Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last Day of School!!!

I know, crazy!  I haven't blogged in so long, an entire school year has gone by.  I now have a college junior, a high school junior, and 2 high school sophomores!  Scary.  And expensive.   This means it is double the grocery bill season.  Netflix/Redbox/Blockbuster season(for the days when it's too hot to go outside).  And it also means sleeping in just a little, because we don't want to get out of the habit of getting up early.  When school starts again, the 3 high school kids will be in 0 period leadership, which means they have to get up at 5:00 to go to early morning seminary.  All 3!  Holy smokes.

Time to make some lists for the summer of books to read, movies to watch, projects to get done, games to play, skills to teach the dog, and chores to do.  Today I celebrated my last day of quiet peace at home with Chinese take-out.  I got busted when one of the kids came home from work early, I shared ONE bite.  This is my little tradition I do twice a year, once on the first day of school, and then on the last day of school.  I don't think I even got to sneak in a lunch date with the hubby this school year :(

We started off the school year with a visit from Grandma & Grandpa D.  Ick fractured his collar bone at the last practice of the season and missed the game that they came to see.  They got a hike in with the kids somewhere near Strawberry still.

The twins were both in plays this year, "Don't Rock the Boat", and "Westside Story".  K-Bug is hooked and wants to graduate having been in every high school production.  She's starting voice lessons over the summer.  Casey wants to focus more on music and more leadership responsibilities in band.  He may audition still for some plays, he had a great time.

Ick got his Driver's License, and someone asked me if I got a senior discount at the play.  I think my anxiety over having a new driver was definitely showing!

Little Mermaid went on a road trip to Utah with her friends to attend General Conference.  The trip was "Ah-mazing" is all we heard for a long time.  She loved Conference, and we watched it from home in our jammies trying to spot them in the center.  It WAS a truly memorable conference.

Mr. D and I went on a short 2 night cruise only to have our luggage loaded onto the ship next to us going on an 11 day Alaskan cruise.  Yeah, that's another post.  I don't camp in the mountains, and I don't camp at sea.  Seriously.

I've been teaching sewing and quilting classes at JoAnn's.  We are SO happy to have a craft store in town, WITH fabric!!!!  Mr. D doesn't get a break as summer school starts next week.  Too many highlights from this school year, so we'll just promise to stay on top this summer and next school year.  Look forward to some new bloggers as well, the "Sparkles" themselves.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Long Time Ago...

A little girl was invited to go to Primary after school.  She didn't know what Primary was exactly, but her best friend told her it was fun.  They had lots of fun already so this was exciting.  They had ballet after school one day.  Then they played behind the dugouts on the weekend while their dads played softball and would go for pizza and mo-joe's after the game with the other ball players.  They were all really nice and would help them refill their soda if they couldn't reach.  They'd cut the pizza for them too and move chairs up to the window for them so they could watch the pizza guys with the funny hats make the pizzas and take them out of the oven and cut them.  She would also go over to her friend's house with her little sister sometimes and her mom would bring out these baskets of hair and makeup stuff and even her older sister would join.  They'd all line up on the stairs and take turns doing each other's hair and make up.  Sometimes they'd go swimming.  But you couldn't get too wild because their dog, who was the sweetest dog in the whole world, would jump in to try to save you.  He didn't have a tail but you could just tell he was nice by his smile.  Some dogs really do smile.

Primary was the first church she had gone to.  On Wednesdays they would walk to her friend's house and up their very long, steep driveway.  Her mom would pick up them up at the bottom sometimes.  She'd drive them to Primary where they were taught about God, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and something called the Holy Ghost.  There were drawings of all of them except the Holy Ghost.  But the Holy Ghost, she was taught, was a still small voice that taught you between right and wrong, it helped you know what was true, and also that Heavenly Father and Jesus were real.  And that Joseph Smith used the Holy Ghost to find out that none of the churches were true, except at a later time He would help him restore the true church.  This all touched the little girl and she didn't doubt it.  Her teacher told her so.  Her teacher was also kind and sweet, and sang with them, and told them that she believed it.  

