Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rome wasn't built in a day...


That was the score today in Mike Jr's first official football game of the season. His team was unstoppable as they sacked, intercepted, and drove their way down the field for a total of 6 touchdowns. I have to say that honestly, watching these 11 year olds was much more fun than any professional game I have ever seen on TV! (And that includes last years awesome Superbowl...Giants Vs. Patriots!) It has been a brilliant experience to see these kids go from looking like they were going to pass out on the field at the first practice, to dominating the field with strength and endurance today. I was super proud of ALL of them!

The coaching staff of Mike's team is made up of a father and two sons, the Lisonbee family. I just cannot even begin to say enough good things about these guys. I have had the opportunity to watch quite a few other teams practice and play during the past month, and I am extremely impressed with Mike's coaches and their tactics with Mike's team. I can only hope he is lucky enough to have many coaches like them in the future, because they are certainly not the norm from what I have witnessed.

Mike is currently playing on the offensive line, which means he is getting quite a lot of time on the field. Although this is his first year playing, he has been successful in blocking and barrelling over whoever is put in front of him. If you ask him about his motivation, he will simply tell you, "I just pretend that it is DeAnna there and I just go after them!" (Nice to see all that brotherly-sisterly arguing produces something positive now and then!)

"Sous-coach" (Mike Sr) is well known among all the parents and kids due to his very vociferous nature. Today he was given the job of holding one of the first down markers at the side of the field, (which I personally think they did just to keep him out of the way), but do you think that kept him from screaming and shouting encouragement to the team from the sidelines? Noooooooo. It is official, he is the loudest parent on the field! (DeAnna and I just sit waaaaaaaaaay away from him and pretend we don't know him.) Everyone else on the other hand just seems to love him. One of the team manager moms even made a point of coming up to me at the game to tell me how much they all just ADORE him! Go figure!

All in all, for any of you out there considering putting your kid in football in the future, I would give it a thumbs up so far... I won't lie to you, most of the month of August is a little rough with the every day practices and such, but once you get through that and into the three times a week practices, it becomes more manageable.

Some of the good things that happen when you put your kid in football:

  • They don't eat so much junk... but not because of anything you have said... it is only because coach said so
  • There are no more late Friday night sleepovers in your basement... because Saturday is game day
  • The coach tells them that respecting their parents (and siblings), doing their homework and keeping their room clean are their first priorities... and if mom reports otherwise, they can't play
  • They are too exhausted... to be ornery
  • They have enough energy to run up and down the stairs when you need them to :)
  • You get extra love and props for showing up at their games


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's no use crying over spilt milk...

... but that's because milk is white! What if it is spilt Cafe Rio dressing (bright green), or better yet, spilt ketchup? Jenna and I went to lunch today and talked about this exact thing when I barely missed dripping fry sauce down my white t-shirt. We have all done it! Spilt something down our shirts while eating and then felt like a heel until we got home and changed our clothes.

Mike and I went on our very first date to a pizza parlor where he tried to talk me in to dipping my pizza in ketchup. I thought he was a little weird for suggesting that, but as I thought more about what I put ketchup on... fries, hot dogs, hamburgers... it made sense that I should at least try it. (After all, what is pizza but bread with cheese and some toppings? Not far from a hamburger really!)

I shook up the ketchup (because in my opinion, there is not much that is grosser than when the ketchup separates), and popped open the top. Next thing I know, I have bright red ketchup all over the front of my nice WHITE sweater. I am happy to inform you that I did not cry. In fact, I laughed... (What else can you do in this situation... it definitely could have been worse, I could have SAT in ketchup in WHITE pants), and Mike laughed with me and the rest is history. The spilt ketchup did not ruin my chances of winning the heart of the hottest man on the planet... so in hind sight, it would have been pretty silly to cry over it!

