Sunday, May 21, 2017

DISCOVER

Kotten Kandy decided to discover new places and new adventures this past week "on her own."  (Read:  without her family)  She joined the Coolbear family and vacationed to Washington DC and Virginia to attend a homeschool conference.  On the way she got to attend the Washington DC temple, meet grandma and grandpa Coolbear and go to the beach.  At the conference she attended a lot of amazing classes (including a writing class that really had her excited).  She also took a dance class and got to use her new dance skills at the dance.  She had a blast!  I can't wait to hear more details tonight... she's on her way home now.  (And she was so busy that she didn't call as often as or long as this mom would have liked....  But I'm glad she had such a wonderful time!  And I'm glad the Coolbears took such good care of my baby girl!)
These cute kids went to the temple!
Taffy, Apple Muffin, Maple, Kotten Kandy and Juice 2
(not the same as Juice - who has the same name...  😉)
Kotten Kandy loves the temple of the Lord!
And Maple is definitely in her element too!
Kotten Kandy
Isn't this a beautiful reflection picture of the House of the Lord?!
Climbing Trees
Uncle Josh had a "cool" car!
Sunrise at the beach!
Funny kids!
Not enough beach pictures in my opinion...
But at least she took a couple....
They all got sunburned.
The gang at the dance class!
And then there was the dance....
Rice Krispie with Kotten Kandy
Taffy and Kotten Kandy dancing....

Friday, May 19, 2017

ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

Those of you who know me well, know that while I admire animals from a distance, I'm not a huge fan of cohabiting with them, etc.  But this week I decided to "turn over a new leaf."  I've petted and loved these two dogs all week.  And it wasn't terrible.  I felt bad for them as I was the only human they had for a week, so I gave myself pep talks and spent a lot of time loving on them.  (I did a lot of hand washing and showering afterward.)  Honestly, I enjoyed doting on Bear better than my own dog because his calm demeanor is more my type.  (Don't tell anyone because I have a reputation to keep - but I ALMOST enjoyed having these cute dogs around.)
Bear
Karmel
I also have enjoyed discovering all sorts of critters with Amy on our walks.  This week we've seen the following:
This baby salamander was so cute.
I laid my ring down next to him for some size reference.
This funny toad was pretty lazy and let us just take pictures of him.
I can't believe I was brave enough to take this picture.  I got pretty close but also used my zoom feature.  The little baby spiders on it's back really creeped me out!
I've also read two books the past week....
I bought Zandra and Tamu's book, Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons, because I really enjoyed listening to them speak at Time Out for Women.  These women are so funny. And witty. There is truth and love throughout the book.  BUT - I couldn't relate to much of it.  The culture didn't translate to me.  I'm glad I read it.  But I'm not sure I loved it.  It was OK.
I also read Matt Walsh's debut book The Unholy Trinity: Blocking the Left's Assault on Life, Marriage, and Gender.  Matt Walsh is a gifted writer who is conservative and Christian.  I've been reading his blog posts for about 3 years and love his well thought out arguments and have agreed with most of what he writes.  He walks the walk and talks the talk - which is amazing.  I enjoyed his book.  I'm sure there are probably a LOT of people who won't like him or his book - but when you're brave enough to speak the truth, you are bound to have enemies....

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

HIDE AND SEEK - GAMES OF ALL SORTS

My sweet husband got us tickets to see the musical Clue on Thursday night!  I LOVED it!  We all did!  This musical was far from a typical murder mystery.  For all intents and purposes, the murder victim, Mr. Body, was happily aware of his upcoming murder and enjoyed narrating our game.  The suspects, the weapons and the mansion were all straight out of the classic board game.  The audience played along with the show and were encouraged to figure out who done it.  Scott, Taffy and Kotten Kandy all figured it out!  I didn't try....  I just enjoyed the story and the music and the humor!  It was sooooo much fun!  And figuring out the game added another layer of entertainment!
Scott, Me, Kotten Kandy and Taffy
My husband and I
These two cute kids!
Kiara Lea had fun with my family this Mother's Day week!  She and her cousin took them all on a fun hike that had hidden, carved faces throughout to discover.  They found 5!  (There are 17?!)  What another fun game for a hike!  She really does love her Colorado Moms!  (I love her Colorado mothers too, as they are my sister and my own mother!)  Happy Mother's Day!  I'm blessed with great moms that surround me!
The Hiking Gang
Shanae, Grandpa Mac, Mil, Shaved Ice, GJ, Ken and Kiara
Beautiful Colorado
The Old Man in the Tree
The Ancient Tongue Wagger
I love that Kiara takes pictures of flowers like me!
Desert flowers are so pretty!
Key Lime Pie and Shaved Ice
GJ
Mil
Thank goodness for "other" moms!
I love my family!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

