Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My cousin sent me the following forward email today. No lie, I usually hate the things, but she sends pretty good ones, not the crap ones that try to guilt you into forwarding it.  My cousin gets me. She is probably the closest thing to a sister that I have or will ever have. I can't tell you how dear to my heart she is. Anyway, I felt sobered after reading this:

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. 

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal- Mart. 
 We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. 

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day. 
 Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, 'Mom let's run through the rain,' she said. 

'What?' Mom asked. 

'Let's run through the rain!' She repeated. 

'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied. 

This young child waited a minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run through the rain.' 

'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said. 

'No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm. 

'This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?' 

'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said,  '  If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!' 

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. 

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith. 

'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,' Mom said. 

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked. 

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. 
I ran. I got wet. I needed washing. 

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day. 

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. 


They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. 

Send this to the people you'll never forget and remember to also send it to the person who sent it to you. It's a short message to let them know that you'll never forget them. 

If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in a hurry. 

Take the time to live!!! 

Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other -- 
And don't forget to run in the rain!  

Lately, especially since my Papa died, I've been awed by the lessons I'm constantly taught by my kids. Particularly, Bailey. She has a REALLY big spirit inside of her. Sometimes, I feel like her understanding is far greater than mine, or maybe it's just her childlike perspective. Whichever, it is sometimes very humbling and sobering to listen to her little songs or dialogues that she makes up but inserts her current thoughts into. I am caught off guard many times. Lately, Papa has ended up in those songs {naturally}. So this email hit home. 

On that note, I have been somewhat numb since he died. I literally do not think that my psyche can reconcile the fact that he's actually gone. I can feel it setting in slowly, and at some point in the near future, I'm pretty sure it's going to hit me, and I'm going to lose it. So when the posts stop, just know, I'm taking a little break until I'm not crazy anymore. Then I'll be back :) In fact, I seriously thought this email was going to send me over the edge, but I have a very active little Bailey who won't stop vying for my attention... SO no time to lose it now. 

Thanks for tuning in. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Other Baby Projects

Now that all gifts have been received... here are some of the other things I have been working on.

This is for sweet baby Callie. Even though I'm lazy and she didn't get it until after she was born, like 2 weeks after... Sorry Casey! Making this and the onesie below made me want a baby girl again... all the bows and ruffles are just so much fun! 

This shirt is for... you guessed it! Payson! He's 5... wait, maybe 6. I've lost track. He is of the Keown Clan.  I liked the way this turned out so much that I'm making Trevor one.  

They have the cutest dadgum kids, aside from my own, of course. The blackish colored pillowcase dress is a previous post was for baby Evie {even though she is almost 2} his little sister.

This isn't for a baby. It's a tunic for my might-as-well-be niece Zoe. She is 12! and I CAN NOT believe it. She is growing into a beautiful, sweet and smart young woman. Zoe is also of the Keown Clan.

I LOVED this fabric... I almost kept for myself... but I wouldn't fit into it, cause she's TINY, and well, I'm... not, even close.

So I just got my new sewing machine... say farewell to old and busted betty... and hello to the unnamed new girl on the block. So look for more to come!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bailey's First Day at Pre-K

 Here is 'Little Miss Thang' in all her glory, sporting the outfit she chose and her backpack and lunch bag that are as big as she is. She as per usual is hamming it up for the camera. 

My sweet girl, super duper, uber excited for her first day of school!

Walking to class. I have to get all of them out and haul them all into the building right up to the classroom. Oh, joy. Trevor wanted to stay and play. He LOVED the fish tank in the hall way. 

She walked in, pretty much threw her back back and lunch bag into a cubby, and went around the room like a crack head in a frenzy! She was talking to all the kids, and before she finished would move on to the different stations, taking it all in... in a split second, apparently.

This is her literally jumping for joy when she heard Mrs. Melva tell the other kids it was time for lunch. Except, Bailey is in 9am -12pm VPK.

