Friday, November 20, 2015


 This boy, my third child, has got some serious skillz!  
When you put a 'Z' at the end of skills you know it's about to get serious up in her-ah!
 You know about his mad b-ball skillz 
 His gingerbread house making talent ???
 His tiny shirt wearin' capabilities
His expertise on a wheeler
and his incredible ability to master the selfie -with a mask on, no less!!!
 You also know about his roof climbing, Christmas light hanging skillz
But did you know about the aptitude he has to expertly bake an award winning cake?
Yay-ya!  You heard me right. This boy, right here thanks to his crazy mad baking skillz, won a dessert contest last week for this irresistible recipe right here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Hello Kitty Watch

Last year for her birthday, #6 was given this Hello Kitty watch as a gift.  She wears it practically every day.  She has become the official/unofficial time keeper of the family.  She won't let you be late.  If you tell her dinner will be ready in a minute.  You better have dinner ready in 60 seconds.

Yesterday, she asked me how long I would be in the shower.  I told her probably 5 minutes.  Each passing minute brought a knock on the door and a countdown - "Mom, you have 4 minutes left."  "Now you have 3 minutes." all the way to "Mom, you're time is up."

Each school day, she gives us a countdown of how many minutes we have left until it's time to leave for school, and if you ever need to know what time it is, all you have to do is ask.  It's quite handy having an official/unofficial time keeper.  I think I'll keep her.

p.s. - Did you know that Europe's The Final Countdown is actually one of her favorite songs.  Fitting isn't it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Kid Sister

Anyone remember the 1980's toy Kid Sister?
The commercial (watch it here) had an annoyingly catchy tune that gets stuck in your head for months:

Kid Sister, Kid Sister
Wherever I go, you're gonna go.
Kid Sister, Kid Sister
Kid Sister and me!

If you don't remember, you were either living under a rock, or you're not old like me.
It was on the t.v. all the time!
 We're very fortunate to have our very own, living, breathing Kid Sister at our house.
Whatever Big Sister goes, Kid Sister's gonna go, and 
whatever Big Sister does, she's gonna do.
For example,
If #2 doodles, Kid Sister #6 is going to doodle too.
If #2 likes a certain song, Kid Sister #5 is going to like it too, and listen to it over and over and over again.

When I think of #2, I think of the quote:
Be an example to others of all that is good in this world,
for others will copy you, and they will also become good examples.

Thank you #2 for being the best Big Sister to your Kid Sisters!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Twelve Eyes

A couple weeks ago we took the whole family to the eye doctor for a checkup.
It only took 3 hours! Poor doctor.
Our insurance covers an exam and a pair of glasses or sunglasses.  5 of us came away with glasses (only two with real prescriptions the rest were fake), and two with sunglasses.

The little girls think their glasses magically transform them into someone else.  They keep saying, "I'm going to wear my glasses today so no one will know it's me."  Or "I'm going to trick everyone.  They'll think there's a new girl in class."

Whatever they want to think. . . .I, on the other hand, think they look adorable!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Yielding Our Hearts to God

by Neill F. Marriott

First off, did you notice how well this talk went along with Elder Maynes talk right before?

I loved several things about this talk.

1. Change is possible
Letting the Lord mold us and shape us into what He deems as our best self.

". . . .personal reformation begins with a change of heart- no matter your life experiences or your place of birth."

"Some may think they have failed too many times and feel too weak to change sinful acts or worldly desires of the heart.  However, as covenant Israel, we don't just try and try on our own to change.  If we earnestly appeal to God, He takes us as we are- and makes us more than we ever imagined!"
image source from Pinterest

Her quote reminded me of something Elder Hales said last conference.  He said:
"Whoever you are and whatever your past may be, remember this: it is not too late to make that same choice again and follow Him."

Making our way, the Lord's way, or living a Christ-centered life, will bring these necessary changes into our life.

"How do we make the Lord's ways our ways?  I believe we begin by learning of Him and praying for understanding.  As our trust in Him grows, we open our hearts, seek to do His will, and wait for answers that will help us understand."

