Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wind is out of my sails...

Today I am sad.

Sad for a variety of reasons, but the biggest reason had to go back to Utah today.

As excited as I was for her to arrive two weeks ago, that is how let down I am today.

I don't know if I will ever get used to sending a child to live and go to school far away from my maternal embrace.

It has to happen, right? I mean, they can't live with you forever, right? Where did the years go?

Sometimes I think I'm in a time warp, and I don't know how to get out.

I know I should be posting happy things about how great the holidays were with everyone under one roof - and they were, don't get me wrong! And I'll post all about them, tomorrow, maybe. But today I think I'll just be sad until I can get back into the groove of life with the youngest 3 children (whom I dearly love and adore as much as the oldest - PLEASE don't ever leave me, OK?) and my sweet husband.

Oh, well, at least she left a bunch of stuff behind for us to look at... (Thanks, Lyss! Love you!)

(I'll send these things when I am not so verklempt...)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Go Number 10!

This is what we have been doing for the past couple of Saturdays and about once during the weekday.

Basketball, basketball, basketball.
We live it, eat it, drink it, and sometimes we even sleep basketball... Well, maybe just Kourtni does all that, but we accompany her to each and every game and cheer her on as she plays on the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams.

Go Wolves!

(Those long arms are a pain when trying on long sleeved shirts, but they sure help out in the rebounding and tip offs! heh heh...)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dad of the Year Goes to...Billy Ball!

I'm am thankful for so many things in my life. I have a lot to be grateful for. As I sit here typing this I am especially grateful for the man I married 22 years ago. He is unselfish, smart, caring, loving, unselfish, helpful, kind, and, did I mention that he's unselfish? Right now, at 8:50 in the PM, he is in the Salt Lake Airport waiting for a 7 AM flight back to Boise. Why is he in the Salt Lake Airport without any personal necessities besides his coat, wallet, phone, and winter gloves you might ask. Well, let me tell you. It's because he's such a great dad.

We haven't seen such yucky weather conditions around here at Thanksgiving in a loooong time. And we definitely haven't had a college student who has to drive home for Thanksgiving in the yucky muck either. Well, when you put nasty Old Man Winter, and mix him with 2 college young ladies driving right in the middle of his masterpiece of a blizzard, you get two nervous parents who don't want their daughter to drive back to college with any flakes falling from the sky.

Here's where Bill gets nominated for father of the year in my eyes: He called me on the phone Friday morning and told me to book a one way flight for him on Sunday evening. He was going to drive those girls back to school himself and fly home Sunday night. The plan fell into place. The car was readied with new windshield wipers, washer fluid, a niiiiice new scraper, a shovel, an emergency kit, and a tank full of gas. All ready for the treacherous trip to Happy Valley. Well, that cranky Old Man Winter took his wrath out on the stretch of I-84 from Tremonton to Burley and the road gods decided to close the road. Add on another hour and a half, mix it with icy conditions, stupid cold weather drivers, an accident, and more snow falling, and you get a dad who misses his flight back to his warm house, the rest of his family, Sunday dinner, a football game playing on the big screen tv, and, best of all, his nice warm bed complete with all of his pillows.

Yep, as I write this, the Father of the Year is trying to make himself cozy on an airport chair with his coat as a pillow, and some yucky fast food for dinner. Hopefully there is a nice Southwest employee who will loan him a travel pillow so he can rest his head until he gets the boarding call tomorrow morning at 7.

Your trophy will be waiting for you when you get home.

Love, your other half who is not nearly as unselfish as you are.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloweird This Year

Oh, Halloween, 2010. Where did you go?

Was it because I had the world's worse head cold and laryngitis last week that I didn't even know you came and went? Was it because most of my kids weren't too concerned with dressing up and trick or treating this year? Was it because you fell on a Sunday that I really didn't pay too much attention to you? Maybe it's because only one of my children expressed interest in buying and carving a pumpkin? Sorry, Halloween, but you seem to have lost your allure in our household. Gone are the days of planning, sewing, driving around town, hot gluing, and sequining those costumes of my children's childhood. This year we resorted to this:

It's called: "dump out the Halloween boxes on the kitchen table to see if there is anything we can throw together since we've been invited to a party on Halloween and even though no one else is going to dress up we need to be different and show up in costume." Whew.

