Monday, December 16, 2013

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert

We were blessed to get tickets to the Sunday morning concert. Even though we had to get up really early, it was well worth it. Spectacular production! We were moved to tears by the beauty and sweet spirit.  Then we wandered around Salt Lake, rode the trax, gave our snack to a homeless man, went to the library, ride the jingle bus, and saw temple square lights before heading home. It was a great weekend!

Heritage park

We headed to Salt Lake for a fun weekend. We went to the Heritage park and enjoyed their old fashioned Christmas activities such as making ornaments, live nativity, carolers, fresh donuts, a train ride, and warm gingerbread. Next went to Kent's home and enjoyed their hospitality and hot cocoa.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Beautiful sunset

View out my window tonight....

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Star wars at KMart

I took the kids to do some Christmas shopping today.  These guys were at the store, promoting toys for tots. My kids thought it was really cool!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas tree

Last night we finally got the tree decorated. We usually do it the day after Thanksgiving, but we are a little behind. Christmas excitement is in the air!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jacob at work

It has been requested that we post more pics of the kids.... Since we haven't done anything too exciting you get to see us doing our boring, everyday stuff.  This is where Jacob spends most of his time as he does his school work.  He is in his third semester at byu-i, studying graphic design. He works really hard at his classes and we are proud of his efforts!

Emily at the fair

Tonight was a stake yw activity. All the girls showed a project that they have been working on for personal progress. On Emily's left you can see her cross stitch. It was fun to eat fair food and see all the things that people have been creating.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kind of Funny

Yesterday was a beautiful day here.  The sun was shining and it was comfortable to be outside in long-sleeves.  We took advantage of the nice weather and mowed the lawn one last time before putting the mower away for the winter.  Then, I decided to hang up the outdoor Christmas lights because I hate doing it when it is icy and windy.  So... I've never mowed the lawn and hung Christmas lights on the same day! 

It is good to have Tony back from his trip to D.C.  He had a nice time at his conference, and really enjoyed hanging out with Scott.  I enjoyed working on some projects like patching the living room ceiling, fixing towel hooks that had pulled out of the wall, making freezer meals, putting scrapbooks together from our family trips (clear back from 2008), and organizing our family's important papers and documents. 

One more odd thing.... did you know that chickens will hunt and eat mice?  I was rather amazed to see mine do just that today!  Weird.......

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dirty Jobs

This has been a week for getting some of those yucky jobs done.  Erik and I crawled under the house and changed the water filter and furnace filter.  I cleaned out all of the little strainers on the faucets... (we have 6 sinks in the house!)  I unclogged the kids tub drain... gross!  The chicken coop got a good cleaning before winter sets in.  ( 2 of my 4 chickens are going to the butcher on Saturday.... one isn't laying any more, and one eats it's eggs as soon as they are layed!)  I got the last of the apples canned and dried... they were starting to get soft and some were moldy.  I also burned the pile of sticks and weeds that has been accumulating all summer.  I am thinking that I am looking forward to the big storm that is supposed to hit this weekend, so that I can do some jobs that aren't quite as yucky!!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013


After a hard freeze last night, all my pumpkins are now visible.  We each picked one to carve for Halloween, then gathered the rest to give to family and friends. I am sad and also glad that my garden is pretty much done till next spring.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Power out

Monday was really windy and we didn't have power at our house. By 5pm it was still off so we met Tony on campus and ate dinner at the cafeteria. Then went to the library so Jacob could finish his online homework.  Still no power at home so we played Clue and ate fudge in the manwaring center for FHE. We got home just as it was getting dark.  We lit the kerosene lamp, found flashlights and got our jammies on. Then gathered around the lamp and took turns reading aloud " The lighthouse of Alexandria".  Just after prayer, the power came on as we were getting into bed. It was a great evening!