This is when she found out that it means, she doesn't stay for lunch {This poor kid was shaking her, not sure why she was crying... it was funny}. She through a huge tantrum and was utterly DEVASTATED. I'm not kidding you, she ran down the hall from me, into the cafeteria and sat down in a chair and continued to bawl hysterically. So sad. Then she cried some more {and by cry I mean wailed, because that's how she rolls} while I handed in some paperwork. Then cried on the way to the car... in the car... and all the way home... 

{don't worry, we were stopped at a stop light when this was taken}

... and into the house... until I threatened her life and told her she couldn't go back tomorrow if she didn't stop. Then she sat down at the table to eat, and decided "I'm going to go way down." So she went and laid in her bed and passed out.

Side note: The reason everyone else got to go to lunch is because the VPK teacher broke her arm and will be out for 3 weeks. Soo, since there are only 3-4 kids in VPK right now {they just got their license} they put them in Mrs. Melva's class. The rest of the kids stay until 2 p.m.. So in a few weeks, this shouldn't be a problem anymore. {cross your fingers and say a little prayer, PLEASE}.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Remembrance of all things...

That's what we're told we will have on the other side. I'm a mormon. For those who don't know. So occasionally I will have a post that is of the spiritual nature. Okay, maybe more than occasionally. Anyhow, an early prophet of The Church, Joseph F. Smith,  said in his book Doctrine of Salvation {this is all according to Mr. Shaw. So blame him if it's inaccurate} something along the lines that the mind is not capable of forgetting. That ever though we can't remember all things all the time, it files it away.

So, my point is, I was giving that sweet boy of mine, Callen, {the new favorite, jk, kinda} a bath tonight. He LOVES bath time, and gets giddy, Chris Farley style. {You know, when Chris would do that weird spastic smile where he would bring his shoulders up and scrunch his face all up}.

Getting off track. Okay, I was bathing Cal, and he was splashing and smiling and so happy. I couldn't help but think how awesome it will be to remember all of these sweet tender moments from life, one day. The ones I try so hard to engrain into my memory and make last longer, even though they are fleeting.

Then a little later, I got to thinking, CRAP. That means I'm going to remember all the bad too. So, opposition in all things, I guess.

In The Book of Mormon, {that link kind of gives you an idea of what it is}In Alma 11:43, it speaks of what happens after the second coming of Christ at the time of resurrection. It reads:

"43 The spirit and the body shall be areunited again in its bperfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, cknowing even as we know now, and have a brightdrecollection of all our eguilt." 

Not so much fun to look forward to {remembering your guilt}. But, hey, ... if it means I can be with my family eternally, forever, no end in sight... I'M IN. Sign. Me. Up! Though, I am pretty much looking forward to that perfected body, because heaven knows, these kids have destroyed this one... ya win some, ya lose some.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Provident Living Calendar!

Years ago, {and I do mean YEARS, it's really sad, how MANY years... I'm getting old!}, I got Noah's Ark Calendar from church with goals for food storage every month. It's really cool, it tells you how much of each thing you need per person, etcetera, etcetera. I never could bring myself to put it on the fridge because well, it just wasn't very cute {in my opinion}, but OH, so useful.

Time and time again, I have been organizing the office and can not bring myself to toss it. SO, I was bored last week, and most definitely needed a distraction, so I decided to play with it and make one of my own. The content is all exactly the same {I did add one quote..} it's just cuter. You can access the pdf form here. Knock yourself out.

Oh. So the original one I had The front page was cardstock with a small magnet on the back. It had too rings around it to bind it so you could flip each page back, every month. I'm still trying to figure out a better way to do it so you can hang it on the fridge, but still have it bound. If you have any ideas, feel free to leave them in comments! I wanted to have all the pages printed in cardstock so it's a little more sturdy, but then the magnet won't hold them all... so it's still sitting on my craft table waiting for brilliance to strike... it might be sitting there a good long while ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hey, Soul Sista'

I thought I'd let Bailey color while I continue to make a dent in the disaster that is my craft/their play room. I look up and she has colored her hands black. I guess she's just trying to get in touch with the soul sista' screaming to get out?!

Even after she's washed her hands twice... it's still not coming off... I thought they were supposed to be washable markers? BOO. Crayola. Boo.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baby Boxes

My dear friend, Lori made one of these for Callen as a baby gift. I pretty much think it's genius! So I went and got all the stuff {a portable file box and hanging file folders} and made one for Trevor and Bailey. Their stuff is scattered between random bins and containers and my file cabinet. Now it can all be in one spot and eventually when they leave home I can just give it all to them in one box. {way to think ahead, right?!}

Then I just took an 8x11.5 shipping label and printed their names on them and cut them out and stuck 'em on... for a little added cuteness and to easily identify who's box is who's.

That's it! Voila! Thanks, Lori & Lydia! I LOVE how easy it is to keep track of their documents and things! I am actually excited to find everything and have them organized!


I have been asked to provide the label names, and I've been lazy, and I'm sorry! But here they are, from front to back, in order:

Baby Information
Health Records
Documents & Certificates
Age 0-3
Age 4-5
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade
Seventh Grade
Eighth Grade
Ninth Grade
Tenth Grade
Eleventh Grade
Twelfth  Grade
Scouts OR Achievement Day Girls {a program in our church for 8-11 yr old girls}
Young Men OR Young Women {another program for youth girls or boys 12-18}


I have been asked a lot what size file bin I used, These are the ones I purchased from Staples.  http://www.staples.com/Staples-Large-Capacity-Hanging-File-Tote-139938-/product_634514

Though if I'm being totally honest. I would get a smaller one in hindsight. I have 4 children now and I keep less papers and stuff from school because it's just TOO much. They are are to store with four of them. So it depends on how much you plan to hold on too and how much room you have to store the bins. I hope this helps!

If I Only Had Today...

"It seems like I've watched a million sunsets
And stared at a thousand full moons
Sometimes it feels like I've been here forever
And sometimes it feels brand new

I could never count the heartbeats
From the day I was born until now
But not a single one goes unnoticed
By Him who breathes life in me somehow

But if there were no more tomorrows
If I knew that I could not stay
I know how I'd spend every moment
If I only had today

I'd hold you and listen
I'd let the dishes sit in the sink
I'd tell you I loved you  over and over
And for once I'd just let the phone ring
Then I'd remind you of forever
And how out love would never change
If I only had today

I'd wake up before the sun did
And I'd watch as you quietly sleep
I'd pray for time to move slowly
Knowing the moment won't keep

All the gifts that Heaven has given
Every blessing that's come my way
Wouldn't mean anything without you
So if I only had today

I'd hold you and listen
I'd memorize every detail of your face
I'd tell you I loved you over and over
I wouldn't let excuses get in the way

Then I'd remind you of forever
And how out love would never change
If I only had today

There's no time like the present
Life doesn't come with guarantees
The sun will set and time won't wait

So while I have today

I'll hold you and listen
I'll let the dishes sit in the sink
I'll tell you I loved you  over and over
And for once I'll just let the phone ring
Then I'll remind you of forever
And how out love would never change
Because I have today

This is a song by Hilary Weeks that I love. You can go here to listen to it. I am really feeling like this right now. I just thought I'd share it. Life is so fleeting and when we're gone we're gone and I don't want to regret what memories I leave behind for other people. 

My Papa is being moved to hospice today. Sunday, in the hospital he told the nurse he was expecting family and would like a bath. I think it's pretty awesome that he knows he will have family show up. It got me thinking... I don't want to be wondering one day if anyone will bother to come see me. I want to know that I will have people that I have treated kindly, lovingly and built lasting relationships with that will come and visit with me. How sad it must be to be in the winter of your life and be lonely and sit everyday hoping and wondering if you will have a visitor that day.  I don't want to be that person. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One of my Fav-or-ite things!

Why I love my camera: When trying to take pictures of kids... I used to HATE!!!! that by the time the digital camera would process and then take the picture, that moment was loooooong gone. With my new camera there is a beautiful option called "Continuous Shooting".

