Merry Christmas Everyone

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Honestly,  I completely lack computer skills.
You would think I could do anything,
just because I am married to a man who does
amazing things with the computer. Instead I find
myself with high expectations and less than desired
results with my ability.    Here is the newsletter I wrote.  
Too bad you can't click on  it to enlarge it to read.  
I am sure Shaun could fix this, but in matters of priorities,
this is not going to make the list, so I either not post it or I
can just be creative with my frustrations.
So I will just cut and paste most of it.

We hope this last year has been good to 
your families and you. 
We are thankful for each of you who have 
touched our lives, one way or another. 
May this next year be wonderful for each 
and every one of you.

Mr. M turned five this summer and was so excited for
 kindergarten. His teacher says he is well behaved and 
on task at school. He is friendly and helps others. He 
also started soccer this year. It was neat to watch him 
play and see the game begin to click inside his head. 
One week he learned the art of stealing the ball and 
roceeded to take the ball from everyone, including 
his teammates. Luckily, we fixed that issue and all 
seemed to have a great time anyway. Matthew is also 
a avid learner. He comes home and WANTS to do 
homework. It is not unusual to see him trying to read 
a book well beyond his ability. To him nothing is 
impossible and so I watch and am always amazed.

Little A. is now in 3rd grade and loving it. Math 
and science are some of her favorite subjects at 
school. She keeps herself busy with piano lessons 
from Grandma, activity days with church, and 
running around with mom to everyone else’s 
activities. She is also hoping to start violin in 
January. She loves to help everyone at home. 
Whatever hobby someone is doing, there you 
will find Abigail. Whether it is soccer, running, 
crafting, yard work, or cooking, she is always 
willing to help out.

Miss A. is in 10th grade this year and did 
cross-country for the second year in a row and 
tennis last spring. She is also helping her dad 
and coach create their own off road cross country 
course. We have found she can clear blackberries 
with great determination. She loves to craft and 
has pretty much taken over her mother’s crafting 
supplies. She also this last fall developed her own 
line of craft stamps. Check her out at Aside from her crazy 
busy life, she is always willing to lend a hand and 
is a great help to her family. 

Shaun - not too much has changed with him. He 
takes each day as it comes. Some days are hard 
on him pain wise, others somewhat better. Even 
in pain, he has determined to not let it define him. 
He has taken up spearheading the running/walking 
path in our community. It is something our 
community and schools lack and he has dreamed 
of doing this for quite a while now. Thankfully he 
is recruiting volunteers for the labor and we hope 
all will be up and ready by summer.

Denise- as for me, I run people around, cook and 
clean. I am cheering on the sidelines. Trust me, I 
am plenty busy with all of the kids’ activities and 
yet I loving every minute of it. It seems the days 
are flying by and all too soon these wonderful children 
will be gone. For now, I am cherishing today 
(even the mountains of laundry that comes with 
these wonderful people I get to share my life with).

Quote at bottom  (good quote, but had a hard time copying it.)

“Christmas is what we make of it. Despite 
all the distractions, we can see to it that 
Christ is at the center of our celebration.” 
President Thomas S. Monson


Some one is wanting a beard

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One day I made pudding for after lunch.  I dished up two bowls, one for me and one for Mr. M.  I went to check some email and  a little while later he came into me laughing and asked that I take this picture.

So maybe I was not so thrilled, but he sure was and in reality it was kinda cute too.


A Tribute to a sweet 5 year old boy

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It is no secret that there are people who come into our life and leave you never the same.

As I taught a primary class of the 4 and 5 years for 5 different groups of children. There are a handful who have taught me gospel lessons that I will never forget. This little boy was one of them. To have taught him, I am truly grateful to have felt of his sweet and wiggly spirit. I wish I could have just one more day with this boy when he was five. Oh, the hugs and words I would say to him.

Here is the lesson I learned from him that I hope to never forget. His birthday is January 28th. I had decide to sew a scripture bag with pocket for each of my kids and he was the first birthday of my class. He was a wiggly boy and it was often hard to tell if he was listening or even interested in what I was teaching.

So I made this bag and placed a BOM in it to give him. However, I was afraid he would think the gift was dumb so I also brought him a small bag of candy too. I gave both to him and he just held the scripture bag and had the hugest smile I had ever seen from him. The candy meant nothing to him, but the scriptures and the bag did. All through class he just sat there with a big grin and looked at his new scripture and bag.

Let's just say he was the only child to get candy this year. He taught me the gospel is the greatest gift to anyone, even at such a young age. He taught me there are no substitutions for the sweetness of the true gospel. He taught me to love him even while wiggly. I cherish his smile. He was truly a sweet boy.

