Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hey KGC bunch!
Merry Christmas.  We've been awake since 7:00 hearing the stirrings of little ones peeking (against orders) in the front room.  It is now 8:36 and we are finished opening presents and eating breakfast.  Wow- that always seems to go by too fast.  All that hard work over in a matter of about 40 minutes.

I think it's safe to say everyone was pretty happy with Christmas gifts this year.  Even my hardest one to please seemed satisfied.  When asked what their favorite gift was this year Eliza said her mood ring and her mini slinky (from the dollar bin).  Audrey said her DSi 3D (alas I thought it would be the cross-stitching kit).  Drew said his pocket watch (with chain!).  Evan said his nerf dart gun and Nathan said he loves his new Zelda video game.  My favorite was the fact that Nathan let me chop off his long unruly hair.  Troy said his favorite was when I came over and sat by him.  So I guess we all got just what we wanted : )

I wanted to give a little something back to all of you so I am sharing one of my favorite holiday recipes here on the blog.  I promised Paula I would do so and I always keep my promises.  We call this reindeer food and we give it to our neighbors each year.  One time a neighbor came up to me and reminded me to give it to her again this season because last year they spread it out over their lawn for Santa's reindeer.  I have to say that offended me just a tad.  It's for human consumption- not squirrels or 'reindeer'

It's awfully yummy!  Here's what you need...
1 package (10 oz) mini pretzels (aprox 6 cups)
5 cups Cheerios
5 cups Corn Chex
2 cups salted peanuts
1 lb M & Ms (aprox 2 cups)
2 packages vanilla (white) chips 12 oz or confectioners coating waffers (3 cups)
3 Tbl vegetable oil (only if using vanilla white chips)

In a very very large bowl (or 2 bowls doing half of the ingredients in each bowl), combine all the dry ingredients.  In a microwave safe bowl melt chips & oil on med/high for 2 minutes.  Stir chips.  Microwave on high for 10 seconds and stir.  Repeat until smooth.  Be careful not to burn your chocolate.  (If you have a classier way to melt your chocolate like a double boiler on the stove-top or a melt feature on your microwave, feel free to improve upon this recipe's instructions and do it your own way).

Next pour the melted chocolate over cereal mix and stir well.  I like to then spread it out over a flat surface to let it dry.  For easier clean up you can lay down wax paper first inside a few cookie sheets.  For added festiveness you can add green & red sprinkles.  Pleas don't feed this to wild life...

Merry Christmas everyone!

Kelly
Eliza said this guy's beard didn't move when he talked... so he wasn't the real Santa.  She's pretty darn savvy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Update from Me

Well I heard you had a fun time at the Christmas party.  Too bad I couldn't be there to see your happy shiny faces.  I was sad to hear that more people couldn't make it.  Since you had a chance to catch up without me I will send my love and info here in the blog.  I encourage those who also were not able to attend to do the same.  If you need blog lessons just give me a call and I will hold your hand through the process : )

Things are pretty good here.  Life has it's usual struggles but we manage to push through.  Our oldest Nathan just applied to colleges and we are crossing our fingers that he will get in to BYU Provo.  There is a chance.  If not he may end up at BYU Idaho or Utah State.  It's weird that I have a son old enough to go to college, but there it is.

Evan is doing well in school and taking piano.  Cross country running ended well for him with a personal best at the end of the season.  Nathan ran too but mostly just for fun and sometimes he just decided to do homework or other stuff instead.  We were happy that he finished 4 years of this very difficult sport.  Evan has a fun group of friends he hangs with from church.  They have movie nights at someone's home just about every other weekend.  It's good to see him choosing good friends.  Evan is a good kid.

Drew is becoming a stellar violinist and can now play duets without trouble with his brother Nathan.  When I think about how they struggled/ fought to get some duets together this time last year for Audrey's baptism I still get sick to my stomach.  It was a gut wrenching process then but now it's easy peasy lemon squeezy.  So they played a few numbers for the ward Christmas party and have already been commissioned to play on Christmas day in sacrament meeting.  They were quite agreeable when asked too.  I had to pick up my jaw off the floor after that.  Drew continues to be a great student and hard worker.  He may end up with an ulcer one day but he'll have good grades.  He is happy most of the time though and fun to be around.

Audrey is a keeper for sure.  She is just a really good girl.  Do I sound braggy?  Well probably because I am bragging.  But we love her.  She recently cut off 10 inches of hair for Locks of Love (an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients).  She went into a bit of shock afterwards but she seems to be getting used to it.  It sure is nice not to have to brush though all those tangles now.  I can see why Mom always had me in short haircuts.  She liked to cut corners.  Here are some before and after shots for you...
ready for chopping!

still smiling here

a bit pensive...

no turning back now
It was fun for her to do.  We have found all kinds of quick hairdos for her too.  Once all the attention died down she seemed happier.  I don't know where that comes from.  I am an attention hog (as you all know).

Eliza is our little stinker.  She's a good stinker though.  She is extra good at snuggling, and she gives me lots of hugs every morning time.  It is our ritual for her to come and find me and before we start our day we have a few minutes of laughing and hugging in my big bed.  I eat it up because I know this will be my last serving.  It's awfully nice to have a loving child around when your teenagers give you so much grief.  Eliza loves gum- so if you ever get to meet her, just keep gum handy and she will be putty in your hands.  It used to be chapstick, but now it's gum- I think it's best to keep you relatives abreast of her likes/dislikes in case you ever pop in and see us.

We are hoping to make a stop out West this summer.  If anyone is daring enough to come out and see us we would be super welcoming.  There's lots to see and do and we have lots of room (well- sorta).

Lots of love and holiday wishes to you all this time of year!!!

Kelly (The Wide Mouth Frog)

Monday, November 14, 2011

IT'S ALL KELLY'S FAULT......

It's all Kelly's fault that we can all claim to have a neurosurgeon in the family.

It's all Kelly's fault that I got a bit jealous when my boyfriend showed me some nice lightening photos he took while sitting up at "make-out-point" with Kelly (He had to explain that Kelly was his little sister.)