X-STITCH OUR LIVES WITH BOOKS AND GREEN THUMBS

It's easy to have hobbies when we are young.  My parents signed me up for swimming lessons and took me to piano lessons weekly.  I participated in science camps and sang in choirs.  Even in college, it was easy to find time to read and I attended every live performing event I could.  Sometime when I grew up (getting married, having children, working full time) it became more difficult to pursue hobbies.  But I'm realizing that it is still really important to make time for hobbies and interests.  Spending time playing duets on the piano with my dear friend, or cross-stitching a design I created myself is so much more rewarding than vegging in front of the TV.  So I'm trying to do more "good" with my time.  And I'm encouraging my children to do likewise.
Kotten Kandy loves gardening!  (That's not a hobby I've been excited about... but she is!)  She truly enjoys cultivating her green thumb!  And this year she's had to do most of it since Scott is injured.  She looks so happy in her "element!"  (She also writes books and sings like an angel.  She's also learning to play the uke and plays it almost every night!)
And my eldest is continuing to develop her hobbies and talents too!  She still plays the violin, reads and continues to crochet!  Check out what she's doing on her lunch break today.
Here is the cross-stitch I finished for Scott today:
And I created this one for myself about a month ago:
I mentioned above that I LOVED playing piano duets with my good friend, Maeva, last week.  And I'm working on some writing!  And this blog, too, is kinda a hobby!
I also finished reading two books:
I read The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason because Kiara has to read it for her math class.  Scott said it was a good book with a story.  Well... I'm not sure what he meant by a story - because there is absolutely NO plot.  It's a decent book with a lot of common sense about finances.  I actually really liked the chapter about "good luck."  I was able to relate that principle to lots of different aspects of my own life.  Good luck is taking advantage of opportunities without procrastinating.
I also read Shane by Jack Schaefer.  I went through a Zane Grey reading phase when I was a teenager.  I loved his westerns, but I haven't read a western in a loooooong time.  And I was hesitant to read this one.  I was immediately sucked into the mystery of Shane.  And I loved that the story was told by a young boy.  I wasn't as fond of the relationship between Shane and "mother."  It was innocent, but I still felt it was awkward.  All in all, I thought Shane was/is a good role model for a young man.  And I loved the themes that people can change and we shouldn't judge others too quickly.  I'm glad I read this classic!
My advice:  Develop your hobbies and keep doing them - no matter what!  They really do bring joy!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

LIFE IS A RACE

Soooo... it was Derby yesterday!  And it was an unusually busy one for our family!  And we had to divide and conquer.  Kiara ran a 5K with her cousin, Fig Newton and Scott went to a Derby party - complete with great friends, LDS approved, mint julips and Derby pie, and Kotten Kandy went to a bonfire with Taffy (and didn't take pictures!  😢)  I cross-stitched.  And LOVED the quiet time... I'm almost finished with my lighthouse project.
Billy, Shanae and Kiara - before the race!
Ready to go!
Key Lime Pie made a new friend and running buddy!
They kept each other going!
IHOP after the race was perfect for these racers!
Key Lime Pie and Shaved Ice cooking in the kitchen!
Great helpers!
Apple Jacks, Chex and Fig Newton watching the Derby!
I LOVE Trina's collection of Derby hats!
Derby Pie is the BEST!
Doug and Scott...
It was a fun day!  I'm super proud of my sweet, eldest daughter!  I'm grateful for the Fieldings!  They are so amazing!  And I'm mad at Kotten Kandy for forgetting to take pictures for her mother....  😆


Friday, May 5, 2017

DEATH BY THE POND: A SWEET WATER MYSTERY

Opening Night!  These kids worked SUPER hard!  And I was so proud of all of them!  They are a talented group of homeschoolers!  I'm soooo blessed to be associated with these great kids!  I'm also really proud of my talented friend, Amy, who wrote the play!  I really love her and "my kids" in the show - especially the Fox!  Kotten Kandy rocked her role!
The cutest Sly Fox in the world!
Chicken Little was scared of everything!
Nuts was the perfect scaredy cat... I mean, chicken!
Marmalade was perfect as a fearsome cat...
although she was too pretty to be too scary.
Scott and I couldn't stop laughing during this
cute duet by the Owl and the Gingerbread Man!
Taffy was the perfect leading man!
And I love Rice Krispie!
Tony made a cameo as a nervous bird!
He was awesome!
These two girls singing about pizza was fabulous!
"On a Monday, I've got pizza love!"
The frogs were adorable!
Apple Muffin made everyone smile!
She's a natural performer!
Apple Pie was a perfect frog in his froggy raincoat!
Our Crow nailed her part!  And I was super proud of her!
Too bad that Kotten Kandy stole her cookie!
Sweet Tarts was a beautiful peacock!
And Kotten Kandy loved sharing a moment
on stage with her buddy, Almond Joy... aka Mouse #1.
Contemplating Mr. Frog's death....
And my favorite song?!  Upstanding Citizen!  Love that Owl and Fox together.....
They really stole the show!
I was spoiled by these great kids!  And I feel so loved!
I was the lucky one... I got to work with these amazing students!