One day though, the little girl got confused and lost in the building when she went to use the restroom.  It was dark in the hallway and she couldn't find her way back.  Panic struck.  She didn't think to use the Holy Ghost though until it was too late and she had already embarrassed herself and cried out, screamed out loud so everyone in the whole building heard.  Another teacher came looking for her and got her to the right place.  But by then, she was just too embarrassed and wanted to just go home.  The boys weren't mean, but boys will be boys and they aren't as nice as girl friends when it comes to World's Most Embarrassing Moments.  It was easier to just not go back than face her friends at Primary again so she made up a lie that she was busy the next week.  Then, the next week again.  And the lie continued for many years.  During that time though that Primary teacher called and sent notes and told her how much she loved her and missed her and hoped she'd come back soon.  She told her she missed her smiles and sweet spirit.  One time she was very sick and in the hospital and she even brought her a card signed by the class.

So, many years later, when the little girl was a little older, someone asked her which church she belonged to.  She could only remember ever going to one church and she thought one day she'd return.  So she said she went to the Mormon church.  Some friends were listening nearby and told her that she couldn't call herself a Mormon unless she was baptized.  She asked them what she would have to do be baptized.  They looked at her with big eyes and big smiles and suddenly she was invited to "Family Home Evening", to "Mutual", to "Discussions", to "Seminary", and even church on Sunday.  They all seemed to have the rides worked out quickly, before she could even answer.  So, she went.  She went to another friend's home for Family Home Evening and the missionaries were there in white shirts and ties, and they brought a Book of Mormon for her too.  It was dark blue and had never been used, they told her she could even write in it.  This was strange because why would she ever want to write in something so valuable.  But they showed her how to look up topics and mark the side of the page with notes.  Faith.  Love.  Jesus.  Holy Ghost.  Truth.  Baptism.  Repentance. 

She went to just a few lessons before she decided she wanted to be baptized.  Her parents told her, yes, but she would need to be "Mormon" for a year first because it was a big change.  It meant paying tithing.  It meant changing the movies she watched.  And also changing the things they did together on Sundays as a family.  But she was willing to do it.  She went to everything she could and always had rides waiting for her at the bottom of her driveway.  She didn't know how they knew, but they were there.

Mutual was the best night.  They learned about temples, hair, clothes, and the boys were never far off.  They made things like prayer rocks, bookmarks for their scriptures, fashion shows, and played games.  They also worked on Personal Progress goals.  Sunday was also wonderful.  Taking the bread and water was symbolic of what she hoped for.  Her friend told her that when she gets baptized and then takes the bread and water every week it is just like getting baptized all over again, each and every Sunday.  And in Sunday School she learned about all the different books of scripture.  The Old Testament, New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and Doctrine & Covenants.  That they all were important and true.  Young Women's was also fun, just the girls in this class, and they recited a theme every week that she remembers to this day. 

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. 
We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
and in all places" (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live
the Young Women values, which are:
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works

and Integrity.

It was hard to memorize but it reminded her about all that she was preparing for and her goal to also go to the temple someday.  Seminary started every morning before school and another friend would pick her up on her dad's way to work.  During Seminary they learned about the Doctrine & Covenants in more detail.  She had homework to  do for Seminary and high school.  Sometimes the teacher got frustrated with the boys in this class because they were not morning people and it was hard for them to behave.  But, she still learned a lot and it became her favorite book of scripture because she felt she knew it well and could easily share it with her friends that didn't go to church.  She went to Youth Conference where all of the youth in 3 stakes gathered for 3 days of service, lessons, dances, games, food, and fun, and a very special testimony meeting where she even bore her testimony.  There were lots of tears.  She also went to Dance Festival at the Pasadena Rose Bowl where thousands of youth gathered to perform cultural dances in elaborate costumes.  They said they needed her to fill a spot for someone who had backed out, so she did.  They spent months learning the dance and then watched as the field flooded with thousands of youth to perform a final dance.  The atmosphere was incredible and she was shocked at just how many youth shared the same beliefs.  She also went on a temple trip with her leaders and the girls from her ward.  Even though she couldn't go in to the temple to perform proxy baptisms, her leader took her into the visitor's center.  They watched  a movie about Joseph Smith and her teacher shared her testimony.  She wanted to be inside the temple in the worst way.  When the rest of the girls came back out of the temple they took pictures on the temple grounds and then drove to one of the leader's sister's home.  They got ready to go to another dance taking turns in the bathroom with their make up and hair.  They drove home and at one point in the trip somebody started singing camp songs.

