Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It's that time of year again.  Kaylee is old enough to do soccer try-outs now.  I couldn't send them off, without a little something...


Both Nathan and Kaylee have been out practicing FOREVER for this! 

They sure are fun to watch. :) 

Kaylee Prodigy

It's just not fun paying for competitive sports. :(

Palmer Lake Resevoirs

So I had a little melt down.  From Friday morning until Sunday morning I was consistently without two or more of my kids because they were with their friends.  I know friends are VERY important because they are to me, BUT I don't have very many years left with my kids, AND I'm stingy with family time, SO on Memorial Day I declared it would ONLY be our family spending it together.  I LOVED every minute of it!

We decided to take a picnic lunch up to the reservoirs at Palmer Lake.  It's a three mile round trip hike, with a pretty descent incline.  Yet, it is so beautiful!

   Palmer Lake3 Palmer Lake4 Palmer Lake5 

There was a really fun swing at the top reservoir.  The family just before us had an older daughter that told us her best friend had just been proposed to on the swing and she was bringing her family up to show them the swing.  I guess the boy had hauled all of the supplies and tools up the trail and made it for his girl.  My girls thought that was SO romantic as the older girl talked about it.  My boys just thought the swing was cool!

Palmer Lake2

It has almost become a tradition to take the Costco fruit sorbets on hikes, as our treat to cool off. 

Palmer Lake8Palmer Lake9

My favorite line of the day was from Ashley.  I was walking with her and a man nearby had just caught a fish.  We talked about how he was probably going to go home and cook it for dinner.  I then asked if she liked to eat fish, to which she replied,

"Dad, tries to get me to eat 'Tunie' fish and he doesn't even catch it.  He just opens it out of the can and thinks I will like it.  Maybe if he would actually catch a 'Tunie' fish, I would like it."

Absolutely beautiful weather for our hike!

Oh the Summer We Will Have

I like to keep a schedule during the summer.  The kids are used to schedules during the school year, and I think it's good for them to stay on a schedule so that they keep productive.  So this is our schedule - In the morning they have to get ready, practice their piano lessons, do their chores and Steve has them doing Khan Academy each day.  Khan Academy is an amazing math program that is free and online.  The kids love it because they earn money from Steve for each module they complete.  Check out the site  HERE

After the morning routine, we can have fun in the afternoon.  I made long lists under five different categories, Oh the Food we will Eat, Oh the Service that can be Done, Oh the Places we will Go, Oh the Crafts we will Make, and Oh the Activities we will Do.
Summer Fun
On Sunday we go over our lists together and decide which idea we will do for each day.  It's just one category per day, but some days we can combine a couple.  This last week as we were planning it was interesting to hear the kids.  "Let's do a food category on Thursday since it's a Screen Day" and "Let's go somewhere on a day that's not a Screen Day."  They are thinking, those kids of mine.  (Screen Days are days that they can watch TV and play on the computer.  They are on Tues, Thurs, and Sat.  Time on those are still limited though)

I like the advanced planning so that I can get everything ready for whatever we need to do.  Some are easy and we can combine a few ideas.  I didn't designate specific days of the week as specific days for each of our categories like past years.  We decide on Sunday what day will be what, this way we can plan with friends' schedules, the weather, etc.

I just know if I don't have my lists and get the activities on the calendar, they just don't happen and get forgotten about.  I'm excited to add service to our list this summer.  The  list contains ideas like taking balloons to the hospital and giving them to someone that the nurses say needs them - to passing out popsicles at the park. 

We have just compiled A LOT of things that we want to do before the summer is gone, AND I'm excited to say that we are already checking quite a few off the list.

Just send a dollar through PayPal with your email and I will email you the lists in a Word Document.


 This photo just says summer to me...

Jerrica was thrilled when I let her wear the pink tutu on our hike.  She LOVES that tutu!

After an hour into the hike we found a swing by the lake that ALL of my kids were thrilled to swing on, especially, Jerrica.
Palmer LakeED3 

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I LOVE taking pictures!  This month I have been busy with quite a few shoots.  I always take one of my kids to help me.  When I get home and bring up all of the pictures, I always smile at the first ones.  They are usually of my kids, standing in so that I can get all my settings.  Nathan came with me to one of the shoots up at Fox Run.  I LOVE this sweet smile he has.  I can remember the conversation we were having as he was helping me.  He is just such a sweet boy!


