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The GHB: It just got real

August 23, 2016


Last summer at the Labor Day parade, the high school band was passing out flyers for free bagpipe lessons at the school on Thursdays. C was so excited!  Not our high school mind you; the high school I went to which is now 80 minutes from home.

“Mom, we’re down here on Thursdays!  I can do this!”

We had vaguely talked about maybe getting him some bagpipe lessons after we moved and got settled.  But this was an even better proposition.  Let’s just say the Scottish is strong with this one.

Of course, then I misplaced the little flyer, and we were technically homeless at that point anyway, so really can you blame me?  But eventually I found it and contacted the bagpipe teacher, then C went to youth conference, and then we had to wait for his practice chanter to come in the mail.  Finally at the end of October, he got to start chanter class while I taught cello lessons.

Truthfully, I’ve only heard him play a handful of times.  The first time I asked him to play for us, A, E, and I got the giggles and couldn’t stop laughing.  Then C got the giggles and you just can’t play the practice chanter while laughing.  So he’s mostly practiced in his room with the door shut ever since.

But last week his teacher told me that she can tell he practices and that he seems to be really serious about continuing to play, beyond just the high school band years.  She can also tell that we’re serious musicians at this house and know how to take care of instruments.  So she helped me customize a set of bagpipes for C.  She was going to put together a set from the school that he could borrow, but we’ve been putting aside money and figured why not buy him his own set now.  It would be a definite improvement over a school instrument.  (Anyone who’s ever rented a school instrument knows exactly what I mean!)

Today these came in the mail:

I feel like I should apologize to our neighbors.  I can see it’s going to be quite an ordeal to master the Great Highland Bagpipe!  Some of the difficulties can be found at this link.  Quite an educational read. I really had no idea!  But apparently we’re in it for the long haul.  Maybe some day he’ll look like this:

Incidentally, when I tell people he’s learning to play the bagpipes I get one of three responses:

  • “Oh, how awesome, I love the bagpipes!”
  • “Oh, you poor souls . . . I’m so sorry!”
  • “Oh, wow, the bagpipes!  Well . . . that’s different, but way to go for letting him follow his dreams!”

That’s us, the “let them follow their dreams” parents.  We’re just grateful we have a large basement.  I have a feeling practicing is going to get a lot louder.

For the grandparents

July 31, 2016

who complain that I never blog anymore . . .

(which is mostly true)

In the monthly Primary newsletter, there’s always a challenge from the Primary secretary for the children.  It’s usually a scripture or Article of Faith to memorize and recite to her; then they get a treat.  This month’s challenge was to visit any temple and come tell her about it.

So we decided to visit the Payson temple on our way home from Grandma and Poppa’s house on Thursday night.  Miracle of miracles!  The child who never wants his picture taken was more than happy to stand and smile for me!


Little A enjoyed looking at all the flowers.  They all smelled so good too!
Here she’s checking that some of the flowers really do match her shirt.6-28005644464_9fc8599dc8_o

Water fountains are always a big draw as well.





Then Little A screamed all the way to the car because she wanted to go inside the temple instead.  As my mother tells it, I did the very same thing when I was her age and we were at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

We stopped by Sister W.’s house on our way home so they could tell her all about it.  E will never recite a scripture for her, but was quite excited to finally get a treat for telling her all about the temple he saw.  Maybe that’s not the best motivation (although they’re very generous treats!) but we’re always thankful for a reason to stop and enjoy the beauty of the temple.  We love to see the temple!  1-28338251850_78e2c215f8_o

Mother’s Day

June 5, 2016

(which I realize was a month ago)

D and E filled out questionnaires about their mothers in Primary.  Apparently E needs a refresher on just how old I am.


We also like to go shopping. (I hate shopping, but I’m pretty sure he means grocery shopping because then we get ice cream cones at Macey’s.)  I like to eat and drink “a lot of stuff.”  And one of my favorite sayings is, “Go to bed!”  Which is true.  Especially for him when he’s gotten out of bed sixteen times already.


D got my age right and if he could anywhere in the world with me, we’d go to Payson??  We go there every week anyway, so later on I see he pencilled in “Scotland.”  And if I had time, I would do family history.

I do family history whether I have time or not.  I make time!

DH ended up having to go into work that afternoon, but at least made it through sacrament meeting with me so I wouldn’t have to wrestle the two little children myself like most Sundays when he is working, and luckily enough dinner was already in the crockpot so I didn’t have to cook.  Then A made me a double-layer chocolate cake.


Monday night Bill took me to see The Marriage of Figaro at Utah Opera.

All in all, it was a very nice Mother’s “Day.”

Somebody lost something!

May 26, 2016


E discovered he had a loose tooth last week and has had fun wiggling it.  Last night I brushed his teeth for him and told him to rinse.  He spit into the sink and then said, “I think my tooth just came out!”  Sure enough, there was a teeny tiny tooth in the sink.  I had brushed it right out.  He was very excited!

Vegas 2016

May 16, 2016

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas judging by my blog.  Or in other words my blogging time which was once called Keeping-up-with-my-15-year-old’s-algebra is now known as We’ve-moved-on-to-geometry!

But we actually did go to Las Vegas in March and I’m just now getting around to blogging about it.  It was a very quick trip.  DH’s aunt was there for a conference, so his mom decided to fly in for a fun weekend with her sister, and invited us to drive down and meet up with them.  (Which always sounds like, oh, fun, a road trip!  Then the logistics of work schedules and children and lots of driving make it a little more complicated!)

