The Donor Wall Ceremony

Early this year I submitted Calvin's name to be put on the Celebration of Life Monument in Salt Lake City. This last Saturday was the unveiling ceremony.

There were a lot of people there, the biggest crowd they've had yet.

The had a harpist playing beautiful music. It was a nice day although quite windy, check out her hair.

We got there early because I didn't know where to park and wanted to make sure we had time to walk in case we had to hike a few blocks.

So the kids had time to lay in the shade in the grass before it all started.

Baby brought Froggy, I think he needed a little extra support this day.

Here's Middle Child leaning on the wall, patiently waiting to see Calvin's name. It was so busy we left, ate lunch, and came back later to get pictures.

Like I said it was a warm day so the kids played in the fountain when we came back.

Middle Child and Cousin T were playing just a little in the water.

Baby had to get soaked. It's just his style.

I had never seen the Donor Memorial before. I thought it was really neat looking. There are a lot of names etched on the surface.

A friend of our's donated a kidney to her brother last year. We got a picture of her name too.

Then we finally got a decent picture of Calvin's name. While the monument is beautiful it's hard to get pictures.

It was really neat to see his name in print, honoring his donation. It'll be there whenever anyone wants to come and see it.

And we even managed to get on TV again, without even trying and without our knowledge. Someone else pointed it out to us. Check around the 30 second mark.

Video Courtesy of KSL.com


Science Experiments for the Young

The other day Middle Child came home from school anxious to show us some cool Vacuum Science Projects. Sister-in-law Nurse came over just as his re-creation of the experiments commenced. I was laying on the sofa, unable to see the kitchen, trying to recover from my Costco trip.

"Wanna see me crush a can without barely touching it?" MC asks SiL Nurse.

"I'd love to," and then turning to me, "Do you see what he's doing?" she asks.

I pop my head over the sofa to see an array of tools. He has a soda can, partially filled with water, sitting on a hot burner, a sink full of cold water, and pot holders in his hands. At least he's prepared for the heat. "What are you doing?"

"I have to wait until the water is steaming out of the can and then I put the can in the cold water with the opening in the cold water and it will create a vacuum and crush the can." You can hear the excitement in his voice.

I lay back down. SiL Nurse watches him for a minute. Then I hear some movement in the kitchen, and then a big "OOOPS!" SiL Nurse quietly busts up laughing. I pop up again. I see MC has dropped the can and pot holders in the cold water. "I'm gonna try again."

He restarts the experiment. "I need some gloves. Mom, hurry and get me some gloves!"

I really don't like to do things for the kids when I'm trying to rest, "They're in the closet, go get them yourself."

He runs to the hallway closet, throws everything out to find the biggest gloves at the bottom. He runs back in with them on both hands.

SiL Nurse asks, "Who's gloves are those?" She turns to me, "I can't believe you're just letting him do all this!"

"Well, he loves to do stuff in the kitchen." I look over, "Don't ruin those gloves, I think they're Dad's"

"Oh," a look of concern on MC's face, but not enough to stop him. He watches the can. He bends over to look through the small hole in the top and touches the hot burner with his glove. "Oops!" escapes his mouth as the glove smokes. SiL Nurse really starts laughing now. MC takes the gloves off.

I get up off the sofa and we both walk over to the kitchen. Perfectly rounded glove fingers are imprinted on my stove.

Between the science experiment and the grilled cheese grilled directly on the stove top earlier this week I think I'm due for a new stove, but to be safe I'll wait till Middle Child has moved out.


Bittersweet First Day of School

School started this week. Glorious Day! 

I took Middle Child over to the Junior High and dropped him off. I didn't even try to go in with him to meet his teachers or anything. Restraint is my middle name.

Then I took Baby over to the elementary school. We got to take him in and drop him off in his chair and even get a picture! He isn't embarrassed by his parent's presence yet. I've only got another year or two and then he will be, so I have to take advantage of this opportunity.

But we didn't get to take anyone to High School. Calvin would have started High School. He would have been signing up for Driver's Ed and Chemistry and Seminary and Dating 101. It was an "Oxymoron Day" as Middle Child would have called it, he loves big words. I can't believe that all those kids his age are in High School now. Whenever I see them I can't believe how big they have gotten. But then I remind myself that Calvin would be big like them also, and so handsome, like all his friends.

And then I remember how many lives he touched before he left us, so many I can't even believe it. And he even touched a few more lives after he left. By donating his organs he was able to give two people Sight, something they hadn't had in a while or possibly ever. It was a wonderful gift.

Early this year I sent in his name to the Celebration of Life Monument. It is a memorial for organ donors, living and deceased. The request even had to be notarized. This weekend they are having an unveiling ceremony for all the new names. We'll be there to see the monument for the first time. I'll post some pictures next week. In the meantime, enjoy your little ones! Hug them tight tonight!


Back to School Afternoon

Today my children started school. Have you ever seen that commercial from Staples? It is a small sample of how I feel.

