Monday, February 28, 2011

Amish Country

Just a quick 30 minute drive from my home is a cute little Amish community.  I love a couple of their stores so I make the trek periodically to look around, buy my spices and enjoy their slower pace.  It always makes for an enjoyable morning or afternoon.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lucky 13

Jan. 26
BYU 71

Feb. 26
BYU 80


Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Funny: 2 for 1

Two snowmen are standing in a field when one says to the other,
"Do you smell carrots?"

Two cannibals are eating a clown when one says to the other,
"Does this taste funny to you?"


Yep, home is where we are today as the kids celebrate Snow Day #9.  After 60ยบ temps last week, this is crazy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gideon Burdick

      Sterling needed something quick this morning for his class sharing time; the third grade version of show-and-tell.  So he took a bicentennial quarter and told the class about his great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather. 
      As the story goes, Gideon Burdick was about 14 years old when he served as a drummer boy for General George Washington's army in the Revolutionary War.  He later joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He moved with the Saints to Nauvoo, Illinois, but was unable to travel west when they were driven out.  He died in the 1840's in Quincy, IL.
      I love it when Family History becomes less about names and dates on a piece of paper and more about real people with real lives and stories to tell. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Remembering to Laugh

I have beautiful children.  I do.  They are capable, smart, reliable, happy, kind, good and praiseworthy.

And then they come home from school.

Apparently, they can only be good for so long.  Don't get me wrong, we have some lovely moments at home.  It still melts my heart when one of my kids will stop what they are doing to help their brother or sister, or when we share one of our inside jokes and everyone laughs.  I am glad some of them still ask me to read to them as they cuddle up next to me or lay across my lap so I can scratch their back.  I love it when one starts singing a song and everyone else joins in or when the boys play violin duets together. 

But lately there have been too many of the eye-rolling, name-calling, frustration-filled interactions.  It gets old.  It gets old watching them all get up from the table and head to the living room as soon as their plate is clean even though it's a family rule that no one leaves until everything is cleared and cleaned up.  It gets old hearing their excuses for bad behavior because apparently it's never their fault.  Only two of them are teenagers, but I tell you, that's gotten old really fast.  Who is this wicked fairy that comes and trades them out for an evil twin on the eve of their 13th birthday?  

I know my kids know how to be good.  If I can believe all the things I hear from their teachers then they are successfully navigating the big world outside our door and making a difference.  It's the little world inside that I'm most concerned with right now.  I know it's human nature to "give the least to those who matter most," but that doesn't make it right.  At times like these, I have to consciously try to keep a positive perspective because it's way too easy to fall into despair and wonder, "What happened?"

And so, when I come across quotes like this, I laugh:

Mothers of teenagers understand why
some animals eat their young. 

I get it.  I do.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Did It!

At church, our theme for the year is The Family:  A Proclamation to the World.  Our Stake President challenged each of us to memorize the Proclamation, if not in its entirety then at least the first paragraph.  I have a terrible memory.  There are times I don't remember my kids' names or what I went downstairs to get or that I had an important appointment two hours ago...

As a family, we memorized the first paragraph over a few days.  Then I decided, on my own, to try the next paragraph.  And then, well, I might be able to do one more...  It took a full month of 15-20 minutes a day, but I did it; I memorized the entire thing!  It's a pretty amazing document and I'm glad I took the time to learn it.  And I'm happy to know my memory is not a lost cause. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Four Eyes

Savannah just got glasses and we think she looks super cute!!
(Of course, now she wants contacts...) 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Funny

A duck waddles into a grocery store and says, "Excuse me sir, do you sell duck food?"  The cashier says, "No, we don't sell duck food."  So the duck leaves. 

The next day the duck goes back to the store and says, "Excuse me sir, do you sell duck food?"  The cashier says, "No, we don't sell duck food."  So the duck leaves. 