It's all Kelly's fault that the niece's and nephews in this family rarely said, "Please" or "Thank You", but rather thought, "You're my favorite aunt" was a great substitute for either. (To which I whole-heartedly agreed!!!)


It's all Kelly's fault that my children have seen neither Gone With the Wind nor My Fair Lady (Chris seems to have a strange aversion to both movies,.. go figure?)

Likewise,.. it's all Kelly's fault that I'm going to die laughing if either of her daughters marries a boy with the last name Higgins who happens to be pursuing a degree in phonics.

It's all Kelly's fault that we have ample opportunity to go visit D.C.

It's Kelly's fault that I think of more than just the Veterans on Veteran's Day!

What else is Kelly's fault? Well,.. that's what we'd like to know! Submit your comments to: "It's all Kelly's fault that ____________..."

After all,.... isn't that what this blog is here for???

(Oh, and come to think of it... that's her fault too!!! :) )


Kelly baby, I'm writing this for the second time just to let you know my commitment, I got distracted the first time and it got deleted. I knew it was someone's birthday on Nov 11 and I even thought it was Kelly's for a moment but I did nothing about it as Kelly would have. I don't think that is too bad considering I have 12 sibilings 7 kids & 1 wife and I have forgotten my wife's birthday twice in 30 years, that didn't go to well for me, I wouldn't suggest it to anyone else.


What can I say about Kelly the blog queen? It's hard for me to picture Kelly as the sofisticated woman that she is when I still remember her as the little girl that used to perform various skits from children's TV shows like S Street & Electric Company for us at campouts & for my dates when I brought them over to the house. Those usually went on for a few mintues until I thought of a treat I could send her off for our told her to "Go tell Mom she wants you" which seemed to end in tears about 1/2 the time, not my shining moment as a older brother.


My favorite Kelly skit was the story of the Wiiiidddeee Mouutthh Frog who would go around asking all the neighborhood animals "Whaaat do you feed your BAAAABBBIESSS" everything goes fine for the frog & little Kelly's sweet face until she get's to Mrs. Alligators with the answer she feeds her babies "Wide Mouth Frogs" then the worried look & the closed mouth "oh" with a quick retreat.


Kelly is far more amazing today than she was as a little girl when I was growing up with her. She moves around the country with relative ease raising kids sometimes on her own with a deployed husband. Juggling music lessons & parent teacher conferances, finding the best schools & the best shopping, Flying out to sisters Weddings & staying in touch with recalcitrant siblings who refuse to embrace technology, or big words for that matter. Kelly I'm glad to have you as a sister, and a friend, you keep me more informed from a long ways away than I stay living close to most of my siblings. You make up for a part of what we lost in this family we we lost Mom and I know she would be very proud of you for the love that you are spreading around our family. That is the best compliment that I could give anyone.


I love you Kelly!



Love your second meanest older brother, Roland




Friday, November 11, 2011

It's My Birthday Too Yeah

I know that no one will be posting a long lavish glowing tribute to me on my birthday over here at KGC but I thought maybe as a birthday gift to me you could try and comment on the blog.  Just try it!  It could really be a great way to keep our out-of-touch family more connected.

I am having a great birthday get away with my husband thanks to Dawn coming from Utah to stay with my kids.  What a great gift.

Hope you are all doing well too.

Here's to turning 43~!

Kelly

Monday, October 31, 2011

MATTHEW DANIELS



One of the perks of being a teacher in a small(ish) town, is that no one thinks twice if you decide to "pick off" a couple students in your yard at Halloween. For the last 16 years, Chris has "put an end" to the more memorable students in oh-so appropriate ways. You know teenagers,.... sometimes they forget to breathe, forget to put on the emergency break, spend too long with their electronic devices, and tend to play unsafely with carnivorous chickens.

Years of cardboard headstones have given way to these custom dry-erase versions. But with new cousins in the area, we just couldn't help including them in our favorite of Halloween traditions. HAPPY HALLOWEEN MATTHEW & DANIEL WHATCOTT! We just love having you so close by!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Great NEWS!!!

For those who have been living under a rock and don't know yet, Eric is out of surgery.  The tumor was removed and was encapsulated.  This means they most likely got everything.  JoLynne told me that the nerves they thought were going through the tumor were just resting on top and were able to be saved.  A surprise and a miracle if ever there was one.  He will keep more of the feeling in his face that way.  Only some lip numbness!  Who hoo for lip numbness!!

Reconstruction went well and they had to take less bone from his leg than they expected.  He will run again.  I am almost tempted to start running (even though I hate it so much) just to be able to run with him.  Seth is planning a surprise visit from China.  Should be arriving soon I believe.  I would love to be there for that surprise.

The other miracle that I feel is coming is the pathology report.  So far they have refused to say for sure but it may be either a low grade sarcoma (low grade=better than high grade), or a benign growth (benign=best news we've had all day!).  So keep praying for that one.  It will take a few days to officially say what the tumor is.  It's a complicated tumor.  I am so excited for all this good news.  I am sure we all are!  Keep up the prayers folks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paula

After just spending some time with Paula this past week, I am not certain she wants to be recognized on her birthday here at KGC.  She didn't seem too excited about remembering another birthday.  But as I told a guest at Marcy's wedding, my sister Paula is so well preserved we think she sleeps in formaldehyde at night.  She may not be a teenager laying out in our back yard killing ants in her belling button any more, but really....she should be doing cartwheels (if she could) to be feeling and looking so good at her age...  What is that age again?  Maybe we shouldn't say.  That's my present to you Paula- not saying your age here on the blog.  Happy Birthday!  Do you like what I got you?

One thing I really love about Paula is that she has the ability to make others feel that she is truly interested in what they have to say.  She asks questions and listens.  That was the way our mom was.  She always seems happy to see me.  Especially because of our traditional hug/jump move we do when first seeing each other.  One thing we have noted is that we must be in sync when doing such a move, or it's kinda unpleasant.  That bouncy hug always makes me laugh.  Paula too.  She has a wonderful laugh.  Whenever I am around Paula we laugh.  She is super happy almost all the time too.  That is probably why she earned the name of Saida while we were in Morocco.  Saida means happy in Arabic.  My name was Jamilla which means beautiful.  In full discloser I should state that I picked this name for myself.  Saida did not.  She really is a happy person and so fun to be around.

