Welcome to the mayhem

Hope you enjoy your visit!

Friday, December 30, 2011

I Say Go, You Say Fight

 We went to Smithville tonight to watch the Falcons battle the Smithies.  Kayla worked the crowd along with her squad.  They worked hard in practice on Thursday and the girls looked great tonight.
 Perky, smiling, young ladies to cheer on the crowd to cheer on the boys.  Unfortunately it wasn't enough for the JV who lost their whole game lead in the last 30 seconds.  It's always amazing to me how quick a team can gain 20 points.
The Varsity on the other hand, never lost their half-time lead.  They played tough the entire game.  This was one of the more mild games we went to see this season.  It seems like the student sections usually get to bantering back and forth so much, it feels hostile.  Not tonight, just a layed back game of basketball.
One thing that doesn't make sense to me is all the fouls in the last minute of the game.  It seems to me if you are losing a game the last thing you want to do is give the other team a chance at 2 more points.  I realize they could miss, but most of the time they don't.  Our last 6 points of this game was made because of free throws due to fouls.  Craziness! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Did I Accomplish It?

I was reviewing my goal list I made at the begining of the year.  I will have to carry some over to next.  I'm not sure of who started the tradition of goal setting or "resolutions" for the year, but I will still make them.  I feel my life with out things to work towards is pointless, even if I ignore the things that are hard for me to do, eventually I grab hold of the challenge, right?

1. Pray more often personally, not just at meals (better, but not where I'd like it to be)
2. Learn how to do something new (I learned how to make truffles this year)
3. See a moose in the wild (maybe when we go to Maine?) (Not yet, didn't make it to Maine)
4. Go to Maine on Vacation (hopefully with our friends Casey and Christina) (wasn't in the budget and we won't make it in 2012 either)
5. Survive my school year, hopefully cheerfully (I've got a tought group this year) I survived, and that tough group of 5th graders that I had for just one class, I now have all day.  I'm still surviving and even learning to like them.
6. Maybe look for an Administration position (not sure if I'm ready yet)
I looked, even thought I might have one, but it didn't pan out.  I'm not sure if I'm going to look this year.  I might want to wait until Kayla graduates.
7. Learn to play the piano better Move to 2012 list
8. Scrapbook with my daughter a little, need to do this more, I have a senior next fall.
9. Read a book on my list (or two, three or four....) Ah, finally some success!  I read dozens
10. lose 20 pounds (or more, but you have to start somewhere)  I lost some, and gain some, time to lose some more (this is my never ending battle.)
11. Excersise with my husband before work 3 days a week we both quit this...after a few weeks
12. Take more walks  we did this, I need to make it a regular habit, it is so relaxing
13. Enjoy quiet moments with the teens we did this too, often
14. Get to MN for Christmas nope, but we are going in June, to check out colleges for Kota
15. Get to know my dad again still need to work on this

Although I did not accomplish everything on the list I learned a lot from the trials of the year.

I learned to perservere through a difficult school year and learned that sometimes I need to look past my own pain and try to understand anothers' pain to be able to be the better person.  I learned that taking the road less traveled on always brings greater joy and a sense of accomplishment.  I've learned to be a little more tolerant of people because I don't know why they are behaving in a way that is less desirable.  (I'm not always good at this, but I'm getting better.)  I've learned that despite the character flaws in my children I love them anyhow.  I am more grateful for their presence since the accident.  That has made our home a happier place to be.
I am happy and content in life.  I have things I want to get better at and my 2012 list will be long for those accomplishments I will want to strive for.  However, I will enjoy the days and be grateful for what I have, which is much!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Family Festivities Finale

 We started our day early this mornin'.  Up at 6 am to enjoy gift giving before church at 9 am.  Our kids had hides to sit on instead of the floor (not sure why), so the cat thought he'd need to join in too.

 Kayla thought she'd get Kyle an Elmer Fudd hat, and he loved it.

