Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spooks & Jack-O-Lanterns


Our ward Halloween party was the week before Halloween this year. It made it feel like we were celebrating for an entire week.

The kids dressed up as Kitty Soft Paws (from Puss in Boots) and Batman. They played games and won prizes. And they ate lots of goodies! A blizzard hit just as it was time for Trunk-or-Treat so the kids walked down the hall collecting their treats. Morgan even won a prize in the costume contest.

On Monday, we carved a big pumpkin that we brought home from Utah. The kids loved helping to clean out the pumpkin guts but decided to draw faces on their little ones.


It looked so SPOOKY with a candle inside!

 Then tonight, we dressed the kids up again and went to a few houses in town. Both kids wanted to go visit their teachers for special treats. 

Morgan was a little bummed because most people thought she was Cat Woman. Zane said next year he will be Puss in Boots so everyone will know who she is. What a good brother!

Sorting out all the treats!
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Families Can Be Together Forever!

We have been planning this day for a long time... hoping... waiting... praying for the right moment. This weekend it all came together, after some opposition and trials that made us wonder if we would make it. That just means it was the RIGHT thing to do.

Brittany was sealed to our family for time and all eternity! Our sealer told us that even though it may seem like we waited a very long time for this it was but a small moment in the grand scheme of eternity. So true! He also said Morgan and Zane probably wouldn't completely understand because they are so young. But I could see pure JOY radiating in their faces. Then when we returned to Brit's apartment, Zane gave her a huge hug and said, "I'm so glad you are part of our forever family!" They understand more than we think they do.

© 2002, Rick Satterfield

We are grateful to our friends and family who were able to come and share this special day with us!

Our drive to Utah was a little scary... and took almost 12 hours. We had a little snow and fog to deal with but it could have been so much worse. There was a major pile up on the eastbound lanes which closed the freeway from Rawlins to Laramie. So glad we weren't going that direction.

 Our living room window. It always snows sideways in Nebraska.

 This was at home a few days before we left. BRRRRR!
The drive was worth it though.


Courage to Try and Try Again

Morgan has wanted to get her ears pierced for a long time. Every little girl she would see with earrings, she would point out to me. She felt like she was the last girl on earth without holes in her ears.

When we visited Brittany this summer, she told Morgan she would take her to the mall the next time we came. As we were packing to leave for Logan, Morgan wondered if Brit remembered that "promise" she had made. 

Scott and I left the kids with Brit on Saturday morning to make a quick run to Smith & Edwards. (Scott can't be that close and not go there!) As we were heading back to Logan, Brit started texting me to let me know they were at the mall and Morgan did in fact want to get her ears pierced. After going back and forth for about 20 minutes I finally said, "If she really wants to do it then fine."

It's not that I didn't want her to have her ears pierced. It's just that I have taken this girl to get flu shots and stuff. She has BIG anxiety when it comes to the unknown and especially needles or anything she thinks may be painful. We've been working on overcoming some of her anxiety and I wasn't sure she was ready for this.

We made it to the mall and signed the paperwork. They had shown her how it's done using a teadybear and talked her through the process. We had to wait for the 2nd employee to get there so they could do both at the same time. We were finally ready!

The ears were cleaned. The purple dots were made. The guns were loaded. And....

Sweet Morgan FREAKED out. Finally the lady said this had to be Morgan's choice and if she didn't want to do it she could wait. We walked out of the store and towards the door but I knew if Morgan didn't do this now she would be devastated. I knew she would cry all the way home about the missed opportunity. I knew she would put herself down for not being brave enough.

Suddenly it was not about earrings. Now it was about overcoming fear and building self-esteem. We were all talking to her, trying to convince her to do it. She just wanted to see it being done on a real person first.

We walked back to the store to ask if we could try again. Another little girl had come to get her ears done as well. Yay! We stood and watched the entire process and I signed the papers again. When the other girl was done Morgan looked at me like, "That's it?" She was ready.

Brit held her on her lap and I held both her hands and reminded her to breathe. She said OWIE before they even did anything and then, click, it was done. That easy.

Tears rolled down her cheeks and she shouted, "I did it! I really did it!" It was a LONG 2 hours in the mall but it was worth it.

Sometimes in life, we have to have the courage to try, and then try again.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Maybe it was because of the wind. Maybe the earth is tilted. I don't know why, but this week has been the week of injuries. Maybe we are just clumsy...

