Painted. And find the hidden child(ren).

It took me a long time to decide on colors I wanted to paint my kitchen and family room, but I finally chose.  Here’s the before and after.  See if you can find Katie in every picture and Rachel in one.  🙂





Blue pancakes


In honor of the big game tomorrow between BYU and Utah, Scott made the girls blue pancakes for breakfast.  And not only did he make blue pancakes (which is hard to see from the picture), but he made them into fun shapes!

I found the idea for using a plastic dispenser bottle from a website, but I don’t remember where.  But I did see this post where they used a ketchup bottle for making pancakes.  That would solve the problem of when the lid clogged.  We got our bottle from Walmart for really cheap.


He made a cow, horse, mickey and minnie mouse, snake, and princess (by Katie’s request.  She asked him to make a princess and he said, “I don’t know how to make a princess.”  So she went and grabbed a piece of paper and a crayon and drew him a picture of what a princess looked like–mostly a stick figure with hair and earrings)


One of Katie’s favorite activities is “Guess the Animal.”  One person thinks of an animal, and everyone else has to ask them yes or no questions to figure out which one it is.  We play it on long trips and for Family Home Evening.

One time, my mom was thinking of an animal.

Katie: “Does it have a tail?”

Mom: “Yes.”

Someone else: “Does it say roar?”

Mom: “No.”

Katie:  “Does it have four legs?”

Mom: “Yes.”

The game continued like this for a while, but Katie was not getting anywhere very quickly, so someone else had to ask a question that revealed more information.

Someone else: “Does it have stripes?”‘

Mom: “Yes.  And it starts with a z.”

Katie:  “I know!  It’s a zzzzznake!”



To Scott,

Thank you so much for asking me to marry you almost six years ago.  Thank you for the beautiful girls you helped bring into this world.  Thank you for calling my pie crust, “flaky.”  Thank you for having a testimony of our Savior.  Thank you for hanging out with the hoodlums.  Thank you for asking about how my day went and really caring about my answer.  Thank you for fixing all the broken things.  Thanks for playing with our girls everyday.


We create the environment in our homes

Most of the following comes from a parenting class I have been taking.  The last day was today, and in an effort for me to remember what was taught, I am going to be posting some of the ideas I have learned from it.  Just know that most of the material comes from the teacher, not me.  However, I am striving to come up with applications to my family, so some of those are my ideas (actually, most are probably inspired by the teacher).

Just as we cannot force a seed to sprout when planting a garden, we cannot force our children to grow spiritually.  (Does this sound like a certain diabolical plan?)  But we can provide the environment for a seed to sprout and then the seed can be fed and grow into its potential.  We can plant the seed in good soil with rich nutrients for making plant food, making sure that the sunlight can reach it, and provide it with water.  But even in a “perfect” environment, we cannot force the seed to sprout.

The same is true for our childrens’ spiritual environment.  I cannot force my children to feel the Spirit.  For the time being, I can require they go to church and attend family home evening (which they relish doing because they are four and two.)  But someday, that choice will become theirs.  My job now is to provide opportunities for them where they can feel the Spirit and then help them recognize that feeling by telling them, “That’s the Spirit that you feel.”  I can teach them about how important it is to keep the commandments so that one day– hopefully– they will be able to choose for themselves and they can “choose the better part” because of the Spirit they have felt in my home.

How am I striving to create the environment in my home where my children can feel the Spirit?

1.  We hold Family Home Evening every Monday night.  We begin by singing a Primary song, then a prayer, followed by a lesson, an activity, and a treat.  Each family member gets a chance to do all of the assignments.  Sometimes the lesson is better than others and even when it is planned well, that doesn’t always mean that the Spirit is there (because of children getting antsy).  But once again, I am striving to create the environment where the Spirit can attend.

2.  We have family prayer every night.

3.  We read scriptures together every night.

4.  We attend church together every Sunday.

5.  We keep our home clean of bad media.  This isn’t really a temptation for Katie and Rachel being the ages they are, but Scott and I strive to watch, listen, and read things that would add to the Spirit of our home, not take away from it.

We don’t always have stellar Family Home Evenings, spiritual family prayers, nor do we feast on the scriptures every night.  Getting us and the kids ready for church is not always free of frustration.  But we have gotten into the habit of doing these things and now they come easier.

These are things that I would like to work on more in our home:

1.  Playing good uplifting music more often.

2.  Not being so frustrated at the kids when they do kid things (like spill their milk which happens almost daily)  This will increase the feeling of love in our home.

