Tuesday, November 5, 2013

100 Prayers

The days seems to be dragging a little bit, but I feel good, so I'm trying to take advantage of the fact that I'm not in bed, barfing, or sleeping the day away.  So far in the last month, I've lost about 5 pounds, but not in the tummy area ... I mostly notice that my pants are fitting a little better.  I can't suck in my tummy anymore.  I saw that Target sells some little panel things that I can insert into my regular pants, which I might have to check out because I despised just about every maternity pair of pants/shorts the last time I was pregnant.  Nothing stayed up or fitted very well.  I mostly stuck to dresses which were more comfy anyways.

This morning Turkey crawled into bed with us and did lots of chatting before we finally got out of bed.  He's still talking about praying and asking for a baby brother ... this wasn't just a whim for him. It's something he's talking about several times a day and has yet to forget about it.  At one point he placed his hands on my tummy to kinda inspect and declared that no baby brother was growing yet, so he'd have to start saying a 100 prayers.  We had a family prayer before everyone left the house this morning and that was pretty much the only thing Turkey prayed for....

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

5 Weeks & 2 Days

Exciting News
:  I'm due on the 4th of July!! Very fitting for our family.  Doc's birthday often falls on Martin Luther King Day, my birthday & Penguin's birthdays are both a few days before Christmas, Peacock's birthday is on Halloween, and Turkey was born about an hour before Labor Day and so his birthday sometimes falls on Labor Day.  I'm kinda hoping that the 4th of July is the big day or maybe the 3rd would be fun...just not the 1st of July cause that's my sister's birthday.  A patriotic name will definitely be considered ... let me know if you have any ideas!

Someone {nosy} at church asked me if we plan to adopt or have more kids.  I just said, "Oh, I don't know.  We talk about it.  I guess we'll see."  Today we saw all our extended families at various times.  Doc's family was an easy get-away.  We showed-up to see his brother bless his new baby and then snuck out the door right after the blessing.  My mom had planned a little birthday dinner for Peacock.  I felt myself getting kinda grouchy as soon as we arrived.  Too many desserts including frying of doughnuts going on which did not interest me in the least bit.  There was a fire going in the backyard that smelled extra bad to me and I had just washed & curled my hair that morning and I wasn't in the mood to wash my hair again because it smelled like smoke.  Dinner was OK but the fresh, raw veggies tasted unbelievable to me ... like I was eating a cuke & cherry tomato for the first time in my life!  I tried to grill myself a s'more but the chocolate was as hard as a rock ... grouchy feelings again. Then Doc started talking to my sister about maternity insurance ... I don't think she suspected anything but I just felt like I wanted to cut his tongue out. Argh!

I kinda feel like I want to tell one person that I'm pregnant.  One person that won't blab to anyone else but that I can talk to.  In some ways it's fun having a secret and maybe I'm not far enough along to start telling a bunch of people, but I'm also feeling a little lonely and like I have no one to talk to.

When I got home around 7pm, I just wanted to cozy up in my blankets and relax for the evening.  I've noticed that I like to be usually warm these days ... sleeping with extra blankets and waking up too-hot feels good for some reason.  I played a round of Skip-Bo with Penguin, helped get the kids in bed, and then tried to relax.  Doc made me a very small scoop of vanilla ice cream with some egg nog poured over it.  It tasted really good.  Then I played a round of Skip-Bo with Doc ... I am the Skip-Bo champ of the family.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

We're Expecting!

That's right!  You read that correctly!  Our family will be growing and a #4 will be joining us before we know it.

So ... even though I'm writing this post today, I won't be publishing it yet because right now it's just our (Doc & I) little secret.  I'm not quite ready to spill the beans, but I'm sure I will be soon.  I think Doc (that's what I've decided to call Hubby cause that's what he's called at work) isn't quite ready to tell anyone either but maybe a little more ready to tell family than I am.

This last week I was awake in the night a couple times not feeling very good.  Nothing too bad, but I just felt a little nauseous... it happened a few times in the car too... brief waves of feeling nauseous.  I had noticed a few other things going on that seemed a bit out-of-the-normal, so around noon today, I decided to try a pregnancy test.  I got my results a lot quicker than the 3-minutes it said it would take and I just sat and stared for a few minutes.  I wasn't really sure what I thought ... a combination of being nervous & excited ... for a few minutes, but I'm now 100% excited.

