thankful thursday

things i am thankful for this week:

proof that blogging pays: round two.
i received my prizey from vanessa's blog giveaway--a decorated tin with 10 cards she had stamped herself. SCORE!

mia was positively in love with the whole deal, she couldn't seem to keep her hands off the cards inside. which is why she is making that mean face in the photo, because i told her they were being put AWAY. not happy.
what DID make mia happy was her favorite card in the bunch--frankenstein. she asked if he could lay next to her while she watched dora today. i said, "just this once."

a little blog-pat-on-the-back:

when we sat down in hsm3 the other afternoon, i felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see my neighbor from my neighborhood that i grew up in, jillyn.

she confessed that she had been reading my blog--my first reaction was to hope that i hadn't scarred her too badly. and that she hadn't seen any of the naughty words.
she surprised me by telling me that she enjoyed reading me, which pretty much validated me for life. it's a big deal to get words of encouragement from somebody who saw you in your worst short-mini-skirt/frosted-hair/reckless-driving-too-fast-through-the-neighborhood phase. (so sorry about that, jillyn. as a mother now i want to go back and kick my butt. AND ground me until 21.) she didn't have to come across the movie theater to tell me that. but she did and it did this girl good. thank you.
and HEY to spencer in kentucky! why you no call?

last but certainly not least:

i'm thankful for a vampire-loving 14 year old who brought home 6 A's and 1 B+ . katie works so hard and we are so proud of her. i love you kaitlyn!

ta-dah. fall open house invite created by amy

thanks to amy for creating this radical flyer for me. she rules.

feeling this way? don't tell me....

if you are in the area and would like to come but don't know where to stalk me, email me at and i'll decide whether to accept or reject your offer of friendship.

just kidding. i always accept--i need all the friends a girl can get.

thriller 2008: or how i felt sytycd matt's waxed chest

we saw ghosts, goblins, and ghouls when we went to see thriller on friday night with our posse--it was a beautiful night to be outside and we weren't scared not one little bit.....

okay, maybe just a little. this is how mia watched half of the show.

showing our part in "multiplying and replenishing the earth"--who are all these children and why are they calling us 'mom'????

mia was exhausted after being emotionally scarred by the various creatures from the underworld. watching the show from underneath your finger-tips can take a toll.

katie & bailey pose with lorena bobbit--

b-rad and abbey were all about bubbles the clown--

so here's the part where our night got REALLY interesting: we figured out after the first number that matt dorame from so you think you can dance was the lead dancer. we were so excited! we knew he was from yewwwwtaaahhhh and that he had been a member of the odyssey dance company, but we had no idea he would grace us with his excellence. jody, kristin and i wanted to take a photo with him afterward, so we gathered 'round, all the while telling him how we had voted for him and how great he was, blahblahblah.

we were just about to take the photo when our friend steve walks up, says, "if you are gonna take the photo, make it count. you need the MONEY shot." and rips open matt's jumpsuit and unzips it halfway.........

i look up at him, mutter, "ummmm. sorry 'bout that." and then we proceeded to get the MONEY SHOT:

i'm not sure if he'll come back to southern yewwwwtaaaahhh again anytime soon.

i freaking love you russ clove and here's why: (also ****2019 Edit****)

how did i possibly score so huge by marrying a man who wants us both to go to the spa for his big day?? seriously. we spent the afternoon at sagestone at red mountain spa

and got to spend a lot of time right here looking out this window--the afternoon was awesome and the company even awesome-errrrr.

****2019 Edit****
i genuinely love and adore this man.  spending time with him in this most beautiful spot in stg 

10 reasons why i love russ clove on his birthday myspace graphic comments

10 reasons why i love russ on his birthday:

1. he is better looking than me but doesn't rub it in my face.

2. he is a great dancer!

3. he looks supa fly in a dress shirt and tie.

4. he is a great kisser. (that one time we kissed.)

5. he is a wonderful father to four girls

6. he has a naughty sense of humor.

7. he likes to watch stupid shows on tivo with me.

8. he takes good care of everybody, and i mean EVERYBODY!

9. he will dress up at halloween in whatever costume i come up with.