Saida in Morroco! (Doesn't she look happy?)


Whenever I am around Paula/Saida my voice gets a bit higher.  I start talking and acting a bit more like Paula.  I guess if imitation is be best form of flattery then I am really in awe of my oldest sister.  Here are some good reasons why:  Paula is a great cook.  She makes great pot holders, she is a super hygienist, she has 4 great kids, she is genuine and kind.  Paula is active and walks every day.  She taught/inspired me once by telling me she only eats 2 Oreos at a time.  She treats her doggie Conan like a favorite child.  She loves my kids which I really appreciate.  She keeps in touch and understands what it's like to be a military wife living far away from family.  She supported me with a very timely visit when my husband was deployed and I was going crazy, I will always be so grateful to her for that.  She keeps her mind and body active by being an EMT.  She is such a great EMT in Moab that she teaches EMT classes!  She's really great, thrifty, kind, and reverent.  Except when we sit together in church and then she might be a bit too chatty.  Speaking of sitting together in church, Paula can really sing.  She sounds just like Mom's pretty alto voice and I love sitting next to her and harmonizing.  She is really amazing and super dee duper.


In case you can't tell, I really love Paula!  I wish her the best of birthdays this year with many more to come.  And don't worry Paula- even though my daughter called you 'grandma' the other day, you still got it baby!

Paula at the Smithsonian

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Marcel-The Heart of a Champion!

When Marcy was born she was so dang small that we nick named her 'Mousy' and our mother protested.  She slept in the clothes closet in a white bassinet.  I particularly liked peeking in on her and seeing her little bald half-head peeking over the side.  She had her Mom's beautiful eyes.  She was anything but mousy.


Marcy soon learned (as we all did) to be plucky growing up in such a large family.  She was tough and strong and had night-time dreams of conquering wild animals by leaping on their backs and riding them into submission.  Perhaps these nightmares where the first inklings of her desires to work with animals.  I am certain they were also a peek into the psyche of this amazing sister of mine.  She has the infamous "Whatcott Bounce" we are always hearing about.  When you get knocked down you come back up fighting, and with each fight you only become stronger for it.  Our friend Marcy has lost some rounds but has never given up the fight.  I'd say the overall championship belt goes to.... Marcy!  Let's all run around in a circle with our fists in the air to the theme music from Rocky on her birthday shall we? Go ahead and shout "Yo Adrienne" a few times for good measure.

Needless to say we are proud of our sister for completing vet school and finding an awesome fiance along the way.  She has also found herself a job and a duplex like a big girl in the big world.  I hope that on her birthday this year she can reflect on the past 35 years with relief.  She has accomplished her goals with grace.  She has overcome her obstacles with courage.  She is someone I am proud to know.  Someone who is fun to be around. She is someone I trust.  I wish her all the best and commend her for what she has done.  We all look forward to seeing her get Married this fall.

Congratulations and Happy Birthday Marcy.  Keep those feet dancing, lead with your left and never let your guard down.  Because as we all know, it's not what you do when you fall but what you do when you get back up that counts.  


Another being with the heart of a champion- Marcy's doggie Cricket.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

FAMILY UNDER CONSTRUCTION



In her latest post, Kelly mentioned that it's "getting a bit dusty" here on the family blog. Well,.. it must be from all the construction mess!!!


We will have a SECOND Marie Loveless within 48 hours! (Has there been an official ruling on the designations yet? Marie-dle-dee and Marie-del-Ray?)


The Lee wing in the final rundown to grand opening.


And the ever-more popular birthday stacking event: Brandon Seamons and Angela Whatcott shared September 13th! Dallas Hills and David Vogel will share this Friday, September 23rd. And THANK YOU Christine for the best Birthday present in AGES! Amy Rose is a doll!!!


Whether it was the "quick reference family guide" I made for Thelma,... or the amazing 3" binder I found at DI last month,... or my attempt to put the last 20 years of accumulated KGC family memorabilia into said binder and realizing it wasn't big enough,... Whatever,... I've decided to take advantage of this little "lull" in my life (kids are big enough not to need me around every minute, and grandkids are still a few years off) to see about getting this bulk a little more organized.


Please forgive me if somewhere in this process I become the stereo-typical geneology-crazed Aunt -- it's a very small leap, indeed!!! And barring my life taking another "scenic detour" (which the Lord likes to provide on occasion for our own edification and enrichment), I do plan on starting to contact some people (This could mean YOU!)


General Conference weekend is coming up,.. take advantage of the refreshing change in Sunday schedule to sit down and update your own family files. Remember to add not only the births and weddings, but also the baptism and endowment dates (and you can even put blessing dates in the "christening" line,.. since that's when LDS kids become "children of record")


At one point, I remember Dad Cruiser predicting that his posterity would number over 1,000,000 within 6 generations. And, though Chris and I did not meet his expectations (Dad had signed us up for SIX children! I ask, "Chris and WHICH wife? This one is maxed out!!!"), the family is still well on it's way!!!


So here's to all the construction "messes",.... the babies, the weddings, the funerals,...

And to the rest of the world,....

EAT OUR DUST!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Memories of Mom

Well it's getting a bit dusty over here at KGC Blend. I know there are those of you out there who could be posting but I guess it's up to me to keep this going for now. I realize there was a birthday I neglected to post about. Our mother's birthday was August 9th. For some reason that date seems to sneak past me and I realize it a few days after it's passed by. This year was weird. I sometimes dream about mom. I dream that she is alive and that her cancer has been cured and she is here to give me her love and advise. Then I wake up bummed that it was just a dream.  These dreams are usually few and far between.  For some reason during the week of her birthday I had several successive dreams compounded during the week leading up to August 9th. I'd wake up and think "weird- I had another dream about Mom." Then the thought would leave and I'd go about my busy day. It wasn't until about the 11th or 12th that I realized her birthday had passed again without my thinking about it. Then I realized that my subconscious had been thinking about her all week.  It was weird.  I like to think that maybe she was with me in spirit (at night) all week.  I don't really know this, but it's a nice thought.  I miss her still.

