Monday, February 28, 2011


Grandma Jackie taught me a lot about gardening and I didn't even realize she was teaching me.  She would have me take out and smash eggshells into her garden along with a slew of other compost.  She would let me help plant seeds in the early Spring in her greenhouse and then help again to transplant them.  She would let us come down and pick bouquets of flowers to take home and arrange for our bedrooms.  I learned sooo many flower names from her because I was planting and cutting these flowers.  She was letting me be around them and in so doing I developed a love for flowers and gardening.

Grandma would also give her speeches on how soil is NOT dirt.  She would run her hands in her soil talking about how beautiful it was.  I used to look at her as a child thinking she was crazy to call it beautiful.  Now I dig my hands in commenting to my kids about how beautiful our garden soil is.  I carefully try to protect it during the Winter with leaves mulching the top of it.

My mom also has taught and is still teaching me about gardening.  She LOVES working outside and has beautiful gardens.

SOOO, secretly I am now teaching my kids.  I make them take our eggshells out to the garden boxes to crush.  Some crush them up better than others.  They do need to be crushed very fine, this picture is NOT a good example of that.  Eggshells add calcium to the soil.  The calcium can be very beneficial to tomatoes because they help prevent blossom end rot.  Calcium also helps for plant growth.  Eggshells also deter slugs and cutworms.  But once again make sure they are CRUSHED!

  • Soil

    Coffee grounds are also wonderful to add in.  They slowly release nitrogen into the soil.  The smell also repels some pests.  So when I'm thinking about it and walk into a grocery store with a Starbucks, I will ask if they have any grounds for gardening.  They usually do and send me on my way with a bag.  The grounds are so black and remind me of what pure compost looks like.


    Compost of other fruits and vegetables are also another incredible source of minerals for the soil.  You take a banana that grew in Ecuador and by composting and adding it to your garden here, you are literally putting in those minerals that it grew from in Ecuador.  Every soil is different and the produce that grows from the various soils can add a little something to your own soil!

    Throw in some free llama manure, chicken and other farm animal manure and you are on your way to beautiful soil!

    What do you add to YOURs?

  • It Takes A Village

    They say it takes a village to raise a child and I am sooo grateful for the village of teachers, friends, church leaders, coaches, relatives, scout leaders ... that are helping us raise our children.  I love to hear my kids share what they learned at their church activity or what they learned in a huddle from a coach.  They are filling in the gaps that I am forgetting and the things that I am unable to teach.  I am just sooo grateful for each one that is helping to enrich my children's lives.

    I think back in my life at all of the VERY different people that have touched my life and taught me.  Not ONE person has made me who I am today.  It has been MANY people teaching and helping me and WILL be MANY more. 

    This past week the village helped us whether the kids were at games, practices, scouts, school, friends' houses or church.  Just wanted to highlight a few things that happened over the weekend AND a few people from "our village" that were helping us....

    We love Ashley's preschool teacher, Ms. Rachel.  She is so bubbly and able to keep up with Ashley's energy.  She just celebrated her 100th day at preschool.  She had to take something with a hundred things on it.  Jacob made the monster for her and Ash glued the eyes on.  I wrote what she needed to write on her poster for her to trace, and then told her to sign her name.  I then came back to find all of these curls on her letters.  She is REALLY into a phase of "fancifying " everything that she is writing.  I'm glad that Ms. Rachel has parties and activities for my Ash.

    100 Day

    This week Rebecca was back to the orthodontist.  She is always telling Rebecca how beautiful she is and how gorgeous her hair is.  I mean she goes on and on...isn't that so good to hear from other people, AND may I add how happy I am that those front teeth ARE straightening.  I can't straighten her teeth, but her orthodontist can!

    Rebecca also has the librarian at school and Mrs. White sharing their love of books with her.  Rebecca devours books and then enjoys discussing them.  Mrs White and Mrs. Brunk are so good to do just that with her.  Rebecca started "Where the Red Fern Grows" last week and finished it tonight.  I know she will find those two sweet ladies tomorrow at school to tell them all about the book.  I thank them for listening and sharing.