Here's what we threw together for our party at the Hruby's:

Yes, I actually did wear those overalls in the 90s. Good thing I kept them for future use as a farmer's daughter costume. Yeah, wore the shirt too - hey, it's from Eddie Bauer!

Yep, Lindsay actually wore that witch's dress when she was 7 or 8 years old. Oh, the tights, too.

Did you recognize our youngest basketball playing child? Thank goodness. Hard to tell what look he was going for - all I know is that I refused to spray paint his hair neon pink one more time. Sorry, Pate, pink hair is NOT a costume to your mother.

Me. As a first grader. Or Minnie Mouse. Or a crazy runner. Or a stressed out, laryngitis stricken, report cards on the brain first grade teacher. Whatever you want me to be, I'm there. It was a ROUGH week! Blech.

Thanks to my ingenious brother, we threw this beauty together for a hilarious fit of laughter from everyone in attendance! Yeah, betcha didn't know that Bill got his Secondary Ed degree from BSU with an emphasis on Physical Education did ya? It's his inner gym teacher coming out in FULL FORCE!

Of course we're missing one child who actually did have a ball celebrating "Halloweek" down in zoobieland. She was a Blackberry and an Indian (From India). I was so impressed with her Halloween skills. Sorry, Lyss, you would have been either extremely disgusted with the rest of your family or highly impressed with our recycling abilities! (And try as I might, I could not download any pictures of you from your FB album in costume onto this post. Sorry, honey.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Four Eyes...FINALLY!

This picture has nothing to do with glasses, but I thought she looked so cute with her Keds and rolled up jeans I had to take a picture!

So what do you do with a child who has been telling you for months that she is having a hard time seeing? That when her teachers asked if there was something they should know about her at the beginning of the school year she told them she had a hard time seeing from far away and needed to sit at the front of the room? That she couldn't see the road signs and license plates of other cars? That when she's on TV each morning as she reads Blazer News, she needs to borrow some kid's glasses or memorize what she's supposed to read on screen?

Do you ignore that? Dismiss it? Just smile at her? Procrastinate getting an eye doctor appointment because of the dread mother has of being alone with an eye doctor in a darkened room and him being so close you can smell/feel his breath?
I did.
Mom of the Year Award coming right up!

Well, folks, we have a straight A student here. A girl who takes life, school, service, church, homework, progress reports, and basically everything else VERY seriously!

OK, OK, so I got her an appointment.
We have excellent benefits - saved $386 since we have awesome eye coverage.
90 bucks for those cute glasses. Yep, Mom of the Year award coming right up!

Lindsay was in awe.
"Everything is so clear! Does everyone see this well? Is everything really this clear? It looks like a pop-up book!"

I was in awe as well.
"Your room will look a lot dirtier when you get home than it did when you left."

You can't wipe the smile off her face now. And when she reads this, it will definitely look like a pop-up book.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conference = Courage

Ahhh, the luxury of a General Conference weekend. I absolutely love it!

No lesson to prepare, no make up to put on, no ironing to be done, no early morning waking up, no extra meetings, Elder Uchtdorf's fabulous looks and, oh my, his HAIR!!!

Yes, it's marvelous all the way around.

Oh, yeah, and then there are the actual talks that we get to listen to! What a great weekend this has been. The only part that wasn't so swell was the fact we had to take Bill to the airport right after the last session so he could fly to Portland to set some UPS drivers straight. Go get 'em, boss!

Here are some of the highlights that I really honed in this weekend:

*When it comes to your family, you spell love T-I-M-E.
*Have the courage to be a good parent, and don't be intimidated by your children and the reactions they might give you when you make a decision regarding them.
*Simplicity is a high form of sophistication.
*Develop an attitude of gratitude.
*Live so that the Holy Ghost will be able to be heard and felt by you each day.

There were a lot of other wonderful things that I heard, but those were the main points I will hopefully have the courage to strive to do. Yeah, that was a scary one- the talk about courage.

Whoa. Set me straight, would ya? Yikes.

