Saturday, May 31, 2008

Year of Miracles #6

I almost thought I wouldn't have a miracle to report this week, but then at the last minute it happened. In my rush to get ready for the trip I had been wanting to stop and get a new outfit at my favorite store, Coldwater Creek. I rushed over there Friday morning and arrived at 9:15 am only to see on the door that it was not going to open until 10 am. But there was a lady standing outside the door waiting, so I asked her if the store was not open yet. She said she thought they were supposed to be having a special store event for teachers from 9 am to 10 am, but no one had let her in yet. But then a few seconds later the manager came and let us in. I explained I was not a teacher, but wanted to get an outfit quickly before leaving on my trip. She said that was fine and I was able to get my outfit--and they even gave me the 10% special event discount! Yahoo!

Scripture of the Day: John 14:2

Friday, May 30, 2008

We Be Loyal Scouts

Last night Patch was awarded his Webelos badge for cub scouts--he is now only one requirement away from getting his Arrow of Light. His adviser/den leader said he is a "serious scouter" last night when presenting him with the award. We are very proud of him and all the hard work he has done! Great job Patch!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Book Cover Design

Finally! I was so excited to get an e-mail from my publisher yesterday with a pdf of the book cover design. It isn't finalized yet--in fact, they need to add the "e" to the end of my last name, but I still thought you might like a sneak peek! This isn't the greatest copy because I had to print it out and then scan it in to have a jpg to post. Still, you get the main idea. Personally, I am very pleased with the design and think it is very eye-catching.

In other matters, tomorrow I leave on vacation and will be gone through June 9. However, I have scheduled a few posts to come up while I am gone (including a Father's Day scripture study theme for June). I am hoping to find an internet cafe of two on my journey to post some pics of Paris and London, too. Au revior mes amies!

Scripture of the Day: H-26, 2 Nephi 9:23

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Movie Review: Narnia II

Late last week I took the kids to see Prince Caspian, the second movie in the Narnia series being made. We all enjoyed it--loved seeing the original actors back to play the main characters-- loved the costume design--loved the Prince Caspian character/actor. The special effects with the animals was also great. Patch had read the book recently in preparation to see the movie; his only complaint was that the movie put three chapters worth of information into three minutes, but then drew out the battle scenes to last extra long.

I really liked a lot of the Christian symbolism. In particular, I loved the use of Edmund's torch (that's what they call flashlights in Britain). He has it is his bag when they are swept off to Narnia unexpectedly. The symbolism comes in when the kids rely on their own light (use of the torch) to try and fix things, instead of looking to the light of Christ (Aslan). Not to give away any of the plot, but it was a very powerful simile that made the final fight more suspenseful and return of Aslan more wonderful.

Scripture of the Day: A-11, Moroni 10:21-22
Only 2 more days and we will have blackout! SO excited!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Memories

Happy belated Memorial Day! I hope your day was fun and relaxing. We stayed close to home most of the day. In the evening we had some family over for BBQ and then we went to visit Steve's father's grave site.

In the afternoon Kitty helped me with this photo optical illusion:Steve was busy making water balloons for his end-of-season soccer party. His goal is to make 1000 balloons for the fight he has planned.A few interesting photos from the graveyard... we put a pinwheel on the site as there is no headstone yet. Loved these black-eyed susans. I was surprised to see the George Washington plaque. There was also one of the Statue of Liberty.

This last picture to me says how much Kitty loves her dad! The very word "contentment" defined.

4 Fun Trail Mixes

Over the weekend I spent time preparing some snack basket items for my hubby to use while I am gone on my Paris/London trip. Specifically, I put together four different types of trail mixes in Ziploc sandwich bags. I think the combinations turned out good and thought I might share.

