Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BYU EDUCATION WEEK

There's nothing like BYU Education Week for renewing, refreshing and recharging your life!  And this year was no exception.  I am sooooooooooo glad I got to share it with these AWESOME ladies!  (All of them are my bestest girl friends ever!)
Me - Kotten Kandy - GJ - Key Lime Pie - Amy
Mil
But every "story" has a scary/tense part.  Right?  Right.  So our trip started off uneventful.  Amy, Key Lime Pie, Kotten Kandy and I left Saturday morning.  While we were on the road, Scott called and told us his father (Grandpa DeGooyer) had a massive heart attack.  We prayed for him the entire way.  (He's doing alright now.  He had a 5 by-pass surgery on Sunday and is now home.)
Then Sunday:  As we were driving through Wyoming we got a flat tire.
We took action.  Although eventually a nice trucker came by and helped us loosen the lug nuts which were extremely tight and we were struggling to remove them.  We then drove 12 miles to Rawlins, WY on a "donut" tire.  When we got there, everything was closed and we couldn't get our tire fixed or buy a new one until the morning.  So we did what any self-sufficient ladies would do: we decided to patch it ourselves.  A really nice, older couple helped us.  But unfortunately that is not the end of this exciting tale.  Another man (and his traveling companion) also tried to come to our rescue.  They were SCARY and Amy and I felt uneasy around them.  (I was sure they were serial killers - but that is because my favorite tv show is Criminal Minds.)
Anyways, these bad guys followed us to our following stop.  Luckily, Mark and Gay (the older couple) also made sure we were OK.  The tire did not hold air.  And we had to put the "donut" back on.  The creepy guy took charge and would not leave until we were "OK."  Mark and Gay also stuck around because they felt the evil from this man too.  (Mark and Gay were our angels from heaven.)  FINALLY the scary guy (he never told us his name) and his "friend" left.  We back-tracked.  We called the local bishop and found a place that would repair our tire in the early morning.  We got a hotel and felt relatively safe... until Amy decided to do a search for the scary guys on sex offender websites.  Sure enough, we found both of them.  It's frightening to think of what MIGHT have happened.  And we know Heavenly Father was watching out for us and sent us Mark and Gay!
We finally made it to Utah on Monday.  We got to see one class and then we went out for dinner and a movie with my mom and sister (to celebrate G.J. and my birthdays - We are 11 months and 2 weeks apart in age.)  Dinner was yummy!  (Thanks, mom and dad!)  And we saw the movie America: Imagine a World Without Her" by Dinesh D'Souza.  It's a powerful film that will keep your interest, provoke thoughtful dialogue and bring you to tears.  The film addresses profound moral and historical questions and is extremely well done.  D'Souza is an immigrant from India and a proud American patriot.  He sets out to defend America's founding principles and her historical record of living up to them.  It was an amazing film.  And made me extremely proud to be an American.
Tuesday through Friday was full of classes and performances.  First the performances:
Tuesday night we went to see William Joseph in concert.  He is a captivating pianist and composer and is known for his passion and virtuosity.  And his personality really was cute (although both my sister and I thought he needed to comb his hair.)  He was brilliant and all of us LOVED his music and style.  We all thought his concert would be our least favorite of the 3 performances we were able to see.  He ended up being all of our favorite!!!!!
William Joseph with my daughters!
Key Lime Pie was very impressed with the violinist that performed with William Joseph....
Wednesday night we went to the Variety Show.  It was good.  There were five different performers.  But we definitely had our favorites:  Sam Payne and Peter Breinholt.  The girls were also excited to meet one of the "Liken the Scripture" performers:  Daniel Beck.  But Sam and Peter were definitely the better "performers."
Peter Breinholt with K2
Sam Payne with K2
Daniel Beck with K2
Thursday the girls went to the youth dance and had a great time.
Friday we saw "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."  "Goin' Courtin'" has never been as much fun as in this stage version.  We loved it!  And left singing "I'm a Lonesome Polecat!"  It was a WONDERFUL way to end the week.
I was able to take a lot of classes.  And I LOVED them all.  I'll try to write up reviews about them this week (or next).  But our favorite presenter was definitely Hank Smith!!!!  He taught a class about being happy.  We all attended together.  And the girls got a picture:
The girls also enjoyed getting to meet John Bytheway.  His class was fun too!
Here are the rest of the pics from the week:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

