Friday, May 30, 2014

Graduation Gift - Princess Crowns for a Princess

Ever since starting this blog, Princess Four has LOVED that I call them "Princess." She has, for years now. wanted to be a Disney princess. She sings, acts and is beautiful so I think she could actually BE a Disney Princess. 

Last Christmas, I saw these Disney "Princess" rings in real gold on sale and asked her if she would want one. She told me she would like one. I actually asked all the girls if they wanted one, but they weren't all as enthusiastic about them so I purchased it and saved it for her graduation gift as it wasn't cheap.

A few weeks ago, I found a sterling princess crown pendant at a second hand store for under $10 so I got that to go with the ring. 

I also got her "Monsters University" on sale over Christmas thinking that was a cute move for someone headed to "university."

I gave it to her before her speech as I wanted her to have it before. She was getting her nails and hair done so she is gingerly putting them on in the pictures as her nails were still wet. 

Princess Three paid someone to make her the butterfly and circle fan lei. Princess Four LOVED it and I think it made her feel extra special having a cute one for graduation. 

Her friend stayed up late with her mom the night before making herself the one above where they folded the dollars into rings. 

Princess Four loved that her sister thought of her that way. 

Princess Four wore her new "Princess" ring and "Crown" necklace to graduation and is smiling, showing them off next to her car after graduation above. 

Her big graduation gift however was her tour of the Eastern US. She left the day after graduation and is having so much fun. I hope to post some pictures of her travels once she returns in a few weeks.

I was grateful to be able to find things that she liked and that make her feel special. 

For Princess Three's graduation, she went through my jewelry and took a rose gold necklace and earring set with three colors of gold roses on them. It is a beautiful set and I was glad she was able to choose something she enjoyed as well and something that is of some value. 

I am proud of the girls and all they get accomplished.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We Have Graduation - Princess Four Rocked her Speech

Princess Four graduated this past week. She spoke at graduation and was weighed down by many ropes/cords, collars and leis. I couldn't be more impressed with her actions and conduct through her high school years. 
She gave a wonderful speech and got many compliments on it. I have included it on this post only omitting names. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

"As I was pondering on what I should speak about today, I thought back to junior year during student body elections. I chose to run for Student Body President and the slogan I used was ‘Don’t you forget about me’ from the song in the breakfast club. The student council voted on making this slogan the theme for the upcoming year. I would see this theme on our school shirts very regularly, and I didn’t realize how much one little statement could end up influencing my life.

With graduation finally here and the opportunity to think back on all my high school experiences I started thinking of all the things I didn’t want to forget.  I will always remember the ceiling in building one that let us enjoy the rain and snow inside. Or when entire classes would freak out that Mr. B came to school without his mustache. And who could forget J’s Graduation speech last year where the only word it is remembered for is “applesauce.” 

On this trip down memory lane, I thought way back to freshman year when I was just a little baby 13 year old. I remember I used to get upset at Taylor Swift when her song 15 would play, because I was definitely not 15 when I walked through the doors on the morning of my very first day of high school.  I had no idea that graduation would sneak up on me so fast, as I am sure many of my fellow graduates would agree. 

It is crazy to think that four years ago we were at freshman orientation just beginning our high school experience. And now, today, we get to bring that wonderful experience to an end. But I have a secret. Graduation is most definitely not the end. It is actually the begging. That sounds super cliché, but it is so true. Walking across this stage and receiving our diplomas creates so many opportunities and opens so many doors. 
It is great to look back on all the memories that were made in our years at high school, but it is even better to know that we have so much more in store for us in the future.

The theme------ ‘Don’t you forget about me’ made me realize I have so many wonderful people in my life that pushed and helped me to be where I am today. Words cannot express my gratitude for every person who has influenced my life. Throughout this year I tried my hardest to try to seek out those who might have felt left out and feel forgotten as I have felt that way before too, as we all have at one time or another.
At the end of 8th grade I tried out for the dance team. As if trying out wasn’t scary enough, I remember feeling very nervous and alone when I made the team.  Soon after the try outs were over I received a note from S. B. telling me how excited she was for us to be on drill team together and how glad she was that we could be friends. She then proceeded to ask me to go hiking with her and some friends during the summer just one time, and that invitation truly changed my life. We became good friends after that, and she taught me that by reaching out just one single time you can change a life. S. B. didn’t forget about me.

