Tuesday, April 20, 2010

For Alex...

... in case you get a chance to check in today

In their fort - they had just about every pillow in the house here, plus a bunch of other things. I made them clean up every last bit of it...

Soccer stars!
All-star defender Nate the Great, Mr. Aggressive
Jare Bear, and #1 Fan Big O (who occasionally gets his kicks in...)

We love Da-da!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I looked out the window...

...and what did I see?
Oranges on our tree?
Of course not... what are those?!
Never seen these before... when I googled it, they appear to be "cedar apple rust"? Some kind of tree fungus - I wasn't about to touch them, but they're these orange slimy things. Anyone seen these or know more about them?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

art of cooking

You won't see many cooking posts from me, but I thought this one was worth mentioning. I think I've mastered the beef-and-broccoli-rice mold...

It's pretty easy too. Just cram your leftover broccoli, rice, and beef meal (especially the 10 minute frozen kind) into a too small container. Pop it in the fridge and let it sit overnight. Turn the bowl over on a plate and give it a tap - voila! A wonderful mold that could go right along with your jello mold (if I knew how to do one of those.... :)

Cooking? Sewing? No problem. I think it's been a good week.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Well, not really... but I did attempt to make this old-fashioned looking dress for an "Emma Smith's garden party" at church. I read the part of Zina Young, one of the past general relief society presidents. I didn't have anything that looked old-fashioned and especially not with my big belly...
So I tried to make something - how hard can it be to make a dress anyway? I considered not wearing it (I thought I looked like a big fish when I put in on...), and because it was very poorly done, but after working on it all night I decided I better wear it (the fabric was pretty...)
A couple of problems... I've never made a dress before. I didn't have a pattern. My ancient sewing machine kept "eating" the fabric. And I was trying to make something to fit over my belly. The sleeves were something else... And I didn't really complete it - I didn't put a zipper in; I didn't sew the bottom half to the top half, which also meant that I had to make the top big enough to fit over my head. I pinned the skirt on and then put that bow around my waist to cover up where the 2 pieces met. I wonder what I could do with a pattern?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Conference thoughts

We listened to and watched General Conference (hopefully that's a link that works) on-line last weekend. The text is finally out, so I wanted to share a couple of my favorite stories from some of the talks. Both of these were from the Sunday afternoon session. There were quite a few talks on motherhood and on teaching our children.

Mother Told Me

Elder Bradley D. Foster
Of the Seventy

Perhaps the reason we respond so universally to our mothers’ love is because it typifies the love of our Savior.

The Lord has placed upon parents the primary responsibility for the spiritual nurturing of their children. Sometimes this responsibility falls to a single parent. My own mother was relatively young when my father died, leaving her alone with four children. But she faced her adversity with faith and courage, promising us that if we stayed on the road of truth, the end would be better than the beginning. Like the children of valiant mothers in the Book of Mormon, “we [did] not doubt our [mother] knew it” (Alma 56:48). Brothers and sisters, I understand in a personal way the great influence of mothers.

My good friend Don Pearson shared an experience that highlights this influence. One night his four-year-old son asked him to read a bedtime story. Eric had picked out his favorite book: The Ballooning Adventures of Paddy Pork, a story about a family who lived on the isles of the sea and traveled from island to island by hot-air balloon. It was a picture book that had no words, so Brother Pearson made up words to the story.

“Paddy is in a hot-air balloon. He is landing on an island now. He is dropping a line over the side of the balloon.”

Eric stopped him. “Dad, that is not a line. It’s a rope.

Brother Pearson looked at Eric and back at the picture book, and then he continued: “Paddy is getting out of the balloon and climbing down the tree. Oh no! His coat is caught on a limb!”

Again Eric stopped him. “Dad, that’s not a coat. It’s a jacket.

By now Brother Pearson was somewhat perplexed. He said, “Eric, there are no words in this book, just pictures. Why do you insist that it’s a jacket?”

Eric answered, “Because Mother told me.”

His father closed the book and said, “Eric, who do you think is the last word, the ultimate authority in this house?”

This time Eric thought carefully before he answered, “You are, Dad.”

Brother Pearson beamed at his son. What an exceptional answer! “How did you know that?”

Eric quickly responded, “Mother told me.”

