20 December 2015

Noteworthy Things for December

Molly and Jack performed "The Grinch" for their school program.  They did an excellent job as usual!

The kids and I attended the annual Binggeli Christmas party at James' Aunt Suzanne's house.  The activity for the party was to make your own ugly sweater.  Molly and Jack pretty much did their own.  Molly had a lot of fun and worked on hers for a long time.  Jack lost patience and used a lot of glue.  His included puff balls in the armpits and a rock and sticks under his tractor.  It was a pretty creative activity.

The kids and I also attended the annual Huber Family non-Progressive Party.  Cindy hosted it at her church and Jackie was in charge.  It actually went pretty well and most were in attendance.  The food was a little scattered with lots of mixed tastes because Jackie wanted a "true pot luck,", but individually it was good stuff.  We did a white elephant, a photo booth, ate, sang a few songs, and kids played basketball.  It was good.

Utah 77 Duke 75

I just sent the following in a Sunday night e-mail to my brother.  It is sugar coated a little because I was super stressed and uptight yesterday.  Had on been more chill and had adults to converse and enjoy the moment with, I probably would have been dancing around my house!  I don't even have a TV with the right channels.  I listened to it in the car, then on my phone, then on my computer because my phone quit working.  Sports are a fleeting thing, but man I love me some Utah Basketball:

Ok . . . Biggest news of the week!!!!!  Are you ready!!!!  

The Utes beat Duke at Madison Square Gardens on Saturday!  It went to overtime.  It was a little ugly . . .  homered calls, way too many turnovers, nearly blew it at the end, etc. . . . but oh man, they did it!!!  Can you believe it!  It made all those losses to Kentucky over the years and last year to Duke feel totally redeemed.  Jimmy Fallon was even at the game.  It had to have been the happiest basketball day since 1998 and I Annie and I danced around our Mildred house after Utah beat Arizona in the NCAA's.  I was a little excited!  Jakob Poeltl had 19 points and 14 rebounds and played one of his best games ever.  He also played most of the 2nd half with 4 fouls and didn't foul out until 30 sec left in the OT.

Yukon Cornelius

Final Product


16 December 2015


On Thanksgiving Eve, we met Annie and the boys at the West Val Train Station and rode the train downtown.  The activity itself was the train and lunch at City Creek.  After that, we headed home.  Grandma Judy was able to meet us for lunch and we may have gone to the Disney Store afterwards.  The kids had fun on the train, though.

James worked on Thanksgiving Day and at my mom's direction we decided to pretty much break all Thanksgiving traditions.  Instead of going with our extended Huber family, we decided to just have Thanksgiving with the smaller lot of us.  Annie hosted.  I made rolls.  We ate roast beef.  It was delicious.  Before dinner, we made some Target crafts.  

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we got to celebrate again (with Turkey and Ham) at the Binggeli's.  I guess I didn't take any pictures the whole day, but the kids had fun playing with Joesy and Preslee, the food was good, and the company, as well.

We also started Christmas celebrations with the Petersen Extended Family.  Uncle Paul was our host this year and he invited us to all meet up for bowling then back to his place for lunch.  It was a fun time!

24 November 2015

100 Days

The first 100 days after any presidential inauguration are always looked at closely and heavily measured.  100 days is significant.  It is slightly more than 3 months and is a good chunk of time to start accomplishing things.  Why 100 days?  I don't know.  It is just a good number, I guess.

Well, we are now celebrating the next 100 day mark!

My parents FINALLY got a letter from the Baltic Mission Office to say that my brother will be returning home from the land of Lithuania on March 3rd.  I think my mom is much relieved to finally have a date and I'm sure she cried when she read the e-mail.

We are so excited to talk to him on Christmas and then it will only be another 70 or so days until we get to see him in person.

I'm a little worried that he's not going to like any of us and that we won't be "spiritual" enough for him.  Hopefully within a short amount of time we can corrupt him back to the goofy brother we once knew (while he somehow manages to keep the good attributes of a missionary, as well).

His letters have been consistently excellent throughout his two years. He seems to be serving his heart out.  I told him I'd tried to read the Book of Mormon before he gets home.  It's going slow, so I must be gettin' on with that.

Here's to the LAST 100 days!

November Adventures

We are busy.  We are crazy.  We don't blog much.  Here are some pictures to document life in the Binggeli House in the last few weeks.

