Friday, April 30, 2010

Newsprint Table

Do you know what this is?
Of course you do because you read the title of this post.  It is a roll of newsprint.  We bought it for about $10 when the boys were little from our local newspaper office and as you can see we still have TONS left.  I LOVE this paper because we can use it for so many things like welcome home banners, or filler in boxes we are mailing, or to lay down for messy craft projects or for table coverings at meals. 

Ashley wanted a project so I rolled it out onto the table to have her decorate it for dinner.
In years past I would haul out the big roll and let the kids go to town decorating as I would make dinner.  It would entertain them and then entertain us as we looked at the artwork while we ate.  Today Ashley asked if I would make some pictures with her.  I thought that it would be fun to personalize each place setting and then fill in with games.
I had little doodling games like -
  • Tic Tac Toe
  • Mad Libs
  • Finish the Face, Monster, Flowers in the Vase
  • Family Thumb War Ring with place to write the winners
  • Word Game Ideas
  • Finish the Sentence
The possibilities are endless.  When each family member came to dinner they commented on my notes to them and then proceeded to make a few of their own notes and doodles.  Nathan made us play hang man and Jacob drew an incredible monster.  Ashley LOVED showing off her afternoon drawings.  It was really a lot of fun!

The best part was that the newsprint kept my table clean from the dinner mess!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Everything Waits for ME!

My scriptures lay there waiting for me to pick them up.  My fat waits for me to exercise it off, so I try and go work-out.  I come home and see that the laundry and dishes have waited for me to do them.  The house hasn't  started cleaning itself, it too has waited for me.  I look at what to make for dinner and once again it sits waiting in the pantry.  All my fun projects lie in wait for my hands to get a hold of them.  My kids wait for me to do something fun with them, my husband waits on that one too!

I feel like EVERYTHING is waiting for me.  Everything waits for me, except for TIME.  I wish that time would wait.  I wish that I could pause time here and there.  I could really get ahead if I could pause time.  Wouldn't that be awesome to pause time in the morning, get EVERYTHING done, then start time to do whatever your heart desired.

Well I better go, sleep is waiting for me now...


I just figure these posts are the easiest way to answer people's questions because a lot of them are the same.

Here are the 8 1/2 by 11 Sea pictures.  I chalked them, but can't remember where they came from.
Sea Sea2
Years ago I did a few FHE groups where one person makes 10 of the same lesson and then we meet and swap.  So that's why I don't know exactly where some of them have come from.  We love family home evening nights and do try and do them every week.  The kids don't let us forget and there is usually something that I'm wanting to teach or share with them.  I know that my time with them listening to me won't be around forever so I'm trying to take advantage of it now.

Also, those of you who have asked what FHE is, HERE is a great explanation.

So many have asked where I got the nice cream and wrinkle free backdrop for so many of my pictures.  It made me smile because it's actually just a wall in our house.  I have whomever I'm taking the picture of just take a step AWAY from the wall so that you don't see the texture (or dirty handprints) on the wall, just a nice distant bokeh. 
Also, my 50mm-1.4 lense is what I take the majority of my pictures with.  LOVE it!

I always hear, "Shauna your blog makes me feel guilty"  OK seriously that's ridiculous!  If you would journal everything you did in a day you would find that you probably do a whole lot more than me.  I remember talking to my good friend Angie about this one night.  She had just finished talking about going to the park with her kids, doing all the freezer meals for our freezer group and then was knitting a gift, yet she still said that she hadn't done anything that day.  We do so many little things in a day that add up to A LOT if we could just step back and see that!

Hope that answers some questions!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tea Party

A couple weeks ago Ashley begged Stephen and I to go up to her room for a tea party.  We were sooo surprised to see that she cleaned her room and see the care she had taken in setting her little table.  Of course we all thoroughly enjoyed it, especially Ash. 

Well, she proceeded to plan and talk about having another tea party for all of the family up in her room.  One day when she was talking about it we were shopping in Wal-Mart.  I decided then and there to make it a grand tea party.  We bought pink napkins and plates.  We bought those little pink waffer cookies.  We bought raspberry sherbet to make a drink.  She was soooo excited as we kept getting things for the tea party.

