Monday, March 30, 2015


Shaved Ice, Kotten Kandy, Shortbread, and Key Lime Pie
After the reunion, I convinced my sister to let me kidnap her two youngest daughters!  We have been having sooooo much fun with these four, silly, wonderful girls!
The girls were so excited to attend the temple.  They went together on Friday... and plan on going again on Wednesday.
We love to see the temple!
We went inside today....
They also went to see the movie Cinderella.  They loved it!  And I love that they loved it!
The Women's Broadcast was AWESOME!  And even better is that we got to spend it with five, gorgeous, young women!  Tradition states that we go out to eat first.  The Asian Buffet was perfect.  And then we got to be spiritually fed by some amazing Church leaders.  The theme of the conference this session seemed to focus on the importance of families and standing up for our families.  Of course, we finished the evening with DQ.
Kotten Kandy and Marmalade
Kotten Kandy, Shaved Ice, Shortbread, Key Lime Pie
and Marmalade
We still have a 5 days left of playing with our cousins/nieces.  We're going shopping today.  I'll post more later.

Friday, March 27, 2015


The McCallister Clan!
We just got home from an amazing weekend.  The McCallister Family Reunion was a huge success this year.  And it was wonderful to reconnect with my nieces and nephews, etc.  Kotten Kandy said it best when she said, "It was over too soon!"
Here's the breakdown of our three days together:
Day 1 (Saturday):
We started with pictures!  Mil and Grandpa Mac got us all matching shirts and we took lots of pictures.  
Top Left to Right:  Scott, Sundy, Tara, Zane,
Ben, Kristi, G.J., and Ken
Bottom:  Dad and Mom
ALL the grandkids minus Elder Honda and Sister Honda
who are serving missions in Florida and Maryland....
Then Uncle Zane took us on a tour of the new Mosquito Control building.  It is truly amazing.  Our family has been a part of this for over 30 years.  The Mosquito Control started as a shelf in our garage growing up.  It has grown like crazy!  
All of my family (G.J., Dad, Zane, Ben and I) have made
money from the Mosquito Control at one point in our lives.
Zane with his favorite nieces.
I wish we live in Grand Junction, this would be 
a WONDERFUL field trip for homeschoolers....
We picnicked at the new building and celebrated everyone's birthday with Grandma Mil.
We also heard "Last Lectures" from Mil, Grandpa Mac, Zane and Tara.  Mil talked about God's creations and especially focused on fractals.  Dad gave a parable about the lamp post and creation and determination and knowing what you want.  Zane read letters to his children.  And Tara talked about how Zane and she fell in love - with the Lord's help.  Zane's kids also gave short "MormonAd" talks.
My crazy brother also gave us each a necklace of his wisdom teeth.  How gross!  But funny, if you know my brother.
My tooth even has a cavity....
At the end of the day, Zane and Tara took the adults to eat "Super Fries."  Yummy!!!!  But not terribly healthy.  :-) 
Sunday was Church.  
Then we feasted on lasagna and heard "Last Lectures" from Ken, G.J., Scott and I.  Ken talked about Grandma T.  It was neat to hear her voice again (on a video of course) and be reminded of what an amazing woman she was.  G.J. talked about the virtues all of the 17 grand kids had.  She gave them necklaces as she honored them.  Scott spoke about spiritual moments and faith promoting stories in his own life and how we can learn and grow our own testimonies through these stories.  I talked about the lessons learned from each member of my family growing up and how grateful I am that I have such "side kicks" to share my journey hear on earth with.  (I'll recap my lessons learned at the end of the post....)  Our daughters also shared some spiritual thoughts and we all enjoyed each others company all day long.
Monday began with a "meeting" of sorts with the adults.   My parents gave us copies of their wills and we discussed funerals.  It sounds kinda morbid but it wasn't.  The kids spent 3 hours at a place called Bananas where they played miniature gold, laser tag and bumper cars.  It was really fun, according to them.
Ben and Kristi finished up the afternoon with their "Last Lectures."  Kristi spoke about Light!  And bore a beautiful testimony about Christ.  Ben spoke about power, honor, creation and priesthood.  Again, it was uplifting and we learned a lot.  The Ben McCallister kids also shared their "MormonAds."
Crazy Shoes for the grandkids - from Mil and Grandpa
Key Lime Pie, Mil, Kotten Kandy, 
Shaved Ice and Shortbread
Escargot, Kidney Bean, Mil and Cheese
Me with L
We ended the evening with a BBQ and goodbyes.  I already miss my family!  I'm grateful for them and their examples in my life!
Here are the lessons I learned from each of my family members:
Dad taught me creativity and a love of music!
Mil shared with me a love of children and teaching!
I learned loyalty from my sister!
Zane taught me to be well rounded and try new things!
Ben continue to teaches me to think and 
find meaning in unusual (or not so unusual) ways!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