I took the kids to the fall festival at their school for a few hours.  Food hasn't been tasting/smelling very good to me all week.  I got myself an indian fry bread with beans, cheese, and other goodies.  It sounded so good and I haven't had one in years, but I'm glad Turkey wanted to eat most of it because it didn't taste so great.  I did find something that tasted good ... shaved ice ... with no syrup!

Doc didn't get home from work until about 9pm.  I knew I wanted to tell him right away but I didn't want any of the kids to hear.  Turkey & Peacock were already asleep but Penguin was following me around.  I finally told her to go watch a movie, so she left us in peace.  I tried to talk to Doc about work, what he wanted for dinner, etc but my armpits were getting sweaty & I was nervous to just tell him the news.  I guess I kept smirking and that was making Doc suspicious.  He finally asked if I had a secret and then asked if I was pregnant.  He was very excited to hear the news and hugged me so tight I could hardly breathe.

To celebrate, we got away to our favorite restaurant for a late-night dinner.  I got spaghetti and nothing had tasted better all week.  We also shared mashed potatoes (but I was worried they'd sit in my stomach all night so I didn't eat to much) and  dessert, but sadly it tasted too sweet to me.  I'll have to make a point to eat more spaghetti!!  Good thing cause that's been my favorite food since I was a baby.  On our way home, we stopped at Wal-Mart to get a few groceries, vitamins, and iron pills for me because I'm anemic and things got a bit scary with my iron problems during my first pregnancy.

Tonight as I was tucking Turkey into bed, I told him that he'd need to get up and showered and ready for church in the morning.  I also told him that we were going to go see his new baby cousin get blessed the next afternoon.  He started asking me why moms with new babies still have big tummies, so I tried to explain that best I could.  Then he wanted to know how babies get out of mom's tummies.  More explaining.  Then he proceeds to tell me that he needs me to grow a baby so he can have a baby brother.  At this point I'm feeling a little surprised and wondering if he can smell the growing baby.  I told him to ask Heavenly Father to send a baby brother when he says he prayers and that if a brother is supposed to come, then Heavenly Father will send one.  I asked him how he'd feel if Heavenly Father sent a baby sister instead of a brother.  He was very matter-of-the-fact about the subject and just declared that he'd have 3 sisters and he'd be the only boy.  I hope it's a boy, too.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shoe Invitations & Program Covers

Since the mutual theme this year has been "Standing in Holy Places", we've used shoes a lot.  I'm receiving requests for shoe program covers and invitations.  I deleted all my wording and am making it available for you to use.  Just pick some nice fonts and add all your own details.  These are pdf files ... please let me know if this set-up is not working for you - if several people tell me it's not working, then I'll change things up.

Just as an example, here's the invitation I made for our YW in Excellence.  I used 3 different fonts to add some variety:

Go HERE to see the invitation I made for New Beginnings ... very similar.

The following links will allow you to get the PDF files for the invitations/program covers.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Happy Fall Break

The kids got out of school at lunch time on Friday and we enjoyed our weekend ... crepes, soft pretzels & 4-berry sundaes at Sam's Club, violin classes, Sonic, Sunday Roast, bike rides, crafts, etc. Today was the first official day of Fall Break & Daddy's day off work ... YEA!  We got up somewhat early so we could be to the zoo by 8am and enjoy the zoo for an hour before it officially opened - best time to go!  We stayed at the zoo for a few hours ... until it got too hot & our legs wouldn't carry us anymore.  After lunch, we went to the library for a while, went to a nearby outdoor mall (including a stop at the Apple store to play), & had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (the kids love it, but I hope to never go there again!).  Two of the three kids fell asleep in the car on the way home ... that means it was a good day!

We are loving the perfect fall weather we have here ... in the 80's and lots of sunshine.  We hope to do lots of outside playing this week!!!

In other news, our house plans have *FINALLY* been approved by our town ... it only took several months....  And I think we've decided on a general contractor.  Now we have to finalize our budget and do lots of bank paperwork before we can break ground.  Maybe by Christmas time we can start digging.  My fingers are crossed!!

