Sunday, December 19, 2010

'tis the season

The past few weeks have been full.  Full to the brim, overflowing even.  Of course, we are so blessed to have such a full life, and I am feeling even more blessed to have things slow down a little.

Noah took his first flight last week.  He did....okay.  Not great, not bad.  He was pretty spazzy.  I have to say I was pretty happy it was a 1 1/2 hour flight, and that we don't live in Detroit anymore (4 hours would kill me).

My dear friend Melinda got married (which is why we flew....), and it's the first wedding I have cried at.  She has been waiting for the perfect fit for awhile, and what a blessing for her to find the perfect one for her.

Here's my cute friends.  I have to say, with all of us growing up, and some of us moving is rare for all of us to be the temple.  After all these years, it's pretty great to be able to all gather there.

And I have to friends are all so cute.  Seriously, my friends are super fabulous!

So, the trip to UT was great, fabulous, and wonderful.  I saw my friends, got to go to the temple, celebrate, and party.  I got to see my family, and make cookies with my mom.  I got to be in the cold and eat at Cafe Rio. I also got to run away from it all.  You know, the responsibilities, expectations, jobs, etc.  

When I got home, I thought my week ahead was doable, maybe even a break from the week before.  Little did I know I was in for a crazy week.  A super crazy week.  I had no idea what was in front of me, and I am glad I didn't.  We had two school concerts...Liz's is pictured below, which were so fun to go to. Luckily, I almost remembered everything (sorry Katie,...someday I'll have my kid prepared for scouts).  Now, school is out, the kids are going crazy waiting for Christmas to come, and expectations are lowered.  YEAH.  Hopefully, the craziness of Christmas can leave, and the spirit of Christmas can enter.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Giving it all away!

Tis the season of giving.  And it is my turn to give.  I have a huge stack of books that I got to review for Martingale, and now there are going to be a few lucky winners.  Want some gifts for friends, family, or teachers?  Want a little something for yourself?  Head on over to, and you could be the lucky winner.  

Know someone who would love a chance at winning....share the Christmas spirit and let them know.  Good Luck and Merry Christmas!  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Want some relief?

Head on over to and get yourself 2 free Christmas card templates.   Now you don't have to fret about what you are going to do for cards this year...just go and download my free template and use it at Costco.  Party ON!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finally Feelin' It

It's cool.  It's almost cold.  And, we are finally feeling it.  You know, the desire to put something warm in and on our bodies.  My kids new favorite thing is hot cocoa (we can thank Summer Driggs for this).  Everyday we brew some up, and everyone is happy.  I am happy too...because I get to wear socks, and put a blanket on.  Yum.

If you hate discussion of diets... please leave the website.

I'm feelin' it.  I have been for awhile.  The desire to shed these baby lbs. has been strong for quite awhile.  Yet, the ability to shed them has been alluding me.  I have run and run and run.  I have cut back.  Still, nothing.  

So, here it goes.  The real push.  These are my snacks pictured above (the celery, not that man).  My calorie allowance a day?  Too low!  Anything below 1000 is too low, but that is what my computer tells me I am allowed to have if I want to lose weight.  

I guess it is right.  I have been working hard, consuming far fewer calories than I ever thought right, and I have finally nudged that scale a little lower.  I have a long road ahead.  And, Thanksgiving and Christmas are looming, but I will not be deterred.  

I can do hard things.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What happens?

What happens when you neglect all your duties?  Your camera gets full of pictures.  I downloaded all my pics to my computer today and I was so surprised at how long it has been.  This Halloween picture is one of the recent ones.  Crazy.

Life has been somewhat insane here lately.  Isn't it everywhere.  We are all trying hard to be the best we can be, and it is hectic.  The nice thing in my old age, is that I have learned to let certain things go.  Like my blog.  Now, I can just relax and know that when I put first things first, it will all work out.  I may not turn out like Martha Stewart, in all her crafty perfection, but I probably won't end up in jail either.  Just sayin'.

I have to say, I love the picture above.  Liz's personality shines through. Her impish ways are visible....the crumpled witches dress shows we pulled it out of the halloween bag minutes before we went to the Trunk R Treat.    I love it all.

And even as I sit here, Noah is crawling under my chair, wanting some extra love.  And, you know what?  First things first.  


Thursday, November 4, 2010


I took this picture ages in the summer.  I love it.  Someday, when I pull myself together, I think I might edit it, and make it fancy.  But for now, I just think, wow, my kid is pretty awesome.  She looks so pure, so clean, so untouched from the world.  I love that.  Kids are perfect.  Sometimes, very rarely, they push our buttons.  However, there are pictures like this...and moments when they are sleeping, that we remember how very precious they are.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Are you kidding me? Again?

This title fits for both of my subjects.  

I am going to be on the Morning Blend,...Again.  Tomorrow, Nov. 2, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.  Set your DVR's.  Ha ha.  This time, Corinne and Mandy Fono are joining me.  I can't wait!

Yes, we had another rattlesnake in our backyard....again.  Friday night.  I don't have time for many details, but I will say, we tried to catch him, he got away.  All my kids were outside at the time, even the baby.

I hate rattlesnakes.

I want to kill them all.

If they went extinct, I might start singing with the tabernacle choir.

I might be slightly overreacting.  

I don't care.

I hate rattlesnakes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

General Conference October 2010

After the craziness of Saturday, we actually had the opportunity to watch conference on Sunday.  ( we DVR'ed Saturday's...lucky us).  We had prepared the kids at FHE the week before get them ready.  They came up with a couple ideas for us to make traditions for Conference (we have tried MILLIONS of ideas over the years ...none of them has stuck).  This year, we had conference bingo....

And cinnamon be honest, we had cinnamon rolls, french toast casserole, and egg/cheese casserole.  Yum to the 10th degree. 

and family, what is conference without a little extra family.  We sure love the Avey's!

I loved Pres. Uchtdorf's message about slowing down.  When we hit turbulence, we need to take care, and feed our souls.  I loved this talk.  I know sometimes I feel like I need to do more, be more, try harder, etc... But, this talk helped remind me to do the things that matter most...choose the best activities, and let the others slide for a bit.  That's a little hard, but since I am already letting things slide (not on purpose), I guess it needs to happen.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guess What?

Guess what happened this weekend?

Yep, steps!

Monday, September 27, 2010


He had a birthday, shout hurray!

We got to sing to him that day!

One year old and wiser too, 
Happy Birthday to you.... yesterday!

We had fun celebrating the "stitch's" birthday yesterday (and Saturday).  Lucky guy was surprised to get the ipod touch shown above.  We were lucky to get a great deal from craigslist, and everyone is happy.   

I can't believe my baby is nine.  This kid used to cry like crazy whenever I left the building.  He doesn't feel the same way now.  But, some things haven't changed.  He still talks non-stop, he still is a great cuddler, he still is a super big smarty pants, and he still is a great kid to be around.  This is the kid that convinced me that some babies are easy, and that I could have more.  This is the kid that never gives me grief when I ask him to do a chore.  LOVE THAT!

I love my Mitch, and I am grateful that even though he is growing up and growing old.... he still wants me to tuck him in, and give him a snuggle before he starts his slumber.  

Happy Birthday DUDE!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

As I found myself traveling a couple Sunday's ago. Here I was in a sea of people, and my day was not going well.  I had a connecting flight in Denver, and the airlines were not friends, making me get my checked baggage from baggage claim, then go all the way to the beginning of the flying process.....
check in, check bags again, go through security ....again, and walk back to the gate area.

I was slightly annoyed.  And, not in a holy way.  It was still Sunday, I was trying to keep it holy.

So, I sat down.  Got my ipod out, and started listening to the 2011 primary program songs.  Then, I thought to myself, Heavenly Father loves all these people.  I played a little game, I looked at all the people passing, and said to myself "Heavenly Father loves them."  At first, I thought I was being a little funny...but the more I thought those thoughts, the more I realized the truth of it.  A love of these strangers poured into my heart.  My usual snap judgments came crashing down, as the pure love of Christ flowed in.

What  might happen if every day I thought  "Heavenly Father loves them?"  

I think I would forgive quicker, give a little more latitude, have a larger desire to serve, and
hopefully, I would see them as God sees them.

Even though I have always tried to steer clear of Sunday travel, I am grateful for that Sunday.  The Sunday that taught me a lesson I already thought I had learned. 

Heavenly Father loves all of us.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


While I sit here waiting for the water to boil, and kids and coach to come home from soccer, I have at least 5 minutes to write a little blog post.  Life is full, fun, and frazzled.  I'm loving it.  

My sweet baby had his first haircut, and I am pretty sure his grandparents would love to see him.  So here he is, sans his beloved mullet, and he is looking more and more like a little man than ever.  

Truth be told, he is my joy.  Each day when I wake him up, he smiles at me and gives me the unconditional love I can't resist.  He imitates me, and still won't call me mama.  He makes funny noises with his tongue, crawls around the house, and walks along the furniture.  Emptying the cupboards is a main past time, and as I say ..."noah, nnooooooo" he shakes his head from side to side.  

Oh I want to squeeze him.  So, I do.

I know why God gave us babies.  It's because He loves us! 
 Babies fill our hearts to the brim, and then add a little something extra.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monsoons baby

Just a few short weeks ago, we had a great storm.  It was beautiful.  The streets were like rivers and the pavement glistened, drinking up the rain.  I love monsoon season.  Rain is amazing.

My children ran outside to partake in the celebration of water.  We rarely get this opportunity, and storms can be short here, so we have to enjoy it while we can.  I love how Liz is decked out in garbage sacks (on her head and her body).    My girls bounced and jumped down the street trying to get as wet as possible.

I remember playing in the gutters as a kid.  I loved it.  I loved getting dirty and wet.  There is such freedom in playing in the rain.  Watching my kids enjoy the rain as I did brings warmth to my heart.  Rain on!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Door Signs

After read this post, I decided to do something!    I have been putting up post-it's on my door...saying baby sleeping, and the signs always fly off in the wind.  Bummer.  So, I printed a baby sleeping sign found here, laminated it, hung it with a semi-temporary hook, and called it good.  But, on the same post, I found a sign to keep those pesky door to door sales people away.   
SERENITY NOW....that's what I have.  So, for the 25 people that have asked me to share the link with it is...enjoy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guess Who?

Guess who has some teeth popping through?  

Sunday, August 22, 2010


The truth is, life is busy.  We are all working hard to do the best we can, and make the most of what we are given.  So, I haven't been great at keeping up my blog.  Ooops.  I guess life will go on without my little moments of sharing.  I am surprised though, that my readers haven't known my thoughts.  I mean, I have been blogging in my head, have you heard them?

So, things have happened. Small things, like school started (2 weeks ago).  I can't believe I have kids that are so old. It's super fun to watch them grow up.  Of course, because this is my family, I had 2 kids home from school (sick) last week.  Ahh, the joys of new germs and asthma.  I'm loving it.  

We have also entered the land of orchestra.  Hot dog.  I can't believe we are here already.  This is the age I started taking violin.  Of course, I always took private lessons, and I didn't really enjoy playing in groups....ah well.  Madeline has been wanting to take violin FOREVER, but I made her stick with piano because I think it is easier.

Now today is Sunday.  I love Sunday's.  They are generally quieter, calmer, and time for reflection.  Time to prepare for the upcoming week, to recharge our batteries, to recommit ourselves to the goal of perfection.  Today as we enjoyed our Sunday, my daughter pulled out the video for Emmett (my nephew who died in October).

I was unprepared for the flood of emotions that filled my heart.  What a sweet baby he was, and I didn't even know him.  As I watched the pictures from his short life, all that filled my mind was Dani, his mom.  A mothers love is so strong, so binding, so eternal...I can only imagine the feelings she must have.  Our babies are cousins, and oh my...can I see the resemblance.  Not only do they have similar looks, but Noah is wearing all of Emmett's clothes.  

My heart feels tugs of pain.

I have a resolve to cherish each moment. 
 To take even more pictures.
  To take more videos.

I have a resolve to lift up the weary.
To listen to the whisperings of the still small voice.
To be less selfish, and SEE.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Burger Wars

While in UT, we decided to formally conduct the 1st Annual Burger Wars.

What started this?  My kiddos professed their love of In-n-Out (rightfully so).  At this, my parents said...No way, there are better burgers.  And the list started.... 5 Guys, Tony's Burgers, Salt City Burger, Apollo/Crown Burger, and Big H.  So, we went on the quest to find the very best burger.  Hot DOG, this was hard.

How was it judged?  On the flavor of the meat, the bun, the condiments, and the fries.    Honestly, the judging is questionable.  Some of us are pretty discerning, and others of us like to give a Fabulous rating to anything.  Hmmmm....suspect.

But here are the results:

1. Five Guys  (Best Burger and BEST fries)
2. Tony Burgers  (Best tasting meat)
3.  Big H  (Great options, and super tasty)
4.  Salt City (seriously tons of variety...buns fall apart, juicy burgers)
5. In and Out  (Best Buns and crispest lettuce)
6. Apollo Burger  (Weirdest service)

Now, when you are in the great land of SLC, and you are looking for a burger, you know what the best is. By far, Five Guys had the best fries of all of them.  I love big chunky crispy fries.  Little crispy fries are LAME. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Want to?

copyright Martingale Publishing

Want to come make a quilt at my house?  Want to come hang out and watch people make quilts?  If so, check out my for more information.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Home is where your heart is.  If that is true, I am always home when I am with my little family. As long as I am with Bj and my little ones, I am home.

