Cali

How to do Disney

LG and I are not vacation planners.
We like to fly by the seat of our pants,
which means our vacations usually amount to
a weekend camping trip here and there.

But our kids wanted to go to Disneyland,
and we had the money to accommodate their wish.
So we delved into the world of Disney.
We did really well for beginners
thanks to the help of our friends
and my Disney-fanatic sister.

I thought it would be a great thing
to post a tutorial for any families
who want to do Disney in the future.

Here are the photos,
they wouldn’t save from my phone
without publishing them.
I don’t have time
to write the tut right now
but I will come back and do it later.

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Sunny California

I know I’ve been really self-focused this week.
I’ve probably lost 10 of my 20 readers.
Aw, who am I kidding?
I know you are all still reading.
The only people who read this here blog
in the first place
are the people who love reading about me and my family.

Well, don’t say that I haven’t given you your fill this week.

And please say a prayer for me that something funny
will happen very soon
so I can quit posting so many family photos.
I’m having a great giveaway tomorrow so stay tuned.
Sorry though, for now, all I’ve got are more photos from our trip in July to Cali.


When LG and I came up on this we scarfed down both a peach and a plum each,
only to be told by guy in the booth
that he didn’t need our pits
because any fruit sold in our Utah County was fine to pass the border.

I have fond memories from Calico ghost town as a kid.
If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it
the next time your are driving through San Bernadino.

Back in the day, my dad built this bridge.
Can you even imagine?
He doesn’t even like heights.
The things a man will do to provide for his family.
I love this bridge along I-15.
It’s how all the members of our family know we are getting close to our former home.

The Bird of Paradise can only mean one thing.
I am home!
It’s the official flower of Carlsbad, CA.
And being in California means there is plenty of Grease Pockets.
This one is for you Barrick family.

Whenever I visit Carlsbad,
I cannot miss a trip to the old Thrifty’s.
It’s now Rite-Aid,
but they still have the same great ice-cream
that we always got on our way home from the beach.

They aren’t as cheap as they were once.
I can remember when a scoop was 20 cents.
Talk about inflation.
Still worth every penny though.
Here’s the magical scooper 
that makes it taste better than any other ice-cream in the world.

Here is LG enjoying his single scoop.
He always says he doesn’t understand the hype,
but everyone knows that Tennessean’s aren’t experts on ice-cream,
unless it’s fried.

I resisted the three-scooper.
With six siblings, any time we went over single cones,
we always multiplied the chance of a scoop
dropping in the parking lot by about 100%. 
It was pretty funny when I almost lost 
my second scoop in the store
right after this photo.
I guess one is never too old for a little nostalgia.
And I am glad that I had been trained
by all those other losses.
I wouldn’t have been so smiley
if I had actually lost any
of  my beloved chocolate malted crunch.

This is what we called ice-plant.
I am including this photo
for all my brothers and sisters
who don’t read my blog.
Wow the memories of this stuff could go on forever.
It covered the hill behind our house
and was great to use as a hopscotch marker
or a soft landing after jumping off the roof
onto the trampoline 
and over the back fence.

Aw. Heaven.

We loved our time alone
even if we did miss our kiddos.
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20 years later

Remember last week’s post about High School.
Well, I just wanted to fill you in on the after high school.
I know you just can’t wait.

This is Adam.
Remember he was my first date.
Yeah, I am pretty much the luckiest girl alive.
Adam is still one of the coolest guys.
And his wife and kids are gorgeous.
He’s aged well,
and still seems to have great taste.

This is Dawn.
She is one of my most favorite
funny people
on the planet.

Me, Jen, and Brandi.
They were my gal pals in the Del Mar Photo booth photos.
And many of the others.

Funny story about Brandi.
In first grade, after school, I walked with her to her house a few doors down from our school.
When I got back to school, all the school buses were gone.
I walked home 2 miles. 
Yeah, I was just five years old.
Nobody even noticed that it had taken me two hours longer than usual to get home.
I was happy to not get in trouble,
but also kind of sad that nobody loved me.
There are definitely pros and cons to living in a large family.