This past Friday Mike & I took the kids out to get some school supplies/clothes and we ended up at Cafe Rio... our favorite place to eat by the way! I had my normal Fire Grilled Steak Salad loaded with everything... including the very calorie ridden, green creamy tomatillo dressing. (Mmmmm... I am hungry just thinking about it!) As luck would have it, I once again dropped the dressing down my nice white t-shirt. I tried to scrub it out with napkins and water, but to no avail!

We were in the car, (and the stain was seriously bugging me because we still had some school shopping to do), when Mike remembered that he had put a tide pen in my car for just such an occasion! (What gives you the impression that this happens often?) So I grabbed it and started rubbing it over the stain. Did you know that when a tide pen sits in a hot car for an extended period of time that it goes off? (In other words, it smells like rotten milk.) So now not only did I have a stain, but I stank! When we got to Walmart, I ran to where the perfume was desperately seeking for a tester that I could spray on myself to mask the horrible odor. As luck would have it, I picked up a cheap imitation perfume, but by the time I had realized that it too smelled really bad, (and really strong), I had already sprayed it all over my shirt! Only then did DeAnna point out that I was wearing a light jacket which I could have just zipped up over the stain in the first place. (Thanks DeAnna! You are really helpful!) :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Necessity is the mother of invention...

I had a minor surgery on my toe yesterday which means it has to stay dry for a couple of days. That left me in a bit of a predicament... after all, there is NO WAY I am not taking a shower every day! Ugh!

Mike and I brainstormed several different methods for me to get clean. Here is what we came up with:
  1. Baby wipe bath? (No thanks! We reserve this only for emergencies... like girls camp.)

  2. Stand one leg in and one leg out of the shower? (Hello, this does not keep your foot dry!)

  3. Put your foot in a plastic bag and tourniquet it to your ankle with a rubber band? (Do I even need to explain why this would not be such a great idea?)

  4. Sit in the bath with one leg over the side?

I'm not a big fan of sitting in a pool of your own filth, but this seemed like the most logical, least accident prone method. Not to mention, I knew I could do the "fill the tub, drain the tub, re-fill the tub, and use fresh water running from the tap with a cup to wash my hair" thing!

I have to admit it was a little tricky and not very glamorous, but it was feasible and got the job done. However, there were a couple of lessons I learned that I figured I may as well pass along... just in case you find yourself in a similar predicament sometime in the future!

  1. Make sure you always shave before you go to the doctor. Trust me when I say it's much harder to do with one leg hanging over the side of the tub.

  2. Remember, the hot water in your water heater does eventually run out, especially if you are emptying and re-filling the tub, so let the kids take their shower first.

  3. Don't forget when you get in that you will also have to get out of the tub...

  4. Make sure you have towels in the bathroom BEFORE getting in.

  5. Contrary to what everyone tells you, DO NOT leave the door unlocked in case of emergency. Someone WILL come in! They can break down the door on the minuscule chance that you have some kind of problem. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words...

For any technically challenged people out there...

you need to press the play button :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Things aren't always what they seem...

My hubby is not a wimpy looking guy. At 6 feet tall and 220 pounds, a weight lifter and trained in martial arts, he can be a bit overwhelming, (if you don’t know what a teddy bear he really is). Needless to say, he really isn’t afraid of much.

So imagine my surprise the first time I went on a kiddie ferris wheel with him at Six Flags back when the kids were babies and discovered he was afraid of heights. (I don’t know what gave me that impression… maybe it was the fact that he was holding onto the bar with his head buried in his lap!) Needless to say, I was thoroughly entertained by this new revelation, and it has been a source of mischief for me throughout our marriage.

Today we went to Park City for the day with the Edwards Family. One of the things they wanted to do was the alpine slide, which I was excited about… I have always wanted to do it! Mike also thought it looked like a lot of fun… until he realized that we had to ride the ski lift up in order to slide back down!

