Saturday, April 12, 2014

Let Us All Press On

I am in love with this arrangement of Let Us All Press On that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang during General Conference last weekend.

If you're anything like me, you'll listen and then hit rewind and listen again...and again. I love it so much! It reminds me of the way I felt when I first heard the Mack Wilberg arrangements of Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing and Redeemer of Israel. Awesome!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Heart Melter

Is this the picture of innocence or what? A friend of mine dubbed Soren the Gerber baby when he was born and is still calling him that ten years later. I don't know when this picture was taken...4, 5, 6 years ago? But when I stumbled upon it today while looking for something else, my heart melted. And for those who know Soren, you know that he's just as beautiful on the inside.

I sure love my little buddy.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fast Forward

This past weekend was General Conference which is always one of my favorite weekends of the year.

Hearing the words of prophets and apostles is always something I look forward to. There were plenty of warnings about what lies ahead. Elder Neil L. Andersen said, "The world will not glide calmly toward the second coming." But then he went on to remind us that the challenges we face make us stronger and prepare us for the future.

Several spoke about the wonders of the internet and the many wonderful things it makes available to us, but the warnings about the misuse of this tool were a prevalent theme. I love this quote by Randall L. Ridd and hope my kids will always remember it:

We were challenged to defend our beliefs, to be kind and considerate to those who don't believe as we do, to repent early and often, to let our faith show, to share the gospel, and to be grateful. We should do the best we can with the time we've been given, demonstrate love and kindness at every opportunity, develop a strong testimony of the Savior and his atonement, and trust in Him.

I could just feel the love our leaders have for us in every word they spoke. My only regret is that it all went by too fast. It felt like someone pushed the fast forward button on Saturday morning. As I listened to the final session of conference on Sunday afternoon I could hardly believe it was over already. But I've been left with plenty to ponder and apply. I've got my work cut out for me over the next six months!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The New Third Grade

Here's a little study guide that Sadie made for herself so she could prepare for a test next week:

Savannah, a junior in high school, looked at it and said, "I just learned those bones for the first time this year!" I thought to myself, "I don't remember ever learning them...!"

Sadie is pretty excited about this unit. She really seems to get it. Maybe, like Savannah, she'll be inclined toward a health field. Whatever she ends up doing in life, I'm glad she's excited about the things she's learning in third grade.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Scripture Study At Our House

Scripture study happens pretty early around here. We get the kids up at 5:30 before the oldest three leave for early morning seminary. It's the one time of day we know everyone will be home at the same time. The other day, Jeff managed to get everyone out of bed and into the living room, but this is what I found when I walked in:

Not to be deterred, we still read from the Book of Mormon. I think everyone, however sleepy, took their turn. Or maybe I ended up reading for a kid or two. Some days it works out better than others, but at least we're trying! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Boy Who Made Me A Mother

Eighteen years ago today I became a mom. For all the things I forget with this terrible memory of mine, I still remember the details of that day so clearly. I'm still amazed how, in one instant, I could go from not knowing this little person in my life to wondering how I could have ever lived without him. 


Today, eighteen years later, Sam became an adult. I knew it was coming. I've watched him make his way through the lazy, angry, overwhelming teenage years. But somewhere over the last couple of years, he found his stride. 

Sam is funny, smart, talented, hard working, sensitive, handsome and a friend to all. When he puts his mind to something, well, just stay out of his way! I am anxious to see what his future holds. It breaks my heart when I think of dropping him off at the missionary training center this summer so I try not to think about it. Two years is a long time, but Sam will be a great missionary. Of that I am certain. 

Happy Birthday, Sam!!

Wherever you are, I hope you set your little corner of the world on fire...

...and I hope eighteen is your best year so far!

Love, Mom

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Same Sky

Sometimes it's all about your perspective.

Tonight the eastern sky looked a little foreboding. It was overcast and dark.

But it was deceiving. A 180ยบ turn revealed a different picture.

The sky to the west was breathtaking.

How can two views of the same sky, taken only seconds apart, tell completely different stories?

