Two New Milestones

for my 6-year-old this week. She's taught herself to snap, and SHE CAN TAKE PILLS NOW. For any of you, in the last 6 1/2 years, who have had to worry whether Allison finished her medicine that day, where the sippy cup was with her medicine, etc, well, worry no more. As long as her mother remembers to hand it to her every day, we're good. Woohoo!



The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, I confess. I'm addicted.
Ribbons, ribbons, ribbons... coming out of my ears! Big wired ones on rolls to put on gifts, curling ribbon in all different colors, tiny floss to sew with, CTMH ribbon rounds on little spools, fibers stuffed in drawers, 1/2 inch ribbons wrapped around cardboard, and LOTS and LOTS of ribbon storage solutions, cardboard boxes, drawers, stashed all over my desk, pinned up on the wall... I have so many that I really don't know what I have! Someone please come help me organize them - Jackie??! I want them all in one place!

Fellow crafters/scrappers/stampers: HOW do you organize all of your ribbons?? Share ideas please!


Lefty, loosey.

One of Allison's little bottom teeth is loose! She can't WAIT until it comes out, and keeps asking me which day it's going to happen. She had a dentist appt. yesterday, and the dentist gave her a little plastic tooth necklace to hold the tooth when the blessed event finally does occur. She's worn the necklace constantly since, even to bed last night too. I had to convince her not to wear it during gymnastics today, and I'm sure her teacher at the gym heard ALL about it, as I know all the kids at school did. We'll have to approach the idea of the tooth fairy tomorrow, so she knows she'll get some cash out of the deal! Now I wonder where the little tooth fairy pillow I bought years ago ended up...

Love it!

Happy things.

Visiting teaching.
Sunny Arizona days in January.
Dixie Chicks music.
Kids that travel well.
A DVD player in my car.
An easy-going baby who likes to explore.
Gymnastics leotards on a skinny string bean 4-year-old.
Coke Zero with vanilla.
Fat- and calorie-free Oreos. Yeah, if only...


President Hinckley,

if you haven't heard, passed away this evening. Allison's comment when I told her? "But he was my favorite prophet!" Yeah, me too.Here's the story.

“Our lives are the only meaningful expression of what we believe and in Whom we believe.
And the only real wealth, for any of us, lies in our faith.”

Proof that Josh has hair.

Can you say "Bed Head"?


And here's try #2.

Wow. I made this in about 30 minutes. It even has journaling already. Maybe there IS something to this...

A work in progress.

Okay I lied. I tried it out - digital scrapbooking, that is. Here's my first attempt. Not the best choice of pics with this paper kit, but they were the first files I could grab from my computer. Have to remember how to put photo edges on again... this stuff should be like riding a bicycle, right?


I'm just a little pawn in the huge chess game of life.

No, more like a speck of dust that settles on the board as everyone else is playing chess.

Sigh. I've been nervous/excited for this upcoming activity in TWO DAYS. Nervous, because we've never done anything like this before. Excited, because I feel like it's actually something REAL that will make a difference to someone clear across the world, fun! Nervous, because we're asking people to dig deep in their hearts and their tiny reserves of time and their pockets to come up with everything we need for this activity.....! Crossing my fingers!

I was disheartened, today, though, as I tried to jump through some local merchants' hoops hoping to get some donations of requested items. Simple, right? Yeah, not so much. No one I talked to had any power, or else they referred me to someone else, Oh that guy isn't working, we gave at the office, yada yada yada... sigh. I couldn't even get a post office to give me more than four flat rate boxes, even though they had a whole box in the back room. Seriously?

Granted, had this activity been planned months ago, instead of a couple of weeks ago, we probably could have had more of our ducks in a row... but alas... hopefully it will all turn out okay. It always seems to, somehow. Maybe the Lord really does watch over me and care about the puny little things that I stress over.

Sally and I did not know what to do.

It's been a bummer of a week, with Josh sick, Manda catching something that will most likely result in yet another trip to the pediatrician tomorrow (SERIOUSLY, HOW MANY MORE COPAYS DO YOU ALL WANT FROM ME?) and me, well, they should just pretty much lock me in my room and tent the whole place to fumigate, I've been so yuck, for so long.

