Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dad thinks of you like I think of the TOILET

We have this giant chalkboard in our master bathroom. I’m talking like two feet by three feet. It has been fun leaving notes to each other. Stephen’s notes usually always bring a smile to me face.

One day he left the following note…


As I was doing Jerrica’s hair in my bathroom she looked up and read the note. Then without hesitation she told me “Dad thinks about you, like I think about the toilet”. I couldn’t help but burst out in laughter. That girl kills me with her funny comments!

February Happenings

February flew by and I need to document all that happened before it is forgotten. I tried downloading pics from my phone to keep with my pics on my computer, and hopefully this year will be more organized!

Ashley had a lot of fun with friends. She is always going to some party and SO badly wants to have a phone of her own to text all of her friends.



She brought Gabby to one of Jerrica’s basketball games and they were “chosen” to keep the clock, maybe a new job for the future.

We kept the kids’ mailboxes stuffed with goodies and notes from the first until Valentine’s Day. One day after school the little girls helped me do origami hearts out of five dollar bills for the mailboxes. I was a little bothered when the kids quickly unfolded them to stick the money in their wallets, but I guess you can’t hand a cashier a fancy origami heart.


We had our annual fancy chocolate fondue party with the kids’ photo books for Valentines. Those books are always a labor of love, but I sure enjoy those sweet faces as they carefully look at each page. I printed a paperback book to send to Jacob in Mexico. Stephen surprised me with an InstaPot and favorite treats.

Lots of trips to Great Wolf Lodge with the kids and their friends. Nathan works there and is always quick to hook us up with passes. He even took his friends one day. Stephen had a member of his team die during February. Stephen had called me from work emotional that this young man had died the night before. We both talked about how quick life can pass by. When I got off the phone I drove to the school with swimsuits and pulled all of my high schoolers out. I told them we were going to go play at Great Wolf. We ended our afternoon with a special treat at a restaurant, but the real treat was spending the day with them!



We saw quite a few movies. I really enjoyed Hidden Figures!


Nathan got an amazing patriarchle blessing. Everyone was crying. The Stake Patriarch said "I have given over 200 blessings and I can say this man is one of the most special that I have been given the privilege to bless.” Oh how we LOVE Nathan! I too think that he is pretty incredible!


We have had a very mild winter, like not much snow at all. However, one day was very frosty and crisp. Everything was white!


Lots of basketball games for the month of February. I will have to highlight a few of my favorite pics in another post. Jerrica’s teacher from last year LOVES Jerrica, like in the way that she still gives her sweet notes and gifts. They are Harry Potter nerds together. Anyway, she usually takes tickets at the door for the basketball games and Jerrica curls right up beside her to help. I almost enjoyed watching them giggle and talk more than I enjoyed watching the games. I would always text Ms. Kane to send Jerrica over to me so that she wouldn’t be bugging her, but she would always beg to let Jerrica stay and keep her company.


The girls had New Beginnings at church with a Wizard of Oz theme. It blows my mind that Ashley will turn 12 this year and be part of Young Women! The big girls also had a fun youth conference at the Broadmoor building during the month of February. I am always grateful for the little uplift that the talks and activities are for my children spiritually.


This month was also filled with ward conferences that kept me busy. It was weird how I longed to be sitting with my own family in the chapel. There is just something about being together as a family, and with mine growing so fast I know my time is ticking.

Also this month, everything broke and stretched our budget a little further than it’s used to. However, there were blessings mixed in with all of it and our outlook changed on certain things. Our old neighbor came to fix our oven. He has an appliance repair business. I took one look at him when he came to fix it and knew that he would die in my house. He has leukemia and his color was so ashen and his weight loss was so unbelievable. He couldn’t walk on his own. We cried together as he talked about probably not making it through the summer. I thought of my problems and it put them right back into perspective.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Afterschool Snacks

I love when I’m able to have a treat when the kids get home from school. There is just something about those sweet faces that light up when they see a goodie I made that TOTALLY lights up my heart. I bake cookies and bars, but have been trying a few other treats lately and thought that I would share.


This was a churro Chex mix from the other day. A friend of mine makes goodies for the girls when they have away games. She gave me some and I was sold on the texture and taste. Here is that recipe…


This next one is one that I haven’t personally tried because I really don’t care for peanut butter. However, I have tried finding recipes with peanut butter to help give my kids a little more protein. Kaylee LOVES this treat!


