Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy to be RED

Laila is a true Ute fan....thanks to Brother Monson.
She wants everything red.....not hot pink any more, but RED

When we drive by the Christmas lights on houses, she cheers for the red lights and is sad if any other color is displayed, particulary the blue ones.....(sorry Grandpa Lyle).

Laila even wrote on her missionary cousin's pillowcase..."go Utes"
This cousin is a true BYU fan, so I'm sure he'll be thrilled when he sees it.

Laila even gets excited when she sees brake lights on cars.....hmmmm?

We have got to work on this fanaticism.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 in Review

Being the Famous person that I am, I'm being interviewed about this past year and ....well.....these are my answers.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Drive to Yellowstone 5 times in one summer. I did it to help and to see my Addison. I would do it 50 times, if he needed me to.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? My New Years resolutions last year were opposite too much, don't get enough sleep, watch more I kept them all, even though I wished I hadn't.
I'm going to do better this coming year.
I'm going to have a one word theme for the year. This year it is HARMONY.
A throw back to our family motto, but one we haven't talked about or worked on in a while. I'm excited!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Friend Erin.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Grandma Butters

5. What countries did you visit? Mexico, Dominican Republic

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A new, beautiful Kitchen/family room.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Nov. 13th the day we left on our family cruise and celebrated Gma Butters birthday posthumously.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting back on stage in "Thouroughly Modern Millie" after being off the stage for 5 years!

9. What was your biggest failure? Not teaching my kids to be more self sufficient

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No

11. What was the best thing you bought? Family Cruise Tickets!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Laila and her insistance that we do a Carnival to raise money for Primary children's hospital...."it saved my life."

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Truman and the terrorist boys on the Choir trip.....ay, ay , ay!

14. Where did most of your money go? Cars-- crashing, insurance, fixing up, keeping running, and new ones

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Truman's mission call to ENGLAND!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? "Apple bottom Jeans" that the brothers rapped to on the cruise.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier. Last year we were still recuperating from the China accident and Laila's head injury.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner!!!!
c) richer or poorer? about the same...

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Spend time playing games and hanging out with family and friends. Parties and get togethers.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Work/be on the computer

20. How did you spend Christmas? With a sleep over at my Mom and Dad's house. Sis Liz was there too. It was great. It felt like the boys were little all over again. Mom spoiled us with her great cooking and comfy home. We even had our dog there, much to my father's dismay.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? yes, with Wayne, all over again, when he dropped to the ground and was break dancing in an effort to win "best Dad Dancer," and he did!

22. What was your favorite TV program? GLEE and Modern Family

23. Do you hate (dislike) anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Tiger Woods, Max Hall

24. What was the best book you read? Nothing really rocked my world but I did enjoy Undaunted by Gerald Lund

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? The brothers could sing 4 part harmony and hold their parts.

26. What did you want and get? Trip to New York

27. What did you want and not get? my remodel to be over end date is Jan. 6th.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? "The Blind Side." EXCELLENT flick. Really really good.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I spent it at Bear Lake with family on the Beach. I love this type of lazy b day. Sleeping in, no make up, lots of food and clean up that I don't have to do. Raspberry shakes. I turned 47

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To have children with steady incomes.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Energy dressing/trendy -NO BLACK. I do wear the same green exercise outfit every single morning.

32. What kept you sane? Exercising with Si

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Currently I'm really intrigued with the siamese twins Reba (aka George) and Lori. Google will be interested as well.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Health care.....aargh!

