Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Review: The Hidden Sun.

As you know, occasionally I am asked to read and review a new book thanks to a friend of mine in the editing business. This time I was super busy with school when the request came, but I read the back blurb and you know me...anything fantasy or sci-fi will probably draw my attention. So a week or so after accepting I got a free book in the mail(and hey, who doesn't like free books?)
The book is THE HIDDEN SUN BY J. Lloyd Morgan. The story is about the Kingdom of Bariwon which holds a contest called the Shoginoc whenever a new successor to the throne, or a mate for the current successor is to be chosen. This contest picks the bravest, the strongest, the smartest...not to mention the richest, as its winner. But this time there is a problem, the man chosen to marry Princess Eliana is not the man she loves..or the man she is secretly married to.
This book has a lot of technical difficulties, from poor editing to lack of showing. That being said, there were moments that I did actually get caught up in it, and I enjoyed a few of the characters. I had a lot of yeah right moments as I read this, but I also had a few please tell me more moments.
To check out THE HIDDEN SUN for yourself go to Amazon.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Goal Date.

Just set a goal date of September 15th for SKY to be done. Barring any natural disasters, I think this is a very doable goal. It would consist of 500 words a day while in school and 1000 on the week and a half break I have between semesters, plus it will give me a week or so to do clean up editing. Had an amazing dream last night that needs to be written into a story, so there is even more motivation to get this book done, so I can finally move on.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

School Daze

Mid-terms were last week. I got 100% on both my History and Geology tests so I am very happy. I have one more test in History and two in Geology to deal with and three weeks of school left. This semester has been crazy doing both classes in 7 1/2 weeks, but it has also been nice because when I have my comprehensive final it won't have been as long to have to remember the stuff. The History grade makes me happy because that is my major. In Fall I will be taking 3 History classes and an introduction to Homeland Security class. A full schedule especially with soccer and the kids back in school and well everything. I think the next two years are going to be like this, me in a daze running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but hopefully somewhere in there I will manage to finish my rewrite of SKY and start my next story because I am coming up with ideas faster than I can write anything down!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Food Glorious Food!

This morning we needed to go to the bank and the store. Got up early and took the kids while they were still in their jammies. At the store I told each child they could pick one doughnut. Yes, I know super nutritious breakfast. While looking over the chocolate, sugar, jelly filled masses, the girls discovered doughnut holes. Their first question was "Are those what we had in Germany?" Sadly, my answer was no. They are nothing like the perfectly rounded, lightly powder sugared quark balls that we had at the bakeries around Germany. In fact, nothing is like the glorious feasts we had on our trip. Here are just a few of the delicacies we got to indulge in.

Hungry Yet?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Are there even words to describe how much I loved Hohentwiel? I don't think there are, so please bear with my inadequate description of how cool this place was. We divided our trip into two parts, the north and the south. Our first three days in the south we stayed in Garmish(more to come on that), then we went west a little to the Bodensee area. My mom grew up in that area. A few years ago when she and my sister were there they were driving and my sister happened to look up to one of the volcanic mountain peaks and see this amazing fortress at the top and ask what that was. It was Hohentwiel, a place my mom had never been, but recognized, from family road trips as a young girl, as the marker that meant they were almost to Lake Konstanz.
About a third of the way up this peak is a small hotel which not only has an amazing view, but is one of the most comfortable hotels we stayed at, and has terrific food as well!
From the front of Hotel Hohentwiel, you can hike up a trail the rest of the way and get to the fortress, the amazing ruins of a place that once was home to about 300 people in times of peace and over 1,000 in times of war. This place, the surrounding forest, and the farmlands that crept up to its base are a writer's paradise. In fact, right outside the front door of our hotel was a huge tree with a sign posted to it that said it was under that exact tree where the book EKKEHARD was written.
I could have spent a full day or more exploring the ruins at Hohentwiel. There were hidden passages, full rooms still standing, and enough forest surround it to put me back int he tenth century. It was standing in one of the dark rooms with small rays of sunlight poking through the ceiling that I could clearly imagine the characters I've been getting to know for my fairytale living. I could see it all and more than anything I just wanted to sit and write. Alas when you are with a group, two of which are small children, you don't always get what you want, so taking a million pictures of every rock, tree, and viewpoint had to do.
Hohentwiel just had this feel about it that wrapped me up and said you belong here. I already told D that he and I are going back and spending a whole week there. The best thing is that it is so conveniently located. From Hohentwiel we did day trips to the Black Forest, the Rhein Falls, and Lake Konstanz. It is a beautiful place and I can't wait to go back, or to start my fairytale. Better hurry up with this final draft of Sky!!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Spreewald