She was a completely selfless person.  She was a great listener and hardly ever talked about herself even though she was most interesting.  She loved all people: poor, unpopular, unloved.  She loved the underdog- so do I.  I still remember the Samoan man who came knocking asking for work.  After she paid him for weeding the yard he mentioned that he was not as good as her.  She told him "not so- God loves you just as much as he loves me, and she gave him a warm hug."  I will never forget it.  I was a young girl at the time, but it struck me deeply.  She never played into that snob hill mentality that was so prevalent in Oak Hills.  She refused to be a part of the sororities in college, even though I am sure they wanted the homecoming queen attendant as a feather in their cap.  She always taught me that "pretty is as pretty does."  I hope to pass that along to my daughters one day.  We live in such a materialistic world where girls are taught that being ornamental is best.  Our mother was a looker, but she was much more than a pretty face.

I wish I had her here to ask about my children.  This parenting job is a tough gig and I am certain most of the time I am getting it wrong.  She could help me with so many things if I could just pick up the phone and call her.  Maybe I need to be more in tune with the spirit so that she can help show me the way.  She's probably shouting advise through her mega phone on the other side of the veil but I have earthly cotton stuck in my ears and can't or won't hear what she would have me do.

Mom would have been 81 last August.  I hope she is well on the other side.  Probably running the nursery still....  Now uncle Bob is with her.  They probably have a lot of catching up to do.  To those who will be attending Bob's funeral this week, if you feel our mother near, say hello for me will you?

Kelly

PS for those who read this who are unaware, our Uncle Bob Vogel had an accident that lead to him being put on life support.  There was something burnt on the stove and a smoke filled house triggered an asthma attack, which then triggered a heart attack. He was 20 min down before they could re-start his heart but no brain activity remained.  Life support was taken off on Thursday evening at 6:30.  Our prayers are with the Vogels...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dad is 82... Basically Ancient

I understand there will be a family open house for Dad on his birthday.  As much as we would love to be there and be "creamed" with you all, we will not be there.  Hopefully next year.  We are just waiting for a good excuse to come out and meet Grandma Thelma.  One other thing we are waiting for and that is for air fare to come down : )  So it may be a while.

In the mean time I would love to extend and invitation to anyone who wishes to come to our neck of the woods.  Even if you would just like to send a kid or two for a week with me in DC.  That would be welcomed!  The east coast Tagg Family would be glad shuttle some cousins around and see the sights.  Think it over!

Anyways I have decided to post our familys letter to Dad on the KGC blog... here goes.

Eliza's Answers
1-What does she love about Grandpa?  "I love how he makes something for me...does he make me things?"
2-Eliza's memory about Grandpa is him saying "I have eyes in the back of my head" (it's entirely possible she is mixing up her Grandpas here)
3-Eliza doesn't know how she is going to live her life to honor Grandpa.  She is 4 so we'll give her some time to think about that...

Audrey's Answers
1- What do we love about him?  Audrey said "he always has something funny to tell"
2-Audrey's favorite memory is playing "I love you the most" with Grandpa
3-One thing Audrey wants to do to him is give him a big hug and squeeze all the blood out of him.  (Classy no?  She may have misunderstood the last question but I liked that answer).

Drew's Answers
1-Loves that Grandpa has a big house.
2-Drew's favorite memory is having a competition with Grandpa over who was the tallest by raising up our arms higher than each other.
3-Drew is going to serve an honorable mission for Grandpa Whatcott.

Evan's Answers
1-Evan loves that he has a big personality.
2-Flying airplanes with him is a memory Evan has of Grandpa Whatcott.
3- Evan is going to learn to fly a plane to honor his Grandpa.

Nathan's Answers
1- Loves that Grandpa is a happy guy.
2-"Him making cheese pancakes for us" is Nathan's favorite memory
3-I am going to buy one of those plastic toys with the substances that don't mix together and are different colors.... They look like this:

Troy's Answers

1-What do you love about him?  "I love his laugh"
2-A favorite memory? "I knew I was welcomed into his family when upon my first visit to the house he offered me a slice off of his huge hunk of 'adult only' swiss cheese."
3-What will you do with your life to honor him?  "I will treat his daughter with love and respect"

Kelly's Answers
1-I love that my Dad has such great self confidence.  Nothing gets him down for too long and he has a big gigantic heart and wants to help out whenever he can.  
2-A favorite memory of mine (and his I think) is when he rescued me during a blizzard after my car had spun out and ran off the road while I was driving home from Colorado as a young college student.  He had to finish up his work that day and then come and get me in white out conditions over through steep canyon roads.  For years afterwards I was reminded of this event when I was working as a hygienist in his dental office, and patients would come through and say "Hey, weren't you that daughter of his that he rescued in the snow storm?  I was a patient that day!"  
3-To honor my Dad I will try and live a perfectly honest life.  His exactness in this department has always been an example to me.  Except for maybe that time he went to Montana to purchase a motor home to avoid paying state taxes on the vehicle.  But that's a grey area I guess.  Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Twins Turn 57!?

I can hardly believe I just revealed the age of the twins.  It's a good thing they don't read the blog or I'd probably be in trouble right?  I better be sure and state that they don't look their age at all.  No one in their right mind would think they had that many years behind them.  That is one good trait the Whatcotts have.  I hope to follow in those footsteps myself.

Some memories I have of Dawn and Diane will be shared in honor of their birthday today.  Please feel free to click on the comments button below and offer your own memories to mine.  This blog only really works well as a group effort.  And what a great way for us to keep in touch with each other right?  For those who live far away or don't get to see family much it could be a lifeline to the family.  Anyways- I will stop guilt tripping you all and get on with my post now : )

First Dawn... Dawn was like a little mother to me when I was small.  She was 15 when I was born.  We'd go on long walks in the mountains together.  She'd babysit me all the time.  I remember going on dates with her when she was a bit older.  Her dates gave me gifts.  It was a sweet gig.  She even brought me into the shower with her on occasion.  It was very informative and not at all creepy.  Dawny loved me like a daughter.  I had a great time with Dawn when she recently visited my family all by her big girl self.  Since her son has free air fare privileges, she has been a big-time traveler.  We saw the sights in DC together and she played with my kids a lot.  It sure was nice having someone dote on the kids.  She even slept in the girl's room with them.  No showers though.  Maybe next visit (just kidding).  I will always be glad that I have Dawn in my life.  She is a truly genuine nice person with a big heart.  A great sister,  I love her.