At first he didn’t want to do it, but after some roguish guilt tripping on my part, (“oh sweetie, the kids will be so sad if you don’t come up and do this with us! You have to come”), he actually agreed. :)

Well we all got on the ski lift together, but being that it was our first time, we did not realize that there was a bar behind us that we could pull down. (Oops). So there we are hanging mid air on a bench with nothing holding us on the seat, and Mike is looking quite green. Wouldn’t you know, it turns out Mike Jr also does not like heights! (Like father, like son.) So the two of them are clutching on to each other while DeAnna and I are snapping pictures and enjoying the view.

“Oh look, there is a bar here to pull down” I announced as I turned around to take a picture of the view behind us. “DON’T MOVE” Mike yells at the kids as both of them go to grab it. “Pet, can you reach the bar?” he asks with one hand wrapped tightly around the arm rest, and the other wrapped around Mike. Um, yeah. I think I can manage to pull that down. (I’m trying really hard not to laugh at this point… just for the sake of him retaining the kids’ respect.)

Once the bar was down, everyone was a little calmer… there was a brief moment of panic when the ski lift suddenly stopped mid-air, but we were back moving within 30 seconds or so.

I have to say that amidst my amusement, I did enjoy watching the two boys support each other through their trial… I even managed to take a snapshot of the tender moment.

My only regret is that I did not buy the photograph at the top of the mountain that was taken on the ride… DeAnna and I were posing with our arms and legs sprawled in the air, but in contrast on the other side of the lift, Mike & Mike were huddled together with their heads buried in their chests.

I can report that the slide down the mountain was well worth the slight trauma that was experienced on the way up… and Mike did say that he would do it all again… “as long as you remember to put the bar in front of me next time.”

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A penny saved is a penny earned...

Have you ever been to the *Salt Lake County Fair? I have to say, I was really expecting it to be a bit... bigger? We live in a seriously beautiful farming state after all! (Well at least compared to Maryland, whose Montgomery County Fair was at LEAST ten times bigger than this one.) I guess you could pretty safely say that I was a tad disappointed!

There was however, ONE redeeming quality to this fair that made the entire morning worthwhile, (at least in my eyes), and that was getting to meet and listen to THE GROCERY GURU :)

If you don't know who The Grocery Guru is, then you either don't live in Utah, or you don't like to save money... this guy is seriously awesome! He has my dream job... he takes about 100 people shopping each week (in groups of 4-6) and shows them how they can cut their grocery bill by at least 50% by shopping the sales combined with coupons. (Now bear in mind here, that the primary purpose here is to save money, not to eat super-healthy, so you are not going to be buying a whole lot of fresh fruit and veggies on your trip with him, but you CAN build up your food store a bit.)

Well the fair was almost two weeks ago, so why am I writing about it now you ask????

Because TODAY I went shopping with Ken! (No his given name is not really "The Grocery Guru", shocking isn't it?) All you have to do is call him on a Friday afternoon and leave him a message letting him know what area you live in and he will call you back on Monday letting you know when and where he will be in your area that week. You don't have to bring a thing... (he cuts all the coupons out for you)... all you have to do is show up, fill your basket with the things he tells you to, (leaving out anything you don't want or wouldn't use), and pay for it all at the end.

I got about $140 dollars worth of groceries and by the end of it all, it cost me about $38 plus tax. (That is a 72% savings off of the shelf prices.)

That did include ten dollars worth of boneless, skinless chicken breast which I usually stock up on and get a bit cheaper when Smith's has their frozen bags on half price. It also included 8, yes I said 8 boxes of Fiber One bars, which are not my favorite thing to buy, (if you lived with my two boys, you would feel the same way), but all in all, it was a most excellent adventure!

Thank you Mr. Grocery Guru. You are the man!!!!
(If YOU want to shop with The Grocery Guru, or just find out more about his program, click here !)

(*Note: Word on the street is that there are other fairs during the Summer in Utah that are much better than this one... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

There's more than one way to skin a cat...

