Thursday, July 31, 2008


Waylon has joined the ranks of computer playing kids. He can now navigate the mouse with ease and play "real" games. I have to admit that it's been quite convenient especially when I'm working in the kitchen, but more than that I think it is oh so cute!

Here he is typing his name--which looks something like "jjsdkafxedas"--CUTE!

But as cute as that is, it's still the old fashioned playing with his "guys" that really melts my heart. Is there anything cuter than little boys?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I scream, you scream....

July 29 ~ ICE CREAM

Today was a morning of firsts. It was the first time that I went to visit teach a new lady that I've been assigned to and the first time that I have ever gone visiting teaching in a convenience store. Visiting teaching is a program in our church where a woman is assigned a companion and the two of them are given the names of ladies to befriend and get to know better through monthly visits. It's a wonderful program because it gives women a network of people that they can count on. We are much more likely to accept help in times of need from people that we have already built a relationship with. And it's so inspired. A new visiting teacher, a spiritual rock that I learn from each month, was assigned to me at a time when I was languishing and really needed that strength and help. And it's so fun to make new friends. Today not only did I get to visit with and get to know this new woman I was assigned to, but I also got to know my new companion and I instantly fell in love with them both. The woman that we visited works managing this convenience store everyday and she was kind enough to set some time aside to talk with us.
As we visited I glanced over at the adjoining business and thought of today's SPT because the convenience store shares space with....

Yummy Dairy Queen! But sadly, it wasn't opened yet so I had to go home empty handed. Shortly after that I had to take my sister to work and with DQ still closed, the kids and I hit the drive-through at those lovely Golden Arches (good for ice cream but not much else) for some vanilla cones and french fries.

Hooray for Ice Cream!!!

Because I prefer ice cream with ooey, gooey, chunky, crunchy stuff in it, I normally don't get a cone for myself. Besides who needs a cone of their own when they get to be the drip lick monitor. Lucky me...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pioneer day...

Today is pioneer day. A day to commemorate the LDS pioneers arrival here in the west. Our town puts on quite a celebration with parades, bbqs, rodeos, fireworks and such. The celebration was last weekend but, oops, I didn't get any pictures. Here's one from last year's parade, where we represented a pioneer family on our ward's float.


As part of the celebration, the town's paper did a whole spread on the early settlers of this area complete with old frontier recipes.

At dinner the other night Jamie informed us that she would not like a pork chop because she was no longer going to eat animals. Alrighty then. She then started asking us about all the animals we eat. She asked if people eat skunk and we said that we didn't think so because they would be too yucky to eat. Well that very night we got a copy of the recipes in the town paper and this is what we found...

French Fried Skunk anyone?
I am so grateful for the faith and sacrifice of my pioneer ancestors. I owe them so much for paving the way for me to be able to live and worship in a manner that brings me such unmeasurable joy.
And by the way, Jamie's vegetarianism was short lived. When she saw how much the rest of us were enjoying our pork chops she quickly succumbed to the temptation and is a happy meat eater once again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Baby grass and toes... final installment

July 22~ GRASS



Monday, July 21, 2008

Scripture power...

In my quest to learn how to embrace my new life and to be happy with where I am (which, let me tell you hasn't been easy) I have read many 'self help' books to try to find that missing piece to my emotional wellness puzzle. While I've had several 'Ah- ha' or 'light bulb' moments through my reading the effects never last. Once the light bulb dims I find myself feeling just as flat, sad and lost as before. So what's the answer? It's something I have known all along, a tool that I have used and cherished enough in my life to be able to stand as a witness of its life changing power. And yet, even knowing all of this, I've been resisting it. What is it you ask? It's....

I love the scriptures. We are commanded to “feast upon the words of Christ”, to “experiment” on the word, to “hold fast unto” the word, and to “live by … every word of God". I love this counsel and I know that I am happiest when I'm doing these things.
Yesterday I earnestly prayed to know what I needed to do to be happy and as I studied throughout the day I came across an article in the July issue of the Ensign called,
Change and the Virtue of the Word
By Elder Keith R. Edwards Of the Seventy
In this article Elder Edwards speaks of the power that the word of God has in helping to change lives.
The entire article was wonderful, but it was a quote by President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, that really jumped out at me. He said:
“True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.”
After reading this I remembered an article I had read in the June Ensign where a woman shared with a friend her testimony of the power of the scriptures.
She asked him, "Do you remember all of the self-help books I had on my bookshelf at home." He did. So she told him, "Since I joined the Church, I have never read another self-help book. The only book I get my answers from anymore is the Book of Mormon."
I too have a testimony that the Book of Mormon, the Holy Bible, and the other books of scripture have every answer that we will ever need to enjoy happiness in this life. I have witnessed its power time and time again in my life. I know that the scriptures contain the word of God and that if we feast upon His word we can be filled with immeasurable peace, the peace of Christ, no matter what our circumstances in life may be. I am making it my goal to study the scriptures everyday and I can testify to you right now that in doing this a mighty change will take place in my heart and in my life. I know this because I have tested it, I have lived it and it is true.
I invite anyone else who is struggling in any way in their life to do the same. “Feast upon the words of Christ”, “experiment” on the word, “hold fast unto” the word, and “live by … every word of God”.
I'm starting today, care to join me?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Love that shade...