Care Free in DC


Now Diane.... Diane is also a great sister that I love.  She has the gift of gab and loves to chat with you on just about any topic.  She has been a great help to Dad in his time of need this past year ironing his shirts and cleaning for him.  She is determined and has pursued her education against large odds late in life.  I am so proud of her for getting her masters degree in education and for getting a teaching job.  She teaches 2nd grade.  I have a second grader and when I volunteer in her class I just think "whew!  Teaching in tough!"  I am ready to leave when my hour is up let me tell you.  I guess it's no big deal to Diane who has birthed enough kids in her lifetime to outnumber the rest of us.  Maybe she missed the noise so she had to go into teaching.  I will always remember the best Diane story from when we were traveling as a family in Mexico and we'd taken a boat to Puerto Vallarta.  She got to chatting innocently with a few frisky sailors.  Then it ended up in a cat and mouse chase around on the deck.  Luckily she got away unscathed.  I seem to recall one of the twins (could have been Dawn) having no clue when learning to drive and accidentally running into the curb, almost taking out a fire hydrant.  It would seem that the concept of turning the wheel back to the straight position after taking a turn hadn't quite set in yet.  Pretty darn funny when you think about it.

Though the twins have had their ups and downs I know that they both still care for one another.  I hope they can one day work out their problems.  It sure has made for some situation-filled Christmas parties though!  You know me, always looking for the bright side.

Happy Birthday to you both!

*Correction: I have been informed by Dawn that she was the one who ran into the fire hydrant and that it was due to icy road conditions...  My apologies!  


Also another update: Diane is recently engaged to be married in June.  Exciting news indeed!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Viva La Vida

Watch for Drew and Nathan playing in the orchestra here.  Also, please don't miss the great dancing in the first row of the audience!

video

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Poetry from Nathan


Where I'm From
By Nathan Tagg

I am from kim-chi
From tasty subway deli-man-ju,
Processed milk shakes and
Bul-go-gi

I am from my card that I carried around in my wallet,
Which said who I was and where I was from.
From my trip to the other side.
I am from my first video games
My terrible first skateboard,
My dach-chi collection, which grew and grew with each victory
And from putting 100 won pieces in gumball machines,
As if they were quarters.
(Which was illegal)

I am from the military bases,
From the buildings that were once bomb shelters,
From the south of the boarder,
From the thirty eighth.
The cement step with the word “blessed”,
Permanently engraved in it.
I am from the great and terrible hill that,
Was climbed to get to church,
Every Sunday and Wednesday.
I am from the purple skies,
 The fourth largest city in the world,
The massive amounts of traffic.
The intersection of death.
The grammatically incorrect signs.
The misuse of ingurish
I am from Mr. O
I am from god
I am from Mister Kim
The underfunded school teachers
From troy

I am from “Everything will be over eventually”
From
“Pennies don’t really matter here”
And from
“The small choices you make will affect you forever”
From
“The door of fate swings on small hinges”
And from
“Will you run down the street and buy some milk?”



with our friend Buddha

Friday, March 18, 2011

Q & A with Candace

1.     1. Hi Candace!  What’s happening in your life?  Enquiring minds want to know! Does losing 25 lbs count?? Haha … Um see below?  #2 & #3 & #8 hold the most exciting news. J
2.     2. Tell us about your love life?  Who is that dashing young man we see on your blog? I have been dating the most handsome & incredible guy – his name is Matt Burch.  He is 32 and divorced with 2 kids.  A mouthful I know, but as cheesy as it sounds – totally worth the baggage.  He is a CPA for Ernst & Young and works REALLY hard to provide for his kids, which I find admirable. He has a little boy who is 4 and a little girl who turns 2 this month. They are the lights of his life. He is the perfect Daddy. They are also the lights of my life right now. I just adore them. Really. We have been dating for 7 months, and are talking saying the ‘love’ word so I’m getting pretty stoked to move from the W’s to the B’s.  J
3.     3. What are you doing these days at work? I work at HP and just recently got a promotion onto a team I’ve worked hard to get on. I am a Sales Specialist (which is basically a Partner Business Manager) for HP.  So I support all of HP’s partners/resellers in the West Region. I love it so much – I get to travel each quarter out to California, Oregon, Washington, etc.  I just love being the “go to gal” and that’s precisely who I am for the West.
4.     4. What do you think about the revelation that the writers of Mormon Bachelor Pad were really 40 yr old balding divorced men?  Wacky!!!  I was a little disgusted and just sad that they have such pathetic lives that they can live separate lying lives.  Their stories were pretty crazy….
5.     5. Do you find enough time to play with your kissy face BFFs lately? Nothing is more important in this life than the relationships we nurture with others in this life and with our Lord.  My friends buoy me up and I am proud to call them my BFFs.  I ALWAYS make time for those I love. Always.
6.     6. Are you remembering to be like Arial in the Little Mermaid and “keep singing!”  Though life takes me through the happiest of times and the saddest of times, I always having a song in my heart ~ I just don’t always torture other people by SINGING it.  J
7.     7. Have you been using your floral arranging talents lately?  The flowers you did for JoAnn’s funeral were lovely btw.  Thank you, it was an honor to do flowers for the family.  I recently set up a blog/website for my side biz for flowers (www.candacescreations.blogspot.com) and that has brought me 2 weddings so far for the spring, and this weekend I am swamped with orders for 2 different Proms.  I love doing flowers and foresee it being forever in my future.
8.    8. What does the future hold for you Candace…. Ideally.  If you had asked me this 5 yrs ago I would have the storybook answers of “Married in the Temple, Kids, Stay at Home Mommy, Gorgeous House, Nice car….blah blah”  But now?  Of course I still want to get married *to Matt ideally* and of course I will eventually want kids, but if I marry Matt – I got 2 right off the bat! YAY!!  And the house thing – well, keep it on the downlow – but we are already casually looking…. Just in case we get married. J  I do plan on working and even when I do stay at home (3 kids would definitely warrant staying at home) then I would like to start my own flower business from home. Matt is 100% supportive and I think it would be fun to eventually include the kids in my business. I also plan to FINALLY finish my Bachelor’s degree at Weber and/or University of Utah.  That is another story in itself… No matter what happens, I plan to be happy and always continuing up and up with my knowledge, work ethic, and relationships.
      9. Tell us an embarrassing moment why don’t you?  Embarrassing moment of the week: I was talking to a work associate that I admire for his hard work. I took my ring off and noticed my finger was green under it (while he’s talking). I decided to use spit to clean it off but instead of just wetting my finger like I had thought, I had this long spit string that attached from my mouth to my finger.  I was mortified when the associate just stopped talking and stared at me.  His face seemed to say “REALLY?”  It was way embarrassing      
     10.You are super pretty Candace.  I hope you know that.  But you are also nice on the inside which my mother taught me was the most important. Thanks Aunt Kelly, your mom is one of my most favorite people that has Ever lived. (definitely in the top 5)
Candace and Matt

