Friday, October 31, 2008

Thank heavens....

Just thinking about a few things I am most thankful for at the end of this week. It's the last day of October, and to say it has been a long, busy, stressful month would be an understatement...but I made it (almost).

Thanks heavens for the opportunity for the girls to dance with amazing choreographers like Napoleon and Tabitha. What a great time (what a terrible picture...)

Thanks heavens for good friends. This is Kenzie and her good friends, the Flamingo girl band. How would you get through your teenage years without them?

Thanks heavens for healthy babies--(here and coming). This is Jenna Baker at the Stake Carnival last night.

Thank heavens for lower gas prices. Yesterday I filled my car up at $2.39 a gallon. It cost $64 to fill the tank instead of over $100.

Thank heavens for the last home football game and performance. Thanks to Addy and Mikey for all their help. You helped me get through another season....(not that I don't LOVE football).

Thanks heavens the election is almost over. I already sent in my absentee ballot so it is for me. (FYI---you cannot vote for someone else. I tried to send in Quinn's absentee ballot since he is out of the country, but they sent it back. Apparently they actually check the signatures you used when registering to vote---who knew?)

Thanks heavens I'm going on vacation tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So you think you can dance.....

Kenzie and Jaymz

The 'MEN'

Most interesting idea we have had in our almost ten years of owning a dance studio is teaching high school boys to dance....Peggy was the brain child behind the idea and I have to admit at first I was skeptical. What boys would ever agree to such an idea? We have a Boy's Club at the studio for 10-13 year olds and I signed Easton up the first year. Now keep in mind, we couldn't tell his dad he had dance class, because well Reid would just not understand. Easton lasted all of two or three practices (Could it possibly have been the constant jokes and teasing from older brothers that made him quit...) although I have to say I still catch Easton doing a clogging step or two around the house....So I was thinking I could never talk my 16 year old boys into dance---who are we going to get?

Then it dawned on us....we take 16 of the cutest, most talented, fun girls and have them dance with the boys......hard to get boys to sign up....I think not. (I didn't claim the boys had to have any dance talent or rhythmn, they just had to be willing). Last year we talked 16 of them into doing two numbers, a clogging number and a salsa number. I have to say those our some of our most frustrating practices and nothing gives me a headache like the 32 of them dancing (inbetween the talking and the flirting), but I have also never had so many laughs. Sometimes we wonder which steps a boy is actually doing, and some of the looks on their faces are unforgetable. And talk about good sports---we got 'em. I even dare to say there was some practicing going on for some of the boys and most of them wanted to know when we were going to practice next?

This year we have taken it a step higher. WE actually hired two choreographers for their numbers. We brought in Misty Peterson to teach the boys and girls a clogging number and our lastest choreography session was with Jaymz from Season 2 of 'So You Think You Can Dance' and High School Musical 1 and 2. (By the way, if your boy is going to play football you spell it James, but if there going to be a dancer its JAYMZ....keep that in mind.) Jaymz, taught the boys and girls the 'Lindy Hop.' I was completely impressed and so was Jaymz. NEVER say never....and never underestimate the power of a cute girl....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are you ready for some Football?

This week begins the last week of Easton's Middle School Football career and the last week I have a son in middle school football. I've spent 6 seasons watching all three of my sons play football in middle school. All of them had the SAME coaches. They all had different experiences.

Jordan was quick, aggressive, and very small for his age. He tackled at the ankles. He earned the coaches respect by going after the biggest, strongest kid and never letting go.

Quinn was big for his age and mean, but cautious. He would much rather use his brain than his body to break a play. He had a bad break of the arm in Grid Kids and wasn't so sure about football. He played Quaterback because I wanted him too. He did not. I actually wanted all the boys to play Quaterback but he is the only one that listened. It may have been one of the only things he ever listened to me on.

Easton is tall for his age, but thin. He has grown so much this year he has not quite grown into his body and his muscles. Last year the first day of school and football practice, he was diagnosed with juvenille diabetes. He had lost about 25 pounds in a short period of time and last season we were just trying to learn to live with it and put the weight back on. This year he is in much better phyical condition and he is playing much stronger. I am so impressed with the progress he has made, and who doesn't look cute in a football uniform. He plays first string tight end, first string offensive line. That's it, that's all I know. In my opinion he is really too nice a kid to make a GREAT football player, but I think that remains to be seen. One thing I know, whatever they are doing, whatever position they are playing, I love being there cheering them on. Go BRAVES!! Go EASTON!!

