Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

We are all wearing our new pajamas, and the kids are getting into bed.  Tony and I are trying to stay awake long enough to help out Santa.  It has been a good day filled with snow, food, friends, shopping, cooking, and cleaning.  We got to sleep in this morning, then did a bit of cooking and cleaning before heading to Idaho Falls for our 2nd annual Christmas Eve meal at Chuck-0-Rama.  After stuffing ourselves at the buffet, we went and bought ourselves some living room furniture!  It won't be delivered for a few weeks, but I am so excited!  Then home on the snowy roads to do a bit of cooking and gingerbread house decorating.  Next we went to a neighbor's home for a delicious ham dinner and fun talent show.  We returned home and opened our new Christmas jammies, hung the new ornaments on the tree, and watched Elf.  It was a great day... the only thing that would have made it better is if we had family here to enjoy it with us.  I love you all and hope you have a Christmas filled with love and peace! 
 Lunch at Chuck-o-Rama.
 New Sofa (also got love seat and chair and ottoman.)
Finally some snow!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Not quite the end of the world, but close

Today was the day of the Mayan calendar apocalypse.  Luckily we're still here to tell about it.  Although the world didn't end, (there's still a little time left, but I'm feeling pretty confident) both Tony and I got knocked around a bit.  Tony had a collision while playing basketball and bonked his nose.  I had a hammer fall off a ladder and hit me in the head.  We are both fine but I admit that all the blood from my little cut scared me a bit! 

We went to a fun Christmas party tonight with a burrito bar, newly-wed game, and white elephant gift exchange.  Tony came home with a vinyl record titled "Christmas with Colonel Sanders", and I ended up with a "fix-it-kit" consisting of a mini tape measure and screwdrivers.  The prize for the winner of the newly-wed game was a framed photo of Tony and My wedding announcement, that was somehow recycled from the white elephant gifts from last years party! 

It was a pretty good day, considering it was supposed to be the end of the world! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside

Last night it dipped down to about 5 degrees.  The wind is rather blowy, and that makes it feel so much colder!  We keep our house on the cool side, to save energy (and money).  We have been layering on the clothing and wearing our slippers. Usually it's not too uncomfortable... we get used to it and just add a sweatshirt or toss a blanket over our legs, but I just can't get warm!  My hands and feet are so cold, and I keep turning up the heat a few degrees!  I'm already getting tired of the cold, and longing for warm days, working in my garden.  I enjoy the winter because there is less work to do... no mowing, weeding, etc.... but I am already looking forward to the days getting longer and warmer! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Spirit

Things have been a bit crazy with finals and all, but I'm glad to say that one more semester is finished, and only one to go till I can graduate.  Tony was gone for a week so I did the single-parenting, which is hard.  I am glad he is home and we are together for the Christmas season!

I just love this time of year!  I love the kindness and thoughtfulness I see all around me.  I enjoy the parties and getting together with friends and family.  I love the excitement and joy I see in my children as they look forward to giving and receiving gifts.  Most of all, I feel the peace and joy that the Savior brings into my life.  It is always there, I am just more focused on it during the Christmas season. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Full of Thanks

It was a great weekend to spend with my family in Montana.  My heart is full of things to be thankful for, but I don't want to post them because when I start making out lists, they sound trite and meaningless.  Just know that I have such a good, happy life.  I may complain sometimes, but mostly I am leading the only life that I want, and have so much more than I need.  I am grateful for the chance to relax and enjoy being with loved ones this weekend.  My family and the gospel are my two great treasures. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Proud of my Kids

We have recently changed our family prayer habits a bit.  Before praying, we discuss any particular needs that each member has, then we try to address those needs in our prayers.  My kids have had specific areas that they each wanted to improve in, and have asked that  we pray for them.  I have been amazed at the good changes I have seen in the areas they chose.  I know that prayers are answered by Heavenly Father, but I also think that by focusing our energy and attention on specific areas, we can be very instrumental in making that change happen.  I am glad that my kids have goals and are always trying to learn and become better. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Run Away

Tony and I ran away for 24 hours.... for my birthday he whisked me away from all my cares and concerns.  It was the gift I needed most!  After I finished classes on Friday we left our kids home and headed to Salt Lake City.  We ate dinner at the Texas Roadhouse, where I got Yeee-Hawed by everyone, then spent the night at his Aunt Julene's home.  After eating a hearty breakfast, we went to the Salt Lake Temple and did some sealings, and enjoyed some quiet time in the magnificent Celestial room.  We ate lunch at the Lion House (YUM), then spent a few hours wandering around the new City Creek mall area.  After a trip to IKEA for some Christmas shopping, we headed home.  It was a great present, and I feel so much better.  Thank you my best friend!!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quite a Day

I'm so tired.... today has been so very busy.  Tonight was our combined YW/Relief Society activity.  We have been working on it for months.  I'll write more about it later, but it was a big success, and I am pleased.  Emily had a band concert at the same time as the activity, and I was sad to miss it, but I know she played her clarinet beautifully.  I also went to the doctor today for a rash around my mouth and was put on antibiotics for the next 2 months.  It is called peri-oral dermatitis. (means rash around the mouth)

When I got home tonight, Tony met  me and told me that Pepper (our cat) had passed away.  We knew it was coming, and even prayed for it to happen.  Pepper has not been healthy for a long time now, and we knew he was not going to get better.  It is a bittersweet thing.  We are so glad that he is not hurting any more, but we will sure miss him.... He was a sweet pet and we loved him. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Delight?

