Posted in Family Corner

Spring in the Air

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The weather has been so lovely lately. Marcus and I have been getting out in the mornings and going for a walk. Today we drove to a nearby park and discovered it has a nature trail we didn’t even know existed. That was a fun exploration. There was even a bridge over water to cross.

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My tulips have finally made an appearance along with the other flowers in my little flower garden. More are preparing to bloom soon. It just makes me happy to look out my craft room window or walk outside and see them. I keep thinking I need to get my fairy garden set up, but I haven’t made time for that yet.

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I’ve come up with this crazy idea to host a meet ‘n greet between a few homeschool moms and any curious parents who want to know more about homeschooling. I’m hoping this will take place next month. So far I’ve started typing up a little informational packet with Utah’s homeschool laws, and a short list of curriculum and resources, plus I’ve contacted two co-ops to see if they would join us and present their offerings. One declined, saying they are full, but the other agreed to participate as they will have openings. I’ve got more planning and inviting to do, but suddenly this idea out-of-nowhere seems possible.

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The Sweetest Missionary Ever has been touring Cusco and learning some of its history. I can’t believe she’s been out for 15 weeks now. She is struggling a bit with the language (Spanish), but otherwise she loves it. I’ve told her to give herself time to get the language down. I have a feeling she’s being a little too hard on herself. She’s always had an aptitude for languages and she’s lived in Peru, twice before.

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I’m busy preparing for my little girl spring craft party this coming Saturday. I will be hosting 10 darling neighbor girls in my craft room and they will be making their own tulip gardens and a Mother’s day gift for their mamas (sugar scrubs). One of the moms (of three of the girls who are in this group) has sweetly offered to provide lunch. I usually provide a lunch or dinner, depending on the time we hold our party. These parties are a lot of fun!

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My oldest daughter, Darcie, finishes her semester this week, and then starts three summer courses in a couple of weeks. One of the courses will qualify her to teach English in another country. She will then have one final semester left (this coming fall) before she graduates as an English major. She will be our second college graduate (her dad being our first) in our family.

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This was taken last May at a tulip festival. I’m dreaming of going again, but we will see. It’s a three hour drive away and we’re so busy!

My oldest son, Zach, recently went through his regular MRI check for his MS. It’s a long MRI for him, nearly two hours! I know because I waited for him and in that time I finished a book, started another, and watched some HGTV on the waiting room TV. Then he had a follow up appointment shortly afterwards with his neurologist, so it felt like I was in waiting rooms all day, but the people-watching was interesting. There was this one lanky guy who mumbled aloud as he filled out a questionnaire. He couldn’t stop moving and talking his entire wait time. He talked to me (I was sitting next to him), the receptionist, and made several quick calls to friends and, I’m guessing, his mom, to chat about horses and feeding the dogs. He seemed like a nice guy. I’m not sure why he was in for an MRI that day. He mumbled something about his condition being “terminal, but not really”. (I wonder what that means?) Anyway, everything looks good for my son at this time- no lesion activity. Breathing a sigh of relief. You just never know with MS. He will stay on his current medication (Copaxone).

♥ Thank you so much for stopping by! I try to get to all your blogs as my time allows. My next post will be about the craft party so stay tuned. Hope you’re having a beautiful spring (or whatever season it is where you live) day. ♥

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Posted in Family Corner

One Spring Day (an update on my life)

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It seems as though this valley I call home is still waking up from winter. There are a few signs of spring, but most are only visible when you look up close.

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Almost every day I check my tulip/crocus bed for new developments. I just need to be patient a little longer!

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My first wreath I’ve ever made. I like how it turned out.

I am enjoying warmer weather here this week. The sun is hiding today, but the skies are blue and the grass lush and green.

I am wondering if any of my readers have experienced KP (keratosis pilaris) and if so, what products and/or diet recommendations work for you? I’d appreciate any advice! Mine is on my face so it’s particularly bothersome to me. It showed up last fall and has plagued me ever since. I went completely off dairy for most of March, but didn’t notice any difference. That was disappointing, but I’m still proud of my efforts.

Here is another question for my readers- Have any of you ever been a county delegate? I was voted in as a county delegate and my first convention to attend is this Saturday evening. I’d love any advice! I feel like the little packet of info. given me was not very informative. I guess I’ll roll with it on Saturday and go from there. I think I’ll be meeting potential candidates for state senate and our state school board. Should be interesting.

I’ve been babysitting a lot for a friend in my neighborhood and church. I work with her four-year old son at church, as well. He has some special needs and I am his one-on-one teacher. It’s a lot of fun and I think watching him at home once or twice a week has increased his progress with me. Plus, his little sister is adorable! She loves to watercolor at my house.

