Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why WE go to church...

I've been thinking so much lately about the process of life. We learn as we go - meaning that it doesn't all come to us at once. We continue to go to church each week and have family home evening each week, gaining little bits each time. We read our scriptures as a family nightly and then as adults we study on our own as well. Sometimes I struggle in getting everything done that needs to be done in a day - do I chose the better part? Sometimes I wonder if I am making a difference in my children's lives. And then there are days like these when an inspired Primary teacher did make a difference and made my life better because of it. Today they taught Haeley about sharing. She came out of her class with two homemade chocolate chip cookies and immediately handed one to her brother Coleton. And then she said, I want to SHARE with Coleton. She handed me this picture she had colored and we talked about it. I hugged her and told her it made my day that she was so willing to share with her brother. It's been a crazy summer with lots of whining and hitting and arguing between those two, so hopefully this is a breakthrough. I am going to post this photo on the wall in her room and hopefully this will not be last time we talk about sharing and how great she did today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I wasn't feeling too hot yesterday (or for the last few weeks for that matter) and the medicine they put me on is pretty yucky but I am just starting to feel better. Tyler has strep throat again! He just went in on the 4th for it. And it's the 3rd time in about 2 months. He meets with a specialist tomorrow and they are probably going to yank those tonsils out. Anyway, CJ took a nap and Hk played at her cousin's house in the afternoon. I tried to take a nap but the phone rang several times just as I was drifting away and so that was the end of that. But I stayed in bed and picked up a book by Becky Higgins on Family History Scrapbooking. So I got the bug. I've been working on scanning tons of old photos I found recently - after organizing them in white notebooks with page protectors (thanks Becky). I've been doing family history scrapbook pages as a Christmas gift for my family and I am behind - as in I haven't made a single page this year. This photo is one of only a few I have with my Grandpa on my Dad's side. I was curious about it because I remember that Viking hat. My dad didn't remember anything about the hat, but he did remember so many other wonderful things like the veggies at the fair in Fairbanks - they measure the zucchini in TONS! Can you believe that? Anyway, my Dad told me so many wonderful things that I moved the pattern paper on the right under the cream paper and put the rest of his journaling on there. I'm keeping my family history pages very simple and although I had made this page yesterday I quickly browsed the gallery at the Simple Scrapbooks Magazine Site and then I added the 4 little flowers. This is all digital of course and all the paper is from the LaCreimerie Citro Kit by Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals. I've been dying to use the kit and it is perfect with the barn, my red dress, and my mom's red hair.

Friday, July 18, 2008


First, Hk got to be responsible today. Earlier this summer HK dumped her bike helmet on the floor in the garage. Unfortunately, that spot on the garage floor was under the rear tire of my car. So, today she payed for her own bike helmet with money she earned from doing chores. I am really hoping this helps to teach her to take better care of her things. "Ownership does wonders" as my MIL says. Hopefully this is true.


This one's going around. I thought it'd be ... interesting to read some memories. And it fits because I went visiting teaching the other day to a lady whose daughter was back in town. I could clearly remember when I met her daughter, at a church activity, about 12 years ago and I could tell she couldn't remember me at all (that's because she had her eye on Ry* P* the whole time - they later married). My memory is hit and miss sometimes too. What about yours?

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Haeley's iPhone

Before you freak out, just know that this version is very very cool and totally set up for a 6 year old. She customized it herself. And since I can't figure out where iMovie saved the video, go check it out at this link:

Haeley's iPhone

I can't wait to scrapbook this!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

upcoming county fair - I need your input!

First, I have to admit something...yesterday was one of those days. Cj didn't want to be in the water for swim lessons, Hks teacher wasn't teacher her anything new, and I was feeling exhausted. We came home, showered, ate microwaved chicken nuggets, and I sat down on the couch, then I had to get up to put a very fussy Cj down for a nap, and then I took a nap myself while Hk listened to her hand-me-down ipod. I made dinner (spaghetti) and Tyler got home and I crashed on the couch. I spent just a few minutes retouching a few photos and uploaded them for printing. Then it was off to never never land for me. Oh and there was that one moment when I had to answer the door and I looked far from my best (at least I had washed my hair and brushed my teeth but that was the extent of getting ready for the day for me). My FIL said, "not feeling good today?" to which I replied, "I still have a few of those days now and then." At least it's been a while.

Today Cj enjoyed swim lessons and actually laughed a few times. Hk swam all the way across the pool doing the crawl, breathing on the side and everything, without flippers. She was so excited. She is 6, I wish I could have been that good at 6. It took my breath away to watch and this amazing feeling filled my heart as I watched her conquer the water with determination and without complaint. Oh and I made death by chocolate (wheat free) and that makes my day better all by itself.

Oh, we got a new niece on Sunday - 8 lbs 15 oz and 1 day early. My kids now have 12 cousins on one side of the family. I had a total of 3 growing up so this is pretty cool stuff.

The County Fair is coming up in August and I am going to enter a few print, my husband, and my daughter are going to as well. There are 5 catagories and each person can only enter one in each catagory:

Animals:wild or domestic
Still Life/Architecture
Black & White

I have to decide right away but I can't decide and need some input. I've only printed 2 of these so far.

If I enter this one in portrait (I've already printed this one)

then I can enter this one in black and white (not printed) - I'm thinking 16x20 to put in our studio because I just love this photo!

or if I enter this one under portraits I could enter the HkCJ one under black and white - but I don't know about the black glove...I think the parent's hands with baby feet are better...

I am going to enter this one into Scenic (already printed)

and what about this one for Still Life although it is wedding but not a portrait with a person in it?

or architecture instead of the still life. Hmmm, I think the shoes may be calling my name or am I crazy???

I know this is probably not the type of Architecture they are thinking about, but maybe, but I still like the shoes (I am biased as I love weddings)...SEE I really need your help!

I don't really have anything in the way of Animals...hmmm, I need to go on a sunset photo safari...


and now I better go fold the laundry and wipe down the kitchen!

Friday, July 11, 2008

garden info

I have to put on a warning (like the one you see on the side mirrors of your car) about my garden photos - those were taken with a wide angle lens. That means object may be much smaller than they appear. Love that wide angle, it's very cool, but it LIES!

Melynda - thanks for the info about your brother's curbing business! Do you think he'll want to drive all the way up here though? We'll call him... Oh and let him know I really like his website! perfect

Earwigs and corn - traps: tip a can a little on it's side and place a few tablespoons of vegetable oil inside with a bit of bacon grease to attract the earwigs. Or place folded newspaper in the garden and dump it out each morning into a bucket of soapy water to kill the earwigs - remove all mulch from the veggie garden as it will be a place for earwigs to rest during the day, making your garden very attractive to earwigs.

It may be necessary to presoak broccoli in salt water for about fifteen minutes to rid any bugs that may be hiding in its tightly packed flowerets. According to researchers at Cornell University, blanching broccoli in a microwave oven in preparation for freezing, (2 c. broccoli in 3 tbsp. water for 3 min. at 600-700 watts) nearly doubled the retention of Vitamin C. Frozen broccoli cooked in a microwave kept 90% of its Vitamin C compared to 56% for broccoli cooked in a pot of boiling water on top of a stove. For large infestations, permethrin may be used, a very effective chemical derived from a common garden flower - which even if you drank a gallon of that stuff you'd only get a tummy ache.

garden info

Thursday, July 10, 2008

remember the sprouts post?

First of all, I got published again and I just received a copy of the issue in the mail along with my mini album return. I am so excited! It's the 3rd one featured and on page 14, it's my Alaska Vacation 3x3 inch accordian mini album. Besides the fact that I got published, this magazine is packed with so many great ideas! My favorites were made by Cathy Z and Rebecca Cooper. I'm excited to help Haeley make a mini album about what she did during her summer vacation. So keep an eye out for the Simple Scrapbooks special issue - Mini Albums in an Evening.