    Becca Swim

    Kaylee has two incredible coaches for basketball and soccer that teach her more than just the sport.  They teach her leadership, hard work, intensity, teamwork, and so much more.  Kaylee's little basketball team was winning the 4th grade division so Coach Sheena moved them up to the 5th and 6th grade division.  Now 5th and 6th grade girls are maturing and are HUGE.  They were blown away the first game.  Did Sheena quit and move back down to the 4th grade level ... uh NO, they worked harder!  And NOW Kaylee's team has won the last three games.  I'm so proud of them!  Kaylee was awesome in her game on Saturday.  She made four of their six points.  Yes the final score was 6 to 3.  There is a lot of defense and pressing in these games.  Kaylee then headed out to the complex for a windy day of soccer scrimmages with Coach Dan.  I'm thankful for good coaches.

    Jacob had a fun pizza party over at Spencer's with a group of friends.  The Webb's are so good to host parties and Spencer is such a good friend to Jacob.  You need friends like Spencer in Middle School!  I am thankful for friends that are examples.

    Jacob also has incredible scout leaders that are helping him to finish his Eagle.  I am sooo proud of all the merit badges he has completed.  I am thankful for leaders that put time and energy into a calling.


    Oh my goodness I could go on and on about so many different people.  There is definitely a village working on these Thompson kids and I am forever grateful!

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Freezing Fog

    It is FREEZING outside and the fog is thick.  I could hardly see driving home from Kaylee's practice tonight.  I don't care for fog, but I do LOVE the frost on the trees.  It makes outside look like a winter wonderland. 

    Nathan couldn't stand being locked inside during the afternoon.  SO he braved the weather to shoot on his soccer goal.  It then turned into an ALL the kids heading outside.  I grabbed my camera to get some fun shots of the frost on the pines, but ended up loving this one of Kaylee.  Something about the snow in her hair, the blue lips, and that huge smile on her face.  She is ALWAYS giggling about something!

    Kaylee Snow2

    Friday, February 25, 2011



    Swimming Lessons and Swim Team for the month of February is a Big  image

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011


    Do you have friends that it seems like EVERY one of their recipes are delish?!?  Trenya is one of those for me.  She gave me this recipe probably ten years ago, and our family just loves it.  Very simple ingredients, yet oh so yummy!  The title of the recipe is Mir's Chicken.  I grew up with chickens and wondered what the Mir meant.  I knew it wasn't a type of chicken and thought maybe it was a flavor.  Once I asked Trenya and she replied, "Oh that's my aunt".  Well, we don't know Mir, but we sure do know her chicken!

    Anyway, had a friend ask for this recipe and thought that I would share it here as well...

    Mir Chicken 

    Speaking of recipes, I just made granola this morning.  Have you tried that recipe from my sidebar?  It is divine!

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Weekend Update

    Our schedule looked like this on Saturday....

    8:00 Kaylee Basketball Game

    8:30 Nathan Basketball Game

    9:00 Deacon Basketball for Jacob with Steve coaching

    11:00 Nathan Scout Merit Badge

    12:00 Kaylee Soccer

    2:00 Jacob Swim Meet

    2:00 Birthday Party for Rebecca and Kaylee

    3:00 Nathan Soccer

    3:30 Jacob Basketball Game

    Not to mention that NONE of these events were at the same place!

    Swimming Jacob Jacob did awesome in his swim meet.  In his relay, Jacob swam the last leg.  He jumped in behind the other teams and ended up winning by three lengths.  He has such a pretty, steady front stroke!  I look at him wondering how I got a child that can swim all of the strokes so well.  Then I look over at Nathan flailing in the water and realize that I do have a child like me.  :)

    We cleaned and cleaned on Monday to make up for our busy Saturday.  Then rewarded ourselves with a late lunch at Chick-Fil-A and a movie.


    Salt + Nail Polish= Flannel Characters

    My Grandma Coley loves stories and when Alesha and I were little she would help us make flannel board characters for our stories.  We would gather catalogs and magazines and find people and objects.  Then we would cut them out, paint a little nail polish on the back and shake salt over the wet paint, creating a few rough surfaces so that it can easily adhere to a flannel board.

