Friday, May 30, 2014

Calvin's 6th Grade Promotion

Same story as the previous post. Not a lot of time. I want my internet back!!!!

Calvin and his friends, posing like winners.

Calvin, clearly loving the ceremony.

I'm not kneeling down. The man that took the picture was just really tall.  I have allergy eyes. Calvin looks like Dapper Dan.

Mr. Van and Calvin.  See you later 6th grade!

Kinder Graduation

No internet access. I'm at a pals house. Just pics!

Before promotion.

Hugging his English Kinder teacher.

He made it!

Owen and friends!

Owen and his Chinese teacher!

*** This post is for Thursday, May 29th, 2014***

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Field Day!

When I was little, field day consisted of actual track and field events: long jump, high jump, 50 year dash, etc.  At the school where my kids go to (and I think this might apply to most Utah elementary schools) the events are really silly and loads of fun.  A friend and I ran the shoe kick station: see who can kick their shoe the farthest. We were right next to the rubber chicken toss.  Good times. Each of my dear children checked in to say hi to me, but not one of them signed up to kick their shoes... SOunds like we have an activity for our next Family Night!

What good shoe kicking form looks like.

Annie ( in bright yellow) had a blast today.

SImon with a pal.  What fuzzy hair!

A huge branch blew down in my backyard.  

Dessert (which I ate about 30 minutes before dinner.) Peaches, cream and cinnamon. It was wonderful, and the perfect appetizer to my meal.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Too Cute

My family recently discovered a tv show called 'Too Cute." It's a documentary about something insanely adorable, like puppies  or kittens.  It follows them form birth to when they get placed into their forever families.  Below are some of my too cute favorites.

I've always loved pigs. 

Labradore puppy. Mercy.

baby snow seal.  I want to pick it up and feed it a bottle of cocoa.

Small jars of... peanut butter, jam, Nutella, basically smaller is too cute, which is why babies are rad.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day To Be Remembered!!!

Today was simply fantastic!!! Easily the best Memorial Day my dear family has ever had: good food, getting along, remembering, visiting family, tiny miracles, peace and serenity:~)

We visited the cemetery where my Grandmother MaryJane Stander was buried.  She was Dutch and so we got her some orange mums (Holland and orange are B.F.F.'s, as in the House of Orange) and I folded my Oma a little white Dutch hat, which I think will surely amuse her when she sees it.  We called my mom (who is in Tucson right now) and had her share some thoughts about her mom with us. Love you and miss you Oma!

As a miracle, whilst visiting our headstone, a family about 30 feet over remembered my grandparents and shared some faith promoting stories with me about them. It was so awesome!
Preston is not pictured because Memorial Day found him in the house, attempting to feverishly cathc up on homework that is due tomorrow.

We visited my cousin Cole up at Primary Children's Hospital.  He had brain surgery about a week and a half ago, and is actually up walking and talking!  It was so great to visit with him and my uncle Todd.  Simon and Cole are holding hands and fist bumping. We shared several cheesy jokes that my mother supplied.

Dipping around at a lot.  We picked up street tacos and parked in a place with grass and shade. Then Ryan turned into a jungle gym.

Memorial Day: time to buy a barbecue!

Washing the car.

Clay crafting.

Cheeseburgers in paradise. Happy grilling man.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


This afternoon the board of the Relief Society (my church's womens' organization) met at my home for a some training and treats. The emphasis was on improved teaching, and many great ideas were kicked around as we discussed what makes a good/bad lesson, and what we can do as students to contribute, etc, but the takeaway gift was a lemon.  Picture our lives, or our church assignment (a.k.a. our calling) or the lesson we need to teach as a lemon. We all know that lemons are great and can be used to make cupcakes or lemon bars or humus. Lemons are used in many varied, amazing dishes, but all of these wonderful recipes that require lemons have one thing in common: something has to be done with the lemon. It needs to be cut up or squeezed or zested. Our lives, callings, lessons, parenting, schooling, relationships, testimonies will require effort if they are to turn out delicious.   I clearly love lemonade (of course I do! Lindsey's Lemonade, after all!) I hope I am not simply staring at my lemons, picturing all of their possibilities, but rather am dicing and de-seeding and juicing or stuffing and am actually attempting to cook something extraordinary, both in the kitchen and in my time on earth.

I looked into getting a lemon tree, but apparently, Utah weather is a little too chilly for a happy lemon tree:~(

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chocolate Waffle

I feel 300% better today than I did yesterday, which made for a very lovely day.  I fixed some waffles and bacon for breakfast, Owen had his last soccer game of the season, Preston went to his call backs for the musical, we put 700+ Chipper Chef fliers on cars (a family service project that will forever remind me that my family loves me), we watched "The Million Dollar Arm" at the theatre, which was great, and then I went grocery shopping with Ryan.  Good Saturday fun.

When I went to pour some batter into our hot waffle iron, I discovered that a waffle had been left behind from our last waffle day.  It was crazy burnt and almost looked deliciously chocolate. I tried to serve it to the kids, but they caught on pretty fast, and were sufficiently amused.

Owen kickin!

Owen with his two best soccer (and kinder) buddies.

