Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday To-Do List

First of all I want to congratulate my son on his photography entry (see previous post.)  He won an award and went to District.  Hooray!  OK, now check out this blog, now back to my blog.  :)  Just gotta find me a frame and pick up my prints at Costco.  In the meantime, here's what I plan to put on it.  Enjoy!

Our Holiday To-Do List:
-Festival of Trees (Always the very beginning of December - they have all sorts of tree, wreath and amazing Gingerbread House displays, a Kids Korner, yummy treats and crafts to buy all to support Primary Children's Hospital.  If you've never been, put it on your calendar for next year)
-Decorate the Christmas Tree (check!)
-Watch Polar Express and drink hot chocolate (check!)
-Make personalized ornaments (almost checked!)
-See Temple Square Lights
-Make fudge
-Visit Santa
-Make Wish Lists to send to Santa
-Enjoy eggnog ice cream
-Read Christmas books (next year I plan on wrapping them and opening one a night - at least that's what I told myself last year)
-Sing Christmas hymns
-Donate food to the food drive
-Wrap presents
-Decorate Gingerbread House
-Deliver Neighbor Gifts
-Mail Christmas Cards
-Build a snowman
-Go skiing & sledding
-Watch "It's a Wonderful Life"
-Read the story of Christ's birth
-Make Christmas Jell-O
-Ward Christmas Party
-See the new Christmas movie (why does popcorn taste better in the theatre?)
-Make fresh homemade snow cones
-Christmas Morning French Toast Breakfast Casserole
-Stake Christmas Fireside
-Learn to play a Christmas song
-Make caramel popcorn
-Ice skating downtown
-Gardner Village’s Elf Scavenger Hunt
-Play games until midnight to welcome the New Year!

What are some of YOUR favorite Christmas traditions?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall colors

My 11 year old has recently gotten interested in photography.  I want to share with you the picture he took recently for a Reflections contest at school.  Story behind the picture: We drove up the canyon several times to try and get a picture of the leaves changing colors.  Did I mention my camera is 5 years old and I've never learned how to use it?  I don't have the time.  I love it when I get a perfect picture with my camera.  Anyway, the canyon was gorgeous, I wish we'd driven up there sooner to see the changing colors - this is our first year doing it and we've lived here 11 years.  Sometimes we got up there late so it was too dark and the pictures didn't turn out right.  It's just not the same as seeing it in person.  Anyway, I went to get the mail one afternoon and low and behold, this tree in our yard was starting to explode with color.  It reminded me of those "firecracker" or "rainbow" popsicles I used to love as a kid.  I ran inside and told Jeremy and he shot this picture.

It made me think, "God is truly amazing."  He made all these beautiful things for us to enjoy - in our own backyard.  He gave us variety.  I enjoy it, marvel in it, and I'm thankful to a Supreme Creator for letting me realize it.  Someday I'm going to ask him, "How did you make green leaves turn yellow, red then brown?"  Amazing...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Running, running, running

I love how her left arm swings but the right doesn't.  Thank heavens for squeaky shoes, I haven't lost her yet.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer recap

We were gone almost all summer, seriously.  I think we were home a total of 10 days in between mid-June and the first day of school.   My mom shattered her ankle in May and so I packed up my kids and headed up to Bear Lake to help her get thru the summer.  We were also gone for two family reunions during that time.  My mom manages cabins up there during the summer for family vacations.

It was a good year, meaning busy.  She was short on maids so while I went and cleaned places every day she would keep an eye on my kids while doing paperwork.  My oldest is pretty good about babysitting but they all get tired of each other after spending all day together in a smaller place.  Thank heavens for DVDs, video games, books and Bear Lake raspberries.  The first month she needed quite a bit of help because she was still in her wheelchair so I did most of the cooking as well.  She tried to do as much as possible but it's hard getting around with a wheelchair.  She's recovering much faster than we anticipated.  She can now walk around a little even though she has 15 screws and 2 plates in her leg.  It's truly been a miracle.

During Raspberry Days we had a 2-day break so we went and enjoyed the festivities.  The kids were happy about that.  The beach was almost nonexistent this year because of the high water levels and it was COLD.  We went to the beach once and that was enough, I didn't want to go again.  We got to do a bunch of "firsts" this year like ride the big bike, have shaved ice, enjoy the parade, shopping, ride the race cars, and go on a 10 mile hike.   (My boy scout is passing off his hiking merit badge so I was his travel buddy - since then we've done two more 10 milers and are doing the big 20 miler next weekend.)  We forgot breakfast and remembered after mile one (should've gone back.)  2 hours later we got to the KOA market and loaded up.  At mile 8 we found a bush of wild raspberries and thanked heaven for the angel that planted it.  LOL