How about this for our holiday feast????  I am amazed!  I don't even know what more to say!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

School Stress

We are experiencing high stress levels in my house this week in relation to school.  Erik and Em have finals this week, along with some big projects that are due.  Jacob and I are getting toward the end of our semester and have lots of group projects and papers due.  Part of the problem is that procrastination has been going on, and part of it is just that so much is due at the same time.  My kids have not learned the value of working ahead and getting things done early (yet), and they don't have the stamina to stick with their assignments,  they get distracted easily.  So, hopefully some lessons are being learned and we won't have to go through all of this again at the end of the next semester/trimester!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day

Yesterday was Veterans Day, and I am so grateful for those who serve in the armed forces for our country.  As I grew up, I didn't really know anyone who was in the military... it wasn't until I was older that I realized that both of my grandpa's had spent time in the service.  I didn't really understand the sacrifices that our soldiers have to go through.  Now as I look at my husband and sons, I am so grateful that they have the choice of whether or not to join the military.  This choice would not be possible if not for the men and women who protect us from domination and destruction.  I love my country and want it to be strong and free.  I choke up when I sing the national anthem, or when I see the flag go by in a parade.  Now I know what a blessing it is to be an American.  I pray for our leaders, and for the protection and safety of those who sacrifice in order to keep us free. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tonight we went to the high school play of Beauty and the Beast.  They did a good job and it was very entertaining.  It reminded of the first time that Tony went to Montana to meet my family.  The Disney version of Beauty and the Beast had just come out and we all went to see it together.  All of our tickets said "beauty" along one edge and "beast" on the opposite.  As we entered the theater they tore our tickets in half and handed one half back to us.  Each person in the family had the end that said "beauty", and Tony was given the end that said "beast".  I though it was hilarious!  Luckily he turned out to be a prince, just like in the movie!  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Internship Secured (mostly)

My internship interview went really well today and they want me to coordinate the first autism support group meeting on the 28th!  Now I just have to pass my background check :) and get the whole thing approved through the college.  There is some paperwork and a lot of preparation still to do, but it looks good.  I'm pretty excited and a bit nervous.  Unfortunately this is not a paid job, but I will be able to graduate in April! 
Another good thing today was that I got all the annual flowers pulled, and all the perennials clipped and ready for winter.  I'm glad to have that done because it's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow, and now I feel more prepared. 
I also spent quite a few hours working on my senior thesis paper.  I am getting really tired of studying research on how religious commitment affect health.  I have to find 20 more peer-reviewed articles and incorporate them into my paper, along with writing a research methods section that explains how my data was collected.  I am learning that writing research papers is not something I enjoy a lot!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Internship Interview

Tomorrow morning I have an interview for an internship.  I wanted to set up an autism support group in the community for my internship, then saw that a group called Madison Cares is in the process of starting one!  I contacted them to see if maybe they could use my help in exchange for signing off on my internship.  I don't really know how it all works, and neither do they, but we are meeting to talk about options and possibilities.  Wish me luck because this is something I would really like to do and I can do a great deal of it from home, which is necessary for me at this point in time.  I can graduate in the spring if I complete one final class and get my internship done!

I was disappointed with the election results, but am ready to support my country and do the best I can to be a good citizen.  It was fun taking Jacob to the polls for his first voting experience!  I hope and pray that our country will be protected and watched over because I am afraid of the direction we have been going. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hold down

Yesterday I accidentally added a dash of pepper to my morning oatmeal, instead of my usual dash of salt.  It wasn't very good but I ate it anyway, not wanting to waste my breakfast.  My stomach was kind of upset all morning.  I don't think I will put pepper in my oatmeal again.

In the afternoon I went on a field trip to the Juvenile Corrections Center in St. Anthony and spent about 4 hours touring the facilities and learning about the program they use.  It was really interesting.  Here is a picture of a few of my classmates learning how to do a restraining hold.  We also got to experience some "necessary use of force" moves and my shoulders and back did not like it!  It made me sad to see how so many youth have lost so many of their choices because of the things they got themselves into.  They are now learning how to act appropriately and take responsibility for their actions so that they can have the privilege of re-joining society.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stake Conference

We have been busy the past couple of days attending Stake Conference meetings.  We had 2 General Authorities visiting, and our Stake Presidency was reorganized.  Elder Choi, from Korea, was presiding and he was so much fun to listen to!  Emily was even talking about him this evening and how much she liked his talks.

Because of conference we were done with church at noon today, so we had the whole long afternoon to ourselves.  We went on a drive out to the sand dunes and out to Dubois and Spencer before heading home.  It was really nice! 

I really don't like Daylight Savings time.... it messes with my system!  I was glad to get the extra hour of sleep, but don't like that it gets dark so early in the evening.  I really messes up my kids, and I hate the week after the time change because I can't get anyone to go to sleep or wake up at their usual times!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

This year Emily is the only one who really dressed up for Halloween.  She was the Easter Bunny!  It was pretty fun.  My day was actually a pretty normal one, except that Jacob, Em, and I went to the church for Trunk-r-treat this evening.  Since we live out in the country and the houses are so far apart, the community meets at the church and the kids go from car to car, instead of from door to door.  It is much safer for the little ones, and I like it because I don't have to be out in the cold for hours.  Then we were able to come home and enjoy a quiet evening. 