Annie and Simon dipping around at the theatre.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bed Rest

I am home sick today with strep throat.  I have quarantined myself in my bedroom, had a few pity parties, made some calls, watched the movie "Holes", read some churchy stuff, cried a little, slept a lot, and prayed several times.  Three cheers for antibiotics which have me feeling better this evening then I felt this morning, and should have me feeling fabulous by 10:41 tomorrow.  As a side note, I had strep thorax on my wedding day, but was so excited that I just ignored it. By the next morning, I was throwing up, my throat was killing, I had a fever, and a plane to catch. Naturally, I thought I was allergic to my new husband. The silver lining is that in Acapulco, antibiotics can be found in any pharmacy, no prescription needed. So it only took 3 days into my honeymoon to feel back to normal...and then my glasses were stolen... Maybe now is not the time to relive my honeymoon...I'm trying to feel better and these memories don't seem to be lifting my spirits.

There are few I like less than getting my throat swabbed. 

FYI: Calvin had his 6th grade class dance today, and had a great time.  Preston got a "call back" for the musical. He was very excited.


***Today I had 2 of my 4 cavities filled.  The dentist was fast, and it was as painless as possible, but I would be entirely crazy not to resolve to do a better job at flossing.  My face was numb for a good 6 hours.  I am pretty good about brushing, but not flossing, until now.  I also don't recommend waiting two years between appointments.  I feel like a naughty dental patient.

Mercy. Cavities are the worst. Maybe worse than labor.

Annie's second grade class had their talent/show and tell day.  Annie sang "Halelluha" from Shrek. It was awesome (but a little quiet.) I was planning on recording it, but forgot that she was using my phone for the back ground music. Bummer.

Preston and Annie auditioned tonight for a summer musical production of Beauty and the Beast. Mom's weren't allowed in to see how they did, but I bet they did great.  I could even hear Preston singing through the door; his volume has got to impress the judges.  Annie wanted to dress fancy, which is fabulous!

*** This post is for Thursday, May 22, 2014***

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wet and Energetic!

Annie's soccer team had their end of the season party tonight. It was a swim/pizza affair, and their amazing coach had awards for all of the girls.  Annie was given the "Most Energetic" award, which certainly fits.  She has had a great soccer season.

Owen has school off for kinder testing. he wanted a job to do , so he helped me with the garden.

Annie and her team.

Annie and her coach.

Annie on a noodle.

Preston had his middle school graduation tonight.  It was fun to see him and all of his friends looking so big.  He is a social creature and really loves school (but not homework :~)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Safe and Sound!

Annie had a tearful night, praying and hoping for the safe return of Athena Xena.  Ryan went out early to look for her. I went out early to look for. After breakfast and getting dressed, SImon Stander Wright Smith went out to look for her and became a hero for the day.  He found her in some very thick pine needles under our pine tree in the front yard.  Prayers were answered speedily! Athena was brought inside, fed some lettuce, and warmed up. Simon also performed in his 4th grade Utah pageant, which was great, and then he participated in the Space Derby Contest for Scouts tonight.  Good stuff.  Preston was in his final choir performance tonight.  He is a natural (goofball) on stage, and it was great fun to watch him sing.

Athena hiding out.

Simon holding Athena. She looks like a hamburger in this picture. I'm glad he didn't try to eat her.

My first lawn sign for my business.  I think it is a little too small, and am going to order some larger signs.  My plan is to hand out fliers this week, put up some more yard signs in prominent locations, and do some online adverts with the highschools.  Any advertising suggestions (and sign-ups!) are greatly appreciated.  I'm hoping that the Field of Dreams "if you build it they will come" also applies to new kitchens and cooking classes ;~)

Simon had a speaking part and did a marvelous job!

He used the hat as an active prop during the performance...  

...And speaking of performers, Preston is sooo fun to watch.  His face really captures the essence of what he is like on stage: always doing something, very expressive, a true performer.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Please Come Home!

SOmetimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.  Sadly, today was a bug sort of day. #1 I have 4 cavities. FOUR. Quatro. What the heck?! The day continues... and right this very minute, I have one very sad little eight year old who, for the intense love of our turtle Athena Xena, brought her outside to be with us whilst we did some yard work for family night. An hour later Annie remembered her treasured pet, but Athena wasn't any where in sight.  We searched as best we could in the dark, but had to call it quits.  If she was a dog, she would have on a collar with ID or we could call her name and she would come bounding to us. Greek box turtles can't do any of that stuff.  Annie loves this pet, with all her whole heart.  The only reason she brought Athena outside is that she literally loves this turtle and just likes having her close.  We will launch a full scale search and rescue tomorrow, but for tonight, please join us in praying that our darling turtle will be safe this evening, and found asap tomorrow. Athena Xena, please come home!

Cleaning out our garden boxes.

Calvin mowed the back lawn.

Dessert: Donuts and chocolate milk.  In aboiut 15 minutes, we will discover that our turtle is taking herself on a campout. Lots of tears being shed tonight over her absence.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014


God is a God of miracles.  In Sunday school, we discussed the idea that often we want to see the end from the beginning, or sometimes we would be satisfied with just being able to see a few steps in front of us.  In truth, occasionally we will be required to walk to the edge of the light and into the dark.  A friend contributed to this discussion by paraphrasing something that she once heard:

"When you need to step into the darkness you must have the faith to believe one of two things will happen: either you will step on solid ground or you will be taught to fly."

This picture reminds me of my twin, who steps into the darkness often, and is clearly being taught to fly. Thanks for your example of faith and courage. People can accidentally call me "Lesley" for the rest of my life, and I will always take it for the compliment that it is.