Friday, September 27, 2013


Sorry this picture is so grainy... cell phone.  After getting back from Hawaii a few years ago, I decided that I wanted to grow a pineapple.  So, after eating the delicious fruit from the grocery store, I saved the top and got it to grow.  It turned into a monster plant that pokes your eyes and grabs your arms as you walk by.  I was just trying to decide whether or not to keep it, when yesterday I saw this little gem poking out of the plants crown!!!! I am so excited that it is finally making fruit!  I will keep you posted on the progress of my new little darling.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lunch break

I am spending many hours working at the bookstore.  Jacob will start classes again tomorrow. I'm tired of picking vegetables and finding homes for all of them so it is good to feel fall in the air! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Yellowstone holiday

Today was probably our last Yellowstone trip for this year.  It was a rather soggy day in the park, but at least it wasn't blazing hot! We drove over a dirt road from Ashton to Flagg Ranch which was rather harrowing but beautiful. Then we explored some of the eastern part of the park that we don't normally go to.  We saw the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which was spectacular, then went to Mammoth. We explored the Mammoth geysers and walked several miles enjoying the scenery. Not a lot of animals were visible, but we watched a coyote for a bit and saw the usual elk and bison.  It was a fun way to close our summer adventures.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to school

This year I only have one little duckling starting school today.  Good luck in 8th grade Em!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Luau date night

We are at Shaka's chevron tonight for a Hawaiian party.  We ate dinner consisting of rice, ginger chicken, Hawaiian pork, fruit, and pineapple cake. Afterwards we were entertained with a hula hoop contest, fire dancer, and hula dancers. Now we ate waiting for the outdoor movie of "hotel Transylvania". What a strange date for Idaho! Fun too!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Todays harvest

Anyone need cucumbers, peppers, or yellow squash? I am ready to start dumping them on the neighbors porches!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tony at the Chukars game

Today was spent doing mundane things.  Em and I got a batch of apples into the dehydrator, I got my blood sugar and cholesterol checked, canned a batch of green beans, and watched an episode of Hoarders. Then tony and I went to IF for dinner at the temple, an endowment session, and the last inning of a ball game. I also took extra veggies to several of my neighbors.  I have a pretty good life!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

PowWow at Fort Hall

Today we went to Fort Hall and watched the grand entrance at their 50th annual pow-wow.  It was very interesting.  As it began and the drumming and chanting escalated, I was touched and had tears in my eyes.  It was so beautiful and fierce and it made me sad to see how native Americans live today compared to the free, proud, nations that once were.  We also went to "Chubbuck Days" and ate tamales and spam sushi in the park.  When we got home one of our chickens, Bill, was missing.  I accidentally left the door unlatched and they were out.  A few minutes later the neighbors came over in tears because their dog had killed Bill.  I felt bad because I left the door open and because the neighbors felt so bad. Poor Bill. Other than that it was a fun day.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

State house in boston

Monday, July 8, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the fourth

Today was May the fourth (star wars day). We made Yoda quesadillas and Wookie cookies in celebration. We also tried a star wars movie marathon, but Tony and I slept through part of it and everyone got sick of it during our 3rd movie.  Oh well... It was fun while it lasted!  Tomorrow is Cinco deMayo and I have taco soup in the crock pot, and taquitos in the freezer! Too bad we don't have a pinata laying around!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mini Vacation

Today we got up and went to Yellowstone for the day.  We stopped and Taco Time and got breakfast burritos and drank horchata as we drove.  We stopped at Mack's Inn to see Tony's uncle, Vance, and his family, then off to the park.  The weather was beautiful and it was fun to see the snow melting and signs of spring.  We saw elk and bison.  I was so excited to spot a wolf across the river.  We pulled over and spotted another one!  Tony took a bunch of pictures.  Later, we showed the pictures to a ranger and were disappointed to learn that they were only coyotes.... We stopped at all of the geysers between West Yellowstone and Old Faithful, and walked along the boardwalks, re-naming the geysers as we saw fit.  We watched an osprey catch a fish, ate a lot of trail mix, smelled the sulfer and had a really good day. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Salt Lake Weekend