Last night, my husband and I supported our son, who is 15, by attending a service auction fundraising dinner. The youth in our ward (church congregation) were raising money to pay for camps and other activities. I got a little carried away on the bidding! I ended up with three heaping plates of brownies (they were all one bid; I gave two plates away in the parking lot), an expensive plate of chocolate covered strawberries ($35), one jug of fresh apple cider, five dog walks, and window washing for our entire house. All, but the window washing was on a silent auction. I just couldn’t put my paddle down bidding for the window washing! I have to say though, the strawberries are delicious!

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Here Marissa is with her companion and a little boy named, Miguel, with a Cusco village in the background

Here is a recent snapshot of my missionary daughter in Cusco. She has been out for three months now (her mission is for eighteen months). She told me that when Peruvians hear her singing in English, they ask her to continue. They will also ask her to translate songs on the radio that are in English. She sometimes volunteers in a pizzeria and bakery. You can read more of her mission adventures at Our Inspired Quest.

♥  I just counted and we have 49 windows. Thanks for spending some time visiting my blog today. ♥

Posted in Family Corner

Welcome 2018 (Sending My Missionary Off)

On Tuesday morning, dark and early (haha), we drove the two hours to the airport, listening to Piano Guys the whole way while the kids slept in the car. It was drizzling rain. As soon as we walked into terminal 2, we saw at least three sets of families, encircled about their young missionaries. We knew they were missionaries, even though they didn’t have their name tags yet (they receive those in the MTC), because they were all young men or women, dressed in their Sunday best and their moms were weepy. And we were in the Salt Lake airport where LDS missionaries fly in and out all the time. (It’s fun to watch the reunions- welcome home posters, cameras out, lots of hugging and laughter.)

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After checking in her suitcases, we gave Marissa our last hugs for eighteen months. Darcie, her big sister, and I, became emotional at that point. We then watched her go through security, losing sight of her from time to time as she wove back and forth. She’s such a tiny person. Finally, we couldn’t see her any longer and had to assume she’d made it through. On the way home, we stopped at IHOP for breakfast. It was a good morning for Red Velvet pancakes. Marissa then phoned us from the airport, using a calling card, and told us she had met three more sister missionaries, also going to Peru. That was very comforting to know.

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She sent me a brief e-mail today letting me know she’d made it and was safe. She told me she directed the other missionaries through the Atlanta airport, which she was familiar with, thanks to all our travels by plane. She also was the only one who expected the humidity of Lima. She said the MTC (missionary training center) was “nice” and that she might get lost. I wonder how big it is? She will be there learning Spanish and being trained in all-things-missionary for the next six to eight weeks. Her p-days (preparation days) are Wednesdays so that will be the day each week when she can write me and others. The sweet thing about being a missionary mom is that we take priority. So if she only has time for one e-mail, I get it! Also, missionaries are only allowed to phone home on Mother’s Day and Christmas Day.

♥ On Monday night, Marissa was set apart by our stake president, with her dad and her big brother in the Priesthood circle. She was given a beautiful blessing and the spirit was so strong in our home. I have a testimony of missionary work and of this gospel. I know my baby girl is going to bless many lives in the next eighteen months as she serves the Lord full time. Thanks for reading! ♥

Posted in Family Corner

Welcome 2018 (Christmas Recap & A Missionary Farewell)

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I hope each and every one of my readers enjoyed a beautiful Christmas. On the 22nd, my family and I spent the evening on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. We ate dinner at The Roof (a fabulous restaurant at the top of the Joseph Smith building), walked around Temple Square to see the lights and nativities, and then we ended the night at a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert, which was spectacular. My mother and her husband joined us for the night as that was our Christmas gift to them.

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Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent at home, with Grandma joining us (my husband’s mom). The day after Christmas, a very special package arrived from my dearest friend, Audria. She spoiled us! My favorite gift from her was a little teapot and teacup set. She even sent a sweet gift to my daughter for her mission. Such a thoughtful and amazing friend; I feel so blessed. For the rest of the week, we were busy preparing our home for Marissa’s mission farewell. We send her off to Peru next week!

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Kevin, Marissa, Kristine & Kelsey (I snapped their photo in our theater room just before we watched the movie, RED)

Her farewell was on New Year’s Eve Day. She gave a delightful talk in our Sacrament meeting and afterwards, friends, extended family, and neighbors joined us in our home for an open house. We offered a baked potato bar and a variety of desserts which everyone seemed to enjoy. I took a picture of Marissa with each family who came out to support her and plan to send them a copy with a thank you card. One of our favorite group of guests were our long-time friends, Kevin and Kristine, and their daughter, Kelsey (they also have two sons who could not make it). We’ve known this family for twenty years now and have stayed in touch as we’ve moved around. We have even vacationed together. It was so much fun to spend the day with them, celebrating Marissa’s choice to serve the Lord on a mission for our church, and ringing in the New Year together.