Hopefully I can have the courage to re-read the talk and put its principles in action. It's hard when you don't feel very courageous at times. Good thing I have a marvelous husband who can encourage me and be an awesome example - even if he can't have Elder Uchtdorf's hair.
Love you, Billy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Happens in McCall Stays in McCall...

Gayla, Stefanie, Kris, and Tracy enjoying one of the many laughs of the weekend. This is the only picture my camera took since all others had to be deleted...
Well, not really. It's just that I'm not very good at keeping my camera battery alive. Blast.

A girls' weekend away.

Away from the internet, facebook, kids, errands, time schedules, getting up early, making dinner, cleaning up dinner, doing laundry, and all that fun stuff that goes along with being a mom. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom and doing all those tasks, but I was psyched to get away for a couple of days to rejuvenate, recharge, and remember the reasons why I love my little family so much!

Thanks to my sweet friend Gayla, we got to stay in the lap of luxury at her "cabin" in McCall, Idaho. (I mean, really, who calls a cabin a cabin when it has a hot tub, 5 flat screen TVs, soaring ceilings, a state of the art kitchen, and a painted garage floor?)

We enjoyed lounging around in our comfies, watching great chick flicks, soaking in the hot tub, enjoying fresh faces with no make up, shopping at good old McCall Drug Store (and finding some cute stuff!), eating lots of chocolate, drinking our fair share of diet Coke, and laughing until I cried - SERIOUSLY - I cried real tears thanks to Stefanie, and it was good to have a nice hard belly laugh, indeed it was!

I will admit that I was extraordinarily happy to see my sweet family and catch up on the events of the couple of days I missed. I'll spare the details, because I'm sure the girls would want me to do that, and after all, what happens in McCall on a girls' weekend stays in McCall!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Little Princess...Homecoming Princess that is...

It happened.

Little Kourtni, who was just barely born, and just barely learned how to walk, and just barely graduated from preschool, got asked to Timberline's Homecoming Dance.

Of course the way a girl gets asked is as important as who asks the girl. In Kourtni's case, it was a trail of string and daisies leading to a 7 month old baby boy sporting a t-shirt that said, "Will you go to Homecoming with my big bro?"

And of course the way a girl answers is as important as who the girl goes with as well.

Kourtni and her friend cut out a bajillion hearts, confiscated the garage code to enter the home, and spent about 2 1/2 hours taping hearts to the bedroom wall.
"I would love with all my heart to go to Homecoming with you" was her reply.

Yeah, she's pretty giddy about taping all those hearts to all those walls...

A few days before the big game, important news from THS:

Your daughter has been selected to be a finalist in the Homecoming Court. Please fill out the enclosed form indicating who will be your daughter's escort(s) and indicate how to say said escort(s) name(s). Oh, and don't wear your grubbies on the blue turf.

OK, maybe I made the grubbies part up...

Three girls from each grade. Three guys from each grade. Parading into Bronco Stadium at halftime praying that no tripping over blue grass would ensue.

And the sophomore winner is:

Yep. Kourtni Ball.

Totally cool.
Totally darling.
Totally memorable.

I'm just glad the background is so un-grubby.

Kourtni and her good friend, Alyssa after halftime.

Nope. We didn't get a picture of Kourtni with the sophomore guy prince. (And his lovely crown.) He was the quarterback and was a bit anxious to run in to the locker room to get a little tongue lashing from the coach.

A manicure was a must for this girl.

So was a pretty pedicure.

Waiting patiently for those nails to dry.

Aly and Kourt making the boys wait just a few minutes more - you know, don't want to seem tooooo eager, or tooooo nervous!

Oh, and the curls were courtesy of big sister Alyssa who came to Boise for the weekend. I don't know who would have done those girls' hair if it hadn't been for good old Lyss! Whew!

Obligatory mom and dad pose!

Yeah, I was a bit of a freak following them out to the car and snapping pictures...

I was so afraid they would fall into the little creek right behind them, but they had really good footing!

I just really like to look at this picture! To me it's just soooo cute!

The group.

The sisters.
(Lindsay was there somewhere...)

The mamas.
Do we look too young to have kids this age???
Don't answer that about me, but you can say yes about Carly looking young.
Because she is!!!
Still love her though!

