If you have found me through Mother Letters, welcome to my house. Feel free to make yourself at home and look around.
Put your feet up on the coffee table, see what I have in the pantry, and enjoy our time together.
If you would like to read my entire Mother Letter, click here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


We hit a pretty big milestone last week.  #1 turned 12 years old.  My big boy is moving forward. My mother-heart aches a little for my little boy.

This year he leaves behind Elementary School, and recess, myriads of field trips, and the students that have been in his class for the past 4 years. He leaves behind Primary at church. For me he will be conspicuously missing on Mother's day and the Primary Program in the Fall. He will join the ranks of young men reverently passing the sacrament.  Such heavy responsibility on narrow shoulders but I know his spirit is strong enough to carry it.

Next year he will be playing percussion in the band (apparently it's the place to be), applying for yearbook staff, joining math and science club, and trying out for the community swim team. I'm tired just thinking about it! We'll see how well we can both keep up.

So many changes. However, there  are things he has promised will never change and I will hold him to them! He has promised that he will always give me a hug on demand (as long as it's not in an embarrassing situation). He will always be my boy and remember that I love him, no matter what. With that, and a testimony of the love of his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I hope he will weather whatever storms may come.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween Traditions

Every Halloween we have our traditional Halloween dinner before going out to trick or treat. We put a fun halloween tablecloth on, use Halloween paper party plates and napkins (easy clean up), and get out the plastic halloween goblets I bought at the dollar store years ago. If I can get some dry ice we have smoking rootbeer along with some other fun concoctions before they head out to load up on candy. We love the fun side of Halloween!

Mummy dogs

Zombie eyes and monster teeth
(colored deviled eggs and apple slices with peanut butter and marshmallows)

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Brains complete with roaches
(I ordered the mold online)

Jack o' Lantern cheeseball

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Footloose ♪

Hubby and I went to see the new Footloose the other night. It was amazing what a few (or many) years will do to your perspective. When the first Footloose came out (yes, I am THAT old) I identified wholeheartedly with the teens and looked at those parents as ridiculous. As we sat and enjoyed the new movie, I found myself horrified at Ariel's attitude and loose morals. I wondered what Hubby was thinking about the scantily clad actress. I looked over and realized that he was having much the same thoughts as I was. I knew we were both thinking of our sweet little girls at home.

You know you are getting old when although you can remember what it was like to be a teenager, you identify more with the overprotective parents.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another Funny Conversation from the Back Seat

We were coming home from swimming when I heard this conversation from the back seat of the car:

Freckles: "It smells like mildew."
#1: "You're mildew."

Freckles: "You're the thing that comes before mildew."
#1: "Umm.....water?"
(At this point I cracked up. It felt good to laugh with them.) Then after a long pause...
Freckles: "No, wet dog."
Then we laughed some more. Good for Freckles, thinking of a good come back, although his timing was a little late. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One of those days

Today was one of those days when being wife, mother, maid, laundress, Cub Scout leader, summer activities director, gardener, landscaper, lawnmower, motivational speaker, disciplinarian, educator, life counselor, computer graphics expert, television screener, social director, nutritionist, chef, shopper, coupon clipper, boo-boo kisser, librarian, piano practice enforcer, referree, nay sayer, tantrum diffuser...etc...etc...etc... is just more than I can tackle. I'm wishing for a cold drink, a comfy lounge chair, a good book, and some guilt-free quiet.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Woman of God

I was reading this blog in which Morgan is writing her own personal manifesto which, by the way, I think is a wonderful idea and I will be pondering my own. Anyway, I was struck by a phrase she used and have been thinking about for the whole day. She called herself "a Woman of God". We hear "Daughter of God" often in the church. "Daughter of God" or "Child of God" brings to mind words and phrases such as potential, loved, cherished, protected, self-worth, images of a loving Father.

As I thought about what it means to be a "Woman of God", I think of strength of character, courage, power to do good, leadership, compassion, service. I see a woman who stands strong in her own beliefs, testimony, and commitment. A woman who leads out, who doesn't lean on, or wait for others, whether it be parents, husband, siblings, church leaders, visiting teaching companion, etc. She is a woman of action not just intentions. A woman of vision who sees what can be and works to make it happen. A mother of confidence who teaches with strength, love and compassion.

As I consider these traits, faces of women come to mind. These are women I admire, look up to, and aspire to be like them. Among them are my mother and sisters, nieces, neighbors, friends, ancestors, women from history, those from the past and those making history today.

I am a Daughter of God working to become one of these Women of God. I have the examples, I have the blue prints, help, support, love, and confidence of my Father in Heaven. What I lack is focus and daily determination to live deliberately, to take advantage of individual moments...to always remember my goal, my destination.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Little One on Modesty

I was listening in on a conversation from the backseat between the

two girls. They had the Ariel Barbie and Sunshine asked why her tummy was showing. We have been working to teach our girls about dressing modestly and I have wondered how to handle the competing world views. As I scrambled in my brain to come up with an explanation they could understand and accept, Little One beat me to it with a much better explanation than I was preparing. I was ready to dive into the fact that not everyone has the same standards that we do and the fact that the makers of the doll don't think or believe the same things we do etc etc....

Little One's explanation was perfect. "She is a mermaid and lives in the water. If she wore a long shirt in the water it would get very wet and heavy. When she becomes a girl she covers her tummy."
I need to retrain my brain. Perfect simplicity!

