Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Santa???

This year Sarah learned the secret about Santa. She was kind of sad for a while as she thought about it. But then we talked about how it is our duty to keep the spirit of Santa alive in what we can do for others and how it is part of growing up. I got this story in my e-mail today that helps tell the story of how we can be Santa. I really liked it, so thought I would share:

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her. On the way, my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her
"world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted .... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it! That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my
neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat.

I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down."Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.

Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

He's coming

Yesterday at work. The big boss was coming. Not the manager, or my manager's boss, but the big cheese, the owner of all the restaurants in our network. We didn't know when he was going to show up, he was just coming sometime that day. Needless to say, my General manager was in a tizzy trying to get everything cleaned just right and have signs up the way they were supposed to be, and make sure that everything was done the way it should have been so that she wouldn't get in trouble. As we were scrambling around, cleaning, etc. while still trying to take care of customers and do our other regular tasks, I got to thinking. (uh oh)
We knew that the boss was coming and we were fast preparing, but how much less scrambling would we have had to do, if all those tasks were taken care of on a regular basis. What if the signage that was supposed to be up, was already up? We wouldn't have had to be searching the store to try to find them. What if all things were already clean the way they were supposed to be?
I got to thinking about this and compared it to the 2nd Coming of Christ. We know He is coming, but we don't know when. It is soon, though. Are we prepared? Do we have our lives clean the way they are supposed to be? Are we living so we don't have to do a mad dash cleaning up and repenting at the end? Will He be able to look at us and say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant?" He's coming. Are we ready? Am I ready?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Its December already??

O.K., I guess I'll write about November then.
Richard & I had a chance to go see some Community Theatre that I wasn't in. It was fun to just go see a play. On the 14th, we saw 'K-O-L-D Radio-Whitefish Bay' in Clear Lake. It was about a small town, northern Minnesota Radio Station whose main show was about crappie fishing. Fairly local humor, and you definitely came out speaking in that Iron Range accent, you betcha.
The next night we went to Turtle Lake High School and saw 'Hello Dolly'. It was a high school production and was very well done. The gal who played Dolly was very talented. I wish our high school would do things like that with our kids, but no one seems to want to put in the effort, including the kids. sigh. So we do community theatre instead.
We had our Primary Sacrament meeting program on the 16th. Our pianist was sick, so I ended up filling in as pianist for the program. At least I knew the songs. The kids all did a good job. It was Michael's last program.
Daniel got his Bobcat badge at the pack meeting on the 20th.

I sang at a ladies luncheon with my friend on the 22nd.
On the 26th, the kids got out of school early. We had the missionaries over for dinner. Later that night, Alisha, Emily, Richard & I went to see Twilight.
Thanksgiving Day. It was just us. We hung around the house, I made food (for several days before) and we ate.

Several of us were fighting colds (and are still fighting them, may I add...grr) so it was a fairly quiet day. Alisha did spend the morning serving at a Thanksgiving Dinner at a local church and the rest of us were watching for a girl from Clear Lake who was in the All American Marching Band at the end of the Macy's Parade. In the afternoon we went to the movies. Some saw Quantum of Solace and Sarah, Daniel & I saw Bolt. Bolt is REALLY cute!! I highly recommend it!
I sang 'The Lord's Prayer' at church on Sunday.
Then the cold which I had been avoiding really hit me Sunday night. sniff.
Have a great December!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Our Halloween Activities started last week. The Cub Scouts & Girl Scouts (there are a couple of us on both committees) had a combined Halloween Party at the school. I went as Sarah Palin, and caused a stir among the Democrats in attendance. Sarah went as a cat, Daniel as Spiderman, Michael, a wizard, and Alisha & Emily came along to help with face painting & other activities.