10. he married me forever! (which could be a really long time.)

hb russell brooks--i love you so much!


so, the other night we went to the sunset movie theaters. which, in st. george, can be a traumatic experience as all of our movie theaters are broken-down, straight-played, ghetto-UNfabulous trainwrecks.

i don't know why we can't get a decent theater around here--i would pay extra $$$ just to walk into a bathroom that didn't seem straight out of a scene from a horror flick: flickering fluorescent lights, clogged toilets, (or THREE, like at stadium 8 sat. night) and smells straight from the depths of hell are not what i had in mind when i gave them my cash.

unfortunately, the movie theaters in santa jorge seem to be controlled by the small-town version of the movie mafia, as they are all owned by the same corporation. and said corporation realizes that the mormons are all so desperate for something to do, that we will accept a movie theater STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.

the point of this whole rant is that when we walked into our theater the other night, all of the lights were on--like, "cleaning the theater" on. not good. in all of my years of movie-going, i don't think i've ever seen the theater in it's full-blown, fully-lit glory.

i had a chance to look around and i nearly needed to be tranquilized. there is a REASON the lights are on dim, people. when was the last time you took a look at your chair in the cold, hard light of day? if the hairs on the upholstery weren't enough to throw me over the edge, then the floors were.

so, i am offering a reward: ONE HUNDRED AMERICAN DOLLARS to somebody willing to build a decent movie theater in st. george. to collect (and i am dead serious) you have to be fully operating, naturally.

100 dollars might not seem like that much money, but i think it could buy a few gallons of that luscious artificial butter for the popcorn.

chandler clove is a dollar store diva and i loved watching it go down

after my trip to the dollar store the other day with chandler, i'm guessing the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

you would have thought it was christmas morning for chandi when i told her she could go with me and take a few dollars. i know this child, and there is nothing she likes better to do than to spend her money on USELESS CRAP. which is exactly how i used to be, & is the reason why i know her game so well.....

we got there and i found what i was looking for and had it up to the front within 4 minutes. which did not give her ENOUGH TIME!! JUST A FEW SECONDS MORE........MUST. BUY. CHEAP. CARNIVAL. TOY.

i called to her and she ran over, panicked. "mom! you didn't say you'd be so fast! i'm not done yet!" i said, "chandi, you have until the lady in front of me finishes ringing up her purchase, then it's game over."

she ran a few aisles away, and i swear i could hear her hyperventilating--what to buy? she couldn't leave with money in her pocket....that would be massive failure. i knew exactly what she was doing--she was searching for something, ANYTHING, to purchase, and it didn't matter if she wanted it or not at this point. that money was burning a hole right through her pocket.

in about 60 seconds she ran back, breathing heavily, and i am fairly sure she had a thin layer of anxious sweat across her upper lip. i rolled my eyes and let her get in line with me, but she wouldn't let me look at what she had in the basket. so i knew it had to be something really heinous.

i wasn't wrong.

(that's a crystal block with a 3-d hologram of a vase of flowers, btw. classy.)

any bets on how long it will be until you see these items for sale at the d.i.??

jared and jody's backyard film productions-- sponsored by kemp family & clove family

last weekend the weather was beautiful here in santa jorge--during the day it was in the mid 80's and at night it was warm enough to be outside in shorts and sandals (yes, that's why we live here. but don't ask us why in august.) the stars were out and it was a beautiful night to watch a movie outside in jared and jody's backyard.

steve & kamari brought their projector AND doubled as "technical support":

treats and blankets were laid out. mia spent much of the evening trying to feed barkley reese's peanut butter cups.

the older, "cooler" teenagers set up camp in the back by the trampoline where they could do things like text each other from 2 feet away:

then it was time to BUST OUT THE GLO-STICKS!!

fifteen bucks spent at the dollar store = BEST INVESTMENT I'VE EVER MADE.

mom and dad's bed is always the softest. ALWAYS.

i have a strict "no kids in my bed" policy. which came from my mother, who followed this rule. the exception was if my dad was gone out of town, and then each one of us kids got a turn to sleep in mom's bed with her. which i DON'T SUBSCRIBE to, as i think it sounds like pure torture, as MY children like to perform sleeping acrobatics and eventually i'm gonna end up with a foot in my face. or worse.

sometimes in the early mornings i could sneak into my parent's waterbed (hey! it was the 70's!) and burrow underneath the covers and each time i marvelled at how much SOFTER and WARMER and more COMFORTING that bed was.

it had the same sheets as my bed, same pillows. yet there was nothing like the feeling of security i had when i'd lay under those blankets.

now i'm the mom and i realize that my children feel that way about my bed. they love to sneak in and lay between the sheets and they constantly are amazed at how toasty and warm it is in mom and dad's bed.

i must be going soft because sometimes mia will come in early in the morning and find her way in and snuggle up right next to me, and i find that i can't resist. the power of that warm little body is simply something that renders me powerless.

i'm glad to know that my bed is carrying on the tradition.

thankful thursday

things i am thankful for this week:

**that my bestie kamari made me a disc with all of the old photos she's taken of the kids over the years.

mitch, katie, and bailey in the tub in park city, 1996

**for the fabulous opportunity to meet my beloved mia from flashing yellow lights and hook back up with holly from o'keefe family fun for lunch. it was a beautiful day to talk and laugh and i was so glad that mia came all the way from tennessee just to have lunch! (and maybe to attend a wedding.) good times.

whatEVER. (abbey gets ghettolicious)






elementary school: where you learn all the coolest things.