After graduating on Friday night, Tony, Jacob, and I took off for Salt Lake City on Saturday.  Grandma came and stayed at home with Erik and Emily, so they would not miss any school, and could have some fun time with her.  We stayed at the Kimball, just across the street from the Conference Center.  We spent most of our time on Temple Square and at the City Creek Mall.  We attended Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday morning, and were moved to tears by their powerful performance. Afterwards we went on a garden tour of Temple Square.  Then spent the rest of the day with Kent and Beth, eating delicious food and enjoying their family.  On Monday we went to the RS Building, the Church History Museum, and the Family History Library.  Then lunch at the Lion House.  After that, we had a tour of the Church History and Research mission on Temple Square.  It was amazing to see all the work that happens behind the scenes!  Then we headed for home to release Grandma from taking care of our kids, and to return to our regular lives.  It was a really good weekend.

Tony and Jacob doing a Mexican dance at the Church History Museum

Lunch at the Lion House.  YUM!

I Did It!!!!

Thank you to my sweet family for the many hours of doing without me, so that I could do homework and study.
Thanks to my parents for their many years of support and love.
Hooray!  I finally did it!  Bachelors Degree in Sociology, and very proud to finally finish.    

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Glad that week is over

Whew!  I'm so glad I've got that week over with!  It was my busiest one yet.  On Tuesday I had that Autism Awareness Event.  On Thursday I had to present my senior thesis paper (30 page research paper I have been working on for 4 semesters) at a research conference.  I also had a RS activity that night, combined with Erik's Eagle Scout project (sewing I Spy bags for kids with disabilities).  Tony was recovering from minor mouth surgery and a nasty cold.  All the kids also were sick.  Erik and Em both missed some school.  I had to take Erik to the doctor because he got a sinus infection and pink eye.  Jacob got sick too and I took him to convenient care yesterday because he had sinus infection, ear infection, and pink eye.  On Friday I had to turn in an internship report to let my supervisor know that I have fulfilled all the hours required for my internship.  I also had a final test, along with my regular homework.  Erik and Em were out of school on Thursday and Friday for their spring break, so I had to just leave them on their own.  I am so glad to have General Conference this weekend!  I get to lay around the house in my jammies, eating out of 72 hour kits so I don't have to cook, and everyone can rest and recover from their sickness.  Best of all I get to listen to the prophets and get inspired and "filled up" again! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness Event

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.  As part of my internship I put together a community autism awareness event with representatives from 5 agencies, autism simulation activities, and the movie "Temple Grandin".  We gave out blue glow sticks to "Light it up Blue" for autism.  We had just over 50 people show up, which I thought was rather successful, since I didn't know how many to expect.  I had 20 student volunteers helping with the activities, making popcorn, and helping with set-up and clean-up.  It was a fun evening, but I'm glad it is over!  The worst part was when we had to evacuate the building and the firemen came in all their gear because the popcorn machine was smoky and set off the fire alarm.....   all kinds of fun and adventure was had!  (That's twice in one month that I sort of caused buildings to be evacuated!)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Why so hesitant?

I got a facebook message a couple days ago from my cousin, Tami.  She asked if she and her daughter could spend Friday night at our house.  Of course, she was welcome to come.  I really enjoyed visiting with her and finding out about her family and life. The thing is, I haven't seen or talked to her for probably 5 years, and before that it had probably been 10 years.  I am wondering why we hesitate to connect with family unless we have a specific "reason"?  I know that I feel awkward just dropping in to visit anyone that isn't immediate family.  But why?  I am a little bit jealous of people who are good friends with their cousins and extended family, and want to have that in my life.  I think maybe we are all afraid of interrupting schedules, and intruding where we might not be wanted?  Anyway... I love my family and want to be close to them.  I will have to work on taking the first step and reaching out. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Getting Bigger