But a highlight...Allison read ME a bedtime story last night. The Cat in the Hat. All 60 some pages of it. She's amazing. Had a couple of problems with "would" "should" and I don't think she'd ever seen the word "tame", but all in all she did great! She even knew to lift her voice at the end of a question. Pretty cool!


Sweet Service for our Service

Here is the list items requested by the troops. If you'd like to donate anything for our upcoming "care package" activity, please email me for more info.

Suggested items:

FOOD: Any ready-to-eat food items
• Kool Aid Singles (pre-sweetened)
• Crystal Lite Singles
• PRE-SWEETENED powdered drink mixes (Gatorade, KoolAid, etc)
• Vanilla wafers ('Nilla Wafers)
• Boxed or canned potato chips
• Canned salsa
• Bean dip or other canned dip for chips
• Canned fruit
• Canned tuna or pouches of tuna
• Star-Kist tuna "Lunches To Go"
• Star-Kist Chicken "Lunches To Go"
• Power bars
• Energy bars
• Breakfast bars
• Boxed or canned cookies
• Kellogg® Pop Tarts
• Trail mix
• Peanut butter in plastic container
• Jelly in plastic container
• Ritz crackers
• Wheat Thin crackers
• Rice Krispie bars
• Granola bars
• BREAKFAST CEREAL individual sized
• SMALL size hot sauce in plastic jars
• Ziplock baggies in snack, sandwich, quart, and gallon sizes. These are used to preserve freshness and
prevent damage from leaks, plus the troops re-use them to keep other items fresh and clean.

Personal & Hygiene:
(new, preferably in mfg packaging)
• Cool-Tie type neck wraps
• Foot powder (Gold Bond, etc.) (NEEDED!)
• Lip balm (Blistex, Carmex, etc.)
• Eye wash
• Travel size pillows and pillowcases (new only please)
• Twin size bed sheets and pillow cases (new only please)
• 1" paint brushes (to clean fine dust out of guns)
• Fine makeup brushes (also to clean guns)
• Talcum powder - small size
• Deodorant (men's STICK deodorant) (NEEDED!)
• Body wash for MEN - small size, plastic container (NEEDED!) — FRAGRANCE FREE if possible... or neutral fragranced body wash so men can use it.
• Mouthwash - small plastic containers
• Toothpaste (trial size is great!)
• Toothbrushes, individually boxed
• Hand Lotion - small to medium size
• Body Lotion - small to medium size - NEUTRAL
fragrance or fragrance free
• Personal/body wipes (or baby wipes)
• Band aids
• Shampoo (small to medium size bottles)
• Disposable razors, double or more bladed
• Shaving gel (NOT aerosol) (NEEDED!)
• Aftershave gel (no glass bottles)
• Nail clippers
• Eyeglass cleaner

For Female Personnel:
• Hair bands
• Hair clips
• Small mirrors
• Non-aerosol hair spray
• Hair gel
• Facial cleanser
• Facial moisturizer lotion

• Disposable cameras
• Hand held video games (poker, solitaire, etc.)
• Board games (used okay) up to 10" long box
• Crossword puzzles
• AA & AAA batteries
• Frisbees
• Dominoes
• Yo-yo's
• Stationery, pens, envelopes, etc.
• Beanie Baby-type small stuffed toys
(for soldiers to give to local children)

Please Note !
1. All merchandise donated should be NEW and preferably in original manufacturer's packaging, with a few exceptions as noted above items.
2. Please avoid donating items in glass containers.
3. Please avoid larger items such as quart size shampoo or large mouthwash.
4. Plastic containers are best, in sizes up to about 8 " tall.
5. The above listed items are SUGGESTED items to donate, based on input we have received from deployed personnel. Remember, there are many other things you can donate... let your imagination guide you as you shop for things a
19- to 40-year-old might miss from Home!


Finally, DO NOT SEND:
• Anything that melts (if you just must send chocolate, send M&Ms)
• Waterless Hand Cleaner/Sanitizer - generally makes mud, wipes are preferred
• Flashlights - Everybody has one and never gets to use it due to visible light discipline restrictions.
• Compass - Everybody SHOULD already have one attached to their Load Bearing Vest/Harness
• Sun Screen - already issued in mass quantities, drowning in the stuff.


I love my brother. And my mom's camera.

And so it begins...

Such a good boy, helping with the dishes and everything!!