35. Who did you miss? Tom....Wayne's dad. I thought about him a lot.

36. Who was the best new person you met? Not a new person, but seen in a new light. My sister Liz. She has been invaluable in the care and helping out of Landon. She and Al have really stepped up in a difficult situation. LOVE and HUGS

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Keep Calm and Carry On

38. What are you looking forward to in 2010? Being a better cook and wanting to cook for my family more. Parties in my new space. Truman going on a mission. Traveling with Wayne to places not yet planned. Working on my spirituality.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the Negative. Latch on to the affirmative, and don't mess with Mr. Inbetween.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We all bundled up and went tubing at Soldier Hollow in 10 degree weather.
We meaning : Wayne, Melinda, Laila, Addison with friend Bree Briggs, Truman with friend, Lauren Nickl and Monson with girl friend Ashley Petersen.
We scheduled this and bought tickets for it weeks ago. We went to celebrate Monson's 17th b-day. (Tubing and dinner )
The day was sunny and great but it was so cold.
Did I say how cold it was?
This is a great, civilized way to tube. You sit on a tube and there is a little tram that pulls you and your tube to the top of the hill. There are 6 slick hills to choose for your fun screaming time all the way back down.
It was great fun, cold, but fun.
I knitted hats for everyone to wear to keep warm. It was beautiful to look up on the hill and see the pom-pom hats sliding down. The boys were all good sports, and wore them.
We got lots of snow in our faces and had to drag our feet at the end to stop or we would crash into a fence.
Because it was sooooooo cold, the runs were soooooo FAST...and terrifyingly fun!
We ran into the lodge to get warm.
We shared hot cocoa and tubing tales.
We wanted to cry when our toes were thawing out, that's how cold it was. (Laila did cry)
I don't know why, but I always think about pioneers when I'm cold like that.
A fabulous feast at the Breadstick Cafe in Heber was the perfect end to our celebration. Monson ordered a hamburger and fries and when he was finished and not full, he ordered another hamburger and fries for dessert. Hmmmmm......Oh, to have Monson's metabolism.

The funny part about using a tubing party to celebrate Monson's turning 17, is he hates snow, winter and to be cold, but he did get to cuddle in the back seat with Ashley all the way back home.

Fitting for a December birthday baby.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas is here, and I have eaten myself into a sugar stupor!! We have so much "crap" to eat that is being dropped off at our door. I hope a lot of it freezes, because I will really love it in a few days/weeks....but not now.
Parties since Dec. 19th, haven't helped with my crazy eating.
My Christmas gift to myself...... (drum roll please....)
I'm going to live in denial and not get on the scale until January 2nd!

I do love Christmas. I love being lazy with my family and just hanging out.
It's always a bit anti climactic....all of the build up and then, I just hope the kids are happy with what we decided to really get them for Christmas, when all of the wrapping is on the floor.

We were successful this year.

I know you are all breathless and wondering how we ended up handling the Magic Carpet situation of 2009.
After all of our talks with Laila and explanations, she was still insistent that she would get, or I would get a magic carpet. She transferred MY asking for it, when Grandma Sheri explained about being old enough to drive a magic carpet, like a car. So you would have to be 16. G-ma thought this would help Laila not want it, she just wanted it even more.
She wrote a new letter to Santa that got mailed on the 24th of December, explaining that she"knew she was too young to drive a magic carpet, so bring it for her mom instead"...and I would drive her around. And...thank you G-ma for only fueling this magic-carpet-fire .

Even this very Christmas morning, while she was snuggling under the covers with big brother Addison, waiting for the appropriate time of 8:00, to wake everyone up for present opening, she was giddy with excitement just thinking about the magic carpet, and how awesome it will be when everyone takes a turn flying it on Christmas.

So....what to do about this?????

Well, in the Santa letter, that is left every year, it was explained, that Magic Carpets AREN'T REAL, but it would be cool if they were, and Laila is definitely good enough to get one, if it was REAL...which it's NOT....but it's cool.. Laila was disappointed, but recovered quite quickly.

She got an easy bake oven and a rock tumbler. Two gifts that require time and patience. Two things that Laila does not have!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


"Pres. Monson is dating a college girl."
"President Monson is dating a college girl from UVU"
"I don't think so , he has a wife."
"Isn't she dead?"
Well.....Pres. Monson is dating a college girl. That's what my sunday school teacher told me."
"Who's your sunday school teacher?"
"Sister Welch."
" probably mean, Monson, her son, is dating a college girl."
Confused look
End of conversation.