I am working with an agency called Madison Cares for my internship.  I am getting an autism support group going in our community and promoting autism awareness.  April is National Autism Awareness month.  At our last support group meeting  I proposed that we do something to promote/support autism awareness during the month of April.  Someone suggested we make some posters about autism and put them up in public places.  OK... then someone suggested watching a movie or clip about what autism is.... OK.... It has now turned into the "Community Autism Awareness Event".  The  public library is letting me use their community room.  They are also putting up a display during the month of April about Autism and featuring all their materials on the subject. On April 2nd  I have 6 different agencies coming for an "open house" from 6 till 7, setting up displays and simulations about autism.  Then we are watching the movie Temple Grandin, at 7, and Madison Cares is providing free popcorn and water bottles.  I am really excited about this event and hope to get a good turnout.  I am meeting with a newspaper rep. this week for an interview about our support group and this event.  It has gotten a lot bigger than I am completely comfortable with, but I hope it is a good community activity and helps to educate people. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

I won! I won!

On Thursday I had a dentist appointment.  As I was checking in, I noticed a jar on the counter that invited me to sign my name and phone number on a slip of paper and enter it into their monthly drawing.  So, I did.  Today they called and told me that I won a $50 gift certificate to a day spa and a $25 certificate to Applebees!  I hardly ever win anything and am so excited!  It makes it seem like my check up was a fun experience!! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Em cake

  This is Em's birthday cake this year.  She really loves Les Mis and requested  this cake.  It was really fun to do.  I just covered the cake with white fondant then painted on it using black food coloring.  I haven't done anything artistic for a while and this was really fun!  It made me want to draw and paint again. We went to the late movie, The Hobbit, last night.  All of us really liked it.  When we got out at midnight, the wind was blowing and there were several inches of new snow.  We plowed through the drifts to get home.  Then we woke up to a big blizzard.  I don't know if a lot of snow came down, but there are spots with drifts several feet deep in the yard and driveway.  (There are bare spots too because of all the wind...)  It was a good day to stay inside!   

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Yay Erik!

We just got word that Erik was accepted to attend BYU-I.  Yay!!!!  I am so proud of my boy!  I am glad he will be following in the family tradition and attending  college at a really great place.  He is currently taking a college stats class, for credit through ISU, and so a bit of his math requirement is already being taken care of.  Good job Erik!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I few weeks ago one of my friends, Cathy Birch moved away.  They gave us their fish, which they called "Chicken Fish".  We call it "Son of a Birch" (Not really... just thought it was funny!) Anyway, our cat, Tipsy has discovered the fish and she tries REALLY hard to reach it.  She can get her head in the jar, but then her paw won't fit. Or, she gets her paw in as far as she can, then she can't see what she is doing.  The fish doesn't seem to be disturbed at all, but it is sure entertaining to watch!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Snowy Day

We woke up to about a foot of new snow this morning.  I don't know the official amount, but it looks like at least a foot to me!  I shoveled off half of the cement pad in front of our garage, so Tony could get out to work.  He got stuck further out in the driveway and had to be pushed out.  Then, one of the school busses got stuck down at the far end of our road, so the other busses wouldn't go down there.  My kids had to get on out at the corner.  The kids further down the street just didn't get picked up. However, our school district did not cancel school. I think we were the only ones within 50 miles that had school today.  As I continued to shovel snow, with aching back and frozen toes, my kind neighbor came over with his snow blower and cleared out our whole driveway, clear to the road.   I was so grateful!  Then I went to help out a few neighbors who had gotten stuck in their driveways. Jacob and I left a half hour earlier than usual to get to school, and it's a good thing we did.  Cars were stuck all over the place!  The roads in town had not been plowed at all and people were sliding and couldn't get up the hill.  We made it safely, but it took a long time!  After getting home this afternoon, I baked an apple pie to take to my helpful neighbor!  It was kind of a fun day, but boy are my back and arm muscles aching.  I hope I can move tomorrow!  This picture is pretty fuzzy, but it is the path we shoveled out to the chicken coop in the back yard. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Maple Bacon Hot Dog