But really, I have returned home.  Home to the hotness.  I am roasting.

And yet, I miss my hometown.  I miss the smell, the sights, the family, and the familiarity of it all.  Each time I am home, I secretly wish we could move there.  And yet, I am as happy as I have ever been, living right here!

I am home.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Am I MIA?  Yes. 

I am far away from home, in my home away from home.

My husband is all alone.  I am sure he is crying his eyes out.  Maybe he is just moping, or enjoying the silence?

Being away from home always brings with it some pros and cons.  Here are mine...
pretend I have pictures, I promise I will share when I get home

I am loving:

cool morning runs
time to play with the kids
watching Noah bond with his grandparents
seeing cousins play and scream their guts out
going to church with Apostles and general authorities
being taught midweek lessons by Elder  and Sister Coleman
not cooking
cool nights
big mountains
green grass
flowers in every front yard
long walks

I am missing:

my hubby
our ceiling fan
early bedtimes
great friends
the chance to see the monsoons actually come this year
my iMac

Friday, July 2, 2010


Hello there....
I love seeing this little face pop out from behind my door.

Hello Mom...
doesn't he know, he shouldn't make my heart swell with joy like that.  He's too cute!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Learning time?

Summer at our house is pretty great. 

But, our kids might argue that point with you.  Each day they are required to do 4 pages in their workbook, reading for at least 20 minutes, piano practicing, cleaning their rooms, and maybe 1 more chore.

In all, this might take about 1 hour. 
Not long.
I hear some interesting arguments about why this is completely unfair.  Summer, they tell me, is all about playing video games, swimming, and playing with friends. 

Yet, I am steadfast and immovable. I am momzilla. And, my kids' brains will not turn to mush on my watch.

Plus, isn't it fun to see how smart kids are?  I love watching their brains work away.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Father's Day

Alright, I know Father's Day was long ago.  You can hardly remember it now, it was SOOOO long ago.  I had to share what we did, since it was fun, cute, and tasty.

For activity days I had the girls make these hamburgers and fries, idea from bakerella.

It was a pretty fun activity. Okay, it was a blast.  Messy, loud, filled with kids screaming (I mean politely asking) for more.  I had a lot of fun getting it together and ready, and it was even more fun cleaning it all up.

You may or may not know that Bj and I love to do something special for each other on Mother's Day and Father's Day.   This year I made him stuffed french toast.   It was heaven.  Sinful.  If heaven can be sinful.  

We also made him a scavenger hunt.  It was pretty fun.  He had a puzzle he had to put together for his first clue, a word jumble for his second clue, and another word puzzle for his third clue.  After figuring out each puzzle, the clue sent him to the location of a gift.  The kids loved it, and so did Dad, and I was happy the day went so well.

Here's the recipe (courtesy


  • 8 fresh peaches
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 Mexican bolillo rolls
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons butter, or as needed
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, or as needed


  1. Peel peaches, remove pits, and slice into a heavy saucepan, catching all the juices. Stir in sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reaches a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, cut off and discard the ends of the bolillo rolls. Slice the rolls into 1 1/4-inch-thick slices. Lay each slice of bread on a board, and with a sharp knife held parallel to the board, cut a pocket into each slice, leaving three sides intact. Set aside.
  3. Stir together the mascarpone, confectioners' sugar, and lemon zest until smooth. Scoop this mixture into a small plastic bag. Cut off one corner of the bag, and pipe as much filling into the pocket in each slice of bread as will fit without overflowing.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a shallow bowl. Melt butter with oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Dip each stuffed piece of bread into the batter, add to the skillet, and cook until browned on both sides. Serve hot with the warm peach sauce.

Monday, June 28, 2010

13 seconds

What happens when you leave your shutter open for 13 seconds?  Some pretty whispy water fountain action.  I could go into photoshop and make this look cooler...but my life is not allowing that at this time.  Maybe in a few days I can share some of my other pics...  here's hoping.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


That is how I feel now, glorious.  The party has come and gone. I cleaned the house (again) this morning, and I am feeling calm.  I love the feeling after a big event has come.  

