Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Playgroup and a few projects...

For the last two years I have been doing pre-school at home with my oldest daughter. To supplement her schooling I have been doing a monthly playgroup with the girls in our area that are her age. It has been so fun to have all the girls come over and see them build friendships. We did our last playgroup activity yesterday. We had a fancy dress-up picnic lunch. The girls all looked so adorable in their fluffy dress-up clothes. We read stories and made tissue paper flowers and they had tons of fun playing in our playroom. I will kind of miss doing playgroup. It has been so much fun. I get to start doing them in another year with my 2nd daughter though, so I won't miss it for long.

Here are a few projects I have completed lately. This is for my front door...

This is in my dining room...

This will go in my laundry room when we remodel it next summer. Can you tell I am excited about that already!
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Monday, June 26, 2006

Sob Fest 2006

We had the best Relief Society lesson yesterday. There was not a dry eye in the whole room. You should have seen the looks from the men that came into the room after!! They were a little scared to come into a room full of teary eyed women!
Our lesson was taken from Elder Holland's Conference address entitled "Broken Things to Mend". The teacher first talked about her own experiences and discussed parts of Elder Holland's talk. Here are a few of my favorite quotes. He says, "Alma's testimony is my testimony: "I do know," he says, "that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions." He also said, "I testify that the Savior's Atonement lifts from us not only the burdens of our sins but also the burden of our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches, and our despair. And lastly, "There can and will be plenty of difficulties in life. Nevertheless, the soul that come unto Christ, who knows His voice and strives to do as He did, finds strength, as the hymn says, "beyond [his] own." I loved how the teacher presented the lesson. I think we often go through life thinking of our own problems, and not remembering that everyone in this life has problems too. To illustrate this point, the teacher asked 4 ladies from our ward to talk about some trials that they have had in their lives, and how they were given strength through Christ. I was one of these ladies that was chosen. I thought I would share my story here. 3 1/2 years ago, my husband had just finished his Master's Degree and gotten a new job. We sold our house, and moved to a new town so he could start his new job. We purchased a new home and moved in. A little less than a month after we moved into our home we found out that my husband had colon cancer. We were devestated. He was only 30! They wanted to operate on him quickly so that the cancer would hopefully not spread. This really complicated our life because I was 8 months pregnant at the time. So we could schedule his surgery earlier, I was induced and we had our beautiful daughter. 6 days later my husband had a bowel resection to remove the cancer from his colon. While doing the surgery, they took sample tissues from the surrounding organs and lymph nodes, to determine if the cancer had spread. It unfortunately had spread into his lymph system, and he would need 6 months of chemotherapy. It was an extremely hard time for us. I spoke in relief society about the contrast between what the doctors told us, and the feelings we had after my husband received a few blessings. Our doctor is a wonderful doctor, and also extremely blunt. He layed all the possibilities on us (reoccurance, cancer spreading to other organs, chemotherapy, radiation, not being able to have more children, death). After leaving the doctor's office we both felt tremendously low and weighed down. I wept as I drove home from the heavy weight that had just been placed upon us. Shortly after, my husband received two wonderful blessings, one from his father, and one from our bishop. These blessing were so wonderful. They lifted our fears, and gave us so much comfort. Just as Elder Holland said, our burden was lifted, and we knew everything would be okay, and we were able to find the strength to do all that we needed to do. The other ladies shared their stories of hardships as well. One was widowed at the age of 32 with 7 children, and told of her struggles to raise her family, and to get remarried. Another woman in our ward shared her sorrows of being single, and so badly wanting to be married and have a family of her own. She just turned 40 this year, and she says it has been so hard to look around our ward and see the families and all the babies and not have that for herself, she often leaves church because she can't handle it. Another woman told of her difficulties of having children. She was told she only had 1 % chance of ever having her own child. After 5 years of trying, she finally became pregnant. Her pregnancy was horrible. She was bedridden for the first 3 months with a feeding tube the entire time, completely sick and unable to do anything. She is currently pregnant again. This pregnancy has been worse. She was on a feeding tube for 6 months, and just recently had an emergency blood transfusion. She says the hardest part is watching everyday as her family or friends take her little boy away and listening to him cry for his mom. It breaks her heart because she is too sick to even hold him. She said there were days when she just prayed that she would have the strength to walk down the stairs to be with her little boy. All these stories just broke my heart. We all have so many trials and struggles in our lives. All of them are different, but we can all be strengthened by the Savior. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:28-29.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I am a member of a book club. I absolutely love it!! I love getting together with the other 11 members and socializing and talking about the book we have read that month. Everyone hosts their own month and picks a book for that month. It is fun to get to read different books than the ones I usually pick for myself. It is really a highlight of my month. We hold book club on the fourth Thursday of every month. This month it was at my house. Now, I am kind of a perfectionist, and have been planning the "book club" experience for months. I picked out the book: Into the Blue: A Father's Flight and a Daughter's Return by Susan Edsall. It is a great book about a father, an avid pilot, who has a stroke, and his daughters that undertake his rehabilitation so that he can fly again. I picked the book several months ago after reading several books to find one that I thought would be good. They only had two books in our library system, so I bought 4 more so we would have enough books to share. I have been "preparing" my house for the event. Adding new decorative items, washing curtains, etc. And my current project, painting my living room. I have been planning the perfect dessert...cookie bowls with homemade vanilla icecream, topped with fresh raspberries from my garden, with chocolate curlies served in my new china bowls. I was planning to do extensive dusting and clean my carpets (which were splattered with orange Tang from our last house guests). Everything was going to be perfect! I was going to get my living room painted by then and get to show it off for the first time. I was going to be absolutely prepared when book club came next week.....
Yesterday, I had just returned home from the library when I received a phone call at 5:38p.m. "Are you all ready for book club?" my friend Nicole asked. I responded, "No, it is next week.". "Well, isn't it the fourth Thursday of the month?" Nicole asked. That's when I glanced at my calendar. And looky there, sure enough it was the fourth Thursday! Now, in my defense (so that you won't think that I am stupid and cannot count), when I went through my calendar at the first of the year and wrote down the book club dates, I hadn't noticed that the 1st,2nd, and 3rd had not been PRINTED on my calendar. Well, that one week can make a huge difference!! So I flipped into PANIC mode, and assessed the situation. I had 1 hour and 20 minutes before my fellow book club members arrived at my door. My brother-in-law and his family had been at our house the day before for our zoo trip, and I had spent the whole morning shopping with my sister-in-law, consequently, the house was a disaster. I had a living room that was half painted, library books all over my family room, the baby had removed all the children's movies from the cabinet, and then removed all the movies from their sleeves, several weeks of dust lay over everything (I have been working on my living room, and totally disregarding any other non-essential household chores), a totally filthy kitchen floor covered in sand, a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, stuff covering my kitchen counters, no curtains on my windows (they had been washed and were awaiting ironing). And to make matters worse, my husband was teaching a class that night and would not be home for 3 I had no babysitter for my kids. And I had absolutely nothing to make for dessert. I called my good friend across the street, and asked her if she was coming to book club. She said yes and that she was excited to come. I told her that I had thought it was next week and, being the great friend she is, instantly flipped into PANIC mode with me. She called her husband and asked him when he would be home and if he would be willing to watch my girls. This man is a saint! He watched my 3 girls, and their 4 girls (9,8,5,4,3,2, and 1 years old) that night until my husband got home and could get my girls. My friend also showed up at my door with two frozen Marie Callendar's pies from her freezer to serve for dessert, and then she whisked my kids away so I could get busy cleaning. She was a life saver!!! For the next hour I ran like a maniac trying to get my house cleaned up. I washed the kitchen floor, sprayed down the curtains with water and tossed them in the dryer, cleaned up the cold cereal I had thrown at my children to eat for dinner, ironed a tablecloth, emptied the dishwasher and threw the dirty dishes in it (in no particular order), wiped down my counters...after throwing everything that was on them into my laundry basket and hiding it in my laundry room, ran a dust rag around the really noticeable spots, russelled up some leftover birthday party plates to serve dessert on, cleaned my bathroom, and managed to take a quick (very cold) shower because after running around like crazy I was stinky! I never washed my hair that day (I figured I didn't need to look fabulous to go shopping with my sister-in-law), but I didn't have enough time to wash it. I actually managed to get most of the important stuff done before everyone arrived. We had a great time visiting and discussing the book, and laughing at me for forgetting book club(it is especially bad that I forgot because I am the president of the book club!). It turned out to be a good evening despite it's wild beginning.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Busy summer days....

