Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Growing Shoe Tree

It is time for a January phone dump, but first I'm trying to weed through some photos that need their own post. I figured my Christmas Shoes could hold their own.

The shoe tree is a favorite of mine. Tyler still doesn't understand it. I'm not quite sure even I understand it. There is no symbolism or great meaning. I just like the shoe ornaments and I put them all on their own tree. That's it.

There were 5 new shoes for the tree this year. I got a couple for my birthday in 2016, so they had to wait patiently to make their debut. This adorable running shoe was given to me by Kari. I love it.

Deanne gave me this cute high heel.

This one was picked up in Sacramento while we were on vacation.

This one was an impulse buy when June was picking out our family ornament. (It doesn't take much for me to buy a shoe ornament, but I couldn't resist the glittery red sparkles.)

And of course, the shoe I bought at Disneyland when I went in September. You can guess the character right?

While I'm posting pictures of favorite things, I thought I would add my birthday gifts from my mother and Vicki. Mom got me a crosstitch pattern. It is cute and perfect for working on while I wait for June to catch up on our current project.

Vicki is getting us all pictures of Christ for our birthdays, to put in our rooms. Tyler was up in ID, so he chose one for our room.

I love the story that goes with it.

If you can't read the picture, here is what it says:

The Picture is by Heinrich Hofmann (1824-1911)

Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to visit his son and my Mission President, President Robert Haight, who was presiding over the Canada Vancouver Mission.

Visiting with some of the Elders, one of the young men asked Elder Haight which picture of the Savior he liked  best. He reached into his pocket and slowly pulled a picture of the Savior out of his wallet. The small picture with tattered edges was the same picture you see here. Elder Haight said to the missionaries:

"I carry this picture of the Savior with me because it looks the most like him. The Savior was a meek man, and I think this picture most accurately reflects the Savior's meekness and humility."

When President Haight shared this story with me during an interview, immediately my testimony of the Savior was strengthened, and this picture took on a new meaning to me and has become my favorite picture of the Savior as well. When a man who has been called to be a special witness of Jesus Christ points to a picture and says it looks the most like the Savior, it takes on a new meaning.

Douglas M. Taylor (nephew of Mark and Dawn Thompson)

Pretty neat huh? We haven't found the right spot for it yet, but it is in our room currently and I smile every time I see it.

Puppy Love

We have had a few neighbors whose dogs have had puppies recently. One friend in particular is breeding her Golden Retrievers with a Poodle to get Golden Doodles. Her two retrievers had puppies within days of each other. They both had 8 puppies.

What do you get when you have 8 puppies + 8 puppies? Answer: A whole lot of girls who want to visit. She Jessica let us come over shortly after they were born. They were small and their eyes were still closed. They made hardly any noise. Such cute little buggers.

One momma had 6 pure black puppies and two cream ones. The other momma had 6 cream puppies and two black ones with white spots on their paws. Strange how they were backward. Jessica told me the pure black ones are more rare and so they cost more.

Luckily I'm not interested in a puppy since these little guys cost over $1,000.

We came back again a few weeks later. Eyes were just opening and puppies were stumbling around as they got their legs under themselves. Also, they were much louder. Plenty of pathetic little yips. They wanted to snuggle and be warm, so there were a few who would tell you about their discomforts.

They were really very cute and fun to hold. By now they are being sold. I think Jessica only has nine left at the house and three that don't have a home. I am happy to go snuggle on puppies. I'm just not ready to bring one home...

p.s. I did take all the kids. It is just random that I had pictures of Pearl and Robyn each time.

p.p.s. Speaking of puppy love, you might notice Robyn wearing a necklace in those pictures. A boy in one of her classes has taken a shine to her. He gave her the necklace at their Christmas concert. Just a few days ago, he gave a heart shaped box of chocolates and asked her to be his Valentine. (I would have gotten a picture, but I'm sure she wouldn't have stood for it.) Robyn likes this boy as a friend, not more, but I'm pretty sure she is flattered by the attention.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Touche February

There is a sad long history of February winning the battle against us. Someone is sick...

This year I started the kids on extra vitamins the last week of January. We had a huddle and I told everyone what was coming. That meant more hand washing, getting sleep, being careful around sick classmates. Everyone was prepped for the worst.

All to no avail. It got me.


I hardly ever get sick. And I think this was illness through allergies. We cleaned the car the last day of January and all the dust led to a runny nose. (I'm allergic to dust. No fun.) A runny nose quickly became congestion. I lost my voice and felt nasty.

Two weeks later, I'm feeling much better, but I still have a slight tickle in my throat that makes me cough occasionally. But I have been sick ALL of February so far.

I think I have been beaten into submission. Blogging has disintegrated in the wake of illness. (Although I have got some good reading in.)

I would really like to be blogging about something substantial (Read: with pictures) but Tyler's computer is glitching. (I'm pretty sure February is responsible for that too.)