It went well.   People came, ate, talked, and enjoyed each other.  Kids played, ate, smeared chocolate on their faces, and made their tummies hurt with too many sweets.  

A complete success by all accounts.

And for my beloved family and friends who wished they could be here, but couldn't.....
pictures for YOU!

Can you tell I love babies?  Yum..  Parker looks pretty darn cute.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heart Melting

Another update....and one to melt your heart.  I mean, can anyone look at a picture of a cute baby smiling without feeling little tugs on your heart?  I don't think so.

My little Noah is the best baby ever.  I love him like crazy, and I am enjoying every part of this experience.  I love watching him grow, and I mourn his growth at the same time.  This is my baby, my last baby, and I am surprisingly sad about him growing up.

What is Noah up to these days?  He is now 9 months, weighing in at a whopping 19 lbs....funniest part, he is in the 25th percentile. That is crazy, are all the babies in the world giants now?  He smiles whenever he sees mom, dad, maddie, mitch, or liz.  He absolutely has a love affair with food.  He is a fan. Table food is his favorite.  Mine too I might add.  He is generally a very happy pleasant baby.

I love to squish his growing chubby legs, and squeeze his cheeks. His slobbery kisses shower me all day long, and I adore every goo filled love I get.  He is starting to clap, throw balls, army crawl....and my very favorite?  He imitates my sneezing (yes, I suffer...enjoy, seasonal allergies).  He is cute.  SUPER CUTE.

And you know what the best part is?  

He is mine, all mine!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Busy, You?

Lazy Summer?

I keep thinking that life will slow down.  But it doesn't.  It gets busier, and crazier.  Yesterday I had a couple of goals to accomplish.  One of them was going to the Dr.  

Hmmm, forgot to do that.

Another was to grab a couple minutes to read.  That's what summer is about to me...a good book, and a little laziness.  I tried, I really did.  I kept saying, after I hurry and finish this.  After I clean up breakfast, get the laundry going, go get Liz's haircut, ....okay, after I go visiting teaching.  Now, after I feed the kids.  Okay, now after I do a favor for a friend.  Oh wait, more laundry.  

Ahhhhh, how many messes are there.  I will hurry and clean up this mess real quick, it's 4 but maybe I can grab 30 minutes.  Okay, I'll fold that load of laundry...ahhh, I should start dinner.  Okay, the dinner is ready, the table set, the mess is not too bad.  I'll sit down and read.

Ahhhh.....door opens, Bj's home, and that means it is dinner time.

Reading time did not come to me yesterday.  But I accomplished some, and sufficiently tired myself out. 

 Summer is kicking my can!

All this to say, my blog is .... lacking in material lately. So, instead of trying to catch up, I will throw you a picture of our days, and say whatever comes to my mind at the time.  I will have no guilt, no regrets, and the check will happily be checked off.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tucson Morning Blend

The day came.  It is here. 

I was on the Tucson's Morning Blend this morning.  It was so much better than I thought it would be, and I didn't even choke (too much).
For all of you who don't live in Tucson, here's the link to the video.  I don't know how long they will have it on their website, so watch it while you can.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quilt Raffle Update....are you the winner?

Anyone who donated to Great Strides, PLEASE READ.

The donations from my web page, went to the general fund at great strides.  I thought that no one had donated.  Then my mom said she donated, I kept checking the site, and it stated nothing.  I did track down her donation, but now I am concerned about all of YOU.

I don't have a record of who donated, and how much.  Last year when I did a similar thing, it worked swimmingly.  DRAT!

So, I hope the people who donated will send me an email, with their name and donation amount.  I sincerely want this quilt raffle to be fair, so please let me know!  I will be checking the amounts and names with Great Strides to insure correct accounting.

Thanks so much for bearing with me, and technical difficulties.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Set your DVR

I am going to be on the Morning Blend, KGUN 9.....Monday June 14.

Bj took his new job seriously (I named him my Marketing Director), and got me a spot on the morning show.  Gotta love a handsome bald Marketing Director/Biggest Fan.

By the way...yes, I am nervous.  

"well, excited and scared" (name that musical)......

Sunday, June 6, 2010

To Love or Not to Love

What I LOVE:

This baby.  
Sweet.  Perfect.  Happy.
Slobbery Kisses.

What I don't LOVE:
To find a snake in my yard.
Then to find another one 2 minutes later.
To know that snakes are indeed able to enter my yard,
even with Snake Away.

I hate snakes because of this.

Liz doesn't hate snakes.