When you send your kids to school and then leave town for dental work, you hope and pray nothing happens to your children. Tuesday, we were returning from Cheyenne when Morgan's school called. Wiped out on pain meds and my mouth still numb, I answered to find out Morgan had been in an accident. (It's never good when the school nurse calls.) She had ice on her ankle but the nurse suggested I may need to have it looked at by our doctor.

The ankle seemed to be sprained so we wrapped it up and tried to keep her off of it. She also woke up the next morning with a very sore neck and several bruises on her knees and elbows. Moral of the story: When racing a friend on the playground, watch out for benches.

Zane also came home that day with tear-stained cheeks. Playing soccer on recess, he was hit in the stomach with the ball. Man, recesses are dangerous!

Yesterday afternoon my phone rang again. This time it was Zane's school calling to let me know he tripped and fell running to get on the bus after school. She said he had a goose egg on his head and they put an ice pack on it. He came home with said goose egg, a glowing red nose, and a black eye. The scrape on his knee was almost missed because most of the damage was done to his face.

Rule for today - no running or playing soccer!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My ADD Life - Skirt!

My days are different now that all my kids are in school. When your day is filled with: "I'm hungry!" "He won't share!" "Mooommm, I'm doooone!" you don't always have the time to do what you NEED to do let alone what you WANT to do. Something as simple as sewing on a button gets left for another day.

My grandma makes me towels with the crochet top that buttons onto the handle of my stove. My supply is running low and my only clean one was missing a button. I went to find a button that would work. 

I found a button and I also found a chunk of fabric I had bought 2 years ago to make myself a skirt. The fabric was washed and ready to be cut out and stitched. Hummm... I don't hear any little voices calling me to do anything else.

I sewed on a button then quickly forgot that I was cleaning the kitchen. I dug out my sewing machine and went to work on my skirt. It's been a while since I made something just for me.

Now I have something special to wear for our special day in a couple weeks. ('s a secret.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tooth Fairy Visits

Zane was feeling left out. The Tooth Fairy has visited Morgan several times and it just wasn't fair. Last month he was eating an apple and said his tooth hurt when he took a bite. He had not one loose tooth but TWO. Oh the JOY!

A week later, he was eating a peanut butter sandwich and started crying. One tooth was tilted and blood was dripping down his chin. (Gross!) I told him to hurry and swallow his mouthful of sandwich so we could get the tooth out. (Not really safe when it's peanut butter but we were all in a panic.) He was crying and Morgan was screaming and I was trying to be louder than them both. Phew!

Almost exactly a month later, the second little tooth was ready. This time Zane reached in and yanked it out himself. No tears. All smiles.

My little boy is growing up!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pioneer Girl For a Day

Morgan was so excited to go to the pioneer school and be a "pioneer girl" for the day. She was so excited, she didn't sleep much last night. "I think it will be so cool to live like a pioneer. But not all the time. Just for one day maybe."

Morgan was also excited that I was coming with her. We packed our lunch of jerky, muffins, and apples in our basket and loaded into the wagon (bus) early this morning. It was a long ride out to the Flowerfield school in Banner County.

 The teacher, Miss Herdel, started the day by ringing the bell. Time to line up, boys on one side and girls on the other, for boys and girls are not allowed to co-mingle, and it is always ladies first.

 They started their school day as if they were in the year 1888. They said the Pledge of Allegiance as it would have been said then and sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" with the pump organ.This was the "new" school house / church / community center that had been built to replace the original school.

 The kids read from their readers at the recitation bench. They practiced their orthology (spelling) and their arithmetic on slates.
 And they took turns going to the original school house to practice their penmanship.
The original building was about 10x10 inside and at one time there were 21 students who met here. One cold, snowy, windy, winter day they even brought a horse inside for the school day.

 Ms. Thompson showed them how to dip just the end of their quill into the inkwell.

 Writing with a feather is harder than it looks.

 Morgan volunteered to help show how the dunce cap was worn. They had a lot of rules to follow back then and the punishments were pretty severe. Miss Herdel carried the rod and used it to point to things but she also explained how it was used to give lashings. Ouch!

 Before they could eat lunch, the children had to wash their hands with lye soap. The doctor had just come through town and explained how important it is to wash hands and keep clean. Everyone must bathe once a week. Doctors orders. Once per winter is simply not enough.

 The kids paused for a group picture.

 Then we went to the picnic shelter for lunch. (We did have some modern conveniences like real toilets too.) We tried to stay in the sunshine because there was an icy breeze blowing.

 Then we got to see what life would have been like in a log cabin. Because trees in this part of the state were hard to come by, not many homesteaders had log homes.

