Saturday, March 18, 2017


A lot of little memories this week:
Selfies with Kotten Kandy:
St. Paddy's Day:
I made homemade green rolls, and green wild-rice soup!
It was delish!
We all wore green!  (Thanks to the Jets for Fig Newton and Scott's green jerseys!)
Apparently I didn't teach my eldest daughter well... She forgot to wear green.
But I'm grateful someone from work helped her out!
Key Lime Pie got to see/listen to Elder Holland in person!  She created this meme with a quote by him:
She was really on a spiritual high afterwards!
And Kotten Kandy needed to charge her phone at church.  So she decided the bathroom would be the perfect place to do so?!  Here's proof with a bathroom selfie (I thought I'd taught my daughter better than that!  JK!):
And Scott, Kotten Kandy and I played Puerto Rico tonight to unwind.  Scott is sick.  And we decided to cheer him up with a lively strategy game - of course, we let him win since he wasn't feeling well.  Right, Kotten Kandy?!

Monday, March 13, 2017


Key Lime Pie got to go to a RS Activity and listen to one of my favorite people.  I always thought Connie Kelly was an amazing woman!  She is a professional speaker and I wanted to emulate her.  (Although I never did "do" that dream....)  Kiara learned a lot from her - about organization!  She also took a class about journaling!  I'm glad my daughter is learning from such wonderful women!
Kiara and Connie
Soooo... I love my house!  And spring time makes it beautiful!  Check out the gorgeous tree out front:
My House
My Tree
And we went to the temple on Friday (just Scott, Kotten Kandy, Amy and I)....  What a wonderful place to be!  And then Qdoba afterwards!  YUM!
Kotten Kandy, Amy, Raisin, Mark, Me and Scott
And look at this beautiful Thai dinner Fig Newton ate:  (I think the flower was my favorite part!  I want flowers served with my food from now on!)
Sunday we had our monthly gospel discussion!  And this time, we got to share it with the Melansons too!  They came to visit us from Colorado!  (Actually, they came to visit their grandsons, but we'll take it - since we love them!)  We love being with them!  They even stayed with us!  (Yay!)
Scott, Dave and Hammond discussing repentance.
Kotten Kandy, Amy, Raisin and Mark contributing
to the discussion on applying the Atonement.
These cute kids enjoyed the BBQ and playing together!
And Juice is getting so good on the piano!
Cookie Cake by Amy!
Nuts, Fig Newton, Kotten Kandy, Apple Pie, Amy and Raisin
And then there is our entertainment!  Scott and Raisin dancing:
Kiara got to have her own gospel discussion with my family in Colorado!  Isn't the gospel wonderful!?  I love these cute kids who also participated 24 hours away:
Shaved Ice and Shortbread
Key Lime Pie
And then... Kotten Kandy went on a date to see Lego Batman... with these cute boys:
Kotten Kandy, Jelly Bean and Apple Pie

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Sooo... according to my daughter, I collect kids!  I do enjoy "adopting" and/or "kidnapping" my friends' children often!  I've never had a kid ask to be "adopted" on my blog... until now!  Meet Alfalfa!  He's friends with Kotten Kandy, Key Lime Pie and Taffy.  And wants to be a part of our crazy, weird group!
I also finished re-reading The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale two days ago.  I had forgotten how wonderful this book is!  This great story has many twists and turns throughout.  Themes like loss, courage and love are weaved throughout this wonderful, magical book.  This book is amazing.  It made me laugh.  It made me cry.  I DEFINITELY recommend this book.  It's a perfectly told fairy tale!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


This week was super fun!  We love being a BIG family!  And Teresa and Tony shared their sweet kids with us so we could have lots more crazy fun being six!  I made us take a "family" picture after church!
Sweet Tarts, Almond Joy, Me, Scott, Kotten Kandy and Fig Newton
We had a lot of fun with our extra kids.  We went to Taffy's basketball tournament.  He played really well and we enjoyed cheering him on!  (Maple played too.  And we loved screaming for her as well!)
Taffy is in red...
Taffy's cheering section!
He played well!  And they won two games!
And on Monday the teenagers had fun taking pictures and being silly... I got to be "one of the girls" for one shot:
Love these great girls!
Fig Newton, Sweet Tarts, Kotten Kandy
Kotten Kandy and Sweet Tarts with Maple
These crazy kids decided to take pics at a photo booth....
And this little girl makes me smile ALL the time!  I love this little cubby hole in my entertainment center... because it "fits" her so well:
Amy and Mark make cute kids!
And Sheila sent me this cute picture when they went to go see a movie... and saw this adorable employee:
Working Girl
And after reprimanding my oldest daughter about never sending me pictures, she sent me ONE:
She's so wonderful!  And she's doing well.  She is starting her application process for BYUI, but is pretty much planning on attending in the fall.  She seems happy!  And is working hard at the dentist office and with Pathway.  I'm pretty proud of that girl of mine!
Key Lime Pie
I never take selfies.... Scott said he wanted one of me....  So here's the result:
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, March 3, 2017