One Thursday night, the kids and I had a marathon night.  We left school right when the high school students got out to head to an appointment at Primary's and then decided to get flu shots and eat dinner in the hospital cafeteria while we stalled to go to the first Utes basketball game.  After we waited for honestly 45 minutes for our stinkin' flu shots, we really didn't have any choice but to eat at the cafeteria because my children were about ready to eat each other and traveling to a different place may have been deadly.  After the fun and excitement of appointments, shots, and hospital cafeterias, we went and parked our car for the ball game and decided to just ride the train around.  

We walked across the big Olympic Bridge and the kids thought that was cool.  We hopped on the train and rode west a stop, got off, got back on, rode east 2 stops, got off, got back on, and then headed back west a few stops.  My kids like the train and were super well-behaved.  They had fun. Willie's friend Chunky happened to get on the train so we talked to him for a minute, too, and that was fun.

One Saturday, Annie hosted a "Pop-Up" Show in her house to sell her bags and host a variety of other vendors.  It seemed to be a huge success and she did really well.  My mom kidnapped the Howden's for the day of the show and we met them for a movie.  We saw Charlie Brown in 3D.  It was cute.  Jack and I may have dozed off, but we still liked it.  Afterwards, we went to Grandpa's to rake his leaves.  The kids were not exactly helpful, but I think they had fun.

November included College Application Week.  This was the first year our school participated.  It was a big deal and our counseling center did a great job.  Teachers were encouraged to participate in the door decorating contest.  Most of the other math teachers were super lame and didn't do it, but I was pretty happy with how mine turned out.  I liked it and thought my T.A. and I did a nice job.  I didn't win the contest (I never do), but I thought my door looked good.

The basement . . .  is SLOWLY moving.  James and his dad worked hard to get the drywall all hung. Now is mud time.  I have yet to finish mudding the bathroom.  I have watched a plethora of youtube videos on the subject, but it just never works out as easy as the people on the videos make it look.

That is it for now.  We are excited to have some days off for Thanksgiving and are looking forward to getting started with the crazy Christmas season!  Hooray!

We spend most of our time at work and school, doing homework (kindergarten homework can be intense), eating, bathing, going to church, and sleeping.  We try to get along as life goes along.  

11 November 2015

Happy Veteran's Day

I went through some old photos to find a very young James doing his military duty.  Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service.


Once again, time has flown by and I haven't updated this hear blog.  Here is a rundown of the month of October (since now it is November).

Molly did her first ever school presentation.  She had to do a 2-3 minute report about pumpkins.  We checked out a book from the library about pumpkins, we wrote down what was important and decided what we wanted to tell the class.  Molly picked the pink poster paper, typed the words (with mom telling her how to spell the words), cut and arranged everything on the paper.  I met her at school the morning of her report to carry in her visual aid pumpkins and leaves.  She did a great job!

Halloween happened.  The kids were back and forth on what they wanted to be.  Mostly, Molly wanted to be a My Little Pony and Jack wanted to be a Minion.  We went to a store one night and they found these costumes - Pink Crayon and Green Skeleton.  They didn't change their minds and I was happy about that!

The kids dressed up for a ward party, school, and Halloween on Saturday.  The costumes got some good use.  

James dressed up for work.  He's been growing this yucky beard and has purchased a new hat and earmuffs since this picture to improve his Yukon Cornelius costume.  

Jack came Trick-or-Treating to my classroom!

Grandma Judy was able to go to Molly's parade.

When the actual night of Halloween came, the kids and I made it around the block before Jack's legs were broken and he was literally crawling on the sidewalk.  Once inside, the kids had a lot of fun passing out treats to the kids coming to our house.

21 October 2015

I said "sucky" over the pulpit. Is that ok?

At this Binggeli house, we (mostly me) try to pile on as many challenges as possible.  We work full time.  We have two kids.  James is working on his master's degree.  We have busy church callings.  We lead health challenges.  We sign our kids up for soccer.  And then . . .  hey let's start a major construction project in the middle of it all.  I'm pretty good at creating challenges for our family, but sometimes life throws challenges at you that you would never anticipate and basically are just rotten.  That's kind of where we're at right now.  However, like solving a tough math problem, you assess the situation and then just jump in and work at it.  This too shall pass.  I don't know what I'd do without the support of my family and my beliefs.  We are blessed beyond measure even when times get tough.

Here is a quick thought I sent to my brother in an e-mail a couple of weeks ago . . .