Sixteen days in Germany can not be done in one blog post, so the next few blog posts will be dedicated to some of the more fabulous places we got to go! Even though we didn't get to the Spreewald till toward the end of our trip I am posting it first due to the sheer awesomeness of it.
My family lives is Lubben, a town about one and a half hours south east of Berlin in what was once the former East Germany. The thing that makes Lubben famous is that The Spreewald, a series of small waterways branching off from the Spree river and winding their way through the forest, is there. It is tradition when we go to take a boat ride on one of the long flat bottomed boats. You can take a tourist boat through the more widely traveled area and see a great deal for a few hours, or you can be lucky like we were and get to go on a private boat for a 5 hour tour and then get lost and end up spending 9 wonderful hours in this beautiful place, and one freezing hour as we tried to find our way back before dark. So yes, we got the 10 hour tour and for the most part it was amazing.
I say for the most part one because of the last cold hour when the kids who had done awesome most of the day (especially since half way through we found a restaurant in the middle of the wetlands and had some very tasty ice cream) started getting tired and hungry. And because of the mosquitoes. With a little bug spray and wearing our windbreakers we were saved from them mostly, but there was that incident when after about 5 hours there needed to be a bathroom break and our only option was a swampy side bank. Lets just say that it is hard to slap away bugs and pee at the same time and leave it at that. If you want to hear the whole story I will admit it with a red face, but not in writing!!!
So here are my pictures of The Spreewald. It was breathtaking. Enjoy!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Writing in Berlin

I can't believe that in no time at all I will be living out the title of my blog. I really will be writing in Berlin, and Munich, and Luben, and Dresden, and Potsdam, and....well you get the point. I am so excited to be taking Minchkin and Squishie Pie on their first German (and Austria, and Switzerland) trip. We will be flying into Berlin and then driving about an hour and a half south to stay with family in Lubben. The next day we will be driving to Munich (10 hour drive, I know we are crazy). Down south we will go see Munich, the Black Forrest, the Castles, the Rhein Falls, and several other sights before making our way back to Berlin. We will have a one night stay in Dinkelsbuhl so we can watch the town cryer sing the town to sleep and then it is back to Lubben to take day trips to Berlin, Dresden, Potsdam, and just visit with family. The girls are so excited to go.
I am excited too, but walking with Pooh Bear to Joy school today I realized that I am going to miss my boys terribly. Yep this is a girls only trip with my mom and my sister. The boys will have fun Daddy-Pooh Bear times while we are gone, but I am going to be thinking about them a lot!
One thing I debated on was taking my book to work on. I mean I will be in Germany, it is not like I will have a lot of time to write, but at writer's group this week I made a goal of adding another 7,500 words to SKY and so I decided that the book comes. I am also going to be doing some research for two other book I have in the idea stage. One is a fairy tale retelling and we will be visiting a lot of old castle ruins to inspire that one. The other is a story about East Germany and what life was like before the wall came down. Most of my research on that will be interviewing my relatives. They all grew up behind the wall.
So I have a full plate coming up. Until then there is soccer and house work to keep me organized. I finished the semester with two A's and one A-, so I am happy with that. Minchkin's team is ripping it up on the boys league. Those poor boys thought playing girls would be easy. Now they see them coming and they turn and run the other way! Both Squish and Bear are doing good as well in the Rec league. So that is what we are up to. If I don't get around to another post before we leave (which knowing me is very likely) then I will for sure have a gazillion pictures to post when we get back. Until then just know that this Berlin will be Writing in Berlin!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

M's Corner

So M is nine and wanting a blog of her very own. Can you believe how quick these kids grow up? So to help her enter the blogging world I am introducing a new feature here called M's corner. When you see a title with that you can know you are getting the facts straight from the Queen Bee herself! Hope you enjoy and feel free to let M know what you think!