The Voice of God.....

My Grandpa Delos Jewkes was the 'Voice of God' in the Ten Commandments. He was a professional singer and an amazing entertainer and I grew up listening to him sing. He worked for Warner Brothers and all the other movie companies. He sang and did short parts in all the first sound movies. He also traveled all around entertaining on the 'Orpheum Vaudeville' circuit. He was a star on vaudeville, but the great depression hit and all of the vaudeville houses were turned into movie theatres. He did hundreds of bit parts. He use to joke there is enough footage of me on the cutting room floor to make a full-length feature. He was on the 'Andy Griffth' show, in 'True Grit', Bednobs and Broomsticks, 'The Music Man' and played parts with Bing Crosby, Betty Grable,Red Skelton and many more.

My Grandpa was born October 21st, 1895 in Orangeville, UT. His parents encouraged music in the home and at the age of 9 he worked hard delivering milk so he could buy his own violin. My great grandfather, Jesse David Jewkes, was elected state treasurer and auditor and moved the family to Salt Lake City. In 1915 my grandfather Delos served a mission to South Africa. World War I broke out and international travel was almost impossible and so my grandfather was a faithful missionary for four years. He took his violin with him to South Africa and spent many hours playing and singing. He was married in 1920 to Belle Gardner. My grandfather became a traveling salesman for a music company. He spent four years singing for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and was a featured basso profundo soloist with the choir.

Grandpa then joined the Brandon Light Opera Company. There first production was the Gilbert and Sullivan operatta 'The Pirates of Penzance'. After traveling with the company he spent 64 consecutive weeks at the Strand Theatre in Vancouver. He arrived in Hollywood as the studios started experimenting with sound in movies. When he couldn't get work in the movies he sang at clubs, and funerals and weddings. He was know as the best and the lowest bass on the West Coast. He voice was once dubbed in for a lead actor who couldn't sing the lowest note and for that one single note they paid him $100. He would always joke, "I'd like to sing an aria at that rate.'

Ironically the part he was best known for and the part I remember best is the part that was suppose to be a secret, the voice of God in 'The Ten Commandments.' I was so proud of him for that and loved hearing him sing on every occassion. He continued to sing and was very generous with his talents up until he passed away in July, 1984 in his 89th year.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Don't text me.....just call!

My generation does not understand text messaging. I use it, but I hate it. I don't understand the appeal. It can occasionally be helpful if you want to remind a group of people about a practice or a meeting, but to actually carry on a conversation...what's the point? How can you get to know someone through one word answers?

My kids spends lots of time texting. We have had to put many restrictions on it. The first time I was aware it was a problem was when my phone bill showed up in a BOX. So many texts it wouldn't fit in an envelope. About 12,000 in a months time for my son Quinn. He holds the family record. First restriction-don't text in school, second-don't text while driving, third-don't text at practice, fourth-don't text in church, fifth-don't text after 11:00 p.m. and so on, and so on. Who knew we would need all these rules? I'm pretty sure they have ALL been broken many times.

But the biggest problem with texting is the things we say on them, that we wouldn't say in person. My drill team girls love to TEXT me and tell me they won't be at practice, or late---much easier than a phone call RIGHT? And my daughter, she just got her first broken heart through text mature is that? Don't text me, JUST CALL!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've been tagged.....

I've been tagged by my niece Courtney so here goes....

I'm a weirdo and I know it. Here's why?

Well this list could be endless but I'll just list five like everyone else.

1. I love reality tv. I've said it, I'm admitting it. I started with 'Survivor' then 'Amazing Race'. I switched to 'American Idol', 'So You Think You Can Dance' and even 'The Biggest Loser'. I like them all.

2. I couldn't live without chocolate. I would much rather eat chocolate than a meal and when a choice is to be made, chocolate is always first. I worry about what I'm eating in a restaurant, not that its good or too big, but that I may not have enough room to order dessert.

3. I hate feet. I don't like my feet, I don't like seeing other people's feet. Barefeet are gross and PLEASE don't let your feet touch me.