All the snow is melted, and I got out the lawn mower this afternoon and got part of the lawn mowed.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I can get it finished up tomorrow before getting the mower put away for the winter.  Also on tomorrow's list is new tires for the van... they recommended I get new ones before last winter, and I still haven't done it, but am afraid to drive in the snow and ice on my bald ones. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Visiting Widows

I spent a great deal of my day today, taking a little Halloween treat to the widows in my ward.  My sweet compassionate service leader was good enough to make a  treat and note for us to deliver, and one of my counselors took the time to go with me.  It was so fun to visit with the little old ladies of my ward!  One of my favorites is named Dot and she is 94 years old.  She was out mowing her lawn last week, and is now working on raking and bagging her leaves.  She is a strong, stubborn, independent lady with a memory that is sharp  as a tack.  She is losing her eyesight, has a weak heart, and her jaw is being eaten away by a bacterial infection that is unstoppable. She is looking forward to dying and gets frustrated when people that are younger than her get to move on and she is still here.  Yet, she keeps on smiling and won't let others do anything that she is capable of, because she fiercely treasures her independence. These elderly women are inspiring to me, and I hope I can grow up to be just like them!  It was a great day!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Fun

Tonight we carved our pumpkins.  This is getting to be more fun for me because everyone is now capable of cleaning the "guts" out of their own pumpkin, and I don't have to do them all!  Poor Erik has a stomach bug and did not feel up to cleaning out pumpkin guts, but he had fun watching.  We also made fun "vampire cookies", under Tony's direction. After eating our share, we took some to a neighbor. 

In other news, Tony has a new job assignment!  After waiting and worrying for many months, he found out that he is still securely employed, and will have new work duties.  He's not sure exactly what those duties will be yet as the whole IT department is being re-structured, but he is happy, so that makes me happy! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Sleep In

Today I got a rare sleep-in day!  I love just waking up when my body decides it has had enough sleep.  I usually toss and turn for a while around 6:30, since that is my usual wake up time, but I can usually get back to sleep for a few hours.  I love the feeling of snuggling in my warm covers, next to my hubby, and just listening to my kids wake up.  I also sleep with the curtain nearest my bed partly open because I love looking outside as I wake up and seeing what the new day is like.  If I could sleep in every day I'm sure the delight would wane, but I sure did enjoy this slow-to-rise morning. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday Snow

I have mentioned before how much I enjoy Thursdays.... and once again I had a very nice day.  We woke up to 6 inches of lovely snow.  I enjoyed helping the boys shovel the driveway because it was so pretty and peaceful.  Other things I did today are: canned the last of the tomatoes, cleaned my stove inside and out, mended all the rips and missing buttons on our clothes, got the ironing done, did my visiting teaching, and cleaned underneath my fridge and stove.  Tonight we went to the annual Halloween concert on campus.  It was very good, as usual.... this has become a tradition that we enjoy each fall.  Here is a picture taken  from my backyard this afternoon.   

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Candy Corn

It's that time of year for candy corn.  We made a trip to Idaho Falls to go to Target for their "exclusive" candy corn Oreo's.  Evidently they are so exclusive that they are not to be found.  If anyone sees them, would you grab us a package?

One year when I was working with the Young Women, one of my girls and I were talking about candy corn and how we liked to eat it in sections, saving the small white triangle on the end for the last.  We both commented on how we liked the tip the best.  The next day a big bag of candy corn appeared with no explanation.  I appreciated the kind gesture of some sharing soul.  When I went to eat a few, I saw that the white tip of every one had been bitten off, and I only got the yellow and orange part!  I laughed and laughed at that girl, and the joke we shared together!  It must have made her sick eating all those white tips!  To me it was a sign of friendship and trust, and I always think of her when I eat candy corn..... I need to find where she is now and return the favor! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Couple of Good Things

Today I took the final for one of my classes, and got 102% on it.  I was pleased with the grade, and also glad to finish the class, (it was a block class) so that my homework load is lightened a bit.  Yay!

I also went to devotional on campus today with Jacob and Tony.  I haven't been attending devotional, just listening to it on the radio, but I think it is important for Jacob to participate in this part of BYU-I life.  Elder Kikuchi was the speaker, and I just love him!  He gave a great talk on how to start off our day in a way that will bring us closer to Christ.  I loved it when he said "we should wash and fresh our bodies".  The closing song was "As I Have Loved You".... Then he got back up and had President Clark and President Eyering and the man that coordinates the speakers, stand with him and sing "As I Have Loved You".  It was a powerful moment!  I am so grateful for the opportunity for me and my family to listen to and be in the presence of loving and devoted leaders. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Solution to Everything.....

When I was a teenager I had a dream that I will always remember.  I dreamed that there was this one word that was the answer to everything.... it solved all the problems of the world, filled everyone with peace and joy, and made everything bad and hurtful disappear.  I was so excited and happy, I was jumping for joy!  I actually jerked myself awake and fumbled around for a piece of paper to write this magical word on.  After carefully writing it down, I went back to sleep, full of excitement to share my discovery with the world, thinking that I would be able to cleanse the world of inequality, hurt, and disappointment. 