Or maybe he just wanted to play in the water...

The days of child locks are coming quickly, methinks.

Or not, maybe we can just keep him captive under a chair.


Double What infections??

After weeks of a bug in our house manifesting itself in one fashion or another in each of us, (funny, because ALL of us had flu shots EXCEPT Allison - and she's the one in school!) Allison finally caught it this week. It hit her with a ton of bricks on Sunday morning. After almost three days of fever, chills, non-eating and vomiting, I took her to the doctor yesterday afternoon. Turns out she had not one but TWO ear infections, but hadn't complained about her ears hurting one bit. Hmmm... along with a Rx for antibiotics, they also gave her a shot to stop the vomiting that knocked her out cold for the night at 6pm. I never knew such a thing existed! How many times have pediatricians just told me to keep trying pedialyte, sip by sip - and watch for dehydration - - when all they had to do was give one silly injection to stop the throwing up??? Sheesh! She was almost good as new this morning and was pleased as punch to get back to school. Maybe life will get back to normal now...


If she were a bathtub, I would caulk her.

{Insert Happy Sigh Here.}

I love American Idol. Gush, gush... even in its seventh season, these people with their absurd auditions still freakin' make me laugh out loud. Bless this country for its never-ending supply of crazy. You can't tell me the guy who waxed his chest didn't make you smirk, even just a little. Come on. Admit it.

FHE Sign

Does anyone else want to make one of these with me? I have a friend who will cut the vinyl, so we could share the costs of the lettering & the shipping...

Deirdre do you have a router?


Best of 2007

Best movie you saw last year?
hmmm... I am Legend, Enchanted, Bourne Ultimatum, Casino Royale

Best trip you took?
Disneyland was fun, Maryland was fun...

Best book you read?
Tie between the Twilight series and the Deathly Hollows. End of an era, you know.

Best choice you made?
Sending Allison to this school. Taking the job at SRP.

New thing you learned in 2007?
Blogging, baby!

Biggest purchase?
My new computer.

Best memory?
Josh laughing at Allison's antics

Best party you attended?
The Johnny Lingo Luau!

Biggest thing you accomplished?
I had a baby!


Conversation with Manda

after stepping, and almost slipping, on a little beaded bracelet on the floor in the kitchen.

"Manda, can you please take care of your bracelet so Mommy doesn't step on it anymore?"

Manda — "You just need to look out for it, Mom."




Hello all.
As I'm sure most of you know, Tony passed away yesterday morning. I'm in the midst of compiling all of the sentiments that were emailed/blogged in the last week into a book for Francelle and the family. My eyes are blurry with tears as I read all of these. What an amazing influence he has been on so many. What a wonderful man. No wonder the Lord wanted him a little early. I truly think this gesture will be appreciated. If you haven't already, and you'd like to include a message, you can email it directly to me. Thank you.

It isn't haere.

The girls made up a little game for me to play the other day, after Allison ran in and asked me how to spell the word "isn't". She wrote this on about 30 little post-its and stuck them on everything in their playroom, wanting me to find their "treasure" they had hidden. They got SUCH a kick out of watching me find all of their notes, and made me pick all of the "it isn't"s before I could pick the one that said "It IS haere." Maybe she should have asked me how to spell "here", too.

Draw. Color. Staple. Repeat.

Allison is at such a cute stage with her drawing right now. She recently made an 11-page book containing all of her stuff, including these three:

Here's a monster. Love the big heart. I guess I used to put a heart on everything - including inanimate things like trees - when I was little too.
Clifford the Big Red Dog. Love the lips.
And I assume this is a superhero, with the cape and red underwear. Bronson's influence no doubt.


Baby Shower GIft

Here you go Margaret - a little bit of my craftiness from this morning. Thanks Amberly for helping me churn out 25 thank you cards lickety-split.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie.

Yep. You read that right. Yumminess personified. Our FHE treat last night. There's still 3/4 of the pie left if you want to come over and have some. Please hurry, before I eat the whole thing.