I bored my testimony today for fast and testimony meeting.  A returned missionary girl in our ward (she's been home for a year or so, I guess), said that if you have self-doubt or doubt in the gospel then you should bare your testimony!  I have been struggling with life lately and thought about what she said.  I pray a lot, but don't really feel like I get any answers and sometimes just wonder if anyone is listening.  I never waver from the way I live my life, but I sometimes wrestle with things in my head about where I stand with the gospel.  In the meantime, another guy got up and said how he was often asked as a kid (living in California) about why you would want to join a church with so many "restrictions."  He explained that what others may call "restrictions" are really allowing us to live a life without real restrictions and burdens that we would have if we lived a life of sin (or something like that).  I mulled it over and then got that crazy "burning in my bosom" that I needed to try out what the returned missionary girl had said.  Plus, I was thinking about the whole "restrictions" thing.  I couldn't put it aside and had to bear my testimony.  Basically, I said that I needed to bare my testimony as a reinvestment in my own testimony.  The Church is true.  Life is meant to be a test, but sometimes it is just downright sucky.  I can't imagine getting through life WITHOUT the blessings of living the gospel.  I can't imagine how "restricted" we would we be with any other path.  It wasn't very eloquent.  I kind of fumbled.  At least I got a laugh at the "sucky" part.  

When I got back to my seat, the closing song was "Nearer My God to Thee."  I felt the presence of my Grandma's near and thought they were giving me a hug and telling me I'm a good kid.  I felt the presence of my doofy little brother (because let's face it, he only knows a few songs on the piano and that's one of them) and I hoped he would have been proud of my testimony.  For the first time in a few weeks, I felt that Heavenly Father had been listening to my prayers and that he was finally answering them.  I am so grateful for the sister who didn't realize she was encouraging me to bare my testimony.  I needed to state out loud (however discombobulated it was), what I believed.  In doing so, I felt the love of our Heavenly Father.

That is my spiritual experience for the week.

I also got to talk for 2 minutes in Sharing Time today about my doofy little brother, the missionary.  Sharing time was about missionary work.  I took a picture of you and shared.  It was fun!

Time Flies By

Holy Cow!  I have not updated this blog in more than a month.  Time flies by and life is insane.  Here are some things that have been happening.

One night we ventured to the mountains for dinner with these crazies.  They spent quite a bit of time looking for snipes.  They each got really close to finding one, but every time, the snipe just got away.

After visiting the Utah State Fair and not being able to go to the Circus that they were having there, we decided to go to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus.  We invited my parents to go with us and we had a great time.  The kids were quite amazed and actually payed attention for most of the show.  The adults were pretty amazed as well.  This was nothing like a circus I remember going to as a kid.  It was quite the production with music, dancers, and constant movement.  Each new act was set up in the dark while your attention was drawn to some crazy stunt elsewhere in the arena.  There were strong men, tigers, elephants, camels, clowns, high wire stunts, BMX bikes, and trampolines, but just all taken to the extreme.  It was definitely entertaining!

We grew a ton of pumpkins in our yard this year and the kids had this great idea that we should sell them.  Eventually, I obliged and we set up a Pumpkin Stand on the corner of our circle.  I was hoping that they would sell 1 and be excited enough to be finished.  I never could have imagined the response!  They sold 8 pumpkins in 30 minutes and with a few tips made $18.  It was pretty crazy!  They were way excited!

The basement is moving along, slowly but surely.  Grandpa Binggeli has been hanging out at our house a lot lately while he and James work on hanging sheet rock.  The kids love having him there and our morning routine has gone much more smoothly with him at our house to add excitement every morning.  When this whole project is finished, he'll have a nice place to sleep downstairs (instead of on an air mattress in the family room).  

Over UEA break we played with Cousin Max a couple of times.  These kids have a ton of fun when they get together.  Luckily, the battery in Max's car doesn't last too long or we'd be driving off cliffs in the neighbors yard all day!

Every Saturday morning we spend a couple of hours at the church running Young Women's Volleyball.  I can't say this is my most favorite calling I've ever had.  In fact, I think it is my least favorite calling.  But . . .  the girls who come have fun and hopefully learn a little bit more about the game.  I have great helpers who support and get things running with me.  It works.


We played.  It went.  Molly liked it by the end, though she still didn't want anything to do with the ball.  Jack insisted on not liking it 'til the end, even falling sound asleep in my lap for the last game.  Oh well. They looked cute in their pink dragon uniforms.

19 September 2015

Baby Preslee Blessing

On Labor Day Sunday we headed north to participate in Preslee's baby blessing.  It was a good day and the kids had fun playing with all their cousins for a few hours.

Parker and T.H.E. Mission

Our good buddy cousin Parker left on his mission. He is headed to T.H.E. Mission . . . . Or for the rest of us it is called the Texas Houston East Mission and covers the gulf area of Texas and Louisiana. He gave an excellent talk at his farewell and is going to be a great missionary. We will miss him making us laugh for a couple of years, but we're proud of him for going on a mission.