Of course he has to have his soccer ball with him at ALL times. 


Speaking of photography, check out this fun list of ideas for each month of things to photograph.  It has GREAT ideas!

10 Can't Miss Photos to take Each Month

I have a little list along with this one for the summer- Stephen at the BBQ, reading with a flashlight on the tramp with the kids, blowing bubbles at sunset.....

Thursday, May 26, 2011


My tomatoes are beautiful!  The hail hasn't hit them yet.  Remember how small they were in March as they were growing in my window sill.  Well,they are now at the top of the Wall of Waters.  I opened up the tops of them and put the cages in.  Here in a few weeks I will lift the wall of water over the top.


And if you zoom in, you can see blossoms all over them...


As I watered them tonight with my Fish Emulsion drink.  I thought I would share that with you.  Fish Emulsion STINKS horribly, but plants love it.  I usually give my tomatoes a drink of it once a month.


As I was working in my garden this week, the wind just wouldn't stop.  I told Ashley that the wind wasn't good for anything!  She quickly piped up, "Mom, it is good for one thing, when you toot, you don't ever smell it because the wind blows it away."  That girl of mine is always thinking!

I needed the wind tonight as I was watering with the fish emulsion. I have pretty lilacs nearby the garden that I have to run and smell after using this stuff.  They are supposed to be my garden's wind break, but they also act as my nose break.


Ashley Graduates from Preschool

My Ash graduated from preschool this week.  She was so cute singing her songs.  She was in love with her cap and tassel.  She also received a graduation medal that hung from her neck until she went to bed that night.  BUT I think her favorite part of preschool was Ms. Rachel.  Ashley LOVED her! 

Ash Graduation

We still have one last treasure from preschool.  Ashley got to bring home one of the tadpoles that is close to becoming a frog.  Today as we took him out of his terrarium to change his water and had him in a cup, Ashley insisted on a picture of him so that he "can remember the time when he was a baby".


Ash thinks he is really cute ... I kinda don't agree.

Roman Day and Elitches

Rebecca had Roman Day at school. 

Roman Day2

They made mosaics, played games, and watched a movie.  She came home so excited about how well the Romans built their roads and knew so much about their road system.  Then I saw her little treat cup and knew what had made her learn the roads so well...

Roman Day

I filled in what they each represent from her study guide.  The kids enjoy these special days and learn so much from them. 

While she was in "Rome", Nathan was able to go to Six Flags with his sixth grade class to celebrate the end of year.  He had a total blast and couldn't stop talking about his day with his friends.  I'm glad he had such a fun time.  


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

End of School Basket

On the last day of school it is a tradition to have a basket for the kids filled with goodies to get excited about summer.  This year I did one big basket filled with FUN!
End of School Basket I’m really excited to give it to the kids tomorrow.  Some of it are things that we already had, and the other things are stuff that I buy for the summer anyway.  Here are some of the things:
  • Roasting sticks (from Target’s dollar section) and marshmallows
  • Our hike book with a package of bubble gum to chew while we hike
  • Glycerin for our big bubbles
  • Movie theater candy for our summer movies
  • Cones for Dad’s running games
  • Coke with Mentos taped to the outside for our Science Day
  • A science experiment kit
  • Summer reading programs
  • Flyers of Summer Sports camps
  • Shrinky Dink paper
  • Ziploc of change and bills for summer garage sales
  • Slip in Slide
  • Map of a road trip we are taking
  • Water balloons
  • Doodle book and Sketch book
  • Letter to each of the kids highlighting what we remember and enjoyed about their school year.  Stephen and I each write one to them because we each went to different activities or helped on different projects.  I usually stick these in their school scrapbooks.
We sign up for the Barnes and Noble reading program, the public library AND I do my own scripture one with the kids…
Summer Reading
And the other thing I wanted to share was this summer fun doodle book.  It would be perfect for traveling or just doodling.  There are some really fun starter pages like “What is sitting on the eggs,  Who is jummping on the trampoline, What picture is on the Viking’s shield,  What is in this cave….  LOVE this book!  You can check it out here on Amazon -The Boys' Doodle Book: Amazing Pictures to Complete and CreateChildren's Drawing Books)

