We will return to our regularly scheduled programming after the Holiday Season.

Merry Christmas!



Lexi {excited pride}: Look what I made, Mom!

Me {automated excitement}: Wow Lex! {shutting down out-right laughter after having actually looked at the completed masterpiece}

Lexi {excited pride laced with educational emphasis}: It's a girl. You wanna know how you can tell?

Me {mouth agape}: By her bright red nipples and striped girly parts? I dunno, how Lex?

Lexi {accomplished pride}: By all the curls on her head? See her curly hair? She's a girl!

Me {to Allen}: It's like the poor thing needs a bikini or something.


Ponder This

When we make mistakes, the Savior doesn't say, "Go to your room."

He says, "Come unto me."

- Dr. Lynn Scoresby


Keep Your Eye On the Cow

First, you gotta watch the video. It's less than minute long. No, seriously. You've got to watch. 

Really. Do it.

Now that you've watched the video, let's move on. 

I worked for a cutting horse trainer back in my single days. I actually got to ride horses that moved like the one you saw in the video above. Isn't he amazing? Did you see him hit is butt as he stopped to get back to that cow? Did you see him rattle before he moved off to follow the cow? Yeah, buddy that's good stuff. 

But I really want to talk about the rider. If you have to, watch it again. Did you notice that guys seat? It was pretty much planted in the saddle. Did you notice his hands? Down low with loose reins. In fact, picking up your reins in cutting is a penalty. He's not pulling or pushing that horse with his hands at all. That means, he's almost a total passenger, except for a bump with the leg if necessary. How, then, does he know where that horse is moving to next? 

The rider watches the cow's eyes. If you have to, watch the video again. It's like a stare down with the cow.  If you keep your eye on the cow, you'll stay in the saddle. If you take your eye off of the cow, you'll be "checking the quality of the ground". 

The cow always looks to where he's headed before he moves his feet. His eyes reveal exactly what he's planning on doing next. He looks where he's going, his nose points, and his feet follow. 

Horses are the same. The feet follow the nose. 

People are the same, too. 

We are, after all, but animals too. Where the eyes are focused, so will be all the effort. With people, it's a little more complex though as we also have a moral capacity attached to that focus: "for where your atreasure is, there will your heart be also" (Luke 12:34) 

 We always reveal our next step in life through our eyes. Keeping focused on any one thing will always result in your actions leading toward that thing. If the eyes are set on the material things of the world, so will be the heart. If the eyes are set on spiritual goals, so will the heart also be set on those treasures.

From Doctrine & Covenants 88:67: 
And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

One who sees the "bigger" picture and lives for the realization of that picture, has a measured stride that carries her toward her goals. There is no frantic scrambling of self. There is no desire to placate herself with worldly goods. Rather, there is a sense of purpose and fulfillment that cannot be matched. 

The understanding of true principles (light and knowledge) brings peace to our hearts, minds, and souls. The ability to comprehend all things is perhaps one of the richest blessings a mortal being could receive. To know the meaning of life, the purpose of struggle, the reality of God, and the promise of eternal life just skims the surface of what that means for us. Think of the depth of wisdom that could be garnered if this blessing is to be fulfilled. 

If we keep our eyes, and thus hearts, set on the work of the Lord we can have that blessing as promised in the scripture above. If we keep our eyes set on serving, loving, spreading the gospel, testifying, forgiving, and all of the other works Heavenly Father is counting on us to do, we can understand all we need (and want!) about this life and the next. 


Tea Time

The girls and I went to the Teddy Bear Tea fundraiser again this year. Lexi was so excited to go back and show Addie what it's all about.
We sat with our cousins this year which made the time so much fun.
Addie working hard on her letter to Santa.

Something's caught their attention hasn't it? (Aubree's so excited she's got the "rock on" fist pumpin'.)
The man of the hour.
Aubree with Grammy Cathie.
Dani enjoying the candy cane.
Addie with Grandma Riddle.
Hannah and Lexi enjoying the Nutcracker ballet.



Your Nerd Is Showing

Doing dishes in the kitchen after dinner.

My mom {doubled over laughing}: Your life would be so boring without a mom like me! What would you do without me?

Me {deadpan sarcasm}: I don't know. I'd be a fraction of the person I am.

Allen {normal voice}: 22 over 7.


Beating the Beast

My mouth watering, I ran toward the sink.

I can make it, I thought.

I have to make it.

It was the second time that day.

I'd made it the time before. I could do it again.

I got to the sink and thrust the faucet handle up as fast as I could.

The water came gushing out and filled the bowl in seconds.

I grabbed for the dish soap and gave the bottle a hard squeeze.

Relief washed over me.

I'd done it.

I'd made two different desserts.

And I hadn't eaten any part of them.

I'd taken the bowl with the gooey, rich, decadent batter, and before I could succumb to the consuming desire to openly lick the contents therein, filled it with water and soap preventing myself from giving in.