(best part about these photos? that you can still see the powdered sugar from the donuts abbey ate 10 minutes earlier. )

what i've learned from the confession booth

WARNING: lots of words. if you are here just for the pictures, move on.

so, confession booth was a wild ride this time, aye? the above photo was my face one more than one occasion reading the comments......

this was definitely a risky venture.  like BIG TIME.

so here's what i learned from the experience:

1. judge not least you be judged. people were throwing out some pretty insane stuff. i really tried to post as many as i could and feel like i REALLY pushed the envelope on quite a number, but if people had the guts to put it out there, i tried to oblige. i do think there were some that were made up and thrown in for "shock effect", but who knows? i was waiting for the "hater" comments that inevitably come with something as risky as this, but they were surprisingly not there. perhaps because i was comment moderating and that takes all the fun out of being an anonymous, spiteful person with a boatload of judging to do?? maybe.......

2. anyone who says "i could never" and "i can't understand" and "how do they" obviously hasn't walked a day in some of these people's shoes. i've learned a LOT of things the hard way, and i have realized that anyone who can't comprehend how people could think or do these things are generally the ones who are willing to cast the first stones. some people make mistakes. some people are unhappy . some people think things they shouldn't. some people hate people they shouldn't. this is fact, not speculation. we all know someone or ARE someone who has issues--if you think you are the one who will never find themselves in a predicament of some sort over the course of your life? yeah, it's gonna be you.

3. sometimes it feels good to just say it. do i think that confession booth would be a good idea all the time? no. i think it would give us a forum to be negative and bitch about our lives incessantly. but do i think we need an outlet to do that every once in a while? ABSOLUTELY. i had comments from some who asked that i not post them telling me that it was a relief to FINALLY "type it out loud". many comments made me sad. many comments would make some mad. a few comments made me LAUGH OUT LOUD. i'm thinking we can handle confession booth maybe quarterly. thoughts?

4. everyone loves a scandal! lots of traffic over here during confession booth days. my little number counter was working overtime. i might have to give it a year-end bonus.

5. i suck at comment moderation. there were several times that i deleted quite a few comments that i had checked to "publish" and i hit "reject" instead. so, if your comment didn't show up, you were either too freaky even for me, or a victim of my inadequacy. sorry about that.

6. i had 8-10 comments in moderation that were posted under the blogger's real profile and i KNOW they meant to do it under "anonymous"--so i would cut and paste their comment or re-type it for them under anonymous and then publish. are you wondering now if it's you.....? i'll never tell. i do have to say that i was bummed that it wasn't the juicy ones.

i also tried to post my anonymous confession, posted it under my name, and then hurried and took it off. totally busted. totally admit that. there were also a few comments i edited a thing or two out of to protect some people--i'm not a cold hearted bitch! (mostly.)

7. someone hates skulls and doesn't want me to wear them. oh, and someone looks down on vegetarians, loaned money to bus drivers who later died, wants their dog to run away, pawned jewelry for cowboy boots, found their sex drive late in life, wished they would have been more of a ho, thinks less of adults who read the "twilight series" (blasphemy!), doesn't want anyone's "grand tetons" all up in their space, inherited 1.5 million dollars, throws softballs extra hard in hopes of hitting their wife, saw midgets in roller skates and mining helmets, and confessed if the daughter in law died "it would be a tough 10 minutes."

one of my confessions? let's just say it had something to do with "fuzzy dice".

don't judge.

soooooooo, what i would like from you now is this:

there were a few comments that broke my heart that the person was asking for help or advice--do you have any encouraging words for these people? i would love to post them here for them to read.

none of us are counselors. well, okay, maybe SOME of you are. but i know we've all lived and learned and i thought we could pay it forward.

i won't post any negative advice. please offer up something helpful and compassionate. have you been in a rough situation and can offer up any practical suggestions? my sitemeter and feedjit will remain off until wednesday.

some of my fave halloween costumes

our friends used to host a halloween party every year and showing up in costume was mandatory. we would spend the whole month of october trying to out-think each other and come up with the most original ideas. then we would all show up, dressed to the nines, and dissolve into laughter at the site of each other.

i am PSYCHED that my blogging bff ASHLYNN has invited me and the rbc to her costume party this year!

we've found that if you get totally "INTO" it and dress all out, you feel way less stupid than if you try to still retain half of your coolness.

some costumes we've loved over the years:

steve & kamari as white trash babies:


jen, kamari, steve, & chris as polygamists: (the lovely lady on the left is a feathered nest!!)

pimp and "lady of the evening": (what set this costume apart from others like it was the change belt we got for russ from the local dairy freeze--if people gave him a dollar, he'd hurry and make change.)

european sunbathers:

gene simmons and ladyfriend: