Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nursery, nursery, nursery...

Three weeks ago I was released from my calling as Relief Society teacher and was extended a calling to be the Nursery Leader. I have to say that for the first few moments I felt disappointed that it wasn't a "greater" calling, but that initial vanity left me quite quickly and was replaced with a happy, excited, grateful feeling.
For a while the previous nursery leader had no "official" helpers, only parents who would sit in. As a result, it was very difficult for her to have an organized program since there were sometimes over 18 children in there.
We have since started using our new stake center (which is joyfully a maximum of 5minutes away), had a ward split and a new one created, and had some serious reorganization. Now there are 3 of us called to work in the nursery and I think we are really clicking! We still have up to 16 kiddos in there, but in January almost half of them will be sweet little Sunbeams. For our lesson we split and I take all of the Sunbeams-to-Be (plus Mary Jane because well, you know my girl). Man they are so cute! Today we were learning about how we can pray to Heavenly Father.
We switched around our schedule so it goes like this:
Check In/puzzles or coloring
Circle Time (that's get the wiggles out game/song time)
Lesson Time (split)
Snack Time (always a favorite)
Music Time (Beth did it with puppets today which they LOVED!)
Free Play Time
Clean Up
Story Time/Check Out
I love the new nursery manual, "Behold Your Little Ones." It's perfect for Family Home Evening with small children and is so simple that the bigger ones can help with the lesson planning. It really directs them towards their Father in Heaven.
Anyway, now I'm home and I am pooped! I've got all the kids down for Sunday quiet time and Jon's asleep already. Ringers are off--and I'm going to take a much needed nap!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Homemade Bread!

OK, so when Jon saw me staging and taking the bread photo, he said, "Wow, that can only be a blog picture!" Right he was!
Well, we finally got a wheat grinder! I'm probably more excited than I ought to be, but I've been wanting one forever! We did a group order with some people in the stake and were able to save $50 (a penny saved is a penny earned!) It's a Blendtec Kitchen Mill and it grinds up loads of other stuff...dry beans, rice, popcorn (for cornmeal), etc., etc.
I mainly want it to grind up wheat though. Now I just need to get some since I ground up the wheat from one of my two cans! That's our next home storage installment!
I made four loaves in loaf pans and then did the other four on cookie sheets.


And I had LOTS of EXCELLENT help! (Yes, Lib, I purposefully made sure the blue dough cutter was in the picture...thank you, I love it!)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Good ol' Halloween

Two Sheriffs, Dorothy, and a Red Dinosaur...

Our little pumpkin carvers.

Last night, I took the kids out trick-or-treating while Jon manned the door. We never go any further than around the block, patroning both sides of the street naturally, and we ALWAYS get SO MUCH candy! Of course, it is the only time I see a few of those neighbors. By the time we got within 5 houses of our own...Joseph and Mary Jane would sit down for a while on the neighbors steps and required some prodding to get up. They like to walk but aren't used to carrying (ie dragging) heavy bags along the way! I offered to carry them or their bags but they (especially Mary Jane) WOULD NOT have it! They only let me hold their little hands and Toto (Emily) in his basket. This morning, Joseph informed Jon that he wanted to go out trick-or-treating again today! (No, thanks!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Aaaah Weddings!

Jon's getting pretty good at the art of self portrait!

All dressed up!

Weddings are soooo much fun!

Dreaming of trains! Who wouldn't?

My sister's wedding was absolutely beautiful! Fantastic job wedding planners, Jill (bride), Lib (sis), and Mom (mom)! Here's some sad news...I just loaded all of my pictures onto my computer and am now realizing that I don't have any pictures of the bride and groom! Crazy! And, well, it WAS crazy trying to wrastle four children into being sweet and cute for that amount of time! Can't wait to check out your pics Veronica--queen of great pictures! Love you Jill and Mike! Congratulations!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All I Want For Christmas...

Bye, bye baby...
Danny lost his two front teeth! I get a kick out of his ssss sounds! Cute boy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Midnight Church Clothes Laundry!

I ask myself why....pretty much every week. Why do I do it to myself? I don't know! I don't mean to do it...I just got so busy. So, here I am in the middle of the night, blogging while I wait for the clothes to...well, dry. I guess I could go to bed now. Although it will save me a lot of stress in the morning if all the clothes are hung up and not wadded up in the dryer, right!
But really, I could've done this a little earlier. Next week....NO MIDNIGHT CHURCH CLOTHES LAUNDRY!!!
By the way, little Danny boy is now a front-toothless wonder! He lost one top front tooth last Saturday and the other one while we were grocery shopping today (technically, yesterday). Pictures to follow.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I have been here in Utah for 2 weeks minus a day now. It seems like our little Mary has had a language explosion and her shyness is waning. She actually said a full sentence, "He ate it." She'll repeat anything we say and it is so sweet! "Yubboo" (love you) is a delightfully common occurence now! In the airplane on the way here, it was just Mary and me, I was trying to keep her toned down as we neared SLC so I pointed out the mountains and said BIG MOUNTAINS. She caught on to BIG and kept pointing to them and saying BIG in her high volume vocals. She has now since gotten the MOUNTAIN part down. Last night, on the way over to Andrew and Jaime's (Jon's brother and family), she repeated MOUNTAIN the entire way on maximum volume which, for Mary, is VERY LOUD.
My baby....

Monday, September 29, 2008


When I think of Grandma, I can't help but think of her home. My sweet childhood memories of that place are the kind I would wish for ever child to have. I remember driving up the big hill and looking at the trees in that little wild place between her backyard and the road and knowing that adventures were awaiting me there. I remember pulling into the driveway and running up the green-carpeted steps, swinging wide the door to a house full of delicious smells, welcoming arms, love, and acceptance.
Grandma and Grandpa's home was the kind that, for a child, contained all sorts of teasures. There were nooks, closets, and cupboards that had to be explored. There was the backyard, the enormous garden, the toolshed, that WONDERFUL rotating clothesline, Grandpa's shop with all of its little drawers, and tools, and this and that. The dark and rather mysterious basement with a kitchen where bottles of peaches, pears, pickles, and tomatoes lined the shelves. I can't bring up all these things without mentioning that FANTASTIC laundry chute. I don't know how many times I made that short trip from the bathroom to the laundry room, but I do know that I never got in trouble for it. Maybe they didn't know I did it, but more than that -- I think they made allowances for their curious little grandchildren. I think Grandma and Grandpa loved us so much, that they just wanted us to be happy.
Grandma's greatest joys were her children, her grandchildren, and then her great grandchilldren. She didn't scold, but gave her love in the form of kisses, cookies, and yanks on my braids.
I have been taught by many people all my life that I should serve others -- as Jesus did. I think that I truly learned this principle from her, my dear little grandma. She served me. She served all of us...with an unconditional love. She never thought less of us for our mistakes.
So when I think of her home and all of the precious memories created there...the happy, cozy, warm feelings fill up my heart and I know it is because she was there...making it that way.
I love you Grandma. I miss you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's Been Awhile...

Hi there. Time gets away sometimes doesn't it! We've been having a great summer and there are so many things to write about but there's nothing like the present so I'll write about today!
We have recently made some new homeschooling friends, the Websters. We got to go and visit them today. They live on a big piece of land and the kids had a ball exploring and roaming! A big reason why I would love to have a few acres to call my own. One of the reasons anyway! It would be fun to have some chickens too!
We decided to have a "special day" with each of the older kids once a summer. That means they get to go and do something extra special with mom or dad...whomever they choose. Danny chose Dad (though he first had to ascertain if my feelings would be hurt if he chose Dad, isn't he sweet) and REALLY wanted to go on a roller coaster! So Jon took him to World's of Fun tonight and he rode on his first roller coaster. After the first one (which went 200 ft up), he chose very mild things to do. He was chattering up a storm tonight and telling me all about it. He won a bunch of ski ball tickets and picked out prizes for everyone in the family!
Sweet boy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Getting Our Food Storage Going

A few weeks ago, Jon and I decided to make a 3 month food storage. He put up some shelving in our furnace room in the basement and packed a few of the kids with me to Aldi (our main grocery store). Buying 12 things (cans or canisters?) of oatmeal is kind of a funny experience...especially when you're also buying 15 bags of flour, 9 bags of sugar, 24 cans of tomato paste, etc. Funny, yet satisfying. Stacking and organizing all of these items in neat little rows brought my heart a new kind of contentment. I have to admit that I sometimes go down to the basement, open the door, flip on the light and just stare. There's also the added joy from knowing that I'm finally following counsel that I've known about for years! A friend shared a great website that I'm finding helpful! Check it out!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Barbecue

So, I was never much of a barbecue fan until a couple of years ago when my husband took me to Jack Stack barbecue over by Kansas City. I'm a barbecue convert and Jon already loved it so I decided to try to make it on my own for Father's Day. It's pretty much a 3 day recipe. You marinate brisket in liquid smoke and garlic salt and pepper overnight. It's wrapped up tight in foil. Then you cook it at 250 degrees for 8 hours (pouring your favorite barbecue sauce over it after 5 hours). Then you cool it completely (overnight). Slice it thin and reheat it at 200 degrees for an hour. I have to congratulate myself because it was pretty good. I need to tweak it a little and improve it but it was exciting to make it for the first time!

Potty Time!

Joseph just turned 3 in April and soon after started showing interest in going naturally, I was excited to turn that corner, and we got out the size 3 underwear and the M&M's! After 2 days I was feeling pretty excited and then on day 3 we had THREE poopy surprises and I decided I was done for a while. Last week at Walmart I bought a package of 3 seriously overpriced Thomas and Friends underwear. Of course, Joseph loves anything to do with Thomas the Tank Engine and so he wanted to wear them. We didn't do the M&M's this time as they had a tendency to disappear very quickly. My little guy has been running around in his undies for the last 5 days and he's got it!!! He tells me he's got to go and we go! Danny and Nater were closer to 3 1/2 when they got it, so he's a little early on my scale and I am CHEERING!!!