awesome stuff. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that the subject of today has to do with shopping.

While at the grocery store, it’s OK to move your cart to one side of the aisle. In fact, it’s encouraged! the choices of pasta sauces, instant potatoes, and shaving creme can be overwhelming. So many choices, so few brain cells. But often time is not on my hands, and waiting behind your centered cart and self until you select the product of your dreams… it does not fit into my schedule.

Again, it’s nice to have some awareness of your surroundings and the people around you. If someone is trying to get by you, whether it’s at the store, driving, or a the theater… get out of the way! You may not be thanked for it, but you won’t be cursed.

Shopping block with your cart… it’s gotta go.