I heart this option. It takes more frames per second so that you can catch those little moments.  See below for a demonstration.

See how awesome?! These were all taken within a few seconds. So when they both happen to look at the camera at the same time, I can catch it! {most of the time, anyway} 

See the personality? Bailey is going through a phase where she likes to ham it up to the camera. I'm completely okay with this. It allowed me to get these gems... 

 Sorry, I couldn't resist my sweet boy...even though he isn't a fan of the camera these days. 
 She looks like an old lady here... the sweater, the hair... the dark circles under the eyes...

 Sweet girl.

 Yeah. he was not having it....little turd.

She was dun. D-U-N. DUN.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Whatchyou Want?

So, I'm feeling a bit random... probably because I'm the Queen of Random. Anyhow, I'm really curious to hear about what types of things YOU are interested in seeing on this blog. I feel like I'm forcing you to read whatever I'm in the mood to blog about, and I guess that's alright since it's my blog... but it wouldn't be much of a blog if I didn't have any readers! PS- THANK YOU.... seriously... I honestly didn't expect anyone to read it and I've been pleasantly surprised! I'm so grateful for all the support and kind words!!

So leave a comment below and let me know what you'd like to see on here and I'll do my best to accommodate! and PLEASE be HONEST! I'm all about brutal honesty, I can take it! Yay! I'm excited to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mrs. Clean

That's what you can call me. I have what others might think is a little more than slight, case of Germophobia. My husband thinks it's severe, but I'm no Howie Mandel.

So let me just explain. Germs are filthy, grody, nasty things. ESPECIALLY when you don't know whose or what kinds of germs they are, and ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY when you have babies crawling all over the floors and eating {GROSS!} off of the floor and getting the toilet bowl brush and putting it in a toilet full of urine and fecal matter and then scrubbing the floor {no names, TREVOR}. At least he's trying to clean... just slightly misguided.

I'm getting off topic. My point is, we are now unproud renters living in other people's filth... and I mean FILTH. Like- we can't get the place clean- filth.

After the toilet bowl brush incident the other day, I wiped them down with Clorox wipes, but the floors still needed bleached anyway and I've been meaning to clean the grout in the kids bathroom because it's DISGUSTING. See below.

See. Told ya! That grout is supposed to be WHITE. No, I'm not kidding. It's been on my to do list for a couple of months, but I spent A WEEK cleaning this house just to get it decent {while 8 months pregnant}. Oh, and by me, I mean: me, my mother-in-law, and my gramma. Not to mention we had to paint the walls with kilz to get the horrible smell of cat-dog-etc. out and because the walls were SO filthy and dirty you could SEE the stains, and we couldn't scrub them, it'd take too long. NOT my cup of tea. 

I just CAN NOT, for the life of me, fathom how people can live in such filth. EW EW EW EW EW. I apologize if you are one of those people. I promise I don't think less of you. Well, maybe just a little, but hey... I won't know unless you tell me! I really can't help it... things may not always be NEAT at my house but they are nearly always CLEAN. 

Anyhow, I spent some time with my good friend Tilex Mold & Mildew and my other good friend Toothbrush this afternoon and got that floor looking like this!

 Heck yes! It's still not to my standards, but MOST definitely doable and an improvement. 

My eyes are STILL burning, but hey... talk about a days accomplishment! AND dinner is already in the oven... and I'm not talking frozen pizza, people. 

So I'm going to eat my dinna', take a nice hot shower in my bathroom which now smells bleachy clean as well {I LOVE the smell of bleach, don't hate} and snuggle up with my man and watch a movie {he doesn't know that I'm going to corner him into watching a chick-flick yet!} Oh, and eat a big freakin' bowl of ice cream, 'cause well, I deserve it after working out every day for almost a week! 

YAY FOR THURSDAYS! {or really, just this one} 

The end. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grilled Cheesus.. okay maybe not.

