Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Birthday Week 2016 - Pit Stop

Wordless Wednesday:
 






Monday, November 28, 2016

Grandma and Grandpa's Tree

 Each year, usually the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, my parents (Grandma and Grandpa Luke) invite the grandkids over to decorate their Christmas tree. This is a tradition we look forward to every year.
It begins with dinner, then the grandchildren get busy hanging 100's of ornaments and other various knick-knacks (some new, most old from when I was a kid) onto the tree, ending with dessert and usually an uplifting Christmas message.
This year we watched THIS VIDEO and committed to 

Follow Our Savior Jesus Christ. In 25 Ways. Over 25 Days.

We even came up with our own plan to Light the World, which I'm super excited about.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

  Ahhh Thanksgiving!!! My very favorite holiday. 
 There are no gifts to wrap, no eggs to hide, no cookies to make, and no candy to buy.
There is however pie! and rolls, and turkey, and green bean casserole, and. . . .well, you get my point.

(Speaking of pie, HERE is my family's traditional award-winning 'pie' recipe)

I just love Thanksgiving Time. 
 I love the decorations,
 the snow,
 olives on fingers,
spending time with family,
  and our annual game of Thanksgiving Bingo.
But the thing I like most about Thanksgiving is counting and focusing on the thousands of things God has given, and done for me.
There's just something about focusing on these blessings that makes me so happy.

I love that we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday first which gives us a chance to focus on the millions of little things God has blessed us with; and then immediately after, we head right into the Christmas season where we celebrate the Greatest Blessing of all, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Love/Hate Relationship

I have a love/hate relationship with blogging and this blog.

Can you tell?

 Some days I love it, other days I hate it.
Some days it feels like torture to write up a blog post, other days I can't get to my computer fast enough. When I capture a moment I want to remember forever, I can't wait to write about it. However, on the other hand, when my kids whine and cry and don't want any pictures taken, it frustrates me and I want to quit. 

Often I feel like what I share on this little piece of the internet is dull, plain, and boring.  I think, "Why do you even bother"?

Some days it drives me crazy that my blog is the only way some people keep in touch with me. Other days, I'm happy and excited that I'm able to share our family's happening.

Maybe it's hormones. Maybe it's stress. Maybe I'm having a mid-life crisis.

Whatever it is, I keep coming back to this crazy little blog.
I love having a place where all my photos and events are stored in chronological order and available from any device. My children love to read it, and sometimes they spend hours looking back through the years of memories this blog holds.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, sorry for being so wishy-washy.
If you're still here and reading this. . . . 

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Baptism Day

 Last Saturday was a special day for our family. It was baptism day for #6. 
She was baptized by Clint. I'm so proud of her for choosing to be baptized and I'm proud that Clint was able to perform the ordinance.
After the services, we headed back to the house for a PARTY/Lunch!
where we had a great time visiting with family. There was food too, of course. We gorged ourselves on sub sandwiches, chips, grapes, and Cookies and Cream cupcakes (per #6's request).

This was a bitter-sweet day for me. I was so happy and excited for #6, but at the same time I couldn't help but think about the fact that another chapter in my life is over. This is the last baptism for me as a mom, and that's just weird, and sad, and kind of exciting all at the same time.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy 8th Birthday!

#6 turned 8 on the 18th of September. For her birthday, she had a couple requests:
1. Spaghetti for dinner. 
Lucky for me (or her) there was leftovers from the Homecoming Pasta Bar the night before. She got spaghetti and I didn't even have to cook it.
2. A ROUND frosted brownie "cake" (not square but round so it looks like a cake) topped with Shopkins (very similar to last year's cake), and a number 8 candle. Easy enough. . . 

Here's a little birthday video for your pleasure - You're welcome!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

T-W-E-N-T-Y! 20!?

Yes, you read that right, on September 5th, my oldest turned 20 year old. 
I'm not going to lie. It seems surreal to have a 20 year old, but I'm so glad that I do.
I love this guy (or do I have to call him a man now???). He's super smart, he has the biggest heart, and he has a pretty sweet stache!