The Monte L. Bean Life Science museum at the BYU campus can be described in one word: Cool! (Well, once you get over the whole "these were once real live animals that are now dead and stuffed" thing.)

Why is it so fun you may ask? Well what could be more entertaining than walking around posing with or pretending you ARE the animals????


I don't know why I find this one so amusing...

DeAnna with an ACTUAL cougar... not the ones in her imagination.

(She swears that since we live on the mountain, these things prowl around our neighborhood!)

Way to go Miss Dee, stare your fears right in the face!

I have to say that Michael got the most into this... I took tons of pics of him imitating the animals with no prompting at all... he was seriously, a hoot! (I am not sure how amused the museum employees were with us, but hey, qué será, será.)

This last picture is really just to show Nana that just like everyone else in Utah, (except for her), we too have seen a moose... granted it's a dead moose, but it IS none-the-less, a moose. :)

(***Thanks Ruthanne for telling us about this place :)***)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You get what you pay for...

$2 Tuesday's at the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point sounded like an excellent idea... after all, $8 for a family of four compared to $40? (How much it would cost on an ordinary day.) That's just too good to pass up right??? You be the judge...

You might want to go to the Museum of Ancient Life on $2 Tuesday's IF:
  • Standing in line for a couple of hours excites you

  • You wish you were a sardine

  • You own stock in hand sanitizer

  • You have no feeling in your feet (thus not minding if hundreds of strollers roll over your toes)

The line was SO long when we got there, that we actually decided to go and drive through American Fork Canyon for a couple of hours first:

However, we did eventually end up back at the museum. The lines to get in weren't quite so long in the afternoon, but once inside we were still packed like sardines in a crushed tin box. (The things we do for our kids!)

Monday, August 11, 2008

All's well that ends well...

...and what better way to end a LONG day of shopping than with a burger, fries, and shake from Fudd's!!

DeAnna, Harry (cousin), Mike, George (cousin)

My HOT hubby!

Goofy :)


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Great oaks from little acorns grow... (for some!)

My really good friend Ruthanne planted a flower garden a few months ago. We just happened to drop by as they were working on it and I was super excited because I have ALWAYS wanted to plant flowers outside our home, but I... well, to put it nicely... I REALLY don't have a green thumb! (In fact, some would go as far as to say, I have the red thumb of death.)

Anyway, I was so happy for the opportunity to pick her brain about the kinds of plants that she was planting and how they grew... I even watched her plant them so I knew how far apart to put them etc... Needless to say, I went out the very next night and spent about $30 on Petunias, (a pretty safe bet as they supposedly spread like wildfire), to plant around our front yard.

Well... here we are about three months later... and here is a picture I took of Ruthanne's beautiful Petunias this morning when we went to their home for breakfast...

... and HERE is a picture of my Petunias, (which you must remember, were planted just a day or two after Ruthanne's.) DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!!

Pathetic aren't they??

All is not lost though! A few weeks before the whole Petunia thing, I did actually buy some 10 cent seeds from Walmart.

Mike and I had a slightly heated discussion about the seeds, because I REALLY wanted red and yellow marigolds, but he was adamant that we were not having any Redskin colored flowers in our yard. As usual he won, so I ended up buying seeds for plain yellow marigolds.

The kids and I planted the seeds and almost forgot about them, but look what eventually popped up!

The picture doesn't do them justice, but yes, those are red and gold marigolds... much to Mike's dismay. (One of my kids must have planted this particular seed due to the fact that it actually grew.)

The good news is that Mike has not ripped them out of the ground. (I think he just feels sorry for me because the rest of the flowers look so dang sad.)

Kind of ironic that the 10 cent seeds were the ones that turned out the best, isn't it? (Bless my hubby for trying to convince me that we must have contaminated soil.)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The British are coming, the British are coming...!!!

Yet another installment of family has arrived in Utah. Fiona, Steve, George and Harry are here for a month! Woohoo!