♥ On this first day of January, 2018, I have a nasty head cold. Bah! Besides sneezing a few times yesterday, I felt pretty good throughout our festivities for Marissa, so at least it waited a day to hit me full on. Marcus was sweet enough to heat me up some broth to sip and I’ve been resting up as I edit the photos from Christmas and Marissa’s farewell. This week should be pretty relaxed, focused on helping Marissa finish up her packing and enjoying our last week together before she embarks on what I hope will be an amazing adventure for her. I wish all of my readers a Happy New Year. ♥

Posted in Family Corner

Merry Christmas!

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One of my Christmas displays

This Christmas season has just flown by! I’ve been so busy that I’ve barely had time to think about my blog, let alone sit down and post anything. There is so much going on in my life right now, besides Christmas, but my focus is on spending time with my husband and children. I have everyone under one roof at the moment and that is rare these days. In just a few weeks time, my sweet youngest daughter will leave on her mission, and if all goes as we hope, next year we will be building a home near my aging mother-in-law. We are running into a few snags, but I have faith all will work out as it’s meant to be.

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Sisters baking together

My daughters baked a kazillion sugar cookies and gingerbread people on Wednesday for our little girl craft party on Thursday. We hosted seven little neighbor girls and it was so much fun. I love my craft parties with these sweet little girls. They are so creative! They made penguins, snow globes, wreath and snowmen ornaments. Then they decorated cookies to their hearts content.

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I miss having young children of my own, so spending time with littles and watching them create adorable things just makes me happy!

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Our Christ tree

♥ I am thankful for this time of year to remember the birth of a very special baby. We have this little tabletop tree and each of the ornaments on it feature a name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Every night we unwrap a Christ ornament (the rectangle ones made out of Jenga blocks; we made these last year as a twelve-day of Christmas tradition) and read the scripture verse that goes with it. It ends our day on a spiritual note, reminding us of the true meaning of this season. ♥ Merry Christmas and thank you for your support of my blog. ♥

Posted in Family Corner

Our Favorite Christmas Storybooks

We have a tradition of reading one Christmas story each night leading up to Christmas Eve (when we read the Christmas Story out of the scriptures). I thought I’d share the storybooks we cherish the most at this time of year, the ones that remind us of the true spirit and meaning of Christmas:

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The Light of Christmas, by Richard Paul Evans. A young boy discovers that the truest gifts come from selfless acts of kindness.

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The Miracle Maker, by Ann Acton. A little town learns how one person can make a difference just by believing

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Our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, shares a childhood story, when he learned that giving is sweeter than receiving. The Christmas Train, by Thomas S. Monson.

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This is also a true story. It’s the sweet story of the candy bomber. This story is read by Tom Brokaw on a DVD.

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A lovely story where a Primary class focuses on the spirit of Christmas together. The Mismatched Nativity, by Merrilee Boyack.

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If you’ve ever wondered what might have happened with the three gifts given to baby Jesus by the Magi, than this story is for you! The Three Gifts, by Patricia Cook Orr.

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God Bless Us Every One is the story of how A Christmas Carol came to be written. This book is lovely because it comes with a DVD featuring The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

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Christmas Oranges is the story of an orphan girl who receives the sweet gift of friendship at Christmas. This book is retold by Linda Bethers.

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I love this book because it’s one of my favorite Christmas carols: Good King Wenceslas. This includes a DVD of Jane Seymour narrating along with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

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This is the story that has been with us since the beginning of our tradition. It’s the heartwarming story of a young couple who each sacrifices for the other at Christmas. The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry.

♥ We have finally received lasting snow here in Utah this winter! I’ll try to post some photos in an upcoming post. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share a few of your favorite Christmas storybooks. ♥

Posted in Family Corner, Utah Corner

Highlights of Pumpkin Walk 2017

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Here in Cache Valley, every October, there is a Pumpkin Walk. It’s a free event which showcases a lot of creativity and talent. (By the way, if you click on the above link, you’ll be taken to the gallery where there are videos of Pumpkin Walks going back to 2013.)

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This year, Marcus and I visited the Pumpkin Walk with several other homeschooling families in our Friday Nature Club. This is a club we started in September. Our club gathers on most Fridays for a hike or other outdoor activity.

 

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Each year has a different theme. This year’s theme was “It’s about Time.”

 

The Pumpkin Walk began in 1983 when a couple opened their farm as a way to give children in their community a light-hearted version of Halloween. It began with just one pumpkin scene and was an immediate hit, attracting more visitors each year until it outgrew the farm.

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Isn’t this too cute? Each group of critters is reading a book together. For example, the pig family are reading the story: If You Give a Pig a Pancake.

At that point, the city of North Logan took it over and moved it to a city park. It’s just a delightful event for children and adults alike.

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The Star Wars scene was our top favorite.

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“They keep asking themselves if these are the gourds they are looking for?”
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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
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My favorite Halloween movie!

♥ Does your community hold a similar event with pumpkins? I’d love to hear about it. ♥