Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

It was not a particularly special day for one that only comes once every four years, but I thought I'd share some of our happenings...

Truthfully, I don't make it a habit to go Visiting Teaching on the last day of the month, but let's just say I'm glad February had an extra day this year because that is the only day we were able to make it work this month.

I've been trying to come up with something fun to take to the sisters we visit especially since one of them we haven't been able to contact the last several months and so we just drop by with a little something.
I saw the ugly bananas on my counter and decided to make one of my favorite Pinterest recipes.
It is divine.  One of the best things about this recipe is that is comes right out of the pans perfectly every time.
I have made a couple of adjustments to the recipe:
Instead of coconut milk, I use evaporated milk
and I also use about 1/2-1 tsp. of coconut extract in addition to the vanilla and almond.
I'm sure it's not original but I came up with a goofy saying, attached a tag to the beautiful, mini loaves and I was set.

Andy had been put in charge of dinner.  When I came home from visiting I found him working on it...on the computer.  He was so clever and put together a healthy dinner game.  He listed a whole bunch of fruits, veggies and nuts and attached a point value to them in Excel.  

We entered each serving of each food as we ate and the computer did the work of multiplying and figuring out our points for us.  Certain totals of points earned different "desserts".  Nothing fancy, just things that the kids like from our pantry such as chocolate pudding and such.
I was skeptical and didn't think the kids would really appreciate it.
You could have blown me over with a feather as I heard my offspring asking for broccoli and cauliflower and spinach (the heavy pointers).  It was discovered that Josh and Matt actually enjoy these veggies.  Abby was a willing sport and tried everything but ended up not earning the points for finishing a full serving.  One of my favorite moments of the night was when Matt asked for some "spidachios"...his favorite nut.

This was Ben's reaction when we told him that fish didn't earn him any points.

But grapes did!

That calls for a kiss!

The kids loved the dinner!  I think we'll have to do this again...maybe once a month.

Something else that happened on this fine day was that we discovered Ben's love for Legos.
He sat for at least two hours in his chair with a bunch of them as we cleaned and and did various things.  He was completely content.  I was amazed as he stacked and took apart (or fell apart) and restacked.

He did have a little help at times.

I just love my cuties!

President's Day Present

We've been due for a new Washer/Dryer for a while.  Our Dryer has been held together with glue for the last several months.  So, on President's day Andy and I went shopping.  A few days later, our new set was delivered.  It takes up quite a bit more room than our old set.  It really bothered me at first that it stuck out into the room so far but I am getting used to it.
I tried to clean up the room and change things a bit.  I must say before I post the pictures that I am a collector of bees.  I don't know what it is about them but I've always been fascinated by them.  I remember spending a lot of time in my mother's flower garden watching the big lazy "buffalo" bees (as we called them) hover over the open blooms.  I would let them crawl onto my finger and I'd bring them close to my face and inspect them.  Anyway, just a warning about the decor...



I love that I can tuck all the cleaning supplies down under the machines.

I was going to wait until I had everything all clean and spic and span to do this post, but let's be honest, when is my laundry room ever clean?  Maybe for a few days every several months but most of the time it is my holding place for all my clutter...papers mostly.  Therefore, I am deliberately leaving out pictures of the rest of the room.

I am pleased to give you a close up of something I made especially for the new look of the room.  I was intrigued when I saw on Pinterest that you could print on fabric and burlap.  I had to try it.  I found the perfect free download (also on Pinterest) and went to town. 

 I then glued it to some fabric and placed it in a frame.  I'm happy with the result.  

This is the third burlap project I've done in 3 months.  I think I'm forming a crush.  Except for the funny smell and the scratchy texture it's really a fun textile to work with.

I'm thoroughly enjoying my new laundry room.  Now if I can just get it clean...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Meaningful and Purposeful

My heart was pricked today.  I was able to attend a tri-stake Relief Society conference.  Sister Beck and Sister Thompson spoke to, not Julie Beck and Barbara Thompson of the General Relief Society Presidency, but a Sister Marsha Beck and Sister Becky Thompson of the General Board. 

 Honestly, I don't think having Julie and Barbara there would have made it any better though.  It was truly a marvelous conference and the spirit was tangible. 

I related so well to Sister Beck's talk about being a young mother and being 'down in the weeds of keeping track of daily things'.  She said she was going along in life feeling like she was doing a pretty good job of doing what she needed to be doing and then she had an experience that changed things.  She was praying one morning and the words came to her mind that 'she needed to spend her time in more meaningful and purposeful activity'.  That was when the pin touched my heart.  Something very similar has been going through my head for months.  I need to be spending more quality time with my sweet children.  I need to be more engrossed in my scripture study.  I need to ponder more.  I need to put aside my worldly ways and pay close attention to that with which the Lord has entrusted me.  This is precious time we have here on earth and I'm afraid I'm wasting it away to a degree.  I'm not totally down on myself and saying that I never do anything worth while but I do recognize, and have felt the spirit nudging me, that there is definitely room for improvement.
Does this mean I have to say farewell to Pinterest, or to many of the other things that I enjoy doing with my free time?  No, I don't think so, but I need to do a better job of keeping them in check and really only do them during my free time (when is a mother's free time by the way?)