 The kids enjoyed their gifts and got themselves ready to enjoy our Christmas service today at church. 
 We came home and had dinner with my Mom and step-dad Tom.  We had a great ham dinner, then moved to the tv room to enjoy one of Kayla's new gifts.  She got Just Dance 3 for the Wii.  Grandpa and Grandma weren't too chicken to give it a try!
It was a beautiful snowless day here.  We have a lot of happy memories for today.  Tomorrow the kids are ready to test out their new gifts.  I'll finally get some stray trees cut down!  (Yeah!)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Family Festivities Part Two

We spent the morning cleaning up the house for the two dinners that we are hosting this year.  After spending the morning cleaning up the house we went to Ashland to grab a bite to eat.  We stopped by a friend's house to see if we could help them out after surgery.  Then went back home to wait for Kim and her family to come over.  Dakota and Kayla worked on their paint by number pictures they got a couple of years ago. 

It has been Crawford tradition to spend Christmas Eve together.  As the only two of the eight siblings in Ohio we have been doing this for a few years.  This year we picked up the old tradition and had pizza and appetizers and we each had a plate full of the goodies that we prepared.

 Once again the kids could barely wait to be finished to get the gifts that were sitting on the self.  They didn't even take time to finish the last bites.  But the Hex bugs were a hit.  Koltin almost had his battery drained by the time he left.
We split up after dinner.  The kids moved to the TV room to play the Wii and the adults stayed in the kitchen and played euchre.  It was a fun time talking and catching up on life.  

It was fun watching the kids play.  Koltin would get so excited about playing and he would move the controller so fast that he often won.  Not by technique, but by shear energy.
Every Christmas Eve we have sat with the kids and opened our stockings.  Because Santa brought the presents and we provided the stockings.  It helped the kids go to sleep and we enjoy how excited the got.
We ended the night in family prayer, remembering the reason for the season before turning into bed.
Happy Birthday Jesus. (the celebrated one)  Thank you for your small and simple gift that makes all the difference in the world!

Family Festivities Part One

 We spent the evening at Dad's house with my brother, sister, grandparents and all the nieces and nephews.  Kayla was cheering at Chippewa, but we skipped the game to enjoy the evening with extended family.
 We all enjoyed opening gifts, but there is something neat about watching parent and grandparents opening gifts.  Maybe it's the fact that they always waited and watched us open presents when we were little, but as an adult it is still fun to open presents.  You know to tear into with wild excitement just like when you were a kid.
There is something fun about watching the little ones dance around the supper table anticipating when the last bite will be taken by the adults.  Gleefully racing to the tree and waiting ever so impatiently for their name to be called.  Once the name is called tearing into the gift with a frenzy like a school of piranahas feeding.  Then running the package, the treasure that needs a half hour of unpackaging because of all the twist ties.  I watched my nephew Carter drool over his Star Wars ship being unpackaged and put together so he could take it on its first test flight.  It was a magical and cozy evening at the Steigerwalt's.
My favorite part of all was watching my grandparents, in their upper 80s.  I couldn't help but wonder, how many more they have to go.  They are both looking tired and weathered, but grandpa, as always watched the grandchildren with a twinkle in his eye.  I'm not sure he remembers who everyone is, but he enjoyed himself still the same.  I remember 20 some years ago, grandpa getting down the box of ice skates that they collected in various sizes to fit all the grandkids.  He would take us to the creek behind their house and skate with us up and down for what seemed like hours.  Grandpa was always good about the best gifts...his time.  We'd come lumbering in covered in snow and smiles and he'd have grandma make us hot cocoa.  Merry Christmas family, I love you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

O Little Town of Bethlehem

I love this time of year.  The true meaning of Christmas shines forth from many.  People working on giving instead of receiving.  People trying to do nice things for others.  Donations abound to those who need it.  Love and compassion fill the air.  We gather with those who we love most and share love, laughter and dreams.  Wouldn't it be great if all year could be like this time.  The love and laughter abounding.

I feel such warmth and care this year.  I am grateful for many things.  Most of all I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves me.

I had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament meeting at church today.  My topic O Little Town of Bethlehem.  The point the branch presidency member wanted me to make was out of small things, great things come to pass.  It was a great lesson for me to learn more about. 

Merry Christmas, may Christ's love reach your heart.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nothing But a Scratch

I'm in complete humility today after the weekend I have had.  My son walked away from a wreck with nothing, but a few scratches on his left hand.

 He was coming home early at the request of me.  We went to the branch Christmas Social Friday, splitting from Kyle and Kayla going to her game.  I helped Kathy and Jack with a project so I had to leave early with Kota so he could get to work on time. 