Camp was another great trip for her too.  They had an opening because one of the girls couldn't go.  She had no idea what to expect and while camping is not her thing, she couldn't deny how special it was.  There was swimming, canoeing, archery, knot tying, hiking, and mock accidents where they learned first aid.  They gave presents to other campers every day too, they were called Secret Squirrels.  The last night was another very special testimony meeting and she again bore her testimony and shared how much she wanted to be baptized.  

She also performed in a Ward play with one of her friends.  It was a musical and she got to dance again.  She played the daughter of a very funny man who was sweet as ever and always made her feel good about herself even though she made a lot of mistakes and was shy.  His hands were rough like her grandpa's because he worked with tools, he was even missing a few fingers because of an accident with tools.  But he had a daughter her age too and they became friends too.  

There was another Youth Conference and this time it was at their church.  They needed her again to fill another spot and help them plan it.  So, she helped plan the service project.  She was part of a big committee of youth and adults that planned everything down to the last detail, housing, service projects, food, classes, dances, rides, swimming, etc...  One boy in her committee for the service project didn't show up ever for their meetings because he was busy with football training.  She finally met him at a dance later and he asked her to dance.  Her friend reminds her that she came off the dance floor telling her that some day she was going to marry him.  

And she did.  And they have an eternal family.  This is where she'd say, "The End", but  we all know it's not.  

The Young Women's theme has been changed.  Each Sunday she gets to stand alongside her youngest daughter and hear her and her friends repeat.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
and in all places" (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live
the Young Women values, which are:
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
Integrity and
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants,
receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bella Book Worm

Our dog is a hoot, wait, that's an owl.  Well, she cracks us up, a lot.  Her vocabulary is really pretty incredible.  She understands not just the inflections in our voice, but there are many words we can't even spell out.  Never say the word, "walk" in her presence, she will go nuts.  She will run circles and look for her leash and you will, you MUST take her for a walk.  If her begging and pleading don't get you her golden eyes will.  And you must never spell "walk", by the time you finish "double u" she will be on you.  "Exercise, constitution, fitness,...", all taboo along with their nicknames, "e-cize, consta, fit, etc...".  And never bring up "bye-bye", as if she needs any other excuse to go wild.

She listens to every word we say, that adorable head tilt is just too cute.  So, she likes to pop up on the ottoman and I started just talking to her.  Then I really felt kind of silly, what the heck does she know?  Really?  So I just read a little blurb and she sits there tilting her head at every word she recognizes and it's just too cute.

She hopped up while I was reading Pioneer Woman's new post about her childrens' book about her dog, Charlie.
You can read that HERE.

 And then she tucked in her back paws and got cozy, lol.

At Christmas time too she reads with all of us as we read the Scriptures.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bedroom Redo...

We decided to redo K-Bug's bedroom since the Mermaid moved out.  Deciding exactly what to do has taken time, but we're happy with the results.


 The Reading Nook
New Bedding from Target

No cable in the rooms, but DVDs are allowed.

Repurposed Sconces and Scarves

Repainted Cubbies for Nightstand

Lots of bright colors

We made the Starburst Mirror Ourselves
Great Tutorial at Under the Table and Dreaming, and
my own step by steps at Sistas Procrastinate in Style.


Vacuum up all the baseboards and clean them so you can mask them off.

Patch up any big nail holes.  If they're small, the paint will just fill them in.

I like the kind that goes on pink and turns white when dry so you know when it's ready to sand and paint over.

Primed all of the color blocks.

Primed them TWICE!