Tea Party2
And let me tell you the tea party was grand.  She cleaned her room once again and had every little chair that we own set up for everyone in our family.  Everyone kept complimenting her on her fancy tea party.  She beamed the entire time.  The older girls asked her for her Fancy Nancy drink recipe for their recipe binders, so we had to create a little recipe card for them.

Today as I was up there helping clean her room she asked if I would have a small tea party with her.  I couldn't resist pictures this time around.  She is just too into these little parties and I must journal this stage that she is in!

She had to talk on the phone while she was cooking (I kinda do that)Tea Party
Tea Party4_edited-2
And then the time slipped away as we were having our tea party and I had to go teach piano lessons.  She proceeded to pout on her bed.  I'm sure we will have yet ANOTHER tea party in the near future.
Tea Party3_edited-3
Ashley, thanks for all the tea parties lately!  You keep our family FANCY!


I heart faces theme is smile this week.  I couldn't resist submitting Miss Jerrica with her current favorite hat.
@@ Check out the other smiling faces here -

Can I just say that I LOVE iheartfaces tutorials.  Check those out too.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Durango Drummettes

When we first moved here Steve's aunt in Denver would have us over for dinner all the time.  She is an incredible cook.  She shared this recipe when we moved here.  Jacob was just a toddler and would refuse to relinguish his drummettes when dinner was over.  My kids still LOVE these and get so excited when we are having them.  Try them, they are too easy not to.

I have had some friends tell me that they have tried this recipe or that recipe from my blog and loved it.  I would love to know what you have tried and liked.  Just leave a comment of what it was, I'm just curious...

Weekend Update

We did a little swimming with friends.  Thanks Elaine!

Villa Sport

Played some soccer up in Thorton.

Soccer Had a playdate with some wayyyy cute puppies


Went for a family hike to celebrate Earth Day



Cactus1 Cactus6

The boys had an overnight scout camp in Bethune, Colorado.  I was sad sending them out in the blizzard of snow.  School was even canceled the day they left because of the snow. 

Our weekend was different with just the girls here.  I sure missed my boys!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Normal Day

I LOVE this quote by Mary Jean Iron. 

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return"

I know these "normal" days of raising toddlers isn't going to last much longer....
@@@@ @@@@@
 Isn't that the cheesiest grin ever! 
Miss Jerrica obviously enjoys HER normal days, as should I.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Decorating

I should be Spring cleaning, BUT  have been Spring decorating instead!  Last night as I was waiting for Jacob to finish his art class I noticed the flowers were on sale and I have been dying to do an arrangement.  I LOVED the colors that Becki Higgins had used in her latest arrangements HERE and wanted to give orange and turquoise a try.  Those two colors are so bright and fun for Spring.

Then later last night as the boys were at scouts, Kaylee at achievement days, and the little girls were asleep - Rebecca and I started our project.  I loved working with her and her sweet little conversation.  I had picked up a nest stem and hoped to round up a bird at home.  Miss Rebecca dashed to her treasure box and came up with three little plastic eggs that I had her paint blue along with a frame.  I was sooo excited that she had these.  They brought in the turquoise that I needed.  After sticking in flowers here and there, we ended up making a late night run to Michaels in our PJ pants for Spanish Moss and a few more flowers!  Here is our master piece-

I asked the kids this morning if they liked the flowers to which Nathan said, "NO!"  I was curious why such an adamant answer, then he told me that he didn't like his Easter picture being taken down.  You gotta love the photo wall attention.  My picture should go up along with these grandma pictures for Mother's Day, but I can't bring myself to put ME on the wall!
I need to do a little more tweaking, but I'm liking it.  I put the old glass door knob from Grandma Jackie's by her picture.  I loved pulling that knob knowing that I was walking into Grandma's house, just looking at it I get all nostalgic.

I love little treasures like this that are filled with memories.  I remember visiting a lady once who has such an incredible sense of decorating.  I was always puzzled by a plastic sword she kept on her perfectly decorated bookcases.  The first time I saw it I thought a grandchild had left it there.  Then on another occasion as we were visiting she related the story of when her toddler son had drown in their swimming pool.  She ran out and saw the neighbor boy in the pool and started CPR on him and then saw her own son in the pool as well.  Her son passed away.  His favorite toy during those toddler years was his plastic sword, which she proudly displays amongst her decor.