My friend Barbara told me about this funny conversation said by one of my sunday school girls.
I teach the 12-13 years olds.....12 of them.....and it's definitely a challenge.
At the end of each lesson we go around and let the kids take turns saying what they did that week, or whatever they want to say. One week, the kids were asking about Monson and who was that girl with him in sacrament meeting. I told them, his girlfriend Ashley, a college girl from UVU.

This innocent statement morphed into.......the above conversation.
This is how the rumor mill starts..... Throw in matching names, add a dash of half listening sunday school students and you end up with......."Pres. Monson is dating a college student."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

4 days til Christmas

We are still struggling in "Magic Carpet" land.
Laila told us Friday night as we were driving home from Monson's basketball games, that she just really, really, really, really, really, really, really wants a magic carpet, or just nothing.
So I guess she made it easy.....for us...... she's getting just nothing.

I did find a Christmas list she made in school in her piles of papers she brought home for
Christmas break.

rock polisher
new bike
new scooter

ipod touch
real limo

an elf

I asked her why the magic carpet wasn't on the list, and she said she didn't want the other kids taking her idea.

So......wish me luck.


The Welch Men sang in our Christmas sacrament program today. That's how they were billed on the program. ( Addison, Landon, Truman and Monson--our wonderfully fun friend, Erin accompanied.)
They did a great job singing "Baby, what you goin to be?" I know I'm just the proud mama, but it was really lovely.
Before the meeting began, I was passing out music and getting things situated, when I looked up and there was Margaret Chapman. Margaret Chapman is a sweet, red-haired, 94 year old lady in our ward. She is always so gracious and fun to talk to. I wished her a Merry Christmas and as I did, she transformed into my Grandma Butters for a brief second. Tears sprang to my eyes, and I knew Grandma was at the meeting today. She always loved hearing my boys sing. She loved music--choir music especially, and she would have been to the meeting in person, if she could, and now she was there in spirit.
I couldn't stop the tears. The meeting hadn't even started and I was already on my second tissue.
I was so happy to be singing Christmas songs in my ward choir.
I knew the angels were listening.


I love Christmas music!!

I really enjoy listening to it in my car as I drive around running errands, and working on making my to-do Christmas list smaller.
I drive and sing at the top of my lungs.
I'm sure I'm quite the sight.
I have sung duets this year with Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Nat King Cole, Harry Connick Jr, Mariah Carey, Johnny Mathis.....oh the list goes on and on.
I am ready with some awesome harmonies if any of them call me up and need me to sing with them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Random thoughts on this Wednesday

Laila was ticked when her new pink jacket got taken from the high school.
She lost shoes there this past fall as well.

"The kids that took my stuff should go to kid jail." She proclaimed.
"Is there such a thing as kid jail?"

"It's called juvi jail, and it starts when you are a teen ager." I told her.

"OH.... well that's where they should go."
Laila sat in the back seat with a grim expression on her face.

"Laila do you know what they do in jail?"

She piped right up without hesitation.
"Smash hard rocks, eat gross food and sleep on hard surfaces."

Wow. I didn't know she had such a depth of knowledge.

I agree with Laila, stealers should go to jail, and have to do all of the above.....over and over.....

I got Laila some 2 inch black high heel church shoes.
She opened the box and was thrilled.
"Big Girl shoes!"
Her next response was priceless....."They are perfect for Lagoon."
She wants to ride the big kid rides so badly.

I cried watching Monson sing in his Christmas concert last night.
He sings with such joy.
This is my last boy to go through the choir program at BHS.
I've been going to these concerts, and enjoying them for the past 8 years.
I was taken back to watching Monson sing in his second grade program.
He proudly wore his little tuxedo. (The only thing he wanted for his 8th birthday....oh and a Monkey, which he didn't get.)
He smiled brightly at 8 and sang from his heart.
He smiled at almost 17 as well.
I was also remembering him in his 8th grade boy's choir group. They wore red vests, bow ties and white hats. Quite the costume. He drew all of the attention because he swayed and moved when he sang, and just exuded joy.
I love this boy.
I'm glad I get 1 1/2 years more of choir concerts to cry through.