 The kids learned about chamber pots and bustles, and wash tubs for bathing in. Most decided it would have been best to be the youngest in the family back then. Sharing the same bath water did not sound so fun.

 Covered wagons were called prairie schooners because they looked like little boats floating through the sea of tall grass. On the other side of the state, the grass was 8 feet tall or higher.

 The sod house was even smaller than the school house. And very cold inside! (Sod is good insulation.) With a dirt floor, the bathe water was poured right onto the floor inside. This helped settle the dust until enough manure was collected to make a nice finish on the floor.

 The bird cage in the background would normally have been hung on a hook outside the front door. The settlers came from the East, where there were trees and birds. They would catch a bird and keep it in a cage by the front door so they wouldn't be so homesick.

We also visited the General Store which was made from rock. Most of the buildings in this area were made from sod or rock. A lot of settlers lived in dugouts in the side of a hill until they were able to get their homes built. If the family could live on the land, and improve it, for 5 years then they got to keep their 640 acres free of charge.

What a great way for the kids to learn about the life of a pioneer!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Journey of Learning

I always look forward to General Conference weekend. I love to hear the inspiring messages from our Prophet and Apostles! It's hard to pick a favorite because I was inspired by every talk.

Having recently met the new General Relief Society President, Linda Burton, made her talk extra special. Her topic is also something that has been on my mind a lot lately. She pointed out how we are surrounded by people who need our help. I loved her call to action:

First observe, then serve.

I also loved her reminder to not just help someone in the way we think they need help. Instead we need to find out what help they actually need. (We wouldn't put a bandaid on a broken arm and call it a good deed.) Sometimes, it takes a little effort to find out what the real need is. Always, it takes guidance by the Spirit to know how best to help. And President Monson reminded us to act right away when a prompting comes.

I also loved President Monson's challenge. He asked us to take a step back and look for all the blessings we have had in our lives. Often we overlook the little blessings that come to us. He said, "Take an inventory of your life and record the blessings you've received over the years." What a great way to increase your gratitude!

We are so blessed!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

General Conference Time

Last April I put together activities and snacks in baggies for the kids to enjoy during conference. They loved it! They listened carefully to see who was speaking next and which bag would be opened.

A few weeks ago I saw this idea to make little felt bags. With the limited resources in our small town, I cleaned the shelf at Walmart to make my own felt conference bags. (No, I am not becoming a Huskers fan. Red felt was my only option.) It came down to the 11th hour but I finished all 15 of them!

The great thing about these is the kids can't see what's inside. They were eager with anticipation to find out what the next speaker would bring. And even though they weren't completely reverent, and spent most of the 2nd session under the dining table, I was impressed with how much they actually picked up on.

As I tucked them into bed, I asked each what they remembered most from conference. Zane said, "They all talked about love. Love your neighbor. Love God. Love each other. It's all about love." Wow! So wise. Morgan remembered a story that was shared about a bishop going to visit a lady in the hospital and the other lady in the room hiding. We had a little discussion about how God knows where we are and does indeed hear and answer our prayers.
We love conference weekend!

the JOY of SNOW!

 The kids bounded out of bed at 6:30 am. It was almost as if they could smell the snow, or even hear it as large flakes softly fell. On school days, I am dragging them out of bed. But not this Saturday morning... they were up and getting dressed for snow play.

My rule is it has to be at least 32 degrees before I let my young children play outside. I forced them to sit down and eat some breakfast and I made sure the fire was roaring hot, then we bundled up.

By 9:00 we had almost 5 inches of wet, heavy snow. The tree branches looked like they were going to break and the snow was still falling. The flakes eventually became smaller but it continued to snow most of the day.

 After a couple hours, the kids came inside completely soaked. We dried their clothes by the fire and sipped hot cocoa while we enjoyed watching General Conference.

 Zane's cat was wishing he could come inside too. Perched on a 4 inch fence post, staring at the snow, he seemed to be saying, "What is this cold stuff?"

We went from summer straight to winter. But no fear. Monday we are supposed to be back to summer again.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Butter

I am a huge fan of Apple Butter and a huge fan of anything pumpkin. One day I stumbled across a recipe for Pumpkin Butter. Could it be as good as the apple version? I had to try it.

Pumpkin Butter is so good! It's good on pancakes and waffles. It's good on biscuits and rolls. It turns a plain piece of toast into a tasty, pumpkin treat. In fact, Zane preferred to eat it as a side dish. You must try it!