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Ides of March Griever

Or is it spelled Greever?  I googled and went with Griever.  Although I am not sure if when we gave Chris that nick name that we meant "a term in Final Fantasy VIII; the name of a lion's head crest commonly associated with Suall Leonhart." We'll have to consult Roland on that since I think he was the one who gave him the name that stuck.  Probably he meant something more along the lines of "one who grieves" due to Chris complaining so much on a long hike.  Whatever it means, Chris will always have the alias name of Griever to me.

Chris was the sibling just older than me growing up and since he was 5 yrs older I had a difficult time keeping up with him.  I am sure that most of the time he saw me as a the pesky little sister always trying to tag along.  There are a few times I recall that he let me into his inner circle.  Like the time when he and some buddies were filming a western home movie and they let me be the 'saloon gal.'  Even though I was flat as a board I tried to live up to the part.  I was seriously flattered (although I was probably their only choice).  I dressed up in a old dance costume that was red satin with black lace and used one of the kitchen's metal pitchers to pour drinks for them.  I'm sure my role of bar maid will be remembered forever.  I remember being giddy with the excitement of being included.  Secretly I knew Chris really wanted me around because when he built the fort up in the side of the foothills across the street from our house he made a bathroom facility with two places to sit "boys" and "girls."  Who else would be using the girls potty but me?  Another time he included me was to let me into the pitch black piano room while he and some other brothers were shooting rubber bands at each other in the dark.  He was right to be hesitant about letting me in there.  It was traumatic.

Another childhood memory I have of brother Chris is his candy store.  Since sugar was pretty much off limits in our home the thought that Chris had huge stashes of it made me salivate just walking in his room.  I must admit to sneaking in there and helping myself on occasions.  He had a great money maker idea when he purchased a bunch of candy at the store and then sold it to desperate neighbor kids with lots of pocket money to throw away on priceless a priceless sugar fix from the neighborhood supplier- my brother.  I think his big mistake was selling a candy bar to Joey Covey for $5.00.  That brought down the hammer of justice on his sugar gig.  I also think the fact that Chris got a large number of cavities that year was a bit of a giveaway.  He had to give up sugar 100%.  No more jello-brand cheesecakes on Sundays even (lucky him).

Chris has always 'walked to the beat of his own drummer' so they say.  I really admire that about him.  The more I learn about mainstream people in life, the more I want to be different.  I want to be my own person, just like Chris.  Chris is super smart.  We always knew this.  Remember when he got straight A's and Dad had to buy a pool table for the entire family.  That was awesome!

He was the one who warned me all about the Russians who all wanted to kill us.  He was the one I listened to Dr Demento with on Sunday nights.  He was the one who took me to dollar movies when we were both in our 20's living at Dad's house still.  Sorry you had to miss Joe vs the Volcano Stephanie.  It wasn't really a great movie anyways.  I don't think she forgave Chris for taking his little sister to that one instead of his girlfriend for a few weeks at least.  Luckily she got over it and Stephanie and I get along great today.  She is really something too.  I really missed Chris's companionship when he moved out of the house.  He was/is a good brother.  He's a good family man and an awesome science teacher.  Too bad he lives so far away and we never see too much of Chris and his family.  Maybe they will take that East coast trip they have been trying to plan for the past year or so.  Hint hint : )

We hope Chris has a wonderful birthday on the ides of March (tomorrow).  Beware the ides of March Griever.  Each time it passes you will only get another year older!!!!!
And possibly a bit grayer....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthday ROLAND BABY!

Which one is the bigger turkey?
Roland always calls me KELLY BABY!  (Yes in all caps- that is the way he says it).  So I have to title this post that way too.  I admire our brother Roland.  I really do.  He has a huge heart and even though he's a rough, tough, hunting, spitting, dog owning, gun toting, cave dwelling, ice fishing man he has no problem telling sentimental stories and tearing up.  The last time I saw him (at IHOP- in a public place no less!) he did just that.  He told of a time when as a teenager, he once took our mother on a motorcycle ride up in the canyon.  She was testing the safety of such a thing and asked him to prove it to her I guess.  She absolutely loved it he said.  She was a nature lover to be sure, but I am sure the peace and quiet away from 13 kids probably had something to do with it : )  As he told this story he teared up over his pancakes (or possibly his omelet) and I thought 'that Roland is sure a nice tender-hearted guy.'  I also remembered fondly a time he once took me on a long motorcycle ride while just a few years back.  He probably saw the 'weary-from-motherhood' look on my face that day too.  Later that day there was an accident with his son running into me riding down a hill on a big-sized Tonka truck.  I wasn't seriously hurt but more concerned that his son was feeling bad about the accident.  I hugged him and assured him I was okay (I'm a softy too).  Roland told me later how much that touched him.  He's really a big teddy bear that Roland...