2. Sister Marriott's family motto:

I love President Hinckley.  He always had such encouraging things to say.  Sister Marriott quotes President Hinckley who said:
"If you do your best, it will all work out.  Put your trust in God. . . The Lord will not forsake us."

She then goes on to say:
"Our family motto doesn't say, 'It will all work out NOW.' It speaks of our hope in the eternal outcome - not necessarily of present results. Scripture says, 'Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good. (D&C 90:24) This doesn't mean all things are good, but for the meek and faithful, things- both positive and negative- work together for good, and the timing is the Lord's. . . .A meek heart accepts the trial and the waiting for the time of healing and wholeness to come."

For the last five years, I have watched a close family member grow farther and farther away from the gospel, from Heavenly Father, and from family teachings.  This has been extremely painful to watch.  I have tried everything I can possibly think of to help bring this person back to the testimony and relationships they once had. I've lost patience too many times to count. I want things to happen on my timetable. This talk was just another reminder from Heavenly Father that "It will all work out!"  I just need to align my ways with His, and trust that He's got this.

Sister Marriott says:
"Can we love Jesus Christ and His way more than we love ourselves and our agenda?"
That is the challenge.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Birthdays And Everything:
 Last Tuesday we celebrated my boyfriend's birthday.
All day long I couldn't help but think of how grateful I am to have him.
He is the best of the best.  
He's smart, funny, compassionate, loving, kind, righteous, athletic, handsome, super talented (pretty much he can do anything), I could go on and on. 
How I got lucky enough to be his wife, I'll never know, but I'm grateful every day I'm his.
 We celebrated in typical birthday fashion with a birthday dinner,
-Clint chose Shepherd's Pie with homemade rolls-
and cake.  Except this time it was pie -Mint Chocolate Chip pie, topped with an awful lot of candles,
followed by presents.
Happy Birthday Clint!

p.s. -  #6 was in charge of taking photos, thus the reason you see only a portion of Clint's face.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Birthday Time

 Another birthday week has almost come and gone.  We just have Clint's birthday to celebrate tomorrow. For my birthday, Clint and I drove to the BIG CITY and spent the day shopping, playing, eating, and sight-seeing. I love that every year he takes a day off from work to spend my birthday with me, and boy does he spoil me rotten.

Saturday was Gram and #2's birthday. Gram celebrated her 92nd birthday, and #2 her eighteenth.
Since #2 was out of town, Gram had to celebrate all by herself.
 Speaking of #2, her  surprise birthday weekend was a success! 
She had fun in St. George with her friend shopping, swimming, and eating out.
And let's not forget the concert!  I think her Instagram post says it all!
Archie even sang Happy Birthday to her!
(really to one of his band members- but we're just going to pretend it was just for her.)
Last night, once she made it back in to town, we had her 18th Birthday Party!
Oh how I love this girl!  I wish I could turn back the clock and make her two again!
She grew up way WAY too fast.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Joy of Living a Christ-Centered Life

 by Elder Richard J. Maynes

"The world in which we live is putting great pressure on good people everywhere to lower or even abandon their standards of righteous living. However, despite the evils and temptations that surround us each day, we can and will find true joy today in living a Christ-centered life."

We can and WILL find true joy by living a Christ-centered life.
image source

I love analogies.The Parable of the Potter's Wheel is no exception.  This parable teaches us the importance of living a life centered on Christ.

Elder Maynes shares the experience of Elder Taiichi Aoba, who was asked to teach a class at a youth conference. Elder Aoba decided to use his vocation as a potter for his lesson.
He gathered the youth around his potter's wheel and showed them how almost magically he was able to transform a lump of clay into a bowl, plate, or cup.  He then had a few of the youth try. Clay flew across the room and none were successful in their attempts. He asked the youth why they were unsuccessful.  Answers varied from "I have no talent" to "I have no training or experience".
Elder Aoba explained that all of these were true, but the main reason for their failure was that the clay was not centered on the wheel.  The youth thought they had placed it in the center, but from a professional's perspective, it wasn't exact center.

Elder Aoba had the youth try again.  This time he placed the clay on the exact center of the wheel for them, and their results were much different than their first attempt.  The reason for their success was because the clay was perfectly centered on the wheel.