Miracle of miracles, DH was able to get someone to work for him that Saturday so we could be gone for 48 hours.  We left Thursday night after cello lessons and drove straight through, pulling in around 1 a.m., which with the time zone change, we kidded ourselves, was only midnight!  By the time we got checked into our room and actually fell into bed, it did indeed feel like the 2 a.m. it was in Utah.  And of course children woke up at the crack of dawn.

Of course.

But we met up with Nana and Aunt S for breakfast, then Nana took us to see the white tigers and the dolphins at the Mirage.



Little A is getting to be like her big brother and doesn’t want to smile for the camera, but was at least happy to hang out with Nana.  All those Facetime calls are making Nana familiar.


After watching the dolphins play underwater, we watched them interact with the trainers and get fed.



Then it was on to the big cats.





D especially loves tigers and was thrilled that they had two tiger cubs there, one orange and one white.  They were quite playful and watching them made his day!






Then we hiked and hiked and why does everything on the Strip feel like it’s a mile away from the parking garages?  Finally we made it to the Cheesecake Factory in Caesar’s Palace where Nana took us out for a late lunch (a belated birthday meal for DH.)  We watched the fish in the aquarium while we waited for a table and drank chocolate milk.


The lighting was really weird.



I’m not a selfie-taking kind of girl, but it was a quick and easy way to keep the 2-year-old entertained while we waited. 24-las-vegas-2016_26435523414_o

We also watched the animatronic fountain show before hiking back to the car.


Nana and Aunt S had to get ready to go to a show, so we said goodbye at this point and headed back to our hotel.  Little A fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep once in our room, so I took the opportunity to rest with her.  E was determined to swim so C, D, and DH went with him down to the outdoor pool where they lasted for only a few minutes because the wind was quite fierce just then.  It was warm compared to home, but still not quite hot enough for outdoor swimming.

We had stuffed ourselves at lunch and still had quite a few leftovers so we didn’t even need dinner, but ended up at Nana’s hotel where we could spread out a little.  She had a kitchenette and a living room.  We should have stayed there!  There was a basketball tournament in Las Vegas that weekend and we had a terrible time finding a nice and affordable room, especially when we were looking last minute.  We found The Hobbit on tv and ended up watching the rest of it.  I think our lack of sleep the night before was catching up to us.

We convinced the boys to get up and catch the water show at the Bellagio before heading back to our room to bed.  But again, because we had to park so far away and walk out to the street, we missed half of it.  I don’t think the boys even cared.  Since we were there, I wanted to see the gardens inside.  They were still decorated with a Chinese New Year theme.





I also really loved the Chihuly glass sculptures in the lobby ceiling.
Across the way, the Eiffel Tower!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd no, it’s not like almost being in Paris.  I don’t care what the ads say.  Nothing in Las Vegas feels like the real thing.

The next day after breakfast,  we headed out to Red Rock Canyon conservation area. It was nice to get away from the city.  We walked around the visitor’s center and exhibits before driving the 13-mile loop.  It was pretty warm and looking at the time and knowing we had a long drive ahead of us we didn’t feel we could spend the time it would take to do any hiking.  Maybe next time.





So we said our goodbyes and hit the road, missing the quickest turn off back to the I-15.  Then we needed gas so DH told me to look for a Costco or Sam’s.  We finally found one, but it took a very long time to get off the freeway and back to the Sam’s Club that looked oh, so close from the freeway, and then it took forever to get gas there on a Saturday.  Then we needed a recharger for our cell phones which were down to almost nothing battery wise and our other car charger was toast.  So we stopped at Walmart.  Then we were starving, so we stopped at Smash Burger for a late lunch?  dinner?  Then we finally hit the road.  6.5 hour drive, plus the time zone change adding an hour, stopping in Cedar City for gas and snacks, at Grandma’s house to pick up my cello, and  we pulled in our driveway at 11:15 p.m. And it was the night we switched to Daylight Saving’s Time, so DH got about 4 hours of sleep before he had to head back to work!

Good times!

Seriously, it was good to see Nana and Aunt S.  And D says the tigers were worth it.

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

April 20, 2016


Someone is slightly excited about finishing Singapore Math!

Easter 2016

April 18, 2016

We didn’t do much for Easter this year.  DH had to work that Sunday.  (Recurring theme around here.) The boys, or maybe just C, really wanted to color some eggs, so we broke out the dye the night before.  Little A was quite enthralled with the whole process.




I was surprised that E let me take his picture.  That was my one and only chance though, because he wanted nothing to do with photos the next day.  (Some day we’ll look back and say wait, didn’t we have five children that year?)6-26097322105_1ee82088b7_o

I never did find an Easter dress I liked for Little A, but she had a dress she got for her birthday that she hadn’t worn yet, so it can count as a new Easter dress.  5-26004792442_f6dd2ffcd9_o
Here she is showing off the big poufy skirt, and A is modelling his new suit.  He went to Prom at Liahona Academy.  All the distance ed. students ages 14 and up were invited.  But those not yet 16 couldn’t bring dates!  I was really surprised that he wanted to go, but he said he had a really good time.  He got to see a lot of people he knew from youth conference in the fall.

He’s needed a new suit for a while now, so we hit the Easter sales at JCPenney’s and got a pretty good deal.  He’s outgrown the young men’s department so we had to move into the men’s.  They have a “Super Slim” fit that was just perfect for him!


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