The afternoon before I took Middle Child over to the Junior High to check out his classes, find his locker, and get it decorated. Decorations for a Teenage Boy includes a White Board, Magnetic Pencil Cup, and Colored Markers. I insisted he bring all his stuff to school so he wouldn't be weighed down this morning. 

Being a typical teenager he huffed and said "I"ll bring it tomorrow."

"No, you'll take it this afternoon so you don't have to try and do it tomorrow while you're hurrying to class." I insisted again.

"No Mom!" huffing and sighing from the Middle Child.

"Well, we'll take the stuff to school with you and then let you wander around..."

We all climb in the car. As soon as we get to the school Middle Child hops out. He high tails it into the school, at least 10 feet in front of us.We all enter the school, us a few feet behind Middle Child. he frantically searches for his locker, hurrying.

Finally, "Here's my locker!" He sighs with relief. We help him put all his stuff in his locker, getting him ready for his first big day of school.

We shut the locker. He starts to head out to find his classes, his back turned to us.

"Middle Child!" pause "Middle Child!" He slows down. I grab his arm and he keeps looking the other way. "Middle Child!"

"What!" he finally stops.

I start to tell him to call me when he's done but he won't look at me. Quietly I say "Would you please turn around and look at me."

"What do you want?"

"I just want to tell you to call me when you're done and I'll pick you up. But I'd like to tell your face, not your back."

"Fine. I'll call."And he's off.

Despite my best intentions I have raised a bona fide teenager.


Demolition Derby!

This weekend we did what any self-respecting Spanish Forkian would have done. We went to the Demolition Derby! I have somehow fallen in love with redneck activities. And dragged the whole family with me. I even wore my new belt buckle! But, since I had the camera, no one got a picture of it. You'll have to wait until the rodeo next year.

It was a little warm at the beginning, but not for too long. Sister Accountant and family came with us!

Before the Demolition Derby the Firemen had to get ready in case of Fire.

Last weekend, in Nephi, apparently three different cars caught on fire and needed Firemen.

And some random guy had a nice new haircut.

The Pink Pig won Best Paint Job. For obvious reasons.

The Lightning Car came in second.

And I don't think this one won any prizes.

Here were all the cars we had voted for, before any of them were crashed.

It finally begins! The cars come out and circle around at the beginning of the first match.

Some are prettier than others.

And some are just banged up.

And they're off!

The General Lee, pre-crash.

There was a lot of dirt in the air.

And lots of crashing.

And smoking, from the cars.

And cars were pushed out of the arena.

It wasn't just the Pink Pig pushing.

Lots of crashes.

The cars almost became unrecognizable.

This flame was on purpose.

After every round it took at least 15 minutes to clear the arena. This tow truck has special help.

I bet this is a Tow Truck's dream job!

My favorite car in the next round. 


And by now you're probably sick of Demolition Derby pictures...

But there's more!

And if you don't wanna see them next year you'll have to come with us.

Pile up!

See all the dust?

And Exhaust Smoke?

My lungs definitely need some cleaning today.



Oh No! I'm missing a wheel! I can't go anywhere!

And it speeds off...

And T-bones the Green Car...

And Rolls it over...

And gets High-Centered? Is that the correct term? This isn't a usual position for a car so I'm not sure of the lingo.

And the action was temporarily paused while the cars were laid flat again.

But not for long!


Half the cars ended up moving the cement bumpers.

Or landing on top of them.

More dirt in the air.

Axles started getting bent.

And bumpers unattached.


The only way out at the end of the round.

Grudge Match! Losers chance to get in the Winner's Match. At this point the break between matches started stretching to a half hour, these poor cars needed to get back into running shape.

The Grudge matches were the best!

Just when you thought it couldn't be crushed any more...

Of upended again!

Or crushed....

Oh they were speedy!


The cars are beginning to fall apart.

And the dirt flies even more furiously.

And the smoke gets thicker.

3 1/2 hours after the start. The championship match, finally!

Crunchier cars.

Front ends begin curling upwards

And the pileups get bigger.

His front wheels started this way at the beginning of the match. By now he's finished.

This car has lost his back wheel. But he's not out! He's one of the last two, gunning for first place and the $5,000 prize, barely enough to recoup some of their costs. He keeps running around the arena. He gets stuck once in a while and just when he's about the be DQ'd ,he gets going again! And the crowd goes wild! he's the favorite of the crowd. He's getting ready to crash his only running opponent.

And he smashes him so hard that both engines immediately stop. It's silent in the arena. But only for a moment. And then the announcer calls for everyone to stay in their seats, the driver of  the Green Car appears to be injured. It stays silent. The EMS run out.

The EMS crowd around the Green Car, checking on the driver, wondering how to get him out of this mess. The anticipation mounts. The ambulance comes to the entrance of the arena. And just as it is about to enter the All Clear is given! The Driver is ok. And not only is he ok, but he WANTS TO FINISH THE RACE!

The 3-wheeled car just can't ever get his car started again, so the green car runs around the arena, hits him and wins the Demolition Derby! Since he's back from the almost-dead everyone cheers and cheers for him! And his wife runs out and hugs him dearly. And he wins just enough money home to buy a new car and outfit it for next year.