Out of the Mouths...

Me: C'mon Lex! Time to say prayer.

Lexi: Mom, I'm just too busy to pray.

Me: Oh man! I dropped it. I made a mess.

Lexi: You made a mess, mom? OH. MINE. GOSH. mom.

Me: Uh-oh.

Lexi: What happened, Mom?

Me: I ripped my shopping list. Bummer.

Lexi: Dude.


Just Wondering

When they say a dishwasher is an "energy saver" whose energy are they really talking about? I'm pretty sure it's not mine since the dumb thing doesn't dry half of my crap and I have to spend my hard earned energy drying it all with a dishtowel.


I Wanna Help!

I made chocolate chip cake bars a couple of Sundays ago. I asked Lexi if she wanted to help me. She enthusiastically replied, "YES!" and helped us mix ingredients. But, I think she really just wanted to help with clean up. And by clean up, I mean this:



One of my best friends of all time was robbed. While she was sitting in Sunday school! I always feel like if I'm serving the Lord, I'll at least have a little bit of protection while I'm serving. You know, I'll do all I can and the Lord will help keep the pathway bright. But, alas, that is not often the case. As my friend explained, "There are obviously different levels of protection available to us at different times". She didn't blame God for allowing something bad to happen. As I pondered her situation and all of the different types of adversity we are confronted with, I had this come to my mind: If anyone deserved protection while on the Lord's errand, it would have been Joseph Smith. But, he was tried more than your average man. How many times was the poor man attacked or tarred and feathered? How many people gossiped about him without even knowing him? How many of his kids died? I mean, the poor guy was put through the wringer all while serving Heavenly Father. At one point, while stuck in jail for crimes he hadn't even committed, he finally asked the Lord, "What the heck?!?" The 122nd section of the Doctrine and Covenants gives us the answer to that famous question we all ask when life gets tough: WHY????

"If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;

If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;

And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, (which, by the way, always makes me think of this)

know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever."

Are we greater than the Savior? Why should we expect to have tribulation pass over our door while he suffered beyond measure? And what kind of people would we be if we didn't learn those special lessons that only a tough road can bring?

As I've read and re-read this scripture, I find myself dwelling on the promise rather than the list of the many things that we might be tried with during this life. That promise is this: "...God shall be with you forever and ever". Often, I forget that he is my friend and knows my struggles. He knows my potential and wants me to reach it. Thus, he allows challenges to present themselves and doesn't protect (notice I didn't say he inflicts challenges; rather, he doesn't shield me entirely from them) me from every trial I may face so that I might become the best possible me. He sets the bar high always knowing I can reach it. It may seem twisted, but it does make me feel a little better to know that there is one person out there who never doubts my abilities to rise to the challenge.

Ponder This

When you don't have the money, there is no such thing as good deal.


Probably the Sexiest Thing I've Ever Seen

Sometimes I Don't Want To...

  • Read my scriptures every day
  • Eat healthy food
  • Go to church
  • Workout
  • Respond with kindness
  • Give of myself
  • Be a human jungle gym
  • Practice ABC's over and over and over...again
  • Fulfill my calling to the best of my abilities
  • Make healthy lunches every. single. day.
  • Create a healthy menu for dinner every. single. freakin'. night.
  • Be the example
  • Be patient
  • Put the laundry away
  • Clean the house
  • Shower and do my hair and do my makeup and put on clothes that don't even fit that great
But, I'll feel better if I do.


Apple Quesadilla

I first saw this on Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee. In her version, she uses brie cheese. I'm sure it's to die for. But, I don't keep brie cheese in my fridge unless it's for some fancy-schmancy recipe and I certainly wouldn't waste it on a quesadilla. So, I used jack and cheddar. Still, very yummy.