"The world in which we live is similar to the potter’s spinning wheel, and the speed of that wheel is increasing. Like the clay on the potter’s wheel, we must be centered as well. Our core, the center of our lives, must be Jesus Christ and His gospel. Living a Christ-centered life means we learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel and then we follow His example and keep His commandments with exactness."
"If our lives are centered in Jesus Christ, He can successfully mold us into who we need to be in order to return to His and Heavenly Father’s presence in the celestial kingdom. The joy we experience in this life will be in direct proportion to how well our lives are centered on the teachings, example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ."

". . .like the clay on the potter’s wheel, our lives must be centered with exactness in Christ if we are to find true joy and peace in this life."

Friday, November 6, 2015

Birthday Surprise

This beauty turns 18 tomorrow!  I'm still in denial.  I don't like my babies to grow up.
It's just not fair. I think we should put a stop to it immediately!
This year, her BFF for months has been planning and scheming up a little birthday surprise.
 Monday it was finally time to reveal the surprise!
What was it?
Are you sure you really want to know?
I don't want to bore anyone.
Is the suspense killing you yet?
The surprise is


a weekend


in St. George, Utah

with her BFF

and her

this guy right here - David Archuleta.

It was a ticket to see her celeb crush in concert!

The little girls last night dreamt for hours that #2 would come home married to Mr. Archuleta and then he could be there uncle?!  They were a little disappointed when I informed them he would not be there uncle, but there brother-in-law.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Reflecting this morning on the past year, the good, the bad, and the just okay. 

Today I celebrate my 38th birthday.  Birthdays for me are a fresh start, a time to decide what I want in life and a chance to set some goals to accomplish those changes.  It's a new year & an opportunity to be a better me.  

"It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow than we are today.  . ."
-Larry R. Lawrence

Monday, November 2, 2015

This is Halloween

 This past weekend was a fun one!
We, like everyone else, wore Halloween out by celebrating both on Friday and Saturday!
 Saturday was reserved for trick-or-treats and mummy dogs.
Friday day was full of school parties, costume parades, and Halloween crafting. 
 After school we hurried over to a Halloween party at Gram's retirement center.
 They had all sorts of fun games and activities for the little kids to do. . .
(My older kids are such good sports.)
Bowling, ring-toss, face painting, bean bag toss, crafts, and even palm reading.
After the party with Gram we hurried over to another party hosted by our friends, The Carman's.
Did you notice Clint had a different look for each event!  
Way to keep it fresh and exciting -Babe.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

God is at the Helm

By Elder M. Russell Ballard

This talk was Part Two of Elder Ballard's October 2014 general conference talk, entitled Stay in the Boat.  I wrote my thoughts about it HERE.

In that talk, he discussed staying on and holding on to what President Brigham Young referred to as 'The Old Ship Zion'.

President Brigham Young said: “We are on the old ship Zion. … [God] is at the helm and will stay there. … He dictates, guides and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, He will guide us right.”

In this talk, he tells us what's in 'The Old Ship Zion' that we should be holding on to.

"Clearly, our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have outfitted the Old Ship Zion with clear and simple eternal truths that will help us stay the course through the troubled waters of mortal life. Here are just a few."

"The Lord directs His church through living prophets and apostles."

". . .Heavenly Father sends His spirit children to earth to learn and grow through experiences of earth life.  Because He loves His children, God sends heavenly messengers and Apostles to teach them about Jesus Christ's central role as our Savior."

". . .a map of where we came from, our purpose here on earth, and where we are going when we die."

"It was their charge—and, subsequently, the charge of their posterity—to create mortal bodies for God’s spirit children so they could experience mortality. By this process, Heavenly Father sends His spirit children to earth to learn and grow through the experiences of earth life."

"Please remember that commandments and covenants are priceless truths and doctrines found in the Old Ship Zion, where God is at the helm."

"This helps us remain unspotted from the world, provides us with physical rest, and gives each of us the spiritual refreshment of worshipping the Father and the Son every Sunday. When we delight in the Sabbath day, it is a sign of our love for Them."