July 15 ~ SHADE


After spending most of my married life in new construction with nothing but little baby stick trees, I was looking forward to moving to an old pioneer town and enjoying gorgeous, mature shade trees. I love mature trees. But wouldn't you know that Rick and I would fall in love with a home that was only four years old in a newer part of town.

Our home has beautiful landscaping but none of those giant shade trees that I had dreamed of.

But I do enjoy my favorite shady spot here on my front porch. I love to sit out on my rocking chair in the cool shade and watch my kids play. It's a bit of heaven on earth.

And of course I can't talk about shade without mentioning my love of 'shades'. I don't go anywhere without them. If you don't see shades on my face you're sure to see them on top of my head. I love, love, love them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Never say Never....

Here is a picture of a three day old sunburn on my daughter's shoulder. That's right I said sunburn and my daughter in the same sentence.
There is a law of nature (and I know I'm not the only one that this happens to because my sis-in-law Mindy and I have spoken of it many times) that whenever we use the phrases, "I have never" -or- "I would never" -or- " My kids have never" -or- "My kids would never", a signal goes up. A beam toward heaven that says "Order up! One piece of humble pie please". Then suddenly the child who never throws a fit at the store throws a whopper in the middle of the isle the next time you're there, the teen who's never late for curfew strolls in at 1:00 a.m., and the mother who proclaimed in a blog post that she was so "proud" that her kids had "never" been sunburned suddenly forgets all about sunscreen after 17+ years of always slathering it on.

We just got back from a wonderful trip to see my sister in Tucson. We had a great time, but when Paige, Easton and Jamie went out to swim I forgot all about the sunscreen and they got burned. I felt so bad for them and mad at myself for forgetting something so basic. Listening to them fuss on the ride home was so hard for me because I remember all too well how badly that hurts. I cringe just thinking about it. Oh well opposition in all things right. Maybe now that they know the bad they won't fight me the next time I bring out the sunscreen.

On a happier note, while in Tucson my sis Larisa gave us this awesome Love Sac. Look how ginormous it is. I've always wanted one of these but couldn't afford it so I was more than happy to take it off her hands. It's in the garage right now, but as soon as I get the cover dry cleaned this is sure to be the favorite reading and movie watching spot.

Paige has already started using it as her reading spot. She's reading Twilight and so far she is definitely a member of "team Edward". She thinks he's soooo hot!
Hope the dogs enjoy their time cozying up with Paige because as soon as I get this baby cleaned it will be off limits to little doggies and their shedding fur. They sure are cute though.
We also had a great time hanging out and shopping with Jillene and her family on our trip. Thanks everyone for putting up with us. We loved seeing all of you!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hooray for water or Baby grass and toes continued...

July 8 ~ WATER

Last week I sang praises to the sun for its role in helping my baby grass to grow. Well this week my shout out goes to its counterpart the beautiful, refreshing, life giving ~ da, da, da, da.... WATER!!! Just look at how much my baby grass has grown this week thanks largely in part to this wonderful element.

My backyard is actually starting to look green. I'm so happy. Thank you water.
And I also thank you for your ability to get things....

Look at the mess I made while painting yesterday. The mess was actually much worse than this. I accidentally dumped paint into my lap and it soaked my favorite painting pants, my legs and my foot. My pants were dripping so I quickly took them off, but I couldn't stop painting (I was in a zone) so I just continued to work in my skivvies. Marlee came in and said, "Um, mom, don't you think you should put some pants on?" Alright, alright. I got some pants on, but I didn't have time to clean my foot so this is how I walked around all day. But thanks to my good friend water all will be made clean again (except for my favorite painting pants, not even water can save those~ boo, hoo).

And I couldn't complete a post about water without recognizing it as my favorite drink in the whole wide world! Ahhh! There's nothing better!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

God bless America....