The next morning I woke up and remembered this amazing dream and found a scrap of paper by my bed with the following word

MEDIFERNEZERARY......................   so far I haven't been able to use it for anything other than giving myself a laugh, but I'll always remember the amazing feeling of pure joy I had in that dream!  I hope I get to feel it again some day!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Surgery socks

Tonight I am wearing ugly purple socks with paw shaped "grips" on them.  Tony got them at the hospital when he had surgery on his toe.  Since he had 2 surgeries, he brought home 2 pairs of socks.  I wear them because they are very warm, and because they are the only physical thing (besides a straight toe) that we have to show for all the money we spent.  Tony won't wear them, and the kids think they are nasty, so it's up to me to get our money's worth out of them..... I will probably have to wear them for the rest of my life!  (I don't really have to wear them.... just hate to get rid of really warm socks!) 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Today I had an unfortunate experience.  While trying to figure out how to download sound clips and apply them to a power point presentation, I inadvertently downloaded some search tool called Blekko that was a terrible search engine, it would not let me go where I needed to go, and I could not figure out how to get rid of it.  Luckily I have a good computer guy!   He cleaned up my computer and got rid of Blekko.  Who, in their right mind, would name a product Blekko, anyway?  It sounds like you are going to be sick!  (Which I almost was when I couldn't access the programs I needed, to get my homework done.)  Thanks computer man!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Balancing Act

I'm feeling rather out of balance lately...  trying to fill many rolls, and not feeling completely successful.  I have to keep reminding myself that I can do anything I put my mind to, but I can't do everything right now.  I also feel like I am always trying to be what other people need me to be.... a good mom, student, teacher, relief society president, friend, daughter, neighbor, church member, board member, wife, etc... I feel like if I spend too much time in any one area, the others suffer, so I am constantly evaluating, weighing, and choosing who to be at any given moment.  I get tired of the effort sometimes, and I think that is why I like to read so much.... it gives my mind a break.  I know that this balancing act is what life is all about and the test of this life is in how we prioritize, and how we handle the bumps that come up.  I just feel so caught up in all the roles I am trying to keep going, that I wonder if I am losing myself somewhere?  Or, are all these commitments and roles what make me myself? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Funny saying

Tonight, while watching a video clip, the commentator said "It's all retch and no vomit"..... cracked me up! We all know people who are this way.... all big talk and no action.  I'm going to think of this and smile when I hear braggers in the future! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

freezer meal group

I joined a group of ladies that make freezer meals once a month.  There are six of us in this particular group.  Each person makes 6 meals and freezes them, then we exchange.  For example, I am making 6 pans of beef stroganoff, another lady is making 6 chicken pot pies, another is making 6 pans of enchiladas, etc....  After exchanging, each of us goes home with 6 different meals, that can be thawed and heated for dinner.  It is a lot of work to make the 6 meals, but in the long run it is a lot easier than spending time preparing 6 different meals.  I am hoping this will make my life a little bit easier on those crazy days when I don't have time to cook dinner.  I also think it will be fun to try some new foods and someone else's cooking!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I really like to help people.  Part of that is selfish, because I enjoy being needed, and I like the feelings that I get when people are grateful for me.  I see so many needs around me, and am not able to do everything that I want to... I try to encourage others to help meet some of the needs I see, and usually people are kind and thoughtful, and try to help.  However, there are times when no one but myself shows up at a service project, and that is so discouraging.  Not only am I not able to meet all the needs by myself, (or just with my family) but I know that others are missing out on the chance to make friends, to make the world better, and to become more Christ-like.  So many of us hide inside our own personal activities and concerns, that we miss the bigger picture, and miss out on the amazing experiences and relationships that are all around us, if we will but open our eyes and our hearts. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Potato Bar Fund-Raiser

Last night we had a dinner/dessert auction for the library foundation.  Tony and I are on the board... we love our public library and try to support it.  The foundation raises money through a used book store, and various fund-raising events, then we use the money  to help meet some of the needs of the library.  Last year we bought a baby grand piano for the community room, and this year we are working on  getting more computers in the children's area.  Anyway... I was in charge of the food last night.  We had a baked potato bar, and things went pretty good.  They started the dessert auction too late though, and most everyone had left.  The board members were pretty much the only ones left, so we were bidding on the desserts that we had donated.  It kind of made me laugh... why didn't we each just give some money to the foundation, rather than going through all the work of the evening?  (There were community members who came, it just felt like there were more board members than "regular" community people.)  I think we will do it again next year, but do better advertising, and start the auction earlier!  Glad to be done with planning and preparing for the dinner!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I am so grateful for friends in my life.  Today I got a sweet note from a friend that made me feel appreciated and loved.  Then I was able to go to the temple with another friend, who then came to my house and helped me scrub potatoes for a dinner I am helping with tomorrow.  Then another friend invited me over to get some starts of plants I had been admiring.  While I was getting plants, another friend sent over a cheese ball that she makes, and I love to eat!  My husband is my greatest friend and confidante, and he is always doing kind things for me and provides love and support.  Tonight I am feeling very grateful for the friends in my life, and the friends that I still love, that have moved out of my life.  Friendship is truly something that I treasure... maybe because I feel like I don't have very many "close" friends.  My family are my best friends and that is where I choose to spend most of my time and energy.  Sometimes I feel lonely for friends, but today I feel rich in that area.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Drying Onions