So I will try again tomorrow.

February, good to know our rivalry is still going strong. I don't feel like I can make any statements on here without severely jinxing myself, so let's just say...I'll have my say come March.

Only 14 more days to go...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sleeping on Purple

My back is probably the most unfriendly part of my body. We just can't decide if we get along. Sometimes we do just fine and others times, I lean over to spit while brushing my teeth and goodbye back. I'm always on the lookout for some way to help and strengthen my back.

One of my problems is sleeping. Not the insomnia types of problems, but the I-wake-up-wishing-I-had-never-slept-because-I'm-stiff-as-a-board type of problems. There are certain beds that disagree with me right up front. Others take a dislike to me over time.

My own bed has been bearable for 17 years now. (Yep, still the same mattress we bought when we got married.) We have been hesitant to purchase a new one because if we spend a hefty amount of coinage and end up with a nonreturnable back-breaking bed, that is definitely a lose/lose.

Only recently have bed manufacturers felt more confident in their products to offer a refund if you aren't satisfied in 100 days.

So we took the plunge and got a Purple. Don't know what a Purple is? Check out this funny ad here.

It arrived in its cool purple packaging. But Tyler got it unwrapped before we got the camera out. But look at it here all in its cocoon.

After we sliced the wrapper, we watched it expand on the bed. It was cool to watch it naturally inflate to its regular size.

Ahh, all ready to go.

I know we look dead in this picture, but we are just trying it out.

Ivory is digging the sleep mask.

Okay, now I need to give my review.

For the first few nights, I slept amazing. No aches and pains when I got up. However, over the weekend, when I got more sleep, my body still seemed to be stiff in the morning. It seems to be a time issue more than a mattress issue at the moment. If I sleep over seven hours, I seem to be a bit achy, although usually not too much. This doesn't seem fair because 1) I'm pretty sure I need my sleep. 2) I really wanted this mattress to be a miracle for me.

Granted, they say to sleep on it for 30 days to get used to it, but my guess is that my back is not going to change much in that time.

Do I like the mattress? YES.

Does it seem to have solved all my back problems? NO.

But I'm willing to give it some time. Plus, not a lot of choices at the moment. I don't really want to go back to my old mattress. That one was taking its toll on my back. So Purple it is, for now.

Friday, January 27, 2017

38 Flavors

And instantly, I'm craving ice cream.

Oh well. I have vanilla in my freezer, but I'm wanting more of a Caramel Cone right now. Heavenly. You can guess what I'm picking up at the store on my next trip.

Don't distract me. I'm trying to get a birthday post on here. You only get older one day a year (unless you count those other 364 days that you technically get older as well). Today is my day to shine and ignore all those wrinkles and white hairs and bask in the glory of living another year. I'm happy to be on this earth and be living my life. It is pretty fantastic.

Plus, I have a phenomenal group of people who love me and remind me all the time. I did get a shower first thing in the morning, but second up was a gaggle of girls with clues and quests for me.

The girls had made a delightful present hunt for me. It included clues to locations and also song riddles. It began thus:

Around the house, your gifts we've hid
To get them, guess the artist or title of the lyric we give.
"Don't be stingy; be prepared to pay."

Any takers on that first song? It is a hard one if you've never heard it.

It comes from Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Listen here. (I'm actually impressed they remember this song. I love that movie.)

Clue 1:

Where the water is blue & the seahorses swim,
Go down to the sea, for the gift is within.
"I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade."

It took me a minute, but I figured out it was Pearl's room. (She still has a bit of a sea theme from when it was a guest room for half a year.) Down there I found a gift and unwrapped some bling for my kitchen.

 Clue 2:

Paper & glue all mixed together
Make the clouds for birthday weather.
"Crayola doesn't make a color for your eyes."

This led me to our computer lab, which doubles as storage for all things crafty. 

Looks like some more kitchen goodness.

Clue 3:

A bright green sun smiles so bright
For butterflies in a colorful flight.
"We wash our clothes, & we shine our shoes, & we call it the get-the-work-done day."

That was a no brainer. Laundry room, here we come. I scored a pot in that room. I sense a theme. (See the green sun back there?)

Clue 4:

In a flower room lives a flower girl
With her flower walls in her own flower world
"Flower gleam & glow, let your power shine."

(Are you getting all these song references?) Of course I was headed to Daisy's room. She had been holding my bows for me. How kind.

You guessed it. I was given another lovely pan. They are hard to wrap, but the kids did a great job.

Clue 5:

After a hard day, the kids drop their loads
From walking down the streets and roads.
"Run, run, run, jump! I can be your backpack while you run!"

Of course the kids had to include that song. It is their latest obsession. If you haven't seen it, you probably should. (I shouldn't be the only one with the tune stuck in my head all day.) Listen and watch here. But I was led to the coat closet for this cute mini addition. (I've already found great uses for it.)