About three years ago, I saw this young man have a brief desire to turn somethings around in his life. It was at this time that I felt the impression to tell him the story of his beautiful smile and how it touch my life. In middle school his childhood smile seemed to not be as prevalent and I missed it. Sadly, I never took advantage of that opportunity to tell him. After all, teenagers don't remember their primary teachers they had at five, especially when they don't want anything to do with the church. I said nothing, and soon my opportunity went away. I will always regret not speaking up. For not taking to risk of sounding dumb.  I don't think it would have change us from having a funeral, but I think he deserved to know that he had made a difference in my life.

On Nov 25, 2011, he passed away.  I don't know why he felt he needed to go, but I do know there will be those who will miss him dearly.  At his funeral there were around 300 present.  His high school brought over 2 school buses of students who wanted to be at his funeral.  Many spoke of his greatness and endless potential.  Teachers spoke about how he could ace a test without ever taking notes.  He was so bright that notes were never needed.  I heard how he scored so high on his SAT test that he was receiving 2-3 college application letters a day.  His mother told me that his score was among the top in the nation.  If only he could have held on  for just another year or two, perhaps there might have been brighter days for him. However,  he is safe now and without the trials that plagued him here.  Though his body is dead, his spirit is alive.  Somehow,  it would not surprise me if some of that 5 year old spirit that I knew, is not more prevalent now.   I know he is in good hands now and free of pain.
I can not say I really knew him as the sixteen year old that he was, but I did know and love that boy as a five year old and those memories are very dear to me.

Now that he is gone, he has yet again taught me another gospel truth.  That I need to cherish all those I teach in primary,  for they are important to Heavenly Father and to their families.   No one knows the trial these wiggly small ones will face in the near future.  My testimony and my love is all the more important to share.  No matter how they behave,  we want them to be here at church and we want them to taste of their Savior's love.  Because of Alex,  I want to be a better teacher.   I want to look around me and reach out to the wandering and the lonely.  Today I looked around me at church and prayed to know who the Lord wanted me to reach out.  Today I saw two, but I wondered if there were more and I saw them not.  I wondered if my eyes were blind to the lonely and the sad.

Thank you Alex for your brief blessing in my life.   May you be a blessing now to those in your midst. 

A Tribute to Alexander Benjamin Maxwell 
January 28, 1995 to November 25, 2011

*Permission to post pictures and this tribute was granted by his mother.


Christmas Advent 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar 2011

I do an advent each year. Most years it is done nightly by candlelight.  Scripture, 4-5 songs and a Christmas story.  This year I thought I would mix it up  a bit by having a theme.   I thought I would share our plan for this year. This was adapted from an advent I found on Sugardoodle.  We will also still read some stories too, as this is a favorite part of our tradition.  

Each of these below is put in a handmade box and place on our tree.  This year the boxes are all gold and silver.  Here is last years advent here on my craft blog.

O = Ornament
S = Scripture
T = Theme for that day
A = Activity

DAY 1:
O: Christmas Tree
S: John 3:16; Moroni 7:22-23
T: Represents eternal life, evergreen needles point heavenward
A: Sing "O Christmas Tree", "I'll be Home for Christmas"

DAY 2:
O: Mary 
S: Luke 1:26-38
T: Gabriel visits Mary
A: Sing "Silent Night", "Mary's Lullaby", "Picture Christmas"

DAY 3:
O: Joseph
S: Matt. 1:18-23
T: Joseph's dream
A: Sing "Picture Chrstmas",  "When Joseph Went to Bethlemhem"

DAY 4:
O: Instead of an ornament, they find the chocolate gold coins
S: Luke 2:1-5; Micah 5:2
T: Caesar's tax/Bethlehem
A: Sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem", "Once Within the Royal City"

DAY 5:
O: Baby Jesus
S: Luke 2:6-7; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7
T: Birth of Jesus
A: Sing "Away in a Manger", "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel"

DAY 6:
O: Instead of an ornament, they find a cocoa packet
S: Luke 2:6-7 (again!); Matt. 25:31-40
T: "no room in the inn" vs. "I was thirsty--and ye gave me drink"
A: Drink cocoa and let kids choose a family to serve on "red bow day" below....

Sing "12 Days of Christmas", "Drummer Boy"

DAY 7:
O: Angel
S: Luke 2:8-14
T: "Good tidings of great joy"
A: Sing the Angel songs--"The First Noel," "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Far, Far Away," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing..."