Halloween Day was a lot of fun too. The kids had the day off school. Richard took the day off, and had them help around the house during the day. I had to work. Or rather, Sarah Palin had to work at McDonald's. :-) Some people wished me luck on Tuesday. If I saw them whispering & pointing from a distance, I would wink & point at them. I think I have the employee costume contest nailed (pictures were taken with voting to be later). :-)

That night, Alisha & Emily went to a party at a friend's house. Richard dressed as my secret service agent & we took Michael, Sarah & Daniel out Trick-or-Treating. John stayed home. This time Sarah went as a goth 50s girl, though she said she was also being Piper Palin. It was about 45 degrees, so they lasted about 1 hour, though that was plenty of time to pull in a good haul!

Then we went & filled up the car at $2.29 a gallon. This morning I saw in the next town that it was $2.19! We filled up for less than $40! It has been a long time since that happened!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween time!

Having fun with the kids, we had a Halloween theme dinner tonight.

Sarah & Daniel helped me with making the mummies

the witch's hair is spaghetti squash

Sarah made the green meanies

And Alisha made our Blue Goo Cupcakes.

Afterwards, we all carved pumpkins. I waited until too late to get the $2 pumpkins from the farmers' stands, instead, I went shopping TODAY and had to pay $5 each for them! Yikes!

Emily & Michael working hard
Daniel with his finished project
Alisha busy marking a design
Alisha's finished design
Sarah's rose

This is Emily's. It is supposed to be a wolf howling at the moon, but after looking at it, she decided it looks more like a cat
So, have a safe & happy Halloween all! Our kids have the day off from school, because it was the last day of the quarter today. I have to work. On that note, one last picture of me & Ronald, who came in during my first week of work.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Oh, by the way. I got a job. I start Monday. I will be working at the Turtle Lake McDonald's M-W-F. It isn't the best job, but at this point, a paycheck IS a paycheck, and any little bit helps. Plus, this McD's has a tuition savings/matching program which will help me with my schooling as well.
Happy Day.

ER fun--maybe

I got to drive the kids (John, Alisha, Emily & a friend) up to Duluth for a youth activity. They were going to help clean up Point Park on the strip of land on the other side of the Duluth Lift Bridge. I dropped them off, and went into Duluth to do some shopping. When I got back, I was going to write my essay for my class. Well, John (& Jenny) and one of the leaders comes up to the car to tell me that John got his face cut with a shovel. He was leaning down as someone else with a shovel was going up. The shovel & face connected. It was pretty deep, so I took him to the ER there in Duluth. Not too bad. We got right in. Just the usual waiting in the room to switch between admitting nurse, PA, & other nurse, etc... We got to watch the food channel for a while, and then Bob Ross (can you say, happy little clouds?) Emily & Jenny came too, so there were lots of laughs & giggles. He got 3 stitches & a nice black eye. Then we went back to the park to pick up Alisha & Rachel. We stopped at Culvers on our way home because being at the ER, we missed lunch.
Interesting Day to be sure.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Circle of Life

I realized I haven't posted a quilt picture for quite a long time, so here is the last one finished. (and that was in April!!!) I do have several in progress, though. :-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First day of school

Well, there it was. The first day of school. The last time of sending all 6 kids off to school together. John is a senior. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was dragging him into his kindergarten class and leaving him with his teacher. :-) Alisha is a Junior, so the kids will be leaving one by one very quick. Emily is a Freshman which means that I have 3 kids in high school! Michael is in 7th grade. 4 kids at our grade 7-12 school. Wow. Sarah is in 3rd grade. John was in 3rd grade when we moved here. Daniel is in 1st grade. No more pre-school/kindergarten events.
Feeling a bit nostalgic, I guess.
till next time.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer Vacation

O.K., I promised the travelogue of our vacation. :-)

We rented a Suburban for our trip because we didn't think our poor van with 191,000 miles on it could make it. Plus the Suburban gave us quite a bit more square footage for stuff & people. It cost $100 per fill-up, but it could go a very long way between fill-ups. It had a DVD player in it which was great. I went to the library and stocked up on movies & some books on tape.

We left on Saturday July 26. about 6:30 am. We were in Albert Lea, MN by 9:30, and in Des Moines by lunch time. We reached Omaha by 3p. We stopped in Winter Quarters to see the temple & visitors' center. I don't know how much the kids got out of it, but Richard & I were both very touched.