I love all the memories and treasures stowed here and there in my house.  They don't really mean anything to those looking at them, but to me they are priceless.  Anyway got off on a tangent, but had to share my Spring arrangement I wish the photos did it justice. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Family Field Trip

Today we let the kids stay home from school for a little family field trip.  Someone sweet was on the ball, and got passes for us to tour ...


Mission foods makes tortillas and chips for places like Taco Bell, Chipotle, Chili's and many others.  They also have chips and tortillas that we can buy in the stores.  Pueblo, Colorado has one of their factories and they alone produce 1.6 million tortillas a day.  Can you believe that, 1.6 million a day!?!?  Plus they are also busy making the colored chips for restaurants and regular corn chips.

I think that's what I enjoyed about the tour, that there were so many products being manufactured.

The smell of HOT fresh tortillas were in the air making us hungry.  We were able to eat tortillas on the way home because they handed out goody bags at the end.


The tortillas were soooo soft.  I remember as a little girl going to the tortilla factory by my Grandma Coley's house.  The workers would give us scraps to eat.  Alesha and I still reminisce about it.

Anyway, two thumbs up for a fun day! 

Denver houses a Jolly Rancher, peanut butter, Wonder bread and a few other fun factories.  I think we might have to have a Day in Denver and tour factories.  Anyone want to go with us?  Let me know ...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Two Seas FHE

This is an oldie but goodie FHE.  Kaylee pulled it out to use for her talk on Sunday.  Then I made her share it with the family for FHE last night.  I had previously taken the two big pictures of the seas and scanned them to make a hand-out to keep on the fridge.
I love the message...
We then finished up with a really cute service activity.
I sure hope that all of our FHE's are sinking into our heads!

Sounds of Summer

I was sitting in my bedroom this afternoon with the window open and LOVED the sounds coming from outside.  Winter is so quiet with the windows all closed up as we try to stay warm.  Then summer comes and everyone flocks outside filling the air with noise-

Birds Singing

Sprinklers sputtering out Water

Kids Laughing

Springs on the Trampoline Squeaking

Bouncing of a Basketball

Kicking of Soccer Balls

Shadow Barking, excited that the Kids are Outside

Squeak of the Swings

Whir of Scooters and Bicycles

Chalk Scraping against the Sidewalk 

 I just LOVE the sounds of summer!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Update

Packages. There is just something about getting packages that always brings a smile to those giving AND receiving.  Last Fall I got a package from Amazon with Scott Kelly's photography books that I had been wanting and even had in my shopping cart.  I knew that I hadn't ordered them and couldn't figure out why Amazon was sending them to me, THEN I read the invoice which had a sweet note from my friend Becki, who also shares a love for photography.  I was SOOO excited to get these out of the blue from her.

I love sending packages as well.  I sent this one a couple of weeks ago to a friend and then saw that she posted the package on her blog HERE.  She's too cute!  I love sending this soup to people that live far away because I don't live right there to take them over a dinner.  It has everything to throw into the crockpot except for the frozen chicken breasts (that would be hard to send)

And once again packages made this week fun.  I had a birthday and recieved some of the most creative and sweet gifts.  I will have to share one of them when I remember to take a picture of it.  I'm excited for another one that is still in the process of being knitted!  A big thanks to all my sweet friends and family for spoiling me on my big day.

I also got a couple of packages this week from bloggers that I have met.  One was filled with stickers that are screaming my girls' names to do a project with.  Another was a fun surprise with these headbands that my girls immediately fought over.  We loved all the different colors that already match outfits perfectly!  Thank you Katherine and Dana!


We also had soccer games Saturday.  I SOOOO enjoy watching my kids play.  Kaylee played her heart out.  Another mom said, "If we could have 10 more Kaylee's out there on the field, then we would have won."

I also did a photo shoot of some of the young women in our Stake for a gift that the presidency is working on.  It was interesting to see how confident some of them were, and how unsure of themselves others were.  I wanted to grab those unsure ones and tell them how beautiful they really are and that they need to let that shine on the inside AND outside.  Oh how I want all four of my girls to be confident as they continue getting older.

I have known these two since they were six!