Do you ever wish you could be a fly on the wall?  I do!  Especially when raising teenagers.  I beg for pictures!  But I don't always get them.  And sometimes I read my friend's blogs hoping to be a fly on the wall into their lives too.  And what about knowing "the deep stuff?!"  I'd love to "understand" others.
Soooooo....  Thanks to Sweet Tarts (who is my daughter for the week!) I got to be a fly on the wall to a fun, little outing for these cute teenagers:
Maple, Andrew, Taffy, Kotten Kandy and Sweet Tarts
(Almond Joy is taking the picture... so not pictured....)
They saw the Lego Batman Movie.  And went roller-skating!  I'm glad Sweet Tarts takes pictures!
These two are my daughters this week!  I kinda like them - like a lot!
And I'll claim Maple as my own ALL the time!
Please, can I adopt her, Maeva?!
Taffy makes me smile...
Apparently he makes Kotten Kandy smile too... in this picture.
Almond Joy and Sweet Tarts
(I forced Almond Joy to be in a picture.)
And here's my reader's chance to be a fly on the wall into my soul.  Lately I've been thinking about friendships.  I have been blessed with a couple (read FOUR) great mom friends!  And I count myself EXTREMELY blessed!  One of my dear friends (Teresa) calls us "our tribe!"
Being a mom can be lonely even if you're never alone.  And I have discovered that I need the friendships these wonderful women and I have.  Friends enrich every stage of our lives.  And studies have shown how important friendships are to our mental, social, spiritual and physical health.
Soooo... Here's my shout outs!  (I wish I had pictures of each of my friends... but I don't.)
Thank you, Amy Bettenhausen for being my first friend in Kentucky and my best friend for the past 7 years!  I love exercising, visiting, learning and growing with you!  I love sharing our love of books and our love of each other's children!  I couldn't navigate this crazy thing called life without you!
Thank you, Maeva Coolbear!  I know we only have gotten to know each other in the past few months, but already you have made my life better!  I love sharing music education with you!  I love your cute kiddos!  And I am so excited to strengthen our friendship!  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE move closer!  (Although 1 hour isn't so far away as to include you in "our tribe!")
Thank you, Teresa Pina!  You are one of those amazing people who are easy to love and so accepting!  I want to be just like you!  I love that you share your sweet kids with me!   I love that you embrace me and my craziness!  I love that you call me "family!"  I've learned so much from you!  And I'm glad you are part of my craziness!
And thank you, Sheila Schmid!  Sheila encourages me to be a better person!  She loves my sweet daughters - as I love her great kids!  I've loved sharing special, important occasions the past few years with y'all and I love that we get to celebrate together!
I know these thank yous just scratch the surface of how blessed I am.  And I really am!  I'm glad for a support group of women who I truly love!  Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he sent these friends to me!
I read another book: Be Happy by Hank Smith.  It was ... well... happy!  I enjoy the study of optimism and happiness!  And Hank Smith teaches about happiness with wit, humor and skill in this book.  Hank Smith gives excellent advice - some of which I've already put into practice!  I've started a gratitude journal and looking for more positive things in my life.  (Hence this entire post.)  I enjoyed the book.
So I'll leave y'all with some random photos:
This picture of Karmel is for my youngest daughter....
Yes, our dog is kinda cute!
And she is VERY cute!

Saturday, February 25, 2017


I love having a husband who will be silly with me!  Our ward's annual talent show was tonight.  Check out Scott and I:
(We really do have fun together.  Our life isn't boring!  I love this crazy man!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


They Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in a projected 10 book epic fantasy series.  It is AWESOME!  And even better the second time.  I just finished re-reading this book today, and I re-remembered why I loved it the first time and why my husband and daughter love it so much!
The Way of Kings takes place in the world of Roshar.  It follows the stories of three primary protagonists:  Kaladin, Dallinar and Shallan.  It's hard to describe what this book is about because there is so much going on that it is impossible to summarize.  In short, there is magic, swords, battles, assassins, monsters, threats of destruction, betrayals, leaders, wisdom and much more.
Even though this is my second reading of this book, I am still trying to process the amount of information I've learned during my re-read.  And most likely I'll be reading it again and again (like Scott and Kotten Kandy).  Re-reading it has made me realize just how little I know about this world.
Sooooo if you are wondering if you should read The Way of Kings, my answer is YES!  It's daunting as there are over 1,000 pages, but honestly, I believe there are great lessons about honor, leadership and the human condition throughout this great novel.  (I'm going to start re-reading book 2, Words of Radiance, now!)

Monday, February 20, 2017


Friendship is a good thing... especially when those friends help you be a better person!  Kotten Kandy and Fig Newton have made some wonderful friends and were blessed to get to make memories with them this past week.
Fig Newton got to participate in Basketball Homecoming... she was part of the royalty!  She had a great time hanging out with her friends and looking like the princess that she is!
I love my Thai daughter!
Kotten Kandy got to help Sweet Tarts celebrate her 17 birthday!  Sweet Tarts is beautiful, inside and out!  And we are so grateful she is part of our lives!
Mmmmmm Ice-cream Cake!
Sweet Tarts
Yes... We "play" a lot in our family... but we work hard too.  Here's Kotten Kandy working hard on her essay for her English class (I love that Sloth is nearby for company... I guess you could say that Sloth is Kotten Kandy's class mate?!):