"All of us are blessed when the Sabbath is filled with love for the Lord at home and at church. When our children are taught in the ways of the Lord, they learn to feel and to respond to His Spirit. We will all desire to attend each Sunday to partake of the sacrament when we feel the Spirit of the Lord. And all, young and old, who are carrying heavy burdens will feel the spiritual uplift and comfort that comes from a Sabbath day of devoted contemplation of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

"Thankfully Christ is always near, waiting and willing to help us when we pray for help and are willing to repent and come unto Him."

". . . He is at the helm, His great and powerful ship flows toward salvation and exaltation. Remember that "we cannot get there by jumping out of the boat and trying to swim there by ourselves. . . Let us be grateful for the beautiful Old Ship Zion, for without it we are cast adrift, alone and powerless, swept along without rudder or oar.  Swirling with the strong currents of the adversary's wind and waves. Hold tight. . . and sail on within the glorious ship, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we will reach our eternal destination."

I ran across a beautiful poem by Rebekah Ann Stephenson.  You can read it HERE.  Her poem is all about remembering that God is at the helm.  He will steer us safely through the storms if we will simply let Him.

It Works Wonderfully!

It Works Wonderfully!
by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This was one of my favorite talks.  It really hit home to me.  A few months ago I was struggling with feelings of despair.  After pondering and praying about why I was feeling this way, Heavenly Father told me that I was running too fast and I needed to Simplify my life - the way I mother, the way I keep house, the way I live the gospel.  I was trying to fit in too much, to do too much, much more than I was capable of.

In my study I was led to a couple of talks that were really helpful:

1. Keeping the Gospel Simple - by Glen L. Rudd
Ensign Jan. 1989

This talk is about just what you would expect, not making living the gospel overly complicated.
The gospel is meant to be simple.  We are the ones who make it complicated.

2. Give us This Day Our Daily Bread - by Elder Christofferson
BYU Speech Jan 09, 2011

In this devotional, Elder Christofferson teaches us to take it one day at a time.

To "Look to God for What Is Needed Each Day".

President Uchtdorf's talk was another witness and reminder to me to slow down, take it day by day, and to simplify.  Let me share with you some of my favorite quotes from his talk.

"Sometimes, the truth may just seem too straightforward, too plain, and too simple for us to fully appreciate its great value. So we set aside what we have experienced and know to be true in pursuit of more mysterious or complicated information. . ."

"I wonder if we as Church members might also benefit from asking ourselves from time to time: “Is my experience in the Church working for me? Is it bringing me closer to Christ? Is it blessing me and my family with peace and joy as promised in the gospel?”
image source

Are we making our discipleship too complicated?

". . .sometimes we take the beautiful lily of God’s truth and gild it with layer upon layer of man-made good ideas, programs, and expectations. Each one, by itself, might be helpful and appropriate for a certain time and circumstance, but when they are laid on top of each other, they can create a mountain of sediment that becomes so thick and heavy that we risk losing sight of that precious flower we once loved so dearly. . .Therefore, as leaders we must strictly protect the Church and the gospel in its purity and plainness and avoid putting unnecessary burdens on our members."

"Brothers and sisters, if you ever think that the gospel isn’t working so well for you, I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel. I promise that God will guide and bless you on your path to a fulfilling life, and the gospel will definitely work better for you."

"Sometimes we feel discouraged because we are not “more” of something—more spiritual, respected, intelligent, healthy, rich, friendly, or capable. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve. God created us to grow and progress. But remember, our weaknesses can help us to be humble and turn us to Christ, who will “make weak things become strong.” Satan, on the other hand, uses our weaknesses to the point that we are discouraged from even trying.

"I learned in my life that we don’t need to be “more” of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become.

"God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord."

". . .if we look at ourselves only through our mortal eyes, we may not see ourselves as good enough. But our Heavenly Father sees us as who we truly are and who we can become."

"As you exercise a little faith and begin your walk as a peaceable follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, your heart will change. Your whole being will be filled with light."

"God will help you become something greater than you ever thought possible. And you will discover that the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed working in your life. It works."