Combination #1: Fruity Mix
For each serving put together:
1 T. Gerber Graduates strawberry yogurt melts
1 T. Gerber Graduates strawberry-apple puffs (or knock off-brand)
1/2 individual package of fruit snacks (about 4 pieces)
1 heaping tablespoon multi-colored mini marshmallows
2 T. Fruity Cheerios or Fruit Loops
1 T. almonds
1 T. dried cranberries or Craisins

Combination #2: Peanutty
For each serving put together:
1 T. Reeses pieces
1 T. peanuts
2 T. plain Cheerios
4 waffle pretzels
1/2 of a crunchy peanutty-type granola bar, crushed
4 Ritz bits peanut butter sandwiches
1 T. raisins (optional)

Combination #3: Cheesy
For each serving put together:
1 heaping tablespoon cheesy Goldfish
8 Cheeze-its (small size)
8 pretzel sticks
1 T. peanuts
2 T. Corn Chex
4 Ritz bits cheese sandwiches

Combination #4: Chocolatey
For each serving put together:
1 T. Plain M&Ms
1 scant T. dark chocolate chocolate chips
8 Teddy Grahams (plain)
1 T. high fiber cereal (i.e. Fiber One)
1 T. plain Cheerios
1/2 low fat chewy chocolate chip granola bar, chopped up
4 mini Oreo sandwiches

Scripture of the Day: F-1, Ether 12:3-4

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Year of Miracles #5

This week's miracle has to be the weather. Last Monday and Tuesday the temperature here was about 110 degrees. Hot as you know where (or as my brother used to say, "H, E, double toothpicks."). Then, as you saw in my post Thursday, the rain came. Today has been drizzly, blustery, and cold. In fact, I do not think the thermometer broke 70 today. In fact, there was SNOW up in Flagstaff and in the White Mountains. Could this possibly be May 23? I personally count this kind of weather at this time of year to be not only a miracle, but a wonderful blessing!

Scripture of the Day: T-22, Col. 1:23

Friday, May 23, 2008

Feel the Rain on My Face

Yesterday it rained in the afternoon and evening! Lest you think I am crazy for being so excited about it you should know this is the first time in seven years there has been a measurable amount of rain in the month of May here. I guess that is the desert for you. Anyway, I was so excited for it I had to pull out my camera to capture it! Scripture of the Day: F-6, Ether 12:29

Thursday, May 22, 2008

School's Out, Scream and Shout

Today is the last day of school for Patch and Kitty; it was yesterday for Sweetie Peach's preschool. There was an award ceremony this morning and Kitty was one of the Winning Workers awarded a certificate. Yeah! A short while later I went (with Sweetie Peach in tow) to help with Kitty's classroom party. My assignment was the water balloon toss. What a hit that was with the kids! I put marks on the sidewalk 1 ft. apart for about 24 feet total. I had them start close and then take steps backward as the game progressed. Some of the balloons were tough and did not break right away. I wasn't sure what to do at first, but then decided to chalk it up to making the game a bit more fun and interesting. Here are a few shots of the fun--since there was an odd number of kids, the teacher helped out.In addition to the water balloon toss, the kids made their own trail mix and then heard a story. They also each made a cute scrapbook page to say "thank you" to their teacher for such a fun second grade year. I think even Sweetie Peach enjoyed this fun party!
Scripture of the Day: I-14, D&C 8:10

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Peachy Keen

Yesterday I spent three hours taking care of some peaches from my neighbor's tree. They have great taste, despite their small size. But because there were so many little ones the process seemed extra long to prepare them for the freezer and eventual pie-dom :-). Actually, the ones I prepared from last year ended up in cobblers more often than pies. In fact, I think that will be what's for dessert in the very near future. Here is my favorite peach cobbler dessert recipe-- it's from America's Test Kitchen and is yummy! Enjoy!

Scripture of the Day: T-24, Alma 14:26

Monday, May 19, 2008

Summer Meal Planning

This is the last week of school for my kids, so it is time to get organized for summer. One of the things that is hardest for me is to have three kids to feed at home all day. If I am not careful then I end up spending half of my waking hours in the kitchen. I hate when that happens. So here are some of my coping strategies: I have learned through experience to have a summer breakfast/ lunch meal plan posted on the fridge. Then I do not get kids whining and making special requests for meals. I do not like being a short order cook. Plus, having the meal plan makes weekly shopping much easier. Here is the meal plan I made for this summer; it does not include side dishes, just main items. I supplement with what I have on hand.

You can also see the posted meal plan has jobs on it. With all three home, the house ends up messy a lot more. They each have two jobs per day they are required to do before playing with friends. I was tempted this summer to give them three jobs each, but playing "job cop" is not something I like.