Also during the summer, my cousin Loren got married to a sweet girl named Samantha in the Salt Lake Temple and they had their reception in our backyard.  We got home the day before to clean the house and left the morning after for Bear Lake again.  Super fun party - I would totally do it again.  Isn't she gorgeous - what a lucky guy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Relief Society Birthday Dinner Idea

I just wanted to share what we did for our Relief Society Birthday Dinner last March.  I always like looking around for new ideas so here's one that might work for your ward.  I threw out my back a week or two before the dinner (not fun with 5 kids - my house quickly became a disaster zone) so our RS President and Coordinator took over and did a fabulous job putting together a wonderful evening.  The night of the event, I felt well enough to go hobble around.  I took 4 Advil when I got home but it was worth it.  I wish I would've taken pictures, sorry.

Charms on magnet card as placecard and take home gift.  On a 3x4 scrapbooked card there was tied a little high-heel charm they could add to a bracelet or key chain so they would remember the night.

High heel cookie cutout frosted so cute in a clear bag as a dessert or take home gift.  A lady in our ward decorates cookies for her job so she helped make them deliciously fancy.

Visiting Teaching Skit put on by the presidency and committee.  The RS President played her part and our 1st counselor played a sister that needed to be visit taught.  Then we had pairs of sisters come "visit" her (each pair wore a different kind of shoe).  The skit was similair to this video:  It was hilarious!

We decorated the tables with different solid colored tablecloths and dollar store girl's dress up shoes.  The tables were already set to save time.  We did a potluck dinner since budget was tight.

Also on the stage we had a tower of shoes.  We asked sisters to donate gently used shoes that we could give to the Humanitarian Center later.  We ate dinner, did the skit and then we did a service project - we tied strips of fabric onto new dollar store flip flops that we donated the next day.   The best part was getting to sit down and enjoy dinner and talk with each other.  We're always so busy with our lives  that we never take the time to stop and really visit.  That was my favorite part.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Upstairs - Little Kids & Craft Room

My mom broke her leg so we've been helping her out quite a bit and I'm making a quilt for our family reunion.  We've been busy.  This summer is going by way too fast.  Here's the rest of the pictures of our "new" house.  Sisters Room - my 8 year old loves to practice gymnastics in here and it's big enough that she can.  She loves to read so I put together all my old bookcases from my childhood room and now she has a library wall.

Four year old's room - still need some more IKEA kids furniture.  There's a mini tramp in the corner and from the stud rings we hang a trapeze bar - sometimes it's in timeout because it gets too wild in there.

Craft Room - My old kitchen table is on the other wall but it still had stuff on it.  It was our wedding gift from my Nana.  I also have a hutch and counter-desk that was hers.  In the old house my craft room didn't have a closet so I am LOVING that!  There's the quilt I should be tying right now.
The kids love the new house and all the space.  They enjoy playing hide-n-seek since there are so many places to hide.  I imagine we'll stay here as long as we can cause moving is just too hard.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Upstairs - Laundry & Master

First of all I have to say that the upstairs laundry room was a huge seller for me.  The idea of not having to haul stuff up and down stairs... *sigh*  I bet you a woman thought of that.  My 8 year old keeps her sewing machine and craft stuff in here like paints and playdough.  There's also a wash sink in here.

Master Bedroom - that's a Cal King and yes, our baby still sleeps with us.  I love watching her wake up so bright and happy every morning and it's fun to cuddle with a freshly bathed baby as I go to sleep.

Master Bath - big enough to live in.  I think our bedroom at our first house WAS actually this size...
Everyone but me has used that jacuzzi tub.  Someday... someday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Don't you love it when you find a poem or song that says exactly what your heart wants to say? This is from Janice Kapp Perry. I originally found it in the book "Fathers of our Faith." You can find the story behind it here:
under her published articles.

I can understand how much Heavenly Father loves His children because I have an earthly father who loves me. Thanks Daddy! Have I told you lately that I love you? I love you whole bunches! XOXO Forever & Always  ~Karen

"My Father's Faith"

A father's faith can bless his little children
And help them rise above life's daily storms.
A father works each day to keep his dear ones
Ever protected, safe and warm.

My father's praise can send my spirit soaring
And help me see the good I may achieve.
My father's trust can fill my soul with courage
And help my doubting heart believe.

My father's tears can somehow say, "I love you"
When words fall silent in his tender heart.
Through daily acts of service and caring
His deepest feelings he imparts.

My father's prayers can call down heaven's blessings
And keep his children walking in the light.
His constant strength is steady as a lighthouse
That brings me safely through the night.

My father's arms can offer consolation
When I, in sorrow, turn my heart toward home.
His loving voice resounds within my being
To help me know I'm not alone.

