Saturday, July 31, 2010

1/2 = A Screamin' Party, Party!

Do you remember when you were a kid and you counted your age not by years, but by "AND A HALF!" As in, "My name is Lucie Ruth Mabel, and guess what? I'm fo' AND A HALF!!!" Whatever you do, don't forget the "AND A HALF!" if you want to score points with little dudes and gals.

So, Kimball has joined the club and recently celebrated his "AND A HALF!" birthday. Can you say, P-A-R-T-AAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY! Daddy Jordan has further won my heart by showing his awesome shopping-for-presents prowess! Good on ya, Jordan!

My, my, my, this baby is scrumptious.

Once again, sorry about the graininess of the video; I originally thought that my lame-o camera had an attitude. You must know what's coming: It turns out it was just lame-o me. Shucks. Perhaps I shouldn't apologize for the graininess; perhaps I should just tell you that I was aiming for the oh so avant-garde treatment with my footage. Yeah, that's the ticket. And, I like it.

Special thanks to Christian, my editor extraordinaire!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I swear I want to quit. I know I should. But, jiminy cricket, splendid editing like this shows up on an almost daily basis (no foolin') and keeps me ponying up for the renewal year after year. I guess this newspaper's editors aren't as bubble-headed as one would suppose. I admit it--they're effectively stringing me along with this stuff . . .

Please click on image to get your own fix

On a semi-related note, aren't all of those suns lined up in a row a beautiful thing? Except for that pesky Tuesday with the grumpy rain cloud butting into things. But no worries! Thanks to the aforementioned splendid editing, that day had already come and gone by the time this edition was off the presses. Neato how that works.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gimme a B-E-D!

Gimme an H!


Gimme an I!


Gimme a K!


Gimme an E!


Whuzzit spell?

No! Try again!

Whuzzit spell?

Nooooooooo! Keep at it; third time's the charm.

Whuzzit spell?




The Jellystone Park forest ranger types recommended that hikers allow about an hour to make it up to the entrance of Timpanogos Cave. Christian and I BOOKED IT and made it up in 37 minutes. We didn't stay for the main event of actually going through the cave, we just hiked the trail for the sake of hiking it. Pretty darn fun. My boy and me. Out in nature. A fabulous time. Loved it. Loved every minute of it. Except for the going down part. A bloody sock and occasional stabbing pains warning that the pinched nerve level was soon going to be elevated from yellow to orange were not fabulous. Now, if you'd be so kind,

Gimme a C!


Gimme an A!


Gimme a N!


Gimme an E!

E . . .

Friday, July 23, 2010

Three Movements

A lovely summer evening was in store for our gang as we settled in at the American Fork Amphitheater with a homemade pork sparerib picnic dinner, blankets, and gorgeous weather. I just adore evenings like this. No big woopty-wop, just sweet times and wonderful feelings all around.

A couple of notes about the following video:

*If you are a crossover reader from Ashley's blog, you have already seen Kimball do his thing; my camera shot is more of a rear-end view but equally adorable! Such a popular kid with multiple cameras trained on him at all times :D

*The featured violinist, Jenny Oaks Baker, is a Juilliard grad and a hot ticket among the LDS crowd. She is the teal blob you see next to the conductor. (My apologies for the more-than-just-slightly-horrendous video quality--I only recently learned that it is not due to my lame-o camera as I so smugly thought, but to lame-o me for having it on the wrong setting.) Moving along! Moving along! It looks like Ms. Baker is about to be taken out by the conductor's elbow at any moment, but the heavens smiled upon her, and thankfully that never happened. It would have made for some fun YouTube video though. If one's camera was on the correct setting . . .

*We were trying to be on our best concert behavior because, as luck would have it, we found ourselves seated right next to the conductor's family. And I mean, RIGHT NEXT TO! AND ALMOST ATOP OF! In fact, I think the conductor's adult son ended up licking dollops of BBQ sauce from our spareribs off of his pants at one point during a Ralph Vaughan Williams piece. That's how close we were. I think Dave and the conductor's son are now officially engaged.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Glad That Got Cleared Up!

Let's all belt out a great big "hallelujah" for those caption/cutline writers! Without the clarification offered in the caption for this photo, I'm sure I would be scratching my noggin' til my dying day wondering just who is who.

Click on image to enlarge
They don't call those long-time Floridian sun-worshippers "alligator skinned" for nothin'!