It has been a really rough month and a half.  I’m sorry about not posting more often, but I’ve been struggling with depression and losing our baby.  But things are looking up.  Life continues to move forward, and each day is easier.  But instead of this post dwelling on the hard things that have been happening, I’d rather update you (my readers) on the positive and uplifting things – because there have been some good things too

First:  Kotten Kandy tried out for a musical at the end of January.  The local high school decided to let homeschoolers audition this time.  She made it!  It’s a re-telling of The Wizard of Oz.  She has multiple parts, but the fun part is that of one of the Wicked Witch’s friends, another witch, who rides a vacuum cleaner.  She’s enjoying the rehearsals and is excited to be back on stage.  The show is in the beginning of May, so we have lots of time to prepare.

Second:  Key Lime Pie got a job.  She LOVES it!  She is working at the local movie theater in the concessions area.  She really likes her bosses.  And they seem to like her too.  We haven’t had time to take advantage of getting to see a movie yet… but we plan to go see Cinderella next week.  She’s so cute in her uniform.  And she comes home so happy.
Third:  I’m not sure this counts as “good” news, but it IS news:  Kentucky has been getting a LOT of snow.  We were snowed in for a week three weeks ago.  The snow finally melted yesterday in time for another major storm during the night last night.  We have over a foot of snow outside.  We can’t leave the house.  
School has been cancelled for Thursday and Friday.  Luckily the commute to our school is zero so my girls are still getting to learn!  (The joys of homeschooling!)  But they are missing seminary, which kinda bums them out.
This morning, Kotten Kandy took Karmel outside to use the bathroom, and she completely disappeared in the snow and had to have help getting out of the snow drift.  Poor dog.
Scott felt like he had to work, but couldn’t get out of our driveway.  Our cars are completely under snow and the roads are pure ice.  Luckily, one of Scott’s co-workers has a HUGE truck and came to pick him up.  Scott just called a few minutes ago and has decided to stay put for the night.  He is going to stay at work overnight since the roads are so bad.  I’m definitely praying for him to stay warm and safe.
Fourth:  The girls won back to back stake basketball championships last week!  J  Go Shelbyville!  They loved playing, and have definitely improved since last year.  Kotten Kandy is extremely aggressive and really shines on court.  Key Lime Pie isn’t scared of the ball anymore.  In fact, she’s in the game hustling hard.  I really enjoyed watching them this year, although the championship game was a nail biter.  These Young Women are amazing!  I really do love them!
I’ve read a few good books lately:
“A House United” by Nicholeen Peck was recommended to me by Amy Larsen.  It was excellent.  I wish I had read it when I was a “beginning” mother.  I am the mother of two BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL daughters whom I LOVE with all my heart.  I have a great desire to help them live the very best they can and to have love guide our home.  This book helped me realize that I can handle problems in the home much more positively.  It really helps with communication in the home.  I’m going to be recommending this book to my friends and my daughters when they become mothers.  It is great parenting advice.
The other book I just finished was “Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson.  It is awesome!   It is a fast-paced adventure with some fun characters, combining political intrigue with magical battles.  The characters are interesting and the plot takes some unexpected turns.  I love referring to it and discussing the themes throughout it with my family.  I’ve already started book two:  “The Well of Ascension.”  And I can’t put it down.

So... life is OK.  I will try to be more consistent in updating my blog.