My father's eyes can see past faults and failings
And still imagine all I may become.
And when I fall he's there to walk beside me
To tell me I can overcome.

My father's love will shine through generations -
A gentle force that guides me through the years.
My father's faith will be my inspiration
And make my path to heaven clear.

(Janice Kapp Perry, 2008)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Main floor part 2

Troy's office with his new massage chair that he's in at least once a day. The computer desk was a mess so no picture of that, sorry.

Kitchen - half the cupboard space as the old house so
I'm still working on that.

It looks clean now but ask my kids, it never looks like this and
luckily you can't see the floor.
Family Room

LOVE this backyard. Plenty of shady places for the kids to play and there's a little bench hiding in that back corner - perfect place to steal a kiss.

I have plans for this garden but it's raining every day the next couple of days so I can only blog about it for now.

Main floor

Welcome to our home! Here are some pictures of the main floor.   My 4 year old spilled half a bottle of baby powder upstairs and tried to clean it up with a blow dryer (he said the Holy Ghost made the mess, not him) so it might be a while before I post pictures of the upstairs. :)

Front door

Inside - front entry & living room

Living Room

Dining Room

Basement part 2

Here's the rest of the basement:
13 year old finally has his own room

Game table with spinning middle - games are in that armoire

Man cave - 2 reclining sofas and a reclining leather rocker - very comfy.

New Home Pictures - Basement

I love going into other people's homes to see how they decorate and organize things. I'm still not done decorating but I know our extended family would like to see our "new" home. Here are some pictures of the basement.

Our old dresser painted black now for our 10 year old son
His bed - I need to make a black headboard

3/4 bath

Cold Storage - half that stuff is my mom's that she needs to come get so I can fill it up with our year supply of food and toiletries.

I LOVE the food storage shelves.
There's another longer wall like this to the right.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

100 day Book of Mormon Reading Challenge

In our Relief Society we started something new and wonderful - a Book of Mormon reading challenge! Last year we did a 6 week challenge so it ended up taking around an hour every day to get it done in time. This year we wanted to mix it up a little and make it easier. Somewhere, someone in our presidency found this 100 day challenge. I love that it has a thought for every day and a question to ponder so it makes you STUDY instead of just READ. Simply submit a comment with your address and I'll email you the pdf file. (I haven't figured out how to do a link to it on blogger - if anyone knows how to do that please comment.) We cut them and put them together as booklets with a whole punch in one corner and held it all together with one of those metal rings. You could pass it along to your ward's RS presidency or make one for yourself to do this summer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Moving is CRAZY. I'm still delirious from it all. Do I miss the old house? No, not really. It served it's purpose and we really did need a bigger house. Do I love the new house? Emphatically YES! (Less emphatically said on cleaning day.)

Did I mention that we "swapped" houses? We bought a home 4 houses down the street from us and she decided to buy our house. Financially convenient since neither of us had to pay realtor commissions. We're friends now to say the least but it was still crazy trying to move in and out at the same time.

I'm almost unpacked. I'll get pictures on here ASAP. Just wanted to let everyone know I'm still alive and slowly getting back to real life.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First Birthday!

Today's extra special because you turn ONE!
You'll eat cake and ice cream and have lots of fun.
It seems like yesterday you were brand new.
And now, there are so many things you can do.
You'll light your first candle and we'll make a big fuss
To be sure that you know you're precious to us.
Today's extra special because YOU turn one!
(Happy Birthday Baby! I love you whole bunches!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter Cleaning

Hubby and I talked and he convinced me that we really do need to move. We don't fit in our house anymore meaning there shouldn't be 3 boys in one small room. And he'd like to park his Jeep in the garage... for once. OK, OK. Hence the Winter Cleaning. I don't want to move junk. So I've been going thru closets, re-organizing, throwing stuff away and I have to say...

It feels SOOOOO great!

We're giving away as much as possible and throwing away all the junk we've accumulated. The house seems bigger and cleaner already. :) House repairs are slowly getting done too. So that's why I haven't been blogging regularly lately.

Did I mention we found a house we love? I HATE moving. I hate keeping the house clean so other people can come look at our house but I'm actually looking forward to it now because of this "new" house. We haven't placed an offer yet but we're getting ready to. In the meantime, lots of cleaning going on at our house. Hubby got rid of 4 trash bags full of clothes to give to the homeless shelter. And I found Big Sister's old clothes (I thought I got rid of cuz we were "done" and they are perfect size for Little Sister. Don't need to shop for her for the next year. :) Hooray!

Now go clean your closet and let me know what you find! I promise, it will feel so good!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

December Recap

She's crawling which means this is all you're going to get because she's getting into stuff again.

P.S. We had a fun week-long winter break at our cabin Bear Lake (that's where this video was shot)