Sunday, September 22, 2013

Celebrating the Birth Season

So, a couple of days ago, we had a fun birthday celebration with my sisters.  Over the years, we have traditionally held a summer float party in Cathy’s pool each year at the end of August to jointly celebrate Colleen and Cathy’s August birthdays.  It was super fun this year as Cathy, Colleen, Heather, Romney, and I floated and enjoyed the summer.  It was so fun that we decided to have a second float in between Colleen's birthday and my birthday.  We scheduled it once, but changed the date due to pouring rain.  Then we rescheduled for a week later.  As it turned out, it was 90 degrees one day, then 25 degrees cooler the next couple of days when we had our float planned.  I love the girls, but not so much the swimming in 70 degree weather!  That's okay, you can make up for a lot of swimming with some fun reminiscing about childhood treasures, a good sushi lunch, some niece time at her new house, some cupcakes, and some awesome gifts!  

Thanks Cathy for a great time!!!!  I am super grateful to have great sisters with whom I can spend these times.  Now we look forward to a trip up to Colleen's cabin when it's even closer to my birthday.  I love celebrating the birth season.  Let it start early and continue long!  

Epic Fail!!

Well, now that was one very poorly executed new resolution to start blogging again.  Note to self - "Do not  make a public announcement just prior to a really busy time in your life.  So, that was just a busy couple of months!    We used "The Lion King" as a group theme.  It was fun to do lots of African things and lots of animal things.  I was in the giraffe cabin.  A short girl like me can always dream of being tall, right?  We talked a lot about remembering who we are just like Simba had to remember who he was.  Ironically, I didn't remember that I was going to write more on here!

The most significant event about camp was the amount of rain we received.  I have never seen that much rain up there!  We had three days of massive storms.  One of them was a storm that brought rain, hail, wind, more sheets of rain, etc.  It was a sight to behold!  Fortunately, we also got sights like moose, baby moose, lots of deer, beautiful sunsets, etc.  It was awesome!  And, again, fortunately for all, it was the least drama-filled Girls' Camp I've ever attended.

Girls' Camp was followed by another super busy month.  We managed to cram in a whole lotta fun in July and August with the family.  We made a quick trip to Kanarraville to see the Grandparents Witzke with a bonus of seeing Kim and family.  There we enjoyed a beautiful hike at Zion's.  I made a quick trip to Midway with some friends for a couple of days.  We had a stay-cation with our family that included hiking and swimming and lots of fun food.  Perhaps the funnest thing we did that week was go to the Olympic Park in Park City.  They now have a fun adventure ropes course along with the zip lines and alpine slide.  Cheyenne was a  maniac on the ziplines.  

And perhaps it's worth mentioning that we were slow in getting to it, but we finally kept up the family tradition of destroying last year's gingerbread house.  This time we ran over it with all kinds of things that had wheels.  After a wheelchair, a bike, a scooter, an old tire, and a car, this is what remained!

The last couple weeks of August were just full of getting ready for Cheyenne to start 8th grade and Daniel to go away to college.  And so she started, and he moved on.  I was a total wuss on the day I dropped Daniel off.  It wasn't so much that I think I won't see Daniel again (he is only a half hour away), but his moving out signifies a great change in our family for the future.  Things will never be quite the same again.  I'm so excited for him, though, that it's going to be just fine.  He has the most exciting time of his life ahead of him.  That knowledge didn't keep me from crying when I dropped him off.  I was sad.  Then I came home to a very sweet gift from a dear friend who gave me the sweetest note and perfectly selected statuette.  Now I'll just have to be more empathetic to others who send their kids off!  Thanks for the support!!!

I think that summarizes in very short terms the last couple of months of my life.  It doesn't make for very exciting blog reading, but it does get me to a point of being "caught up enough" to move forward!  And so it goes that after an epic fail on my last attempt, I am willing to stick my neck out and try one more time!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Want to Come Back

So, in case there is still anyone out there who might care about anything I have to say, I think I'm ready to say it again.  It's been over a year since I posted anything on this blog.  It seems that life got a little crazy, and the blog got lost in the shuffle.  Well, things didn't get any less crazy as time went on.  In fact, this last year has been one of the craziest, busiest, most complex ever.

Recently, I've realized that I was having this most crazy life and I have no record of it.  My blogs may not be the most creative or the most original, but they are all about my wildelife.  I want to record it.  I want to share it (sometimes).  I want to have an outlet.  I want to come back.  I hope you'll come back and read with me again.

Sadly, I'm having this motivational feeling just a day before I head off for 5 days of Girls' Camp.  I won't be writing from there.  But I'll have lots to write about when I get back.  And I hope I'll have a healthy perspective on all that is wilde with me.

Maybe this is all about aging.  I find myself getting older.  I find time flying by.  Maybe it's about Daniel leaving home.  I'm analyzing and rethinking just about everything.  Maybe I just need a place to be heard.  I don't know for sure, but I think I'm ready to try again.