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Inn Crowd or Stable Few YW Christmas Gift

I'm getting messages every day from people that want information and printables to make this gift.   We put together a "Christmas Extravaganza" last year for our young women.  Go HERE for more details.  We wanted to end the night on a spiritual note and with a small gift for the girls to take home.


We bought 2x4-inch wood & had the store cut the blocks. We enlisted in the help of several ladies and painted the blocks black fairly quickly.  We chose the sand the edges of each block a little bit for the worn look.  Mod Podge (I recommend going with a matte rather than glossy Mod Podge) was used to attach the photos & then a bow was attached to the top with a fancy-looking nail type thing.  I've also seen blocks like these where the ribbon is wrapped around the outside of the whole block and then tied a bow at the top.  I'm sure there are oodles of options.

Costco is my favorite photo developing place for something that's quick & easy for most people.  (They ship, too!)  Regardless of where you go, get a luster/matte finish ... the glossy option will make it hard to read the wording.  All files should be printed as a 4x6-inch photo.  We wanted to have a border of wood showing around all 4 sides of our photo, so we used the file that makes two sets of the quotes per 4x6-inch photo.  If you use the 2-per-page option, cut the white strip off of the bottom and then cut the photo in 1/2, so you'll have two photos, each about 3x3-7/8 inch.

**Please feel free to download & use my designs for non-commercial use only.  I'm letting you use it for free, so you can not sell my design in any way, shape, or form. :)

If something isn't working or is not clear, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to help!!

**Update:  I've had a few people leave comments & say they are having trouble converting the PDF to a JPG file.  I've uploaded all 3 files to Flickr, so try these & see if they work better....

inn crowd or stable few 2 inn crowd or stable few 2 with 2 inn crowd or stable few 1

**Instructions for the JPEG/Flickr option:

1.  Click on one of the three thumbnails above for the photo/printable that you desire. The enlarged photo/printable should open for you in Flickr. *Note that the last photo has a different font.

2.  Right-click on the enlarged photo that opened in Flickr.

3.  Select "ORIGINAL".

4.  A new page with the photo should open in Flickr.  Towards the top, find where it says, "Download this original size of this photo" and click on that.

5.  At this point, you will choose what program you want to use to open the photo or where you'd like to save the photo on your computer.

6.  Once the photo is saved on your computer, you can upload it to Costco's photo department or any photo-developing website of your choice.

Two Printables per 4x6-inch photo (you will end up with two 3x 3-7/8 inch photos) :

4x6-inch of printable (you will need larger blocks of wood for this option):

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Hot Chocolate Bar - Free Printables

I need to do a better job of getting hand-outs, printables, etc on my blog and in a way that's easy for everyone to use because I keep getting emails that the jpg versions aren't working well.  I'm going to try using Scribd again.  I need to find a host for all my printables and I doubt any site is going to be perfect, but please leave your feedback!

Now for the good stuff....  Hot Chocolate!! 

Last year for Christmas, we did a progressive dinner type thing for our Young Women and one of the things I was in charge of was the hot chocolate bar.  It's a bit time consuming, but not terrible, and most of the goodies can be found at Wal-Mart or other places where you might do your regular grocery shopping.

To make your job a little easier, grab an EK "Real Estate Sign" punch from your local crafting store. If you can find it at a store that takes 40% off coupons, all the better!  I designed my printables for this particular punch but scissors should work great too! Some of the little signs might repeat, but print & use what you want.  I recommend printing these on white card-stock or another heavy paper like photo paper.

Be creative, but here are some of my ideas....

  • "Crushed Cookies" = Oreos or the peppermint Trader Joe's version
  • "Semi-Sweet" & "White Chocolate" = chocolate chips
  • "Caramel" = we used the Kraft Caramel Bits - little round balls of caramel found on the baking aisle
  • "English Toffee" = Heath Bar pieces - on the baking aisle
  • "Dippers" & "Dunkers" = donut holes, biscotti, Trader Joe's Chocolatey Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers, Pepperidge Farm Creme Filled Pirouette Rolled Wafers
  • "Peppermint" = crushed candy canes
  • "Marshmallows" = we found a lady at church that made us homemade marshmallows - WELL WORTH IT!!!  My favorite mix-in!! 
If you're going go through the work of putting all this together, use a really good hot chocolate.  I couldn't find anyone to make me hot chocolate from scratch & I was already feeling a bit overwhelmed with all my jobs, so I had bought the Starbucks hot chocolate mix from Costco {with a rebate/coupon} & had someone bring it ready-to-serve.   Swiss Miss is just not acceptable! ;)