DeGOOYER DAY 2014

We LOVE DeGooyer Day!  And this year was no different.
DeGooyer Day has been a tradition for 10 years now.  There are only two rules for celebrating DeGooyer Day:  1.  The day is entirely about being a DeGooyer and being part of our family. and 2.  We wear matching shirts.  The rest of the day is entirely up to our imaginations.  Over the years, some of the things we have enjoyed together on our holiday have been: sight seeing, hiking, going to the movies, bowling, miniature golfing, etc.
Since money was tight this year, we decided to do something different...  We had a Lord of the Rings movie-a-thon.  We watched all three extended versions, complete with lots of snacks and treats.
Scott designed our shirts, as usual.
This is the back of the shirt.
This is the front corner of the shirt.
Key Lime Pie made lembus bread (which is the bread of the elves.)  It was really yummy!  And we made it with honey from our own hive!
Kotten Kandy made orc brownies.  Don't let the name fool you.  Orcs are evil, but these are DELICIOUS and extremely rich.
We felt like the hobbits as we had breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevensies, lunch, tea, etc. etc. etc.
The J.R.R. Tolkein story is truly a classic.  We all loved it and loved finding parallels between it and the gospel.  Everyone also enjoyed making fun of their mother/wife as she sobbed during most of the movie.  She cried when it was sad.  She cried when it was happy.  She cried when someone was heroic.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

OHIO WITH JOYCE

My daughters are being spoiled rotten this summer.  They got to spend the past week with Joyce in Ohio.  They had a total blast!  They couldn't stop talking about all that they got to do and all that they learned.   They LOVE Joyce and her mother (they call her grandma).  They went shopping at quilt stores and yarn stores.  They went to Amish Country.  They got to steer a steam ship.  They learned new crochet stitches.  They learned new quilting techniques.  They made scarves and pillows.  They watched the Food Network and loved the show "Cutthroat Kitchen."  (Key Lime Pie has decided she wants to "do" Cutthroat Kitchen for her 16th Birthday party.)
Joyce took these two pictures of my daughters...
On our way to visit the Glazes, Scott and I saw what we and the girls call a "Cloud Factory"!
Aren't these manufactured clouds beautiful?!  :-)
Scott and I joined the Glazes and girls on Friday night.  The girls were so silly and giggled until LATE.  They were excited to tell us about all their adventures and how much they love Joyce and "grandma."  Saturday we went back to a quilt store so Kotten Kandy could purchase a quilting hoop.  Then we came home and had a really yummy, easy lasagna that grandma made.  Then Joyce, Scott, Key Lime Pie, Kotten Kandy and I took off for the Blues Festival.  It was 9 hours of music fun!  We LOVED it!  The groups were ALL great (except for Simo).  We even got to see Devon Almond.  He rocked!
Kotten Kandy, Joyce and Key Lime Pie at the Blues Festival...
Selfie time...  (I don't usually take selfies - so this is a treat!)
Sophie was a singer who performed and she's from KY...  The girls really liked her singing!
And Kotten Kandy even purchased one of her CDs for her sister.  Sophie signed it and everything!  :-)
The concert was rained out for about 45 minutes.  But we just enjoyed being cooled off...
This isn't a selfie.... Key Lime Pie took a picture of us!
This performer made me laugh so hard!
His expressions as he ROCKED his guitar made me laugh.
He constantly held his mouth WIDE open.  This picture is tame.
When the heavy metal rock group, Simo, performed, Kotten Kandy fell asleep.
She was exhausted.  But I don't know how she slept through that noise.  They were LOUD!
Scott really loved the show....  Isn't my husband cute!?
Sunday morning we went to Church with Joyce.  Their LITTLE branch was soooooooooo cute!  I loved the small building.  And the people seemed great.  After church, we ate left over lasagna and got on the road.  We miraculously made it back in time (4 hours later) for the girls to go to a great fireside for our ward.  We are all worn out... and tomorrow is a crazy day....
Joyce, Kotten Kandy, Key Lime Pie, Grandma and Sweetie (the dog)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A MOTHER'S PERSPECTIVE

