Sunday, July 31, 2016

Don't Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford

I taught a lesson in my congregation today about fasting (going without food and drink for two meals) about fast offerings (donating money that you would have spent on those meals to help the poor and needy) and budgeting (knowing what's coming in, what needs to go out, and preparing for emergencies and retirement.) Not a terribly chipper topic, but vitally important nonetheless. For the budgeting portion, I showed one of my favorite SNL clips. The sound didn't work very well during the lesson, so if you were straining to hear, just click the link below.

Do you know the answer to these questions?

1)    What is your monthly income?
2)    What are your required monthly expenditures?
3)     Do you have savings for emergencies?         
4)    What is your plan for retirement?

If you do not know the answer to these questions, go find out the answers. Seriously, go do it.

“No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.” – Suze Orman

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”  - Dave Ramsey

“Budget: A mathematical confirmation of your suspicions.”
-       A. A. Latimer

“There seems to be a sense of entitlement in today’s culture. . . . When we become burdened with excessive debt, we have . . . placed ourselves in self-imposed servitude, spending all of our time, all of our energy, and all of our means to the repayment of our debts. . . . It is essential that we . . . develop a spending and savings plan—a budget—and distinguish between wants and needs.”  - ROBERT D. HALES , March 2009

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Right Place, Right Time

Calvin and some friends were headed to the Panic at the Disco/ Wheezer concert. In preparation, we went to Hot Topic at the Gateway to buy a Panic shirt. We were in a bit of a time crunch, so we walked in and I went straight to the clerk and asked if they had any Panic shirts, and then he directed us over to our options. Apparently, one of the band members who happened to be in the store overheard me, because whilst browsing the shirts, he came over to us, introduced himself as the bass guitarist for Panic at the Disco, and then gave Calvin his guitar pic. It. Was. Totally. Epic. I have never seen Calvin more shocked and happy (he was shappy.) And I put on my mommy blogger hat, and asked him for a picture.  Below you will see what is certainly the highlight moment of Calvin's summer, and what is definitely on the top ten for his 14th year on this planet.

Boom, Baby. 10 points for being in the right place at the right time!!!! 

Wonderful Websters

My sisters family came up for the 24th of July, a Utah holiday where we celebrate the settling of the Mormon pioneers. It also happened to be right around my sisters birthday. And her family was away on vacation during our epic AZ trip, so we were super excited when we found out they could make it for the big Utah festivities.

After the car accident, we did indeed go to Lagoon. We're waiting at Rattlesnake Rapids. So fun!!!

We ended the night at the perfect ride for closing time. The generous employee, that was supposed to shut down at 10:00pm, let the kids ride this spiny ride 3 more times after closing. They thought it was a blast, and I was impressed that no one puked after the spinning marathon.

In honor of my sisters vista, I made some chocolate croissants for breakfast. A totally time intensive adventure, that results in an amazingly delicious breakfast.

We got to visit Grandpa. He looked great.

Waiting for the parade to begin, hanging out in the shade.

Purple popsicle to keep him cool.

Watching the fireworks with Norman. They were too loud for him, so I covered his ears during the show. He fell asleep about 5 minutes into the loud booming of fireworks.

Hiking! On the way up.

At the top. Goodnight, Norman.

We love hiking to this spot at Mueller Park Canyon, and our dog Cricket loved it too.

Darling Cousins!

Down by the river. Comparing twigs.

Just the two of us, out to dinner.  Gourmet pizza. Happy birthday Hillary Ann Holman Webster. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Daddy Daughter Date

"I want prom hair for tonight" my lovely 10 year old daughter declared.  She then pulled me over to the computer to show me all the do's she liked from google images. Oh the confidence my dear daughter feels in my ability to do prom hair is so totally unmerited. 1) I have no real background in doing fancy hair 2) She almost never lets me touch her hair, so I have had very little practice in the last decade...and yet prom hair she got, and a date with my soul mate (aka her dad.) What a lovely night/ Hawaiian Luau. 10 points to her church leaders for putting it together.

How cute are they?!

An image of the back.

After the event, with her fancy skirt and lei.

They even gave the girls flowers for their hair.
What a great date!

***This post is for Wednesday, July 20th, 2016***

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Not So Chipper

Instead of not getting into a car accident on our way to Lagoon, we did. My fabulous sister and her kids are with us and in honor of summer and family and roller coasters and fun, we thought Lagoon would be fabulous adventure. I was riding to the park with my sister and some of our kids when I got a call from my Preston (high school senior) telling me that he had just been in an accident, that everyone was okay, but the car looked pretty bad. Calvin and Norman were with him, and three of their cousins. They had been rear ended at a stop light (26th and 89) and the other driver slammed into the crew going about 35mph, clearly not paying any attention at all. They pulled over and Preston got out to see if she was okay. This young driver turned to Preston and curtly replied "I'm on the phone with my insurance company"... so I think she was okay. She received a ticket for her naughty driving, and we got to pull up to Lagoon looking like we were part of the National Lampoons Vacation movie.  My car is no longer with us, we're in a sweet rental, which will now make it easy to sneak around... not usually possible in my Chipper Chef van.

This picture is cool because my finger is in the way. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Oink, Oink, Baby.