35 vanilla wafers, crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 medium bananas, sliced
2 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate (I just used a handful of chocolate chips)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
2 cups milk
2 pkgs. vanilla instant pudding
2 cups cool whip
2 Tbsp. chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350. Mix crumbs and butter, press into pie plate. Bake 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, then top with bananas.
Make chocolate curls, reserve for garnish (I didn't do this). Microwave remaining chocolate and peanut butter, stir until blended. Drizzle over bananas.
Pour milk into large bowl, add pudding mixes. Beat with whisk, gently stir in 1 cup of cool whip.. Spread over bananas.
Top with remaining 1 cup cool whip (I didn't do this part)
Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Top with chocolate curls and peanuts just before serving.



Do or not do. There is no try.

This is a work in progress,
but I figured I should
get them written somewhere.
My new year's
resolutions so far:

#1 - We will eat dinner at 6pm each evening. We will all eat the same thing at the same time. This will require "running out" of chicken nuggets, Easy Mac, and hot dogs, a whole lot of menu planning and time management on my part, and an immeasurable number of drama episodes and power struggles with Allison. Buckle up folks, it will be a bumpy ride.

#2 - I will complete two scrapbook layouts (four pages) per week. Hopefully this will get me caught up by the end of the year.

#3 - We will go to Southeast Asia for our 10th anniversary.

#4 - I will learn to like reading my scriptures, and make a habit of such. Thank goodness for the B of M course of study this year.

#5 - I will attend the temple once a month, either with my husband, or without.

#6 - I will cut less coupons, but remember to use more.

#7 - I will wear my Rockies and boots to our ward's hoedown in September. Meaning I'll have to weigh about 20 lbs. less.

#8 - I will be a positive person, and try to encourage others around me to be the same.

#9 - I will be more consistent in applying Love & Logic techniques with my kids.

#10 - I will keep in touch more, remember more birthdays, send more thank you cards, and do my visiting teaching.

#11 - I will learn to PAUSE. Slow down and live more consciously. Pause before I react out of anger to something my children have done, before purchasing something impulsively, before putting the second helping of food in my body. Pause to play with my children, pause to listen what they have to say. Pause to record my memories. Pause to ponder my scriptures.


I yam what I yam. And I'm no sweet potato.

The more I see digital scrapbook pages and projects, the more I become intrigued by them. After all, I already know Photoshop. I have a fancy schmancy new computer with the latest versions of everything. I can layer, edit, and create cool effects with the best of them. I've never really totaled the cost of the materials I use on an average scrapbook page I create, but honestly, it probably wouldn't be any more money to print the whole darn 12x12 thing at Costco. Honey, stop reading this post NOW. (In fact, it might even be cheaper.) I understand that. And I also know that if I did everything on my computer screen, that I wouldn't be making a mess all over my craft room or on my dining room table, (my husband would for sure like to rid me of this nasty habit!) and I wouldn't be having to find a place for all my supplies, and that if my ric rack or paper wasn't exactly the right color, or my photo wasn't exactly the right size, I could change it all with the click of a mouse. And I could make things a lot more dramatic and artistic. Easily. I could print four versions of everything I did and then each of my kids could have their very own book.

With that said, where in the world's the fun in that? I'd be staring at a computer screen, which is WAY too much like work. I wouldn't get to talk with my scrappin' friends, or steal their designs, or laugh with them about what was going on in our lives, show off my cute kids, or "borrow" anyone else's stuff. My pages may end up looking cool, but I wouldn't have any social interaction or ever be able to get my hands dirty. Yep, for sure, I'm a brick-and-mortar scrapper. This is me.

At least for this year. Which is a good thing, considering how much $$ I spent at Recollections today during their going-out-of-business-and-it-makes-me-want-to-cry sale. Sigh.

How about you?



We drove, drove, drove. We were sick, sick, sick. Still, we had fun, fun, fun seeing family and friends. Saw Grandma a bit - my girls are absolutely in love with her.

Babies played. Josh sucked on everything within reach.Kids rang in the new year.Ice skated with my bro's family. Nick loved it too. My next feat is to get him rollerblading.Thanks Brie for hooking us up at the Peaks! Don't quite know what we were thinking here...
Cassie, Jake and Sam were wonderful pushing my kids around and around the rink. My back is tremendously thankful.My children adore my niece. I think the feeling's mutual.

I'm so going.

Bon Jovi. Friday, April 11th. Want to go with us? Email me NOW! Tickets are already on sale!
And guess who is opening for him! Daughtry. Freakin' awesome.