Monday, March 6, 2017

DoNut forget to Pray

Our last week of FHE on prayer was centered around a treat the Stephen picked up in Denver on his way home. HOT Krispy Kreme’s…. well maybe not too hot.

Krispy Prayer

They were in these cool Power Ranger boxes, which made it even more exciting. I printed off a cut printable to add to our fridge collection on prayer.

We discussed Enos and the verbs that are used in that chapter. We talked about how he prayed and how we should. We shared thoughts and ideas on prayer. I think I have sufficiently inundated them about prayer this month, and you know what…. you can tell that we have talked about prayer just by listening to them in our family prayer.

“Prayer unlocks the powers of heaven in our behalf” – Gordon B Hinckley

Speedracing Prayer FHE

The month of February we have been focusing on prayer. One night we pulled out the quote by Corrie Ten Boom to analyze.


We talked with all of the drivers asking them how often they touch and use the steering wheel as they are trying to get to their destination. Then we moved on to the spare tire and asked once again how often that was used. Is it really important to have a spare tire? Of course in an emergency it’s essential however for everyday we MUST have a steering wheel. The steering wheel is what directs and guides us. Yet so often prayer isn’t used like that, but instead in those emergencies of life we pull out a prayer for a plea of help.

After our discussion we headed to the Overdrive Speedway that just opened by the kids’ school. SO much fun!


As we drove home we finished with another discussion of how often they used their spare tire versus the steering while during their race. I challenged them to make their prayers a daily steering wheel guiding them through their days.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Play Eat Play Eat Play Eat

Stephen had to work and Nathan was busy, SO the girls and I decided to have a day to ourselves. My first instinct was let’s get some spring cleaning done. However, the more I thought about that the more I didn’t want to do that. PLUS, the weather was going to be in the low 70’s. We had to get out and enjoy it! Plans were made and off we went.

We started at the movie theater for the first showing of “Lion”. I bawled like a baby at the end of the movie and was embarrassed to look at people as we left the theater. The movie is about a young boy in India that gets lost from his brother. He ends up in Australia and the story is about trying to find his way home. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the mother bond that he had with both mothers. Anyway, it was a really good movie!


We then headed over to a fun pizza place to grab some lunch. We needed a little energy to hike.


My kids know how much I enjoy hiking and are sure good sports to put up with me. Kaylee practiced with her camera for her photography class. Rebecca told us all of her drama at school and the little girls rolled their eyes at all of it.

We hiked a little trail near Garden of the Gods. Such an absolutely gorgeous day!


Oh how I love these sweet girls and their different personalities! Oh how grateful I am that one of them didn’t end up in Australia like in the movie!


Selfies always make me smile!



We hike Pancake Rocks a lot. The girls thought the different layers in the rock looked like bacon and deemed this the Bacon Rock Hike.


As soon as we were good and tired, we headed back to the van. I knew that we had burned quite a few calories so we needed something else to eat….

Image result for nothing bundt cakes

Mixed with Costco’s smoothie we were able to replenish our sugar levels. I have decided that days like this are what I enjoy most. They always involve, play, eat, play, eat, play, eat….

We ended the day going over to a friend’s house for dinner and then a really fun Family Home Evening that I will have to post. It was a beautiful day with my four beautiful daughters! SO grateful for the time that I have with them.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Baby Projects

My baby still loves showing off her projects and tests. My high schoolers tend to hide their tests and papers in their backpacks, but not Jerrica.

She still posts her spelling tests on the fridge, has a grin with her school projects, and gets so excited for special days at school that you would think the day was her birthday.

She came home last night with a “Cursive License” and you would have thought that she was 16 showing me her drivers license. We immediately put it on the fridge for all to see! This included the appliance repair man that stopped by last night. He saw it, and oohed and ahhed all over that cursive license. The smile that shined through her braces as he was praising her made me gush!

So I must post all of her stuff least we forget. There was Viking Day at the first of February.

Viking dayViking Day2

Complete with making shields, stories, drumsticks and rice pudding. Jerrica believes that this would have been a fun time period to live in, yet I beg to differ. Why did they have to wear such heavy furs and coats? Ugh, because it was awfully cold where they lived.

Jer Projects

Here is her animal puppet that she had to make to go with her animal report. She also dissected an owl pellet that was filled with little bones. They had to put the bones together to prove that the owl had eaten a mouse. Then of course a colored and labeled 3-D globe that can be hung up in her room.

School is AWESOME, according to Jerrica!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Expensive Cheap Art

I absolutely LOVE art! There is something about it that moves me, makes me think and feel. I love the messages that are sent through art.