Giving up.

I had made a commitment to myself and I kept it.

I beat the beast.

16 weeks

The amount of time it takes to lose

50 lbs!



What is your greatest accomplishment?
 Living the gospel daily.

What drives you every day?
My desire to be the person Heavenly Father needs me to be.

 Where do you like to vacation?
Where can I be alone?

Who do you admire?
Those who have a grasp on what is truly important.

What is your mission?
That is the million dollar question. Any suggestions?

What trait in others are you attracted to?
A wicked sense of humor.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
  Love me.

 How do you want to be remembered?
 In a way that brings a smile to the face.

You have a 10 minute speech to give at a high school, what is it
  Myself. What else does any high schooler talk about?

What is most memorable about your high school years?
  I had fun. 

What would you do if you had a million dollars?
 Spend it.

Are you a spender or a saver?
 See above.

Would you rather be good looking or rich?
  Clearly I have chosen to be good looking. 

Would you like to know the day you’re going to die ahead
of time?
 I would not, but I want to live as though I know. Living that way keeps things in focus.

Would you rather have super strength or super
 I have both. Duh.

Would you rather spend the rest of your life without a
significant other, or would you rather have a partner who is
extremely difficult?
Clearly, I'd rather do the latter.

Would you rather spend life in prison or be executed?
 Puh-lease. Kill me now.


This and That

I've got lots of thoughts and feelings to share, none of them substantial enough to justify an entire post. And, I'm not going to bother everyone on Facebook with them all either. Plus, when I don't blog, I don't sleep and I do love me some sleep.

- They say that the top three ways to stress a marriage are to 1) change/start a new job, 2) move or 3) have a child. In the last 18 months, we have had a child, started a new job and moved twice.

- Our house in New Mexico hasn't sold yet. We've put in all new flooring and dropped the price. Lots of traffic and good feedback, but no takers. We expected this, but having two mortgages weighs heavily on a person's mind.

- I've had a few moments of strength I should remember: saying no to Halloween candy (except for one night when I gave myself permission to eat a certain amount and stuck with that commitment), saying no to McDonalds when I allowed the kids to have a treat - not even a lick or taste, keeping soda intake to 1 can a week, and not eating those darn cupcakes I made (I actually threw the extra away to stop it from going into my mouth).

- Today when I looked in the mirror, the thought that entered my brain was "Ugh. You are still so fat."In May, I bought sweats. Size XXL. Last week, I bought sweats from the same place. Size L. And they are baggy.  I almost shook myself. That type of thinking is so self destructive.

- I've been missing my Grandpa George a lot lately. He's been on my mind almost constantly. I wish my kids had known him better. I feel like having him in my life shaped me in so many good ways; I am sad for them to grow up without him.

- I teach the 8 year olds in church on Sundays. I spend 2 hours with them. They are dynamic and smart and polite and wonderful. Every week it pains me to dig deep enough to be all that they deserve from a teacher. I still struggle to be the person who naturally enjoys the younger crowd. (I think this topic may be a post of it's own later, but I'm still trying to understand it all myself.)

- I am the assistant leader for Lexi's girl scout group. I swore I would never make her do GS. I was in GS for a long time. I don't remember ever liking it. I didn't resonate with the girls. I didn't enjoy the crafts and projects. I thought the singing was lame. And I thought most of the women leaders (except for my own leader who was - and is - the most patient and kind woman around), were obnoxious and catty. Being back in, even as an adult, makes me feel all of those things all over again. And, I really don't feel much joy helping the kids. And, I'm convinced that a requirement of being a leader is to own a pair of mom jeans and an ill fitting hooded sweatshirt. I know, I'm an evil, awful person.

- I'm struggling being at home with my kids. I feel like my patience has gone on an extended vacay and I'm on my own. It's mostly been since we moved. I know it's due, in large part, to my own selfishness. I'm wanting to get organized, and settled, and function and my kids want a mom. I know the more important part. I still struggle. We've spent lots of time in family prayer, and me in personal prayer, to try and stay focused on the things that matter most.

- I'm growing my hair out. Why does this seem to take so flippin' long? Ugh. I will not cut it all off. I will not cut it all off. I will not cut it all off.

- The End.



This Is The Way We Go To School

Addie rides her bike.
Lexi holds hands with her classmate who is also our next door neighbor. They walk ahead 'cause, you know, they are big and stuff.
Yes, she has her own backpack and rides in her galoshes.
All is right with the world.


Her first ice cream cone. 
It didn't take long for her to catch on.
Lexi sneaking a cuddle.


Screw Who?

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[Kerri] Hi, how may I help you today?     :-)

[Visitor] I'm ordering a replacement false bottom for my oven. I see it has screw holes. Can you tell me what type of screw I'm gonna need to install the part?