Cj really likes the water, AS LONG AS IT'S NOT IN HIS FACE! One more week of torture for him and I'M DONE! But we do have a good teacher and he does like to jump in. Maybe next year will be better.

Here's Hk doing the backstroke...

I actually planted 4 flowering plants that bloom in the summer months. Wow!

Okay, onto the sprouts...they are not tiny sprouts anymore. I guess maybe they are in the teenager stage. My carrots are growing really slow - hmm. Oh and once the brocolli begins to get ready for picking, how does one keep the bugs out of them? I just thought the brocolli plant was really kind of pretty looking. What can I say, I am having so much fun with the camera!

Check out the corn - wish I'd planted 2 more rows - oh well, there is always next year. Any good tips on keeping the earwigs out. Oh and does anyone know how to take corn all the way to seed? I know vine plants are next to impossible, is corn any easier - especially since the price is increasing all the time.

This is actually the baby pumpkin plants - they said I could grow 3 plants per mound. It's almost the same size as the giant pumpkin plants. Although the fruit will be completely different. We'll have baby pumpkins lining the sidewalk and probably all the way down the driveway this year. I planted more than I realized! When do you cut them from the vine? Or does the vine sort of shrivel up on its own?

We just put the stakes up and Haeley helped me put the twine on the stakes. I am excited to eat fresh slender green beans this year!

Having fun with the camera and lens flare and trying to keep my messy yard out of the photo. This is a pepper plant. My mom gave me 4 peat pots with something in them - 2 turned out to be pepper plants and 2 turned out to be cilantro!!! Except for garlic I have planted everything I need for a salsa garden! I LOVE fresh salsa!

Last night Neil came over and moved some of our dirt from our pile of topsoil to various parts of the yard with his tractor. He even took two loads up to my MIL's house. He even dug this great big hole in the office flower bed and dumped a huge load of our gravel in it. Then Tyler put the drains from the roof down into the hole. Now as long as something doesn't get lodged down in there causing it to get dug back out of the ground, we'll be okay! He wouldn't take any money but at least he took the Thank You card I made for him! Now we just have to finish leveling and then we'll be ready for grass around mid-August. We are going to call around about curbing for the garden areas but I think that is way out of our budget this year. It's been all about manual labor and help from family and friends. We couldn't have done it without all the help!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

clematis, family home evening, swim lessons

I added two new plants to our landscape. If anyone has any tips on clematis, let me know. I know it will be a few years before they really take off. It's nice to be back to a point in my life where I think I will be around for that and can plan ahead a little more. I did buy two really cheap little trellis things and realized I should have bought one more plant and one more trellis. In fact I have 4 plants that I still need to buy (this year), but I have to save up. My neighbors J* and M* are pros when it come to gardening and he was telling us all that has gone into their yard. Amazing! And well, the cold winters really kill off a lot, so we'll see how it goes this winter.

Last night we had the best family home evening ever. We ate dinner with our neighbors and Tyler's brother's family, also neighbors, and then we went on a treasure hunt. We hopped on a few borrowed 4-wheelers and drove all over our neighborhood and through the fields. There was the gate, R* Point, the old stone house (built by a pioneer), an old grave site for a baby boy, and then home. Each place there was a lesson and a clue to the next place. R* Point was about avoiding pitfalls. The pioneer's stone house was about honoring our ancestors and who we are because of them. The grave was about eternal families and looking to the blessings of the temple - we could see the L* temple from that spot. The last was the second great commandment - Love thy neighbor as thyself. Everything was quotes from the Ensign magazine. It was really a lot of fun. And Aunt A* made her jello cake and I ate the topping off of it since I can't eat the rest. The kids however pigged out totally- especially CJ.

Last of all, this is one of those photos you show at your child's wedding or college graduation party. My visiting teachers were here this morning and CJ went down the hall. I realized it was too quiet so Haeley went down to check on him. He had put my swim suit on over his jammies and was wearing HKs flip flops on the wrong feet. I though they were both going to fall off the couch. One teaches him in Nursery class and knows his personality. He's getting more and more stubborn all the time. Luckily I got him to give me my swimsuit back in time to take him to his very first mom and tot swim lesson this morning.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

3 things

Often I wonder if my kids are really picking up on what goes on at church. Coleton is finally starting to show signs that he is learning from church and from the things we do at home. He like to say dinner prayer now. It's so sweet. I say "please bless the food" he says 'foos" and then waits for me to help him with the next thing. So today at church during sacrament meeting during the last hymn of the meeting he picks up a hymnal and opens it - upside down - and starts to sing while getting pretty close to being in tune and singing every 4th or 5th word. It was darling. Tyler and I just smiled.

Second thing - remember this past week when we went swimming at a neighbor's house along with most of the neighbors. Now I knew that she invited us because Haeley asked her weekly at church once things thawed out here. And my kids stayed in the water to the last second. They wouldn't even let us help clean up, although we did what we could. So today we gave them a Thank You card that I had made. I love making them and it just took about 2 minutes to print and write a little note and seal it in the envelope. I handed it to her before church got started. She came up to me after church and said that in all the years they have had that pool and with the hundreds of people they've invited over, mine was the first Thank You card she ever received. Now I know we shouldn't and she doesn't do things expecting a thank you and she did receive verbal thank you's. But can you believe that? All the work she goes through each time and they've had that pool at least 2 or 3 decades. It made me realize just how important thank you CARDS really are. It touched her heart. I need to continue to show my gratitude to others because it can and does make a difference, even if just for the day.

Last of all, I just got my new visiting teaching assignment and I am excited. A huge burden has been lifted there and I really hope that I can get to know these sisters and enjoy being around them. I have a great group of women that I get to go visit including one who I've just gotten to know at church and really like.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Wow, a lot is happening around here and I haven't the brain power to record it all. I went swimming with my little family and I was nervous. Although I was a lifeguard and swim instructor for 7 years, I haven't been in a pool for 4 years and I don't think I've done a single lap in about 7 years. I remembered a lot easier than I thought I would. I did the crawl perfectly. Then I tried the butterfly - uhm, that explains the migraine I woke up with on Tuesday. Coleton enjoyed being in the water but didn't get the idea that he wouldn't float on his own. We kept him in his boat most of the time. He LOVED the water as long as his ears didn't get wet. We might have to get some silicone plugs for him next year.

We went to the nursery last night and bought some plants. We found that we can get trees for a reasonable price so when they rip out our front walk this next week, we'll have him dig 5 or 6 spots for trees. I really wanted to get them in the ground before this winter so that their roots will get established and also so next summer they will really be able to grow. Every year counts and I really want a few trees around this place. We bought a few plants for around the house and got 5 into the ground last night. Remember those Day Lily's my MIL let me rip out of her yard. Well, I found some at the nursery that are red instead of yellow and I can't wait to mix them in. I asked about a vine that would grow tall on the side of the house and not hurt the stucco. Duh! Clematis! And it flowers all summer long with the most gorgeous flowers! My MIL has one and it took hers 2 years to really get going but she already has to buy another trellis for one of them this year. It's quite tall and beautiful! So I bought a purple one Jackmanii (the tallest and most vigorous grower) and a pink one for near our back porch. We had the car so we'll have to go back and get a trellis or two. I bought a few plants for the spot near the front by the garage that gets very little sun. Tyler has strep throat. He's been out for 2 days. I haven't been able to scrapbook. Sleepy brain. So today I worked on an old scrapbook that I designed digitally while looking at my friend's paper album (she was so nice to let me borrow it! thanks again Krysta!) all while I was going through chemo. It's extra simple and not entirely my style (oh, I love symmetry) but I like it. I finished 9 pages then and it's just been sitting - FOR 2 YEARS! I finished the rest today. I love it even more now that it's finished! Here it is: