Saturday, December 31, 2011

Finishing the Year With a Bang

It was a long, busy day. We got home late. Had dinner late. The kids were rushing around picking up things before they put pajamas on. Suddenly, Zane was jumping up and down, crying, gasping for breath, and blood was streaming from his forehead. He had tripped and hit his head on the corner of the bench at the dining table.

I felt like an octopus mom as I started grabbing paper towels and ice while holding my hand on Zane's head. After a few minutes I peaked at the wound. Man it was big!

I took him to the ER and they took us right back. The doctor kept looking at the wound and teasing Zane about being chased by girls. When he said the girls were gonna love the scar and would be all over him, Zane was about to climb off the table. Finally the doctor said, "It's big enough to need stitches but it's in a good spot for gluing. I sure hate stitching on these little guys." And glue it was. (Can't wait to see how much that tube of super glue cost.)

So, head wounds must make a person hungry. When we got home Zane asked for 2 pancakes with applesauce. (Remember, we had just finished dinner before the accident happened.) I snapped a picture real quick while he was eating. And a side note - Oxyclean really does a great job at getting out blood stains.

Tonight, Zane took a bath and we uncovered the wound to make sure it was healing. Morgan was concerned about the brown stuff and then remembered how many baths it took to wash off her belly after her surgery last spring. "Don't worry. It will come off someday."

The gash is 3/4 of an inch long. Yep. I measured it. It seams to be healing though and hasn't bothered him too much. New rule in our house: No skipping, no running, no hopping!

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Christmas!

Morgan was the first one up and ready to open gifts! She patiently surveyed the gifts and quietly waited for Zane to wake up. (I was never that patient!) At 8:00 Scott couldn't wait any longer and woke Zane up. We had church at 10:00 so it was time to get things done!

This summer Zane REALLY wanted a "Cars" blanket. I promised he would get one for Christmas. I kept my promise and he was SO glad I remembered.

We gave them a few minutes to play and then it was off to church.

I woke up in a slump. I was feeling a little Charlie Brownish. I was sad Brittany wasn't with us. I was mad that Santa brought the kids BB guns when I specifically said NO. I could feel the tears building but was determined to smile. After all, it was Christmas!

Then my phone started ringing. My mom had been life-flighted early that morning for an emergency blood transfusion. Worried and unsure of her condition, we headed to church.

Every song we sang brought tears to my eyes. Tears of gratitude for my Savior. Tears of sadness for my Brittany. Tears of concern for my mom. Scott hugged me and asked if I was going to be okay. I choked through the closing song and wiped my eyes.

We had a wonderful ham dinner with homemade scalloped potatoes and spent a quiet afternoon at home. Scott took the kids outside to try out the new guns. Zane came in with a huge grin, "This is the best Christmas EVER!" he announced. His words brought joy to my heart.

After talking to my dad I felt much better. He was calm and taking care of things at home. I also got to talk to Brittany and finally felt the peace that I had been looking for all day. I am so thankful for modern technology that makes those miles seem a little shorter.

I am also thankful that Scott had the entire day off. I can't remember that ever happening. It was nice to be at home together! And then I wept tears of joy.

{ Christmas Eve }

All too quick, Christmas Eve was here. Scott grew up with the tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. After 11 years of marriage, I now willing participate in the tradition. We always open the gifts from Scott's aunt and uncle which usually includes some pajamas. This year I was the only one who got new pajamas. (I slept warm and cozy!)

The kids got some fun things to play with...

And new coats!
Way more than I expected and so very appreciated!

The Christmas story was read and the kids tucked into bed. My heart ached that Brittany and Levi were not with us.

Festive Preparations

Is it Christmas yet?!
My new calling required a lot of extra time before Christmas. It was so fun to help with the Ward Christmas fireside, put together the Relief Society Christmas dinner, create 13 food baskets for the widows, and organize a Giving Tree project. (As well as help a few families who would not have had food for Christmas.) I have a fabulous presidency which makes it even more fun to serve!

