Monday, December 31, 2012


WE DID IT!  It feels like we ran a marathon.... but in reality, we read the entire Book of Mormon in three days.  (We were actually hoping to do it in 24 hours... but that didn't happen....)  It was exhausting.  It was daunting at times.  But it was rewarding and wonderful too!  The Book of Mormon is a fabulous book!  We all agree that it was a worthwhile experiment.  We also found new insight as we read that we are anxious to go back and study the book again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I spent the entire year cross-stitching my daughters' blankets for Christmas.  I was pleased with the outcome.  I started the project in February.  Here are some close-ups of the quilt.  (FYI:  I usually cross-stitched in the evenings after my daughters were in bed while watching Criminal Minds.  I've watched all 7 seasons at least 6 times each.  I really enjoy that show!)

Key Lime Pie's:
Kotten Kandy's:


Merry Christmas!  I hope everyone had a wonderful day!  We did.
Last year we made homemade gifts for each other.  It was so fun that we decided to do it again this year.  Gift giving has never been so special.  Here is a look into what our homemade presents were like:

 a cook book for Dad and Kotten Kandy
 a beautiful, musical vest to wear for mom

a picnic blanket in the family colors for dad
 a hand woven basket for mom and dad
 a nativity for mom (from Kotten Kandy AND Scott)

a High Council Survival Kit filled with a new suit, white shirts, dress socks, gum, breath mints and a scripture journal...

 a cross-stitched blanket with the YW values and other fun designs individual for each daughter... 

Scott is still working on his daughters' gift.  He's making them dressers for their bedroom!  :-)  It was a lovely Christmas!  We're planning on homemade again next year!

Friday, December 14, 2012


This year we had an ugly sweater party for our ward Christmas party.  It was really fun!  We had lots of good food, some fun entertainment (by some of my music students!), and lots of humorous outfits!  I had a great time making our Christmas sweatshirts.  We got some great comments!

 Even the missionaries got in on the fun!  :-)
 Our GREAT friends, the Melansons!
 Roxy, Emily, and Lori - Our YW Presidency ROCKS!  - Dig the sweaters!
 Homemade sweatshirts by the Bakers...  I love the yo-yos on Mariah's outfit!
 I LOVE the Fisher family!  Their daughters are a delight in Primary and Nursery!
 Mary Nelson is my AWESOME Visiting Teacher - and she MADE her husband's sweater!  What talent!
My best friends, the Bettenhausens!
So... see?  We aren't the only family who dressed up for the party!  We had fun being nuts!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The other day I was asked why we chose to homeschool our kids.  So, Key Lime Pie, Kotten Kandy and I decided to answer the question publicly (aka. my blog).  Here are the reasons we came up with in 15 minutes - in the form of a list.  (I have an affinity for lists!)

  • We homeschool because we can focus more on our spiritual education as well as values.
  • We homeschool because relationships within our home have grown stronger.  Our family has become closer and as Kotten Kandy says, "Family is better than friends!"
  • We have made better friends through homeschooling.  We have found that friendship shouldn't be "forced" by class, grade or age like they do in public school.  The friends we have made through homeschooling have been true friends.
  • We pray in school and we say the "Pledge of Allegiance."  Take that, public school!
  • We love how homeschooling takes less time than public schooling.  My daughters have more free time for fun.  They usually use their free time to read, do their personal progress, play, craft or create art, etc.
  • The freedom from a set school schedule is also a benefit.  We can "do" school in the morning or in the evening.  We can "do" school on the weekends or during the summer if we want.  It's nice to take spring break when we WANT to take spring break.
  • In public school you are limited in your studies to what they offer - not in homeschooling.  There are more school subjects because the sky is the limit!
  • We homeschool because we do not like bureaucracy or politics!  Enough said.
  • There are more field trips and more field trip choices!  YAHOO!  We love field trips!
  • We love homeschooling because there are no lectures or busy work.
  • Key Lime Pie said that one of her favorite reasons to homeschool is the fact that there is no foul language, bad behavior, drugs or immodest clothing at our school!  :-)
  • Both daughters love the personal responsibility and the independence that homeschooling fosters.
  • One funny benefit?  No head lice epidemic!  :-)
  • And finally, we believe that public schools are failing!  (I know we are not the only people who believe that.)
So those are a few of the reasons we have chosen to homeschool our daughters.  They love it!  We love it!  Will we ever go back to public school?  Heck no!  This is what we feel is right for our family!  Hope this short list helps others who are also on the fence about homeschooling benefits!

Monday, December 10, 2012


This weekend was SUPER fun!  My LITTLE brother, Ben, came to visit with two of his six kids - I'll call them Angel Food Cake and Taco!  :-)

Friday we spent most of the day over at the Bettenhausen's house.  Taco and Nuts became fast friends.  And Marmalade and Angel Food Cake also enjoyed playing together.  We painted porcelain animals and had a fun time together.

Friday night we went to the nativities display at the stake center.  It was beautiful, and fun.  Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy entertained the kids for a few hours while Scott and I greeted people who came to the open house.  Angel Food and Taco dressed as shepherds and angels in the children's area.  They also colored their very own nativity display.  I also volunteered to set up my nativities next year.  They are going to give me my own room to decorate and display.  :-)

The kids also performed at the nativity display.  It was fun.  Kotten Kandy (with help from Angle Food and Taco) sang one verse of each Christmas hymn and then Key Lime Pie would play the second verse on her violin.  It was neat to do our impromptu performance.  (We hadn't practiced before hand.....)

Saturday was a quieter day.  We went out to lunch with Ben.  The kids watched some movies, while the adults (including Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy) played Agricola and Le Havre.  (Yes, it is possible to play too many strategy games... we were all brain dead after three games!)  We also had great conversations and enjoyed spending time together.

We were all sad to see Ben and his kids leave on Sunday morning.  We had a blast together!  Scott said that he wished we could live close the their family because he really enjoys hanging out with them.  I agree.  The Idaho McCallisters are AWESOME!


My music recital was wonderful (if I say so myself.)  Each student that performed did a FABULOUS job.  I was so proud of them!  :-)  Of course, my personal favorites were my own daughters who both sang and played the piano.

Key Lime Pie sang a jazzy version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas."  She also played "O Holy Night" on the piano.

Kotten Kandy sang "Winter Wonderland" and played a duet with me "What Child is This?"

It was a wonderful evening filled with beautiful Christmas music!  Thank you to all my students for sharing their talents.  Some of my students aren't pictured...  I have 18 students total!  Everyone is special!