Oh, I’m excited for summer!!!!  I’ve got a little summer plan that I will share later this week.  I also need to get all caught up on what we have been doing.  This is just such a busy time of year.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quote for the Day

“You are finished when you quit.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ashley’s Doll

So some kids have a special doll that they practice hairstyles on.  They also practice putting make-up on that doll’s face.  Well, this has been Ashley’s doll since she was born…


The other afternoon Jerrica came in to show me her “Lick Stick” that Ash put on her.  Ashley wasn’t far behind making sure that I knew she picked out new clothes for Jerrica that was in Ashley’s words,  “more like fashion”.  Ash does claim to belong to a fashion club.  She also helped out with the hairstyle by adding a little headband.

What I don’t get is that Jerrica just sits there calmly as Ashley makes her over!  She DOES look slightly scared though, doesn’t she?!?!

I have a feeling that as these girls get older, Ashley will continue to help her little sister with her hair, clothes and make-up.  AND I’m sure Jerrica will continue to love her sister’s attention.


I made this cake last week and it was DIVINE!  We aren't big cake eaters, but the texture of this one made it irresistible.  I had to run it over to a friend that is always sharing treats with me.  She said it reminds her of a "German Chocolate cake all in the cake".  Anyway, here is the recipe...

Magic Bar Cake

Also, we just tried THESE and the family LOVED them!  We had guacamole and salsa to dip them in.


So check out the link, whip them up for dinner and then bake the cake for dessert.  You will be all set for you meal tonight!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Ashley LOVES Rebecca and just thinks she is the coolest.  They both are a little prissy and girly.  Anyway,  pretty much all weekend long Ash follows Rebecca around.  I smiled as I walked by the girls this morning.  They were all ready for church and Rebecca was doing games in the Friend magazine.  She was deciphering a code and coloring in squares.  Ashley was practically laying in her lap watching her…. Sunday2Sunday Then there is my “Sunday Teaser”.  He was sitting right next to the girls TEASING.  He keeps everyone all riled up all Sunday long.  It drives me crazy because it’s supposed to be a peaceful day without girls screaming and crying.

Nathan Sunday

Why can’t he just sit peacefully reading and doing games in the Friend magazine like Rebecca?!?!

Weekend Update

Just a quick update.  Stephen has been coaching the two older girls’ volleyball team.  Friday was their last game.  They went undefeated!

VBall VBall2Ed We had soccer games and birthday parties over the weekend.

Kaylee Soccer

Jacob had a pop concert this week.  I couldn’t believe how incredible all of the different bands sounded.  They have very talented conductors working with them!

Trumpet2 I also went to a girls night Saturday that left me depressed, BECAUSE this cute little friend of mine is moving.  I’m sure going to miss her….

Angie8 Why do friends have to move?!?!?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Candy Land

Yesterday I played Candy Land with the little girls WHILE we ate candy.  After a few minutes I couldn’t resist snapping pictures of them.  Ash said, “let  me guess, you want to remember this…”  I DO!  These kids of  mine are growing up too fast.  My days of playing Candy Land are numbered.

Candy Land Candy Land2

Here is the face you get when….

Candy Land4

this card is drawn by an opponent…

Candy Land7

Candy Land5

Ash and I lost.  The winner was little Miss Snow White…. Candy Land3

We were still good losers, probably because we had candy keeping us happy! 

Candy Land6  Yes I do believe you need a little candy to help get you through the game of Candy Land.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Stephen is a huge post-it notes guy.  He is always good to have sweet notes on my mirror using post its. In fact there are some in there right now as I type.   The reasons I think he uses these are

  1. They are cheap.  It’s like a hundred little cards for the price of one.
  2. They can easily be stuck to anything with no effort.
  3. They sit on his desk as a reminder to write a sweet note.
  4. AND he knows how much I enjoy them.


Well yesterday I picked up Kaylee from practice and we headed over to get Nathan.  We usually have to wait a bit.  Kaylee got busy going through Stephen’s car and found a pad of his Post Its.  She proceeded to write a ton of notes and stuck them EVERYWHERE for her dad to find.  I sat there thinking of how Stephen always does these post it notes and I have never done it back to him.  Kaylee was all giggly as she would write. 