And another of my favorites:

All Things Work Together for Good

Elder James B. Martino
Of the Seventy

We may never know in this life why we face what we do, but we can feel confident that we can grow from the experience.

"When I was young I looked forward to the spring of the year. As the weather warmed, I was ready for baseball to begin. Like most young boys, I would wish that I could become a great baseball player. I am reminded of a story about a very young boy with similar dreams. With the desire to become the next mighty ballplayer, he decided to go outside and practice. He held the baseball in one hand and the bat in the other, and he threw the ball into the air. With a wish to hit the ball as far as he could, he took a great swing, but the ball fell to the ground without even touching the wood of the bat. Not to be denied, he went at it again. As he was about to throw the ball in the air, his determination grew as the thought of a powerful hit came into his mind. But alas, the results were the same. The ball lay on the ground. But as any good ballplayer knows, you have three strikes before you are out. He concentrated even more, threw the ball in the air, and gave the mightiest swing he had ever attempted. As the ball again fell to the ground, the tears began to swell in his eyes. Then all of a sudden a great smile appeared, and he said, “What a pitcher!”

Each of us will face trials and tests, and as in this simplistic example, it is how we react to those difficulties that will determine our success and happiness. Each of us will face adversity no matter where we are. We are taught in the scriptures that there “must needs be . . . an opposition in all things.”1 We will each face times of difficulty, and the question is not when we will face them but how we face them.

The Apostle Paul taught an interesting lesson only a few years before the Saints in Rome were to face some of the most violent persecution of any Christian era. Paul reminded the Saints that “all things work together for good to them that love God.”2 Our Heavenly Father, who loves us completely and perfectly, permits us to have experiences that will allow us to develop the traits and attributes we need to become more and more Christlike. Our trials come in many forms, but each will allow us to become more like the Savior as we learn to recognize the good that comes from each experience. As we understand this doctrine, we gain greater assurance of our Father’s love. We may never know in this life why we face what we do, but we can feel confident that we can grow from the experience.

Now, I realize that it is much easier to look back when a trial is over and see what we have learned from our experience, but the challenge is to gain that eternal perspective while we are going through our tests. To some, our trials may not seem great, but to each of us who are passing through these experiences, the trials are real and require us to humble ourselves before God and learn from Him."

I appreciated the words of encouragement and guidance and the reminder to keep an eternal perspective.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Good thing we took cute pictures yesterday...

He scraped up pretty well today, and I didn't even see what happened.

Just because you haven't seen enough pictures recently...

Our un-mowed grass was perfect for Easter egg hunting... just toss them out in the tall grass! The boys insisted that they hide eggs for me after they got done with their hunt. "Go in your room...No peeking mama!" (Do I have to come out?) :)

When I came out, there was a distinct trail along the fence line... and they kept walking near them and saying "I see one near here..."

(There's no pics of me hunting for eggs, because I was still in my pajamas at that point!)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Eggs-tra special boys

We painted Easter eggs this evening. (Lousy inside pics, so we went outside after they were done.) Owen had to watch... he did manage to get a hold of one of the eggs, but I didn't let him hold it very long. "Ball!" No....

Up he goes...
Got it!

Oooh... what is this?

Show me your eggs...

Yes! One for each hand!
Say, "Eggs!"

Some heart-warming things...

The boys picked flowers for me today... quite a bunch. Sweet boys.

The other thing that warms my heart is seeing them eat asparagus like french fries...

I love these boys!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

just some recent pics...

An outing to the zoo... they have a new children's area - part of it they can take their shoes off and stand in a little stream or play in fountains.
"Put the rock down, Jared..." They're so used to throwing rocks in water -
they couldn't do that here.

Some pictures from Sunday - it was a beautiful day and the flowers and plants are blooming.

The boys have been spending alot of time outside... which is good since I've been busy cleaning house for showings.
This particular day was the day after it had rained. Owen mostly is pretty clingy to me - it had been about 10 minutes since I'd heard from him. I walked outside, and he was having a grand ole time in the mud puddle. Should have figured...

Soccer season is here! I forgot my camera for the 1st game, but here's a couple of pics courtesy of Amanda... this is Jared's 1st year and Nathan's 3rd year.