This one didn't want her braces in the picture but had such a huge smile and just couldn't hold her smile in.  I think this was the ONLY one that didn't have her braces showing, which is what she wanted.  Can't you just see how hard she is concentrating to hold that big smile in?


There were quite a few girls and so many fun shots.  I have to share one more.  I loved her eyes in this one.  She was one of my young women from when I was the president.  Who knows what she is thinking about with that look!?!?!


We also FINALLY went to see "How to Train your Dragon".


We loved the look of the characters.  Can you imagine living back during the time of the Vikings?!?! 

Mix in all the other craziness and running around and that was our week.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I love capturing natural expressions on faces in photos.  This can be hard because the cheesy smiles usually come out when the camera comes out.  I have found that if I am talking as I'm snapping pictures I can get more natural expressions.  So I usually sit there chatting behind my camera, trying to be witty.  I just continuously shoot as I'm talking and can find a couple that are the natural expressions of the person I'm shooting.

Here is one that I snapped as we were walking out the door yesterday to go shopping.  I just couldn't resist taking it, she looked so cute with her jean bead purse and was trying to act so big.

She stood by the wall and I talked with her about what she wanted to buy, what was in her purse, if I could have her purse ... To which I got this fun look which said  -You are NOT going to get my purse from me!

So my tip of the day is to not be so quick to tell your subject to say, "cheese".  Instead TALK with them about anything and everything.  You get so many true expressions!

The Use of Words

I LOVED my communication classes in college and I still enjoy watching and learning from someone who KNOWS the art of communication.  The use of just a few simple words can make such a difference.  Take this example -

----Christmas parties are winding up and two different teachers are trying to get their classrooms under control.  I was walking in between my kids' classes and this is what the fifth grade teacher sounded like, "You guys start picking up" - no one is really listening, the room is a disaster.  "Everyone start cleaning up our room".  It just felt like chaos.  I then venture into the fourth grade room and this is what their teacher sounded like, "Let's get our room cleaned up, and then we can listen to one last Christmas story.  Nathan can you and Olivia clean off the boards, ...  Then she proceeds to walk around commenting to the kids, "Nathan and Olivia, you two sure work well together ... Jackson you sure are a quick sorter ... Madison you can always find EVERY last piece of trash on the floor..."  I then go back into the fifth grade room.  It is STILL trashed the kids are out of control and nothing is really getting done as the teacher keeps nagging them to clean up.  I do one last check in the fourth grade room and it is totally organized with everyone sitting around listening to a Christmas story.

This scenario happened over a year ago and I have reflected back to it many times and have used Ms. Schmuttermair's skills here in our home.  I try to be specific about the tasks needing done, instead of just 'everyone clean'.  I then try hard to compliment those working on jobs together, telling them how well they work together.  I also try commenting on how well they are doing their chores.  Rebecca wasn't an immaculate sweeper, UNTIL I started telling her that she was one of my best.  Then all of a sudden I noticed the care she takes in getting ALL the crumbs and dirt.  She will always say to me as she sweeps, "Why do you think I'm such an awesome sweeper Mom?..."  because she is looking for the praise and compliments once again.

I just LOVE the use of a few words complimenting on a job well done, they make such a HUGE difference!  The work gets done, we are positive, AND we have time to do OTHER things besides clean!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Love this Little One

She loves to whisper secrets. 

She loves to "try" and hide surprises in her hands.


She is loving ponytails right now.

She loves to copy Ashley.

She loves ME, and I can't help but love her!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Butterfly Hands

I have caught grief from SOMEONE ever since I made the finger paint bunny with Ashley. 

Everyday Miss Jerrica will say, "Who did that?" (as she points to the bunnies)  I reply OR Ashley replies that we did it.  She then will say something like, "Wow!  I want to paint mom"  Then the conversation will reoccur again in the next day or two.  Jerrica does LOVE to paint and do projects.  The problem is that I kinda enjoy one on one time with Ashley when Jerrica is taking her naps.  I knew though that I HAD to do a painting project with her.

So, I found THIS and we made these today with Ashley.
Butterfly Hands
Aren't they cute butterflies for Spring?!?!  Jerrica has proceeded to comment on hers over and over.  She is quite proud.  I do need to include her more in projects.
I'm just excited to have these sweet little hand prints to treasure forever!  I need to name and date them.