Yesterday I noticed that all the onions I dug from my garden a few weeks ago, were starting to go bad.  So, I borrowed my neighbors food processor to chop them all up (first I cut off any bad parts).  Then I put them in the food dehydrator.  There were many tears involved in the process!  These were strong onions! I put the dehydrator in the garage, since I didn't want the house to smell like onions.  Unfortunately, my hands, clothes, and kitchen still smelled.  The garage immediately filled with the strong scent. Also, a slight draft comes in under the house/garage door when the wind blows, and it happened to be a windy day.  Anyway, everything smells like onions, and I have a nice bunch of dehydrated onions. I probably should have moved the cars outside while this was going on because I don't know if the smell will ever come out. Even after being parked outside on campus all day today, as I walked up to my van, I got a nose full of onion scent!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Back into things

Spiral Jetty on the Great Salt Lake

Kent, Beth, and baby Clara on blessing day

Grandma and Grandpa with all their grandchildren, except Kedrick who is serving a mission in Peru.

Golden Spike monument steam engine demonstration
We had a really nice weekend, traveling to my brother's home in Utah, listening to General Conference, being with family, accidentally going to Nevada, drinking iron-port,and being together.  Here are a few photos. Today was back to school.  Jacob got hooked up with a "study buddy" and a couple of tutors, to help him learn how to manage his college classes.  He has been doing quite good, but figuring out everything works has been a challenge.  Hopefully this will help him to be successful, and free up a little more time for me to work on my own schooling. It was good to get away, but good to be home too.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Love General Conference

I truly love to listen to the bi-yearly conference of the church.  President Monson suggested that we take some time to think about all the ways the Lord has blessed us in our lives.  As I began to think about how I have been watched over, taught, protected, and comforted throughout my life, I was completely overwhelmed.  As I just review the past week, I see many, many times when I have felt prompted, inspired, comforted, and taken care of.  I have no doubt that I am loved by a Heavenly Father, and that He is involved in the small details of my personal concerns and trials.  I hope my family knows this.... I have seen miracles, and felt His presence in ways that I can never deny.  These experiences are sacred to me and I hold them close to my heart.  I love my Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ.  I will not push my beliefs on to anyone who feels differently from me, but at the same time I can not keep from expressing the source of my joy and peace.  I hope my actions never give my loved ones any reason to doubt my great love of the gospel.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy Birthday to Mom

Today I canned some pears.  It made me think of my mom and how she has taught me to do so many things.  I think that most of the things I enjoy doing, have been taught to me by my mom.  I'm so glad I had to do things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, mending clothes, gardening, etc... as I grew up.  Although I didn't ALWAYS enjoy them, I often did, because it was fun to be with my parents and siblings, and I have always liked the feeling of accomplishment I feel after doing a job well.  Thanks Mom, for teaching me, loving me, and always being there for me.  I love you!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One of "those" days

Today has been a long, difficult day, so I won't write about it.  Instead, here are a few pictures I took yesterday.  This is Jacob with his white chocolate, I cake (for BYU-I).  And here is a picture of Emily and Tipsy snoozing on the couch. 
The kids have worked hard in the garden, gathering the last of the vegetables since it is going to freeze pretty hard tonight.  I'm glad to be finishing with it, and already looking forward to starting again next spring.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jacob Day

Today my Jacob turned 19!  Hard to believe!  He spent most of the day doing homework and going to class, but this evening he wanted to go out to Taco Bell for dinner, then to Thor's ice cream.  Then we went to campus and he took us to see where his classes are.  After that was a quick trip to Walmart and to CAL Ranch (for some wrap for Tony's toe).  Then home for cake and opening presents.  I made a white chocolate cake for him.  It was pretty  good... had pecans and coconut and white chocolate in it.  I'm very proud of all my kids, but on this day Jacob is at the top of my "thankful list".  Happy Birthday Jacob-peanut!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dumb Dogs

Emily is babysitting 2 dogs for one of our neighbors.  On Friday, I went with her to help get the dogs in the garage for the night.  I had about 30 minutes before I needed to be at the library, to help with a fundraiser.  We rode our bikes down the road... I had a flat tire, but did not have time to pump it up, so struggled down the road.  We got there, and realized that Emily had forgotten the key, so I waited as she rode back home and got it.  We got the dogs, removed the shock collars, put them inside their kennel in the garage, and as I took off the leash, one dog bolted out and ran off.  She went to the neighbors house .  I took off after the dog while Em found some treats to lure her back.  I called the boys to come and help because the dog did NOT want to be caught.  I chased her all through the neighbors back yard and garden.  Em brought the treat and the dog inched closer and closer, then as I snatched for her, she grabbed the treat and darted away.  She ran to another neighbors house, and some of their kids came out to help, the dog thought it was a great game!  I went back to the owner's house and got the other dog on a leash, thinking it would help to lure the runaway back.  The dog ran to another house, and met their new dog.  I was hot, sweaty, had thorns in my feet, and was getting late for my appointment.  Luckily the new dog in the neighborhood did not like our runaway, and scared her.  She ran back to me and the leashed dog.  Emily threw herself over the dog, and we managed to get a leash on her.  It took about 25 minutes of chasing to catch the stupid creature, and we were dirty, sweaty, and late for my appointment by the time I made the 15 minute drive to town.  Now I can laugh as I see how the situation must have looked, but I was really angry at that dumb dog!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yellowstone Fun