Monday, July 19, 2010


You all have seen the Old Spice commercials, right? "I'm on a horse." Hilarious. You haven't? If not, you are outing yourself as a non-reader of my blog because I featured an Old Spice commercial in a post not too long ago here! Tsk, tsk, and tut, tut, and shame on you if you missed that one. And don't tell me about it because I don't wanna know that you haven't been reading my blog. I'll just remain in a state of ignorance about my non-readers because, dagnabit, I'm quite fragile. And besides, if you are a non-reader, well, then, you are non-reading this right now, right? And now I feel like I'm in Back to the Future or something wacked out because none of this makes sense anymore.

So, back to the point. Yeah, I know--FINALLY! Well, there's a new Old Spice kid in town:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Coincidence or Crafty Crafting Caper?

Before we begin today's proceedings, please view Exhibit "A"
commencing at the 2:30 mark:

Me: "Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I posted this very idea on my blog earlier this week, and yesterday it showed up on their television show! I WANT JUSTICE, AND I WANT IT NOW!"

Attorney for KSL Studio 5: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Better Homes and Garden Magazine sells over 7.6 million copies of its magazine a month. This crafty idea was featured therein. Don't you think it might be a remote possibility that the producers of this show saw the idea in the magazine as opposed to haphazardly stumbling across it on this crazy person's sorry little blob?"

Me: "Well, yeah, but . . . but . . . but . . . I have lots and lots of (at least two and sometimes three!) readers who could have nicked the idea from my blog and sent it viral or even (gasp!) tweeted about it!"

Attorney for KSL Studio 5: "7.6 million copies a month, ladies and gentlemen. 7.6 million. I don't even make that much in a month! Well, not in a slow month, anyway. Anywho! 7.6 million magazines are a lot! She doesn't have a prayer of proving this accusation."

Me: "Well, maybe not. Tell you what. I won't raise anymore ruckus about the show filching my idea (never-you-mind about me copying it, that's beside the point and not important right now). Where was I? Oh, yeah. So I'll let KSL off the hook if you'll get me a photo op for my blog with some sort of famous person from around here like David Archuleta or Jazz Bear or Robert Redford, cuz I hear you entertainment attorney types know people who know people. Yeah? Really? You will? Great! Oh-kay! That's more like it! Ready? Johnny Depp. Give me Johnny Depp, then I'll drop the lawsuit. It's Johnny Depp or nothing. Hey! Where are you going? You can't just walk away like that! And, stop calling me 'that crazy blob person'! For your information, it's a BLOG not a BLOB! Hey! Come back here you, you, you . . . (gulp) lawyer!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Attempting Failing to Craft!

The photo below shows the goal I was shooting for, straight from the glossy pages of BH&G Magazine. Looky here. So cute.

In very short order, "the goal" morphed and became one of merely restraining myself from hucking my pitiful little efforts out the back door to our local herd of deer who insist on having a coffee klatch in our backyard on a nightly basis. So, as you will see, my version turned out okaaaaay; just not quite fit for an 8X10 glossy close-up, unfortunately.

Here's how the madness went down: After having absolutely zero luck finding meringue cookies at any bakery (am I asking too much here, people?), I did what the Little Red Hen would have done in the same situation, and I made them myself! (Kind of a royal pain, if you want to know the truth. But Little Red would have been so very proud!)

After a healthy dunking in the Chocolat Vat de Love, the cones were filled with more chocolate in the form of delish M&Ms, as well as a little note from me, then topped with a sandwich made of two kissing meringue cookies with additional oozing chocolatey chocolateness from the Chocolat Vat de Love between them.

Then came the part where I was really using my noggin', as in, using my noggin' for something besides banging it against my kitchen counter as I rued starting this fiasco in the first place. Since the cones had pointy bottoms and not flat bottoms, it was an exercise of cunning and desperation to figure out where to let these doodahs set up. Take a look below at raw ingenuity at work. My kitchen basically ran amok with ice cream cones for the better part of an entire afternoon.

And now. Here they sit. I have begged, pleaded, and/or surreptitiously slipped them in visitors' pockets, purses, babies' diapers (ooh! that's a little uncomfortable!), all in an effort to get these out of the house. I guess I shall be hucking them out the back door after all.