We went to Morgan's Christmas Program at school and sang some songs with the kids. (I love living in a community where we celebrate Christmas and not Winter. The kids even sang songs about Jesus. At school!)

We found time to make gingerbread cookies.
(Don't look too close. My cutter creates a gingerbread boy with a club foot.)

Zane loved squeezing the frosting from the bag!

Morgan just loved frosting! Everything!

I found time to make a gift. (I have a box of fabric for gits that didn't get made.) I LOVE the Welcome Sign and am anxious to make one for my shelf too.

I made some cards for a gift at our party.

And more cards for the kids to give to teachers and friends.

I usually type a full page newsletter to send to family and friends but this year it wasn't coming together. Then we received a card from amazing friends and I knew that was my answer. I totally copied her and had my pictures uploaded, news written, and cards ordered in one evening. I wasn't sure I would have them in time to send out before Christmas but I decided to just not worry about it. Check that off my To Do list.

And... we decided to make scripture tote bags for the past presidency. We each stitched together a bag (I didn't get any pictures) and then I made a cute little card. They were adorable! Trust me.
Is it Christmas yet?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Modern Day Mother

This is one of my favorite prints!

Modern-day Mother in Zion © Anita Mae Hart-Carroll
oil on board, 8th International Art Church History Art Competition

Prints can be purchased by contacting Anita at

As I attended our Stake Conference this weekend, this image kept coming to my mind. So many spoke about the need to strengthen our homes and families.

Some things I learned:

** We need to contend for the best conditions to raise our children. I am no "ordinary chicken." I need to do all I can to protect my family from the dangers that are out there.

** Faith is more than belief - it is ACTION. When you are doing what is right you are truly happy.

** Ask what you can do better and live your testimony every day.

** We must teach our children correct principles and how to stand for truth and righteousness at all times. Even when it seems they are not listening, they are. When they need it the most, they will remember the testimony you bore to them.

** Great blessings come from attending the temple!

** "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Life is meant to be enjoyed. At those times when we can't laugh at the experience, lift up your head, be of good chear, and turn to Christ who can heal ALL wounds.

** Sometimes life is a bunch of dots - we must figure out how to connect those dots. Scriptures, prayer, and patriarchal blessings will help us find the path.

** Don't lose your focus! Keep your eye on your goal of eternal life and you will have the faith to endure your trials and be strong for your families.

I also have 10 things we can do to strenghen our marriages. (That might just be another post.) It was such a wonderful weekend! I was especially thankful for the opportunity to attend the Saturday session with my husband who has to work most Sundays.

We live in a scary world. Our children need us to step up, wearing the armor of God, and defend and protect them. When you are on the Lord's side you can not fail!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Week of {Thanks}

A few days before Thanksgiving, Zane saw a picture of a turkey saying, "Eat Pizza!" Getting ready for bed Thanksgiving night he said, "We forgot to say that before we ate!"

It was a rough week for us. Morgan had the flu the week before which, naturally for her, ended with tonsillitis this week. The flu bug got Zane Sunday night and Scott Monday night. I was THANKFUL we had plans to have dinner with some friends in town, THANKFUL we weren't travelling far, and THANKFUL I didn't have to cook a turkey.

Wednesday we spent the morning running around and got Morgan into the doctor's office just before they closed for the holiday. I was THANKFUL for modern medicine and THANKFUL it only took 45 minutes to get the prescription filled.

We barely made it home before the flu bug knocked me down. I was THANKFUL for my husband and my wonderful secretary who finished up with the dinner deliveries. And honestly, I was THANKFUL for a moment to rest.

Scott made dinner for the kids. Zane promptly threw up that wonderful dinner. My time of rest was over. I was THANKFUL my stomach was empty as I cleaned up the mess and Scott bathed Zane.

Thursday morning I woke up feeling better but wishing my pies had baked themselves. We made it to our friend's house just in time to enjoy a wonderful afternoon with good food and good friends. The kids filled their tummies and played nicely. I was THANKFUL for friends, family, and an abundance of blessings!

Friday we ate pizza for dinner. Just for Zane. And the turkeys.

Is it Patriots or Pioneers?

(I know I'm a little behind... My new calling has kept me busier than I ever imagined. But that's okay. I love to be of service and I have had the opportunity to involve my kids too.)

For a few weeks before Veteran's Day, Morgan would come home from school singing her program songs. She had a few questions as she tried to understand what a Veteran is. The most confusing for her was understanding how a Patriot is different from a Pioneer.

Zane loved the HUGE flag! He took a million pictures of it as we waited for the program to start. This was his favorite one with a pink hue.

All the kids did a great job. A few of Morgan's friends sang solo parts and did fabulous! The kids all had little speaking parts that they memorized. I was impressed!

Scott was waiting for a cattle truck so we had to sit towards the back which made it tricky to get any good pictures. I did 3 movies and all of them have choppy sound so I probably won't share them. Just as Morgan stood at the microphone to say her part a guy stood up to take his baby out and walked right in front of my camera. We could hear her but couldn't see her. Boo.

"We would rather die on our feet than live on our knees." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On This Date in History...

I wasn't really sure I was in labor. It was still almost 2 weeks before my due date and 2 days earlier the doctor said the baby was not ready. I showered, ate some breakfast, and then called the nurse. She said go get checked at the hospital. No big deal.

I packed a bag, just in case. My little sister didn't have school so I made her come with me. (She wasn't even 14 years old yet so I'm not sure what she could have done, but at least I wasn't alone.) As I drove I would come to a stop sign and have a contraction. Another contraction hit as we came to a red light. By the time I parked the car, in visitor parking, the contractions were coming fast and furious. I had to sit on the stairs that led to the lower parking lot and wait out a contraction. When I got to the admitting desk they said sign here and get into this wheelchair.

My mom barely made it to the hospital before Brittany was born. My sister wished she had school. (She vowed she would never have children.) And Brittany was born in time for lunch.

My little Brit was anxious to see the world!

It's amazing that they enter the world so small and helpless! Then, in what feels like the blink of an eye, they're all grown up and getting married.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Brittany!
(Thank you for letting me practice my parenting skills on you.)

Family Night

"And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another."
Mosiah 18:21

For Family Home Evening we had a lesson on unity. We had a good discussion (Morgan asked lots of questions and gave a good example of people working together to build a house) and then we worked together to make a yummy dessert.

As we worked, their hearts were truly "knit together in unity and in love" and they helped each other make delicious mini chocolate pies. It was a SWEET night!

Hopefully they will always remember...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Productive Weekend

After the WINTER storm last week, and the promise of another this week, we realized that our small stash of wood is not going to last long. It's time to get serious about finding firewood!

I love the sound of a chainsaw. I guess it just brings back fond memories of many summer days spent hauling wood when I was a kid. We would pack a lunch and drive a few minutes into the mountains. Sometimes we got to ride down the mountain on the huge stack of wood in the back of the pickup. (Back when seatbelts weren't required.)

Now we live in a tree-less state and we have a wood stove. Morgan and Zane were so confused when I said we were going wood cutting. Strange how something that was a huge part of my childhood is a mysterious activity to them.

Nope. That's not a monkey in the tree. Scott climbed up to cut off a dead branch. Maybe not the safest way to do it but he got it done. And boy can he move quick with a running chainsaw and limbs falling all around. We only had a few minor scratches.

Just a few miles from our house is a row of trees separating the corn field from the road. Not quite the experience I was thinking of but the kids had fun climbing on down limbs and searching for corn cobs that had been left behind in the field. We did find some decent wood and had the truck loaded in about an hour. We planned out our next trip for another load, hopefully before it snows too much.

Scott spent the morning hunting with some friends and then went back out in the evening before it got too dark. There are hundreds of pheasant living in the field behind our house. We made a small dent in the population so it will be safe for Brittany to come visit us. :o)

Anyone want to come for tacos?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Fun

This has been a super BUSY week! We've managed to squeeze in some fun though.

