Monday, March 24, 2014


Here is my beautiful girl a year ago:
Here is my beautiful daughter now:
See the difference?
She is soooo excited to get her braces off...  And I am excited for her.
Braces Braces Braces made it so much fun.
First pictures with her favorite Braces employee.
Sombrero was a must....
Dr. Jensen (the one in white) lead the entire staff in singing
"You Got Your Braces Off Today.  Hoorah!  Hoorah!"
to the tune of "The Ants Go Marching."
This picture is blackmail....
Muffin made sure she had an appointment at the
same time to help Key Lime Pie celebrate.
They both got their braces from the same place.
Isn't she absolutely GORGEOUS?!
I promised her Swedish Fish, since that is her favorite,
and she has given it up for a year....
YEAH, FOR BRACES!!!!!  Thanks, Mil and Grandpa Mac!!!  We love this smile!

Monday, March 17, 2014


We love any excuse to celebrate... so the fact that my maiden name is McCallister (which is a Scotch/Irish name) gives us some reason to claim Irish descent for today!  So we dressed in our best green.  Took photos.
And had green pancakes, green eggs and green milk for dinner.
And our green desert (aka. green grapes, green kiwi and green apples) were courtesy of Key Lime Pie for Family Home Evening.
What a fun day!


Saturday was tons of fun... for my daughters and husband.  (I attended a 6 1/2 hour training for 11 year old scouts.)  They began the day at the temple and it got better from there.  They loved serving in this sacred place, and they enjoyed working with their friends in the ward.  (It was also Juice's first time to do baptisms since he turned 12.  He actually missed the last temple outing because he was sick.  He said it was great!)
Trina, Juice, Lemon Drop, Apple Slice, Key Lime Pie, Kotten Kandy, Eggnog, Mark & Scott
3 people not pictured....  :-(
After the temple, they had lunch at DQ before heading over to the stake center for the second basketball game in the tournament.  They had won the game Friday night which took them to the semi-playoffs.  They won their second game... barely.  It was pretty intense.  And with a 4 minute break, the began the 3rd game of the tournament for the championship.  They won again!  So....  Shelbyville Ward is the champions!  :-)  The girls really bonded over the 2 months as they practiced and participated in the games.  Afterwards the girls celebrated with ice-cream.  They were on cloud 9 and acted really silly (like teenage girls do).  They had a great time!
Sisters waiting to play...
Kotten Kandy was called "An anorexic Sumo Wrestler" on the court!  She was aggressive on defense!  She rocked!
Key Lime Pie really hustled... I was impressed.  And she even got a shot off... although it didn't go in.
Top to Bottom - Left to Right:
Coach, Almond, Eggnog, and Kotten Kandy
Muffin, Apple Slice, and Waffle
Egg Roll, Donut and Key Lime Pie

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I couldn't have read two more opposite books this month.  One I loved.  One I didn't.  One was short and sweet.  One was vulgar and tedious.  Here are my thoughts:
I LOVED "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach.  I could have read this book in one afternoon, but it took me over a week because of responsibilities and time constraints.  But although this book is simple, it is complex in it's concepts and precepts.
"Jonathan Livingston Seagull" is a novel about a seagull who wishes to improve himself and to be able to fly faster and better.  He is expelled from his flock for this desire, so he continues to live life alone and establish his individuality.  Jonathan struggles to reach perfection in his life by flying; this theme of striving for perfection is ever constant in his growth.
This story is provocative and made me think about my own life.  There are many great metaphors throughout the story, that made me dig deep into my own life.  It helped me want to be a better wife, mother, teacher, 2nd counselor, pianist, etc. etc. etc.  The novel is about making that which is important to you come true; it's about making a commitment to accomplish your goals.  In other words, "Find out what you love to do and do your darndest to make happen."  We are all a little bit like Jonathan.  We can do anything and be anything we want, if only we can believe in ourselves.
There are many layers to this book.  It is such a simple read that I recommend that everyone reads it for themselves and find the message inside it specifically for themselves.  As Jonathan learns, "The gull sees farthest who flies highest."
I did NOT like "Charlie St. Cloud" by Ben Sherwood.  When I picked this novel up, I thought it would be a story about brotherly love and death.  (I also have to admit that I picked up this book because of Zac Efron starring in the movie by the same name and I admire Zac Efron.)  Well... there is an element of brotherly love in the story.  There is also a LOT about death.  But there is also an immoral love story that made me extremely uncomfortable.  (I don't generally like love stories anyway, but this one was just plain awful.)
Charlie St. Cloud has a near death experience after getting involved in a car collision that kills his younger brother, Sam.  After this experience, he can see deceased, earthbound spirits, including his brother.  Every night Charlie plays baseball with his kid brother in the cemetery where Charlie works.  Then Tess enters Charlie's life.  She narrowly escapes a watery end at sea.  And at this time Charlie is now torn between loyalty to Sam and his love for Tess.
Basically this is a ghost story and a love story.  But it doesn't work for me.  I don't like love stories (especially when immorality - no matter how they spin it - is involved.)  I don't like any sex scenes in my books.  I feel that it is not needed.  A good love story doesn't need it.  I ended up skipping an entire chapter in the book because of it. I also didn't like the author's manipulation of the story line to keep the reader guessing.  It was unbelievable.  plot twist that the author uses - it's unbelievable and kinda caught me off guard.  I thought it was mean.
I am not about to recommend this book to anyone.  And if this "review" keeps people from reading this novel, then I'm glad I read the book for you and consider yourself lucky....

Friday, March 7, 2014


We needed a day of crafting.  It's been awhile since we've spent time creating with the Bettenhausens.  So I pinterested (is that a word?) St. Patrick's Day crafts.  First we cut out shamrocks out of green sponges and put seeds on top.  With water, we'll hopefully harvest a crop of small sprouts.  The other craft we made was a button rainbow in a green frame.  I thought they turned out AWESOME!  And everyone had a lot of fun.  Check it out:
Here's the whole crew creating and crafting and having fun!
Juice, Kotten Kandy, Key Lime Pie
Nut, Apple Pie and Marmalade
Key Lime Pie made a perfect rainbow!
Kotten Kandy was creative with green - and I love the monochromatic look!
Although Apple Pie was the youngest crafter, he created his art piece COMPLETELY by himself (and I think it turned out awesome!)
I couldn't resist posting a couple of pictures of Jelly Bean...
He is so expressive.  Check it out:
"Are you taking my picture?!  How dare you!"
"OK, I know I'm cute!"
I've missed crafting!  Glad we have best friends to play with and homeschool with!