DAY 8:
O: Shepherd
S: Luke 2:15-20
T: "Let us now go to Bethlehem"
A: Sing "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Far, Far away on Judea's Plains", "The Shephard's Carol"

DAY 9:
O: Bells
S: Psalms 66:1-2
T: "Make a joyful noise"
A: Sing "Joy to the World", "I Heard the Bells", "Silver Bels"

DAY 10:
O: Candle
S: Luke 2:25-38; John 8:12
T: Simeon and Anna ("a light to lighten")
A: Sing Christmas carols by candlelight tonight everyone pick one song each

DAY 11:
O: Wisemen
S: Matt. 2:1-12
T: Seeking Jesus
A: Sing "We 3 Kings"

DAY 12:

O: Star
S: Helaman 14:1-6
T: "A new star arise"--a Heavenly promise to ALL of God's children
A: Drive around to look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood

Sing "Stars are gleaming", "Samuel Tells of Baby Jesus", " O Holy Night"

DAY 13:
O: Oxen
S: Abraham 4:24-25; Isaiah 1:3
T: Savior as Creator "Ox knows his master"--do we?
A: Bundle up good and go on a walk together to appreciate His other creations!

Sing "The Nativity Song"

DAY 14:

O: Donkey (that carried Mary)
S: Matt. 21:1-9
T: Triumphal Entry
A: Sing "He Sent His Son",  "The Nativity Song"

DAY 15:

O: Candy Canes
S: Ezek. 34:11-16, 31
T: Jesus will seek out His flock
A: Give away a Book of Mormon/Church video to a nonmember family today!

Sing favorite Christmas songs

DAY 16:
O: Red bows
S: Isaiah 61:1-3
T: "BIND UP the brokenhearted"/ tied in bonds of brotherhood....
A: Put red bows on tree, and n top of a treat that you deliver to someone who needs to be loved

Sing "We Wish you  a Merry Christmas", "Deck the Halls"

DAY 17:

O: (Today they just find the scroll in the box), but it's EGGNOG day!
S: D&C 38: 17-20
T: God's blessings to His people--"land flowing with MILK and honey"
A: Drink eggnog and take turns expressing a blessing you're grateful for

O: Candy Canes
S: Ezek. 34:11-16, 31
T: Jesus will seek out His flock
A: Give away a Book of Mormon/Church video to a nonmember family today!

DAY 18:
O: Stocking
S: Luke 10: 38-42
T: Do we "sit at His FEET" or are we busy with parties?
A: Discuss how we can think of Jesus and serve Him

Sing " I stand all Amazed"

DAY 19:
O: Gingerbread men
S: John 6:28-35
T: "Bread of Life"
A: Make Gingerbread men/house

Sing " A Holly Jolly Christmas", "Frosty the Snowman" 

DAY 20:
O: Holly/Mistletoe
S: Mosiah 3: 5-11
T: Red berries/ green thorns-- "blood cometh from every pore"/crown of thorns
A: Hang mistletoe above the door

Sing favorite songs about Jesus

DAY 21:
O: Snowman/ icicles
S: Isaiah 1:18; Revelations 3:5
T: Forgiveness ("white as snow")
A: Sing "Let it Snow!" or make snowman/snow angels, cut out snowflakes....

DAY 22:
O: Poinsettia
S: D&C 49:22-28; D&C 133:46-51
T: Second Coming ("blossom as the rose," "red apparel")
A: Make or buy a poinsettia and display in a prominent place

DAY 23:
O: Pannetone (or fruit cake)--pannetone or favorite Christmas treat
S: D&C 135:3
A: Sing happy birthday to him and eat his birthday (fruit) cake

DAY 24:
O: Gifts
S: James 1:17-27
T: "Every good gift from above"
A: Think of a meaningful gift to give to Jesus this year


Bedtime Video

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I am shocked when I go to use our video camera and of course the battery is dead and the memory is full of things I don’t recall happening. 

The good news is, I know what my kids are up to, especially after they are sent upstairs to get their pj’s on and go to bed.    Miss A was in the bathroom doing what teenage girls do each night and the younger two, well you can see for yourself.

Sorry the video is so dark, but the lights were out so they would not get busted for still being up.



Mint Chocolate cupcakes

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So when you find a great recipe for a cupcake, you just want to share it with others, so why not use a cute box.
Yum, yum  this was so tasty and pretty too.  I got the recipe from a Annie's Eats.  I love her recipes and really wish she lived next door to me.  Her recipes are really amazing and this mint chocolate cupcake was not exception. 