Sister Thompson spoke about JOY.  She was able to weave in some wonderful stories of Visiting Teaching with this topic.  One of these stories was from the book "Daughters in My Kingdom" on page 114.  You just never know when you might be making a difference even though your efforts feel fruitless.  My goodness, I came away with such a desire to minister more to the sisters I visit. 

Both talks were incredible and I felt like I had feasted at a spiritual banquet.  

I was able to ponder and reflect on some of the these things as I held a sleeping Ben in my arms again after another bad seizure tonight.  I love these sweet opportunities I have with him.  Although I can't stand what leads up to them, after the seizure is over, when he falls asleep in my arms and I take him off to my bedroom and I'm able to cuddle and hold him and look upon his precious face my heart is soft and I cherish the time.  I wonder as he grows older and bigger if I'll be able to do the same thing...I hope so.  I hope size won't hinder these tender moments with him.
As I held him this evening, I recommitted to treasure each moment and be the mother that I know I need to be....for each of my beautiful the wife I need to be for my amazing husband.  I recommitted to be involved in more meaningful and purposeful activities.  I don't ever want to have any regrets, especially regarding my family.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Let me introduce you to a couple of amazing people. 
 (Some of you already know them).

This is my sweet and beautiful sister Angie and her incredible husband Dan.  Together, they are Dangie :o)  Dan and Angie have been married a little over five years now and desperately want to add to their family.  Adoption seems to be their best option right now.  They are in the process of setting up their profile with LDS family services.  They have also recently started a blog devoted to their adoption journey.

They were told to get the word out to as many people as possible because you just never know where a connection to a baby will come from.  (I know that was really bad grammar...sorry...I couldn't think of a better way to word it.)  So, to those of you that read this, (I know you are few, and many of you already know about Dan and Angie), I ask if you would keep your eyes and ears open to possibilities of a baby needing a family.  Interested parties are encouraged to get to know Ang and Dan through their blog and hopefully, soon, through LDS Family Services.

These two will make fantastic parents.  They are both incredibly loving, talented and devoted to the gospel.  So please remember them and their dream of having children.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Today, Josh graduated from his flimsy dressing to a hard cast.  Andy took him into see Dr. Cook so I don't have many details...just that it was a bit painful for him. (I made him take the camera with him.  Thanks for the pics Hon!)

Andy rewarded Josh afterward with a roast beef sandwich and a shake from Arby's.  A shake can make anything better.  Right?  In my mind it sure can!

We all took turns signing it.  

Josh will head back to school tomorrow.  Hopefully he'll have plenty of helpers and everything will go smoothly.  If not, I might need to take him to get another shake.

weekend projects

This is really embarrassing but this is how the kids' bathroom cabinet looked until this weekend. 

 What a mess!  
It's been driving me crazy for a while but hasn't been the top priority.  Friday, I found myself with a little time to myself (kind of).  I jumped on the chance.

I saw a fantastic idea on Pinterest to put sheet metal on the back of the cabinet.  Genius!  I did just that and added fabric to the one behind the doors.

  I had these cute little magnetic tins from Ikea.  (I've only been there once and it was a while ago.  I need to go back.  Anyone want to accompany me?)  Anyway, I was happy I finally found a use for them. 

I also made a headband organizer by simply sewing loops from a strand of ribbon (also Pinterest).  It worked great and was super easy!

After Andy saw this he finally agreed that Pinterest could be a very good thing :o)

Saturday was my cute cousin Josie's wedding shower.  I contributed to a large gift along with several other family members but I wanted to give her a little something just from me too.  Can you guess where I went for inspiration?  That's right...Pinterest! 
There's so much subway art out there these days.  I thought it would be a fun, personalized gift so I went into Photoshop and created this...

I slipped it in a black frame, added some burlap and fabric flowers and voila!  I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. 

 I was especially excited to find out that it will match their living room and wedding reception colors well.  Yeah!

P.S.  It finally bloomed!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Many Faces of Ben Bryan

Singing songs with Grandpa Gregg Sunday after dinner...

Taking his socks off so he could do "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes"...because you can't do that with socks on!

Blowing bubbles with cousin Sarah Valentine's Eve...

Cuddling with Matt's stuffed animals before breakfast...

It looks like I caught him blinking but he was really giving me the sly look.


Okay, so that was a lot of pictures but I just couldn't resist!