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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sisters in Zion

Almost exactly one year ago I wrote in my journal after church:

"The Relief Society president announced a change to the closing hymn. I flipped the pages to find we would be singing 'As Sisters in Zion' and was excited because it was one of Brittany's favorite songs. As the piano started I realized how much I miss listening to Brit practice. I fought back the tears as we began to sing. Sobbing through the last verse I realized how grateful I am to have sisters in Zion, even in Nebraska.

It is such a blessing to be in Relief Society each week and be spiritually fed. I didn't realize how much I have missed it. I know my testimony has grown as I have prepared lessons and Sharing Times over the years but it is SO nice to sit back and soak in the Spirit. I'm not sure what the Lord has in store for us here."

I never thought that a year later I would be called as the Relief Society president and be given the opportunity to serve the wonderful sisters here in the Sidney ward. I am scared, excited, overwhelmed, and overjoyed all at the same time. What does the Lord have in store for us?

"As sisters in Zion, we'll all work together;
The blessings of God on our labors we'll seek.
We'll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We'll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak."
Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, #309

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is it Halloween yet?

Zane is anxious for Halloween! He is sure that I am going to miss it because I am not even ready. It doesn't help that the stores have things out two months before the holiday comes.

Zane decided it was time to get some decorations up. He started with the pumpkin that he made in preschool.

He added some more scary pictures.

(Morgan helped him make some really scary ones.)

Then he found his black bug, also made in preschool.

But the scariest of all...

Can you read the green sign? Yep. It says "MOM" and I was a little offended. Zane assured me that he was just practicing writing my name and it doesn't mean that I am actually scary. Hummm... Now all we need are some real pumpkins.

Are you ready for Halloween?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Follow the Prophet

"And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them;"
Mosiah 2:6

I have been SO excited for conference weekend. About 3 months ago, I set a reminder on my phone for our Family Home Evening topic the Monday before conference. We read about king Benjamin in the Book of Mormon. We talked about how all the people came to listen to the prophet speak as they sat in their tents. We talked about the important things that were taught and how all the people felt the Spirit, believed the words, and wanted to obey.

Then I told the kids that we would have an opportunity to sit in our tents and listen to our prophet teach us. They were anxious all week for conference time to come.

Finally it was time! Last conference I gave the kids one key word and a giant bowl of chocolates. They got to pick a chocolate each time they heard the key word. This time I gave them 8 words and 8 treats. When they heard the word in a talk they got a treat from that bowl. They loved it! (I tried to do a mix of healthy and fun snacks.)

Then we pitched our tent and we were ready to listen, with a few coloring activities to keep the busy hands entertained.

What a wonderful weekend! It is such a blessing to be able to enjoy the Spirit, from the comfort of our home, as we listen to the words our loving Heavenly Father would have us hear. We are so thankful to have a living prophet upon the earth today to bring us messages of hope, peace, and love. I look forward to reading the talks and continuing to learn from them.

"Follow the prophet, he knows the way!"
(Children's Songbook)