This goes on until, after the 5th day, the clerk decides that he's gonna give that duck a piece of his mind.  The duck waddles into the store as he has everyday and says, "Excuse me sir, do you sell duck food?"  The cashier says, "LOOK!  You come in here every day asking if we sell duck food.  If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, we DO NOT sell duck food.  If you come in here one more time and ask if we sell duck food, I'm gonna nail your beak to the floor!"  The duck leaves. 

The next day, the duck goes back to the store and says, "Excuse me sir, do you have any nails?"  The cashier says "No, we don't have any nails."  The duck says "Well then, do you sell duck food?"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crazy Hair Day

Every year, when crazy hair day rolls around, it seems like I've just given my boys haircuts so there's not much to work with.  So when I cut everyone's hair a couple of weeks ago, I let Sterling and Soren off the hook so that they would have more options on crazy hair day.

Sterling's hair has a mind of its own and doesn't usually cooperate even on good days.  It took a hefty amount of gel and hairspray to keep it up.  While his hair looks like something you might use to clean off the bottom of your boots, I sure love that cute face!
Soren came up with his do himself.  It's combed forward and up in front.  He calls it 'teenager hair' and he quite likes it.  A little bit shorter and it's okay with me.  No, Soren is not sad.  Just being silly for pictures!

Guess who is meeting them with the electric clippers after school?!  :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sterling's Cereal

This little frowny face made us all smile!  :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for the Valentine's you sent to the kids.  From their reaction, you would have thought Sterling and Soren won the lottery when they saw their $2 bills.  ("Money, money, money...!!")

Oh, and Soren loved the stickers.  He loved them so much, in fact, that he's decided to start a new collection:  Outline stickers.  All I can say is, 'seriously?' 'Wow, that's um... creative!?'  I was speechless when Sterling confirmed Soren's genius by saying, "Great idea!  Now you can trace inside them like stencils!"  Yes, let's all encourage this hoarder collector by coming up with creative uses for his trash stash. 

Thanks again!  Love, Missy

Dork Blue and Eastern Eggs

Sadie was in charge of our Family Night lesson last night.  She went through a phase where each time it was her turn for the lesson (every 8 weeks), she wanted to make valentines.  Since yesterday was Valentine's Day, she thought that would, once again, be the perfect lesson.  She wrote notes on 8 hearts, one for each person, and then decided it would be a great idea to hide them in "Eastern Eggs." (She's always called Easter Eastern.  So cute!)  Then she went to great pains to write what color egg each person was supposed to look for to find their valentine and she hid the eggs around the house.  We had to laugh when she wrote "Spencer look for a dork blue."  If you think about it, the short o sound makes sense... 
I love this age!

Monday, February 14, 2011


This is my 200th post -- 2% of the way to 10,000 things that make me happy!  I thought about doing a Valentine's post, but instead I've decided to post the thing that makes me the happiest.  It should be no surprise:

Yes, this picture is just over 2 years old, but we all look pretty much the same and this picture makes me happier than any family picture we've had taken since.  :)
And just for fun, this one shows off our true colors a bit better.  I'm lecturing Soren, Sadie's picking her nose (?)... ha!  I sure love these guys!
  {Happy Valentine's Day.}

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Picasso in the Making

Some friends and I ran a little Joy School when Sam was little.  Savannah always participated when it was held at our house.  This is her creation the day we were doing self-portraits.  I'd forgotten about it until my mom recently gave me this copy.  Funny...but not bad for a 2 1/2 year old!  :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Funny

This is one of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes ever:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

When You Put It That Way...

Sadie was making valentine's yesterday afternoon.  She was making one for Savannah's friend, Bubba (obviously not his real name, but that's what everybody calls him), when she and Sterling had a conversation that went something like this:

Sterling:  Sadie, why are you making a valentine for Bubba?
Sadie:  Because I love him.
Sterling:  But he's too old for you.  He's in middle school and you're just in kindergarten.
Sadie:  I don't care.  I love him because Jesus said love everyone.   