This week is practice for what is coming up in my life: I'm an empty-nester.  It's a strange thing when your children grow up and leave the nest.  I don't think I was completely prepared.  I miss their smiling faces.  I miss their crazy, loud music.  I miss them exercising with me, cleaning with me and learning with me.  It's quiet... too quiet.
But, I know they are doing good things.  I know they are strong in their faith.  I know that they are sweet, and capable and motivated.  I'm truly proud of the beautiful young women they have become.
This growing up thing is hard.  But my girls make it easy.
Last week Kotten Kandy spent an entire week in Bowling Green at EFY (Especially For Youth).  After fasting and praying whether she should she attend, she decided to pay for it herself ($400+).  According to her:  "It was one of the best experiences of my life!"  She came home extremely motivated, happy and spiritually fed.
Her roommate, Eclair, is now a "life-time friend!"  She truly loved her.  They prayed together, ate together, attended classes together, laughed together and stayed up WAY too late talking and laughing together.  She wishes they were in the same ward.  She also strengthened her friendship with Almond.  She feels that both girls are "kindred spirits!"
She also made lots of guy friends... (Glad she only thinks of them as friends right now! - Although I think the boys definitely had crushes on my sweet daughter.)
She participated in the choir during her free time.  And loved learning about the gospel in all of her classes.  She was also super excited about attending TWO dances during the week.  She really likes a couple of line dances that she has taught our entire family to do!
I am super glad for her experience.  She is truly an amazing person.  And I really like who she is becoming.
(Unfortunately, Kotten Kandy doesn't take as many pictures as mom would like... but I managed to get one picture of her company!  Kotten Kandy and Eclair are right in the middle.)
Key Lime Pie also had an eventful week last week.  We deep cleaned her room!  It looks AWESOME!  And I think she's truly happy with it.
Then on Saturday, she participated in the 2nd Annual A Capella Festival!  She loved it!  And she had a great time with her good friend, Lemon Drop.  The growth in my daughter between last year's festival and this year's festival is incredible!  Last year she was serious and worried about the music.  This year she just had fun!  And it showed!  Her personality really came out on stage.  She sang, smiled and it translated to the audience.  Speaking as a music theater person (and not as her mom) she was the most fun person to watch on stage because of her smiles and overall stage presence.  The leaders in the group also told her she had "perfect pitch" and is really musical.  (Which I already knew.)
Oh... one more picture:
Look how happy my girls are when they were reunited!  Key Lime Pie squealed and ran to the front of the stage to give her sister a hug.  All Kotten Kandy could do when she got home was say she missed her sister.  I'm glad they are best friends.
I am really a proud mother.  (And a lonely mother this week since they are in Ohio learning to crochet and quilt with Joyce this week.)  I'm keeping busy though....

Friday, July 18, 2014

BOOK REVIEWS

Book Bingo has me reading like a crazy person.  :-)  And I LOVE it!  Here's my review of the last two books I just finished reading:
Despite an abundance of natural history and the syrupy style, "Freckles" by Gene Stratton Porter is a sweet book, with some fun, surprise plot twists.  My little brother recommended this book to me and I'm really glad I read it.  The hero, Freckles, is an orphan who lost his hand as a baby.  The story is about how he determines to prove himself despite the missing hand, no family and low self worth.  Through determination and hard work he comes to love the wild limberlost where he works as a guard for the trees the logging company will later remove.  His relationships with his boss who unofficially adopts him, the MacLeans with whom he boards, and the Swamp Angel who loves the wilderness as much as he does makes the story come to life.  This book reminds us not to judge people by the outside, but to let their actions reveal their true nobility.  It was a good and easy read.
Although  C.S. Lewis published "The Screwtape Letters" in 1942, its theme is every bit as appropriate today.  I read them as a teenager when my father lent me the book.  And now I am re-reading it with my daughters this summer.  Lewis is an imaginative writer.  This book is a collection of correspondence from a veteran devil to his apprentice nephew.  Throughout this work of fiction, real advice is present.  Simple tidbits such as Screwtape's simple statement that "the safest road to hell is the gradual one" should serve as a gentle reminder for many readers.  This book has wit, ingenuity, reverence and humor.  It is a timeless classic and very much apropos to today.  The only problem with "The Screwtape Letters" is that there is so much thought provoking stuff packed into every paragraph in this book, that I frequently had to stop reading and think about what I've just read, then go back and re-read.  It made reading this SHORT book take a lot longer than it should have.  C.S. Lewis is a genius!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WOW! LET ME CATCH UP...