Anyway, Post-its ARE a quick way to make someone SMILE!  Thanks for all my post-it notes over the years Stephen!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cover FHE

I feel that my kids are at such perfect ages to actually listen to Stephen and I.  They are soaking in all that we are trying to teach them.  Family Home Evening is such a perfect time to teach.  I had been thinking of what I want to teach them, and then realized that all of the topics I want them to know are covered in the Strength of Youth pamphlet.  SOOO this summer we are going to use it to make lessons and the kids will also teach some of the lessons.  What a perfect way to strengthen my kids with the Strength of Youth.


Last night I did a lesson on dress and appearance.  I used an object lesson that Julie Ruesch had shared with me.  I started out by showing the kids covers of various magazines.  I asked them the following questions…

  • What kind of magazine is this?
  • What type of articles would we find in it?
  • Do we get an idea about the contents of the magazine from the cover?

Then I opened a magazine and read a selected paragraph from it.  (I actually put a New Era inside a People magazine cover).  So the cover didn’t fit the contents inside.  I then asked…

  • Would you expect that in here?
  • Why?
  • How would you compare this to an outward appearance versus what is on the inside?

This brought on a big discussion.  I used excerpts from a talk and also the Strength of Youth. We talked about how originally, the main purpose of clothing was to cover our bodies and protect them from the elements.  “ Those purposes continue, although clothing now serves more complex purposes too. Today it can be an expression of many things such as wealth, social status, individuality, or belonging. But clothing also reflects our attitudes and values.”   I reminded them over and over the following quote,

“The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside”

We talked about Nathan and how he always has a soccer shirt on and that reflects how much he probably likes soccer on the inside.  Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others and influence the way you and others act. 

They say to “Never judge a book by its cover.”  BUT it is always hard not to because that is what we first see.  SO we have to make our “Covers” who we are!

I hope all that makes sense.  It was a great night and I think they all caught the message.  Now my hope is for them to remember it, and to dress appropriately as they get older. 

Mother’s Day

The weather was gorgeous over the weekend.  We took advantage of it and worked in the yard a ton, AND went on a fun hike.  The kids obliged me with a mother’s day picture while on the hike, of course it had to be silly faces….

Mothers Day Weekend

I was showered with treats and notes from Stephen and the kids.  I liked this one from Rebecca where she writes that I am “horribly nice”.  I just don’t know about that choice of adverb with the word nice.

Mothers Day Card As I sat there reading their notes and what they appreciate about me, I saw how each one appreciates me in a different way.  Rebecca likes me doing her hair, Jerrica likes me reading to her, Nathan is grateful that I take him to soccer practices and games…. Each one of my kids is different and has different needs,  AND I am so thankful that I can help them with those needs.

I must end with a quote that I noticed on a friend’s blog today.  It was from her Mother of the Year acceptance speech …

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved piece, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - - 'WOW-WHAT A RIDE!'"                --Author Unknown

I know that by doing all these little things for my family and friends, I will be used up and worn out, BUT I  know that I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Friday, May 6, 2011


I know some of you don’t like these random posts, but it is my blog and I like to throw a lot of random small things in a post.  :)

First off for Teacher Appreciation week, one day each of the kids had to take in a snack that they all combine into one big basket for the teacher.  It turns into a basket filled with homemade treats, fruit, chocolate, you name it.  My kids took in A&W for their teachers.  I saw the idea last year HERE and this was my version this year…


Then I wanted to share this quote.  I have two kids getting ready for try-outs at the end of the month and thought this would be great to print up and put on their bulletin boards. 

"When the time to perform has come the time to prepare has past"
                                                            Thomas S. Monson

THEN, I wanted to share another recipe, but it’s not really a recipe.  It’s just a dinner idea that my family LOVES.  We make little Slider Hamburgers and use dinner rolls as buns.  The rolls are so airy compared to the heavier hamburger buns.  They are the perfect size for the little girls, and the boys love seeing how many they can eat.  Anyway, Sliders mixed with a couple yummy side salads and its a meal my family is thanking me for.


And LAST but not least, I had to mention my fun Mother’s Day Brunch with Ashley’s pre-school this morning.  Ash has been talking about it for WEEKS, and has been practicing “You are My Sunshine…” and many other fun songs for the little program.  Ms. Rachel went all out and made it a special day.  I had Kaylee take a picture of Ash and I this afternoon so that we can remember this day…

Me and Ash    Me and Ash2 And that is yet another random post!