Today was a free-entrance day at Yellowstone Park, so we took the 2-hour drive and headed for adventure.  We saw a few buffalo and elk, and some geese.  We drove to the Old Faithful area and went to the cafeteria for lunch.  It was funny to see our next door neighbor there!  After eating, we started on a short hike to an overlook of Old Faithful.  We didn't get to the top before it erupted, and we missed most of it.  We had a nice little hike, and ended up at "Solitude Geyser".  This was a little geyser that erupts about every 5 minutes, and is only a few feet high.  No one else was there, and we sat and watched it twice.  Then back toward civilization and had fun looking at some small geysers and pools.  Then we sat and waited to see Old Faithful erupt.  We waited... and waited..... finally we decided to leave because I had to get back home for a meeting.  It erupted as we were pulling out of the parking lot, so we missed it again!  Oh well... it was a fun, relaxing getaway for a few hours!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bugs on the Door

The past few days there have been LOTS of box elder bugs around my front door.  Yuck!  Where did they come from?  There are no box elder trees anywhere close that I know of.  Why are they congregating on my front step?  Are they planning a mass invasion when the door opens?  I just don't know what is going on!  I sprayed some bug-defense spray around the door, steps, and foundation today... we'll see how the situation looks tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thursdays Free Days

My schedule is rather full at the moment.  Saturdays are spent with the family.... doing yard work, house work, outings, etc... Sundays are full of meetings, planning, church, study, and visits.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are school days, where Jacob and I go to campus and have classes, do homework and school projects.  Tuesdays are my Relief Society days where I have meetings, do visits, phone calls, plan, go to the temple, visit teach, etc.  Thursdays are MY days!  (Sort of ) This is when I do the shopping, run errands, work in the garden, cook for the coming week (at least a few things), and sometimes I spend a little time reading or take a nap.  I look forward to Thursdays!  During the rest of the time I try to fit in things like laundry, house work, paying bills, helping with kids homework, keeping in contact with friends and family, cooking, etc... and of course I try to spend as much time with my family as possible.  It sometimes overwhelms me to try to keep it all going, but I am also happiest when I am busy.  Anyway... tomorrow is Thursday, and I am really looking forward to it! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rain in the Night

Finally!  It rained a bit last night, and also the night before.  The surface of the ground was wet, but not much more.  Still, after a long, hot, smoky summer, it was wonderful and refreshing.  I am hoping the rain will help a bit with some of the fires that are so smoky, and my yard and garden sure look better after a bit of rain!  I also love the sound of rain in the night... it makes me feel cozy and comfortable to be dry and warm in my bed, while outside it is cleaning and watering the earth. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thumb Nail Thoughts

Back at the beginning of June I slammed my thumb in the car door.  It was not very fun and hurt like blazes for a week or so.  My nail immediately turned black and swelled up.... not a pretty sight.  Finally, today, the last part of that crushed, mangled thumb nail came off.  Only part of the new one has grown, underneath, and the exposed end of my thumb is super-sensitive.  It makes me realize how miraculous each and every part of our body is.  It amazes me that as damaged as my thumb was, it is almost completely healed... the nerves that are so sensitive, have repaired themselves, and the nail that is supposed to cover them performs the important function of protecting them.  I also miss the use of my nail, as a tool, to grip, perforate, and scrape... our bodies, even the smallest part, are just so amazing! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Last night the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra put on a performance here in Rexburg.  We all got dressed up in our church clothes and went to listen.  When I saw the program, I thought "this is going to go w-a-a-a-y too long.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that it was just long enough to hear a good variety of songs, and still keep the audience interested.  It was especially fun to see them get pretty animated during an African spiritual.... there was hand clapping, swaying, and even some yelling and yipping going on.  Not the usual stuff you see from the Tabernacle Choir.  Anyway, I was grateful for the opportunity for my family to go to this performance together. I am often amazed at the blessings we have found by moving here. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good Trade

Today I took some zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes to a friend.  She doesn't grow a garden so I thought she could use some of my over-abundance.  I am getting tired of canning after quite a few batches of plain tomatoes, two big batches of salsa, lots of green beans, and some jam.  I have been dehydrating the zucchini and yellow squash into "chips" that are pretty good.  I did spaghetti sauce today.  Anyway... I didn't want to do any more preserving for a few days, so I gave away my produce.  It turns out my friend has fruit trees and she gave me a big box of pears, and another of apples.  The pears aren't ripe yet, so I don't have to can them right away, and I am gong to dry the apples, so can just work on that a  bit at a time.  I was happy to get the fruit, since my trees didn't produce anything this year. By the way, do any of you want parsley?  I have dried more than I will use in the next while (probably years), but there is still a bunch left in the garden. I also have dill for anyone who wants it.  And chive plants..... they are taking over my herb garden!  I'm starting to look forward to the end of gardening season! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gangum Style

It seems like everywhere I turn I am hearing the "Gangum Style" song.  I don't even know what it means, but it is really catchy.  At the same time, I am wondering how many more parodies are going to made, because I am getting tired of hearing it so much.  I wonder why certain songs, tv shows, sayings, etc... catch on, while others that are just as good (maybe better) get overlooked.  This is something my sociological mind sometimes ponders.