As mothers and sons do from time to time we quarreled over stupid things  whether or not to take the Trailblazer vs the car and whether or not gas prices were cheaper in town vs closer to the church.  He was on empty in his car and I had him stop to get gas, which I was paying for because we thought we'd help him out this weekend and fill him up.  We argued over whether or not he had enough gas to get to work before I got him gas and compromised on getting a stupid amount of $10 instead of taking the time to complete fill up and unload my plethora of things at the church before he had to be at work at 5:15, while sitting at the gas station at 5:00.

He took me silently up the hill to the church and helped me carry my things in the building.  I set up my things frustrated at the indignity of raising teens.  Feeling like, why do I even try talking to the kid.  It seems when I open my mouth arguments are inevitable.

When he came back to the church it was as if nothing happened and he had a friend (which he didn't ask to have come) in tow.  Now, he was fine, laughing and joking while I'm still annoyed that he is so moody and I have to take the brunt of his swings.  He asked to go to another YM's house after the social.  I had to have him take me to the game.  With two other teens in the car, he takes me to the game.

In route he asks me which way is best to go, then argues with me over my answer.  His friend Chase, says, why are you arguing with your mom?  Me wondering the same thing.  I just said what ever you think Kota.  Just get me to the high school.

We parted ways, I watched the end of the varsity basketball game and got to see Kayla cheer a couple of quarter cheers.  I told Kyle about the early happenings and he wondered why I even let Kota go.  So now I'm arguing with my other guy....Ugh!

I texted Kota and told him to come home earlier.  I asked him to be home at 10:00 instead of 11:30.  On his way home he encountered a big buck and swerved to miss.  He over corrected his car and ended up rolling the trailblazer.  (stupid deer)

Kyle gets the call Kota rolled the trailblazer, my thoughts go from upset mama over disrespect and injustice, to grateful he's alive.  He has 3 scratches on his left hand, none requiring stitches.  No broken bones, black eyes, concussions, everything is working fine in his body, not even a sore muscle or headache.  MIRACLE!!!

I believe this kid was protected by angels.  He has some purpose to fulfill that we are unaware of yet.  I walked into church today with my son, instead of a funeral home to say my last goodbyes.  I'm so very grateful to my Father in Heaven for this blessing.  The gift of my son's life this Christmas will be one I won't forget for many years.

I am looking at Kota with a lot more patience than what I was earlier Friday evening.  Somethings don't matter as much now (gas prices).  I love you son, I hope some day you realize how much!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gratitude Challenge Give Away

This is my first attempt at a give away, so I hope you link up my page and spread the wealth.  I will send a box of Christmas goodies to one lucky blogger by the luck of the draw on Monday 12/12.

Here is what you need to do.  You need to leave a comment on my blog and follow the challenge given on your own blog site, then link to my post.

I have been reading a lot of blogs where people are having hard times and not in the Christmas Spirit this year.  As I was reading a magazine of mine it had a Gratitude Challenge to get rid of the blahs. 

As any good challenge goes I will do what I've requested.

100 things I am grateful for:

10 Physical Abilities
1. Seeing: especially watching my children grow into young adults
2. Hearing: although I selectively ignore my family sometimes (okay, a lot) I enjoy my hearing
3. Tasting: who wouldn't during the holiday season
4. Feeling: warm bear hugs, blanket wrapped evening on the couch
5. walking: I walk up and down 3 flights of stairs several times a day
6. breathing easily
7. healthy heart
8. healthy cholesterol levels
9. dexterity
10. overall health

10 material possessions
1. my house
2. my Yukon
3. my laptop
4. my cell phone
5. my washer and dryer
6. books
7. clothes (more than I ever wear)
8. refrigerator
9. snow blower
10. hair dryer

10 living people
1. Kyle
2. Dakota
3. Kayla
4. Mom and Step-dad Tom

5. Dad
6. Kathy
7. Dee
8. Kristie
9. Linda
10. Susan

10 deceased people
1. Jesus Christ
2. Great-Grandma Steigerwalt
3. Grandpa Beninghof
4.  Grandpa Souleret
5. Captain Moroni
6. Gordon B. Hinckley
7. Grandma Sindeldecker
8. Aunt Bonnie
9. Uncle Jack
10. My brother Eric