{Matching Mugs from Williams-Sonoma}

  Questions??  Leave me a comment with an email address.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Last Days of Summer

Today was the last day-off that my kids & Hubby have together until the end of August, so we wanted to make sure we did some fun things.  Early in the morning, the kids went to play at my mom's house with some cousins while Hubby & I talked to a bank about construction loans for 2 hours.  After we picked-up the kids from my mom's house, we headed to a local kid's museum for a few hours.  Since no one takes photos of me, I'm including my artwork ... someday my kids can see something of me. And if any of my children end up being world-famous artists, you'll see that they did not get it from me. :)



After the museum, we had to rush home for another home-building-related meeting that ended up lasting 4 HOURS!  I was ready to curl-up & die ... or something.  We had planned to go out to dinner, but by the time the meeting ended, I was late for a church meeting and we were all starving, so we ran to DT (Del Taco), Hubby dropped me off at the church, and then the kids came home & talked Hubby into setting-up & playing some Wii games for a couple hours.  At first when I got home, I felt a little irritated that the kids were all still up and playing Wii, but I'm glad they had fun with their dad.  At 10 o'clock at night, I was still hungry and had been craving Grimaldi's Pizza all day, so we went for a late night outing to Grimaldi's for some awesome cheese pizza and the Mediterranean salad.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Adoption Day!

In honor of Penguin's adoption day ...

10 years & 2 days ago today, Hubby & I stood in a Russian court room as they threw any and every kind of question at us.  We even had to explain what a mortgage is ... apparently they don't exist in Russia??

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Photography by Peacock

Photos by Peacock ... May 5, 2013

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Then Sings My Soul - EVMCO Concert

 Me & my awesome stand partner!

Back in April, the kids & I participated in three EVMCO (East Valley Millennial Choirs & Orchestras) concerts.  It made for a very long, but rewarding weekend.  Peacock & Turkey sang Oh Happy Day & Onward, Christian Soldiers with their choirs.  Penguin's choir sang Peace Like a River, River in Judea, Holding Hands Around the World, & He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.

Watch the following video to learn more about EVMCO (which is growing to two new cities this fall) and listen to our latest recording of How Great Thou Art:

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Covenants & Ordinances - Young Women Lesson July 2013

I taught a combined YW lesson a few weeks ago.  Thought I'd share the handout that I made - I got all the ideas for my handout online, but I wanted to combine a few nice ideas onto one handout.  I attached a Ring Pop (big canister of Ring Pops can be found at Sam's Club) to go with the "I Do".

Feel free to save the handout to your computer and use it.  If you get it printed as a 4x6 photo, use a matte finish - glossy does not work as well.

I used this video excerpt which can be downloaded from You Tube:

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Plans in Hands

About a week ago, we picked up our plans from the printer.  It was a long-awaited & joyous day.  We've had a couple small hiccups this week, but nothing too serious.  Now we are waiting for our HOA & town to review everything & give us feedback/things to change.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baby's First Photoshoot

When newborn Ivy was about 1-1/2 weeks old, we tried to take photos ... things did not work in our favor that day.  Ivy was fussy & didn't want to sleep ... and she kept peeing everywhere!  My 3 year old niece and 5 yr old son tried to play while I took photos, but they were pestering each other, pestering me ... it was just kinda chaotic. Despite all the craziness, I think we captured some nice memories.

All my helpers ...

