Friday, May 31, 2013

Follow the Sidewalk Chalk Road

Sadie and her neighbor friend spent hours on their latest masterpiece.

It leads right to our front steps which, as you can see below, had lots of barefoot traffic yesterday.

I knew rain was in the forecast which would make for an easy clean up. But Sadie has daddy wrapped around her little finger and convinced him to preserve it before the big storm. Here it is this morning, after a night of drenching thunderstorms, perfectly intact under a tarp:

Oh well. At least the steps are clean. :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Password Protected

A texting exchange between Sam and me...

I crack myself up! :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guess Who?

I'll give you three tries to guess who created this lunchtime sacrifice.

For those of you who know us, one guess will probably suffice. :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hoe Down

Sterling participated in his spring Violin Recital tonight. It was so good! I love his smile as he plays. Savannah said this is the hardest song she's ever had to learn to accompany someone. They've worked really hard and they both did great! Enjoy. :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Worthwhile Weekend

Amy, Rob, Dad, Mom, Me, Chantal and husband Jeff, Steve and wife Jenny, Dave and wife Tanya.

I've been in Nevada for the past few days. Five of my siblings along with three of their spouses came down from Utah. We're all here because yesterday our youngest brother, Jeffrey, was sealed to his wife, Katie in the Las Vegas temple. My entire family together in the temple -- It doesn't get much better than that!

Ironically, being here for Jeffrey's sealing means I'm over 1700 miles away from Jeff as we celebrate our own which was 18 years ago today. But I'd definitely say it was worth it!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Resident Cardinal

This guy and his Mrs. have moved into a little nest snuggled deep in our rosebush. They have at least one baby bird in there. We haven't seen much of Mrs. Cardinal, but Mr. makes his stately appearance several times a day. Isn't he pretty?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Graduation Marshall

Sam was invited to be one of four Junior Marshalls at our High School graduation tonight. That's him in white standing in front of the graduates on the left. He and Savannah also sang the National Anthem with the Chamber Choir and Savannah accompanied the Senior choir students as they sang Seize the Day from Newsies. They both did great! This was the first time Jeff and I have attended a graduation here. It was nice to get a preview of what's to come. We have a lot of graduations in our future!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wishes or Weeds?

This has been quite a year for dandelions. I can't remember ever seeing more at one time. Driving around town, many yards are completely overgrown with them. So are they wishes or weeds? I guess it's all in your perspective. The ones below are wishes. How do I know? Because they are in my neighbors yard. :) If they dare sprout in my yard? Weeds. Definitely weeds.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

It's Teacher Appreciation Week in our little corner of the world. The three youngest kids are giving each of their teachers three gifts throughout the week. Here is what we came up with:

Savannah found this idea on Pinterest. Super easy, super cute!

I do this every year and it's always a hit. Teachers love homemade bread!

We found out each teacher's favorite color for the background. At 24"x8", it's perfect for over a doorway. I've given a couple of these in the past and they love them. :)
 Only two weeks left of school. Hooray!!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Recipe: Copycat Girl Scout Samoas in 15 Minutes or Less

You know those delicious coconutty Samoas (sometimes called Caramel deLites) the Girl Scouts sell? Yes, we love them, but they are somewhat pricey and, let's face it, the Girl Scouts only sell them once a year. So...I came up with a super simple little copycat version that will do in a pinch. These are pretty tasty. I don't know that I'd go so far as to say they are every bit as good as the real thing, but they come pretty close and you can keep the ingredients on hand in case of emergency. :) Jeff and the kids love them. I think they taste even better the next day - if they last that long!

Copycat Samoas or Caramel deLites
(makes about 30 cookies)
Only three ingredients:
One package Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies or store brand equivalent 
Kraft caramels (I used the caramel bits - way easier!)
Toasted coconut (I bought mine at a little store in Amish country, but you can toast your own if necessary)

1. Lay the cookies out, stripe side up, on wax paper.
2. Melt the caramel according to package directions. I used about half the package (approx. 5.5 oz.) and added 1 Tablespoon of water before melting for 30 seconds in the microwave.
3. Spoon or pipe caramel in a ring on each cookie. It does not have to be thick enough to cover the entire top, but you can use as much as you like.
4. Push each cookie, caramel side down, into the toasted coconut. This will smoosh the caramel out to cover the top.
5. Enjoy!

I put the melted caramel into a piping bag which made it super easy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Soren has been learning to write persuasive essays at school. He brought home the following essay in an attempt to convince Sterling to play with him more often. I love his reasons and supporting paragraphs. My favorite part: "I'll do what you want me to do (probably). I won't freak out when we stop (maybe)." My least favorite part: "I know you have to do work, but why not do it later?" Hmmm...

Overall, I think he's got a pretty good argument. Let's hope Sterling thinks so, too. :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Blessing

Today our family attended a baby blessing we'd been invited to. The sweet baby, Savannah Jane, was blessed by her dad. Her two grandpa's, an uncle or two, and Jeff were invited to assist in the ordinance. Then her grandma and grandpa spoke to finish out the meeting.

None of this will sound very remarkable to most people, but there will be some who will appreciate how amazing the meeting was when I say that this is baby Savannah's grandpa.

He then went on to counsel with the youth during the 2nd hour of meetings and he met with the women during the last hour. We all came home filled with determination to be better and to look outside of ourselves.

A blessing indeed!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Oh, how I wish you could have seen our high school production of Anything Goes! It was polished and funny and oh-so-good! Savannah played Hope Harcourt and Sam was Moonface Martin, public enemy #13. We had tickets for Friday night's show, but when I dropped Spencer off on Wednesday night (the church youth were seeing the show for their activity that night), I realized that's where I wanted to be. Jeff was away at meetings so I drove straight home, picked up the youngest three, and we attended opening night together. Then, of course, I figured I might as well stay to see it again after I finished selling tickets on Thursday night. Friday we all went with several friends of ours. And tonight Jeff and I had a date to see it one last time on closing night. So I saw it all four nights and it was fresh and funny every time!

Here are a few pictures that were taken earlier in the week during dress rehearsals. The set is not quite finished, but you can get a pretty good idea of the costuming. (The show takes place in 1934 aboard a cruise ship.)

Savannah and Sam are right of center.  Sam is in disguise (a priest's robes) because he's a wanted man.

Sam looks so different with his dark hair. He was show-stealing FUNNY!!

Savannah's character was engaged to marry this English gentleman. Hope is very sweet, but torn because she is in love with Billy who stowed away on the ship to see her.

Savannah's voice was perfect for her role. Her songs were beautiful!

{All photos were taken by Scott Brooks}