Perhaps it is because things always look better when you look to the sun.


In our quest to relive Butterbeer from our Harry Potter experience earlier this month, I searched the internet for recipes. I found several, some much more complicated than others, and we tried to doctor up some cream soda to achieve the right flavor. Sadly, nothing we tried was close enough to satisfy. 

Little did I know, we had the closest thing to Butterbeer on a shelf at our local farm store. Some friends, after hearing of our failed attempts, happened upon this Vanilla Caramel Creme Soda and left two bottles inside our door. Pour a bit of lightly whipped cream on top and we've got ourselves a winner! Oh Yum!

The next best thing to Butterbeer!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Welcome to the Eagle's Nest

Sam was awarded his Eagle Scout pin last night at a special Court of Honor. Several friends and teachers came to support Sam. We don't have any family within 1,000 miles, but I think Sam felt like he was surrounded by family last night.

My good friend Jessica made the amazing cake pictured below. She wanted to do something special for Sam and, boy howdy, she went all out! Her mother-in-law, also a good friend of ours, provided the supplies and Jessica put in the long hours. Isn't it awesome? Sam loved it!!

Let's look at that a little closer!

While I will admit that Jeff was much more involved than I in getting Sam to this point, I gave Sam a big push at the end to finally finish the last of his requirements and get those papers filled out and turned in. Sam showed the video below as a fun hats off to all the scout moms out there. It is a clip from "A Century of Honor" commemorating the 100 year relationship between the Boy Scouts and the LDS church. 

My nephew, Jacob, had his Eagle Court of Honor last weekend in Utah and my sister made these adorable Eagle cookies. She sent me a photo and I couldn't resist. I had to make some, too. They were a big hit! (Don't look at them too long or they start to look like Gonzo from the Muppets. Ha!)

Several of Sam's favorite teachers came out to support him. Rather than request the traditional letters from the President of the United States or other political leaders acknowledging his accomplishment, I asked those who have mentored Sam over the years and had an impact in his life to write him a note. While I knew Sam would love the letters (he did!), I loved reading them just as much. Sometimes it's easy as his mom to worry about him and how he's ever going to navigate the big world outside our door. Well, if the letters he received are any indication, Sam is going to be just fine! There are a lot of people out there who think the world of Sam. He's really making a splash in this world and has made the lives of many, many others a lot better for his being in it.

Sam with his AP Chemistry and Physics teachers
Congratulations, Sam!!

Now go set your little corner of the world on fire...wherever you may be!

{Now if you'll excuse me for just a minute, I'm going to jot down a few notes to myself so I remember some other details from the evening to help me when I have to plan another of these events.... 

Our scout troop posted the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Savannah sang the National Anthem. After a simple program, Sam said a few words, showed the video, then was presented with his award. I read parts of several letters sent to Sam then Jeff said a few words about his time with Sam in scouting.
A small table displayed a handful of photos of Sam at various camping trips and scouting activities. Food consisted of cake, eagle cookies, four other kinds of cookies (1, 2, 3, 4), a veggie tray and tortilla wraps. The drink was a choice between water and lemon water. (Lemon Water = 1 gallon water, 2 cups sugar, 2 T citric acid, 1 T lemon emulsion [or 2 T lemon extract] - I prefer to use the emulsion: no alcohol and it goes further.) We were expecting a table display from another troop, but it didn't show. No one missed it. Letters were requested from Sam's favorite teachers throughout his school career as well as Dr. Rossi from ESO. They were beautiful letters! Through a connection, I was also able to get a letter from The Piano Guys who Sam has looked up to for quite some time. He was completely surprised and thrilled! They also sent an autographed picture. A letter requested over a month ago from NASA's online request form for Eagle acknowledgement didn't come. No worries. Sam loved the personal connection letters so much more! :) }

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tackling: Good For A Laugh

I know we're in the thick of March Madness and not even close to football season, but since all of our brackets are busted and we have a few days in between basketball games, I decided a little football humor might be a nice change of pace.

Just the way I like it. Go Cougars! :)