Almost every day I have soccer. The only days I don't are Sunday and Tuesday, which on Tuesdays C has soccer. I'm basically always busy with, soccer, school work, and spending time with my family. My life is so fun even though I don't play with friends often, I still have soccer friends and school friends. I play with them at soccer practice and school. Life for me is as busy as a bee.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Written in the Stars

I want to be a better blogger. To record all the awesome stuff I am doing or thinking, but the truth is, I am just too busy. And I mean that in the best way possible. Yes it is soccer season. Yes, I am in the last three weeks of the semester and finals, papers, and group assignments are starting to pop up. Yes I have a house to run, and am doing an okay job. Going on about a month now where I've kept the house in a state of "if someone were to show up right now I would not be mortified" state. And if that was not enough to keep me busy, I am trying to pump out 10,000 words on AND THE SKY FULL OF STARS. Hit 39,000 tonight so that is about 6,000 for the month. I am updating as often as possible on the side bar, so if you come around and don't see me look to the right. If nothing is there I may just be lazy, but hopefully what you see will mean that a lot of good things are being written in the stars!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Thorn

Another day, Another Blog tour. Thanks to my friend Tristi at Valor Publishing I get the opportunity to review new books coming out. Today I am going to be reviewing The Thorn by Daron D. Fraley.

Three tribes are at war on the planet Gan, unaware that the sign of Christ's birth on an unknown world-Earth-is about to appear in the heavens.
During a bloody skirmish with Gideonite troops, Jonathan of Daniel spares Pekah, a young enemy soldier, gaining his trust forever. These two distant brothers from estranged tribes covenant with each other to end the war being waged by a self-proclaimed emperor, and soon discover the intentions of a far more dangerous foe-a sinister general bent on ruling those he can bring into subjection and destroying all others.

The good: What I liked about this book is that Pekah, one of the main characters is very loyal. He is the type of friend you want to have on your side. I like the idea of thinking what life on other planets would be like when thinking of it from a religious POV and I think the author does a good job of thinking this out.

The not so good: Two of the main characters were supposed to be about 30 in age and they acted, spoke and behaved like teenagers. In fact, when the love interest was finally brought in (a little too late for me) I was surprised. I had a hard time taking them seriously for this reason. Also, most of the conflicts were handled a little too easy for me. I say make them suffer! :)

Who will like this book? I see this book having a good following. There is action, romance, and religion. There are places that make you think and wonder what you would do in that situation and that is always a good thing in my opinion.

The Thorn is the first book in a series. Look for your copy on Amazon.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Have A Goal!

April, what can I say about it? For a mother with three young children who all play soccer, who is in her last month of a semester and has 12 page papers, and finals, and group presentations due, who wants to keep her house clean, and spend some time with her family in a setting that doesn't include driving to and from soccer only, well April is a crazy month. Now add to that that I want to write. That I need to finish this book so I can go on to the next idea I have and you can see why I needed to make a goal. I originally wanted to do 30,000 words this month, but then I came back to reality and set my sights a little lower. So for April I am making a goal of adding 10,000 words to my 33,199 that I have as of this moment. I will be keeping track on the side of the blog so feel free to yell at me if you see any zero's on days other than Sunday. That is my goal and I hope I can make it and still survive! What is your goal for the month?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Squishie and her Big Dog

The other night the girls and I were sitting and discussing Germany. Both girls were cuddled up close as I showed the pictures of where we were going, places we would stay, castles, forests, and stores we would be exploring. The excitement was mounting and I could see that both girls were super excited. And then the moment came crashing down as Squishie asked if she needed to pack Big Dog or if she could just carry him onto the plane. Big Dog is her giant, bigger than her, stuffed animal. She loves Big Dog. She drags him around the house. She takes him in the car with her. It broke my heart when I had to tell her that she wasn't going to be able to take Big Dog. I held her for over an hour while she cried, poor thing. I pulled out Mr. Cow and said that he was the right size to take with us, it helped, a bit.
I hate seeing my Squishie so sad, but it made me realize just what a big heart she has. Being the middle child, there are many times when Squish tries my patience, makes me want to pull out my hair, or just lock myself in my room and give Mommy a time out. But with all the feisty spirit that she has, there is a sweet loving side as well. I am so glad to be her mom. I love how smart she is. I love that she comes home from school each day and sings me a song that she has learned. And I love that she loves things--her blanket, her daddy, her big dog, so much. But most of all I love her.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Can't Live Without You! Or Can I?