True to form, my husband has already started teaching the new kids on the block all of his tricks. Did you know that you can make very genuine farting sounds by putting a straw under you arm in just the right position and blowing through the other end? It's true!

Furthermore, the straw can be inconspicuously hidden under your shirt with just the small end protruding out for a more authentic looking experience.

After just a quick practice, the boys were ready to try out their new found skills on the public. As we all walked around the Walmart at Jordan Landing, little did we know that the boys were walking down isles, bending over to pick things up off the lower shelves, and discreetly blowing through the straws as unsuspecting customers walked by. It was reported that they received many Ohhhhh's and Ewwww's until their horrified mother put a stop to it all.

We really wish we could have had a hidden camera to share with you the shocked expressions of the unsuspecting victims during this escapade, but alas, you will have to settle for the late show which was performed especially for Nana and Pops at the mission home.

The public thanks you sweetie!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Better safe than sorry...

So while the two boys were at boys camp this week, DeAnna (who was originally delighted at the prospect of "Girls Night Out" for a few days), quickly realized that she felt much more safe and secure with Dad around to protect us. (Ha! All hail Bee-Slayer!!!!)

I first sensed her fear when she pulled a huge kitchen knife out of the drawer and asked me to take it upstairs "in case someone broke in." I politely declined that request and reassured her that if someone came in I would just wait unseen at the top of the stairs and simply push them down the stairs then go and beat the crap out of them.

For some reason, this was not good enough for her. She insisted that I put something against the front door so that we could at least HEAR them coming in. (Where she would get the idea that someone breaking in would actually come in through the front door, I really don't know, but... whatever!)

Anyway, I am happy to report that no-one actually tried to break in to the house, and we are now most grateful to have the notorious BEE-SLAYER back from camp to watch over us.

I love you honey. :)

The bigger they are, the harder they fall...

Mike (Sr) camping? HA! I sure wish I could have been a fly on that tent!

The first time Mike went camping was with my family just before we got married. He and Dad shared one room of the tent while Jenna and I shared the other with Mum. When we talk about that trip the thing we all reminisce and have a good chuckle about is Mike waking up one morning to find himself in a puddle of water inside of the tent. All of us were completely dry, but he and his sleeping bag were practically floating. The sweetest thing about it all was that he didn't want to disturb anyone... so he just sat there on the wet sleeping bag twiddling his thumbs with his legs crossed until we all woke up. What a trooper!

Other than the father/son camp out now and then, (which is just one night), he has not done any serious camping EVER. So needless to say, I was excited for him and Mike (Jr) to have a few days together in the wild with Jesse Johnson and the other scouts in our ward. :)

Everyone at camp knew that Mike (Jr) took a bit of a nasty spill while they were there. He bruised himself up a bit when he was playing man hunt, and tripped over a rock.

What the other campers were not aware of though, (unless of course they are now reading this post... sorry dear), was that Mike (Sr) had an accident while he was at camp too! He was chopping wood with the axe, and missed the wood completely. He did not however miss his knee cap, and the axe sliced all the way through his pants and put quite a large gash in his knee.

Mike, not wanting to draw any attention to the fact that he is a non-camper who doesn't even know how to chop wood correctly, (don't worry sweetie, I will ask Krista Marler to give you lessons... she was our super wood-cutter at girls camp, and I am positive SHE knows the correct stance for chopping wood), walked quietly away from the view of any of the other campers and treated himself inconspicuously with the first aid kit in the back of our car. It was not until the ride home later that afternoon that he confessed to Mike and Sala what he had done. Personally, I was just completely relieved that it wasn't any worse than it was!

They did in the end have a wonderful time eating dutch oven dinners, listening to ghost stories and playing manly games. (Ar, Ar, Ar.) Nevertheless, I can report that Mike (Sr) did say he wouldn't be signing up to go camping again any time in the near future!