We didn't feel like traveling anymore that day, so we set up camp at a KOA Kampground in Omaha. It was actually a nice set up. We got dinner there and rented some pedal cars for Sarah & Daniel to ride around. We brought 3 tents with us, so Richard & I had one, The girls had one, the younger boys had one, and John chose to sleep in the Suburban. I must have been tired because I actually slept, which for me is an odd thing to do while camping.
Sunday morning we got up and continued our journey. We had a Sunday School lesson in the car--what I was going to teach that day if we had been there. We had our lunch in Kearney, NE at a park & then kept driving. We ended up driving for 13 hours that day. YUK! We stayed at Richard's Uncle Andy's house just outside of Grand Junction, CO. We just camped all over their floors.
Monday Morning, we woke up and drove to Antimony, UT. To get there, you go to the middle of nowhere, and turn left. Unfortunately, we missed the left turn off I-70 and went another half hour until we ran into I-15. This happens to be where Cove Fort is (another Church History Site). So we stopped and took the tour there as well.
We made it to Antimony & the Rockin' R Ranch at about 2:30p. The kids found all their cousins & Richard & I were left to explore the ranch by ourselves. Kind of Add Imagenice, acutally, having some time by ourselves. There were Horses, sheep, donkies, steer. A real ranch. Sarah got to ride on one of the horses the first day. Alisha , Emily & Michael went tubing down the river.

The meals were provided for us, with lots of good food. We were well fed, but our rooms were on the 3rd floor, so we got lots of exercise running back & forth to get things that we left up there.
After dinner the first day, we had our family talent show. Our family did the 'Chigga Cheer' which the girls had learned at Girls' Camp. It got the WHOLE family involved. We also saw a 'bagpipe' act, a 'Three Piggy Opera', 'Coqui song' & Judo act, 'Little Brave Elvis', and some guitar. Mom & Dad did 'I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande'. A LOT of fun! (Sarah &Alissa) ( Emily & Kaisey) (Daniel & Austin)
So, the next day, we started out by going on a trail ride. Sarah was VERY excited that she was old enough to go too. All of us went on either the first or 2nd ride except John & Daniel. I was rather saddle sore for the next couple of days.
We played at the pond for a while. There were canoes that people could paddle around, and a zip line. Michael was one of the 3 people that fell off the zip line the first day when they tried it without instruction. Luckily, Michael came out unscathed (though he did lose his glasses, but that was a different day), but my Brother-In-Law, Ben, cracked some bones in his elbow.

After lunch Richard & I joined the group tubing down the river. That was a lot of fun. A relatively slow river with occasional 'rapids' but it was shallow enough that we could stand up & re-orient ourselves if we got upended.

We attempted archery in the afternoon, but we got rained out.

Some of the kids tried the line dancing lessons. I was a bit sore & tired, so I didn't. There was live music & a dance that night.

On Wednesday morning, we went on a hike through the rocks & hills. Good thing we went early in the morning, because it really would have been hot during the afternoon.

After lunch, they had kickball. I took a nap. Then we played a dice game outside.

That afternoon we had a 'rodeo.' We learned how to swing a rope--& rope a 'cow'. We did a relay race using the horses & our new roping skills. Then we did barrel racing.

Then came the fun part. The little kids did mutton riding. They came out fairly unscathed, though there were a few tears if they got stepped on after being tossed from the sheep. Then the guys (Richard, Ben, Jeff & Steve) did steer riding. THAT was funny! Richard rode the longest (about 2.5 seconds) but he landed on his head. Good thing they had helmets on! I am sorry that my camera battery died & I didn't get any pictures of it. BUT, my sister-in-law had a burst shot on her camera & caught this of Richard coming out of the gate.

That night we had a campfire, roasted marshmallows & watched the stars.

The next morning we said goodbye to everyone & we all went in our separate directions. We went south & discovered we were only about 1/2 hour from Bryce Canyon. So, we decided to stop for a bit. We are glad we did.

