Friday, December 9, 2016


I am sooooooooooooo blessed!  I get to share Christmas music with kids!  I love my voice and piano students!  And I love my home school show choir!  I honestly love everyone of these kids!  And I really enjoy the music too!  This time of year is GREAT for recitals and performances.  Check out "MY kids!"
Thursday night was my studio recital.  I have 9 students - all of which are AMAZING!  I love them all!  I'm so proud of them and their willingness to share their talents, grow and learn.
I tried to get a group pic....  It's not perfect.
Kotten Kandy is beautiful and fun!
She nailed "Angels We Have Heard on High"!
This evening was the show choir performance!  These kids rocked it!  So much fun to work with them and spend time with them each week.  I joke that I would adopt them all if I could...  I really would!  They are GREAT kids!
Funny kids!
With all the performing and sharing of talents, my husband is developing a new talent!  He has been practicing every night - faithfully - on his harmonica.  (Thanks, dad, for encouraging him and purchasing the materials he needed to learn!)  I recognize Jingle Bells, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and Skip to My Lou!  He's AWESOME!
My cute, talented husband!

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Kiara was excited that she got to share in the special moment!
My nephew got home yesterday from serving an honorable, 2-year, LDS mission to Orlando, Florida!  My eldest daughter said, "He's amazing!"  I'm proud of this young man and his example to my own family!  Welcome home, Gary!
Ken and GJ are so proud of their son!
And Gary's sisters are super excited to have him home!
Kiara, Grandpa and Grandma with the newly returned Elder!
BTW Our German daughter is doing well.  She received her Christmas present from Kentucky!  She says she doesn't have the Christmas spirit quite yet because she is focusing on her exams and applications.  She is so dedicated and focused.  We love you, Lollipop!

Sunday, December 4, 2016


It's now officially Christmas!  Every year we start our celebrations with the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional.  Scott wanted that to become one of our families traditions - and so we start the season with the beautiful Christmas music and messages from our Church leaders.  In more recent years, we've watched it at home and added hot chocolate with candy canes to the mix.  So... as we prepared to watch the broadcast this afternoon after church, Scott suggested we invite the Bettenhausens to enjoy the music and messages (and of course, hot chocolate) with us!  Our home is decorated and we thought it would be fun to share the spirit and holiday decore with our Kentucky family!  It was great to share with them!  Check it out:
Lovin' our hot chocolate!
Lovin' the broadcast!
Lovin' Fig Newton!
Lovin' Kotten Kandy and Apple Pie!
Two of my favorite guys: Jelly Bean and Scott
I enjoyed watching these adorable kids play with the child-friendly nativities I own.
I hope they can remember the true meaning of Christmas, in part, because of them!
At least Raisin seemed to really enjoy the wise men's camel
Apple Pie kept setting up the scene of Christ's birth!
And Raisin rocked out to the sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir....
My favorite message was about peace and how the birth of Christ was not the beginning or the end of the story.  I am truly grateful for Jesus Christ - His whole story and sacrifice!  That's why I collect nativities and decorate the way I do.
Merry Christmas!


My sister got to meet Kiara and Shanae's friends!  I'm a bit jealous!  But they had a GREAT time!  And I even got a couple of pictures!  (Which makes this mama happy!)  They played games until really late (for Grandma, Grandpa and the Hondas!)  And Key Lime Pie loves hanging out with friends and family - so she was in her element!
Mil and Grandpa were good sports - and played with these crazy teenagers!
Shaved Ice, Key Lime Pie (Kiara), Shortbread (Shanae), Billy and Brigham (B2)

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Our ward Christmas party was really great this year... thanks to Mary Nelson (who also happens to be one of my favorite people and my visiting teacher!)  Our theme was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
We sat with the Bettenhausens.
I actually purchased this cute centerpiece.
I LOVE it!
I LOVE the Fieldings!
And I LOVE their Christmas spirit!
Cute cake!
This is definitely one of my favorite quotes!
I got to read the story to the children....
I love reading!  I love kids!  I love Christmas!
I'm glad I got to participate!
So... We are singing "too many leaves!" at our house.  Kotten Kandy and Fig Newton raked leaves today.  (They still have another tree to go and they filled 19 bags full of leaves already!)  They are AWESOME!
Fig Newton and Kotten Kandy

