Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dan: Future President

Dan the Man
Future President

Dan was blessed this year to have Mrs. White as a teacher.  She is really good at what she does, and really helpful to those who end up missing lots of school. She loves her students like they are her own children, and cried over them as the school year ended because she hates to say goodbye.  One of the things she did on the last day of school was to make sure every student heard something good about themselves.  She also gave them each their own unique award.  Dan got the "Future President" award.  He was really pleased with that.  He told me, "I did not see that coming."

On the way out to the car, He was telling me a story about a bomb, and an airport.  I can't remember the story clearly, but I don't think it ended well.  His point?  "What this country needs is better security".  He was already working on planning what he would do as President.  He was very pleased to show his certificate to all of the family.  He can hardly believe that some of his classmates thought he should get that award.

I liked watching him as he came back to his seat.  He went around giving people five and looking rather pleased and like he didn't quite know how to handle such good fortune.

4th grade program.
The fourth grade program was fun to watch.  Dan generally enjoys performing, and after they sang the songs at the beginning, he is the only one who took a bow.  It made me smile.  I love my Dan.  He is smart, and fun, and extremely wiggly.  I doubt he would hold long meetings as President.  He wouldn't want to sit down that long!  It is a daunting task to raise the future president.  Derek and I will do our best.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


I wrote this song for my friend's son.  He turned 16 on the 16th and has been bravely battling cancer for years.  He likes super heroes (I haven't met too many boys that don't).  Most people love to occasionally escape into their imagination. You can go anywhere, and do anything in your imagination! This song is a mixture of both.  You can listen to me singing the finger picking version if you click here.  For the fun version where Tia and Kayli sing with me, and Connor does the video work click birthday video.  The words are below.

(Q's Song)

The sun is shining in the sky
And lots of friends are walking by
Music's floating in the air
But I am far away
Flying through the sky today

Lightning flashes when I land
Wearing armor I take off again
Rockets that I shoot make rain
They will not cause you pain
They'll bring earth alive again.

I love flying
When the sun is shining
And when the night comes
I will fly
Way up to the moon

The colors are now bright and fun
From a tree I see everyone
Arrows arc into the sky
And rainbows they appear
Chasing out all doubt and fear

Running so fast no one can see
But good things follow after me
Bad things get pushed far away
As I go on my way
Running right through walls today

I love flying
When the sun is shining
And when the night comes
I will fly
Way up to the moon

I hear a sound that brings me home
I stop flying around alone
I lower the shield I hold
And all is safe and sound
Landing back on solid ground

But someday I'll take off again
Perhaps next time I'll take a friend
We'll take off into the air
And fly up toward the sun
To do good for everyone

I love flying
When the sun is shining
And when the night comes
I will fly
Way up to the moon

I love flying
When the sun is shining
And when the night comes
I will fly
Way up to the moon

Friday, May 13, 2016

Derek Turns 50

Derek's happy birthday was on May 5th.  Derek is thoughtful and fun.  I love him.

Derek and Dan and Jake.  I believe Derek had been teasing Dan about using the face clamp Dan is holding to clamp his face.  Derek wasn't really surprised by these presents that he bought himself, but they were just what he wanted.  He wanted a fancy sports car more, but we can't always have everything we want.

Derek and his presents and Dan and Jake

I think Kayli was extra proud of this picture.  Derek and I have matching weird facial expressions going on.  There are 5 candles.  One candle to represent each of the ten years since Derek was born.

Happy Birthday to Derek
Derek asked for kebabs for his birthday, but we both forgot and so he asked for chicken enchiladas.  I remembered the kebabs too late for Monday's celebration  so we had enchiladas that day, and kebabs the next.  It never hurts to have an extra day of birthday celebration!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Derek and Me: 28 Years of Awesomeness

28 Years ago yesterday (May 11), Derek and I were enjoying a beautiful, sunny wedding day.  One week ago today, on May 5th, it was Derek's 50th birthday. We have good reasons to celebrate in May!

I think every year I get to spend with Derek is full of awesomeness.  I am extremely thankful to be married to someone who is always inclined to think well of me, and who has a gift for helping me, and our kids, to smile.

On Derek's birthday we headed off to St. George for an anniversary trip.  Here are the pictures.
Derek in Kolob Canyon

Kolob Canyon

With a little resting and snack eating I made it to the end of the Taylor Creek trail in Kolob Canyon.  Yay!

I insisted we try a selfie.  This was the best out of three -- I looked more dorky in the other ones.

This is the end of the Taylor Creek hike in Kolob Canyon.  The picture is pretty, but everything is more impressive in person.