My house is a wreck. Seriously. So many unforseen problems with remodeling.
When I begin to complain of our 6 week inconvenience so far, and eating microwave in the basement, and the DUST mess, and the extra money, etc......any ex-remodelers just roll their eyes. "Wait til 6 months and we'll talk."
It is starting to take shape though.
I love my floor.
I love my cabinets....what is in so far.
I love my color scheme.
It's going to be FABULOUS!

Addison is so talented in so many ways.
He just threw together a quick gift last night. It's amazing!!!
I've said before that he really is only RIGHT much so, that his head is probably mis-shapen.
He draws and scuplts and acts and sings and dances and paints.....he sees things differently than the rest of us not so right-brained people.
Now if he could start getting paid for this talent of his, we could get off his back about finding an hourly paid job.
OBTW (That means, Oh, by the way.... my dad uses it a lot) Addison got nominated for a College acting award...The Irene Ryan award, for his part as Icabod Crane, and the show "SLeepy Hollow" made it to the regional competitions in Feb.

I've given up on Christmas at my house this year. I would take a "pass" on the whole thing, but I do have children.
We are going to my mom's for Christmas eve and sleeping over for Christmas morn. It will be fun to be there with Mom and Dad and Liz and Al too.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Things I've learned in Punta Cana

---there are all shapes and sizes of people in this world, and most should stay fully clothed.
---the only ones going topless on the beach, are the ones that shouldn't be.
---soft, self serve, ice cream is awesome.
---going on two all inclusive, eat-til-you-puke trips in a month's time, equals weight gain.
---it can be sunny and hot one minute, and rainy the next, then sunny and hot again.
--- I love the tropics!
---humidity makes my sheets feel wet when I sleep at night.... hard to get used to.
---"coca light" is diet coke, in Spanish.
---we are spoiled by air conditioning.
---I love the sound of waves coming to shore.
---one little shop has the same island stuff to buy, as the next little shop, and the one after that.
---I can sit on the beach and read a book ALL DAY....thanks to my Bear Lake training.
---I am definitely NOT ready for Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Checking in with Laila

We called home last night to speak to Laila and check on things.
Me: Hey Laila, how was your day? What did you do?
Laila: Well... I ate some cocoa pebbles, and then I froze to death!
Me: Wow. SO it's cold there. How much snow do you have?
Laila: Times 6 ( X 6)
Me: That sounds like a lot
Laila: It is
Me: I love and miss you.
Laila: I just imagine you in my head then I don't have to cry.
Me: Ok, thanks.
Laila: Let me get this right, you have a pool and then it goes down and you have a beach and an ocean too.
Me: That's right Laila... you would love it here.
Laila: How come I couldn't just hide in your pillow case?
Me: That's a good idea. Maybe next time. Be good for Grandma.
Laila: Got it.

This is word for word, as well as Wayne and I could remember it. It was a hoot talking to her on the phone.
We miss Laila
We miss Home
We don't miss the snow.....times 6.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ahhhhh.....thankful Thursday

Just sitting on the beach counting my blessings....
1. I'm thankful for my mom and Wayne's mom who are taking care of things back home, while we are relaxing in the DR
2. I'm thankful for sunshine and's 85 here today, and 17 in Bountiful
3. I'm thankful for this beautiful world!
4. I'm thankful work is being done on my kitchen, while I'm here. ( I hope)
5. I'm thankful for Pina colada's, soft serve ice cream cones, and cabana beds at the beach
6. I'm thankful that Wayne has a job, and that his job has taken us to some awesome places around the globe.
7. I'm thankful for long walks on a soft, white sand beach.
8. I'm thankful that Wayne speaks fluent spanish. I get a kick out of listening and watching him talk to the natives and bargain for merchandise.
9. I'm thankful for the internet, computers, skype and staying in touch
10. I'm thankful for My sweet Wayne!!! It's always fun to vacation with him.

PS: What I've eaten order......
Pina colada (virgin, of course)
vanilla ice cream cone
hot grilled potato
nacho chips and salsa
chocolate ice cream cone
hot grilled potato
chocolate ice cream cone
strawberry daquiri

ah......we are living the barefoot, sleep in, nap, no worry life.
Now what am I going to have for dinner?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Punta Cana Dreams

We are staying in Punta Cana on the Dominican Republic at an all inclusive resort called...Dreams.

We have a swim out room, which means we open our patio doors and there is the pool.
It's long and spectacular and runs the length of the property all the way to the ocean.
It's a gorgeous paradise. Hot and humid and relaxing.

We got up early this morning and went to church in Higuey. It was an hour van ride to a little make shift church. The chapel for the saints here is being remodeled, so the meetings were held in a house and the garage area was filled with folding chairs and a sound system for sacrament meeting.
It was fun to go there with 3 other couples and feel of the spirit.
Dirt roads, brightly colored houses and many motorcycles filled the landscape.
Wayne is the only spanish speaker among us. We all just smiled a lot and shook hands. He interpreted softly in our ears a lot of what was being said. I can gather about 50% of what's going on, but I sound like a two year old when I try to put spanish sentences together. I was asked to say the opening prayer in Relief Society. I did it in English and got all choked up along the way. Tears came easily as I thought about this humble surrounding, and the strong saints who gather here. It would be hard to go to church ..... and they do it any way.
It was fun to hear the primary singing in the near by bedroom, as we met in the kitchen area. I love the singing the best. It's so great to pick your own pitch and just sing your heart out. That's what the spanish saints do here. We sang Christmas songs in Spanish, of course, and Secret Prayer
( Secreta Oracion) I cried through that as well.
I love feeling the spirit and seeing and meeting the people in sacrament meetings all over the globe.

Yes it is definitely paradise here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

....and we are off and running.....again.

I don't want this to sound like I'm complaining....because i'm not....I'm just stating the facts.

We just got back from one great trip 2 weeks ago...and we are off to another one. This is good and bad.
This is a work trip with Wayne to the Dominican Republic, so I get to sit in the sun and be on the beach while it's freezing in Utah.
That's good!
No that's bad...
.... I am barely catching up from being gone last time, and now I'm going again.
That's good
No that's bad...
I have had a list a mile long all week....crossing things off and procrastinating the rest til I return.
Oh that's bad
No that's good
...My house is a MESS...dust and craziness everywhere.
Oh that's bad
No that's good
I get to be away from the crazy and hopefully work will happen in the kitchen while I'm gone.
Oh that's good
No that's bad
... I hope I've made all of the right decisions on cabinets and trim there are no surprises when I get back.
Oh that's bad
No that's good
I don't have to be in the dusty mess and I get to be with Wayne -my- lover at an all inclusive tropical resort.
Oh that's good
You are right...that is good.

Anyway... adios!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2 parts of Laila

Laila loves the thought of Black Friday.
She begged everyone she saw through out Thanksgiving weekend to take her shopping. When I explained to her it was the entire weekend, she was thrilled. Finally on Saturday eve, Addison went to some stores with her to check it out. Addison said she was "such a girl," and all about pink.

There was a tv show on Sunday night that had an orphanage and orphans in it. ( not Annie)
Laila watched with rapture. She then turned to Wayne and in all sincerity asked, "....on Black Friday are the kids in the orphanage cheaper?"

Wayne talked to her a bit about orphanages, and how they don't have those in our country any more, but they do all around the world. This made Laila so sad.

That night in her prayers Laila tearfully said, "Please help that there will never be any more kids in orphanages, and the kids that are there now, please bless that they can all find families to love them."