Sunday, September 28, 2014


It has been a month since my birthday.  I turned 42 in August.  I felt so loved and wanted to share what my family did for me.  :-)
Scott made me my traditional apple cocoa cake that Grandma T used to bake for me.  It's a labor of love in and of itself.  It's made from scratch with grated apples and nuts and chocolate chips.  It takes time and a whole lotta love to make (and tastes like my birthday and the beginning of fall).  Lemon Drop also spoiled me by making her delectable brownies that I can't get enough of.  YUM!!!
Kotten Kandy gave me a wardrobe makeover.  Her gift was to help me purge "grandma" looking clothes and make me look a little more put together for the 2000s.  :-)  I LOVED going through my clothes with her.  And she got me this new outfit too.
Key Lime Pie really surprised me with a new workout watch.  It does EVERYTHING!  I can keep track of how many steps I take, how far I walk/run, how many calories I've burned etc.  It also tells time, has alarms, is water proof, and takes my pulse rate.  It's pretty amazing technology.  It took me 2 weeks to get used to all the buttons and functions.
Check it my watch and my new outfit:
My good friend, Amy, got me a new outfit also.  I saw this cute skirt and loved the colors, but I didn't buy it.  My daughters showed Amy and she surprised me with it.  I LOVE it!
Scott's gift was the most thoughtful.  He wrote me a book called "Moments of Brightness."  He wrote me a few sentences every day for a year about how much he love and appreciates me.  (Words of Affirmation are my love language - so this was truly a beautiful and wonderful gift!)
Wow!  I was certainly spoiled.
Yesterday was also a fun day, as Amy's daughter, Marmalade, was baptized.  (We got her the pink CTR ring she is wearing... she really was excited about it.)  She is so sweet and beautiful!  I love that girl!  It was a wonderful baptism service.  I got to participate by playing the piano.  My daughters helped with a special musical number.  (And Kotten Kandy also did Marmalades cute hair!)  It was great!  I love the gospel!  And I'm sooooo grateful that Marmalade chose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The Spirit is a wonderful gift that will help lead her to a happy and Christ-centered life.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Taking pictures of my beautiful daughters is sooooo much fun!  And what makes it more fun?  Having their BFF and her cute sister come take pictures with them!  We had a GREAT day!  And the girls loved the costume changes, etc.  Check out these cute girls!  I really love them all!  (Warning:  There are a LOT of photos and these aren't even all 116 of them!)
Kotten Kandy - in the tree, Lemon Drop - in pink,
Enchilada - sweet little one, and Key Lime Pie - on the ground
Sisters!  Sisters!  There were never such devoted sisters!
A sister is a forever friend!
Strike a pose!  Vogue!
Key Lime Pie
Kotten Kandy
Lemon Drop
They are the best of friends...
And honorary sisters....
Our dog, Kamelot!
Our dog, Karmel!
Sugar and spice and everything nice....
Sisters by blood... Friends by choice!
Two of a Kind!
Thank heaven for "little" girls!
Kotten Kandy did this beautiful bun for Lemon Drop....
Too cool!
They are all that, and a bag of chips!
Girly Girlz!
I really love these girls!
So glad Lemon Drop is part of our lives!
She is a true friend!
Three sisters... We'll take it when we can!
What a fun day!  I love these gorgeous gals!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Key Lime Pie is a Junior!
Kotten Kandy is a Freshman!
School is is full swing!  We've made our goals.  We've had our father's blessings.  And we have purchased our paper, pens and pencils.
The New Era had an INCREDIBLE article, "How to Learn for Real," that we are focusing on this year.  We truly believe that learning has less to do with natural ability and more to do with priorities, attitudes and skills.  Here's what the article recommends:
1.  Seek spiritual learning.  
     We make spiritual learning the number one priority in our home.  The girls are encouraged to read their scriptures individually daily.  They also attend seminary (in our basement) every morning.  (Early morning seminary in Shelbyville, KY is considered 7:00 a.m.  - pretty pathetic for EARLY morning but it does start the day off well... and the girls love their seminary teacher, Brother Turley.)  We also attend a stake religion class weekly.  We love learning about the gospel.
2.  Seek balance.
     Balance is difficult, but the girls and I are trying to remember that too much of anything can throw us off balance, and too little of important things can do the same thing.
3.  Get enough sleep.
     This is a hard one.  I suffer from insomnia.  I'm striving to do better with this.  And I know I need to set a better example for my daughters.
1.  You're responsible for your education (including your failures.)  
     Thomas Jefferson Education puts the responsibility for learning on the learners.  And both girls agree that it is their "job" and they are accountable for their own education!