Tonight for our dinner, Tony and I went to a little shack called the "Dog House".  We got a maple bacon dog.  It consisted of a hot dog, wrapped in bacon and deep fried.  Then it is put in a "bun" that is actually a maple bar.  Add a little barbecue sauce and dinner is complete!  It was surprisingly good, but my stomach sure feels heavy hours later.  We are going to make a home-made version for the super bowl, so come on over if you want to try it! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Last IEP :/

Today I had an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) with Erik at the high school.  I have been going to these meetings for my boys for the past 15 years!  This was the last one!  Erik will graduate in the spring, and hopefully Em will not ever need these meetings.  Basically, this is where the parents, child, school staff, therapists, etc., meet together and make a "plan of action" for the child, outlining goals, accommodations, and evaluating progress.  I have an odd mix of feelings about this last meeting...... joy, relief, fear, hope, uncertainty.....  I am really proud of the progress my kids have made, but it is also scary to have them become adults, without the support of the schools and others to depend on.  What a crazy journey!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Super Tracker

This semester I am taking a nutrition class.  I took one a long time ago and really enjoyed it.  I remember having to keep track of everything I ate, measuring the amounts, and doing long, complicated math equations to figure out the nutritional value of my diet.  Now, my class is having me use a site,, to keep track of my diet.  I just started this morning but it has been really fun and easy to use and has motivated me to eat better.  I tried really hard to get in all my food groups, and found that the vegetables are the hardest to consume enough of.  It keeps track of servings, calories, and even individual nutrients.  I am excited to use this tool to help me become more aware of my food choices. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dance party

It is really cold car said -22 degrees when I went to church this morning.  Yesterday for some exercise we had a family Wii dance party.  It was really fun, so I took a short video to show all of my family how we exercise when it is too cold to go out.  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Daddy's Girl

Happy Birthday today to the best dad in the world.... mine!  I am so grateful that you taught me to wish upon stars, to work hard, to enjoy the peaceful moments, and to believe that I am a princess.  I love you dad!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Feeling better

Sorry about the pity party blog last night..... things are looking much brighter today.  Jacob and I both enjoyed our classes, at work I had $28,884 worth of merchandise go through my register and I still balanced at the end of the day, I am mostly prepared for the autism support group tomorrow, and Tony got a plumber from the college to come look at our water problem and found that the washing machine hook-up was leaking.  So, we don't have to tear into the walls to find the problem, and it only cost us a plate of cookies!  There will have to be some scraping, patching, and painting, but I think we can handle that.  I am feeling less out of control and able to think more clearly... it is amazing what a new day and a plate of cookies can do for a person! 

A little Stressed

I am almost overwhelmed tonight.  I knew that I had a full week ahead with Jacob and I starting college classes again, working all week, helping my best friend move away, an autism support group meeting to run, and lots of Relief Society stuff to do this week.  Then, tonight Em spotted a blister on the living room ceiling, about the size of a cereal bowl.  It is directly under the kids bathroom.  We popped it to let the water drain, called several local plumbers and left messages on their machines, and shut off the water supply to the toilet and sinks in the kids bathroom.  I think that the wall/ceiling is going to have to be torn into to find the leak and get it fixed, because there is no visible source of the water.  I am worried about the mess, the cost, etc.....  I know that it is really quite a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but it seems to be the straw that tipped my stress level.  Makes me question the wisdom of working this job, taking so many credits, and assuming so many responsibilities. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back to Real Life

I have to say that I have really enjoyed the sleeping in, eating junk, no appointments or classes, etc... of the past few weeks.  Today the kids went back to school, Tony went back to work, we got up at 6-30, I went to work at the university store, and the vacation is over.  School starts again for me and Jacob next Monday.  It was really nice while it lasted, but it was also getting kind of boring and I was getting antsy to work and accomplish something.  It is good to have changes in our lives to keep us happy and appreciative of all the good things we enjoy in our lives. 

On another note... it is really cold!  Right now it is below zero.  The chickens have had their eggs freeze inside the hen house, and I hate to think what my heating bill will be!  Makes me glad to have a warm home!