Friday, February 18, 2011


It's been a joke until now, my streak is over.  Since moving here I have received back to back jury summons' but never needed to appear.  I finally had to report and this time I actually did have a medical reason not to appear(still in physical therapy for my foot) but wanted to be called so I could just get this over with.  So, I never got called as a perspective juror but had to sit there while the defense attorneys whittled down the panel.  The ADA looked pleased most of the time.

So one of their questions, worded several different ways was, "Do you believe my(our) client(s) are innocent until proven guilty?".  I would have to answer no.  See the thing is, we're not allowed to slap a guilty on their clients until the DA proves they're guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, right?  So, I can't slap an Innocent label on them either.  SOMETHING is going on, and isn't it our job(if called upon) to figure out if anything is going on?  Right?  Am I wrong?  I'm not saying they're guilty, but aren't they in a "limbo" kind of state, it's 50/50.  I can agree to that, but "innocent" right off?  No.  Can't do it.

As far as ethical/moral/"defense wouldn't want me" reasons why I can't...Here's the deal.  Since my grandfather was murdered almost 21 years ago in an unsolved homicide case, I've kept close ties with the law enforcement community.  I speak to them one on one annually and I have the utmost respect for them.  I do believe the law enforcement that I have had contact with(barring one show off pompus police officer who ticketed me for something I didn't do and was later fired) all have incredible integrity.  I WOULD believe them over some young adults charged with making some stupid decisions.  So, yeah, if those were your children at the defense table, I wouldn't want ME on the jury panel.  It all could have saved me several hours that day.  But, we all had to sit there patiently in the court room, as well as a dozen or so in the overflow back across the street in the Assembly Room.  And our county in concerned with the perspective jury pool.  Don't over summons all of us then!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Anniversary Roses...

Mr. D brought these home to me on Jan. 12(20 year) and these are what they look like today, 18 days later.  It's probably not that cool, but I'm also known as the "Silk Plant Killer".  I can't keep plants alive and you can't expect me to help along anything that has already been chopped off.  My game plan for these though was to just not sweat it and worry about keeping them alive for long at all.  And, guess what!  It worked!

I haven't touched these.  Seriously.  I stuck them in this spot near the window and have completely left them alone.  No water, nothing.  I haven't even talked to them like true gardeners talk to their lovely growths.  I keep waiting for a petal to fall off or the leaves to turn black and rot, but so far nothing.  It's just plain old tap water as well and it's still clear.  Down about 2 inches, I can see the water line, but it's still clear!  Good job Mr. D!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh Deer

I love our deer.  See, I'm not like other neighbors, I don't have anything they're attracted to, no garden, no landscaping(in the back), so I think they're pretty darn cute.  Today I was getting dressed and suddenly saw some shadows out the back and thought someone was walking along the creek.  But then the shadow turned into shadows and I realized it wasn't human.  So cute!  I snuck up to K-Bug's room to snap these pictures through her window.  

Momma caught me with the camera heading over to baby.

Baby was really enjoying the salad. 

Protective Momma. 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Foot Surgery...

I posted these on my Facebook profile, but then I realized it was close to dinner so no one probably wanted to accidentally come upon them. 

Today we went for the first of 2 post-op check ups.  Last Friday I had an endoscopic plantar fascia release.  They go in with little magic wands and tear the fascia.  Then they hope that it will fill in with scar tissue as it remains stretched so the fascia becomes a little longer again.  I've had plantar fasciitis for as long as I can remember, but not this foot.  It wasn't until last spring that I ended up in excruciating pain that never went away.  We tried everything we could conservatively, ultra sound, physical therapy, you name it.  So, my orthopedic surgeon here was at her wits end and decided to send me to SOAR in Redwood City.  AWESOME doctors and staff!  Plan A was something called Electro Shock Wave Therapy.  It's the equivalent of having your foot jack hammered and then your foot rebuilds/heals itself after it has broken down all the scar tissue.  However, Blue Cross thinks it's hocus pocus magic and decided they'd rather I go under the knife.  Dr. Oloff had another trick up his sleeve though, Plan B.  Plan B consisted of endoscopic(MUCH quicker healing time) fascia release.  It was a very quick procedure and it has been pain free because he also gave me a nerve block for ankle tarsal syndrome.  The ATS came on because of the plantar fasciitis, it made my toes go numb often or tingle most of the time and also very stiff ankle pain.  So, before I went under general anesthesia we agreed that he would also inject the ankle, which after visiting with him today is why I have been pain free!  I started to tell him I was starting a Facebook Fan Page for him and was his number one groupie.  LOL

