Saturday, July 15, 2017

Peach Perfect

Or maybe I should title this post "Peach Plenty." Either way, we have beautiful, sweet, ripe peaches coming out of our ears.

The peach tree at our rental home next door has exceeded all expectations. Jeff pruned it pretty heavily last fall. This spring, when we saw that it was producing more peaches than it could possibly support, Spencer thinned it, completely filling a five-gallon bucket with nickel-sized peaches. He thinned it a little more after the bucket was full then decided that was good enough. 

Fast forward a couple of months and several of the branches are dragging on the ground. This picture is the underside of just one branch. Isn't that crazy!! I've never seen anything like it.

It's kind of fun. We've been giving away peaches left and right. I've been eating them for breakfast every morning. I'm making a peach crisp tonight and peaches-and-cream cheesecake tomorrow. Between me and my friends, we've picked well over 400 peaches and still, the tree looks untouched. 

Good thing we like peaches! :)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hens and Chicks

A couple of summers ago, while visiting my brother, Steve, and his family, Spencer was admiring their backyard landscaping. He was intrigued by their hens and chicks that were planted in various locations around their yard. When he asked his Aunt Jenny about them, she easily pulled several little offshoots or babies from the masses and put them in a box for Spencer to grow at home. 

Those babies have multiplied! They have filled in the area under our tree house and I love them! 

This is just one small grouping of the hens and chicks that started from one offshoot two years ago.

This one is larger than the rest and, like a protective mother hen,
you can see the little babies growing under her "wings." It reminds me of the scriptures
about how Christ will gather his people just like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. :)

I'm thinking about bringing some in the house to plant in small pots. They are so easy to grow, they require very little effort, and they make me happy!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Golden Girl

It's Sadie's golden birthday! Hard to believe my baby is twelve! I feel like I say "How did that happen?" a lot lately, but still... how did that happen?

Sadie is funny, kind, smart, organized, and beautiful. She is a great friend and a fun sister. She definitely holds her own with her brothers! She's often my little sidekick and is always willing to play me in a game of Five Crowns, Phase 10, Ligretto, 3 up 3 down.....

Sadie loves to learn new things including baking and crafts. She is making great progress on the piano and she has the sweetest voice. One fun fact about Sadie is that she really likes looking at houses. Let her loose on and she'll be occupied for hours. Future realtor, maybe? :)

Sadie will be in 7th grade this year. She's excited and a little nervous for middle school, but I know she'll do well. She is very conscientious about her schooling and always tries her best.

I can't imagine life without my Sadie-bug.

Happy Birthday, baby. I hope 12 is your best year so far!

Here we tried out Sadie's new face-painting kit. :)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

25 Years Ago Today

Twenty five years ago today was a big day for me.

Saying goodbye to my dad at the MTC. (I've always had a hard time saying goodbye to my dad!)

On July 1, 1992, I entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah in preparation for my service in the Scotland Edinburgh Mission (SEM). I was in the MTC for only 13 days. At the time, missionaries going to English-speaking missions stayed in the MTC for 3 weeks. However, the SEM was getting a new mission president and the outgoing president wanted to get us there before the change to lessen the load on the new president.

The classic MTC picture - my district pointing to Scotland on the big MTC map. I'm in the floral skirt.

I loved the MTC. Two districts totaling 21 missionaries had all been called to Scotland so we were a pretty tight group. 

My MTC district. I'm the one in pink.

I have so many great memories of my time in the MTC and my mission. If I had to do it over again, I definitely would!

Friday, June 30, 2017

50 Years

Happy 50th Anniversary, mom and dad! I'm so glad you were married for forever. Anything less wouldn't be long enough. Even though dad is gone for now, I know we'll be together again.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pioneer Trek

My boys have had quite a week! Monday morning they left for Mammoth Cave in Kentucky with their Scout troop. They went caving and hiking and pretty much wore themselves out until they left for home on Wednesday morning. They got home in time for lunch then hurried to repack and switch to pioneer gear before they headed out that same afternoon for our stake's youth conference Pioneer Trek.

For the next three days, they pulled handcarts, danced, cooked and ate in the great outdoors, and tried to stay dry during a thunderstorm. And you know what? They loved it! They all had a great time honoring our many pioneer ancestors.

This is my favorite photo from trek. Don't my boys just look the part? I love that Jeff was with them, too.

The whole group:

Here is Spencer (far right) with his trek family.

This is part of Sterling's trek family. It's hard to tell with the smoke (though I love the effect), but Sterling is second to the right. His Ma and Pa are in the center.

Soren (left) with part of his trek family:

A couple of months before trek, the youth were encouraged to submit stories from their pioneer ancestors. Here, Spencer is sharing one of the submitted stories.

Here, Soren is helping his "family" stabilize the handcart as they walk down a hill.

On the last day, on a steep segment of the trail, the girls had to pull the handcarts alone while the men and boys watched helplessly. My boys said that as each group of girls reached the summit, they left their handcarts and hurried to help the girls still on the trail.

Monday, June 19, 2017

An Early-Morning Walk

Sadie and I are enjoying some girl time this week while the boys are off camping. The boys headed out bright and early this morning so Sadie and I headed out, too, for a beautiful morning walk. Last week we had some serious humidity (over 90%) that made it pretty miserable to be outside for very long. Today, the humidity has been between 30 and 40 percent which makes a world of difference. 

Here are a few photos from our stroll along the walking/bike trail near our house:

We're hoping for another beautiful day tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Where in the World? Spencer Edition


Here we go again! Spencer's mission papers have been submitted and he's waiting for his mission call. It'll probably take two or three weeks so we're taking guesses while we wait. Leave a comment below with where you think Spencer will be assigned to serve for the next 2 years. (For a list of all 421 missions, click here.) We did this with Sam back here. No one guessed correctly that time around (Arizona). Maybe we'll have better luck this time!

I'm excited for Spencer. I know he'll be a great missionary! If you want more information about the missionary program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, here's a pretty good overview. You can watch a 5-minute video about missionary work here.

Here are the guesses so far, in no particular order:

1. Texas
2. Finland
3. Hong Kong
4. Ireland
5. Brazil
6. Guatemala
7. Chile
8. Australia
9. Switzerland
10. Japan
11. Arizona
12. Malaysia
13. England
14. Alaska
15. Albania
16. France
17. Iowa
18. Russia
19. California
20. Hawaii
21. Mexico
22. China
23. Spain
24. Scotland
25. Argentina
26. Denmark
27. Florida
28. Democratic Republic of the Congo
29. Jamaica
30. Estonia
31. Czech Republic
32. Vancouver, Canada
33. Honduras
34. Ecuador
35. Louisiana
36. Utah
37. South Africa
38. Germany
39. South Korea
40. India
41. Washington DC

Keep them coming! I'll update the list as we go. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Last summer, one of the farmers up the road planted sunflowers all along the street edge of his field. There must have been a quarter mile of sunflowers. It was such a happy sight every time we headed north.

As we drove along the main road the other day, we were excited to see that the sunflowers are back. No blooms yet, but it won't be long! :)

Thursday, June 1, 2017


We are 10 days into our summer break and enjoying every minute!

I had grand intentions for my blog during May, but between recitals, concerts, church functions, graduation and celebrations, our calendar was CRAZY! Blogging definitely took a backseat. I know myself well enough to not make any promises for June, but I'm hoping to post more consistently. We've had lots of happiness around here!

For now, enjoy Soren's shining moment from his middle school choir concert last month. It's a fun African song and I think he did a great job! :)