Friday, August 26, 2016


We pretty much drove STRAIGHT through 24 hours to get to Colorado.  My husband and I are exhausted!  But I had to share my husband's attempt at a selfie in Ft. Collins, Colorado:
He actually took two of the exact same shot to make sure the lighting was OK on his forehead?
I laughed sooooooooooo hard.  We all did.  Eventually he was schooled in the art of taking selfies by his eldest daughter.
I thought y'all would enjoy the laugh too!!!!
I'll write more about our trip and goings on in the morning....

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


to me!
I love birthdays!  And I love celebrating my own too!  And every year my sweet husband makes me my traditional birthday cake.  Grandma T made me this cake every year for my birthday for as long as I can remember.  And Scott carried on the tradition after she passed away.  I've always imagined that if love and autumn had a "taste" it would be this cake.  Love because it is a time and labor intensive gift.  Autumn because my birthday ushers in cooler temperatures and fall colors!  I'm soooooo blessed that my family loves me enough to make this cake.  (BTW I'll post the recipe at the end of this post - so you can share in the DELICIOUS, Love and Autumn tastes of my birthday!)
I'm sooooooo spoiled!  I definitely feel loved!
This week has been crazy, busy getting Key Lime Pie ready for school in Colorado.  It has also been very emotional as she has had to say goodbye to some of her dear friends for a time.  After each "goodbye" she has cried (which makes me cry too!)  But I am truly grateful there are so many other people in her life that love her almost as much as her father and I do!  They will miss her too!  These wonderful friends have given me strength as well as helped us raise this beautiful young woman!
The Coolbears are AMAZING!
And Key Lime Pie will really miss them.
She has grown to love this great family in such a short time...
They "fit" right in with our crazy!
Taffy, Kotten Kandy
Fig Newton, Key Lime Pie, Maple
Last night, Key Lime Pie wanted to eat Thai food with Fern before she left...
So we did!  It was delicious!
And the Schmids joined us too... for another goodbye...
The Schmids are like family!
Key Lime Pie is really sad she'll miss these best friends....
They are fun, loving, accepting and terrific friends/family!
She's leaving them with her two sisters to take care of....
Kotten Kandy, Fig Newton, Key Lime Pie
Rice Krispie, Guarana, and Asparagus
And here are three pictures that just make me smile....  (Key Lime Pie hasn't said goodbye to the Bettenhausens yet...  That's tomorrow.  And there will be many tears shed!)
Jelly Bean coloring Iron Man - his hero!
Marmalade coloring Harry Potter creatures!
Kotten Kandy and Jelly Bean are too cute for words!!!!
Here's my birthday cake:


3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cubes of margarine
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
2 cups grated apples
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat eggs, margarine, sugar and water until fluffy.  Sift together: flour, cocoa, soda and cinnamon.  Add to the creamed mixture.  Fold in nuts, chocolate chips, apples and vanilla.  Spoon into a well greased and floured bunt pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes.  Cool upright for about 30 minutes and then remove.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Key Lime Pie, Scott, Apple Pie, Me, Kotten Kandy and Fig Newton
I LOVE Amy's kids!!!!  We all do!  And this weekend we got to celebrate with them.  Amy has 4 kids born in August.  And Apple Pie turned 8 this year!  His baptism was absolutely wonderful!!!!  And we were honored to participate.  I played the piano.  Kotten Kandy lead the music.  Key Lime Pie played her violin.  And Scott gave the opening prayer and participated in the confirmation.  We really love this sweet boy!  And we are so proud of his decision to make special covenants with Heavenly Father!  Apple Pie brightens our day, every time we see him!
The tub of gum is to help him remember to:  Always "CHEWS" the right!
We also decided to celebrate all four Bettenhausen kid's birthdays this weekend.  (Partly because we will be out of town for two of the special days.)  We sure love seeing them smile and being a part of their lives!
Marmalade loves Harry Potter.  She is super loving and one of the sweetest girls I know....
She is always willing to share hugs, smiles and sweet, homemade cards!
Apple Pie also gives the best hugs.  He loves Pokemon and Minecraft.
He is sweet and serious!  And full of fun!
Jelly Bean is a firecracker!  He makes us laugh and is so cute that he can
get away with almost anything!  We all adore and love him!
Raisin is the cutest baby girl EVER!  We all fight over her!
As tradition dictates, Scott and Sundy gave her her first Webkin!  She named it Neenah.
I had to include this picture too...  Jelly Bean was fast asleep in the back of Amy's shopping cart.  There was food all around, over and below him!  What a funny kid!  He keeps us laughing!

Saturday, August 20, 2016


We love these kids!
Although this party was another bitter-sweet one:  It was a FIRST for a few exchange students and a LAST for Key Lime Pie....  The kids had a great time sword fighting, playing capture the flag, roasting hot dogs, and visiting.  (The moms spent the time planning more activities for homeschool activities, field trips and temple trips.  And planning is one of my all time favorite things to do... so I had fun too!)
Check out these wonderful kids:
(Missing about 7 or 8 kids in this picture... I took it rather late in the evening.)
I wish all these kids belonged to me!  I really love them all!
Mike and Taffey sword fighting....
Mike got a black eye and covered in mud... Cuz Homeschoolers
Oatmeal Cookie says goodbye to Key Lime Pie
Candy is from Spain.  She "belongs" to Apple Jacks and Red Hot.
And Oatmeal Cookie got into the picture too!
Raisin and Kotten Kandy share a moment....
Asparagus, Key Lime Pie, Fig Newton and Guarana
"Here I am world!  I'm headed to Colorado in a week" - Key Lime Pie
Foreign Exchange Students UNITE!
Fig Newton and Guarana
The gang!
BTW Here are some new hairstyles:
Key Lime Pie cut off 3 inches of hair, got layers and bangs!
I LOVE it!
Picture of Cousin It - Thai style!
Fig Newton keeps us laughing!


We really love and miss our German daughter!  So I'm having her send me updates on her life in Germany!  I thought I'd share with my blog followers.  Here she is:
Hello y'all back in my favorite country.  It's been a while since I talked to you. I really miss you so much. Anyway here is my promised update from Germany. Last weekend I've traveled to Frankfurt to visit my aunt. I want to be like her when I grow up. She is the successful leader of the marketing department at the German National Bank. Together we visited the Frankfurt college campus and the department concerning economics. I feel like this is the place to be for me. But first I have to finish school and with 11 h per day this is not easy. But I'm happy. I love my teachers and classes. I made tons of new friends. I'm also getting quiet good grades as I am really motivated starting my career. Me and my fiends are already planning on doing a Halloween party. I'll be hosting like 20 people in costumes. Let's see how well it goes. I know you guys are probably even more stressed then me with the whole Key Lime Pie moving thing. But I'm with you and hope everything will go smooth.
Much love
Lollipop ❤️

Sunday, August 14, 2016


We have a strange dynamic in our home right now.  With the arrival of Fig Newton from Thailand, we have a LOT of firsts that are happening.  But we are also preparing to send Key Lime Pie off to college in Colorado in 2 weeks, which means a lot of lasts are also happening.  It's bitter-sweet.
Fig Newton, Kotten Kandy and Key Lime Pie
Last night Fig Newton got to go to her first LDS youth dance and Key Lime Pie attended her last one.  The theme was super heroes.  They had SOOOOO much fun!  And I love the group of kids they were with!  They are GREAT kids!  Key Lime Pie, Kotten Kandy and Fig Newton got new shirts for the occasion!  These girls really are MY superheroes!
True Superheroes!
Key Lime Pie, Kotten Kandy,
the Schmid's new foreign exchange student: Guarana,
and Fig Newton
One of my favorite guys: Taffey
Juice didn't want to be in a picture - but I sure love that kid!
My girls!
Then... Friday, we had a last luncheon with Key Lime Pie.  Yes, she considers us "old" ladies her BFFs too!  I love being my daughter's BFF and I love that she considers Amy her BFF too!  Blessed!
Kotten Kandy, Me, Key Lime Pie and Amy = BFFs
Key Lime Pie always says "Amy was my friend FIRST!"
Key Lime Pie also spent some time with some friends at the mall Saturday.  These silly kids are teaching Fig Newton how to be American by wearing flag sunglasses:
Key Lime Pie
Kotten Kandy
Fig Newton
And Fig Newton is really getting into her school spirit!  Go Collin's Titan!
Fig Newton

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I love seeing everybody's 1st day of school pictures!  It makes me so happy seeing children excited to learn.  And even though we homeschool, we have "1st days of school" are excited to learn too!  (Although we believe learning is a life-long pursuit and we never want to stop learning.)  So here are my children's 1st day of school pictures:
Kotten Kandy
Kotten Kandy was really excited to start her junior year and seminary this morning.  She loves her seminary teacher, Sister Brown.  And although I had to work all day, and she was alone, she still accomplished all of her math assignments, worked on her science and reading.  She also did all the laundry, cleaned out the refrigerator and vacuumed the house!  She is really amazing!
Fig Newton
Fig Newton was ready for school on time, but apparently the bus didn't get the memo that they were supposed to pick her up.  Luckily Key Lime Pie took her to school and got the problem figured out!  She enjoyed all her classes and said she understood most everything!  She traded her class times for Art and English.  And, of course, she brought home tons of paperwork for me to sign.  I had to write her last name at least 5 times - and that is NOT easy since there are about 20 letters in it!  But I love her enthusiasm and her positive attitude!
Key Lime Pie doesn't start school (in Colorado) until September...  There will be pictures then....
I recently finished reading The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard.  I enjoyed this book.  It taught me a lot about Abraham Lincoln that I never knew.  Did you know he borrowed a first edition of the Book of Mormon from the Library of Congress and didn't return it for 8 months?  This is a fact.  Ballard believes that Lincoln read and studied the book and that Lincoln's was influenced greatly by it and guided him during the Civil War.  I believe.  I thought his arguments were well documented and well thought out.  I typically do not read a lot of history books.  This one was fascinating.  I had never thought of Abraham Lincoln in a spiritual light before.  I loved it!  BTW:  I also love Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State.  I didn't know anything about him before this book.