Here is our group from Junior Prom.
Sorry, I failed to provide the before photo.
You’ll just have to trust me
when I tell you that we still look just as good.

I didn’t include a photo of Mike in the aforementioned post.
I may have to give him a post of his own someday,
after all, he was my first kiss.
Guess where it happened?
In the hall, at the Mormon church across from the High School.
He saw me and came out from freshman basketball practice
to get a drink from the water fountain.
I walked home in a daze.

Don’t worry LG,
he was just preparing me for you.
You know your lips are the only ones I want.
Nica had way too much to drink.
When she cuddled up to my man, I told her where to go.
Not only because it was totally inappropriate,
but because she scared the bijeezers out of him.
Why is that so funny to me?
I wish I would have gotten a photo of LG’s face.

Eric Stitt lived two doors up.
I would have never guessed in a million years
that he would turn into this amazing comedic actor.
All he seemed to care about back in the day
was his skateboard.
Laryssa was a great friend.
She was my campaign manager
and helped me win that election for Sophomore class president.
I guess I am indebted to her forever
for feeding my need for attention.
Thank you Laryssa for befriending my anti-social hubby.
I guess you have always been good with the men that I love.
(She used to date my brother)

Last but very well not least.
Fred. I included this blurry photo
because I couldn’t leave Fred out.
He was my best entertainment.
I can’t even imagine what the party
would have been like if Todd had joined us from Hawaii.
We would have definitely needed to find a photo booth
and lured some unsuspecting people in for a smell
of the reunited Team Flatulence.
And just like in high school,
I would have ran the other direction

while laughing hysterically.

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High School

I loved high school.
I really did.

Attending my 20 year reunion
was so much fun.

Almost as fun as digging out the old photos.

Feel free to ignore this post.
There are lots of pictures from the 80’s.
It’s for the family history
after I’m dead and gone.

Softball team.
This wasn’t the coach that checked me out in the locker-room
which creeped me out and made me quit.
My team probably just thought I was a flake
when I quit showing up to practices without explanation.
They now have the explanation
I felt unable to verbalize in 1991.
No, I’m not a homophobe.
Just a fan of appropriate
student-coach relationships.

Chamber singers.
It was an awesome place to be.
That’s me and Jen up front.
We sang together at graduation.

This was my best attempt at the
Julia Roberts look-alike contest.
Dang, I was smokin’ hot.
It broke my prom date’s heart
when I wouldn’t sleep with him.
Has enough time gone by to admit that publicly?
Sorry Ben,
but my husband thanks you
from the bottom of his heart.

The ladies on graduation night
right before we stuffed in a limo
and drove around town all night.

Me, Shelly, and Anna
on New Year’s Eve.

ASB retreat.
We had so much fun.
Have no idea why Kelly and I were trying to seduce a tree.

Me and Travis Parker.
Travis Matthew Parker.
He was quite possibly the person who knew me best.
We could talk about anything and everything
and we always had intellectually stimulating conversations
while simultaneously having a really great time.
I crushed on him forever.
We then dated.
I got freaked out.
I never told him it was because I didn’t want to
disappoint yet one more boyfriend by not having sex.
You now know the truth Travis.
Somehow, I think I should have just been honest with him.
Here we are on choir tour.
I was bloated and we were messing around.
Pretty amazing that I could blow enough air into my belly to look 8 months pregnant.
Poor LeGrand.
I’ve never looked this good for him when I was 8 months preggers.

Jen, me and Kristen on the infamous wave.
It’s amazing to me how people figure out how to screw
teenagers out of all their lunch money.
I wonder how much I forked over collectively 
for the 10 different poses I have in the box out in the garage?
This one means the most because
Kristen is my only high school friend who I wish with all my heart was still alive.
My sister and I with our Christmas pajama dance dates.
Greg later married Jen up above.