3.   Talk about spiritual things daily and apply them in our family.  Sometimes this happens without planning on my part (something happens during the day where we can talk about what Jesus would want us to do).  But it needs to be a more concerted effort on my part to talk to them daily about the gospel.

4.  Create an atmosphere of service.  There exists a great spirit when we are focused out on others, not inward on ourselves.

Further insight:
Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Environment of our Homes”
Brent L. Topp and Bruce A. Chadwick “Helping Children Develop Feelings of Self-Worth”
Donald L. Staheli, “Striving for Family Unity”

Family School

After seeing my friend Amber’s post on her family school, I decided to do something similar with my family.  First it started off with both Katie and Rachel participating (fighting over who gets to hold the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance).  But then we took an extended vacation.  Now, just Katie and I do family school while Rachel is napping.

Our family school consists of:

1.  The Pledge of Allegiance.  Katie has no idea what she is talking about, but she can say the whole thing.
2.  Roll call.  Very important to make sure all two of us are here.
3.  A page out of a preschool workbook.  We just finished Z in the letter workbook, so now we have to come up with something different.
4.  A song.  Today was Row, Row, Row Your Boat.  Sometimes it’s the Alphabet Song, or Five Little Monkeys.
5.  Spanish review.  I had always hoped to teach Katie Spanish, but have given up trying to speak to her fluently during the day.  So we review vocabulary that I have taught her and words she learned in her 6 week Spanish course that I enrolled her in.
6.  Something random that comes to mind.  Today I tried to teach her the concept of addition.  She didn’t really get it, but it was just an introduction.  I am also thinking of teaching her how to memorize a poem or something.
7.  Sometimes we review scriptures that we have been working on as a family.  Just depends on how much time we have.

Katie really looks forward to doing school everyday and asks after lunch when is it time for Family School.  I actually really look forward to it too, because I have the privilege to be her teacher and see her learn.  Not every mom has the opportunity to teach basic skills to their children and for that I am grateful I can.

Rachel, magnified


One of my most favorite things about having kids is the way they relieve stress by making you laugh.  Our kids are getting to be so funny!  Not a day goes by that we don’t laugh about something they do.  It really makes my job as mommy the best job ever!  I am so grateful for both of my girls and their little personalities.  I am so blessed.

This picture was taken by Katie using Grandma’s camera while Scott was fixing Grandma’s computer.  With my help of course.  🙂

Annual leaf raking at Grandma’s.


The air was crisp, but the sun was warm.  It was a beautiful day for raking leaves…one girl has a coat on and one girl doesn’t.  Can you guess who doesn’t like to wear their coat outside?  (Hint: it’s opposite from what the picture shows.)



Do you see Katie in the picture above?

Katie: “Pretend I’m a leaf and I fell from the tree and you raked me up into the pile.”



We ended the leaf raking party by jumping in the pile, making a “house” out of the leaves, and then having a picnic outside.

Follow up to setting new goals

My big goal is to eat healthy and feel better.  My eating has been horrible lately and I don’t feel great after I eat junk.  🙂

I usually eat whole grains, dairy, and fruits very well, so I am not going to set goals in those areas.  The following are the goals I am setting to help me in areas I struggle with the most:

1. At least 3 servings of vegetables each day.
2. 8 or more glasses of water
3. 1 serving or less of sweets

Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and Day are cheat days.  But I am starting tomorrow and going through Jan. 1.  (at least…with reassment of goals then.)

So I am going to put $5 in a can everyday I don’t accomplish my goals.

Setting new goals

Since I accomplished my biggest goal last weekend by completing a half marathon, I thought that I should set another goal.  I have always wanted to, but always struggled with eating healthy.  I was inspired by this post at This Week for Dinner.  The author started a “Happy Eats Club” where she and a few friends set individual goals for eating more healthy.  The rules are that each person sets up one goal to accomplish and then little goals to help them accomplish that one goal.  If they cheat, they put $5 in a community pot.  Then whoever cheats the least, gets to take all of the money.  And the person that cheats the most has to do something really embarrassing that all the other members of the club decide.

Here’s the rules of my “Happy Eats Club:”

1.  Set one big goal (ie Eat healthier, lose 10 pounds, etc.)
2.  Determine little goals that will help you accomplish your bigger goal
3.  Each day you don’t accomplish your goal, find $5 to put somewhere to eventually send to the winner (person that cheats the least)
4.  The person that cheats the most might not have to do something really embarrassing…that’s to be determined!  🙂

Would anyone else be interested in joining me?  Leave a comment if you are.