I also have a "snack basket" for after lunch. In a small basket I put several healthy snack items per kid (labeled with their names). I put the basket out after lunch is over and then close the kitchen for the rest of the afternoon. If the kids get hungry, they know they can eat one of their snack basket items. Otherwise, they are not to bug me about food until dinner time.

One other tip is to have a special cup for each kid to use each day--all day long. In the party supply isle at Walmart or Target there are cute plastic cups. I let my kids each choose one of these and then they know which cup is theirs. We have a designated spot on the counter near the fridge where they leave them during the day. After dinner they get washed and prepared for the next day.

Scripture of the Day: I-15, 1 Nephi 7:12

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Front Door, Back Door

A friend recently issued a challenge on her blog to photograph what is out your front and back doors. She is a talented photographer, especially compared to me, but the challenge reminded me how much I like the bubble glass in my front door. I thought the bubbles might provide an interesting distortment (is that a word?) to the photo. So I decided to participate--and to pass the challenge along to anyone who might be interested!

Front DoorBack Door
(taken through the sheer that hangs on it)
Scripture of the Day: H-26, 2 Nephi 9:23

Friday, May 16, 2008

Year of Miracles #4

Yesterday evening I was at the temple and was called out of the session. It ended up Sweetie Peach was in the ER needing stitches in her lower lip. She had fallen from a barstool while standing on it to reach a DVD on the entertainment center. In the course of falling, her teeth jammed into her lower lip and cut it deeply both on the inside and out. The miracle was that Steve was home with her--the plan had been for both of us to go to the temple for ward temple night. But at the very last minute Steve decided not to go. The babysitter we had lined up was barely 12, so it likely would have been a very stressful situation for her to handle if she had been there. Anyway, I am grateful Sweetie Peach had a parent on hand to get her to the care she needed asap. We are both very tired today because we got to bed so late after getting the stitches and then getting the prescriptions filled. Gonna take it easy today.

It's not pretty, but here is a picture of Sweetie Peach with her swollen lip (still in her bloody shirt from the ordeal).Scripture of the Day: F-4, Moroni 7:47
Kitty got 4 corners this morning! Yeah for her!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I forgot to mention earlier that this morning we had our first BINGO for our faith theme! Sweetie Peach was the winner. Patch is very close to getting four corners and Kitty keeps begging for me to call T-20 so she can hit BINGO too. But since I select them randomly I can't guarantee it for her. The kids are loving this theme!!

Divine Investiture of Authority

Last night I was looking up scriptures for a Father's Day themed scripture study for the month of June. While reading scriptures about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as the Father of heaven and earth, I was reminded about the principle of divine investiture of authority. I need to teach this to my children because it really helps to understand the scriptures in a clearer light. So I thought I would share here first as a way to organize my thoughts.

Basically, divine investiture of authority is when Heavenly Father gives permission for one of His representatives to speak for him--even if they use first person pronouns as though they were in fact Him.

Neal A. Maxwell gave this definition of the concept:
"Divine investiture is defined as that condition in which --in all His dealings with the human family Jesus the Son has represented and yet represents Elohim His Father in power and authority. ... Thus. .. Jesus Christ spoke and ministered and through the Father's name; and so far as power, authority and Godship is concerned His words and acts were and are those of the Father."

The same principle works in regard to the Holy Ghost speaking and testifying of the Savior. A good example of this is in Moses 3:5:

"And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will."

Scripture of the Day: I-18, D&C 42:14

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First Fruits

My garden is beginning to be very productive, so I took a few pictures today.
My first cucumber--not only for the season, but for me trying to grow one, too.

This is my first acorn squash. The plant was a volunteer from some innards I threw out in the garden last fall. When it came up I could tell it was some type of squash. Now I know!

These are green tomatoes. They have been getting bigger and bigger for several weeks. They will be huge by the time they are ripe, I fear.
The corn is beginning to tassel, and the beans are not out yet (not pictured).
I also have had a number of large zucchini so far. I hope to have more before the weather turns too hot for the plants to keep producing!

Scripture of the Day: H-29, D&C 75:5

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Kitty Needs Glasses

Over the past four or five days now Kitty has been getting headaches. We have gone through a process of elimination (illness, allergies, glasses), and hopefully have discovered the problem: she needs glasses! When the school nurse called me yesterday with Kitty in her office complaining again of a headache, I asked her to please test her eyes. Sure enough, she had a hard time reading the eye chart. So I took her in to the eye doctor and we ordered glasses. They will take a week to get here--and of course school will be about out by then!