The things kids say

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This last week has been crazy busy.  Additionally, this last week has also been  full of kid expenses everywhere.  Schoool pictures  $28 each, soccer pictures $9,  HS fundraiser $25,  Best of EFY $10, Jog-a-thon for 2 kids (haven't contributed  yet ?  not sure how much yet), kindergarten field trip $5,  the two youngers came home with book orders and a wish list.   In addition,  we have gotten a boat load of medical bill for the kids    (An all night ER bill (ouch) for Little A from this summer, and cat scan bill for the older one).   Oh,  bosses week at Shaun's work  and of course it is required to show support and go out to lunch as a group and contribute to a group present.   It just seems like a hand is out in every direction lately.   Most are small expenses, but sure add up.  

Every day  Mr.  M asks if I will fill out his field trip form.   I have told him, "Not yet, I don't have the money yet. "  Meaning,  I have not ran to the bank and pulled it out .  I just haven't had time to sit down and let my fingers figure out on the computer all the numbers, before I run to the bank.  It is not that I can't pay it, but I just want to run all those number to make sure all is accounted for.

Any way, yesterday  Mr.  M came home from school and informed me "The teacher said you don't have to pay for the field trip."  I asked him if she said that to the class or just him.  He said to just him.  Then I asked what he said to the teacher.  He said,  " I told the teacher my mom doesn't have enough money for the field trip and that is when she said that you don't have to pay for it."    

Which now explains why he leaned over to me a couple of weeks ago and asked me in all seriousness, "Did you pay for our house this month?"  I laughed, because when have I missed a payment on our house. This is not even a discussion in our house.  It just gets paid.    I assured him that yes indeed I paid it.   It seems funny that  he seems to be the only child in this house that worries over things like this.  He asked me six months ago how he would be able to buy a house when he was older.   He was really worried about it too.  My heart goes out to  him if he is thinking these big things at 4 and 5 years old.  He deserves to only worry about which of his cars he is going to play with today  or if he should chose paper in the rock, paper scissors game, not grown up topics.    


Friday, October 14, 2011

Wished I could make a video like this with my boy.  He is funny enough when the camera is off to do this. I just love watching kids like this.


Reflection of growing up

So after sleeping on all the info we received at last nights fireside, the sudden realization has come in two areas.

1.  My baby is growing up.  This week at school she was required to take the PSAT.  Last night she was told to take her SAT and ACT by next school year.   I knew that, but mentally  it just still seemed years away.
2.  They only get more expensive as they grow.  They say ages newborn and age 5 are some of the more expensive years.   I beg to disagree.  No crib, carseat or stroller is anywhere near the cost to raise a high schooler.     College is less than 3 years away and well lets just say we will be living on about half our income when you factor housing, schooling and other needs.  Now is the time to make sure we have a great, not just good food storage, because we will be living on it in three years.

Okay, so a little mental math and it is not half our income, but it is more than we pay in a house payment, so I am a little nervous.   We would like to pay all of her schooling, but both her dad and I had no family help  with college.  Student loans were our reality.  A reality we are still paying on for Shaun.    It very will may be her reality, but if we can get her through the first year without having to take a loan,  it will be that much better for her later.   She has a sensible head and I know she will be more frugal than most kids her age, so I do have faith she will figure it all out.   Just as it worked out for me, it will work out for her too.


Fireside motivation

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tonight I took my oldest daughter to a "Be Smart" Fireside.  We heard information about four colleges.  BYU-Hawaii,  BYU- Idaho,  LDS Business College and of course BYU.   It was all very interesting, each speaker ended with a video clip about their school.   At the end, a man spoke about institute of Religion classes and how he didn't care what school the kids went to or what their reason was for going to a certain school, because there would be an institute class no matter what college then went to.  The important part was to take an institute class starting the day after high school.     After he was done, here is the video clip he showed.  Way too funny.  

If you liked that last clip,  there is a Franc 2 also.  It was too funny.


Small Moments of Truth

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This morning while trying to do a few things before the kids were to come home, there was a knock on the door.  The sweet woman introduced herself and offered me a religious pamphlet on raising children.  One thing she showed me was that they brake raising children into 3 stages.    After I decline her pamphlet  (more because I knew if I took it she would be back again and again), I thought to myself, how lucky I feel to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   How lucky to have the manual " Teaching No Greater Call" that not only breaks down for us the characteristics of children, but does it in a small increments of 1 or 2 years.  I can go at any time and see,  "Yes,  my kids are normal", when I am struggling with  a certain issue.  I can even be thankful when I see that they have not hit every hard milestone listed.  It helps me to know what I can do to correct problems whether they are with children at church or in my own home.

I can be thankful that we have prophets and their words of counsel to help me be better and to know what is important to teach my children.  Internet talks and boundless resources online, both religious and secular.

I have the Book of Mormon, which has so much parenting wisdom.  Though I am far from a perfect parent,  I do have kids who are loving and patient with me.  I do have so many resources that I can not help but to be grateful.

I admire that sweet woman for knocking at my door.  We live in a world that needs parenting help.   We all can be better parents.  My hope is to raise my kids the best I can.  To raise the bar for myself of what a good mother is.  To raise kids who then become even better parents than I was.  To have grandkids who are better parents than their parents and so on.

And someday be able to share with a mother in need the great joy and lessons of parenting the gospel brings.


Writing a paper for fighting

Monday, August 22, 2011

 Today I sent the two youngest to take a nap since they were fighting.   Little A did not want to take a nap, so I gave her the option to sleep, read or write a paper.   If she slept she could get up after the nap, or she could get up after she wrote a full page on why it is important to not fight and what she would do next time differently, or she could read in bed until dad got home (about 1 hour).    Mr. M napped and Little A wrote a paper until dad got home.  Here it is.  Spaces are to keep auto correct from correcting the spelling.

"You shold not fight with your siblys or you will have to be in bed till Dad gets home or wight a full page about when you should not fight with your sibi ling.  I learned this by fighting with my brother the is why I am wite ing this paper.  this paper is not that hard for me.  that is why I am willing to Do it.  the resin  why I want to Do this is I Do not wha nt to Read a Book till Dad gist home.  So I am wit ing  this paper.  I Do know I should not fight with my Bother. "

Interesting last word.  If she was a teenager I would have thought it was intentional.....


Kids speaks

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I love the little minds of a 5 or 6 year old.  In the last three days, I have heard daily something cute. Here they are for memory stake.

Cousin Ella was here for Little A's baptism.  The next day she went to church and sat by me.  The first testimony was by our Bishop. He said that this was the true church.  Without missing a beat, Ella turned to me and said, "Every church I go to says they are the true church.  I don't know which is the true church,  I am so confused."
I waited a moment and then told her, that my church is the The Church of Jesus Christ and Her church is the Church of Jesus Christ and that we both belong to the same church. 
She looks at me and pauses and then says, "We do?   But my church is white."

Later I invited her to attend my son's primary class.  She asked is it a class for 5 and 6 year olds? 
No, just 5 year olds, but you can go too even though you are six.  
"That's ok,  I can make friends on my own."

Mr.  M, was cuddling with me and we turned on the tv for a couple minutes.  A lady was asking a doctor, how to lose the baby fat from pregnancy.  She said her baby was now 19 months old and she still has not been able to lose the baby weight.
Mr M. turns to me and ask: " Mom have you lost your  baby fat yet?"
"What do you think?"
"Why do you think that?"
"Because you still have a big tummy.  Not at all like mine, A...,  or A.. or daddy's." 
Thank you son!!!

Now today,  I am suppose be getting ready to take Little A for her quarterly eye appointment.  I am getting ready to leave and Miss A walks in to tell me her brother is threatening to  call 911 and report a teenager in a pink shirt has broken in to our house.    I run to check on him and low and behold he is dialing  119.  I figure we will let him think that is correct right now, while he is thinking about prank calling.

I pull him aside away from the girls and inform him that is not nice to do to his sister.  I told him, that making a call like that could get her in trouble or he could get in trouble.  I then told him, "you don't want Miss A to go to jail do you? Also you could go to jail if you call that number for something that is not a true emerg____. "

Before I can finish the sentence, he informs me, " kids can't go to jail, just grown ups and teenagers".  He repeats that again and then tells me that they can't do anything to him, just teenagers.  
Lets just say I had to agree with him about the jail part, but we did talk longer about  how he could still get in trouble.  I am not sure he believed me.

He is quick thinking and somehow, I am going to have to keep up with this boy.


Before the Trek

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Someone is pretty excited for the trek.  She really wanted a dress over the idea of  a skirt and shirt, which was my idea.  We wen to the pattern store and this is what we came away with.  With  my limited sewing skills and a pattern that didn’t really come in her sized, either too big or much too small.  It really was a miracle it fits.  (Well actually the pattern has draw strings everywhere, so it actually can fit various sizes, but I was worried since we didn’t have a correct size for her.  Any way thanks to You Tube videos and some advice from a friend it came together.  Phewwwwww, what a relief.  

Sad thing is after spending 3 days in this, she will not want to ever wear it again.




No she is not going barefoot.


I love her water bottle holder, we bought one for each family member before our trip to Yellowstone.  So glad we still have them.  I think it will come in handy.


Hawaiian and not so Hawaiian

Friday, July 8, 2011

Today we are getting ready for a big Hawaiian birthday party.  Little A decided she wanted the same party as her big sister at that same age.  So we are getting ready and guess who is all dressed up?  Yup the cat and dog.  One was all for it and the other not so much.


Look at that smile



Had to add some bracelets


I am not sure about this grass skirt, but she liked it.


Now the hula dance was more than she could appreciate


not thrilled


Trying to chew her way out.  She won and I removed it.  The kids tried to remove it, but she was threatening to scratch them.


Summer garden

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My mother and my father-in-law both are excellent gardeners.  They are amazing and can bring in bounties of fresh produce all summer long.  Shaun and I on the other hand somehow missed that genetic poll.  Neither of us are “master gardeners”.  In fact I think we are closer to the other side of the spectrum of “Master weed growers”.  None the less, we still try.  The season usually starts our well and ends with us abandoning ship as it turns rainy and cold.  Leaving a mess to clean up next year. One big over grown weedy mess.

However, this year, I can say I pleased for the most part on our garden’s progress.  Nothing to really brag about, but something that is good for us and our family.  For me being a  non-gardener and a person who doesn’t really like dirt, I can say I am happy to give myself a pat on my back for any success.

As you can see from the pictures,  we are mainly growing individual beds of plants.   It is less overwhelming for me to take care of and well that is half the battle.  Additionally, Shaun set up a drip system  (last year too) so we are only watering what we want  to grow.  I am a terrible waterier.  I think that is my biggest obstacle to gardening.   (Well that and patience)

Also to my surprise, we have kept up on weeding too.  Every week and half  or two, we spend 20 minutes weeding, while the weeds are still small.  As I took these pictures, I can see we will need to weed again this week ( Who keeps planting those annoyances?)

Hopefully we can end the season looking so wonderful, but time will tell.


Four types of potatoes- All Blue, Red, Russian Fingerlings, Ukon Golds. 


Peas and Red Onions


Trying to figure out if I planted Sugar Snap Peas or normal peas?  I really want to eat them now.


This bed was more of an after thought, when my mom gave me Raspberry plants for my birthday.  Also room for one zucchini as well.  One plant is plenty for our family.


Two tomato beds- all different varieties.   I have no idea why one is growing taller than the other bed.  Lets just pretend that one bed is a faster maturing group.  (plausible right?)  Also I think I planted them two close together.  The four plants in each bed look like one big bush.  Oh, well, better than having it take up the walkway, right?


Green beans and wax beans


Cucumbers- growing in stages.  Seems like they all come on at once and then they are done.  Hoping this spreads the season out a bit.


Lettuce and carrots.  Time to eat lots of lettuce.


I figure I have posted too many pictures, so the last three will be together.  They are the old garden area. 

Left is walla-walla onions, with some migrating lettuce.  Corn in the middle and peppers, cilantro and hopefully spinach  on the right.  This is a strange bed to use, since it is now under the apple tree.  (Wasn’t a problem when we first built the bed, but the tree has grown in the last 6 years a bit.)


Nothing better than great buns... homemade that is

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I usually am not the type who enjoys more than 1 or 2 home grilled burger a year.  They are greasy and often don’t sit too well.  I guess that is to be expected when they contain 22% fat.  That is until we tried this homemade bun recipe  and of course home ground and formed meat patties.  The meat was perfect.  Not too greasy and it held together perfectly while cooking.
Best part not only are they homemade buns and patties, but  we made the sauce and grew the lettuce.  The only thing that would have made this tastier would be home grown tomatoes.   Yum does not even describe how good this was.   Now we are trying to see how well the buns freeze for future use.   We shall see.
Our kids love to eat the buns just by themselves too.  They are really that good.  Hope you give homemade buns a try too.
I have 4 bun recipes to test that I stumbled upon recently.  So far, two are wonderful and I hope to test out the last two soon.


More Cookie Dough Goodness

Sunday, June 19, 2011


If you didn’t see the last post on the Cookie Dough Cupcakes, go back to them.  They are so pretty.  These Cookie Dough Truffles are not as pretty, since I was rushing to finish them before I needed to leave.  Tempering the chocolate took longer than I was expecting it to take.  None the less these taste great too.

Again this is another wonderful recipe from Annie’s Eats.  I love her blog and her pictures are great.    Here is the link to this recipe here.