On the way back down the Taylor creek trail I had to have a picture of the tree that was growing right on top of a rock (yes the red thing is a rock and not red dirt).

This was the way they built a part of the trail so it wouldn't get washed out (I think).  I hadn't ever seen a section of trail like it and so I wanted a picture.

This was the next day, in Zion Canyon.  This is the upper Emerald Pools (I think). 

I had to try to get at least one picture of the really beautiful scenery that we enjoyed while at Zion National Park.
Derek and I also spent some time on our trip visiting family, or having them do all of the work by visiting us and bringing us food (thanks Quinn and Tonya).  It was fun to see how Jenny and Jeff's new house was coming along, and to spend time with my parents visiting and driving around.  We saw my Fuller Grandparent's old house, and the LaVerkin cemetery -- the "final resting place" of a lot of my relatives.

I'll put the pictures of Derek's belated birthday celebration on a different blog for you to enjoy :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dan and the Keyboarding Contest

Somehow or another Dan was good enough at typing that he got invited to the district keyboarding contest.  This was an event for 4th and 5th graders that went from 3-9 p.m!  It was single elimination though, and so you could leave if you didn't type fast enough to make it to the next round.

This is Dan in the cafeteria at the high school where this was held.
We were lucky to have friends to sit by, but the music was so loud we couldn't really talk to them.  We got there at 3.  I wish we had gone later.  By the time everyone was signed in and we got started it was a little after 4.  Dan was in the first group of the first round.
While waiting for over an hour to see if Dan made it to the next round, we went and got dinner, and then found a quiet lawn to hang out in.
Dan did not make it to the next round.  We were actually quite happy about that.  Dan was done and so was I.  Dan didn't even want to stay if there was the possibility he'd win a hundred dollars!  The most interesting thing about the whole experience might have been the silly disagreement Dan and I had on the way there about whether the animation for Clifford the Big Red Dog, or Pokemon was the worst.  Nobody won.  Usually we are arguing about scientific "facts" that we don't quite agree on -- or discussing them -- in a very civilized manner.

I'm glad Dan was good enough at typing to get invited to this event, but I am also kind of glad that he refuses to go if invited next year.  Perhaps they could find a way to make that contest much, much shorter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dan Tries Something New

Dan did really well which was a good thing since I put his wrist guards on backwards and his knee pads kept slipping down.  Maybe it helped that the wheels were kind of broken on the hand me down, down, down skates?  He has new skates with non-broken wheels now.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Healthy Heart. A Happy Time.

Exactly a month ago I picked up Jake from school and headed up to Primary Children's Outpatient Center for a routine checkup with Jake's Cardiologist Dr. Cowley.  Jake reported with a smile that his friend asked where he was going and Jake said, "To the hospital".  His friend said, "Is everything ok?" and Jake said, "I hope so." Jake had a couple of heart defects when he was born that, without the help of terrific heart surgeons, would have made his life awfully short.

We drove an hour for an appointment that took half hour.  They did an quick EKG, took the blood pressure in both arms and legs and then the Dr. came in.  He looked at Jake and said, "Wow!  You've gotten so big that I feel really old!"  I bet Jake liked being called big!  He's 14, and not super tall, so he doesn't get that a lot.  Dr. Cowley said it seemed like just yesterday when he was talking to Derek and I before and after Jake's surgery.  We remember too, but I am impressed that he remembers.  Jake isn't his only patient!

Just like Jake's last appointment Dr. Cowley mentioned how pleased Dr. Hawkins, the heart surgeon would have been to know how well Jake has done.  Dr. Hawkins passed away due to pancreatic cancer in 2011.  Aside from Jake's scars, Dr. Cowley said that nobody, even a trained cardiologist, would be able to tell anything had ever been wrong with Jake's heart.  Jake keeps growing though, and we keep going up every once in a while to make sure the repair of his heart grows with him.  He won't go again until he's a senior in high school and then he'll have echocardiogram to make sure all is still well.  He's had one before. I think they are fascinating to watch -- they are about a half hour long ultrasound of the heart.

Anyhow, I learned from my friend Susan C. to try to do something fun while we are skipping school for these appointments, and so Jake and I went to the dinosaur museum on our way home.  Jake knows a lot about dinosaurs and could often tell me what I was looking at before either one of us read the information.  He was good company.  Here are some pictures of that:
Selfies don't always work out -- so then you hand your camera over to someone nice.

This was toward the end of our time I think.  I kind of forgot I could get pictures before that.

So Jake is closing his eyes, but for some reason it struck me as funny to have skeleton people
fighting a skeleton dinosaur with spears.  
 We had a happy time, and were happy to hear that Jake has a healthy heart.