Scripture of the Day: I-16, Moroni 10:7

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thank Heaven It's Over

Thank heaven Mother's Day is over! Here is how my day went:
- Up at 5:30 am to make breakfast to take to my mother (she was flying out of town later in the day and this was the only chance I would see her).
- 7:15 am: Left the house with kids (sans husband) to deliver breakfast.
- 7:30 am: Delivered corsage for mother-in-law to wear to church.
- 7:45 am: Arrived at my parents house and served up breakfast. Stayed 1 hour.
- 9:00 am: Arrived home to find monkey pictures for me on kitchen table from my hubby. I do not like monkeys--he does. Here is a sample picture:
- 9:00 am: Prepared pork loin for oven and later for hubby to put in smoker for family dinner.
- 9:30 am: worked on craft/Mother's Day gift idea for nursery kids to take home. Lots of cutting, but I thought it turned out cute. Instead of a real packet of seeds I printed out seed packets from the Internet and then put the kids' pictures on them. Then wrote on the watering can: "A mother's love helps children grow." The idea came from this picture from am: Prepared some small gifts for VT ladies and sister-in-laws.
-11:00 am: Took a nap for 45 min.
-Noon: Made lunch and started nagging kids to get their church clothes on.
-1:00 pm: Got ready for church; prepared snack for nursery.
-1:30 pm: Church started; sacrament meeting had great talks; nursery was busy.
-5:00 pm: After church Steve takes kids and roast to family party; I wait for my parents to come so I can drop them off at the airport.
-6:00 pm: Parents arrive (late); drive to airport and then to Chandler
-7:00 pm: I arrive at family party
-8:15 pm: Leave family party to get kids home to bed

Of course there was more, but I will not continue to bore you. It was just a long day and I am glad it is over. I love being a mom, but do not like Mother's Day.

Scripture of the Day: T-21, Matt. 25:21

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Problem Solved

Patch and his cousin Josh

This morning Patch was complaining about not being able to watch rated R and PG-13 movies. All his good friends and the neighbor kids watch them, he whined. I was disappointed in his attitude and did not say anything immediately-- I wasn't sure how to respond. Then I had a thought to pull out the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and have him read the counsel there. So I got it out and opened it up to the Entertainment and Media page and asked him to read it and tell me what he thought it meant. A few minutes later he explained to me (quite well I might add) the doctrine taught there. Then all I had to say was that by restricting the movie-watching I was trying to follow the prophet's counsel and be a good parent. No more whining happened and a short while later he started watching the DVD of Evan Almighty and said to me, "This is a good movie to watch, Mom, because the story comes partly from the New Testament." Okay, so I still need to work on the scripture story location part of our study, but overall I rate this as a success!

Scripture of the Day: H-25, Alma 18:35

Friday, May 9, 2008

Year of Miracles #3

I have lots of work to do today, so this is a quick summary of a true miracle that happened to our bishop and two other men last month. They went camping in New Mexico, arriving there via small aircraft. However, on take-off to return home, the plane crashed and caught on fire. Our bishop shattered his cheek bone and had other non-life-threatening injuries (but still required hospitalization and surgery). Another man in our ward in the crash walked away with minor cuts and bruises. The third man, in a neighboring ward, was badly burned and is still in the hospital now three weeks later--but is out of danger. Needless to say, a lot of fasting and praying has been happening on behalf of these men and their recovery has been miraculous so far. Our bishop was back at the pulpit last week conducting sacrament meeting. The fact that they survived the crash at all is miraculous; just a few days after they crashed a similar crash happened in Arizona and all those on board died. Our family has been very grateful to witness this miracle.

Scripture of the Day: A-10, Moroni 10:4-5

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Just a good quote for all the great women/moms I know. You inspire me!

"I wonder if you sisters fully understand the greatness of your gifts and talents and how all of you can achieve the “highest place of honor” in the Church and in the world. One of your unique, precious, and sublime gifts is your femininity, with its natural grace, goodness, and divinity. Femininity is not just lipstick, stylish hairdos, and trendy clothes. It is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your qualities of your capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each of you possesses it."