4. I can not remember a JOKE! As I sit here typing this I cannot remember ONE single joke I have ever heard. They seem to go in one ear and out the other and I can't remember them long enough to even repeat them correctly to the next person I see.

5. I love being with my kids. I would rather spend time with my kids than anyone else I know. People are always talking about getting a night out, how they can't wait for a vacation. I just want to be with my kids. I want them to go to lunch with me, to the movies, shopping, dinner, whatever I am doing, its better with one of my kids along.

I tag Peggy, Danielle, Kacey, Beka, and Jackie.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I love my kids....

I attended a youth church fireside recently and the speaker said he was only as happy as his least happy kid....that made me think. I agree with that. I am only as happy as my least happy kid and today one of my kids is unhappy. It made me stop and think about how much I love my kids and how much I love being a mother. It's really all I ever wanted. I have the world's smartest, nicest, thoughtful, kind, sensitive, spiritual, funny kids.

Jordan has been living home since April farming with his dad. He left yesterday for Utah. He couldn't have been happier. We loved having him here. I understand why he wants to go, but it won't make us miss him any less. He is a fun loving spirit to have around. His smile lights up the room and just having him around makes everything seem more fun. He is completely unjudgemental (which he does not get from me) and considers everyone he knows a friend. He's sensitive and spiritual and has such a big heart.

Danielle is mature beyond her years. She's a wonderful conversationalist. She's very gifted at writing and singing and dance. She's wise and personable and I can talk to her about anything. She listens, she gives advice, she cares. She always does the right thing. She's loyal and trustworthy and I am so proud to have her as a daughter and a friend. She's going to be a wonderful mother. (and she has a wonderful, smart, caring husband whom I love just as much as my own sons!!)

Quinn is hard working and competitive and very intelligent. He is giving and sensitive and very funny. He's a loyal friend and a wonderful son. I couldn't be more proud to have him serving as a missionary right now. I'm amazed at his positive outlook at each new experience and how he has adapted. He's determined to succeed and because of that he is. He has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and the desire to share it with the people of Vanuatu.

Mackenzie is an amazing young woman. She has a desire to do right. She has a strong testimony. She has a kind heart and is very sensitive. She is a good friend. She's hard working and organized. She is very talented, yet humble. She makes me laugh constantly and I am so grateful I have her as a friend and get to spend so much time with her.

Easton is a joy. He has a smile that melts your heart. He is very even tempered and kind to everyone. He's athletic. He is his father's son! He has so many of the same qualities as his dad. He is the 'baby' of the family. He is still young enough to listen occasionally to what I have say and of course that makes me happy. I love my kids....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If they could see me now...

I just returned from New York City with my good friends Peggy Earl and Janet Bergeson and my daughter Danielle. We've gone the last seven years for the costume show, with one trip to Chicago and one to San Fransisco. I love a good vacation as well as the next person, but it is definetly hard to get away when your husband is in harvest and your vacationing with the two people you count on the most to pick up the slack when your gone. For the past 4 years I have been gone on Quinn's birthday as well, what a relief this year Quinn is ALSO gone. A few years back Peggy took her daughter Courtney and Janet took Tanae, but Danielle felt she couldn't miss her classes out at Big Bend....but now she's in her last semester at BYU and she has learned what I didn't want her to know then....grades are not that important to a soon-to-be homemaker and stay at home mother. As long as she gets that diploma in December everything is good.

We had a great time. You couldn't ask for a better tour guide than Peggy. You would think I would know my way around after five years, but really I just get up every morning and spend the rest of the day following Peggy around. It's very stress free, except for the fact that as I get older I am having a hard time keeping up with Peggy. One of these days she just may lose me.

We spend two long days in Seacacus, New Jersey looking at costumes. Each costume company comes with all their samples and you get to see the costumes and the fabric in person. When we first started doing this 10 years ago I would say I ordered a little over 100 costumes. We have grown considerably since then and if I include my drill team, this year I will personally order over 850 costumes, making sure they all fit, and they have all the accessories they need. Thousands of rhinestones and sequins are glued on and alterations made. It has definetly become a full time job and first took over just my storage room, it now takes over the storage room, the dining room, two extra bedrooms and most of my spare time. My house used to be perfectly clean. I would check each child's bedroom every morning, and pick up anything on the floor and make sure the bed was made. I used to hate laundry in the hamper and garbage in the garbage cans. Let's just say....those days are long gone.