Then we kept on down the road--past Escalante Park--but all we did there was stop at the visitors' center, which was a good thing because Emily got a nosebleed there & it was good to have the paper towels from the bathroom. On the the Burr Trail after a quick stop for lunch at a little campground we found alongside the road.
The trail ride was beautiful. I've trained my children well & they oohed & ahhed appropriately at the beauty of the rock formations that surrounded them. We made it to Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell about 4:30 & we took the 5:00 ferry across the lake & then off to Monticello. We got there around 8p.

We relaxed at Richard's parents' house for a bit over a week. Richard worked, but the rest of us relaxed & played. I read old magazines, the kids pulled out all the games and went exploring. Richard threshed wheat & when it rained, he installed a level timer on his parents' well & a reverse osmosis system in the house.

Emily turned 14 the day we left (Aug 9). Not a very exciting day for her as we spent it all in the car. We had lunch by Vail, CO, dinner in Sterling, CO and we then made it as far as Kearney, NE before we called it a night. Richard ended up getting sick that night & didn't feel well the next day, so I did all the driving on Sunday as we headed home. We made it home that night about 7pm.

So--on to the rest of August. Michael got braces on the 13th.

I thought I finally finished scrapbooking last year's CA vacation, but I found another roll of film that when I developed it, had all the pictures we took at the L.A. temple. I was very excited to find them. I did this layout with one of the pictures:I also liked this picture of our family that I found.We had a ward boating party on the 16th. That night, Richard, Alisha & I saw 'Taming of the Shrew' at a local theatre. I had about 4 friends in the cast. It was an abridged version and well done. After that, I put 'Kiss Me, Kate' on my Netflix list. I love that movie!

I went to some Girl Scout meetings. One was to explain to me about the new programs that are happening this year. The next one was for me to explain it to the other leaders. Somehow, I have ended up as the Service Unit Manager for Clear Lake. Not quite sure how that happened.

I went to lunch a couple of times with some friends. I quit just saying 'we should get together sometime', and actually started calling & arranging lunch from time to time. Its been fun.

I took the kids school shopping one day. It is a little overwhelming to see the final bill of school supplies for 6 kids all at the same time. I came home a little deflated.

We had a Cub Scout end of summer picnic one evening. Michael & I had to leave early to take him to 7th grade orientation. I will have 4 kids at the Jr/Sr High this year!

Kathy & I did our performance on the 29th at willow Ridge Nursing Home. As I was setting up, I knocked a cup of water all over the piano. This piano is old, and in the long run, it probably won't cause any lasting damage that wasn't already done, but towards the end of our performance, the keys started to swell with the moisture and started to stick, so it was hard to play the lower notes. Oh well--on with the show!

Well, School starts Tuesday. Kids will be in grades 12, 11, 9, 7, 3 & 1. Fun & hectic times ahead, I'm sure!

I hope you all didn't fall asleep!

Till next time-


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to School

Last time I posted, school had just gotten out. Now school is about to start again, so I guess I'll give a re-cap of our summer.

To start with, my grandfather, Jesse Stay passed away June 17. I went to CA for the funeral. Thanks so much to Tamara and Tom who helped me with frequent flyer miles to help get my ticket. The day I left, I went to the Cities in the morning to go take 2 midterms at the Univeristy of Minnesota testing center. There was construction and I missed my exit & I ended up at the Minneapolis campus instead of the St. Paul Campus and then had to negotiate my way back there and ended up being 20 min late for my test time. Luckily, the tests weren't too bad and I had both of them finished with plenty of time to spare.

So, I had lots of time to kill before my flight. My favorite radio station was doing a live broadcast in downtown Minneapolis, so I headed back that direction. I stayed there for the rest of the broadcast time. I then went over to the Mall of America because it was right by the airport. I wandered around for a while just people watching. They had re-done the amusement park since the last time I had been there. It used to be a Camp Snoopy, but it was re-done with a Nickleodeon theme. There were some new rides including a Sponge Bob roller coaster that started out going straight up, and then straight DOWN, plus a loop and a corkscrew. I am a coaster junkie. I don't care much for rides that just spin you around and around, but give me a good thrill ride and I'm there. So, I sprang for the $ to ride it once. Good ride! Worth the $!