Monday, January 31, 2011

14 Days of Valentines

I started a tradition a few years ago that we really enjoy. From the first day of February until Valentines Day, I give the kids a small treat or gift. I just finished putting them together for tomorrow. I try to have all of them ready in advance so I am not scrambling every day. I still have 2 or 3 that I still need to get but the rest are ready! Even though they are almost the same every year, the kids don’t care and they get so excited. One year I even made a giant heart shaped puzzle with a message on it and gave a puzzle piece each day. The kids really had fun using sticky tack and putting it together on the wall. If I get a chance tomorrow before they get home from school, I may do that again this year. This year I found a cut little mailbox at the Target Dollar Spot that I will put them in and raise the flag. I wish I had one for each child to have their own. I will allow them to open the mailbox as soon as everyone is home from school! Here is a list of the fun treat and gift ideas that I use. I just print out the little message on colored paper and cut them into hearts to tape onto the item.
I love your little tootsies! (tootsie rolls)

You’ve always “mint” the world to me! (Andes or York mints)
You always help me out when I’m in a (Crunch bar)
You are the greatest - Bar None! (granola gar)
You Warm my heart! (hot chocolate mix)
Let it be posted, you’re the best! (Post-it pad &amp; pencil)
“Soda” you know I love you? (small can of soda)
Kisses, just for you! or Smootches, just for you!(Hershey's Kisses)
You’re so cheesy, you cracker me up! (cheese &amp; cracker pack)
I couldn’t bear to live without you! (cinnamon bears)
You are my sweetart! (Sweettarts)
I don’t mean to be “gushy” but, I love you! (Gushers fruit snacks)
You make me smile! (Walmart fruit snack smiles)
No TWIX, I love you! (Twix candy bar)
You're worth more to me than 100 GRAND (100 Grand candy bar)
You're EXTRA special to me (Extra gum)
Don't SNICKER, because I love you. (Snickers candy bar)
HUGS &amp; KISSES, just for you. (Hershey Hugs and Kisses candies)
I love your BUBBLY personality (bubbles)
Just POPPED by to say Be Mine (bubbles)
Valentine you make my heart float (bubbles)
I’m BUBBLING over with love (bubbles)

The other tradition we have, is that Hubby brings home a balloon for each of the kids. The kids sure love balloons and Hubby loves to pick them out! What do you do to make Valentines Day special?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Favorite Christmas Recipes

I have so many recipes that I love during the holidays. I wanted to record and share some of my favorites:
Nothing says Christmas like the smell of gingerbread! I am not a fan of rolling, cutting and decorating cookies, so as much as I like the IDEA of gingerbread boys, it just causes, stress, frustration and a big mess. It's not going to happen. This is my alternative so that I can still get my ginger fix, both taste and smell. I sent these home with cub scouts this year and within 20 min a mom called me for the recipe. Yep, they are that good!

Yummy Ginger Snaps

6 TB margarine
½ c white sugar
½ c brown sugar
2 egg whites
¼ c molasses
2 c flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp soda
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
Cream sugars and margarine. Beat in egg wites and add molasses. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing well. Spoon by tsp full onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 min @ 375ยบ.

The holidays are not complete, and I am not exaggerating, without homemade Wassail. This will bring visions of old fashioned Christmases on waves of delicious aromas.

5 c sugar
4 quarts water
2 TB whole cloves
4 fresh lemons or 2c lemon juice
12 cinnamon sticks
4 quarts orange juice (prepared)
1 gallon apple cider
Boil sugar and water. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves. Boil 10 min, cool and then add juices. Let stand 1 hour. Strain. Serve hot. Keep leftovers refridgerated. WARNING: This recipe makes 3 gallons of wassail!

I could eat a whole pan of Christmas Jell-o Salad all by myself I love it that much. My mother usually makes this at Christmas time, unfortunately, she did not make it this year and I really missed it! Paul is not crazy about it and so if I make it, I would end up eating the whole thing myself!

Christmas Salad
1 sm pkg lime Jell-o
½ lb. marshmallows
½ pt whip cream
2- 3oz pkg cream cheese
½ pt mayo (or a little less)
1 med. can crushed pineapple
1c pineapple juice
1 pkg cherry Jell-o
Dissolve lime Jell-o in 1c boiling water. Add and melt marshmallows. Add 1c pineapple juice. Cool. Mix cream cheese and mayo together, then add to mixture along with whip cream adn pineapple. Set until firm. Make cherry Jell-o according to directions. When cooled, spoon carefully on top of green layer and set. Cut into squares to serve. Pretty and tasty!

Last year, we began our own tradition of decorating graham cracker houses. Although I glue the houses together ahead of time, (We don't need the kind of frustration that comes with trying to build them with real gingerbread and frosting, at least not until the kids are quite a bit older!) we still need some good old Royal frosting to stick the pounds and pounds of candy, and marshmallow santas and snowmen onto and around the houses.

Royal Frosting
3 egg whites (room temperature)
4c powdered sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat all ingredients at high speed for 5-10 min. Use immediately. Can be stored for short time covered with a damp cloth. Re-beating will not restore texture. Yield 2½ cups.

So many of our holiday memories are tied to yummy traditional tastes and smells. I love anything that brings both into my home and helps to recreate memories for me and my family as well as making new memories.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Message

A few years ago, we received our stake newsletter which had this article on the front page. It is written by a church leader who is one of the most powerful speakers I have heard. I like to read it each Christmas season. I wanted to get it down in more than one place just in case it gets misplaced like so many things do.

Merry Christmas!