Editor's Postscript: They are gone. With the exception of the few cones which I was able to foist on much-too-gracious-to-say-no-straight-to-my-face friends and family, they. are. gone. Duly hucked. "That's it! Out you two pixies go--through the door or out the window." Name the movie, smarty-pants.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Separated at Birth, Part Two

While we're on the subject of greatness imitating greatness (yes, we were talking about that {sorta} {in a roundabout way} {kinda} {maybe} {maybe not}), I give you a perfect example of mankind's innate desire to be just like a beloved and revered mentor.

Here we see that Kimball just can't keep himself from imitating greatness; he loves his mama with all of his heart and soul and wants to be just like her when he grows up.

Ashley's Touchdown Pose

Kimball's Touchdown Pose
(Kimball has practiced and practiced mimicking his mama so
much that he can even do it in his sleep!)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Separated at Birth

You all have your favorite TOP THREE right? Your top three favorite movies; your top three favorite television shows; your top three songs; your top three favorite ways to irritate mimes; your top three brands of hemorrhoid cream; your top three uses for Grandpa's toupee; etcetera, etcetera. So among my top three favorite books is "To Kill a Mockingbird." And among my top three favorite movies is "To Kill a Mockingbird." Huh. Go figure.

Anyway, from the moment one of the main characters, Scout, and I were introduced, I have always felt a distinct kinship with her. Soul mates without the actual soul patch. She was a tomboy. Same here! She had a brother who was slightly older and wiser. Same here! She liked to tag along with her brother and be a pest. Same here! (So sorry about that, J.) She wore her big brother's hand-me-downs. Same here! Same here!!! Me! Me! Me! Even to the point that I was sometimes mistaken for a little boy.

Phil Merrill's mother, upon first eyeing me up and down: "Now, who is this cute little boy?

Phil Merrill, my brother J and me: Dead silence. Shuffle, shuffle. Eyes on the ground. Toe tap, toe tap. Crickets chirping. AWKWARD.

Sidebar: I have finally concluded that it was in the very instant of that decidedly humiliating meet-n-greet that my quest for obscene amounts of high heels was born.


Very recently, another big brother of mine somehow dug up a photograph of me, the likes of which I have never seen. No joke. Being the sixth kid in a family didn't make me the target of the camera lens very often.



Okay. Enough pouting. So, consider the picture my big brother G pulled out of his hat, and then check out Scout. I rest my case, Your Honor.

Don't mean to make a big deal out of it, but what's up with my brother J being all buttoned-down and fancy and well groomed and presentable in this photo while I, on the other hand . . . .

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Do We Ever Really Know?

I'm going to go and get all serious on you. And sappy. Quite sappy. Embarrassingly sappy. Just forewarning ya. You know the risk, so now you're on your own.

I would like you to ponder a thought: Do we ever really know how our actions can touch the lives of others? Do we ever fully realize to what extent our influence has on those around us? Yup, we know that what we say and do to and for others leaves our mark. But we probably conclude that our impact leaves even less of an imprint on those who stand on the periphery of our personal world only catching a mere whiff of us and our doings. Not necessarily so.

I was given an absolute gift by a couple of complete strangers a few months ago. It was a gift that was not necessarily intended for me personally. A gift that makes me a little teary even now. What was that gift? I received a beautiful glimpse into the very same world my adorable Sean is a part of this very moment while he is living and serving in Honduras. Such a gift. Very maudlin, I know, but also very true.

A local film festival screened a documentary called "Rise," the story about an old, broken man in Honduras who was struck with polio as a child but whose dream for the last 50 years has been to build a working helicopter using only junk culled from the junkyard. Oh, and he's doing it inside his home. It is an incredible story. A story told very well with the backdrop being the very country and culture that Sean has grown to love so much. The film was shot in Sean's mission, and after I viewed the film, I asked Sean if he knew the area. Yes, indeed. Sean wrote that he has been in that little town often and knows exactly where and to what I was referring. Such a gift. Such a gift to me! I acknowledge that I am crazy sentimental--I do love that boy to pieces! So, a gift to me!!! A gift of seeing the exact same streets, markets, hovels, poverty, and humanity that Sean has experienced during his time of service and sacrifice.

You just never know whose life you will touch by living yours. So, I say thank you to those filmmakers for my precious gift. Gracias, hombres. Gracias tonto.

(The actual documentary shows much more of the landscape and day-to-day living of Honduras, but the following trailer will give you a taste.)

"Rise" a documentary by Tyler Bastian and Trevor Hill

(You can click on the four-arrow icon for full-screen viewing.)