Apple Quesadilla
  • 2 Flour tortillas (or you may fold one in half for smaller portions)
  • Half to one apple. I use Gala or Fugi. You want something sweet, but not too soft. Not Granny Smith or Red Delicious (who even eats reds anymore?)
  • Grated cheese of your liking. As much or as little as you like. Brie is obviously nice and soft and will melt well. Havarti is an excellent substitute, too. We carry jack and cheddar in my house. So, that's what I used.
  • Place some cheese on the tortilla. Slice apple thinly and put on top of cheese. I do it in a fan patter of sorts. You can add as much or as little apple as you like. Place remaining cheese on top of apple slices. Place second tortilla on top or fold over if using one.
  • Put pat of butter in skillet and heat on medium high.
  • When the butter is melted, put quesadilla in pan. Brown on one side. When you have achieved your desired level of brownness, flip. Brown until cheese melts (you can flip again if it's getting to dark and the cheese hasn't melted, but I try not to over-flip).
  • Let cool for a few minutes (the apples will be just soft enough and HOT so be careful!) and slice in any way you like. I use a cookie cutter for Lexi's to keep it interesting.


Dead Fish Swimming

The name of this demon fish is the Black Convict. We unsuspectingly brought them home. As you well know, from this post, they procreated. And quickly. Turns out, this type of fish can have 200 babies every 21 days. The fish store guy says people leave them on his doorstep! And just look at our tank! Remember this? Well, now we have this murky mess filled with baby fish and one demented mother fish (we separated the mother and father fish but he quickly started attacking the other fish in the small tank so, in the interest of protecting the defenseless, we cast him out into the dark and dreary world - our front yard - to die a slow and painful death on the dirt). I've been calling her the Taliban because she is awful and kills any living thing that isn't one of her own. We've officially declared our stance on the death penalty: We're all for it! They've terrorized and murdered many a fish. Tonight shall be their last night. And, no, they aren't going to get any last requests.

See the devil spawn?

Here they are plotting how to take over the world.
If you listen very closely, you can hear them cackle.

Got My Hair Did



I have a few bad habits. I don't practice the art of admitting to them very often. But, sometimes, I am exposed; mostly because the habit results in the addition of another animal to our household. Case in point:

This is Cutie. She is a 3 year old Boston Terrier. I found her on Craigslist. (Coincidentally, I also found Mia on Craigslist.) Why would I be looking on Craigslist for anything? Especially another dog? Well, because I have some weaknesses. One of them is checking the pet listings on Craigslist daily. Considering how many pets I've come across, I actually think of myself as incredibly disciplined seeing as we've only added one dog and not hundreds. Or rabbits. Or hedgehogs. Or pot bellied pigs.

Plus, Allen and I decided, after some long discussions, we always want a girl dog around. Mia is incredible. But, she's an old lady now. And, she's got a very disturbing growth that has tripled in size in the last 2 months. She also has a heart condition. Not that we're replacing her. But, it's not that often that an already kid-friendly and completely trained pure bred (of your chosen breed) dog is available. So, when something good comes along, you consider it.

I showed her to Allen and he said I could "inquire". I was impressed and did not let a minute pass lest he might change his mind. I learned this upon my inquiry: The family purchased her from Oklahoma and raised her from a pup. They have 2 year old and 2 month old sons at home. She is fully house trained, crate trained, leash trained, quiet, loyal, and sweet. All the things we love about Bostons. Why were they getting rid of such a great dog? They are losing their home and have to move into an apartment that does not accept pets. I returned with a full report to Allen. We pondered the situation over night.

The next day, we called and told the family we would love to have Cutie if they would let us. They said they would be happy for her to live at our place. So, we made an FHE out of the deal and drove an hour to go meet her. The young family was obviously heart broken. The mom of the family was near tears the whole time. They asked for permission to call and check in on her. Of course, we said yes.

She has been a pleasure since day one. She has had no accidents, checks on the kids regularly, sits with us, watches us, runs in the sprinklers and is very wiggly. She is very smart and is quickly adapting to our routine. Lexi is enthralled with every thing Cutie does and Cutie is very, very patient. She likes the kids more than Mia does (gasp!). Did we need another dog? No. But, are we very happy with this addition? Absolutely.

Welome to the family, Cutie!


As the Garden Grows

Roma Tomatoes

Zucchini plant

with actual zucchini on it!

Carrot tops

Baby Cantaloupe

Watermelon plant

Baby Watermelon on the huge plant. There's, like, 6 or 8 growing on it. That doesn't count the one Lexi already harvested.

Baby Bell Pepper

Bigger, Bigger!