Over the years Roland has been one of the siblings I have who has reached out to me and kept in touch.  He will call me out of the blue just to chat.  That really means a lot to me.  More than he knows.  Especially since I am living farthest away from all the family.  He has made efforts in the past to mend things with me that he was feeling badly about.  Things I never even had a second thought about.  He is thoughtful.  He is a Whatcott- in the best possible way.  Randy has told and re-told me how great it is to be partners with Roland because he gets things done.  All Randy has to do is mention something once to Roland like "maybe it's time to replace that 4 wheeler that is going downhill" and within the week it's sold and a new one is on the way.  Randy tells me this would never happen with Marie in charge.  I am sure Marie brings all kinds of good stuff to the table in her partnership with Randy though : )

Roland is a good father and a good husband.  I have noticed that as well.  He has a wonderful family to show for his good work there.  He is smart and fun to be around.  He takes care of people and he is kind.  I can't say enough good things about my brother Roland.  He likes to joke around and have a good time.  He makes time to spend with those he loves and me makes good root beer.  Just ask him and he'll be sure to tell you.  Teasing is a great delight to Roland.  I remember, as a child, being teased to tears many many times by my brother Roland.  I think he may still need to clear that up with me FYI.

A nice memory I have of my brother Roland is that he had a lot of dates.  He was ever so handsome (still is) and he used to bring a different girl home to play pool or hang out at the house every weekend it seemed.  If I got to hanging around taking it all in as a pesky younger sister will do (lets see I must have been about 8yrs during this time), then Roland would whisper in my ear to go down to his room and get a bar of chocolate he had hidden in there and eat it somewhere far far away and promise not to come back.  It was a sweet deal let me tell ya!  Candy was pretty rare in our home growing up.  I totally remember that with fondness.  I also remember the large amounts of Brut cologne he used to use before one of these dates.  He would wear so much that he'd leave a trail of scent behind him where ever he walked for about 10 solid minutes.  That is how I would know that Roland had a date and there was possible Hershey's chocolate in my future.  Good memories!  

Well I better sign off but not before wishing Roland BABY the best of birthdays today.  Hope it's a good one bro!  You rock!  And your a big brut!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Audrey on the Piano

This was her favorite song for some time.... I tried to learn the duet with her but alas my piano skills are all under a bushel these days.  She is playing with her AMAZING (and famous!) piano teacher Molly S.

video
The song she's playing is called "Quiet Night"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Q & A With Marcel W.

     1.     So hi there Marcy…. What is new with you these days?  You must be pretty excited to have passed your big test.  Tell us about it!
Yes, I passed my national board exam! I spent many long hours studying during the month of November and I took the exam in December. I think I was becoming a permanent fixture in the school library. I would arrive at 8am and stay until 11pm every day for a the whole month. The janitorial crew started getting to know me by name, and it was nearing the point where they started just cleaning around me. Yet despite the stress, the news that I passed makes it all worth while. Now onto state boards and after that you can call me “Doc”.

      2.  How are the wedding plans coming?  Do you have a date set yet?  For those who may not be informed, tell us all about Jeremy please (limit 10 pages).
Wedding plans are coming along. I've been doing things in small bites because of my hectic schedule with school. The date is narrowing down to  October 8th, 9th or 10th at this point. We'll have to pin it down once we decide on the venue. I expect to have more time to plan once I'm done with state boards, finding a job, moving, and graduating. As for Jeremy, he's my rock. I probably could go on for 10 pages or more, but I'll spare you the sappy details and just say that he is fantastic. He's been very supportive of my school schedule and helped take care of my dogs while I've been away for months at a time on rotations. He's my partner in crime-I mean- partner in life, and we often laugh until we cry. What more can I say?  
3    3.  Do you have any big graduation party plans? 
Hummm, graduation party plans; well not really. Graduation is in May. Don't worry, everyone will get an announcement, which doesn't in any way obligate you to come to California to a long boring and drawn out graduation ceremony that I know everyone hates (including myself). I figure I'm having two memorable events this year, and if you can only come to one, let it be the wedding. As far as graduation is concerned, I'm excited of course, but would rather keep it low key and no pressure.
4.    4.  What about moving back to Utah?  What does the crystal ball hold for you there?
Moving back to Utah, well, that's the plan; but if you have a crystal ball that wouldn't mind telling me where I can find a good job, and where I can find housing, that would be really helpful. Right now, I'm headed to Utah for my last month long school rotation. This was planned so that I would be in the area to look for jobs and housing. It's a bit up in the air where we will land, but Jeremy and I are both in agreement that Utah has more advantages than California at this point. The disadvantage is that we would be leaving his family here in Cali; and I have to say that they will be sorely missed. I have never felt so at home in California until Jeremy's family took me in and graciously accepted me into their flock. I've planted the seeds of hope that they will someday retire and follow us to Utah. That and I've practically convinced them that the streets in Utah are paved in gold...can we keep up that premise, just until they move?
5.     5.  So Marcy, do you remember when you were very little and you had a crazy dream about being attacked by a tiger and instead of being afraid of the tiger you just leaped on his back and used him as your ride?  Do you think that dream may have been somewhat prophetic when compared to your position right now?  You know, graduating from vet school against all odds?
Well, I've got to be honest and say... nope I don't remember that dream; but obviously you do. So, sounds prophetic enough for me; I'll go with it. But does this mean that I'm not scared of tigers? Because I'll have to tell you that I'm scared of mean domestic cats, so I can't see me riding off on an actual tiger. Maybe I'll have to brush up on my dream interpretation skills before I truly consent to this one.
6   6.  Do you think that riding tigers (literally) will be a part of your future in veterinary medicine?
Um, no! I don't like zoo medicine, too many politics involved. The closest I'll ever get to zoo medicine is the Giraffe that I helped necropsy (autopsy) in Idaho.
7   7.  What will the colors be at your wedding?  Have you considered black and orange?
Not exactly black and orange. But I've been thinking about having fall colors since fall is my favorite season, and we're having the wedding outdoors in the fall. Earth tones is the current consensus since both Jeremy and I agree that those are our favorites. Plus Jeremy wore a tan shirt on our first date, and I wore a brown shirt that day, so tan and brown are our colors.
Humm, what do you think?