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Baby Ivy

Late one night, several days past my sister's due date, she sent me a text to let me know she was at the hospital & finally in labor.  I was already in bed, but quickly made my way over to the hospital so that I could be present for the birth of my newest niece & take photos of the birth.  I wasn't at the hospital for too long before things got exciting ... but not a good exciting.  Machines keep sounding alarms, so a nurse finally came in & checked my sister & her baby.  After the nurse checked my sister, she said, "NO!" and ran out of the room.  My sister & I just kinda sat there & stared at each other, wondering what it the world was going on.  Her easy-going husband was sitting next to me on the couch and said, "Hey, now if something was really wrong there would be at least 7 doctors in here right now."  The door swung open and the nurses started pouring in ... my brother-in-law starting counting the number of people coming in & we started to realize something was not good.  Before I knew it, they were telling my baby sister that she had to have an emergency c-section & they we were racing her down the hall.  Almost immediately, I was left alone in a all-too-quiet room, feeling stunned, and too scared to even cry.  And then it was my job (because I was the only family member at the hospital) to call all our family & tell them what was going on.  I was shaking, but deep down I felt strongly that everything would turn-out well.  My mom came down with sodas and we sat & waited for news.  After about 30 minutes, we got a text that my sister & her baby were both safe & doing great.  I eventually went home & tried to sleep a little before I had to get up with my kids, but I was anxious to see my sister & her baby with my own eyes.

The next morning, my kids went to play at Bushka's house so I could go visit my sister at the hospital & meet her new baby.  We were bummed about all the photos that we missed-out on, but of course those things don't really matter and we still got a few fun hospital photos.


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Academic Night

Beginning in 4th grade, kids that get all A's on their report card get to participate in Academic Night.  I've attended a lot of Academic Night's in my day and I think by the time I got to high school, I quit attending the actual event and just picked up my award the next day at school because the actual event was so long & boring, but this year's program was great!  The whole thing lasted less than 30 minutes, which was WAY nice! The principal said a few words, one of the students gave a short speech, all the "Golden Scholars" were presented their award, and then we watched a little slideshow with photos of all the Golden Scholars.

Penguin with her ALP & homeroom teachers:

Penguin with a couple of her friends: 

Penguin with her classroom's student teacher:

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Honors Recital Auditions

We found out late last night that my cute Penguin made it into the live & final round of auditions for the Honors Recital.  Yea!!  She's so excited & I'm so proud of her!!

We've never done something like this, but my understanding is that teachers can submit videos of their students ... so any instrument, small ensembles, singers, etc are all welcome to audition.   I still have no idea what the competition is like or what to expect, so we'll see what happens.

To view her audition videos, go to THIS post.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

 {Mother's Day 2013 ... Turkey told me he was making his "bear face".}

I'm totally trying to avoid cleaning the bathrooms today.  It's my least favorite job.  It goes pretty quickly but it's just so gross & so mind-numbing.  I'd love a maid! Who wouldn't, right?

I had such a nice Mother's Day ... actually weekend.  Hubby had a 3-day weekend which is a rarity!!  Just having Saturday's off if a nice treat, so I was excited to see that he got Friday & Saturday off.  Friday I pampered myself a bit & went to get my hair done which included a goose-bump-giving scalp massage.  Ahhh! :)  Then my boys took me to my favorite pizza spot for lunch followed by a little shopping.  Friday afternoon we met with our architect, had a harp lesson, and dinner was squeezed in there somewhere but I honetly can't remember anything about dinner.

Saturday, Hubby went for a 50-mile bike ride with a couple of his friends.  When he got home, I was craving Jimmy-Johns so we packed lunches for the kids and grabbed ourselves some JJ's.  Then we headed to the mall ... my hubby entertained the kids at Pottery Barn Kids, Apple, & the Lego store so I could wander the mall alone.  Saturday night Hubby & I went to one of my favorite restaurants & enjoyed an outstanding meal!!  I'm still drooling and wanting more!

Sunday the kids went with Hubby to pick oranges for fresh squeezed OJ.  Then they made me Nutella filled french toast with raspberries for breakfast.  At the breakfast table, I was showered with cards & gifts of all sorts.  I'm a very blessed momma & wife.

At church, we enjoyed talks about motherhood.  And during the 3rd hour (yes, I go to church for 3 hours!), all the women 12 yrs old and up combined for a lesson on motherhood, ate cheesecake, and then had some time to socialize.

After church we stopped by my in-law's home to visit & deliver a gift.  Dinner was at my mom's house and it was way fun & yummy.  Definitely my kind of food!  My mom made a pot of potatoes, corn, & shrimp and then dumped it out along a couple long tables that were set-up by her pool - no dishes needed.


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