Homecoming 1991.
My first date.
It was the day after my 16th birthday.
Anna’s brother Adam took me.
And I still apologize to this day for
ridiculing him with my awful taste in semi-formals.
The ladies I am with in the photo
got into a tragic car accident later in the evening.
We prayed over Stephanie for a long time.
The day she finally came back to school
was pretty much a miracle.
I can’t remember another time in high school
that I was that happy.

The Del Mar Fair.
Check out Todd and Fred
at the bottom.
They were Team Flatulence,
so you can imagine what is going on in the photo.
This is me with Melanie and Angela.
They were my only friends in junior high
and always my best of friends,
even if sometimes we only hung out at church.

On our way out to the dance club.
Yeah, my parents thought I was bowling.
To be honest, I would have rather been bowling.
I hate dancing.
Even that one dance with Chuck Alberton
was completely and totally not worth it.
Thanks to Mike Rice for bribing him into it.
20 years later, as he walked in the reunion,
Jen and I turned to each other simultaneously, 
and replayed the moment
for the 200th time.
Hi I’m Alice.
I know.
(silence)
He was our freshman class president.
I was sophomore class president.
I crushed on him for three years.
I even requested Notre Dame memorabilia
because it was his favorite school
and when given that one moment
to make an impression
that was all I could come up with.
What a dork I was.
And my friends were the best to remind me.

Me and Shelly with her mom and dad.
Rest in peace Chuck Duff.
I want you to know that I am so happy that I am now married to an attorney
because I was always so jealous of Shelly
when she could threaten her way out of any situation
with my dad is going to sue.
In Napa Valley
on choir tour.
What cute boys.
I have no recollection of the guy left of Todd.
I already told you about Travis.
Next to me is Stephen Blake.
He moved to Carlsbad in 7th grade
from Boston.
I would hound him relentlessly
to say the word “car.”
So sexy.
And look at his hair.
All the girls were always jealous.
Facebook has informed me that
Steve is in a popular band.
How fitting.
I wonder if he still has the same hair?
The girls outside the choir tour bus.
Those pearls almost make us look innocent.
How naughty of us pulling down our sleeves like that.

Spaghetti dinner, jr year I believe.
We sang a 50’s medley
and worked out butts off to build our own arrangements.

Homecoming was always the BEST.
We would rent out a warehouse for a week
where everyone would stay all night
building the floats.
Or at least some of us would actually do the work.
These are all working girls
except that girl in the front left.
I have no idea who she is.
Some surfer girl that Shelly sucked into the picture.

The same p.j. dance the next year.
That’s me and Matt Jewell.
We were scandalous.
I was a senior,
he was a freshman.
I saw him singing and dancing with his 8th grade show choir
when I was a junior and knew instantly
that I would make him my boyfriend the next year.
 He was officially my longest relationship
until my husband.
6 months I think.
Man, he broke my heart.
The only boy to ever break up with me.
After him I got smart
and did the breaking up first.
On this very night,
everyone else had to wait on us
because Matt was so late
because he had to play in an away
freshman basketball game.
So funny.

This is Jeff Graf, Chelsea and I.
Chelsea was one of those insanely popular girls,
and I was delightfully surprised when we had ASB together
at how normal and down to earth she really was.
We had some great talks.
I believe she and her blogging bestie shunned me at the reunion though
so I will refrain from linking to their very popular blog.
I may just have been sensitive that night,
but there is nothing like being out of high school
and not needing to be loved.
Pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog
so it’s all good.
I show you this picture
because you just had to see
that I had the coolest  hair of the 80’s.

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July’s Contest Winner!



Valerie Shedley won for the funniest joke in July’s contest.

Sorry it has taken me so long to formerly announce it.
I’ve been enjoying our last few days of summer.

Valerie as soon as you tell me what kind of gift card you want
and you message me your address your $20 gift will be on its way.