Monday, September 17, 2012

savvy shopping

I am a pretty frugal person.  I don't get a kick out of spending money.... in fact I really enjoy saving it.   Today I went to Walgreens for a few things.  By watching the circular and matching coupons to the sales they had, I walked out with 2 bottles of Aussie shampoo, a box of crackers, a package of Dentek tooth flossers, and 3 boxes of fruit snacks for a total of $5.08.  My receipt told me that I saved 74% on todays purchases, plus I got $3 in coupons good for anything I choose on my next purchase.  I wish there were sales and coupons for things like power bills and braces!  I am NOT an "extreme couponer".... I don't want to spend a huge amount of time and effort to get free things.... they are not free if they are costing me my time and energy.  I just think it is silly to pay more than necessary if I can save significantly by being organized and observant. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Noise Pollution

I just enjoy the quiet.  Many people, (my husband included) feel most comfortable with "stuff" going on.  This includes such things as music, tv, internet, podcasts, etc....  I usually "tune out" the input from these things  It's not a conscious choice, in fact I don't even realize I'm doing it.  I don't like the feeling of "disconnect" between my thoughts and the things going on around me that happens when I am paying attention to these types of things.  In fact it makes me almost nervous when I can't hear and tune in to what is going on around me.  Is this strange?  I hardly ever turn on the radio or put in music, watch tv, or have any type of electronic noise going when I am home alone.  Sometimes Tony will comment about the things he is watching or listening to, and I am rarely able to respond with anything other than "sorry, I wasn't listening".  I don't mind that we have different tastes in the "noise" category, because I love Tony and am able to tune out the stuff I don't enjoy.  I just think this is unusual to have such an affinity for quiet, since most people turn on the "noise" a lot more than I do.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"I'm not perfect"

One of my kids said tonight "I'm not perfect".  I think that this is obvious.  None of us is perfect.  We are all working at getting better, kinder, more obedient, wiser, etc...  I think that saying "I'm not perfect" is often an excuse for not trying harder.  It's a way of letting go of responsibility for our own actions... nobody's perfect, so why try?  I hope I can teach my children that they don't have to be perfect, but they are responsible for making themselves better.  I hope I can remember this for myself also. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Over the past few days, several family members have commented about the fact that I have not made bread for quite some time.  For a few years, I never bought bread, but always had home-made.  Lately, I have been buying bread at the store.  We don't like it as much, and we don't go through it as quickly as the home baked stuff.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities I have taken on, and I let some of the less-important things go.  Bread is one of those things.  I like making bread though, and hopefully will do so more often in the future.  Baking bread is definitely a smell that I love having in my home!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Master Gardener

Tonight was the closing social for the Master Gardener program that I have been working on since last February.  I spent about 50 hours in classes, then another 40 hours of community service.  I spent my service time answering questions at a booth at the local farmer's market and helping with a gardening conference.  It was really fun and I learned a lot.  Tonight I received my certificate so now I am an official Master Gardener!  Yay!!!!!  I also won first prize in the "best vegetable" contest with a monster cabbage that I grew.  I  won a basket full of garden stuff, and Tony won a door prize... a lily!  He'll probably have me take care of it. :)  I enjoyed the evening and am glad to mark this experience as "accomplished" on my bucket list. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I am continually amazed at how our attitude affects us, and the people around us.  When any member of my family is having a "bad" attitude, it rubs off on everyone and we all change the way we act.  Likewise, when someone is cheerful and optimistic, it makes those around them happier.  I worked in the bookstore again today, and most of the people just went through the line without much response to me, but a few seemed really grumpy, and I felt myself getting defensive and "protective" against them.  There were others who told me what a good "traffic director" I was and said things like "thank you" or "have a good day".  I am working really hard at being the one in control of my attitude, and not letting the moods and reactions of others determine what I feel.  It is not easy, and often I have to pretend to not let things get to me.  I figure that if I practice the way I want to react, and practice being the kind of person I want to be, some day I will actually be that way! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

College Kid

Today was Jacob's first day of college!  Yikes!  Where did the time go?  I was very proud of myself for dropping him off, and not walking to class with him.  Then I had the same feelings that I had 15 years ago, dropping him off at pre-school for the first time.... worry, excitement, fear, hope, and the almost overwhelming urge to run back and bring him back home with me.  Luckily I had to run an errand and get to my own class... so he was saved from the embarrassment of having his mom come check on him.  I was glad to get a call from Tony a half hour later, telling me that he had walked by Jacob's class and taken a peek in to see how it was going.  :)  So, Jacob and I are both into the college class mode.  This will be my busiest semester yet, and I am praying for the ability to juggle all of my commitments and keep my sanity. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Nap

Today I turned off everything... my phone, my family, my church responsibilities, etc... and took a lo-o-o-n-g nap. It was so good for me!  I sometimes take a quick snooze for 15 minutes to a half hour, to ease a headache or just refresh myself, but every once in a long time I will take a real nap.  I think I slept for 4 hours today!  I am grateful to my family for letting me have this quiet, resting time to just sleep. Now I can go out and take care of my responsibilities again.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Glad to be done