My problem though, is that it is very expensive. I sometimes dread telling Stephen how much I spent on some home decor item. He never sees it as a need such as food. However, I enjoy nice things to look at in our home, and I believe that art brings a spirit into a home.

ANYWAY, I have loved this piece since I first saw it. The painting is by Brian Kershisnik and is called “She Will Find What is Lost”. Here is what Brian said about his artwork….

“If I may ask it of you, I ask that you respect that my intention for this piece was to speak to the most intensely private and intimate kind of supernatural interference, influence, and assistance, whatever your particular experience.  I don’t have to agree with you to believe that whatever your gender, circumstance, or issue, many unseen forces are interested in you, love you, and work to influence matters for your profound benefit.  Most of what we all do is resist it, misinterpret it, or mess it up, but my experience indicates that these unseen efforts persist impossibly.  I thank God for that.”


I love it and can relate to it! There are SO many special people in my life guiding and helping me, some I don’t even see. Not a day goes by without someone influencing and helping me. I am not alone! Each person reaching out to me keeps me smiling, keeps me learning, keeps loving me, and keeps me going.

Art is definitely not cheap. It shouldn’t be either considering  all of the time and creativity that goes into a piece. So to have this expensive art, I cut up my magazines for it. Yes, there are parts of the picture that don’t make it into the frame because it had text on it, but the parts that DO make it into the frame remind me of why I enjoy it so much. Anyway, my Ensign from this month is now cut up and framed AND we are enjoying it!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I have found that is EXACTLY why bad things happen because they are good people!

I see time and time again sweet, kind friends being hammered with one thing after another. I think to myself why do they have to endure so many trials and problems. I remember Nathan’s junior year during soccer when he got hurt and a few others were out with ACL’s and other injuries. I started wondering, why is it all of these good kids that are getting hurt, why not some of these punks?!? As I was voicing my frustration to my sister Alesha, she told me “maybe that’s why they ARE good kids because of the trials they have had to go through”. That hit me hard because it rang true to my heart!

These last few days have been hard for me. On Saturday Stephen was hit from behind at a stop light. The other driver tried to create her “own” lane and pull up to a stop between the two lanes WITH two cars that were already there. She didn’t have any insurance. As I talked with Stephen I thought that everything would be fine since we have comprehensive insurance, yet he reminded me that we would still have to pay the $500 deductible. What? She doesn’t pay insurance AND gets to walk away without fixing our vehicles?!?!?

Then Tuesday morning Stephen walks out to the garage to clean off the back window of our new to us car, that we had just bought that weekend. Somehow the window shatters, not just a crack but SHATTERED! Once again that’s $250 to replace and so now within a few days we are up to $750 to just fix what we already owned! I immediately start thinking what are we doing wrong, but after studying this for a while now, I should immediately ALSO think what are we doing right in our lives to make Heavenly Father think that we are ready to grow more.

I thought of this quote when I was thinking about my original question, “Learning often becomes more acute and precise and has greater depth when brought about by adversity.” Good people want to learn and progress. They don’t want to remain stagnant. Adversity brings on that learning needed to really grow.

I have been reading and studying this book lately and loved this quote in it, “Heavenly Father would not deny enriching but stretching divine tutorials to ‘any’ who follow Him, especially those who have already done much to prove their love for Him and are thus ready for further lessons.” He gives trials to those that he LOVES!

I need to step back and realize that sometimes it takes a life lesson to help me grow. I also need to think that it’s not just what He is trying to teach me, but what he is trying to help me BECOME!

I love the quote by Neal A Maxwell, “Life lessons and trials, whether slow and stressful or sudden and harsh call for us to ponder, again and again, the implications of His divine perspective “the Son of Man hath descended below them all, Art thou greater than he?”

So as I’m studying and putting all of this together I start thinking of dear friends and family, I start analyzing different events from my life and how they have affected me and made me who I am. I couldn’t help but agreeing with my sister about that’s why they are good people, they have endured challenges and are stronger for it. “We have to develop our spiritual muscles, build up our spiritual wind, strengthen our spiritual endurance if we are going to win this race and claim the prize. You don’t run marathons by taking a taxicab across the route several times. You don’t gain patience by getting instant gratification or relief every time you call on the Lord.”

Then comes in the well known analogy by CS Lewis of the house ….

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.