Then it was time to head to the airport to catch my flight. I got there about 3 hours before my flight and got situated at gate G7. A nice, quitet gate. After being there for 2 hours, I realized it was a bit too quiet and my flight should start boarding soon. Check ticket. Oh! Gate G11! So, I got up and got to the proper gate just before boarding.

I got to Orange County airport. I checked the arrival screen and saw that Steve's flight was coming in at the next gate in about 10 minutes so I waited for him to show up. Mom & Dad picked us up and we went to Grandma's house. We had some dinner and then Steve & I took the bikes around the neighborhood to see the old school & friends' houses. (we lived in that neighborhood until 1983 so I had spend hundreds of hours biking that area during my youth). Then we went to the beach & found cousins & Jenny & Carl there. We hung out until it was too dark to see.

The funeral was the next day. Thew viewing was at 10:00am. The room was full of old friends & family. Uncle Greg gave the family prayer.

The funeral was at 11:00. I conducted the music and my cousin, Trace, played the organ. Ucle Tim gave the Eulogy and then the whole family (all 4 rows) stood and sang 'Families Can Be Togehter Forever.' Then Uncle Greg, Uncle Larry, Mom, Aunt Judi & Aunt Sharon gave their personal memories. Next, all grandchildren that wanted to (about 20) of us got up and sang 'How Great Thou Art.' That was powrful. I felt like I was singing with the Tabernacle Choir. We all sounded so good together. Then Uncle Randy gave the Plan of Salvation Talk. He said that Grandpa always considered this life to be part of his eternal life and lived accordingly. Finally there was a talk by the Stake President.

The Relief Society had the luncheon for us. Can't have a funeral without funeral potatoes and jello! Dad's brother Dwight had come as well, so we visited with him during lunch.

Mom, Dad, Jenny & Carl left that afternoon. Steve left Sunday right after church. I left Monday Morning. I took a shuttle to the airport and had an uneventful flight home.

Back to normal life. June 25th I went to Valley Fair with Michael and the Summer School. It was a lovely day. We just went from ride to ride and rode all the good coasters. Sarah & Daniel went to the waterpark.

On the 26th I went to Visitor's day at Summer school. I went to Sarah's sign language class & Danile's puppet class. Then we all went to the gym & watched a juggling/clown show. That night we went to the beach for a picnic.

That weekend was Clear Lake Days. There were garage sales in town Friday. Got some good items. We had our annual dairy lunch on Friday. Free nachos, icecream, milk & cheese & crackers in town. Saturday was the parade. Alisha & Emily were in the band, and Sarah & I were on the Girl Scout float.

June 29 was John's birthday. He's officially 18. Yikes! To make me feel even older, he had his girlfriend down for the week. She lives in Virginia, MN (about 3.5 hours away). She's very nice, and all the other kids like her too. She stayed through the 5th of July. Her mom & sister came on the 4th & we all went to Amery to watch fireworks together.

I've started going to Cub Scout Committe meetings. I am also signed up as the Tiger Cub leader. The whole pack has had problems since Michael left (actually before he left) the pack. But we finally seem to have some interested leadership in the Pack, and we are getting things back up & running. Richard has now joined the committe as well. I have 11 Tigers signed up for this year!

In July we went to a couple of picnics. One was for Amery Theatre. One was a Ward Party.

The Girls went to Girls' camp the week of the 14th. They had a blast!

Michael left the day after the girls got back for Scout Camp. He had a good time & earned 3 badges. Richard & I went to pick him up on the 24th & we left for our vacation early on the 25th.