Three weeks ago I was opening my microwave to melt some butter. One push of a button and suddenly the whole thing went dead. I panicked! I ran downstairs and hit the breaker box, trying every single one just in case I missed something (yes, resetting clocks is a pain). The microwave was still dead. I looked around for the plug (it was already in when we bought the house, so I don't know how they installed it) and could not find it. I was without the modern convenience of a nutrient zapping machine! What was I to do?

I figured it would probably not be that much more to get a new one than to call a repair guy, so I told myself, if I could just wait until that night, I could sit and do a few minutes of research and by the next day I would have my old friend back. But of course, as everything in life, I was so busy with homework, and kids, and making dinner--without the microwave, gasp!!!--and soccer, and cleaning, and...Well you get the picture. I was too busy to look at Microwaves. And so it was for the first week, I would look later I told myself. And then after a week went by I began to realize I wasn't missing my modern convenience. The vegetables tasted better when I steamed them on the stove then when I steamed them in the microwave. If I needed to reheat something I just put it into the toaster oven for a minute or two and it came out somehow better. So last week when my husband said "why don't you call and check on a microwave", I just shrugged it off. Why waste the money on something I don't need?

Now don't get me wrong, there are modern day conveniences that I could not live without. I lived in the Philippines for over a year. I cherish my washer and dryer! I wouldn't give up anything in my bathroom, running water, bathtub, toilet. But I have realized that we live in a society that says we have to have everything. And yes, it is nice to have things, but maybe we don't need everything we see just because someone else tells us it is a convenience.

What do you think? Are there somethings you can't live without? Are there somethings you can live without? And are there somethings you think you can't live without until you really think about it? As for me. I don't see my microwave getting fixed any time soon, because it just isn't the priority that I thought it would be.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Hey Everyone!!!

I am excited to tell you all about a great new book that just came out called THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE by Karen Hoover.

The world of Rasann is dying. The mages in the land have been working together to weave their magic into a net to hold the world in one piece, but those cords are breaking down. They need a white mage, the rarest of them all, to step in and take over where they are falling down, but there hasn’t been a white mage for over three thousand years. Their only hope lies in finding the magic keystones, long hidden, which will bind the world together.
Kayla has been given charge of one of those keystones, the Sapphire Flute, and been told not to play it. Along will come another, destined to play the flute and bring the magic within it to life. She has never met this player, and has no idea where to find such a person.
In the meantime, Ember has discovered a secret – her father had the ability to shift himself into the shape of a wolf, and she has that gift as well. When she takes upon herself her new appearance, quite by accident the first time, she discovers a family she never knew she had.
Lurking behind it all is C’Tan, the sorceress. She wants the keystones for herself, and she will stop at nothing to get them.

“The Sapphire Flute” is Karen E. Hoover’s first publication, and is the first of a series of seven. A new book in the series will be published each spring.

I was lucky enough to meet Karen at Life the Universe and Everything in February and she is a super nice, fun voice in the YA market. So nice infact, that she took some time to answer a few questions for me.

Me: Your story revolves around strong female characters. Thinking of the two main protagonist's, Ember and Kayla, they are each so different and yet both find the strength within them to fulfill their quests. Very inspirational. What women in your life have been inspired you to learn and grow?

Karen: I love this question. A lot of women have inspired me over the years. Several teachers from school and church both. Friends of the family. Friends in general. But mostly, I'd have to say the two women who have inspired me more than any others are my mother and grandmother. My great-grandmother passed away when my grandma was only six and her father disappeared,so she was, as she used to say, "kicked from pillar to post." She was raised by other family members so grew up very strong and independent, yet had a very tender heart. She taught me that I could make it through anything.