Yes, he can build a mansion out of me. I don’t want to be some little shack that shakes in the wind and cold. It will be a pain as I’m thrown challenges during my remodeling, but each stage I will grow stronger. Therefore, I need to take each challenge as an offer for growth and see it that way.

“If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow.”

AND then to remember in the back of my head… Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” There is an end, there is a deliverance.

Of course with all of this thought and study, I had to delve into Job. Here is a man that even the scriptures said was “perfect”, in Job 1:1 it states that there was a man named Job who was “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil”. Job literally had it ALL going on with family, work, life! Then of course as we all know he lost his animals, servants, children, health.. he suffered enourmously “yet I trust in Him” (Job 13:15) was Job’s response. I can’t even imagine all that Job gained in the eternal scheme but in the end the Lord even gave him “twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10)

Everything will work out, it ALWAYS does. I just need to remind myself that there are things to be learned and growth to be made that couldn’t occur otherwise. I just had to get my thoughts out because I’m sure just like I go back to this blog for recipes and photos, I will need to go back for some comfort when my future challenges are at the door.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Prayer FHE

This month for FHE we are focusing on prayer. One night after our dinner prayer and then later the family prayer, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like we were going through the motions, saying the same lines, rotating through turns of who is supposed to prayer, and basically just doing it because it was routine. I knew that we definitely needed to study prayer as a family a bit more.

We started out with this video montage of movie prayers and talked about how awkward some of the prayers were because there was no relationship or experience praying, yet how heartfelt and sincere other prayers were.

I had printed up the talk from Elder Richard G Scott, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer”, and handed out a copy to everyone on Sunday. I told them to highlight and bring it to FHE the next night. I smiled at Jerrica’s copy because it was all a solid highlighted pink. We had an amazing discussion about this incredible talk that is filled with thoughts and ideas on prayer.

Then the pressure was on Rebecca to end our FHE after having just analyzed prayer, but of course she was all over giving the most beautiful prayer ever! We then had to end with a trip to Auntie Anne's because they have a buy one get one free deal. Pretzels are actually associated with prayer because of the monk that designed them YEARS ago so that the children would remember to fold their arms and pray.

I stuck this on our fridge to help us remember our lesson during the week.

I'm really excited about next week's lesson!

Monday, February 6, 2017

One Second Every Day

I LOVE the One Second Everyday App! It is so incredibly easy to use and does all the mashing for you. Then by having so many busy girls asking and taking videos it makes doing it even easier!

I enjoy the little glimpse it gives into our lives and the memories that come alive when I see these seconds. It doesn't take very long to do, only one second! ;)

Monday, January 30, 2017


I like mixing a lot of different things all into one post so that I can remember them all and not have to make a bunch of entries. I finally finished all of the kids picture books from 2016 just in time to get Jacob’s out to him for Valentine’s Day. I am so grateful to Claudia for always taking packages to Mexico for me! I smiled as I got everything together to send. Only missionaries would be getting candy along with meal packets to make dinners. I actually think that Jacob gets more excited for these seasoning packets than the treats so that he has something to make dinner with. I also found super cheesy, but funny Book of Mormon Valentine's cards that we stuck in a felt heart. Hoping that this will put a big smile on his face!

Missionary Package

Our old white van officially rolled over 300,000 miles. We may have had a little celebration over this and all the kids are now praying that it will make 400,000 miles. I can’t even begin to tell you what a great van this has been. Toyota knows how to make them! We haven’t ever really had to take it in to a mechanic to fix anything either.


I did frown that since Thursday we have already added another 400 miles to it.

I started reading this book….


and proceeded to FINISH reading this book because I couldn’t put it down. My girls all downed it and then Stephen listened to it as he commuted and everyone loved it. Really a good one!

We have been pushing goals this month in FHE and any chance that we get to talk with the kids. I have tried showing different methods to set goals and our fridge has been plastered with quotes on achieving.


Basketball is still in full swing. Last week we had eight basketball games and four indoor soccer. I’m going to be sad when this season of life is over. Jerrica played with the top soccer team for an indoor game. She scored four points and they won 5-1. The coach asked me after the game, “now why don’t we have her on our team”. Jerrica has a really cute basketball coach that will take up an entire post in and of itself.


She is SO competitive that I get a kick out of seeing her eyes get so big and intense.

I was going to add some favorite recipes that we have been eating a lot of lately, but need to organize and fancify them first. Kaylee also has this sweet mom from her team that makes the most amazing treats for the girls. She just shared recipes on Saturday so I will mix those in to.

One last quick thought that I totally believe…