    Flannel Story0

    After dragging out all the flannel board stories last week, I decided to do this with my girls.  They LOVED making their own flannel board pieces. Nail polish is always FUN!

    BTW here is the link for the face pieces from my last post - Fun Felt.

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Flannel Stories

    We love story time at the library, and this week they did a story with a flannel board that is like one of the ones that we have.  So of course when we got home the little girls HAD to drag it upstairs and proceeded to have a story time of their own.

    Flannel Story3

    But then things changed as Jerrica grabbed a mouth and said, "Look I have braces..."

    Flannel3 Flannel Flannel2 

    Then EVERYONE thought that they needed to get in on the action.  We were laughing so hard at each other that we couldn't take pictures OR hold the felt pieces up.

    Flannel14Flannel4Flannel6 Flannel7 Flannel5Flannel8Flannel10 Flannel9 Flannel13  

    Oh the fun of altering your appearance!

    Family Name Scrabble

    The title pretty much sums up my project...


    I thought that I had all the names arranged just right to make it work, only to find out that the configuration didn't fit into my frame.  I felt like I was playing soduko with letters.  I DO love the finished project, even if my picture doesn't do it justice.  There is just something about dimension that adds appeal.

    I'm just glad that our family "fits" together!

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011


    So I go to this Ultimate Conditioning class twice a week and do all kinds of exercises.  They KILL me and I always come home having Stephen and the kids try different ones that I did.  I get out the paper plates to act as glider discs and the weights come out.  They were on the floor this morning and Jerrica started lifting them.  I glanced over at how cute she looked and thought, "that would be such a cute picture".  Now can I just "THINK that" and keep cleaning.... uh no, the camera has to snap a few.

      Weights Weights2Weights4

    And believe me muscles are built by lifting weights...


    Then Ash took some of ME lifting the weight.  It was fun for her being behind the camera.  I am just grateful that this is MY blog and Ash can't publish those lovelies of me!

    Someone asked why I take so many pictures of the same person doing the same activity.  I think these images above are a good example of how each portray a different expression and feeling.  All together they tell a little story.  The more pictures, the more they can tell.

    If you are wanting AWESOME, FREE photo tips you should check out MCPActions Blog.  Just search under photography tips and reap the wealth of knowledge on each of those posts.  I have learned so much there!  HERE is the link to MCPActions.

    Purpose of the Task

    I LOVED this post today from Becky Higgins, check it out HERE.

    She talks about "the purpose of the task is to strengthen the relationship".  That is so true, yet is often forgotten.  Doing puzzles and crafts with my kids aren't necessarily about doing them, but more about strengthening my relationship with my kids.  We are spending time together working on a task.  Even dates with Stephen aren't all about critiquing restaurant food or movies, it's about strengthening our relationship.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the task I forget what is REALLY more important. 

    Anyway, read Becky's post.  She can express herself better than I.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    My Favorite Part

    Yes Valentines is filled with candy, fun lunches...

    VDay.... a fun dinner...  our friend, Cari dropped off two Papa Murphy's heart shaped pizzas AND heart cut out cookies for dinner.  She is so good to our family!


    We also did a chocolate fondue for dessert with each getting their 2010 photo books...


    Even though the holiday was filled with food, parties, gifts ... my favorite part was...

    All of the sweet notes that were given to each other...

    Notes3 Notes4 Notes5


    Yes I do believe that was my favorite part.  Notes don't cost a dime, yet there value is great!  A note takes a thought to a written compliment, that left unwritten is left unkown!  And OH how good that makes someone feel when they hear these things.  Can't we make a Valentines Day in each month to tell each other how much they mean to us?!?!!

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Valentine Boxes

    We stayed busy this weekend with basketball games, friends, family lunch at Olive Garden, AND Valentine's Day preparations.

    Ash wanted to give play dough with her Valentines for preschool.  We decided to make the homemade kind, AND cut it into hearts...

    Valentines2 Valentines

    Then, this is what you get when you ask your soccer loving, sixth grader to make a Valentine box for his party...


    And this is what you get when your fourth grader wants a pig box, and your friend Brooke posts a pig idea....


    Bring on Valentines tomorrow!!!