My mother was my hero. She was an only child, and a widow for over 30 years, and raised my little brother and I alone from the time he was 2 and I was 4. She had a beautiful singing voice and could do anything. She was the one who taught me not to be afraid to try anything. She said "Karen, you can do anything if you want to do it bad enough." She told me she had confidence in me. She taught me how to build, how to sing, how to follow my heart, how to listen to the spirit. She was everything I want to be and more. I miss her.

Me: I will admit, I am more sci-fi than fantasy, but I really got caught up in your story. Where did this fun idea stem from?

Karen: I've always been a day dreamer and love to imagine the impossible. I can't seen to help myself. I was one of those kids who was constantly looking out the window in schoool, or reading a book when i should have been doing my work. The first idea came from a dream of a girl standing by a tent playing a sapphire flute under the full moon. A white wolf with beautiful green eyes came from the shadows and sat on the other side of the stream and sang with her as she played before disappearing into the night once more. I wrote it down, just three short pages, and the idea never left me. About five years later I started working on the actual book, knowing next to nothing about how to craft a story. Eventually that flute playing girl split into two characters. She just had too big a story to tell.

Me: This is the first of 7 books what a great contract to get. What did you think when you got the news they were going to be published?

Karen: I can't even describe the feelings that washed over me, but I'll try. I've spent my whole life wanting to be a writer and finally seeing that offer on paper . . . well, I squealed, I'll admit it. My heart was racing and I had to run upstairs and show my husband. There was a bit of sadness involved as well, because I couldn't share the news with my mom. She passed away in 2008 after a short sting with pancreatitis and a resulting heart attack. She had always wanted to be a journalist and had been with me every step of the way on this journey. So, it was bittersweet. But honestly, the sweet outweighed the bitter. How could it not? I was going to be PUBLISHED! :)

Me: Will all the books follow these two heroines, or do you plan on introducing us to other protagonists as the series progresses?

Karen: You know, I've really debated on that for a very long time, and finally decided to stick with Ember and Kayla with the future keystone holders joining one group or the other. The groups will come together at times and separate again, so it continues to be two stories. Not sure how that's going to translate in the final couple of books when they are taking on the baddies together, but it will work out somehow. lol

Me: How long are we going to have to wait for book two? Any clues you can give us on what to expect?

Karen: Book two will be released in March of 2011 and each book will be released in March of the following years. Clues on what to expect? Well, the end of book 1 will have the first two chapters of book two in it, so that gives you an idea of what's coming. There will be some new bad guys introduced in book two that completely changed my plans for book 7. lol I don't even know everything that's going to happen yet. I know the big scenes, but I tend to be a bit of a discovery writer and see where the stories lead me. The best thing I can tell you is that Kayla, Ember, AND C'Tan all develop as people, not just characters. They grow and come to understand themselves better through the series.

Okay, so now that you know all the info, let me tell you what I thought of this terrific book. Oops did that give my thoughts away? When I first got this book in the mail I have to admit, I wasn't that taken with the cover. And as a result I didn't open it immediately. My mistake. This is a fun well written book that kept me intrigued the entire time I read it. I loved the characters, both good and bad. I found myself hoping for them, wondering what was going to happen next, and hating to have to put it down (when you're a mother of three that is sometimes inevitable). This book is sure to please young audiences, fantasy lovers or not. I am excited to pass it on to my nieces, although seeing as I am lucky enough to have a signed copy I may have to get them one of their own!

Click here to get this great book for yourself!

And to find out more about the author you can visit her blog

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Long Time Ago In a Galaxy Far Far Away

My Pooh Bear is five. I can't believe that my baby is getting so big! After getting all things Star Wars for Christmas it was no wonder that when asked what type of birthday party he wanted, the answer was STAR WARS!!! The budget came in just under thirty dollars for a party that had 16 kids there. It could have been less, but I went overboard and bought Star Wars Plates and Napkins and Cups. I never do that because the kids just throw them away. I could have saved $10 at least, but oh well, I just need to remember for next time. Here is what we did!