Also today I was quite busy all day.  I was in the process of cleaning out my closet when Ashley yells from my bed.  "Mom come snuggle me and watch this movie with me"  I reply, "Oh Ash, I NEED to clean this closet out"  Then she says, "Mom you NEED to snuggle ME because the closet doesn't NEED you I do"  Of course this made me smile and stop to take a break to snuggle my Ash.  Yes she is right the closet doesn't really NEED me like my little ones do!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gospel Art Kit Binders

I love art!  I love how differently artists can depict the same event.  I enjoy seeing the different perspectives.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the Gospel Art Picture Kit over the years.

It came in a little blue box, but that went by the wayside years ago because it was too hard for the kids to look through the pictures.  Instead I put them into different binders in sheet protectors.  One is for the Bible, one has miscellaneous modern day pictures, mormonads, coloring sheets, and the other is the Book of Mormon and Church History

Gospel Art Kit  
It makes it sooo much easier to thumb through the pages to find a certain story. 

I kinda ADD to the kit here and there.  I really don't think that the little blue box would be able to hold all my pictures.  I think I have 20 or so additional pictures for each section.  I love the art on the back and front covers of magazines, and usually tear a few out to add to my collections.  I don't save the magazines because I can find the articles online, but I do save the artwork.  The Kit is pretty comprehensive,  BUT there is always a different perspective or a scene that isn't in the kit.  Here is one of the Grand Council.
Gospel Art Ki2t
I just had to add it to the binder so that I had a picture depicting this event.  I am a visual person and LOVE to have pictures to teach with.  These binders just make FHE, Primary and helping the kids prepare talks so much easier.

I was just adding to the binders today, and thought I'd share the idea with you.  You are probably already doing it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

11 on 11

Nathan just celebrated his 11th birthday! 
N Birthday
He is quite in love with the sport of soccer.  He LOVES to go to practice 3 times a week.  He LOVES his games.  He is constantly kicking his ball around the house trying out different moves.  So of course for his birthday he wanted this soccer movie, a soccer rebound net, another soccer ball, soccer shorts ... You get the picture.  Soccer is his life right now.
Stephen came up with a rebound soccer net.  I came up with a soccer cake.
N Birthday3
N Birthday4 
He did get other things that weren't soccer related.  He finally got his i-pod docking station for his room and some i tunes giftcards to go with it.  Music is always ON when Nathan is around!
N Birthday2
Nathan is very talented at soccer.  He is also a good basketball AND piano player.  He loves videogames and sports movies.  Math comes easy for him.  He has scored in the 98% on his national achievement tests IN math.  He is a very sweet boy.  I love how he interacts with the little girls or with our pets.  He just has a gentleness about him.  Yet, Nathan can also be quite intense at times.  He is very time conscientious.  And have I said yet that he LOVES soccer?!?
Nathan Pueblo
We sure love you Nathan and are so blessed to have you in our family!

Weekend Update

My parents were here the first of the week.  My dad helped us with a big wood project.  Thanks DAD!!! 

We went to see "The Tooth Fairy" at the dollar theater on our snow day.  I love going to these with the kids because of THIS

We ate a ton of leftover Easter candy all week long, ... so much for my diet.


We played legos over and over.  We have two huge Rubbermaid tubs of them.  As soon as the tubs come up from the basement and crash on to the family room floor, the kids come and start a creating.


Jacob is going strong with art again.  He is working with oils and had to do two cartoons on canvas.  They still need to dry before he takes a Sharpie to line them out.  I think the oils on such big canvas would be sooo hard to work with.

Jake ArtJake Art2

We had weekend soccer games.

Kaylee Soccer


Rebecca went to a spa birthday party on Saturday.  She had a facial, manicure, pedicure and some type of wax treatment.  She told me that she SHOULD do this EVERY Saturday to stay pretty.  Oh I hope that girl finds her a rich husband for all her wants!!!

I LOVE Saturday because we are able to get so much done.  Plus, it is always filled with friends to visit with at girls' night outs and at the kids' games.  I just LOVE Saturdays!  Well sitting here resting on Sunday is not so bad either!!!