I know I feel best about myself when I am helping others, and I appreciate it when others help me. During my sophomore year I lost my cell phone. I looked all over the school and finally asked a janitor to help me search for it even though I felt silly asking him to help me with what I thought was a hopeless cause. He ended up finding my phone in a garbage can in the band room where it had landed after falling of my pocket. This act of kindness from a janitor helped me learn that sometimes I can’t do things by myself, and that it’s ok to ask for help. He didn’t forget about me.
At Junior prom, my Grandpa drove six hours in one day just for one three minute dance so that I would have someone to dance with for the “Father-daughter” dance. He had early morning meetings in SL the next day but had a smile on his face and spent the time needed to make me feel unforgotten. Sometimes, family may be the ones we overlook, but, little acts of “remembering” to do kind things for them can change their world as my grandfather act of kindness has done for me.
One day during the first semester of my Senior year, I had had a super rough morning and cried in the bathroom after a long drill team practice. I was feeling stressed and unappreciated. I walked alone to my first hour seminary class on the verge of tears. A boy I had never talked to, but recognized from the boys basketball team, opened the door for me. He turned my whole day around. I still don’t know what his name is, but he made my day. That fellow wildcat didn’t forget about me.
From these experiences, I have learned that I can be the change I want to see in the world. As my favorite poet Dr. Seuss said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better it’s not.” As we all continue to progress in our lives, I hope that everyone in the graduating class of 2014 will pursue their dreams and find true happiness. I wish you all the best of luck. I promise that if you will remember this moment and choose to not forget about others, you will truly change the world.
Thank you Graduates, and Remember….  Don’t you forget about me!"

You can see pictures of her getting ready, walking to the stage, giving the speech and then pictures of us after. My niece graduated as well so I included one of them as well. I thought it funny that in the group graduation picture, they are the only two turned to face me. 

It was one of those days that I will always remember. We had my dad and step-mom (only say that for clarity as she is as much a mom as a mom could be), all my girls and Grand-Princess number one's first home visit along with her dad the Prince. The house was ready, the speech was over, school was done, I was in HEAVEN! It was a wonderful day!  

I LOVE YOU Princess Four! I WANT YOU! I am PROUD of you! "You is Kind, You is Smart, and You is Important!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Impromptu Cover Songs by Princess Three

This past weekend, we had SO much going on. You know if you read this blog that May is my most crazy month. See a post about that here. 

With everyone home for the weekend and visitors as well as graduation for Princess Four, it got a bit hectic. One night, we were all in different places and Princess one and her hubby and I were in the front room and Princess Four's boyfriend picked up a guitar and started playing. Princess Four started singing. I suggested that they get a better guitar out and actually perform for us. 

I am not sure why she agreed to do it and then she allowed me to video tape it as I haven't heard her sing a solo since she was about 5 or 6. She has a beautiful voice and will sing in groups but never have I heard her sing an entire song solo and to allow me to video tape was a miracle indeed. 

Here she is singing her first solo since being a small girl. I think you will agree, she is amazing. Here are the lyrics for the song she is singing. 
Death Cab for Cutie - I will Follow You Into The Dark

Love of mine, some day you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me
"Son fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of our shoes
Are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It's nothing to cry about
'Cause we'll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
Then I'll follow you into the dark

After she sang that, I suggested they do more as we were enjoying the show. Since U2 has been my favorite band for 30 years now, she picked a U2 song, "With or Without You."  She did such a great job, I couldn't help sharing it. Here is the link to it on youtube if the video doesn't play on this site.

U2 - With or Without You

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you
Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you
With or without you
With or without you
Through the storm we reach the shore
You gave it all but I want more
And I'm waiting for you
With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you
And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away
My hands are tied, my body bruised
She's got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose
And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away
With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you
With or without you
With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you
With or without you

I was so tired after having everyone here this weekend and am just finishing up the sheets and towels in the laundry and didn't want to take a long time to post but the uploads are taking some time. Hope you enjoy the show as much as I do. I wish she would share more of her talent with us and others as she is so talented. I am so grateful that she shared it with us and that she has been given such an amazing talent. She has always been able to harmonize well and hasn't had any formal training. I have one talented (actually five) girl!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Making Homemade Suckers in the Microwave

I was at a dance competition a year or two ago when a woman pulled out a large bag of suckers and was handing them to her friends sitting around her. 

We got to talking as I have made them for years. 

She told me that she makes them in the microwave. I told her I had never seen or heard of that. 

She told me how she does it and here it is. 

Homemade Suckers in Microwave

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2/3 cup corn syrup

Mix in a microwavable glass bowl.  Pyrex works great. Cook for 22 minutes in microwave. Don't stop or stir.