Here is Valerie’s winning joke. She was right when she said that fart jokes are always funny. The girls, LG and I, and four of my grown-up in-laws were all cracking up. Even if we had heard it before.

Once there were 3 people in an airplane, one took a bite out of an apple. She thought it was too sweet so she threw it out of the plane. The second person took a bite out of a lemon and she
thought it was too sour so, she threw it out of the plane. Then
the last person took a bite out of a grenade and he thought it
was too crunchy so, he threw it out of the plane. Then they
landed and decided to go for a walk. They first passed a little
girl who was crying and they asked, “little girl, little girl,
why are you crying?” and the little girl said, “an apple came
down and killed my new kitty”. Next they passed a little boy
who was also crying. And they again asked, “little boy, little boy, why are you crying?” and the little boy said, “a lemon came
down and killed my new puppy.” Then they passed a blonde sitting on the side walk laughing her butt off. They asked, “why are you
laughing so hard?” and the blonde said, “I farted and the
building behind me blew up!!”



Deanna H and Nadelie were the runners up, but sorry, you two,
 you get nothing but kudos and thanks from my kids.
You’ll have to go back to the comments and read their entries along with all the others. They were all so funny.

I love you Val. I am thrilled that you were my winner
because you have made me laugh for all 37+ years of my life. Why stop now?

For those of you who want to win this month’s boggle contest, go here.
I might even write up nice stuff about you too.

Now a little more about Valerie Shedley (now Valerie Walker) who lived next door growing up. She was best friend’s with my little sister Renee. Therefore, she was like another annoying little sister to me. Valerie tolerated me, just as my birth sister did, but I think secretly Valerie really looked up to me. Ha!

Valerie and her brother Michael ate meals with us often. Valerie slept at our house often enough that she knew that she could always climb in a window if she needed a place to stay. Our windows were easy to climb. Our front door was also always unlocked, especially for Valerie. She was a Wills through and through. I am sure she even helped clean from time to time.

We played the shut up game. For some reason she and all the other neighbor kids thought it was fun. They had to “shut up” or I would hit them with a roll of newspaper. The next level was torture as a duntz in the corner, hat and all. The last and worst level, only ever attempted one time with my little brother David was a swirly in the toilet. I think they all wanted to play repeatedly because they were hoping to witness another swirly attempt. Wow. I had issues. But so did they! Seriously, they would beg for this game and no one would be satisfied until I forced their seating arrangements, sat in a chair in front of the fireplace, and stared them down daring them to make a peep. Crazy us. Good memories though. If only it was that fun when I wanted to get my kids to settle down.

Valerie has turned into a great lady. Against all odds, she has forged an awesome life with her hubby and three kids. Here is Val’s blip about herself from facebook. Don’t even try to tell me that she isn’t related.


I am awesome hahahaha I have 3 kids, yours mine and ours. Chloe is 13 (4 months older than Briana) Briana is 12 and Wyatt is 4 . I married my best friend and my soul mate. I am a simple girl, tom boy really, it doesn’t take much to make me happy it’s the little things really! I try REAL hard to see the good in everything but sometimes it’s harder than others. I like to have fun and laugh!
Food is one of my favorite things but I don’t like to cook, I just like to eat! Anything else you want to know just ask!

My favorite part of her info is her favorite quotation. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” I am pretty sure she got that from my mom, who got it from Jesus.

Valerie recently shared a touching story with me. It was about how much she loves my mom and and. They became her adopted parents. One time, Valerie recalled, they had no power. Her dad had nto paid the electricity bill. My dad ran an extension chord to the Shedley’s refrigerator so that their food wouldn’t go bad. That’s my mom and dad’s example to their children. It was not only nice but necessary to look out for one another. I wish neighbors were still as close as back in the day.

I really wish that Valerie could move next door. Oh my goodness Val, wouldn’t that be awesome. What would be even more awesome is if you bought your dad’s house and we bought my mom and dad’s house. I would totally let you use an extension chord whenever you needed it. Or visa versa.