Since I haven't been able to post for awhile - and now I can again...  Let me catch everybody up on our busy lives:
Kotten Kandy is now 14!!!!!!  When did my baby girl think it was OK to grow up?  We joke that she is 14 in body, but 17 in Spirit.  She is amazing!  She is bright!  She is spiritual!  And she is a beautiful, talented, young lady!  I'm so glad to be her mom!  For her Birthday, she wanted to go to the temple and then go out to eat at Texas Roadhouse.  So that is what we did.  We also took in a movie at the $3 theater: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."  (GREAT movie - and I like the fact that Steve Rogers is a man that young men can actually look up too.  He's not a "bad boy" or "stupid" or "evil.")  It was a fun birthday!  And she was spoiled rotten.
We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the 4th of July at our house!  And this year was REALLY fun!  We spent the entire morning at the Bishop's house.  The ward social was totally fun.  We ate well, but more importantly, we enjoyed the company!  I love my ward.  Visiting with friends and dressing in our firework shirts (home made by us 2 days prior) made the morning truly wonderful!  Then we went to the Bettenhausen's for BBQ and games and fireworks.  It was laid back and fun all at the same time!  The entire family agreed that this year's celebration of America's Independence was truly WONDERFUL!
Our "Firework" shirts - We made them!   :-)
Jelly Bean, Kotten Kandy, Amy, Apple Pie, Marmalade, Me and Key Lime Pie
Scott hung out with his best buddy the whole time!
Jelly Bean adores his "Dott!"
Me and My Girls
Daddy and Daughters
Me and My Man
Playing Badminton?!
Scott decided to dance for us...
Key Lime Pie is so weird!  We sure love her craziness!
This girl couldn't be any cuter...  Right?
I really like this guy!
The following week we decided to make another craft with the kids.  Our "Finding Nemo" snow globes turned out so cute!
Marmalade, Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie, Kotten Kandy, Nuts, and Juice
Key Lime Pie and Squirt
Kotten Kandy and Squirt
The girl's participated in Youth Conference last week.  It was a total success!  They came home excited about the gospel, their strengthened friendships, the experience, and of course: boys.  They really enjoyed the Jericho Road concert.  They liked all of their classes, especially the Missionary Prep class (zone conference) and the Shepherding class (discussing how Christ is our Shepherd.)  The girls LOVED their host families and especially liked the little "extras" they provided like games and "tea parties."  The dance was a highlight - Since it was Kotten Kandy's first dance, Key Lime Pie made sure she had fun.  They both danced a lot and had a great time!  Both girl's LOVED the service project: they beautified an elementary school; pulling weeks and mulching.  And both girls said the testimony meeting was very Christ centered and wonderful.  I'm grateful for good leaders, and everyone who made it such an amazing experience.
Almond Joy and Kotten Kandy - being silly in the coat closet
Key Lime Pie and Hershey
Chocolate and Key Lime Pie
Kotten Kandy and "Random Guy Who Wanted a Picture and Mom Loves the Picture But Doesn't Know Who He Is"
Kotten Kandy dancing with Doritos
On Sunday, Key Lime Pie played a violin duet with her friend Nutmeg.  They played a beautiful rendition of "If I Could Hie To Kolob" in two different wards.  It really brought the Spirit.  President Spencer W. Kimball said, "We are in a position, as musicians, to touch the souls of those who listen."  Key Lime Pie is truly blessing all of us with her talents!
Nutmeg and Key Lime Pie
Scott had surgery yesterday.  He is doing well.  But he's definitely hurting more this time.  Dr. Duffy said his nerve was "red and very angry."  He couldn't even dress himself after the surgery.  He tried to put on his clothes over his hospital gown.  I laughed hard and then took control.  It was like dressing an over-sized doll.  Poor guy!  He'll be back to "normal" in a few weeks, but until then, I get to zip his pants and open his pills and tie his shoes and drive him around.  He's actually a really good "patient" and doesn't complain.  But it is worse this time.
Before Surgery...
After Surgery...
Well, I guess I'm caught up.  I'll try to keep posting regularly...  :-)