A few days ago, Lexi asked if she could go out to play. I said yes and agreed to meet her outside in a couple of minutes. Before I could make it out the door, she came back in. She had a big grin on her face and her hands behind her back. She was obviously proud of her find. I asked her to show me what she had and she produced this:

She was so happy to have "helped" in the garden that I wasn't quite sure what to say or do. I was about to call Allen at work anyways, so I told Lexi she should share with her Dad what happened. I figure I'd follow Allen's lead. This is how the actual conversation went:

Me: Oh! Lexi, that watermelon wasn't done growing. Let's tell Dad what happened. He's going to be really sad. (I start dialing.)

Lexi: He's going to be really sad?

Me: Yeah. (Ringing) Here, tell Dad what you did.

Allen (on phone): Hello?

Lexi: I picked a watermelon it isn't red yet it's too little it needs to grow bigger, bigger, BIGGER!

Allen: You what?

Me: She picked the baby watermelon. I told her you would be sad.

Allen: Oh, Lexi, that makes me sad.

Lexi: You're sad now, Dad?

Allen: Yes, I'm sad.

Lexi: Dad's sad.

A couple of hours later, Allen came home. He told Lexi he had something for her. Of course, she was very excited. He produced a full size watermelon. He then had her hold the baby watermelon while he pointed out the difference. She said, "I picked it too early? It's not red yet? It's going to grow taller, taller, taller. Like me!!" He explained that the watermelon needs to stay outside on the plant until it's bigger, bigger like the one he brought home for her.

I thought that was some of the most creative parenting I'd seen. He obviously thought about the best way to teach Lexi the difference between baby and mature fruit; he made a special stop on the way home to buy the big watermelon and plan out how to really teach rather than just scold her. Since she loves to work in the garden, it's important she know the right time to take the fruits or veggies off the plant. She was totally intrigued by the big watermelon. Being able to hold them side by side made it much easier for her to see the difference.

And, we even got to eat the yummy, bigger, BIGGER watermelon for dessert.


Natural History Museum

We received an invite to the NHM in Albuquerque. With the hot weather, the kids haven't been able to get out of the house very much. My brilliant friend called up and suggested we go. I could hear her kids in the background and I'm sure she could hear mine. Clearly, every one needed out of the house. So, we packed up and made our way to town.

See the big smile? Addie just had the ride of her life. While I was busy taking the picture of the stupid dinosaur, the stroller took off down the ramped walkway. Thankfully, my friend called out, "Addie!" and pointed as the stroller careened down the ramp. I caught up to her just before she crashed into the wall. Nice.

California - Part Four

The basis for our trip was to attend baby Claire's blessing. Sunday morning we drove up to Sacramento to attend church with Craig and Rachel.

Allen, Craig (holding Claire - who's dress, by the way, was hand made by Rachel's mom), Robert and Brent

Happy Addie

Ben was posing for me.

The kids ran around on the lawn while we got everyone organized for family photos. Here's Lexi chasing Dani.

The girls loved Aunt Laura. Lexi literally sat on Laura's (disappearing - thanks to being 7 months pregnant) lap for the entire church meeting.

Nolan, Dani, Hannah, Lexi and Ben

Trying to get this picture taken was like pulling teeth. The kids were squirmy and fussy. This is the best one we got.

Addie's expression sums up the tail end of our trip pretty well. I think they spent about 3-4 hours that day in a car seat topped off by 2 hours on a completely full flight. Put it all together and you get screaming kids and sweaty parents.

But, the trip as a whole was pretty dang fun. We created lots of good memories while we were there. All of the kids grow and change so quickly that seeing them once or twice a year seems like hardly enough to keep up with them. Everyone makes pretty big efforts to accommodate us and welcome our kids, too, and we appreciate every effort to make our trip more fun. We miss every one a ton when we're away and do look forward to going back.

California - Part Three

Saturday evening we went to the fireworks. We always see lots of friends and family there. The kids run and play, the men run and play, and the women talk and keep every one under control. It's usually a really fun time. This year was no exception.

Addie stayed happily awake for the entire evening. She laughed and clapped through the fireworks show.

I don't think Brent got to sit for a minute! Lexi was all over him the whole evening. He indulged her and she had a blast!
If I were some kind of super photo lady, I would have adjusted the settings to the pictures would be better. But, this is what I got.

Happy 4th of July!

About Me

My photo
What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.