--James E. Faust, "Womanhood: The Highest Place of Honor", Ensign, May 2000, 95

Scripture of the Day: F-2, Ether 12:6

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Scrapbook Store Hazards

So yesterday evening I stopped into Scrapbooks, Etc. I needed to get die cuts of the letters to West Virginia for Patch's state report display board, plus I wanted a few supplies for another cute project I am working on. Can I just say scrapbook stores are hazardous to your pocketbook? Mind you, I did not spend more than $15, but I could have. Easily. I wanted to so badly. But the reality is this: I prefer not to scrapbook. Why? Besides the cost of it, the main reasons are these: because of lack of space, the big mess it makes, the time commitment involved, and my inability to keep up with it. As a result I try not to shop at these stores. I have to admit though, the supplies are sublime! I love paper and all the cool knick-nack-y things they have there. I bought this darling set of cardboard cut out shapes that cost $10--all because I wanted one of the two dozen shapes in the kit. Don't ask me what I will do with the rest of it. But ten years from now you will likely still be able to find it in my overflowing cupboard of scrapbook supplies that I keep accumulating.

Scripture of the Day: A-12, Alma 34:17

Monday, May 5, 2008

'Doin' it Up Right

Okay, so I am stealing this post idea from Shazbraz (a former mission companion with a great blog). I guess I just have blog block today. But last week she posted a link to this cute website for girls' hairstyle ideas and I thought it was darling. The above picture of Sweetie Peach is a style taken from the site. It is not all that clear {and my ability to do hair is much weaker than what is shown in the original pic} but it is a French braid going back on the diagonal. I need to get brave and try the flipped Heidi style that is so cute on there. So darling!

Scripture of the Day: I-13, Mosiah 4:30

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hats Off to Mother

Here is a cute poem for Mother's Day next Sunday. I use it for FHE with pictures of all the appropriate hats. I wish I knew who to give credit to, but there is no author listed on the copy I have.

Hats Off to Mother

"My mother's job is sometimes hard, and I have heard her say,
'The hours are long, and if I could, I'd like to change the pay.'
Her profession has variety, and I will tell you now
About the many hats she wears--and why and when and how.

"1. My mommy's a nurse who fixes and patches
All of my hurts and my sores and my scratches.

"2. My mother's a chef who fixes each dinner
Fit for a king--a blue-ribbon winner!

"3. My mom's a chauffeur who drives pretty slow
But gets me to places where I need to go.

"4. My mom's a detective, and no one is greater
At getting the truth from me sooner or later.

"5. My mommy's a gardener and works really hard,
Planting and weeding and grooming our yard.

"6. My mother's a maid--at least that's what she said--
'Cause she cleans up the house and makes every bed.

"7. My mother's an angel--a queen in disguise--
Who teaches the gospel with tears in her eyes.

"Today take these hats off, and please wear no other
Let me do your work, to show I LOVE YOU MOTHER!"

Scripture of the Day: H-28, Ephesians 2:8

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Year of Miracles #2

Late last year I gave a bid to a client for completing some secondary research. It was a standard bid for 12 hours of searching and compiling. After not hearing back from the client for a month I had mentally decided the project was not likely to happen. But then late in January I received a call from the client--the project had come through. And they wanted to double the hours and bid total to ensure the information they needed me to compile was as thorough as possible. I was pleased (the extra money would come in handy) and gave them a timeline for the project. I completed the research over the next month. Then there were two presentation meetings two weeks apart. By this time it was nearly March and I decided it was time to invoice the project: $1330. Of course it took them a little over a month to get me the check. And here is the miracle: the check arrived the same week in April that we had an unexpected financial cost of $1300.

Scripture of the Day: A-9, Alma 44:4

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Month, New Theme

I was so busy with a report for work yesterday that I was unable to get this posted--sorry for the delay. The new theme for May is faith and it uses the game of BINGO (using the letters FAITH, instead) to help make it fun for the kids. I have made unique game cards for each of my kids and there will be rewards for the first BINGO, four corners, and blackout (everyone). Here is what one of the game cards looks like:And the first Scripture of the Day for this theme is: F-3, Hebrews 11:1