Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Vacation in Idaho

Poor Gramma Pond (Dixon) isn't feeling too well lately. Her health is shaky after her last surgery and she doesn't like to eat much because it upsets her stomach. My kids took the opportunity to snuggle extra with her this trip.

We've had so much fun in just the one day we've up up in Ashton! Our kids thought Aunt Danae was fabulous when she visited our area a month ago in Utah. They counted the Sundays until Idaho vacation and have discovered that her fun loving has been passed down to her children Dawson and Holden.

These two fantastic early teenagers are so good with our little boys. Playing and entertaining Rashad and Ty like Dawson and Holden want nothing more than to make the boys happy. So nice on a vacation, I might add! It's been so fantastic to be able to relax a little and know that Danae's boys are playing nicely with ours.

Last night we got the treat of having Danae's 7-year-old "read" to us from 3 different Thomas the Train books. He can't read much, but he has the books memorized from the movies and the many times that Landen has heard the stories from his mom. It was amazing to hear, and Ty and Rosalie enjoyed it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Temple Square December 19, 2009

Happy 10th Anniversary!

It only took Darin 10 years of asking politely to get his wish to go to the symphony. I saw that the Utah Symphony was performing Christmas carols on the 18th, our 10th anniversary. So I signed us up for front row seating to the right of the conductor. If you're going to do something after waiting 10 years you ought to do it right, right?

Darin also got surprised by a present that he's been waiting 10 years patiently to receive. I had him open it before the symphony knowing he would want to get to use his present. He was not unlike a little child on Christmas morning when he opened his Nikon D3000 digital camera. After doing some research and asking around, it seemed like this was a good choice for Darin.

So we went out to Tucanos in Salt Lake City at the Gateway Mall, then headed over to Abravanel Hall just across the street from temple square. We were surprised to see others in jeans for the performance, but we smug knowing that our parent's raised us correctly with Darin in his best three piece suit, and myself in a formal red skirt and cream silky blouse.

The performance was absolutely fabulous. It was moving beyond words and the conductor was so professional, but personable and Darin and I had a lot of fun interacting with him, being in the front row. ;)

And for all of my really proper friends and family: non-flash photography was allowed. We only took one picture during the show anyways. It is while Santa is conducting the orchestra.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I obviously haven't been blogging enough, because I logged onto my blog and saw my Christmas countdown and almost had a mental breakdown!

So, folks, I'm returning to UVU Spring Semester 2010. It starts January 6th. Just in time for me to return from Christmas vacation. I've reapplied and been accepted and applied for financial aid, so I guess that means it's official.

I'm so happy and excited that I've finally found an area of study that I love enough that I will use practically in every day life. Wait for it. . .wait for it. . .I'm going to get my degree in Social Work! I have realized as a foster mom, adoptive mom, peer parent (contracted through DCFS) and Facilitator for the Strengthening Families Program (contracted through DCFS and Wasatch Mental Health), that I love working with children, adults and families in therapy environment. I've been so happy these past few months doing what I've been doing, that it just makes sense to further my education in the same field I'm already working in.

I look forward to the opportunities this degree will open for me. I love helping people and I absolutely love watching people change and improve their lives for the better. This degree will provide me with an alternative to working in retail management (thank heavens) if anything were to happen to us financially or if Darin was to have an accident or pass away. It's a good alternative to missing every holiday with my beautiful children, working.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow Storm!

We got 6 inches at least of powder overnight, with about an inch of actual snow. This morning I woke up to the children quietly chatting over frosted flakes in hushed excitement. Darn my "mother" ears, they woke me up on a sleep in day! I got up to tell them to remember to use their inside voices, especially Rashad who likes to use a dull roar to communicate with his siblings.

I walked out to the kitchen and found my children huddled in the dark morning light looking outside on our banisters outside. Easily six inches of powder covered the railings that lead out to our back yard and a fabulously covered up winter wonder land. It was breath taking, even though I wasn't coherent yet, being before 9am on a Sunday.

As I drowsily made my way back to bed my husband turned over and asked if we had any snow on the ground. I answered about 6 inches. He didn't believe me at first, but I opened our curtains in our room and showed him the proof.

I don't think Darin went back to bed after that, however, I snuggled under the covers and dreamed about white Christmases with loved ones.

For those of you who actually read my blog, yes that is a boat in our back yard! Merry Christmas to my husband!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Holy War

Um, no comment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Our guinea pig is so cute and rascally. His name is Bugsy from the movie "Bedtime Stories" and he loves to entertain my cats. Sometimes they even reach into his cage with their paws (claws) to pet Bugsy lovingly. He is kind of skittish when I get up and leave the room or enter the room, but he's tons of fun, and my kids love him. A couple of nights ago I was holding him in my arms and all of a sudden it got very warm and then very cold. Yep, he peed on me. But otherwise he's a really great and fun pet.

I know why they call this rodent "pig". That's because he eats all the time, and most anything. His favorite is alfalfa. He eats his weight in alfalfa every day. I've decided he needs a friend though, he's lonely I'm sure, with just my cats to keep him company.


I've been marveling since Saturday over the hand made (with love) items in our Christmas boxes. I love bringing out Darin and my stockings and the kids asking who made them. I answer "Gramma Kestner." But then I immediately have to follow up with "My Gramma Kestner, not your Gramma Kestner, so your Great Gramma Kestner. My Dad's mom".

Something about sharing the history of a hand made crocheted ornament or knitted stocking (which everyone envies) with my children has me reflecting on all of the fabulous items I have received over the years from Gramma Jane Kestner, Gramma Jane Weber, Mom Gramma Kestner, Gramma Pond, Gramma Reynolds and Mom Gramma Dixon. They range from sheets & pillow cases to an ornate Crèche that my Gramma Jane Kestner made for my Mom Gramma Kestner and I chose as my wedding crèche to inherit. The crèche found it's new place in our home in my kitchen on my new shelf I painted and put up.

I have a knitted pillow from Great Gramma Kestner in the living room too. I love it. It gives me such feelings of comfort to have a little piece of my loved ones with me. And to me, it really is creating an immortality beyond the grave. These things will be passed down through the generations and prized above store purchased items long after the makers have met their Maker. I'm included in this circle. I love making cross stitch temples and other scenes and giving them as presents. I enjoy thinking that long after I'm gone, a little piece of me will endure on the earth.

I think that's why I've decided to write my story that I've been thinking about for years now. Not so much that it'll ever be on the New York Time's best seller's list, but that a little piece of my immortality will be passed down through my posterity. That through reading my story, they may be able to get to know me a little & discover the person that I am and want to be.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How Pumpkin Pies are Made

Happy Thanksgiving one and all! I made some yummy Pumpkin Brownies tonight for after dinner at Debbie's house.

Falisha is home for Thanksgiving and it was a blast spending time with the family. My kids LOVE Aunt Debbie and her kids. They always are excited when they're able to go over to their house.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Springville High Football Takes 2nd in State & embarrasses us all!

Yes that is my nephew Bradley #54 suited up for the state championship game! - High school football: championship preview

Darin and I love our city and our high school. We love attending all different activities offered, even before we moved 2 blocks away from it. Or before we named our blog "dixondevils" in part after the Springville Red Devil's mascot. We've watched almost every home football game for the sophomore team (our nephew Bradley plays) and the varsity team. I even splurged for shirts at Wal-Mart in Springville boasting the Red Devil colors and emblems to wear to community events.

In short, we have great pride for our little city that's slowly growing into a large city.

That is why our state championship game at Rice Eccles Stadium on U of U campus in SLC was such a disappointment.

Springville High School separated from neighboring city Mapleton this year when Mapleton's high school was finally completed. Taking Springville High from 5A to 4A. Our football team hadn't been to the state championship game since 1985. 26 years. In fact not since the current head coach Scott Mitchell, played quarterback for the team himself and the only state title Springville has known. Mitchell is the new head coach this year and lead the varsity team to win all but one game in the regular season.

Unfortunately the coach didn't have what it took to make the city proud on Friday November 20, 2009. And I'm not speaking of us losing 6 to 35. Yeah, that hurt a bit, but we went to state! We won 2nd place! There's nothing to be ashamed of there.

In the 4th quarter when our loss was ensured, our football players, to most of the fan's astonishment and embarrassment, turned into thugs. I've heard that Timpview, from Provo, can really smack talk on the field. Who the heck cares? The fans can't see or hear smack talk, but when your team is down 29 points and are called on over ten personal fouls in the last four minutes of the game, we see that our team knows nothing of maturity and sportsmanship.

Furthermore, our coaches know less. Why weren't 13 and 23 taken out of the game? After several late hits and shoving on the field, why wasn't second string put in? It was embarrassing the first couple of fouls we received. It was enraging and ridiculous after going on for the remainder of the game. Okay we lost to a great team. We lost BIG to a great team. Unfortunately we also lost our honor, we lost our pride.

Our usually talented sophomore quarterback, Steve Bate, threw four interceptions in the game and wasn't relieved until the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. Why wasn't he relieved earlier? The replacement quarterback did a fantastic job running plays.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon

Fabulous! I'm so glad we know Debbie, and that she knows everyone in Springville. She has an underground network more rewarding than the mafia. Her friend rented out a theater for the midnight showing and assigned seats for friends and family members.

That meant no waiting in mile long lines, we walked into the theater and walked right into our seats. We must do it again for Eclipse, and this time Dorie needs to be with us. She waited in line for 4 hours in Washington, otherwise she would've been outside in the rain!

There were door prizes for everyone and then random prizes. I won a car decal that says "I have OCD, Obsessive Cullen Disorder". So happy! Darin won a box of Jr. Mints just for being a guy and having the guts to be there.

I was elated because I was truly mistaken for his daughter (I had my hair in a ponytail with bangs). It was a great and fun time!

The movie was fabulous! Absolutely fabulous. There were a ton of lines straight out of the book, and the things that were different made sense anyways. The first time Jacob takes his shirt off is unexpected and I nearly choked on my extra buttery popcorn. How can a 16-year-old have that many muscles? Wow.

I highly recommend the movie to anyone who'd like to have Edward dreams for a week!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Dinner

Whilst heating up some cheese sauce for the Potato Bar that I was making for dinner, tragedy struck. I heard a gun shot go off in my microwave.

I jumped startled, and what to my wandering eyes should appear, but the entire jar of cheese exploded on the ceiling of the microwave and dripping heavily onto the bottom rotating glass plate! I was shocked, angry, and then I just started laughing. I mean, how can you not? I've never seen anything like this before!

Enjoy! Oh, and the potato bar was delicious and my kids even loved it!

The First Showing Tonight

My husband Darin, sis in law Debbie and I are going to New Moon midnight showing. We will be in our seats an hour early, we have assigned seating because a friend rented out the theater, so that means 11pm tonight.

My nephew is coming over to sleep at our house, so my kids are set.

Is it just me or am I getting too old for this? Usually Darin and I love watching the first showings for Harry Potters, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and any other big hits. But this time, I can't stop thinking about how painful it will be to get up and get the kids off to school. Especially if the movie is close to 3 hours long. . .that would put me to bed after 3am!

This may be the last time I do this midnight showing crap, we'll see. I'm just crazy enough to keep doing it though.

I am looking forward to the movie, however, I hope it will be all that the teaser trailers have hinted that it will be.

I need Stephenie to finish Midnight Sun, because Ed is one of the best characters ever written. Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

What an exciting time for my family!

This year Thanksgiving will be hosted in our new home with all of our closest friends and family invited. I made up the menus last week.

Turkey (of course, prepared by Debbie again this year)
Potatoes (a la Mindy Grove)
Gravy (a la HJ Dixon)
Funeral Potatoes (a la Mom Dixon)
Broccoli Soufflé (a la Kendra Dixon)
Cheesy Onions (a la Gramma Weber)
Sweet Potatoes (a la Andrea Kestner)
Green Bean Casserole (a la Campbell's)
Green Bean Almond Dean (a la Gramma Weber)
Orange Dessert Salad (a la Taste of Home 2000)
Stuffing (a la Peperidge Farms)
Rolls (if I can live through it - a la Mom Dixon)
Cookie Salad (a la Mom Dixon)
Shrimp Shell Salad (a la Mom Dixon)
Pumpkin Roll (a la Sandy Kestner)
Pumpkin Pie (a la back of pumpkin pie mix can)
Snacks: Like we need them!
Caramel Popcorn (a la Mom Dixon)
Chex Mix (a la Chex)
Ranch Snack Mix (a la Taste of Home)

Then I purchased all of the non perishable items on Monday to beat the rush.

I will purchase all fresh items by next Monday to ensure that we're not running around the day before to three different stores because everyone's out of "canned pumpkin"!

We look forward to good food and good company. Our family has a lot to be thankful for this year!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Darin asked me tonight in bed if I was sick of reading vampire books yet. I looked up from Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat and rebuked him that I can't get enough! I really enjoyed Interview with the Vampire, although I found it pretty depressing - in a good way. Poor Louis. But as I'm beginning the first pages of the second book in The Vampire Chronicles, it's so animated and energetic from Lestat's perspective. Any of you who haven't read it, don't be afraid. No sex, no relations at all. In Rice's world vampires don't feel anything but the need to drink. It consumes them, and any other pleasure from their human experience is felt during the kill. If Edward would've lived in this world, he would've drained Bella straight away and then mourned it for the rest of his existence, as Luis always did.