After the costume show we save some time to tour New York. Over the years we have seen 'Phantom of the Opera, 42nd Street, Hairspray, Altar Boyz, Wicked, Beauty and the Beast....(twice), Drowsy Chaperone and probably more that I am forgetting. This year I gave Danielle Phantom tickets for her birthday. It was so exciting to experience that with her. Last year Peggy, Janet and I bought partial view tickets for Wicked. They were on the right side of the stage on the front row and we loved every minute of it but dreamed of seeing it from the middle. This year we put our names in the Wicked Lottery and Peggy's name was chosen. She was kind enough to give the two tickets to Danielle and I. We sat on the left side in the front row. I still dream of seeing it from the middle, but anywhere or how you see it, it is worth it.

This year we also tried to get on David Letterman, saw Rockfeller Center, Grand Central Station, Time's Square, Grey's Papaya Hot Dog Stand, Spamalot, Juliard Performing Arts School, The LDS Temple and had a cupcake from Magnolia's Bakery.

My favorite part of New York however is Canal Street. If you have never gone, it is worth the trip. It is scary and adventurous and exhausting. You head down to canal street where they have streets of vendors selling jewelry and perfume, hats and t-shirts, scarves and belts. As you stroll by someone walks by you whispering so you can barely understand, 'Coach, Prada, Channel....what kind you want..." We acknowledge that we have heard them and then it begins. They tell you their shop is just around the corner. You follow. Sometimes their shop is merely a van with illegally dark tinted windows. (We are not doing that again) and sometimes the shop is just around the corner, but mostly its around this corner and that corner, and up two more blocks and down three flights of very steep stairs until you have reached a room the size of a small bathroom and they get you in and slam the door behind you. They ask you what you want and claim each style you pick up is brand new and best quality. They quote a high price and hope you pay it. You have to pretend your not so interested and just looking, which if you stop to think about it makes no sense at all after what we just went thru to get to the shop. Finally, you come to some sort of agreement. I usually feel good if I have talked them down $5 or $10 dollars from the original price they offered me. They stuff the purse in a black garbage bag, carefully open the door after checking their walkie-talkie and shove you out the door to find your own way back to Canal Street.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Welcome Baby Jenna

Welcome to Jenna Nicole Baker born on October 1st, to James and Niki Baker. Who would of ever thought? I'm proud of you James!!!

Isn't she lovely?

Before and After



Oh Ladies....he's available.....

James was here tonight and he had promised me he was going to shave after harvest.....guess what? Harvest is over. Aren't they handsome without all that awful facial hair....

News from Tanna

Letter's from Elder Baker are few and far between and emails even more rare, pictures almost NEVER but this week we got all three. Quinn is serving on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu and has been there about 3 months. His companion is native to another small island and speaks Bislamic. Quinn learned Bislamic on his last island, but the people of Tanna do not speak it and they do not speak English....'so the adventure begins'. Quinn and his companion use a translator to speak and teach the people and one in church as well. The island of Tanna is best know for their active volcano, Mt. Yasur.

Quinn got a Vanutua driver's license recently after much discussion with several people, and asserting his authority(which is a lesson Quinn has learned from the mission) and they have a truck that gets them nicely around the island. Here is Quinn's companion filling it with gas. (No gas pumps on the island....)

In his latest letter Quinn shared several interesting stories. He woke one morning with severe back pain, he stretched and tried to pop it. He had his companion walk on it....but nothing helped and the pain got worse. There is a Canadian Doctor on the island and his family that are members of the church and Quinn went there for help. He gave him a pain killer but he threw it up immediately. He then gave him a shot of morphine and kept him there all day until the kidney stone passed. Quinn likened the pain to childbirth. I have had both....and I agree. He has been sick recently, spent quite a bit of time in their house and has lost some weight, but was especially grateful for the doctor and his family this time.