 Clue 6:

Sadly, I lost this last clue, but I remember the song.
"With a dreamy far off look, and her nose stuck in a book."

What would I possibly find in the library?

I'm a pretty lucky momma. I believe we all win in this scenario. I love cooking and I believe my family loves to eat.

Also, with each gift, I found a chapstick. I don't plan on running out anytime soon. (Like my Blue Steel look?)

Love this crew more than words can express. They are my life!

There wasn't much to the day. We had Stake Conference and I got my awesome calling. In the afternoon, June helped me make a cake and we ate it later that night. 

Yep, 38! Rockin it.

Hahaha. Hasn't anyone told June that you can't lick your elbow? Actually, she got it later. That is skilz.

I also put together a birthday luncheon for myself. (On a different day.) Tricia helped me. We have gone out to lunch before, but this time I wanted to enjoy having friends over with no tip at the end. It was a wonderful afternoon.

I meant to take some extra pictures and forgot of course. But here is Deanne and Tricia. People can't asked for better friends.

I'm pretty content with another good year under my belt. Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

There's an Art to Window Art

I am so busy right now. (heh heh...stressed laughter) My eyes are starting to twitch. I think it is from the lack of sleep and the constant go, go, go. That is one of the reasons I haven't visited the blogosphere recently.

Work is great, but it is throwing off my morning groove. The kids are busier than ever, which translates into one busy momma. Oh, and I got a new calling. But I'm not even complaining, because it is my dream calling.

I was called as a Stake Young Women's Assistant Camp Director. Sweetness. I have been secretly wishing to be in the Young Women's program for a while. Don't get me wrong...I adore my primary children. It is so sad to leave them, and the lovely sisters I work with. But I am also terribly excited to work with the youth. I had no ambitions to be on the Stake level, but I feel like it is the perfect spot for me.

I was sustained on my birthday. Heavenly Father gives the best gifts, but He always has.

Speaking of birthdays, we had a couple already this month, but I'll save those for another day. Today, we are going to brag about Robyn.

In a stroke of genius, I came up with a gift idea for Robyn at Christmastime. I didn't have her name, but I passed along the info to the appropriate people and they filled my order nicely. They got her some new brushes. (An artist is always happy to see brushes.)

And she received a box full of Tempera paints.

Robyn wasn't quite sure what she was supposed to do with those paints, but we told her. Please paint the windows!

So we threw her outside on a cold day (they are all cold) and she went to work.

I suggested something for the New Year, but besides that, she has her own creative license. I don't like to influence her too much, because she has such great ideas.

For her first window painting, I think it turned out great. I love it. It makes me happy every time I drive up to the house.

I'm guessing you will see many window designs this year. I'm already excited for Valentine's day...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Snowy Days

I thought for a while that I had already done this post because I edited the pictures. But they never made it on here. So I'm officially getting some snow pictures on here.

Utah is funny when it comes to winter. You can count on it being cold, but you can't always count on snow. Some years it has been terribly dry, with only a couple days of snow. Other years it dumps on us like the sky is having a righteous pillow fight.

Most years are something in between.

This year we got our first snow in November. You can tell whether it was a good amount of snow by whether you see snowmen in people's yards. This must have been a great amount because there was a snowman on someone's roof. (Points for creativity.)

My girls went out and played in the snow. You have to get out in the first snow if you can. I didn't go out or take any pictures, but later the girls told me to check out their snow wall. Ivory (who was gone at gymnastics during the playtime) and I went out to see what we could see. First we found this snowman. (More points for creativity.)

He was built on a tabletop, but he sure looks happy to be there. Heading down to the sport court, I was greeted by this gentleman.

This guy was already better than any snowman I have ever built.

We found the snow wall and Ivory demonstrated how one might crouch behind and throw a snowball. (I wouldn't recommend the flip flops though.)

Coming back I spied one more little guy. He probably was the harbinger of the snowman hide-and-seek game in Idaho.

That snow melted, but we have had many other great snow days. (I really should take my kids sledding.) One snowfall was unbelievably treacherous. Cars were sliding out all over the place. I know this because I went to pick up Ivory from gymnastics and it took me an hour and a half to get there. I avoided the freeway in fear, but it turns out those were the best roads. Our return trip was much better (via freeway) and I was very grateful to get us both home in one piece.

We had a white Christmas, and even as the snow melts, the weather brings us another blanket of white. These are from the other day. I love how snow builds up on the trees.

I'm trying to be better about shoveling the driveway. Usually Tyler does it for me, but sometimes it decides to snow while he is at work. (How dare it?) Depending on the day, I sometimes have help.

Although I don't love snow for the danger and cold, I love it for the crisp whiteness and the soft hush when it is falling. It can be lovely indeed. Here are a few pictures of Pearl last winter that I never got on here either. Back then she was in Kindergarten, so she had time to play in the snow by herself while sisters slaved away at school.