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Yesterday Kotten Kandy, Marmalade and a handful of other friends went to the Lousiville Ballet for a field trip!  It was really cool!  Marmalade was really impressed by the costuming department.  (I could see her as a costume designer someday!)  The dancing was also incredible.  I decided that ballet dancers have muscles that the rest of us normal people aren't born with.  It really was a fun day, with great kids!
Kotten Kandy
Marmalade, Rice Krisipie and Almond
Almond MADE this hat all by himself!
I was impressed!
The gang of homeschoolers!
Since the weather has been getting colder, we have taken our exercise in doors....  We have walking videos, Zumba videos and yoga videos.  Every time we do yoga, Karmel joins in with Kotten Kandy.  It's really funny.  I'm usually too late to get the really funny poses... but these poses were also cute.  (No, Kotten Kandy did not invite Karmel to sit on top of her....)
My dad released another book about two weeks ago.  I got it when I was in Colorado and began reading it on the plane.  It's AWESOME!
Between Two Mirrors by Gary McCallister is a series of semi-serious essays about life (usually science) mixed with poetry.  I loved the format.  My dad's conversational sarcasm is always present and yet entertaining without making me feel stupid.  Each essay made me smile.  And the poetry was so inspiring and beautiful.  His use of imagery was amazing.  After reading this book, I am motivated to write my own collection of essays with poetry.  I like the format.  I like the insight.  I LOVE the book and the author!
Here are a few random pics that make me smile:
I call the photo:  Addiction
(No, not all those drinks are mine.  They belong to others.  It just made me laugh.)
Raisin loves her donuts.  We tried breaking off pieces for her, but she demanded the whole thing!
This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago (when it was still fall) at our favorite walking place.
These kids love sitting and talking while looking at the beauty of the earth!

2016 NaNoWriMo WINNERS

They won!
I am so proud of my husband, my daughter and my best friend!  Each of them wrote over 50,000 words (a small novel) in the month of November.  Words can't express how proud I am of these amazing individuals!  Completing NaNoWriMo is an awesome achievement!
Kotten Kandy and Scott
Every night in November, these two could be found in the dining room with their laptops typing.
Do  I get to be as cool as these 3 by association?!  

Friday, November 25, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving!  We are so blessed!  And I love taking time to think about the things I am thankful for!  It sounds cliche, but I am truly grateful for Heavenly Father and His Son.  I truly appreciate my incredible, wonderful, talented and creative husband.  I'm thankful for my amazing family (near and far).  And I'm grateful for friends who have "become" family!
Our Kentucky Family!!!!
(I love how our table looks so pretty!)
Our celebrations included a lot of traditions (and first time's for Fig Newton!)  Check it out:
So... thanksgiving begins the day before...
We break bread for the stuffing....
And Fig Newton created the most beautiful place cards!
Each card has their name in English and Thai.
She drew and painted them....
I've learned that everyone has different talents in life.  Mine is not cooking.  But I LOVE crafting and kids.... So I entertained These awesome kids with a Christmas craft before dinner.  And yes, they learned the right way to use a glue gun.  When they burn themselves (and don't we all burn ourselves with glue guns once in awhile?) I've taught them to say, "Ouch.  I'm a true crafter."  No tears and no screaming allowed.  
Apple Pie caught on quickly.
Marmalade decides to use blue instead of traditional red and green.
Nuts made 3 ornaments!
Juice made very un-traditional ornaments including a Dr. Who dalek?!
Fig Newton's ornaments were works of art.
Kotten Kandy takes her crafting very seriously.
They turned out GREAT!
Dinner was DELICIOUS!
Amy and Scott are magic in the kitchen!
And Amy even helped me clean up afterwards so it wasn't hard....
And I'm sooooo grateful that Kiara Lea got to celebrate the season with family too... even is she is 23 hours away.  Thanks, mom, dad and sister for making her feel wanted and loved!
Scott said, "It's not every day you see a Kia and 3 Hondas together!"
I love these girls!
Ken, GJ, Dad and Mom
These girls are AWESOME!
And I LOVE this picture!
And then... today... this happened:
Kotten Kandy and her father suffer from P.O.P.D. (Perfect Ornament Placement Disorder)
The symptoms also include P.N.P.D. (Perfect Nativity Placement Disorder)
Fig Newton has never decorated a Christmas tree.  She's never celebrated Christmas.
So this is extra fun!  We are getting ready.... for the next celebration!

OK - This might sound hokey, but I'm also grateful to my readers of my silly blog  It makes me happy when I know someone is actually reading.  Thank you!  And Happy Thanksgiving!