I'll commit to get started again.  I'll commit to pestering my cute nieces to help me spruce this up a little bit and move on to the year 2013 on my blog.  I'll commit to trying to keep it interesting - oh wait, my life does that on its own!

Today was all about Girls' Camp.  Packing clothes packing food, helping others, answering questions.  It's an endeavor, for sure.  We will be taking 37 girls and 14 adult leaders.  It's kind of a big deal!  But think of all the things there will to write about!!  Come along with me for the ride, and we'll see together how interesting it gets!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Context is Everything

So, the smells in my house today were divine!  From early morning on, Dale was one busy bee in the kitchen.  He made me a lovely Mother's Day breakfast, a simple lunch, and then set off on dinner and dessert preparations.

The end result for dinner was a meal of delicious grilled chicken and pesto sandwiches on homemade French bread.  The bread was brushed with garlic, layered with grilled chicken, pesto, cheese, and tomatoes.  As if the sandwiches weren't perfect, he paired it with grilled asparagus and fresh mango.  It really was the perfect summery meal.

After scarfing down all that he could, Daniel declared, "It's times like this when you want a vomitorium in your house so you can throw it all up and start over."

Now, there are so many directions one could go with that statement.  To begin with, it concerns me that my son thinks of the word vomitorium and that he used it in a sentence.

Upon hearing the statement, Dale declared that context is everything as he might have been quite offended by the same statement had it not been followed by "so I can throw it all up and start over."

Just a little food for thought!

Oh, and I failed to mention that dessert was a magnificent serving of homemade chocolate mousse that was to die for!  

Thanks family for a grand day - I loved it!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

My only real connection to Cinco de Mayo is that I spent some time living in Puebla, Mexico during a study abroad experience in college.  It's not actually Mexico's independence day as many suppose, but it commemorates a victory over the French in a battle near Puebla.  It's not even a national holiday in Mexico, but we Americans have decided it's a fun day to celebrate.  And I'm always game for a multi-cultural celebration!  Some choose to use it as an opportunity to drink tequila or something, but around here, it's much more about good old fashioned fun and good food.

After Colleen showed me a great recipe making the rounds on the internet, I decided to make some pinata cookies for my family.  These were time-consuming little treats to make, but sometimes that's what it takes for some fun.  We didn't have a donkey cookie cutter, but the pig was cute as were the fish, the stars, and the boot.

We had a delicious, very colorful meal of fish tacos with fresh mangoes on the side.  The meal itself was fun even before the pinatas!

For some reason, Cheyenne's interpretation of Cinco de Mayo meant dressing up with a "Mexican" skirt, cowgirl boots, and spurs.  The outfit made me smile.  And for ambience she added a string of lights made of horses and cowgirl hats.  To complete the mood, we discovered the Pandora Cinco de Mayo station.  We were set!

After dishes and some time to digest food, we got to the fun pinata party.  Our family was joined by a couple of Daniel's friends as they had all just finished watching a movie about zombies.  What better way to top off the evening than with a candy-filled cookie!

Apparently we only shot video of this event, so it may have to be uploaded later when Dale is awake, but it was a fun time.

We tried a miniature Louisville slugger  bat with a hanging cookie, but that just threw the pinata across the room.  But it was great when we figured out we could just give it one good whack on a plate and it would free up the candy.  Everyone dove in for the treats just like they're supposed to.  How can you not love a cookie filled with M&M's??

I'm not sure if I'll take the time to do it again any time soon, but it was fun this time around!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Another day, another conversation at my house

I asked Daniel to grill some hamburgers for dinner tonight.  When he came in, I thanked him for doing it.

Cheryl:  I am trying hard to make sure you have all the skills you need to be able to go to college and date.  I want you to be able to grill good dinners.  I know you can bake awesome bread.  I know you can bake yummy things.  '

You can even play the piano to wow them.

Daniel (with his hands on his hips):  And I can even calculate the volume of a solid by taking the area and rotating it around an axis!

(I don't think these conversations happen at everyone's house....)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


My sister issued a challenge to "write your story in 150 words or less" and post it on a blog.  I missed the deadline because I kept re-doing it.  I think I'm done re-doing!  Here's my stab at it.

I ask the students I tutor, “What is a product?”  It’s the answer you get when you multiply.  I am a product -- of all I have done multiplied by all those whose paths I have crossed.  My life goals include meeting everyone and going everywhere. I am who I am partly because of my elementary classmates in Kentucky multiplied by my friend Angela in Arizona.  The beauty of a bay in Puerto Rico multiplied by the friends I was with on that cruise formed me.  The teenage students on a bus in Wales and amazing past roommates are factors in my life.  Divorced parents, Korea, adoption, Tennessee, special needs daughter, creative son, Colorado, coworkers at a clothing store, Mexico, widowed neighbors -- the factor list is innumerable. I am a product, and fortunately, a product is bigger than the numbers you started with.