Mack graduated from high school today.  I am proud of myself.  I only teared up three times.  :-/

Checking her reflection to make sure she looks "just right."


Figurative: Walking away from mom toward her future


Huntsman Center at U of U


761 seniors wait to be told they are graduates



This was #4 in our 6 years of high school graduations in a row.

As usual, it was a bittersweet day for me.

Life has been too crazy lately for me to blog about our spring break trip that we took a month and a half ago.  I still don’t have time to do the trip justice.  This short post will have to do.  I polled the family members who went on the trip (Juju didn’t go because she had school and work, and Shroom didn’t go because he opted to go with a friend’s family to Las Vegas) on their top three favorites on the trip.  Here are their results (with a few pics from each top choice carefully chosen to preserve our anonymity):


1.  Scorpion hunting! (We stayed with my sister who happened to be experiencing a scorpion infestation.  We learned that scorpions glow in the dark when you shine a black light on them.  Hub loved going in the backyard after dark and hunting for the little nasties).

2.  Making Japanese food.  (Hub made some of his yummy Japanese food for all of us one night)

3.  Going to Oreganos for pizzookies.  (Oreganos is an Arizona original with the best dessert in the world–the pizzookie is a partially baked cookie topped with ice cream.  Yum!  I want one right now!)

Actual glowing scorpion

Huh (joined us on some of our activities since she just happened to be attending college in Phoenix at the time).

1.  Visiting the Phoenix Zoo.  Especially feeding the random squirrel on the trail, and going into the monkey enclosure.

2.  Taking pictures.

3.  Playing games with the family

Our squirrel friend



1.  All day Thursday.  (The day consisted of kayaking at Tempe Town Lake, a picnic, renting tandem bikes and riding trails at Tempe Town lake, and then later that evening seeing the movie “Rio.”

2.  The warm weather.

3.  Phoenix Zoo.




1.  Feeding sting rays at Phoenix Zoo.

2.  Oreganos

3.  Riding the tandem bikes.




1.  The Arizona Science Center.  (My scientific little boy loved all of the interactive exhibits here).

2.  The Tandem bikes.

3.  A tie.  Oreganos and spending time with family.


Me combined with Mack


Me combined with Hoob.


Me combined with Yawlin











1.  Seeing family.  Namely my daughter who had been living away from home at college and seeing my sister and her family.

2.  The tandem bikes.

3.  Relaxing….

My nieces' pet baby turtles


Huh showing her siblings around her campus


It was a great trip!  I wish I had time to write more about it, but life keeps getting in the way…

…at least we have the memories!



It was 10:50 p.m. and Hub and I were just dozing off in bed.  Suddenly, the house phone rang.  As I reached for the phone I glanced at the caller ID and saw that it was Shroom’s cell phone number.


“Aw crap, I was hoping my dad would answer the phone,” said Shroom.

I handed the phone to Hub and said, “It’s Shroom for you.”

Hub tiredly put the phone to his ear and said, “Hello.”  There was a brief silence and then Hub burst out laughing.  “Okay, I’ll be down in, oh, about 10 or 15 minutes.”  I could hear a loud protest from Shroom and Hub laughed again.  “Okay, I’ll come right now.”

Hub got up and put on his bathrobe.  “It would seem that Shroom is stuck on the toilet downstairs with no toilet paper.”  He went down the hall laughing.

And so, folks, this is just one more example of one more use for a teen’s cell phone…a call for toilet paper!  😉

National No TV Week begins on Sunday.  There are some who call for people to “unplug” completely during that week, which means not only unplugging from the tv, but from the computer and computer games as well.  I’ve had my family participate in unplugging in years past and have posted about our results on my blog. 

This year the unplugging happens to fall during our spring break–a spring break that we have actually decided to take a trip during.  So, unplugging for us will be much easier this year. 

 We leave tomorrow.

I will post about our unplugging…

…and our trip…

…when we get back.

Gotta love spring break!

My son, Yawlin, has been fascinated with water balloons lately.  He fills balloons and then thinks of different ways to break them.  He has tossed them in the air, played catch with them with a sister, shot them with his air-soft pistol, poked holes in them to see how long it takes for the water to drain, put tape on one and then poked it with a needle to see if it made the water drain more slowly, he even froze one to see what would happen.

Big sister, Hoob, noticed this fascination and proposed a new game for the two of them to play.  They each hide a water balloon in their room and then, over the course of the week, they secretly search each other’s room to find the balloon.  If they find the balloon they get to take it to the backyard and “kill” the balloon in any way they please.  They call this game “Balloon Assassin.”

Hoob was the first to succeed in assassinating a balloon.  Yawlin determined to find a much better hiding place the second time around.  So far Hoob hasn’t found Yawlin’s second balloon.  It is funny to see one or the other sneak around trying to find a balloon.  Yawlin even enlisted my help the other night in searching Hoob’s room while she was at the gym.  We had no luck.

The thing I like about this game is that my high school sophomore is paying attention to her 5th grade little brother.  Anytime an older sibling pays attention to a younger, it is a good thing.

I just hope the hiding places aren’t so good that the balloons die a natural death and leak all over!

My two weeks of “Joyful Reports” are now over.  It was amazing to me how much good I found, how much more positive I was, and how blessed I felt as I performed this two-week experiment.  Even though the two weeks are over, I plan on looking for joy each day–it is such a better way to live!

I now get back to my regular Monday/Thursday blogging schedule, also a good thing, since I have taken on two more “projects” that are going to take up quite a bit of time.  I will blog about those after each is further along.

“One joy scatters a hundred griefs.”  –Chinese proverb

Listening to the General Conference of our church this weekend.  It always seems that the messages shared are meant just for me.


Two years ago it was Mac-n-cheese and a side of peas.  Last year it was sloppy joes.  This year I made spaghetti for breakfast on April Fool’s Day. 

My family accepts this tradition I have started, even if they don’t relish the meal.


Lots of laughing from the kitchen made me come downstairs to see what was up.  Hoob and Mack were laughing at one of Hoob’s self-evaluations for her art class.  She had filled it out a few days before and had just taken a closer look at what she had written.  Under the section that said:  Describe a watercolor technique that you learned on this project Hoob wrote:

“I learned using rubber cement on the painting helps with keeping white on the painting days.”


Hoob didn’t even know what she’d meant when she wrote it.  Mack asked her if she’d been “on something” when she wrote it.  Hoob endured some teasing from all of us last night.

I get joy from the fact that my daughter can laugh at herself.

I read this column a few weeks ago and loved it.  It goes perfectly with what I am trying to do during these weeks of looking for and creating joy.  Click on the link, and enjoy!

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