After working full time for the past 3 days, I am tired, sick, and behind on everything.  I lost my voice by the end of the first day, and it hurts to talk.  My feet feel bruised and swollen.  I have a cold that makes my head feel like it is stuck in a metal garbage can!  My house is dirty, and my kids have spent way too much time in front of electronic screens.  I can not imagine going to work full time, and also keeping my home, family, and church calling under control!  For all those women who can, and do, make it work, you have my sympathy and admiration!!!  I am also so grateful for the work that Tony does to provide for us!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Directing Traffic

Today I worked all day at the campus bookstore.  Usually I work at a cash register, and take money from folks buying books and supplies.  Today they had me doing something different.... directing traffic.  Basically there is one main waiting line, and from there I am supposed to send people to the registers.  Ideally I try to have 2 or 3 people waiting at each register.  This system keeps things moving pretty quickly and prevents "traffic jams" in the store.  However there is no one to explain to all the buyers that they need to get into the main line, so people kept jumping ahead and "cutting" into the shorter register lines.  I lost my voice from shouting "the line starts over here" all day.  Those who have been on campus before have learned the "system" and know it is much more fair and efficient than just having everyone jumping into lines, but there are a lot of first-timers on campus making it much more difficult than it needs to be.  I am grateful for the good attitudes and friendly chatting with most of the customers, and I choose to not let the few stinkers get to me. 

On another note, we got Jacob his own cell phone today.  We need to be able to reach him, and have be able to reach us while he is at school.  I am excited for him... I already called him... from the living room..... while he was in the kitchen!  :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Freezer meals

Today was a cooking day.  My sister came over and we got 10 meals put together and ready to go!  I am so excited to have some dinners in the freezer.  I will be working all day for the next 3 days, then back to school on Monday.  It will be a little crazy getting my new schedule under control, so I am happy to have stuff I can just toss in the oven and heat up on those nights when I get home late!  I can even have the kids or Tony heat them up and I can come home to a nice meal. Thanks sis! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Today's Harvest

Here is the stuff I picked in my garden today.  I am sure enjoying all the fresh vegetables.  I wish I had more fruit... all the blossoms got frozen this year.  I had 2 pears, but they got blown off the tree.  Maybe next year will be better for the fruits.  Anyway, I am starting to look forward to the end of garden season.  It is fun to pick and store, but it is also really time consuming and I am already excited to try doing a few things differently next year to have an even better garden!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Temple Trip

Today was Labor Day, so we decided to celebrate by getting away from our labors and driving down to Brigham City.  We went to the temple open house.  It was a beautiful day, and a nice drive.  It was very crowded at the temple and we spent about 3 hours there, all totaled.  It was well worth it to be able to take our whole family to see the newest temple that has been completed.  I really enjoyed the "peach blossom" theme, but most of all just being there with my family was wonderful!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Beet cake

Tonight some friends brought over a chocolate beet cake to share with us.  I was rather skeptical... sounds strange.  It was very delicious! She told me it is made with canned beets, applesauce, wheat flour and coconut oil.  I am a big believer in eating healthily.  I am not a fan of diets, supplements, or "wonder" foods.  I think that if our diet consists mostly of whole, natural foods, and we eat a large variety, we will be healthy and strong.  That's not to say that I don't enjoy a few Cheetos or chocolate chip cookies occasionally.... I just try to take it easy on the junk, and save it for special occasions, while making my every day eating consist mostly of things that I grow myself, or that consist of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy proteins.  I definitely have room for improvement, but I just don't think that spending a bunch of money, or a couple of months eating nothing but broccoli will improve my body or health over the long run. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Old videos

Yesterday and today my kids wanted something new to watch, so I pulled out the old VHS family video tapes.  We still have a VCR, so we have spent some time watching ourselves.  It has been so fun to see myself, Tony, and the kids over the years!  I am amazed at the progress and growth each of us has made and the experiences that have helped us to become who we are.  We seldom take videod anymore, and it kind of makes me sad.  We need to work on converting these old video tapes to a digital format before they deteriorate and we lose them..... one more project to add to the list!  I am grateful that we have technology that helps us to preserve our memories because so much of what I watched seemed totally "new" to me! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things I am grateful for today

Today (as with every day) I have a lot to be grateful for.  Here are a few things that come quickly to my mind:
modern medicine
my home
the smell of canning and cooking
my family
a surprise visit from my parents
hugs from my kids
smiles from my husband
my brand new neice
the gospel
washing machines
good health
alarm clocks
sprinkler systems
comfortable beds

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Disappointing Ending

I hardly ever watch tv (we only get a few channels) because it makes me feel lazy and wasteful.  However, I got drawn in to a murder mystery show that Tony and Em were watching tonight.  I thought it ended at 9, but it really ended at 9:30.  I told myself I would leave at 9 and finish a few odds and end before getting ready for bed.  After my personal deadline,  I kept saying to myself "just a few more minutes", then continued to watch because I wanted to know who the guilty person was.  Just as the big reveal was starting, an amber alert came on!  Of course I was concerned about the missing child from Boise, but I missed the whole ending of the story and now must go to bed feeling lazy, wasteful, and still in suspense! I don't think I will watch much more in the near future.... it's too stressful!!!