He also received a package we had sent with a 3rd camera....(the first one broke, the second was stolen). He said the food they ate in less than 24 hours and he was excited about using the camera. After coming back from the doctor's house they noticed that a window had been broke in their apartment and his camera was gone. He was more than a little upset and said he worked several hours to get over the anger and disappointment. He went to brush his teeth and go to bed, and his toothpaste and toothbrush were gone, angry again he went to bed. He got up the next morning ready to forgive and forget no razor, or extra blades....both gone. Morning study, oh don't worry no pens. And when leaving for the day, getting some money to replace all his stolen GONE! Companion had nothing missing at all...But in the email we received Quinn said his camera and memory card were back a few days later. He loved his package from Ryan Carpenter!! and wishes everyone would write MORE!! or EVER!!!

Quinn had the opportunity to baptize John Royal, who he lovingly calls Denzel Washington. John has received the missionary discussions SEVERAL times and been through many sets of missionaries. But finally made the choice to be baptized. Quinn is wearing a SULU (lavalava) for the baptism. Quinn said he left that day with the biggest smile on his face. He could see the difference in John immediately. Kidney stone, all my stuff stolen and a baptism. What a weekend! Last Sunday they had 16 investigators in church. I would say the work is going well in Tanna.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Harvest comes to an end today! Thankfully!! It's been a long season. My husband Reid is a potato farmer and today all the potatoes will be out of the ground and tucked away in storage waiting to be processed. They had approximately 700 acres of potatoes this year. Reid provided our son Jordan an opportunity to farm with him. I was happy that Jordan would be living at home for a few months, but sad that he would not be in school. Jordan and his cousin James had their own circle of potatoes and named their adventure 'JBizzle Farms'. Since the beginning of September they have been up at dawn and home long after the sun goes down harvesting the potatoes. We are feeling grateful for a good crop and happy prices are up. I feel very blessed to have such a hard working husband who loves his family and works so hard to provide for us, and even happier to think I may occasionally see him now. And very most happy that when harvest is over Jordan will FINALLY shave his beard.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Good and The BAD.....

Somedays you just want to scream, somedays you just need to scream....Will it make me feel any better? I'm giving it a try. I just spent 5 wonderful days in New York City (which I will blog about later) with good friends and my daughter Danielle. I was boarding the plane for home and got a call from the athletic director. Two of 'my dream team' had been caught doing something they shouldn't have done. It required a school suspension and sitting out of 30 percent of the season....UGH!!!! I'm mad at them. I'm mad at myself for not being there. I'm frustrated and disappointed and hope they've learned a lesson. I spent the entire plane ride thinking about it, and all of last night. I spent all morning in at the high school. Everyone makes mistakes, I know that. But today the dream is a nightmare......

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Cambree!

My great niece Cambree turns 3 today!!!!! (Yep, I'm a great aunt.) She honestly is the cutest little girl in the whole wide world!!! ( I maybe a bit biased, but really she is pretty adorable!) I love being around her and only wish I got to spend more time with her and all my nieces and nephews kids.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Go Seniors!!

Last night was Senior Night at Lion's field. I have six seniors on my team. They are Andrea Barlow, Lilly Pyle, Lindsay Reis, Kara Smith, Ashley Tucker, and Whitney Wood. I wasn't there to watch them perform last night--but I know it was AWESOME. (How was the timing?) They are smart, talented, beautiful, dependable and dedicated! Congratulations to Lindsay Reis for being the Individual Achiever. I'm lucky enough to be in NEW YORK CITY on our annual costume show trip with Peggy, Janet, and my daughter Danielle. More information on NEW YORK later!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy 20th Birthday Elder Baker

Tomorrow is Quinn's 20th birthday. He is serving a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Fiji, Suva. Quinn is in the country of Vanuatu, on the island Tanna. He is having some amazing and memorable experiences and is growing spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. We miss him, but are so proud of his dedication to the Lord.

Quinn has always been a perfectionist. He simply refuses to do something unless he can do it well. As a child, he would watch the other kids and his older brother Jordan do many games, activities and sports without participating. He would then go down in his room and practice until he could do it better than anyone else. Quinn is somewhat accident prone and we have spent many hours together taking care of injuries. Quinn is very competitive and stubborn. It will be done his way or no way, no bribe or begging or insisting will convince him otherwise. Yet, he has a very emotional and sensitive side and does very well with old people and children. I'm pretty sure he has several young girls in the primary waiting for his return and the older ladies in the ward were always telling me how handsome he was. We always joked if he could just impress the girls his age as much as the grandma's he would have it made.

We love you Quinn! Take care and WORK HARD!!