The jury is still out. Shauna suggested that I wear my silky Cinderella dress, do you think it will still fit? If not I can always bring it for show and tell.

(for those who don't know the story of Marcy bringing her silky Cinderella dress for show and tell in pre-school here it is: She used to wear the same silky dress to school each day because she loved it and Mom would let her.  Then one day everyone made a huge fuss over her when she wore another outfit only to find that she had brought her dress that day in her canvas bag for show and tell- classic!)

     8..  Do you think a dramatic reading from the epic puppet production Cinderrabbit might be appropriate to recite at your wedding.  If not I can totally prepare something else : )
Uh, unless you want to dress up like a pig and announce “soup's on” then I may suggest you work on something else. Perhaps a monologue from Gone with the Wind “Where shall I go? What shall I do?”...
9   9.  What is your favorite thing about California (where you are currently living for those on KGC that may not know).
Jeremy is my favorite thing about California, and he's portable, so I don't know if he counts. Other than that, I've gotta say the weather. It's nice and sunny practically year round, but I do miss the snow.
1  10.   Lastly tell us your hopes dreams and fears for the future. 
Hope for love, dream of happiness, and fear of failure. Isn't that pretty much universal for anyone? I've found that life is full of surprises, and it never ends up the way you plan. So, part of living is learning to keep the heart open to love, happiness and even failure when it happens; and keeping your spirit resilient by never giving up on your hopes and dreams in spite of your fears. (woo-sap)

THANKS MARCY and CONGRATS ON EVERYTHING!!!!!



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

INEXPENSIVE DATE -- EARLY FHE


Our favorite cellist (Megan) will be playing with the Zion Youth Symphony Orchestra at Abravanel Hall on Monday, February 28th, at 1:30pm. It's part of the Youth Symphony Festival of Utah,... performances are every half-hour from 8:00am to 4:00pm. ADMISSION IS FREE, and spectators can come and go as they wish between groups.
Most of the groups playing are audition-based, so the music is usually really good! It's great for an inexpensive date or an early FHE!
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Baby Monkey!

Doesn't this totally look like it was filmed in Mexico?
Brings back memories of Monkey Beach... sigh!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Q & A With Seth

Q- Hey Seth, how are you and what have you been up to?
I’m “good”.  I am going to school at BYU taking some really fun classes such as cell biology, physiology, and Chinese. I quit my job this semester so that I could focus on schoolwork since last semester I never had enough time to get everything done. I’m doing mentored research with Dr. Stark in the PDBIO department, the project is to try and come up with a better way to introduce specific mutations into the chicken genome, it is a lot of fun!  I’m also volunteering at the hospital as a Spanish interpreter and at an elementary school teaching first graders Chinese. Other than that I’m getting ready to take the MCAT this summer and go live in China for a year starting in the fall.
Q- So, let’s just get this out of the way…Are there any wedding bells ringing in your ears lately? Just kidding, you can reserve the right not to answer that if you don’twant to. I’m sure we’d all be interested to know though : )
Uh, not that I’m aware of? Don’t worry though, like any good Chinese I’ve got a five year plan and marriage is probably on it somewhere.
Q-Seth, do you remember when you used to press your extra-tough forehead against my rather soft head until you gave me a migraine? It was when you were about 3 years old. I think you should recall… Why do you think you liked to do that so much? It must have been painful for you too. What is your pain tolerance anyways?
You are making that up. No, but really. I have no idea what you are talking about. I have a pretty high pain tolerance though since you brought up the subject. Have you ever seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia? There is a scene near the beginning where an officer lights a cigarette and Lawrence takes the still burning match out of his hand and then just holds it as the flame burns up to his fingertips and then goes out. It’s really hard, but I’ve done it.
Q- How is school going? What are you studying? Do you find you have had anylong-term effects from pressing your head against things as a toddler?
School is going well, I’m double majoring in Chinese and neuroscience. I’m planning on going to medical school and earning a PhD at the same time. But I probably won’t apply until 2012. I was a very conscientious toddler and would never press my head up against things.
Q-How was your trip to China? Tell us what your favorite part was please?
China was absolutely fantastic. Picking a favorite part is going to be hard, there was the time that we hiked yellow mountain and did Taiqi moves on top of big rocks in the fog, there was our trip to the world expo in Shanghai, there was running at night with my roommate at the outdoor track, there was salsa dancing outside in the rain. I don’t know, I can’t pick a favorite.
Q- Tell us a favorite memory of Mexico would you please?
Favorite Mexico memory: catching frogs in the showers.
Q-How are you liking living on your own? Do you miss all the kids at your home?
It’s nice, but having to cook for myself is somewhat less than ideal. If you saw the enormous collection of empty pop tarts boxes that we have in our kitchen you would agree that my eating habits could use some help. It’s not that I mind cooking, it’s just so dreadfully inconvenient. I get to go home a lot so I wouldn’t say I really miss all the kids yet.
Q-Do you still rock out to Keane? What are some of your other favorite bands?
Keane fell into disfavor after their latest album, but I still like listening to their older stuff for sure. My new favorite bands are include: Feist, The Innocence Mission, Missy Higgins, Passion Pit, Phoenix, Sufjan Stevens, The Temper Trap, Two Door Cinema Club, The Weepies.
Q-You just had a birthday. Don’t you think November is the best month for a birthday and especially the 11th day of the 11th month? What did you do to celebrate it?
Well, my birthday was now a while ago, but it was sure good. We went to Pirate Island Pizza which was just incredible. I got to wear a pirate hat, Adam got to wear a pirate hat, the pizza had a piratey taste to it… basically everything was ideal. And then we played at the arcade and thanks to Adam’s luck, skill, whatever you want to call it, we amassed enough tickets to buy an enormous pirate flag that says “surrender the booty” on it. Classic. It is now hanging in our apartment. 11/11/11 is going to be such a big party this year. I can’t wait.
Q- I will be interviewing other relatives of yours in the future. Do you have any interviewing advice for me?
Hmm… nah.