[Kerri] In order to search for the correct part, please provide to me the complete model # directly from the appliance data tag.[Kerri] Click Here to Locate Your Model Number

[Visitor] JT912SF3SS is the model number for the oven. The part number is WB63T10034.

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[Kerri] click here to view diagram[

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[Visitor] number 210 from the diagram. i will say the shape in the middle of the bottom isn't an oval on your website though. do you know if that is an issue?

[Kerri] One moment please, I am researching this information for you.

Stove / Oven / Range False Bottom - WB63T10034

Stove / Oven / Range False Bottom - WB63T10034
$56.50 $44.79 


[Visitor] That's the part.

[Kerri]  I hope you enjoyed your experience. If you have time, please visit our Bizrateor Facebook page to let other online shoppers know how we’re doing! If you thought I did an exceptional job assisting you, please mention me in your review. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks and have a great day! 

[Visitor] I already have the part! I need to know about the screws so I can install it. Can you help me with that information?


The Great Pumpkin

Addie, Emmy and I made the trip to the local pumpkin patch with Grandma Riddle. 
Emmy had a really rough night and was not her usual happy self. In fact, I don't think she smiled once the whole time.
Grandma and Emmy.
Emily is such an animal lover. Figures she would have allergies to them.  
Addie? Not so much.
Emmy vs. The Chicken
Addie still hanging on for dear life.
Addie and Emmy
Emily loves, loves, loves horses. Unfortunately, her maiden voyage didn't end so well. Her hard had slipped off, hit the horse in the butt, and the mare jumped forward and crow hopped. Thank goodness the horse handler guy and I were right there to grab Emmy. They offered to let her go again on a different mount, but she said no thank you. 
Much to our surprise, Addie was super excited to ride. She did not get dumped.

Me and Addie with our haul.

What They Don't Tell You...

Is that when you have kids, the mom guilt will be bad enough to paralyze you some days.

Let me illustrate:

Today, Lexi had a minimum day. That means she starts school at 9:45 a.m. rather than the usual 11 a.m. Today, I was feeling particularly yucky and wasn't moving too quickly. We had breakfast, got dressed, and still had a few extra minutes before we needed to go. So, I asked the girls if they would be ok with me taking a lightening fast shower while they played (this would be day 2 with no shower my friends - don't judge - you know you've been there). They said yes. I stuck to my promise and was done in a flash (ha! pun fully intended).

As organizing a group of young children tends to go, we ended up totally eating up our free time trying to get ourselves ready to leave. As we were donning backpacks and running out of doors, I realized I had forgotten to make Lexi a lunch. I told her she would get to buy lunch today and she said that would be great. She asked what they were serving and I didn't know, but they tend to have multiple options so we decided she'd be able to find something that would work.

Fast forward to 1 p.m., well after her normal lunch hour and it's time to pick her up from school. On the way home, I have the thought: you better ask her about lunch. So, I did. They had tacos. She tried one bite, but didn't like it. The rule in our house is you must try one bite and even though she wasn't being supervised by mom or dad, she adhered to the rule. And, she didn't like it. They also served broccoli. She loves broccoli. Surely, she's had something to eat, right? Well, the broccoli was cold.

What did she eat for lunch? Milk. MILK.

Can I tell you how overcome with guilt I was at this discovery? Had I not taken the shower, I would have had time to make her a good lunch that she would have enjoyed. She wouldn't have had to watch the other children eating their yummy lunches while she had a yucky taco and cold broccoli. My poor little Lexi would have had something besides MILK to fuel her little body while she was working hard at school.

Of course, I made her a lunch as soon as we walked in the door. She was happy and seemingly no worse for the wear.

Me? Well, I've been beating myself up about it all day. That is the gift of mom guilt. It's the gift that keeps on giving (even when your children have totally forgotten or didn't even notice in the first place.)


An Actual Conversation

Allen {appearing irritated, making lunch}.

Me {across room, silently judging observing the process}.

Allen {picking at sandwich roll}.

Me {knowing the rolls were on their way out}: Are those moldy? 

Allen {"get-off-me" look with snarky inflection}: There's no other bread out. I'll just pick this off.

Me {disgusted}: DUDE! There are plenty of rolls in the freezer. Just defrost one and you won't have to eat moldy bread. Ugh. 

Allen {now legitimately grumpy}: I don't like the way defrosted bread tastes. 


Trunk or Treat

Our new ward held it's trunk or treat festivities tonight.

Both girls chose to be witches this year. 

Addie kept doing this "evil witch" HA! HA! HA! to every passerby. She was also on a mission to get her candy tonight and held her ground among the big kids. She caused a few laughs with her determination. 
Emmy was a little under the weather today and we even contemplated keeping her home. She perked up enough to join in the fun, but didn't don her costume. You'll have to tune in after All Hallows Eve to see her all dressed up.
Emmy checking out the scene.

The costume parade. Lexi won an award!
As with any great family outing, this one was total chaos and pandemonium. But so much fun.

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.