10 things in nature
1. autumn leaves
2. water falls
3. sunsets
4. sunrises
5. gentle summer rain showers
6. lake water
7. oceans
8. ice crystals in the trees
9. 70 degree days
10. white fluffy clouds

10 things about today
1. my family
2. my job
3. giving service
4. my health
5. blogging friends
6. my daughter's choice in career (open house visit)
7. lunch with a friend
8. great new colleagues
9. technology
10. Christmas candy

10 places on earth
1. Upper Michigan
2. Minnesota Lakes
3. Hayesville, Ohio
4. Tybee Island
5. Savannah, Georgia
6. Leech Lake, Whipholt
7. Cache National Forest
8. Lake Superior
9. Grand Sable Lake
10. Mohican State Park

10 modern inventions
1. Internet
2. satellite TV
3. skype
4. blogger
5. microwave
6. mp3 player
7. smart boards
8. I-pads
9. electricity
10. candle warmers

10 foods
1. chocolate
2. warm pancakes
3. sweet potatoes
4. pizza
5. mozzarella cheese
6. homemade bread
7. ice cream
8. orange juice
9. grapes
10. clementine oranges
(I'm noticing a lot of carbs!)

10 things about the gospel (your religion)
1. atonement
2. testimony
3. Holy Ghost
4. line upon line learning
5. word of wisdom
6. prophets
7. apostles
8. scriptures
9. sacrament
10. repentance

It really was easy to make these lists.  When I was finished making it I sure realize how much my Father in heaven loves me.  It is easy to react to the things that are in our face daily.  It is easy to get caught in the blahs, but we all have much to be grateful for.  Sometimes it just takes a moment to remember.  (Someone remind me when I'm feeling blah later!)

My gift to you is to remember what you have to be grateful for, and a chance at a Christmas goody box.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Happenings

 Every year at Osborn Elementary we have a Santa Breakfast.  My kids come in with me to help volunteer.  I signed us up for an hour shift, but Kayla ended up helping for the entire thing.  (I graded papers for a bit).  I really enjoy giving service and so do my children.
 Kayla and Kenzie are helping decorate the tree last week.
 Kyle cutting down the tree on our annual outing to collect a tree from Grandma's.
This is the biggest tree we have gotten so far.  It is fun having the live tree and walking into the pine aroma every night after work.

Sunday, we watched the Christmast Devotional on BYU TV.  I always feel like the Christmas season can start after I watch that program.  I really enjoyed the new vinette the Church is doing.

A lot is happening, which makes for great memories. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Move over Turkey its Santa Time!

After Thanksgiving was done...we started our Christmas traditions.  Everyday after Thanksgiving we go over to Grandma Beninghof's and cut down a Christmas tree.  This year was beautiful, 60 degrees! and sunny.  We trapsed all over the field to find the perfect tree.  I wanted a big one and we got it.  We had to trim 6 inches off the top to get the angel to sit on top.

We decorated and strung light, listened to David Archuleta Christmas (thanks to Kayla) and enjoyed every minute.  We braved one Black Friday event and went to Wal-mart at midnight to pick up a new digital camera.  We have been wanting a new camera and have been price matching and comparing for the last six months.  We have been talking to the photo department people and getting opinions.  Instead of going the top end, they talked us into a middle of the road camera.  It has almost the same amount a zoom as the high dollar lens.  Not the same, but I'm not a professional either, so I went for the money saver.

Kyle, (the kid that he is) has been playing with the camera most and took the above picture.  If you know anything about zoom the camera only has optical zoom for more of a crisp picture.  (The novice that I am just learned the difference.)  The plan is to save money by doing our own senior pictures with Kota this next year.  We shall see..

I am proud of myself for not allowing work to take over on my break.  I gave a few extra hours before break got started and didn't pick up a single paper to grade or work on a new plan.  I enjoyed being mom and wife, uninterrupted for awhile.  It was just what I needed. 

Basketball games start up Friday night.  We get to go see Kayla cheer, and watch the boys defend their WCAL champ title.  I hope they have a fun season.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Harvest Home

Just of 4 of us on Thanksgiving Day.  It was fun enjoying our little family quietly around the table.  It seems that simple act is the first thing to go when life ramps up with busy schedules.