I have a very high powered microwave so we stuck ours on for 18 minutes since I didn't know what power of microwave she had. Ours were PERFECT at 18 minutes. My microwave is 1000 watts so figure out how much yours is and adjust the time accordingly or just take it out at 18 minutes, drop some into cold water and if you hear a "crack" sound, its done. Be careful as the glass bowl with be HOT! Use an oven mitt. (I made a few more batches and added two minutes and it turned into divinity and was chewy so I think I will stick with 18 or even try 17 as one of the girls said they thought the first batch was sticky. It only got worse with more time.)

She also said she uses cooking spray to grease the molds rather than grease or butter. So, we now spray them and then dab them with a paper towel to take off the excess and it works so much quicker. 

She also told me she makes her own "Tootsie Roll" filling for the round sucker molds using powdered milk and cocoa.

You can get a white softer nugat type filling at baking supply stores and you can make the suckers Opaque so they aren't see through using the Wilton product in the "candy making" section at WalMart or a baking supply store. It isn't cheap however so we have stuck with the clear single colored suckers. 

Even though she gave me this recipe years ago, we have never tried it until today. Princess Five had a friend over and it was her birthday. She wanted to make suckers for her birthday so we did. It was FABULOUS making them in the microwave. It was quick and easy and much less chance of burning. 

The mold on the right is a tiny candy mold like life savers. It makes a baggie full. I want to try making my own cough drops using that mold and using eucolyptus and wintergreen flavor or something similar as I don't like the "cough drop" smell with only eucolyptus so if I add a mint flavor as well, it will be like a breath mint and cough drop in one.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Around the World in Seconds - In God We Trust and The Middle

Today, I saw something I have never seen before. I went to a second hand store and found the coolest folding table. It was a ping-pong table that was "mini" and folded in half with fold out legs. It was $10. I needed a new folding table as the one I use in the trailer camping got stepped on but wasn't in the best of shape before then so I have been looking for a new one. 

When I saw this, I thought it would be great as a camp table as it is really sturdy but also after meals, I could take off the elastic cover I am going to make for it and the kids can have Table Tennis Tournaments! 

I know that would go over great camping. I am looking forward to taking this summer when we go to the lake.

I have a house full of people coming this weekend including Princess Three's boyfriend and my favorite grandaughter! Ok, so she is my only grand-daughter but I am SO excited to see her again! 

Anyway, I thought that it would be fun to set it up for this weekend with everyone coming! I LOVE when they can all come home at the same time. 

So, I went looking in the store to see if I could find a net and paddles and they didn't have a net but they did have four paddles. Two newer and two older. My guess is the two new came with the table but they didn't have balls either. 

I had seen ping pong balls at the local dollar store this week so I knew I could get those easily. I had to get something from a friend and asked if they had a ping pong table net and she said they got rid of their table and thought they may have one. She came up with one in the package unopened. 

I bought the balls at the dollar store and when I arrived home, Princess Five had some friends over and they asked if I needed help. I asked if they would be willing to fill the scratches, (actually cover them, not fill) by using green Sharpie markers. They all had one and filled in the scratches that were on the table top while I put the net up. Of course the net had to be wound down some as it was regulation length but it worked out just fine.

The girls then started playing it and after about twenty minutes, I hear giggling and laughing and grabbed the camera to take some pictures. It didn't occur to me before that to share it on a post. 

They were playing the drinking game where you bounce a ping pong ball into a cup and if you make it, your opponent has to drink that cup. Well, they knew I wouldn't want them filling cups on the table so they used empty plastic cups and had drinking glasses on the table on the other side of the room where they had to drink if the person before them made a toss into the cup. 

Her friend in the stripped shirt got it almost every time and the other and Princess Five never got it so I was worried Princess would get water logged and made them some punch as I was out of the potassium salt to make "Gatorade or Powerade" drink at home. See that post here on how to make it yourself.

I made them switch the rotation every time so that one person wasn't drinking all the time and they played that gave over an hour! I couldn't believe they could have so much fun with a ping pong table. 

The balls from the dollar store aren't the best. They are a bit heavier than normal as they are more plasticy if that is a word. They do work however so for the price of 8 for a dollar, I couldn't complain. So for the paddles, balls and table, it was under $15 and I couldn't get that size of table for camping as I have never seen a folding table that big. It is a wonderful size and I asked the girls to get me one of the plastic smaller folding table for the next "holiday" I saved them $35 at least as well as getting a larger and definitely more "fun" table. 
I thought it was funny that my friend had the net in this unopened package for at least two years and didn't get rid of it. I didn't think to take a picture before putting it up but how wonderful that I could get something I needed and something fun today. 

It has been a really rough week for me with headaches all but one day. I know some of it is weather. One day it started in my neck and went up the back of the head. Today, it was in my tooth I have had problems with for years and the root canal didn't work (here is a post about that) today's headache started in the teeth on that side and went right into the head and behind the eye on that side. Several other days it has been thyroid hormone type headaches that I wake up with in the morning as I try to figure out different pills. 