We had a very nice fourth of July. We spent the day hanging out, playing on the slip-n-slide, and just enjoying being a family. In the evening we went to my sis -in-laws parent's house for a BBQ. After eating we gathered around their fire pit and enjoyed interesting conversation and made smores and stick bread (homemade bread dough wrapped around a foil lined stick and roasted in the fire. Delicious). They live in a lovely neighborhood and have great neighbors. We met two very nice couples and really enjoyed getting to know them.
One of the couples were 80+ year old newlyweds. They were so funny and interesting to talk to. They said that they had been engaged back in 1944, but he got cold feet and the marriage never happened. They remained good friends through the years and at one time they were even related through marriage (cousins). They have both lost two spouses and now after all of these years they are married to each other. They were so cute and he is a veteran of WWII so it was nice to get to talk to him about that during the celebration of our nation's birth.
His wife teased him about the little (and I mean little) star tattoo that he got on his hand during the war. He said it is so small because he sobered up while he was getting it and didn't want anymore. His wife laughed because in his old age, the star has lost its shape and just looks like a little black blob. She wondered what all of the young people who are covering themselves with tattoos are going to think when they are 80 and can't even recognize what the pictures used to be. It is sure to be ugly. I'm just glad that tattoos weren't popular when I was a youth because teens never think about the future. I know I wasn't thinking about the future when I lay out by my pool slathered in Crisco oil and fried myself silly. STUPID! And the really stupid thing is that I did it more than once (sure it's going to turn into a tan~ idiot).

On July 5th we went to the park and enjoyed an amazing fireworks show (why July 5th? I don't know. Weird) In "the valley" we always watched the fireworks from a parking lot or roadside far away because it was too hot to go early enough to get a spot up close, so it was a treat to get to sit in a nice cool park right where they were letting them off and enjoy the thrill of feeling the boom and watching the fireworks rain down right over our heads.
I love my country and I love this time to remember the sacrifices that were made so that Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness could be carried out to the fullest. My life has been blessed everyday because of it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It's on...

My two oldest girls and I have started a reading contest. Who ever reads the most books or pages before school starts wins (we haven't determined the prize yet). We just started the competition and have all finished our first book (thanks to the fact that I spent this entire day reading. I've never done that before and it was fabulous).

My first book was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I've always loved Jane Austen stories, but this was my first time reading one and oh how I loved, loved, loved it! What a brilliant author. I was sucked in from the beginning and couldn't put it down. It was so good that I couldn't wait to get to the end, but when I did I was sorry that it was over. My one consolation is that the book I have is "Jane Austen The Complete Novels" so I can start on another one right away, but which one? Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, or one of the others? Hmmm.... I guess there's no wrong answer. I'm sure they're all amazing.
What is your favorite Jane Austen Novel (or movie as the case may be)?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The fabulous summer sun....

I missed out on all of last months SPTs because June ended up being so, so busy with girls camp, the pioneer trek, a family vacation and a family reunion. Crazy. But things have calmed down (for now) so I'm excited to get started with July's challenges. This month we are focusing on five elements of summer....

July 1~ sun
July 8~ water
July 15~ shade
July 22~ grass
July 29~ ice cream
My favorite thing about the summer sun is that it comes up so early. I love waking with the sun. Especially here in my new town where we still enjoy cool mornings and evenings. I love the way the earth looks and sounds in the early morning. Everything seems brighter and fresher when it's bathed in morning dew.

This morning I stepped out onto my back porch to check on the progress of our newly planted backyard. The bright sun behind me helped to cast this shadow of me across the ground and I thought, Perfect! For those of you who are not familiar with the rules of the SPT challenge, we are encouraged to include a picture of at least some part of ourselves in every post. If you read my previous SPT posts you may of thought, "My does this lady like to take pictures of herself." But the truth be told I hate to take pictures of myself, but I do it as part of the challenge. So to be able to get away with a shadow shot today was fabulous. Especially because, though the earth may be most beautiful at the crack of dawn, I most certainly am not.
But onto another reason why I love the sun. I love the sun because it helps things....

I was so excited to look out and find little baby grass growing in our yard this morning (my toes count as part of the self portrait too). This is our first time planting a lawn. In the past we have always put down sod and presto~ instant yard, but with the economic state being what it is these days (I'm sure many of you can relate) we decided to save money and plant seed instead. It's going to take patience, we might not even get to enjoy it this summer, but there's something very gratifying and even a bit exciting about watching it come in. Especially for me~ the girl with no green thumbs.