20 candles may not be enough to have the fire department on speed dial, but apparently they can be a bit challenging to blow out.
You can watch the video HERE (https://youtu.be/qBgF3gUsOKI)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homecoming 2016

 September 17th was Homecoming for #3.
Man, I love this kid. He cleans up pretty well.
Here he is with his friends and their dates whom I had the pleasure of hosting for dinner.
I served a pasta bar complete with cheesy garlic bread, and Italian Sodas to drink.
Each one of these kids is a keeper. They were all  polite and thanked me a thousand times for feeding them dinner. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Look Who's Getting Baptized!

It's #6.
You may or may not know that #6 is not a big fan of having her picture taken.
She makes it really hard for an amateur photographer (that would be moi) to quickly and effectively capture her true personality.
 Gratefully, out of the 100's of photos quickly snapped of her, there were a few (thanks to the help of awesome editing programs) really good ones.
These were all taken near our home:
 The stream up the street
 The orchards down the road
 The mountains out our front door

 And the sagebrush field across the street
 Now if Saturday would just hurry up and get here!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Favorite Time of Year


 I love this time of year.
 What time am I referring to? I'm talking about the Fall/Autumn season.
 I love the colorful trees, the bright sunflowers, the crisp chill in the air, the smells (pumpkin chocolate chip cookies), the crunch of leaves under your feet, and most of all, I love the Autumn holidays - Halloween and Thanksgiving.
 Last week, we took some time to decorate the house for Halloween.
 See that bucket of leaves on the piano?  Clint and I went on a 4-wheeler date up into the mountains to cut those, something I hope to make a yearly tradition.
All the pops of orange and black around the house has me giddy.
So does this skeleton, Mr. Bones.  Not only is he cute, he's entertaining as well. Each time I walk by, the children have given him a new pose to hold. Sometimes he looks like a ballet dancer, sometimes he looks like Buddha, rarely ever does he look like a plain ol' skeleton, and I love it!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fixer Upper

My children are obsessed with the TV show, Fixer Upper. Last weekend they had the opportunity to do a little "fixer upper" themselves.
 Clint owns this turn of the century investment property (we're talking 1900, not 2000), after almost 10 years of renting it out, he's selling it.
 The good news is, we have a buyer, the bad news is, there are a few "fixer uppers" that need to be done in order for the buyer's loan to go through.
 These repairs included re-stuccoing, ripping down the old rotted wooden trim, and repainting it all.
We hired a handyman to make all the repairs. He came to the house, took notes, gave us a bid, and said he would start Monday. Monday came, no handyman. Tuesday came, no handyman. When Saturday rolled around and there was still no handyman, with the closing this week, we couldn't wait any longer.
 We gathered our little Fixer Upper enthusiasts, and let them play out the show.
We had all hands on deck- sanding, demoing old wood, painting, stuccoing, nailing, etc.
At the end of the day, the children were tired, dirty, and sweaty, but they were also happy and proud of their little "fixer upper".

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Semi "Vacation"

 Last month, we went on a semi-family vacation.
I say semi because my two oldest boys stayed home to work. 
 And when I say vacation, I mean a USU college orientation for #2 that we turned into a vacation.
 We began our "vacation" by spending a few hours playing at Bear Lake.
 It was windy, but the water was surprisingly warm.
 Speaking of the water, it was really high. You can see we didn't have very much beach to play on.
 The wind and lack of beach didn't deter us from having a blast!
The next day, while Clint and #2 attended orientation at USU, I was in charge of entertaining the rest of the children. This was harder than I thought.
We started out swimming as long as we possibly could in the hotel pool. Then we did a little shopping. #5 bought herself a shirt.
 Next we drove to a park to play and eat lunch, but the children were quickly bored.
I tried to talk them into going to the zoo (-who knew Logan had a zoo?). No takers. 
We did however visit the library, and we drove by the student housing I grew up in as a youngster while my dad was completing his doctoral degree.
 Finally after hours of driving around, we headed to campus, where we just happened to arrive during free ice cream time. What Luck! Aggie's Mint was just what we needed.
 After our ice cream we met up with Clint who helped me entertain the kids for another hour while we waited for #2 to finish up. (Thank goodness)

This might have been a fast, non-exciting vacation, but I've learned that it doesn't really matter where you go, what you do, or for how long you go. What really matters is spending time with your family creating memories, and strengthening relationships.