Ryan and I were poking around a home store and found this painting that speaks to my soul.  I have always had a love for my porker friends. We snatched it immediately because it's glorious.

He's smiling at me. And I have named him Sebastian.
Sebastian Smith.

We also bought this lovely chandelier for our bedroom.
Very romantic...

My sweet boy, in front of our house. Playing in the dirt and with this basketball.

96 and Counting!

My fabulous grandpa just turned 96 on July 11th. I will never forget his birthday because of the chain store called 7/11 that sells slurpees (flavored ice slushee drinks) and when my grandparents used to visit they would always take us to get slurpees.  My fabulous Aunts put together a birthday party for him in the yard at the assisted facility where he lives. We had Mexican food, chocolate cake, and a few bouncy houses, so basically the party was epic.

Since I graduated in 96, and Grandpa turned 96, I wanted to give him special, so I decided to do a "senior" prank? No, I didn't. We gave him some home-made cards.

Lots of family.

Annie and a bouncy house. My kids made very good use of it.

Norman in front of the little kids bouncy house.
He stayed outside and played with the plastic balls, and had a wonderful time. 
I love family parties.

***This post is for Monday, July 7th, 2016***

Friday, July 15, 2016

Sunday 70's Birthday Party

My lucky family got to celebrate with my fabulous Aunt, her accomplishment of having survived and thrived for 7 entire decades. She just makes 70 look so lovely! We had spaghetti and meatballs and raspberry chocolate cake with blueberry ice-cream. Tasty fun. Birthdays are the best.


A group shot: ten points to Preston for knowing how to do a phone photo using the timer.
Boom baby!

We did loads of decorations, but were especially proud of the 70 paper candles that adorned our front entry way. We love you Jayne!!!

***This post is for Sunday, July 10th, 2016***

Also, every week, between Saturday night and Monday morning, I attend church. Every week. I learn about Jesus Christ, I try to feel the Holy Ghost. It's part of my routine, and the foundation of faith for the following week. Don't know what I would do if without the Sabbath tradition. Peace out.

Home Sweet Home

Our Epic AZ vacation had to come to an end sometime.  I have never before had a carload of kids that were so eager to return to their home, friends, and chores (not really chores.) How wonderful it was to enjoy so much time with my handsome husband, cheerful children, and all of our excellent extended family. But it's good to be home.

This giant chair is in Beaver, UT by the gas station that we gassed up at.
I love that my dog seems to be smiling as well.

***This post is for July Saturday, July 9th, 2016***

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Wager

The place we were staying at had a pool table, which was just so fun.  Ryan and I played a friendly little game of pool, and had a little wager. The loser got to feel like a loser. The winner got to choose our dinner location.

I'm smiling, but it's just because I haven't lost yet.

On our way out, we visited Ryan's parents.
They were kind enough to give Preston this scratchy "mountain man" robe, made from an old army blanket. It even has a hood, with a very long tassel. Preston's considering wearing it for the first day of school.

Tickling the Ivory at Grandmas.

Attempting to gather the troops for a picture.


After a drive to Vegas, we did indeed have Ryan's dinner choice: sushi.
It was all delicious except for those in the very middle, which had hard and crunchy dried fish skins, which was absolutely awful.

***This post is for July 8th, 2016***

History Lesson

One of the highlights of our time in Mesa was out visit to the Golf Land and SunSplash Water Park. Aside from it being a fabulous water park, whats even more fun is that the watermark scene from the cult movie "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" was filmed there. Premise: 2 boys who are on the verge of failing high school need to come up with an epic final presentation in their history class or they won't graduate. So they travel back in time in a phone booth and take historical figures to their presentation. To say the movie is ridiculous is an understatement. To say that SunSplash was awesome would also be an understatement. 

Ready to take the plunge! We met a herd of cousins at the park, which was super fun since our `kids were all old enough to venture doff by themselves which turned our time at the water park into a hot date. Our first ride together was the one called double dare, where you stand in a chute and the floor drops out from under you. Terrifying during the wait, but super fun once you drop.

I"m sure this movie is shifty, but it came out in 1989, and I was only 11, so I just remember it being "totally awesome."

This is supposed to be Napoleon Boneparte after he tries a waterside for the first time.
He loved it. Ryan looked like this after he came out of the chute too.

All of this fun was made possible by Ryan's mom who took on Grandma duty with Norman whilst we were at Sunsplash, with a smile.  He loved his time with her, and was kind enough to do a high quality nap for her.

We finished our sunshiny day with an Italian dinner with the adults. What a great time. I love me some Italian food.

***This post is for July 7th, 2016***

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mesa Memories!

So Mesa/ Gilbert was hot. Very, very hot. Which of course meant we needed to stop for a little shaved ice (except I wanted a shake, which I got, because in general I think shave ice will always taste better if it had cream, and I think sherbet is just sad.)

Norman swinging at Grandma and Grandpas.

Dinner: Chinese takeout = happy Calvin.

Bouncing castle with dolphin on top, at my Crystal's house.
Gilbert irrigates their lawns: drowns it regularly to help with the grass/trees. It gets absorbed in a few days. Weird, but it works.

The front view.

Owen and the hose.

Simon sliding down.

Norman loving on Crystal.

*** What have I been doing?! This post is for last week, July 5th and 6th, 2016***