With that, I woke with the tooth headache and it got worse as the day went. I drank cokes, took pills, tried several different oils and finally got on top of it but as I went to the high school to take a few "thank you" treats to the office and other staff for the end of the year stuff, I found a penny in the gutter. I smiled with my head throbbing and gave gratitude for the small things that can make me smile even when I don't feel so well. I got home and found a dime in the mail from "March of Dimes" and figured I needed another reminder to "Trust in Him"  (click here to see my first post about that) as I left to run more errands and still didn't feel well. I got into the car and guess what song started as I pulled out of the driveway..... Yes, "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World."Click here to see the first post about that. I haven't heard it in months. You can search at the bottom of the page type in "the middle" and read all the posts about it if you haven't before so you can know what it means to me as well as searching all the "Trust in God" posts.

I started crying as I felt so horrible but really was having a good day with lots of great thing going on but just didn't feel good and having so many headaches this past year, I shed a tear or two as I sat listening to it before running in to my neighbors for something. 

In the past two days, I found three pennies, a dime, got the dime in the mail and have seen 111 about five times as well as hearing "The Middle." The end of the year is always so crazy and stressful with so much going on but even though I may not have a husband to support me and help with the kids, house and yard, my Father in heaven does support me in His own way giving me little blessings when I need them the most. Even thought it was stressful and my head ached most of the day, I had a GREAT day. Lots of other blessings with friends calling, kids doing great things and knowing I am loved by my Father in Heaven!

The title refers to the game played on the ping pong table where you hit the ball and run to the other side to hit the ball and you never stay on the same side. It is called "Around the world." Also, I added "camping" on the label as I think it is a great game or fun thing that you can take camping that serves several purposes. Don't you think you would be the envy of all the other campers having that. It would bring others around and help you meet other campers as well. I think they should sell them at the camping and RV stores! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Seminary Graduation - Princess Four

In our church, the kids in high school have an opportunity to attend Seminary. In some places, they go early in the morning some days or every week day if distance permits. 
Others meet one night a week if distance and times don't allow for morning classes. Still, others have no class but can do work books to follow the classes and study the manual and complete the work books. 

In a few states, they offer it as a school class off campus as you would for a "work release" schedule.

Living where we do now, it has been a blessing for Princess Four to be able to attend seminary and have the opportunity to attend for four years. 

When I lived in New Zealand as a teen, I wasn't so lucky and tried to keep up on the work books but didn't quite finish them. 

Having that experience has made me grateful that my girls were all able to attend for all four years of high school which has been a blessing. 

I was able to sit in the center of the balcany so I could try to get some pictures of Princess four walking but the lighting was dim and most of the pictures were blurry but I still got a great shot of all the graduates I was able to share on facebook with them all so that was good. 
Proud of Princess Four for all her hard work and dedication to attending Seminary. Good Work Princess. I love and WANT you! ;-)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Senior Pictures - College Style

Two years ago, Princess Three went to the college she would be attending after graduation and we did a "Photo Shoot" while we were there so she could have some senior pictures at her college. 

We got some great pictures of her doing some fun jumps and leaps. Two of those are some of my favorite pictures of her. Here is a link to Princess Threes photo shoot.

Since we were at the college for Princess Three's graduation, we thought we could spend a few minutes taking some pictures around the school of Princess Four.

Princess is still very limber and did a great job doing some leaps and jumps. I think she looked very happy. 

If you notice in the top picture, the necklace she is wearing is one that we posted about in the past. 

It is made from squished pennies that we got while on vacations. Here is a link to that post.  

She wears the necklace quite a bit. 
We took some other senior photo shoots of Princess Four. Here is a link to one of her with her hair long. 

Here is the other with her long hair straight.

I guess, looking into it, we never did a photo shoot with her once we cut her hair.  

Things got crazy after that with Princess One having her baby and dance competitions. 

I forgot to share that Princess Four was named All State for the golf team with her high GPA. She has been on the golf team for three years but wasn't able to do much on the team last year. She got a few tips years ago from her grandpa who was a great golfer until breaking his arm retired him from the sport. Here is a link to that post.
She got a T-Shirt for being all state and was the only member of the school team to make the All State team. She was excited about that but I wasn't there for the event so I don't have any pictures. Here is a link to their big win two years ago. 
Princess Five was on the team this year and learned a few things but I am sure she would enjoy learning from her grandpa as well. Both girls enjoyed being on the team and I hope they can go golfing with their grandpa sometime even though he can't play with the zeal he used to.