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sadie's Words

I found this fun tutorial a few weeks ago and decided to adapt it for Sadie.  She loves putting the words together to make sentences, especially when it has something to do with Evan the elephant.  The rest of us have had fun with it as well.  With a 10 foot roll of 1" magnet tape, some old scrapbook papers and the words, Sadie and I put everything together in a couple of hours after school the other day.  Easy and fun!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ice Photos

I'll be the first to admit these aren't the best quality photos.  I took them with my iPod because that's all I had with me while at our friend's house on Thursday waiting for our power to come back on.  But if you've never experienced an ice storm, maybe they are good enough to give you some idea of what it's like.  The hardest thing to capture was the light shining on or reflecting off the ice making everything shine as if it were made of silver or glass.  While driving through town, every tree seemed more beautiful than the one before.  Breathtaking!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Funny

Q:  How do you catch a unique rabbit?

A:  Unique up on it.

Q:  How do you catch a tame rabbit?

A:  Tame way, unique up on it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's Like Spring Break -- Minus the Spring

Tomorrow will be day 4 of no school this week (the 8th snow day this school year)! The University opened today so Jeff is back to work.  Today we were without power for several hours so we went to hang out with friends who never lost theirs.  Before we left the house, we ran from room to room grabbing a few things to take with us.  It's amazing and somewhat comical how you can run into a room, flip on the lights and think, Oh duh, the power is out, and then do the exact same thing in the next three rooms you walk into.  :)

I'm planning to post more photos of the trees around town in the next day or two.  They are so, so beautiful.  They all look like they are made of glass.  When the sun gets behind them, they light up like it's Christmas.  I just don't quite understand how every single branch and twig become completely encased in ice, but it's like that all over town.  So pretty!

So we've been trying to find fun things to do and I think the kids have had a good time out of school these past several days. Here are a few photos of a cute and super easy treat Sadie helped me make the other day.  My mom sent me this link with the idea.  The kids loved them and I was happy to finally use up the rest of my mini Christmas candy canes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One Hour A Day

A few months ago, Sadie's Kindergarten teacher asked me to finish a project that was started by a mother of one of her students a year or so ago.  The mother had this great idea to make a set of ABC books -- one book for each letter of the alphabet.  Either this mother was really busy or else the project was bigger than she anticipated because only 7 books were finished when the year ended.

I don't scrapbook.  I don't have cute stickers.  But I love Sadie's teacher and am willing to do what I can to make her life easier, so I said yes.  But I just couldn't get excited about it and so, other than one day in October when I completed three pages for the "S" book, I did nothing.  Finally, I realized I needed to finish it just to be able to move on to other things.  So last week I made a commitment to work on it for at least 1 hour a day until it was finished. 

And that was all it took.  I just needed to commit to it and suddenly the way opened up.  Most days I worked for 2 or 3 hours instead of just one.  Working on it was fun and I found myself anxious to get to it each day.  Where a die cut wasn't available, I was able to visualize how to make the pictures I needed and cut them out freehand without even drawing on the cardstock first.  Eight days later, all 19 books were done. 

The experience reminds me of a favorite poem by W.H. Murray (emphasis added):

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."

I have a whole list of projects.  I'm going to keep up my hour a day.  I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The University canceled classes today so Jeff is home. Yippee! :)  This storm has managed to shut down our little community.  Even the mall in the next town and a huge outlet mall about 30 minutes from here are closed.  I've never seen that happen.  Here are a few pictures Jeff took this morning.  Beautiful!

The net around our trampoline -- completely encased in ice!
Apparently the worst is yet to come.  It just started sleeting and then we're expecting snow then more sleet and ice.  If the wind picks up like they say it will, there may be widespread power outages - probably due to all the trees and power lines covered in ice.  There's a large downed branch in our neighbors yard that narrowly missed our garage.  We're so happy to be warm and safe...inside!

UPDATE (9:30 p.m.): The ground has a solid coat of ice over the sleet/snow that fell earlier and the kids are out sledding in the dark.  So funny to watch them slide clear across the not-so-sloped yard on a solid sheet of ice.  They are having fun.  All schools, including the University, are closed again tomorrow.  As long as the power stays on, it should be a fun day!