Welcome young warrior to Mos Eisley Cantina.(Have Cantina song playing-downloaded form itunes)Come on in, pull up a chair and find yourself among some of the greatest Jedi Warriors in history. (Jedi coloring page)

You’ve all come here today in an attempt to join in the ranks of great men and women who have come before you. Great men and women who have become Jedi! Come and sit around as your adventure is about to begin. (Have everyone sit in a semi circle)
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away. (Start Star Wars theme music-downloaded from itunes, play a for about 20 seconds and then lower into background music) A group of brave warriors gathered together with the hope of becoming Jedi knights. But the Evil Darth Vader had taken the force and hidden it. In order for these brave boys and girls to reclaim the force and become Jedi they were required to pass a series of tests. Who among you will help bring the force back?
*Your first task is learning to know your friend from your enemies. Before you are several pictures. You must listen to clues about each one and guess who it is I am talking about. Then you must decide if they are friend or foe. (Who am I game-here I printed pictures of different characters from Star Wars and made up 3 age appropriate clues for them. You can find info on each character at Wikipedia.)
*Good Job Jedi trainees. You are now ready to learn the art of disguise. In order to infiltrate the Death Star you must learn to act like Storm Troopers. The best way to do this is by learning to move as they would. (Have everyone march to the Imperial March-downloaded from itunes).

*Now you can get on the Death Star, but once aboard you must be ready to fight. In battle every Jedi needs a Light Saber. (make balloon light sabers/swords and teach kids how to fight--My girls got balloon making kits for Christmas and were eager to try them out. Online you can find how to make light sabers, but it takes a lot of time and work so the girls just made swords.)
*But wait brave trainees, we must escape. Everyone man your battle cruisers and fly away! (Have kids fly around like spaceships)
*Quick! We can hide in that Asteroid over there (living room). Whew, we are safe, but Darth Vader still has the force. Luckily I managed to find a clue to where he has hidden it. A Jedi must not only be strong, he or she must also be smart. Can you help me figure out the clues that will lead us to the force? (treasure hunt, ends with each child getting a star wars bag filled with stickers and candy- you can also use a pinata or just have a bowl of candy, but I split it all before hand so each bag would be equal and no one would feel bad.)

*Congratulations you did it! You are now official Jedi Knights! (Give Each child a Jedi Certificate and shake their hand)
*Jedi’s must eat to keep up their strength. Come Jedi’s to the Mos Eisley Cantina for cake and drinks!

*Open Presents.

Dressing up was optional, but the girls were aliens (who looked more like punk rockers) L was Obi-Wan, we had a Darth Vader, an R2D2 and another Jedi knight. But everyone had fun. L had a great time and loved the Hot Wheels bike we got him. I think Mommy is the only one who had a hard time with her baby growing up so fast! Happy Birthday little man! I love you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

LTUE, Richard Hatch, and President Cup Champions!!!

So this past weekend I got to go to Life, the Universe, and Everything at BYU. It is the longest running student organized science fiction and fantasy symposium in the US. I have been attending for the past three years and have loved every minute of it. Not only is it actually within driving range, but it is FREE to attend. Bonus and Bonus. There were some great workshops. I especially got a lot out of Dan Wells on Pacing and Story Structure. I love that LTUE is right after my birthday because that means I always have a stack of books that I can get signed, which makes me a big fan girl I know, but it is so much fun to meet writers I admire.
This year however, my big fan girl moment didn't come from an author (well I take that back, he is an author of several books) but from the man I had a huge crush on growing up. Richard Hatch...Apollo from the original Battlestar Galactica. He also plays Tom Zarek on the new Battlestar, but he will forever be Apollo to me. I must thank my friends Chris, and Garrett for lending me a camera and being my photographer as I had the biggest fan girl moment of my life. I know I am a nerd. But really, he gave an awesome workshop that was very inspirational.

M's team won the President's Cup In st. George this weekend against Crossfire, the team that they lost to in a shootout this Fall at the Sparta Cup. This time they took the title of number one team in Utah for their division in a 3-1 game. I am so proud of all the work that she has put forth. This team has been amazing for her, not only to help her soccer game, but also to teach her how to work as a team, making great friends, learning to listen to instructions, I could go on and on. Way to go M and way to go Lightning FC!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

There she is.....