2.  Grades do not equal learning.  And your self-worth should not be tied to external things such as awards, grades and degrees.
     As long as my daughters understand that their self-worth is tied to the fact that they are a child of our Heavenly Father, then they will be happy no matter what awards they receive.
3.  Working hard is more important than "being smart."
     Scott is a HUGE supporter of this attitude.  His work ethic is off the charts.  Working is it's own reward.  And my father always says that it takes 10000 hours of hard work to become an expert.  Work is amazing.
4.  Learning is its own reward.  Be curious.
     Kotten Kandy has really taken this one to heart.  She loves learning.  She continues to learn things that we don't require of her.  Learning really is fun!  We try to make learning a life long pursuit.
5.  Don't shy away from challenges just because there's a possibility of failure.
     I love the quote, "Try.  Fail.  Try better the next time."  Failure really is an opportunity to learn.
6.  You can do it.
     Key Lime Pie uses this as her motto... along with "You can do hard things!"
1.  Learn what you love; love what you learn.
     When I decided to be a music major, I did it because I love music.  I have since learned other things that I have loved just as much or more.  We love to learn!
2.  Read for fun.
     This skill is inherent in ALL of us in this family.  We LOVE to read!
3.  Pay attention to how you handle stress.
     I like to cross stitch and read to get rid of stress.  Scott enjoys putting together puzzles, listening to books on his i-pod and videography.  Key Lime Pie likes listening to music and crocheting.  Kotten Kandy likes to write in her journal and quilt.  It's good to know how to manage stress.
4.  Ask for help when you need it.
5.  Manage your time.
     We are working on this one.  I LOVE my To Do Lists.  One of my daughters isn't a fan and is trying to develop her own strategies.
So... Here's to a new school year!  Hope everyone has a great year of learning!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I have had the opportunity to read a lot this summer!  I LOVE reading.  And I love sharing what I have read with all of my faithful readers (ie. my mom and my sister!)  So here are my book reflections.
I recently re-read "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen because my daughters are reading it.  I love this story.  At it's heart, "Sense and Sensibility" is about two girls with completely opposite personalities, and the struggle to find love when you're either too romantic or too reserved for your own good.  What I really like is that Marianne and Elinor still love and cherish each other, even though their polar opposite personalities frequently clash.  (Sound familiar, sister?)  What's more, they each have to become more like the other before they can find happiness.  It is definitely one of my personal "classics."
I really loved reading "Making More than Music" by Gary McCallister out-loud to my husband as we drove to Ohio.  After each chapter, we would discuss the concepts that were illustrated and how we can apply them to our own lives.  This book is filled with "gems" of wisdom.  And the quotes at the beginning of each chapter are perfectly chosen.  I found myself wanting to immortalize them for my own piano and voice students.  Relating life to music makes sense.
While we were in Utah, we saw a preview for the movie, "Gone Girl."  It looked intriguing to me (but it also looked as though it would probably be rated R.)  So when I saw the book by Gillian Flynn, I thought I would read it.  Warning:  There is WAY too much foul language.  AND the ending STINKS!  (I can't stress how much I hated the ending.)  My advice:  Don't read it.  If you want to know the story, I'll tell it to you.
I also decided to read the novel "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs.  The idea of this book is kinda intriguing.  Riggs collects old photos and wanted to use them to tell a story.  The pictures were cool.  They added a whole new dimension to the story and didn't detract from a great story line.  The plot was actually compelling.  My problem with the book was the language.  Teen novels should not be filled with so many swear words (especially the Lord's name in vain.)  So once again, I can not, in good conscience, recommend this book either.
Let me end on a positive note:  If you want to laugh and be truly entertained by a GREAT novel, read "The Code of the Woosters" by P.G. Wodehouse.  Wooster's is a different world.  Bertie Wooster is over-educated but under-intelligent; he is useless to society but wealthy beyond any thing; he is completely numbed by the simple pleasures of an aristocratic life, but always there for his family and friends in a pinch.  Amusing enough, very few of the people that Bertie is enlisted in helping actually deserve anyone's aid.  He is usually blackmailed into putting himself into the most problematic positions.  What makes Bertie's antics more amusing is that he things he is a man of wit and decisiveness.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Jeeves, his gentleman's gentleman, is the man who usually saves the day.  Without giving anything away, just know that I laughed out loud constantly.  Kotten Kandy even did a spit-take at one point.  This book is filled with situational comedy and wonderful dry wit.
So, if you have read all of my reviews, I recommend that you go read a good book today.