I have been super busy the last week, so I haven't been blogging too much...Here is what we did yesterday...

This was the only picture I got with our digital camera. I really need to get a new camera and use it exclusively. I have been doing some more craft projects and a remodeling project as well. I will post pictures when I get a minute.
We had a great time at the zoo. My kids love it. And so do I. We go once a year. My husband's brother, his wife, and their daughter went with us this year. I love family outings. I always come home loving my kids more (especially after seeing other people's children and how they behave!). I am excited to do more fun activities this summer with them. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Things to do in the summer....

I came across this list as I was cleaning my craft room. I thought I would share it. We are trying to do as many of these as we can this summer.
1. Lie on your back and watch the clouds go by.
2. Hike in the mountains.
3. Gather flowers
4. Listen to some music you have never listened to before.
5. Look at nature: study birds, animals, rocks, etc.
6. Try a new hobby.
7. Go to a children's museum
8. Create books of your very own to read.
9. Write in your journal.
10. Go swimming.
11. Go camping with your family.
12. Ride a horse or a pony.
13. Sleep in.
14. Watch cartoons on Saturday morning.
15. Build a hut.
16. Ride your bike.
17. Tube down a cold river.
18. Stay up really late.
19. Pitch some baseballs.
20. Play soccer.
21. Take a long trip in your car with your family.
22. Get in a hot tub.
23. Go to an amusement park.
24. Jump on a trampoline.
25. Sit in a patch of sunlight.
26. Watch ants on your sidewalk.
27. Rollerskate around your neighborhood.
28. Have a sleepover.
29. Make up a play.
30. Grow a garden.
31. Walk your dog.
32. Read a book outside in a hammock.
33. Make a summer movie.
34. Go fishing.
35. Lick an icecream cone all the way to the end.
36. Visit the library.
37. Go to a fair or festival.
38. Watch the sunset.
39. Watch the stars.
40. Sleep outside under the stars.
41. Color with sidewalk chalk.
42. Play in the rain.
43. Build a sandcastle
44. Blow the seeds off of a dandelion.
45. Sing out loud.
46. Make up a silly rhyme.
47. Write and mail a letter to someone special.
48. Draw a picture of yourself.
49. Make fresh lemonade
50. Eat outside three times in one day.
51. Make homemade icecream.
52. Roast hot dogs and marshmellows on a campfire.
53. Wear shorts.
54. Walk in the sand without shoes.
55. Swing on the swings at a park.
56. Watch fireworks.
57. Laugh and giggle for no reason at all.
58. Have a water fight.
59. Play in a lake.
60. Go to a rodeo.

I hope you all have a great summer!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Recent Craft Projects...

I have been doing a few craft projects lately, and thought I would post them. Here is a project we just made for our ward's enrichment night. It says "Family" on the block. It was kind of hard to take a picture of because of the glare.

I finally finished painting these frames to hang in my downstairs bathroom. I decided to put a picture of each of my girls when they were taking baths as babies...I thought that was fitting for a bathroom.

I started this stitchery several months ago and finally finished it. My husband is glad to not have it on our kitchen counter anymore.

My neighbor sells vinyl lettering from her home. I have been meaning to order a few things for a long time, and finally did it this week. This was my first project using what I ordered. I ordered several more things. I will post them when I get them finished. This is hanging in my kitchen. We have had a hard time in our house showing kindness lately, so I thought it would be a good visual reminder for us to work on being nicer.

That's all my latest projects. I am a constant crafter. It is the only way I maintain my sanity! Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 9, 2006

It's Begun....

I have been busy this week taking care of a few things around my house. All of the sudden it seems like I have a million things going on at once. One of them, is harvesting. Yes, I know....hasn't that come early this year. That is what I thought too. I wasn't prepared for the full throttle canning and preserving season to begin so early. This is the first year we have been getting these beauties:

We just planted our strawberries last year, so this is the first year I have had to figure out what to do with them. And since my husband is a fabulous gardener....we have a ton! We have been picking a big bowl full every other day all week long. I am on my fourth batch of jam, and we have had strawberries in just about everything...strawberry spinach salad, strawberries and powdered sugar on french toast & waffles, strawberries for desserts. I love them, but it does take time to do something with them, especially when they are not the only thing coming out of our garden right now. Here are a few more beauties from our garden:

My husband picked a big bucket full and a grocery bag full of peas last night. The whole family spent about an hour last night shelling them. This was our second picking. So last night I spent blanching and freezing peas. It is great to have them all winter long, but I wasn't quite ready to start dealing with them. So if I am a little scarce the next couple of months it might be because I am storing up the fruits of the harvest. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Seven Things About Me Tag

My Full Hands tagged me to do the Sevens tag, so here goes.

7 things I want to do before I die:
1. Get a bachelor's degree and a master's degree
2. Go to Prince Edward Island
3. Write and illustrate a children's book...I have it started, but it may take the rest of my life to finish.
4. Go to the Carribean with my hubby
5. See all my beautiful girls married in the temple
6. See my grandbabies
7. Master home organization

7 things I cannot do:
1. Sing
2. Play any kind of musical instrument...unless you count playing "Hot Cross Buns" on my recorder. (Yes, it is a rare talent...I am so lucky!)
3. Make a lemon meringue pie that doesn't get brown beads of moisture on top of the meringue...any ideas?
4. Go to bed without checking on my kids to make sure they are okay...and still breathing.
5. Stop dreaming up new projects
6. Go more than a day without checking on my blog...yes, I am hopelessly addicted!
7. Do a lot of math in my head....calculus just ruined that for me since we used a calculator for everything.

7 things that attracted me to my spouse:
1. Those super kissable lips
2. That we could talk forever and still have things to say to each other
3. His spirituality
4. That he always did his homework
5. How cute he looked while running
6. He drove a truck
7. The whole handsome package

7 things that I say often:
1. Leave your sister alone! (Often far too loudly)
2. Wash your hands with soap and water
3. I love you.
4. You look so pretty.
5. Stop that!
6. Not right now, maybe in a minute
7. Have a good day.

7 books I love:
1. Anne of Green Gables
2. Scriptures
3. The book about Margarie Pay is so motivational. I wish I was more like her!
4. Almost any decorating book
5. Fairy Tales
6. Edward the Emu (my all time favorite Children's book)
7. Any Jane Austen book

7 Movies I could watch over and over (and I have!):
1. Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea
2. Pride and Prejudice (the l...o...n...g version)
3. You've Got Mail
4. The Princess Bride
5. While You Were Sleeping
6. The Parent Trap (the old one with Hayley Mills)
7. The Princess Diaries
(Can you tell I am a hopeless romantic!)

7 People I'd like to hear sevens from:
I don't know who to tag, so if you want to do this, let me know.