On the 24th, I did something different. I had wanted sing at the local nursing homes for a while. Finally, I realized that I had a friend from the theatre who plays piano & sings as well, so I asked her if she wanted to do it with me. We put together a little act- a Broadway Review- and we performed it on the 24th at Golden Age Manor. We have 2 more 'gigs' lined up as well, including one tomorrow. I play while she sings, she plays while I sing & when we sing together. We did songs from plays that either one of us had been in. We borrowed costume pieces & props from the theatre. Our program went like this:

There's No Business Like Show Business-Both sing

My Favorite Things-I sing

SunRise, Sunset-Kathy sing

June Is Bustin' Out All Over-Kathy sing

Can't Get a Man with a Gun-I sing

Something Wonderful-I sing

Getting to Know You-Kathy sings

I could have Danced All Night-I sing

I Can't say No-I sing

You'll Never Walk Alone-Kathy Sings

It was well received, and we had a lot of fun putting it together.

Well, that may be enough for now. I'll post later with our trip travelogue.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jesse Stay

This is a post by my cousin Jesse Stay II about our Grandfather Jesse Stay who died this morning. It expressed my sentiments about this great man so well, that I thought I would just post this link instead of trying to say the same thing again. Grandpa, you will be missed, but I know you have far better things to do now. You and Grandma are my heroes.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

2nd quarter update

June 15, 2008

Looking back, its been almost a quarter of year since I last gave an update, so I thought it was time to check in. Our computer died mid-April, and we just finally got it up and running this week. YAY!!! I spent a lot of time at the library going in to check my e-mail and do other computer tasks nearly daily. So, settle in for a long read! 
April started with a heavy snowfall. About 8 inches that day, that melted down to 4 inches and a lot of mud by afternoon. School got a 2 hour delay. Alisha had an appointment at the optometrist and got contact lenses that day.
Alisha had solo/ensemble April 2. I accompanied her. She got a 2 rating.
I spent April at play practice. ‘Oklahoma’ was a lot of fun. It was easily our best production ever. We did our performances the last 2 weekends in April. We had some friends of mine from Amery theatre come and join us and now we are thinking of even more joint ventures between the two towns.
General Conference was Apr. 5 & 6. It was wonderful to be part of the solemn assembly sustaining President Monson as Prophet. We had representatives from 3 priesthood quorums, plus Relief Society and Young Women right here in our house. is a wonderful resource to watch conference at home for us. We do go into the chapel on Sunday, though so we can have potluck lunch in-between sessions. 
The Jr. High Spring Concert was on the 7th. Emily was in that.
I had a quilt show on the 8th for everyone who took classes this year. They have dinner and some sort of entertainment for us. This year it was a jazz trio that a friend of mine plays in.
Alisha’s first few track meets of the season kept getting cancelled because of nasty weather. Their first one –an indoors one- was even cancelled because the weather was too nasty to travel there.
I took Michael to the Orthodontist on the 11th. Long story short, his bite/mouth/jaw/teeth are a mess. We are consulting with an oral surgeon tomorrow for options.
The 12th was FFA banquet. Emily got a gold medal for quiz bowl and her Discovery Degree.
John and I also went shopping for a suit to wear to Prom—and church.
On the 14th and 16th I got to go with the kindergarten(Daniel) and then the 2nd grade (Sarah) to the swimming pool in New Richmond. It’s a fun place with a waterslide.
Alisha turned 16 on the 15th. Wow. We had crepes for breakfast and I made cupcakes for her track meet that afternoon. Alisha had a super track season. She ran the 1 & 2 mile. Every track meet she would take another 10-20 seconds off her personal best in both races. She got the ‘most improved’ award at the track banquet.
On the 19th Michael, John & I went to do ‘Scouting for Food’, but there wasn’t great neighborhood support and it felt like a wasted drive in yukky weather to pick up one bag of food. We have a new idea for it for next year. We’ll see how it works.
Alisha left on the 20th for FCCLA State convention. She competed with her STAR event and got a silver. She was gone for 3 days.
Clear Lake had a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian come to town called ‘between Fences’ It was an exhibit telling about the history of fences and their impact on the landscape of the country. It was because of this exhibit that we did ‘Oklahoma’ now. Usually, we do our musicals in the fall. Our town did all types of things to go along with it, including the Jr. High History students did a photo essay on the history of different landmarks in our immediate area. On the 21st, they had an opening for their part of the show. Emily & I went to that.
On the 22nd I went and took my final for Religion 212 (New Testament pt. 2). I had been to this testing location a couple of times and thought I knew how to get there, but I got very lost and was about ½ hour late for my test after a nice 1 ½ hour tour of St. Paul and surrounding areas. I did all right, though. My next class is Adolescent Psychology.. I go to take my midterm this week, along with the midterm for my humanities 202 class. This time I print out a map before I go.
The 26th was John’s Prom. He had a girl from Virginia, MN (in our stake) come out for the prom. She stayed in Alisha’s room. I had a performance that night, so we all went to town, they went to dinner & then the dance at the school. I picked them up afterwards. She came to church with us the next day and our final performance that afternoon before we drove her up to meet her mom in Hinkley, MN.
Once the play was over, I slept for 2 days before life got more back to normal.
April 29th was Alisha’s Jazz Band concert. As a fundraiser (they left today to go to Washington D.C), they served soup & sandwiches, and a Professional Big Band (the Dean’s List) came to play as well. It was really a lot of fun!