    Saturday, February 12, 2011


    My husband LOVEs to read and it has rubbed off on me.  I so enjoy getting my hands on a good book and escaping into another world.  My sister, Alesha sent "The Glass Castle" to me.  You can check it out here - The Glass Castle: A Memoir

    I was in shock at some of her memories from childhood.  I am sad that similar events are taking place right now for children here in America and around the world. 
    I think what killed me was that the mother actually HAD money that could have helped her children.
    I have a list that I keep of the books that I have read.  Some I don't bother to write down, but this made my list!  I also keep a children's picture book list and young adult list of favorites.  I do this so that when my kids start leaving home I can give them the lists of what we enjoyed reading, just in case they want to share with their own families. 
    Thanks to Julie, I have a few books on hold at the library that I'm excited to check out.  Have any of you heard of Still Alice, Sarah's Key, The Forgotten Garden, Matched or Sweetness at the Bottom of the pie?  I'm curious if you have ... what you thought.  OR, do you have any books that you have read and enjoyed lately?

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Jimmer Night

    We went to the BYU vs. Air Force basketball game last night.  Our main reason was to see Jimmer...

    He is amazing!  He can shoot from ANYWHERE, drive on ANYONE, and will probably be the NCAA player of the year.  I'm excited to see where in the NBA he will end up.

    It sure was fun to watch and cheer for Jimmer with my kiddos.

    Jerrica's Neck

    I love to tickle Jerrica and see her big smile.  Today I told her that I wanted just a little nibble on her neck and started getting her.  She turned to me with her big, serious eyes and said,

     "Do I taste like chicken?" 

    I couldn't help but smile into those big eyes and tell her that she tastes even better than chicken, which brought that big smile back.

    Jerra Valentine1

    And YES I did a Valentine pic for her too!

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Another Random One

    Here is yet another random post...

    Mom and I got our seeds ordered today.  I also planted my tomato seeds inside today even though the temperatures outside were below zero.  I try and start my tomatos around Valentines Day and then put them outside in Wall of Waters the first week of April.  We still get some good snowstorms in April, but they seem to thrive inside the Walls.  I'm just getting sooo excited to start gardening outside again.


    A couple of weeks ago I went over to a friend's house and she helped me get my boys cub scout awards all set to frame.  She had the fabulous idea of using the back of the cub scout shirt as the background for the awards.  I just cut the badges off the shirt and hot glued them on to the shirt background.  The frame has the glass a half inch out so that there was plenty of room for the awards.  Now I just need to get these hung in their rooms AND keep pushing them along with their Boy Scouts.

    Scouts2 Scouts

    I have gotten a lot of emails and questions for ideas of what I put into the kids mailboxes.  So here it is:  treats, fun things from Target's dollar section, Valentine socks, can of pop, Valentines that grandmas send, notes from Stephen and I, the kids even make their own notes and pictures to each other, candy, my sister Kristy put different sprinkles and things to decorate cut out cookies in each of her girls boxes, jewelry for the girls, gift cards, Valentine pencils, coupon booklets... seriously the list can be endless.  Here was the pink hot chocolate from Target and then the little girls helped me bag the fun heart marshmallows to go with it for each kid. 

    I always smile when I have the little girls fill the boxes and put the flag up.  Ashley always tells Jerrica to close her eyes when they do hers so that she doesn't see the surprise.  Then right after they finish she will say, "Jerrica open your mailbox and see what's in it", like she hasn't been there filling them.


    Then the other question I get is about my girls hair.  I do it every day because it drives me crazy if its hanging in their eyes all day.  It really doesn't take long to pull it into something and then they feel better AND look better all day long.  I did a post about hair clear back HERE.

    Next is Rebecca's heart picture.  I didn't take my boys pictures, because they are soooo old! :)  I did however take Rebecca's picture for Valentines too.  I just don't post everything here, some pictures I save for the kids books.  BUT since there were those that were curious, here are a couple of Becca's... (also the free Valentine card templates were from Florabella and MCP Actions blogs)

    Becca Valentine3 Becca Valentine

    I do have a photography post coming up that will answer some of the other questions. 

    AND I think that is enough randomness for one night!