A final shot of the family before Kourtni was whisked off for Hawaiian food, great dancing, frozen yogurt, and a "change your clothes so we don't make your dress smell like smoke" bonfire.

Oh, thought I'd mention that being the Homecoming Princess didn't go to her head - the only thing she said to us was,
"Since I'm now a princess, can I get a bigger bed?"

Um, yeah, no.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Napping House

One of my favorite children's stories is The Napping House by Don and Audrey Wood. If you haven't read it to yourself or to your children, well, I won't alert the authorities just yet... It is a beautifully illustrated and well written story about a house where everyone is sleeping. That just about sums up the Sunday afternoons here at our house.

Yay for 9:00 church!
Yay for some peace and relaxation!

Yay for cat butt hair when you wake up from your slumber!
Yay for the grogginess that ensues after you awaken!

Yay for blissful slumber for 2 hours of the afternoon!

Blue and Orange and Windy Game

So every year the BSU football team (have you heard of them? My alma mater? Number 3 in the nation?... yeah, them!) has a scrimmage open to the public. It's called, for the lack of a more creative name, the "Blue and Orange" game. It's free to the public, fans, and anyone who wants to go see what all the hype is about BSU. We aren't season ticket holders, although Bill and Payton attend a lot of their home games and even traveled to Phoenix to watch them play. We do love to watch them and so off we went to Bronco Stadium on a overcast Saturday evening.

The guys look good in their shirts, I look like I'm in my pajamas. Oh, that's because I usually wear this shirt to bed!

On our way to the game - yeah that was a HUGE piece of gum in my mouth that makes me look all distorted and such.

We sat waaaaaaaaay up high in the bleachers. Waaaaaay up high. And, in case you were wondering, No, I am not a smoker, even though I have the lines that may say otherwise...

It was extremely windy that evening. So windy that we decided to leave early because we didn't want to have to run to our car through the crazy weather we could see coming since we sat waaaaaaaay up high in the bleachers. Did I mention our seats were almost to heaven?


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Girls' Camp - with my OWN girls!!!

So I got the call about 6 months ago. The call from the bishop. The call that I had never gotten before even though I had served in the young women organization during the past decade for 7 years in a row in some capacity or another. The call that would let my inner teenager emerge.

Would you please serve as ward camp director?
Color me giddy...
a little nervous, but mostly waaaaay giddy.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!! Yee haw - no 11 or 12 year old boys would be in sight during the entire week. No boys trying to be funnier than the other 11 in the group. No boys diverting attention from the lesson with a silly joke or comment. No boys playing around in their seats. No boys involved in this! Oh, wait, I still had my calling of teaching those boys... Well, no matter, I could handle them plus camp no problem. In fact, camp would be my distraction for the summer. Yesssss.

Another plus to being the camp director was the fact that Kourtni and Lindsay were going to be there! Yay! A chance to be with my two girls in the mountains for about 5 days. Let the planning and fun commence.

I had great help with this years' camp. From my two teenaged daughters to my college aged daughter who told me what to do and definitely what not to do. Thanks, girls!

I had great ladies to work with! Wow, we were literally the "dream team" of camp if I do say so myself! We all got along great, laughed into the wee hours of the morning, ate lots of good food, crafted, cleaned up very little since our awesome young women pitched in tremendously, laughed some more, bonded with the girls, got dirty, got wet, and laughed some more!

Thanks to everyone who made Girls' Camp 2010 such a positive, memorable experience!

Redfish Lake with the fourth year girls - Kourtni was a fourth year this year!

The fab four! These girls were basically inseparable! And so modest!
Just look at those one-piece suits! haha

Gettin' ready to jump off the point at Redfish. Fire powah!

You gotta love the burst feature on your camera!

Refreshing water at 9:30 in the morning! Brrr...

I was happy to stay in the paddle boat and be the photographer! Nice and dry was I! haha

Some of the cutest young women Ever!

Day 3 of no make up, filthy feet, and greasy hair. Wish I looked as good as Lindsay!

Yes. We did the horsey face game. And yes, I am posting pictures of it 'cuz I have no shame after spending 5 days with these ladies! Love 'em!