April is over. Take a break and come back for May. 

John made a quilt for his creative sewing class. I quilted it and then it was shown at Clear Lake’s quilt show (may 3 & 4) where it won first place in the youth division.  I had several quilts at the show too, but they didn’t win.
May 6 was our 19th anniversary. We went to dinner at a local supper club.
May 8 was the end of year picnic for Girl Scouts. We had it at Clear Lake Park. Sarah, Emily & Alisha got their patches for the year. Well, I got Alisha’s. She was at a track meet.
May 9 was the start of Garage sale season for me. When Daniel heard that I had gone garage sale-ing without him, he said, “without me?” He had been my solo garage sale partner since Sarah was in Pre-school—so for about 4 years, it was him & I hitting the sales.
May 11 was Mothers’ Day. I got a digital picture frame. Way cool. I also got a flowerpot recipe card holder from Sarah & a pinch pot from Daniel. I have quite the collection of pinch pots now!
May 12 was the band’s annual Pie concert. They sell pie as a fundraiser during the Pops concert. All 3 bands- from Elementary to High school play.
May 18th was high school Graduation. Alisha played in the band.
I’ve been trying to get the garden planted since about the end of May, but it has been very wet this year. And cold. It is still regularly in the 60s during the day. When it warms up to the 70s or even the VERY rare 80s, it will storm and cool it all down again. We have gotten inches and inches and inches (feet?) of rain in the past month or so. The basement is getting soggy.  The garden won’t really dry out…So, it is only about ½ planted. We’ll see what we end up with this year!
On the 26th it was Memorial Day. Alisha played in the Memorial Service. I brought Michael, Sarah & Daniel with me to watch it. Daniel particularly liked the rifle fire salute.
May 28th I got to go to Como Zoo with Sarah’s class. I’ve decided I like going on field trips and being with the kids, but I really don’t like riding the school bus!
May 30th was Kindergarten Graduation for Daniel. My last one! ::sniff!:: He said, “My name is Daniel Harvey and I want to be a mechanic when I grow up!” Like father, like son.

On to June!
Our Cub Scout program in town has really fallen apart in the past 5 years or so. Well, we have a new group of leaders (say hi to the new Tiger Cub Leader) who want to make this work. So, we now have a new committee and we actually had a committee meeting and calendared the entire next school year. YAY! If we all follow through, it should be the best year Clear Lake Cub Scouting has had in about 8-9 years.
Alisha got Poison Ivy at the beginning of the month. After various creams, we finally got her on Predisone, and she is doing a lot better now!
On the 4th, it was the school picnic day. Parents get to go eat with the kids. Afterwards is awards day/ 6th Grade Graduation. Michael Graduated. Next year I’ll have 4 kids at the Jr./Sr. High and only 2 at the elementary.
The 5th was the last day of school. It was a half day. I worked in the art room that day (as I did every Thursday since January), so I just picked the kids right up from school. We didn’t have to get the 3 older ones because they all went to Valley Fair. (the local amusement park-on par with Lagoon) Unfortunately for them it got very stormy and they only had time for about 2 rides before they shut everything down and they came home early.
The girls started band camp on Monday the 9th. 4 hours a day for a week of marching and performance rehearsal for their band trip.
Summer school started on the 10th. The kids are taking fun classes like dinosaurs, art, sign language, swimming, cooking & golf. It goes for 2 more weeks.
The director for our last 3 Clear Lake plays died this week. She was only 50. I went with a contingent from the theatre to the funeral.
As I said, the girls left this afternoon to Washington D.C. with the band. They will be back Saturday.