I've burned through so many vamp novels and am coming to a close. I will read all of the series of Rice and Vamp Chronicles, however, like the vampires I have a great need to be satiated with more! If you know of any other good vamp novel, please share. I've read about Ed & Bella of course, Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake and Louis, Lestat and Armand. Any others?


Monday, November 9, 2009

High on Life

Saturday Night Darin mentioned, as he dug into the kids' Halloween candy bags, that he felt a little hypocritical eating the kids' candy when we don't allow them to eat any.

His comment caught me off guard, I don't withhold candy from my kids for no reason. . .I just forget about it being there. There is the occasional, "You're grounded from your candy today because you were a MONSTER in primary." But usually it's because I'm going, going, going during the day and never stop to fill up my kids on anything but breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks.

On a whim, I decided to call my children upstairs and see if they'd put on their pajamas like I'd asked minutes before. Surprisingly they all came up ready for bed. I was so proud. I then let my children know that they could eat three pieces of candy each before bed! The kids were beyond elated. You may think I'm an abusive mother, but it was 9:45pm at this point. (My children are usually in bed by 8pm.)

The next 30 minutes Darin, Rosalie, Tyriq, Rashad and I ate candy to our heart's content. We had two big bowls of Halloween candy set up in the middle of our kitchen table and we went to town! The three piece rule flew out the window with Rashad, and I realized too late that he didn't know how to count. The silliness and laughter that followed was not unlike a party with alcohol.

After the kids had consumed their candy and were almost falling out of their chairs, I started giving them pixie stix shots. It was fabulous. I had each child throw back their heads and emptied a small pixie into the back of their mouth. When I did this to Rashad he clamped down his jaw, and it immediately seized up in a sour attack spasm. It was awesome. We giggled like the little boys and girls we were and the kids haven't stopped talking about it yet.

Near the end of the party Rashad was squealing with pleasure, it ended when he threw is head face first into one of the bowls of candy. Darin and I exchanged looks of shock and laughed happily at our "high" children.

They finally wandered off to bed around 10:15pm. When we checked 45 minutes later, they were passed out in their beds.

They didn't seem to have headaches the next morning, so I guess the hangover wasn't too bad.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Moon Movie

I purchased tickets for myself and husband on Saturday. A friend of a friend of my sister-in-law rented out a whole theater (amazingly I didn't exaggerate at the reference). So no waiting in lines, seats are saved! I'm so stoked. I also purchased some New Moon candy hearts last weekend. I can't wait to look at them, eating them would be totally gross.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ty's Halloween Program

Ty had his Halloween program today. All of the AM Kindergarten classes performed "What is Halloween?" It included group speaking and singing of Halloween songs. It was really cute and I was smiling the whole time.

One Kindergarten teacher accompanied the children. She was the Tooth Fairy. You can't see it here, but she has coins tied to her front and a molar in between her wings in the back.

Ty was so funny. Most of the songs he didn't know. . .but he was having fun. Rashad is the singer: belting out anything from Primary Songs, Hymns, Hiphop or 80's music. So funny. Ty is more quiet and docile. Preferring instead to observe and listen.

I love this video. I hope you do too!

School Festivities October 27th

The boys and I decided to brave the 30 degree weather and attend the parade of Halloween for grades 1-6 at Sage Creek. I'm so glad that I took to the time to put my children in SWEATS. There were seriously children freezing their hind ends off in short sleeve and light fabrics. Move from California to Utah much?!

Rashad's preschool teachers. Dorothy even brought her CUTE little Yorkie puppie!

Rosalie's teacher.

Ty's Kindergarten teacher with her PM class. AM didn't get to join in. :(

Darth Vader choosing his next victims. . .

I personally liked the Christmas present and the Cereal Killer.

Ty and Rashad waited patiently in the snow flurries to catch a glimpse of their sister in the Halloween Parade at the school that they ALL attend. Shaddy's in AM preschool, Ty AM Kindergarten and Rosalie is in 2nd grade.

Rashad was so happy we went back for his helmet. It made him very proud to be Dark Helmet!

Ty was more than a little miffed that the kids in the parade all shouted to Darth, but some ignored him. His feelers were kindda hurt.

He was so happy that the older kids were "afraid" of him, that he would chase the kids in the parade, and giggle like a little girl.

I personally blame Rosalie for the weather. . .after all. . .she is Storm from X men.

Rose was in hog heaven. . .when she walked into her classroom after Mom helped her change, all of a sudden she was very popular with the boys and girls alike in her classroom. The smile says it all. You can tell when she knows she's beautiful.