Kayla made the centerpiece in young women's, it was beautiful.  She was proud it made the table. 

We laughed and talked.  We enjoyed each other.  Later that evening we taught the kids how to play poker.  We used to play poker when Kyle and I were dating.  We'd go to a friends with a roll of nickles and play.  So we took out the change jar and divided it out and played.  Then we packed the change jar back up for another round.

With a day like that, what's not to be thankful for!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Wheat Rolls

Whole Wheat Rolls

1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
4 teaspoons butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

I put all these ingredient in my bread maker on dough cycle.  (2 lb loaf) When it is finished kneading the bread for me.  I divide the dough into 12 dough balls and let rise for the final time.  I bake at 350* for about 20-25 minutes.  I turn out of the pan and butter the tops and let cool.

I suppose you could hand do some of this or use your kitchen aid and the dough hook.

Other things I do to use some food storage is instead of milk use water and 3 tablespoons dry milk powder.
I grind my own wheat flour when I'm feeling ambitious.  (like tonight, my electric grinder is great!)

I'm taking these rolls tomorrow for work for our annual Thanksgiving staff feast.  It's always fun to break bread together.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let the Thanking Begin

 This cow chalkboard has been a part of our family kitchen decor since we have been married.  I was decorating in cows way back when and acquired this chalkboard.   Many a days did my kids stand on chairs to be able to write on this board, especially Kayla.  Kayla keeps us updated with her moods or such as the weeks go by.  I am thankful for those little messages.  How awesome is it that my 15 year old loves her family.  When I was her age I wanted to be any where, but home.  Can you tell she is happy at home?  I can, what a gift!
An extra chair has been pulled up to our dinner table, because it is often frequented by a friend of Kota's.  This boy has been missing in action from the youth group of our church for years.  Hasn't come on a Sunday for a long time (years).  They met up at Kota's new school rekindled the friendship and now he often stays over.  He has joined our seminary group and has been coming to church.  I am thankful Heavenly Father loves that boy and my son enough to allow this friendship to happen.

Bucky as we loving call this mount, is a reminder that my daughter can do anything her brother does.  I am thankful she has that spunky personality that will carry her through life.  It is those personalities I often gravitate to.  I hope she can support others in the future with her willingness to be happy.

In this tough school year there are so many things to complain and worry about, that often I have to make myself find something good about what I am doing.  An item presented itself to me the other day, on a particularly hard week...A student, who is one of my bright shining stars, brought me a picture she drew to hang on the board where I hang their work.  It was a picture of a little seed who was being watered and growing into a beautiful flower.  The art in itself was incredible for her age of 12.  Then I caught the message: thank you for helping me to grow Mrs. Crawford.  I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who prompted this little girl to let me know that my efforts are worthwhile.  Even though what is in my face daily is tough and negative, there are positive things going on in the room. 

So in this season of thankfulness, I am starting early, shutting out the preseasonal other stuff, and just being thankful for what is good in my life.  The thanking has begun!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Our grandpas that passed away this year were WWII vets.  Grandpa Beninghof served in the Army and was stationed in Panama during the war.  He told us a lot of tall tales from back in the day.

Grandpa Souleret served in the Marines and was proud of it.  He bought Kota a Marines licsence plate to hang in his room.  He always told Kota if he joined any branch of the service to make sure it was the Marines.

Today at school we had a Veteran's Day Assembly.  Our choir director did a fantastic job on this.  My favorite part was the last song.  The kids were singing a song thanking the veterans and at the end they each held up a sign with a Veteran in the audience some living, some who gave their life in combat.  Ah! the tears sure did sting the eyes.

Happy Veterans Day.  Thank you to all who have and will serve protecting our freedoms and country.  We sure to love you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feeling Rushed...Does it make Me a Grinch?

 I am feeling like I'm missing out on the Thanksgiving experience every time I walk into a store.  I really enjoy the bountiful harvest, the idea of being thankful for what I have, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  I like living in the holiday of the moment.  However, when I walk into the store, Christmas carols...Already?

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas.  The thought behind it, the celebration of the Savior's birth.  The giving versus receiving, the carols, the love....but can't we live in the moment. 

Does that make me a.....