Well, If you haven’t fallen asleep yet, there ya be! HAND! (Have a Nice Day)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008



There are over 300 pictures to look at, but they are a lot of fun. If you don't want to wade through them, When I get a new computer (ours crashed and I am doing this from the library), I will be scrapbooking the more pertinant ones for me and you can wait until then.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Easy Chicken Tostada Salads

This is actually a test.  I all of a sudden saw a button on my tool bar that said 'blog this'...So, I clicked it to see what would happen.  This is what we're having for dinner tonight.

Easy Chicken Tostada Salads

Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30, 2008

March 30, 2008

Well, I think spring may finally be on the way. It is nearly 50 degrees this afternoon and the snow is melting at a rapid pace. We didn’t get near the snowfall that Madison and other areas of WI got this year (Madison got nearly 90” this year!) but, it was so cold that what we did have never melted. We haven’t seen the ground since Dec 1. So, what’s for tomorrow? A Winter Storm watch! Fantastic. I love April snows—big, fat, fluffy flakes that don’t stay very long.

I have been busy busy busy. I turned the page on my calendar, and it is already full!

I finished up my Humanities class, took the final and have now started Humanities 202. Last week I finished my New Testament class and just have the final to take for it.

Daniel had his birthday on March 8 and turned 6 years old. He only wanted to invite the 2 kids from church that are his age for his birthday party, so we just invited their families as well, and had a nice get together for all 3 families.

Michael’s birthday was this week on the 26th. He turned 12. He had a friend come over on Friday when we had no school (end of the quarter), and they played the new game that Michael got for the Wii. He was ordained a Deacon today after church.

Rehearsals for ‘Oklahoma!’ are going well. I’m very pleased with the quality of production we are putting on here. It is our best ever, I think. We have some new people that have really added to our company. We open in 3 weeks. (April 18)

I’m helping in the art room once a week. I help with the 1st and 4th graders. We really have a nice art program at our school, but the teacher only has 1 arm, and needs an extra set of hands every once in a while. I’m really enjoying it.

Alisha has started track. Her first track meet is tomorrow. She also got a gold at Regional STAR events for FCCLA and will be going to the state convention in April. Her jazz saxophone choir got a 1 at the jazz festival this week. She loved being in gymnastics, and is sad to put it on hold while she does track.

Sarah had a field trip to the Science museum in March and I got to chaperone. Her and Daniel’s dance recital was at the end of Feb. I’m not sure they knew what they were doing, but they sure were cute!

Michael gets to go in for his first Orthodontic screening this month. Lucky kid is missing 3 permanent teeth, so he needs work to hold things in place or make room for future dental work. Woo Hoo!
John is on the yearbook staff so he has put in extra hours after school working on the yearbook lately. He has been taking Desktop Publishing this year and really seems to enjoy it. We need to find a career for him that goes more towards that line, I think.
Emily’s FFA quiz bowl team got 1st place in Sectionals, and then 2nd place in the Regionals. They missed going to state by very little.
Richard got a promotion at work that starts April 1st. New responsibilities, etc. We’re not sure how it will affect his hours or anything yet.

Well, Happy Birthday to Cynthia, Mom H., & Dad D.! Speaking of Dad's birthday. That day will mark the 20th anniversary of Richard & I getting engaged...
my...we were so young then!