Last night was our Ward Trunk-or-Treat Halloween party. (We are bursting at the seams in our little building.) Lots of good food and good FUN! Even though it was below freezing, we had to drag the kids out of the parking lot. We came home with loads of candy and an awesome Frankenstein cake that Zane won in the Cake Walk.

My 3 little spooks.

The MOST handsome vampire I've ever seen!

And the cutest SCARY butterfly I've ever seen.

We started out our day with a chilly WINTER storm. Digging my car out made us a little late for preschool but Zane was excited to see snow. No time to play then.

When we got home, Zane made a snow angel but I wouldn't let him stay outside by himself. He heard Morgan's bus at 2:45 and ran to the closet shouting, "Hooray! Morgan is home! Now she can play with me!" He was digging out snow boots and gloves when Morgan walked in the door. I helped them get bundled up. Zane could not stand still as I zipped his coat. "Oh, I am SO anxious!" he giggled. Then he asked, "What does anxious mean?" I explained excited and not wanting to wait for something. He said, "Yep. I'm anxious."

They only had time to build 2 walls of their igloo before it was time to rush off to parent teacher conference. (Zane asked if we could just watch the conference on TV so they could go back out and play in the snow.)

We had a YUMMY Relief Society activity last week and I was inspired to add more whole wheat to our diet. I remember my mom making hot wheat cereal but I have never been brave enough to try. This week I cooked my first pot of wheat berries and we had a healthy breakfast of wheat cereal with peaches and a side of zucchini bread. Zane only ate one bite but he said it was yummy. Morgan ate hers all gone.

Another first, I made a delicious Pig Cake. (Not as pretty as the Pioneer Woman but very tasty.) A little bit of tropical goodness is always welcome on a chilly day. It has forever been one of my favorites so why have I never made it? I think I ate most of the cake myself.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Volleyball Boot Camp

We have spent the last month watching Morgan attend, what felt like, Volleyball Boot Camp. It was only twice a week but the practices were so intense. Morgan learned tons!

  1. Don't be the last person in the relay line

  2. Jumping jacks take a lot of coordination

  3. Keep your eye on the ball, but not literally

  4. Overhand serve

  5. Pass, Set, Spike

  6. Down and ready!



She so desperately wanted to get her serves over the net. She is determined to keep practicing so she can do it next year.

Go Mo!

Missionary Boys

Having been on the receiving end of letters from missionaries, I know that they often share funny experiences. Hopefully, the missionaries we had in our home for dinner recently are not writing home about us.

I woke up Friday morning to a messy house and a message on my phone from the missionaries. I forgot I had signed up to feed them that night. My schedule was packed but I knew we would make it work.

Thankfully, Scott had the day off. While I took kids to school and went to meetings all morning he cleaned the house. I picked him up at the truck repair shop and hurried home to get some food in the crockpot for dinner. I got some work done and then we hurried back to pick up his truck.

At 5:00 my stew was still CRUNCHY and my rolls were not rising. I remained calm. I put an apple crisp in the oven, hoping the heat would help the rolls rise, and then quickly transferred the stew to a pot on the stove.

The missionaries arrived just after 5:30 as I was putting the rolls in the oven and the stew was madly boiling away. It was nice to visit with them and Scott explained how a feedlot operates. (One grew up around ranches in Oregon and the other likes to trail ride.)

We ate our al dente stew and small rolls. I pulled out the apple crisp and it had cooked too long – the apples had turned to apple sauce. The boys ate it all but that doesn’t mean it was really good. They’re growing boys.

As we finished eating Zane promptly relieved his gas. (He did get up from the table first and stand behind me to do so.) It was loud enough that it could not be ignored. AND I did NOT want them thinking it was me. I excused my son and explained he is lactose intolerant.

The missionaries were great sports. I think the one was a little flustered. He spilled his juice. He apologized. It was an interesting dinner party. Fortunately we ended with a good, spiritual message before they were on their way.


I can only imagine the letters that went home! And it makes me think about the letters I will receive someday when my own son is a missionary. Zane is hoping to serve a mission in Idaho when he gets big.