So, because there are pretty much no decent sitcoms on in the summer, Jeffrey and I revert to watching Hells Kitchen & Master Chef. At 9:00 p.m. this is not a good thing. It makes a fat girl hungry and crave fatty foods she shouldn't that late at night. Last night, on Master Chef that had to recreate grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. HELLO!

Guess what we had for dinner tonight? Yep! Grilled cheese sandwiches, but I wanted fancy schmancy ones.

This morning I was going through old blog posts and came across this one about Pioneer Woman's The Bread. My mouth was watering for the bread so I decided to take that idea and add some yummy cheese to it.

I cut a loaf of cuban bread into slices buttered very generously the outsides and put a big slice of smoked gouda cheese in between  and grilled it in a skillet until it was dark brownish {that's when the butter really gets it's flavor} then I add some more butter on each side and cooked it a little more on each side to get it sizzlin' and keep it from drying out. YUM!! Though next time I'll do thinner slices of cheese so that it melts easier. If you like gooey, smokey cheese... this is the samich for you AND ME!

Disclaimer: This is loaded with fat, don't say I didn't warn ya!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheesy Broccoli & Chicken Casserole

Okay, so I'm typically not one to make up recipes... they are usually epic fails when I do, but this turned out to be surprisingly good. Super easy, too.

I didn't take a picture, the kids were off the walls and it had been a long day, it's not that pretty anyway.

3/4 dry rice
1 can broccoli cheese condensed soup
1 1/4 can water
1 stalk of broccoli florets finely chopped {you can use the stems too if you choose}
1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
2 chicken breasts cubed
salt and pepper to taste
sharp cheddar cheese

Add all the ingredients into a casserole dish {13x9} and mix together. Top with cheddar cheese {about 1/2 cup or so}. Cover with tin foil.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes. Let stand a few minutes and serve. YUM! ENJOY.  

Even Bailey ate this, so it's "kid tested, mother approved"...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oohh, Martha!

Monday night, I christened my Martha Stuart Cookies cook book. We started with "Surprise Cookies". They are chocolate cookies with marshmallows on top covered in a ganache-like frosting.

Take a close look at how fantastic they look in the book. 

The kids enjoyed snatching marshmallows... This was Trevor's third attempt, after securing two already. The little stinker... 

Anyway, back to how delectable they look in the book. {get ready, there is a rant coming}

So. Dear, dear, Martha.... don't get me wrong I think she is brilliant. Huge fan of her work. However, I'm not a fan of her snotty, rude, condescending, and narcissistic traits... you see...

There is just NO way to possibly make these cookies look as good as they do in the book. I followed that recipe  TO THE "T" and they were just ugly. The icing was runnier than it should have been and my marshmallows  never started to melt... and definitely didn't do it in 2 minutes like the recipe said they would. My theory, is that she does it so that no one can have cookies {or anything, for that matter} as delectable as hers. I mean seriously, there is NO way her frosting could have been thick enough to make it look like that. While those cookies look great and all, I'd like to see pictures of the things made by a NORMAL person so I know how they will REALLY look and don't get my hopes up that I could possibly create such pretty cookies. I get that they have to be pretty o people will want to make them and blah blah... but it doesn't really matter, because at that point we already own the book!

In fact Martha isn't the only culprit here. I have a cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld in which one of her macaroni dishes is pictured with pretty corkscrew pasta {hello, I want to use the fun pretty stuff!} but the recipe calls for elbow macaroni. The kicker is you totally have to guess when you substitute the corkscrew for the elbow because it's bigger pasta and changes the amount sauce that will cover it.... I'm not good at guessing with recipes most of the time. I end up screwing it up.
These are the best looking ones. They look terrible compared to what they are supposed to. The good news is that they tasted pretty good. That chocolatey, ganache-like icing was pretty awesome. 

In the interest of full disclosure and honesty here is what they looked like before I arranged them hiding the worst sides of them. 

Okay, I could go on. I won't torture you though. I'm pretty sure this is my new pet peeve though.