I also made the box.  The lid has a acetate window._MG_3254.CR2





Cookie Dough Goodness

I recently saw a post for these yummy and super rich (like so rich you can’t possibly eat a whole one) Cookie Dough Cupcakes.  I just couldn’t wait to make them.  Best part yet, I now know how to make my own non-egg cookie dough.  Regular cookie dough doesn’t quite work right and I have been wondering how to make it for a while. 
Thanks to Annie's Eats for this  great cupcake recipe here.
Pictures taken by Shaun. 
Stay tune for Cookie Dough Truffles on the next post.  Yum!!!!


Father's are One of a Kind


Mr. M Wants to buy a house

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Today Mr. M and I were chatting about being picked on by his sister and with a total change of subject and all sincerity he ask me a couple  of questions.  I wished the camera was rolling, but by the second question I decided to grab the camera and got part of it. I think I will have to interview the sisters soon too.  However, I am pretty sure one of them will not let me, as she would be mortified if I were to blog about her. 


The Response-take 2

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Let’s try this video again and see if the second part is not sideways.  I am by far not a video guru, since I never upload any video,  but hopefully that will change soon.

Thank you Amanda for reminding me that it has been a while since I have posted anything on our blog.  Not that life has been uneventful.  It simply just has been going by on fast forward. 

Any way down to business.  I was told yesterday to check a friend’s blog.  She blogged her daughter’s conversation about a boy she wants to marry, who happens to be my sweet boy.

I watched it last night and thought I would record his reaction to seeing it for the first time.  Not as exciting as I had hoped.  My camera died partway through, but I spliced it together with a phone call between the two of them later.  Hope you enjoy.


Our Eagle family

Friday, April 8, 2011

Since Little A goes to a school, where they are the Eagles, they are doing a report on a bird of their choice.  Naturally many kids chose "the eagle".

Yesterday I was in class and they finished what they were doing 5 minutes before lunch, so they put on a live eagle stream of a two eagles and their three eaglets.  So very cute to watch them.  This is now Mr. M.'s favorite thing to watch when we are at home and I am fine with it.  In the last 24 hours, our whole family has grown very fond of this eagle nest.

Feel free to watch along too. (after the 30 sec commercial)

Online video chat by Ustream


Fun card trick

Monday, February 28, 2011

Miss A taught us a math card trick.  We did it part of FHE  and then we taped Little A doing this trick for the family. I am really amazed how simple  it is and how it works every time.


Totally Awesome

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This is what I hear one morning:

"Mom, I made my white shirt totally awesome."

"How so?"

"With a marker. It was white and I wanted it to be awesome, so I drew on it with markers."

Please no more totally awesome shirts.


Confessions of a busy mom

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So last week was busy,  and well this week is really not any different.  Lucky (or unlucky) for me, Mr. M was not feeling well this morning.  So after four phone calls to change my plans, he tells me he is feeling better and can now go to preschool.  He loves school, so when he woke up all snotty and coughing this morning and then tells me he doesn't feel well and wants to not go to school I took him serious.

Anyway, the other moms are glad I kept Mr. Snotty nose home anyway.  First thing he asks is can we play a game?  No, I don't play games with sick people.  Rather gross for me. We can do other things that don't include exchanging cards with a new layer of germs each time.  We decide on something else.

After about an hour home.  Reality sits in.  My house is a mess.  Sweet husband washed the laundry of Friday. (He took the day off so I could be at school all day Friday and not have to get another sitter two days in a row).  The kids and I are thankful he was home, because otherwise they would have had to wear dirty laundry.  However, no one put it away.  Not even me, so I can't really complain.  It is just what it is.  Just six baskets of laundry stacked in my room.  By today the kids had dug to find clean clothes and I began to wonder what was now clean and dirty.   Clothes are wrinkled.  I would just start over, but I know chances are slim they would make it past the basket stage again with the way the rest of the week looks and there is still dirty laundry to be done.

So I think to myself,  just 15 minutes.  I set the timer and get to folding.  Timer goes off on just as I am starting the 5th basket.  Not bad, I think to myself as I set the rest of the laundry aside.  My commitment was to fold only 15 minutes.  Now15 minutes later again, I now have put away folded towels, Shaun's, mine and M. M's clothes.  15 minutes now to gather dirty clothes, sort and wash one load.  Today I should be able to do more than one load, but I really don't want to put it away. So today is just a two load day, because reality is I am not going to fold more than four more loads than I have already done.

 15 minutes now to clean my bathroom.  Didn't do the floors or the shower, but the sinks and toilet is shiny.