Miss America made an appearance at our house Saturday night. Well actually, 4 Miss America's and one Mr. Universe!!! The girls each had a friend over to watch the Miss America pageant on TLC. We started the night with Pizza and Cream Soda. Then we decorated Cupcakes. After that I gave each girl a form with the pictures of all 53 contestants and they got to pick their top 15, top 10 and top 5. As well as Best Spray on Tan, Worst dress, number of red dresses, number of wardrobe malfunctions, and did anyone trip? (The answer to that is yes, but she caught herself). The girls had fun cheering for their favorites, changing into swimsuits and ballgowns, and of course they loved the talent competition. When they changed into swimsuits, L had to join in and so he became MR. Universe.
We also made foam crowns with glitter stickers and markers. By the end the girls were pulling for Texas and Hawaii. There was a little silence when Virginia won, but then they started saying, well she did do this well or her dress was nice. It was so funny.
While we waited for the friends to be picked up we played SINGIT on the Wii since C got that for her birthday. I think all the girls were Miss Americas, but if that doesn't pan out, it turns out we may have a few American Idols on our hands!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Check out my diet blog!

So I posted a little about motivation a few entries ago, and it turns out there is a whole group of other authors out there who are looking to push past the pounds as well. I was lucky enough to receive an invite to post my triumphs and failures on their diet blog. It is a great place to learn about different diets, see other people struggle and overcome the same things I am trying for. So come on over and check us out at Pushing Past The Pounds. BTW-I am down 7 pounds since Jan 1st. To see how I am doing it head on over!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

This past weekend M participated in her first out of state soccer tournament. Lightning FC was the only Utah team in her age division and bracket to compete. It was a tough weekend, but our girls held their own and learned a ton about playing out of state teams. It was really a step up from the local teams we played in the fall where we won every game, and beat the team that came in second 9-0. Southern California teams are very competitive and the girls saw what it takes to win. We missed going to the semi-finals by one goal. That was tough on the girls, but they came away from the weekend feeling more confident and gearing up for the St. George Cup in February. M really stepped up her game down in Vegas. She is one fast kiddo. When she puts her mind to it she can outrun almost anyone on the field, which saved goals from being made by the opposite team several times. Not bad considering she is one of the younger girls on the team and is technically still U9. Because of that fact we can't play in the U11 league this spring, so the girls will be playing U10 boys instead. This will be a fun challenge for them, but one I think they are ready to tackle! Las Vegas was fun, though cold and M was awesome! I am so proud of you girl!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010


C turned 7 last week. I can't believe how big my squishie pie is getting. She is reading up a storm, can unload the dishwasher and is learning to load it, right now she is missing four teeth and looks adorable! C has been wanting an H20 party for a year now. So as the time grew closer I started scanning for ideas on how to make my little girl a fabulous mermaid party (on a budget of course). The party averaged out to be about $35. Some of the stuff I bought in bulk at Costco, knowing I would use it later so I averaged the cost of the price on just what I used for the party.
When the girls first arrived they got to color a mermaid coloring page which I downloaded for free here. This website gave me a lot of ideas for the party!
Next we played a game called "What Sea Animal Am I?" For this, I printed pictures of sea animals (dolphin, shark, puffer fish etc...) and taped them to the back of each girls shirt. They had to ask yes or no questions to try and guess what they were.
After that they had lunch.
We had....

Fish Ice Cubes in Sprite

Sushi Sandwiches

Blue Jell-o with Swedish Fish and Whipped Cream Waves
Also Goldfish Crackers!

Then we played with colored sand on plates (pixie Stick dust, although I used David's candy filled straws which were cheaper and worked really well). Here are some of the art pieces.

Next we went on a big treasure hunt and found the hidden treasure...

After opening presents, we dug into a mermaid cake.

Go here for instructions.

And last of all we put garbage bag fins on the girls and let them race around the house.

For decorations we were under the sea with blue balloons, white waves, and green seaweed.

It was a great party with tons of smiles and never a dull moment. I learned that I really can't frost a cake and want to go to a cake decorating class, that just because my kids like turkey and cheese on their sandwiches not everyone does, and the more sugary the treat the more the kids will like it. L is already looking forward to his Star Wars party next month. Any suggestions?