This is the inside of my heel.  He marked the nerve areas he needed to avoid or I could be in serious pain.  There are needle marks and some bruising above though and that is where he injected the good stuff for my ankle.

This is the outside of my heel.  I honestly had no idea until he took off the dressing today where the stitches were and incisions had been made.

This is such a funny angle!  And my leg is not jaundiced, it's the medicine they use.  They also marked my leg to make sure they sliced and diced the real one.  That would totally stink if they got the wrong one!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Praying' for Fall...

I love this little guy(or girl, maybe some bug expert can tell me if it's a boy or girl).  I was washing the dishes and he was watching me just outside my kitchen window.  I didn't realize Praying Mantis' turn color in the fall too, but then, I guess that must be part of their protection.  They change color with the leaves to camouflage themselves with the seasons?  We always have lots of bright green ones in the spring and summer, but this one was just too cute, staring at me. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I happen to LOVE Fall!  It hasn't been much of one yet, especially since it was in the upper 80's today, but it's still my favorite time.  The cool nights and warm days.  I like it getting dark earlier, I know, strange, but I do.  And let's not forget to mention that it's soup weather.  In California we still BBQ year round, so the grill is still used several times a week.  I love going through my closet and pulling out my favorite sweaters and fleece.  I've pulled my throw blankets out of the closet too.  Love it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Politics & Sundays...

I go to church on Sunday to renew my covenants I made with the Lord partaking of the Sacrament, and to be uplifted and edified.  Politics and government do not fall under either of those categories. 

I have way too many pet peeves, but ranking up there, my number one right now, is discussing politics in church.  Zaps the Spirit right out of the meeting.  I'm the Bishop's wife and I not only want to be there, but I really need to be there as well.  And when I hear politics or government being discussed I want to just go home and put on nice soft music.  It's like someone just popped my Spiritual bubble.  It starts off my week with a nasty taste in my mouth.  Sunday is the first day of the week for us and when I feel that way it makes the rest of my week stink.

Even when I walk by two people discussing government or politics I feel like I'm walking passed a heated argument.  Even if they agree, the conversations are naturally heated and temperaments are visible in body language and audible in voice tone and inflection.  Definitely not spiritually uplifting.  Conversation in the church should comfort and be around the Lord.  Regurgitating highlights of radio talk show hosts excited comments, best be done at another place, on another day.

I know He sees all of these in the public sector as His children as well, so I feel it best not to demean or talk down of any of His children.  I think we all agree that some/much of what is read on the internet or said over the air is embellished or unfounded.  You might be interested in this ARTICLE regarding why we believe even obvious lies.  The best quote, "Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Catching up...

It's been a while, I've been terrible about blogging lately.  Now that the kids are back in school though, I've been trying to find my new rhythm.  So far it's been all about doctors appointments since my old pulmo left town and so did his wife who was my primary care, and then getting my foot well enough to go back out in the work force.  The foot has been S-L-O-W.  But, I see a hike at the end of the tunnel.  No surgery still, but we're one step away from it.  But I'm pretty confident in this, it's called EWTS, and I have to go to the bay area to have it done.  So, in the mean time I decided to find a way to liquidate all of my craft supplies and use my new sewing machine that I've hardly touched since I got it.  I'm working on jewelry, purses, wallet key chains, and some whatnots to list in an Etsy store.  When I get it up, hopefully the end of the week, it'll be here: .

Here are a few pics:
And here's the "PROTOTYPE" of a key chain/wallet I'll be adding too.  That was just some old fabric to practice on and work out the kinks.