15 minute timer and now my room is pretty close to clean, except for the two loads of laundry waiting to be folded and the two baskets full of the girl's clothes  for them to put away and  a couple of other miscellaneous things to do another day.

I am thinking of what I need to do and should do the rest of the day, when I come and check my email.  What?  I have a meeting tonight.  I so forgot that one.  Okay, one more thing to get done.

Well I think my 15 minutes of blog time is over.  I didn't set the timer for that one.  Plus the laundry needs moved over and well it's time to do 15 minutes on the kitchen.....


From the mouth of babes...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Yesterday was day two of the school Jog-a-thon,  Mr. M was sad he didn't get to go.  Our school does it class by class and we put tally marks on the kid's backs.  They run to three songs (yes 17 classes of  the same songs), and then walk a cool down lap.  So in the afternoon we had two kinder classes in a row.  Mr. M came to watch, but the PE teacher told him that he could run.  He watched the first group of kids, but by the next class he was ready to go.  He held his own by running 36 laps.  There were only 3 kid who ran in this class more than him  (37, 37, and 38 laps).   There were three other kinder classes, and I did not compare him to those ones. Way to go Mr.  M.  You are speedy. 

There was this one boy much taller in the class, who kept saying, " That little kid is really fast." 

This morning when he woke up and came down the stairs he said, " My legs hurt, I need a sleep number bed."

Got to love this boy.


Just a cute memory

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tonight I had a cute memory I wanted to record.  Mr. M has memorized his first scripture.  The 8th Article of Faith.  Every time he got to one area he would say "We believe the Book of Mormons to be the word of God.  We explained it is just one BOM and he said with excitement, "And you mean I have it?"  
I tried to clarify and say all BOM are the same.  To which I was correct, that his sister had a different one (a triple).  I don't think I convinced  him to drop the s, but oh well.  His way is cute anyway.


Quotes from Finding Noel, by Richard Paul Evans

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

 I really enjoy books from Richard Paul Evans.  They are great books, that bring tears at times, but have a happy ending. I am on my third one in the last month.  I read them aloud to my family.  Last weekend I picked up "Finding Noel".  Not only was it good, but it had lots of cute little quotes.  Some I agree with others caused me to reflect.  Anyway, here are a few that I thought I would like to put on my blog for me to enjoy now and then again later.

  • If love isn't blind it's at least horribly nearsighted.
  • I've wondered why it is that some people come through difficult times bitter and broken while others emerge stronger and more empathetic? I've read that the same breeze extinguishes some flames just fan others.  I still don't know what kind of flame I am.
  • There is no amount of compassion or common sense that can't be extinguished by government bureaucracy.
  • C.S. Lewis said it best, " I like bats more than bureaucrats."
  • Our journey feels like a board game where each throw of the dice lands us on some new square.  What a peculiar square we landed on today.
  • Often the greatest hurts of our lives come from running from the smaller ones.
  • Usually life's greatest gifts come wrapped in adversity.
  • How foolish to believe we have any idea of what is really going on around us or that permanency is an earthly option.
  • Revenge is only for those still chained.
  • My dad's a lot smarter than I've ever given him credit for. In truth, I  don't think he got a lot smarter-- just I did.
  • I have come to believe that there are moments too profound to be contained  in time.
  • I am grateful for new years and new beginnings.  It is a great human need to be periodically reborn.
  • "...for we are all amateurs at life, but if we do not focus too much on our mistakes, a miraculous picture emerges. And we learn that it's not the beauty of the image that warrants our gratitude--it's the chance to paint."
  •  Love is like a rose: we fixate on the blossom, but it's the thorny stem that keeps it alive and aloft...
    The things of greatest value are the things we fight for. And in the end, if we do it right, we value the stem far more than the blossom.
  • "Nothing heals the soul like chocolate," she said. "I just love chocolate. It's God's apology for broccoli."
  • Then one day I had this epiphany.  I realized that being a parent was like being the wizard of oz... "You know the part when Dorthy and her friends go to see the Wizard? The big, ominious head talks to them and they're all terrified.  Then her dog... pulls back the curtain and there's a little man behind it pulling levers and throwing switches.  And he says into his microphone, 'Ignore the man behind the curtain.' I think that being a parent  is like the man behind the curtain.  We pretend that we know what we're doing--that we're omnipotent and all-knowing-- when the truth is we're just back behind the curtain throwing levers and switches, doing the best we can... " 
"And then our kids find out that we're not as great as they thought we were?"
"Exactly, and then they're angry and disappointed that we can't meet their expectations-- as unrealistic as they are."