Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Last Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Savannah's Senior Picture
I just realized that this is probably our last Thanksgiving with Savannah for a very long time. She's hoping to be at BYU next fall. Living so far away, we'll be lucky to have her home for Christmas, but Thanksgiving isn't likely. She's planning to be on a mission by Thanksgiving the following year and then it's more college to follow.

Fortunately, college and missions are both things to be thankful for so we'll choose gratitude for the good things she's planning for her future and try not to dwell on how much we'll miss her.

And we'll just enjoy having her here this year. Life is good!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pinterest Partial Fail

Savannah is on a health kick. She found a super easy and delicious healthy dinner on Pinterest that she was excited to make for us. Quinoa, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic - we had all the ingredients on hand and Savannah got to work. It wasn't as "super easy" as the recipe boasted, but Savannah persevered.

The top picture below is what it was supposed to look like. The bottom picture is what we ended up with.

Despite Savannah's crestfallen looks and her declarations of, "No one is ever going to want to marry me," it wasn't a total loss. The end result tasted fine, and most of the kids cleaned their plate. (Anything is edible with enough ketchup...)

Thanks for dinner, Savannah! It tasted great. We'll work on presentation. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014


At first glance, doesn't this look like Africa? It does to me. I looked out my car window and did a double take. I could see a few cars driving down the road way off in the background, but they could have just as easily been gazelles or giraffes running across the savannah. This picture was actually taken as we were leaving the airport in Champaign, Illinois earlier today - a far cry from Africa, to be sure. 

It just so happens that I have an "Africa Fund" where I've been saving my pennies and dollars for about 2 years now. I'll get there someday. In the meantime, it was fun to get a little glimpse of what it might be like. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


David Archuleta sings a song called "Glorious" in the movie, Meet the Mormons. They ran a little contest of sorts, inviting people to submit their own cover of the song for possible inclusion in a supercut video. Savannah submitted a video and, while she wasn't selected as one of the few for the supercut, I think her version is especially beautiful and I wanted to share. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Studio C - One of the Greats

This video from the most recent Studio C episode went from a little over 500,000 views around 5:30 this evening to over 900,000 only four hours later. Crazy! 

I seriously haven't heard Jeff laugh this hard in a long time. I think I laugh more at Jeff laughing than I do at the video - I guess people getting hit in the face just isn't my thing, but I once had a friend who would die of laughter whenever she saw someone fall down, so I get it. Anyway, a lot of people think this is quite brilliant so I thought I'd post it here for your viewing pleasure. 

Studio C is in its fifth season and I must admit it's a good one. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Another Teenager

I have a theory. I've decided that terrible toddlers grow up to be delightful teenagers and vice versa. So far my theory is holding true.

Meet Sterling, the terriblest toddler.

Yes, those are scissors in his hand...oh dear! It's a good thing he's cute. There were days, many days, when I didn't know if we'd survive Sterling's busy-ness. He was never malicious, but he had more energy than my oldest three put together. We literally had an alarm on our front door so we'd know when he escaped!

Fast forward a few years. 

This is the (adorable) face of one fantastic teenage boy. Yep, still cute! But now he's focused and driven. Sterling excels in school, he's a great friend, an amazing violinist and he has the craziest imagination! He even has perfect pitch. Oh, and he's super funny! He has the best sense of humor. Sterling is kind and he loves to please. He is very conscientious and has a strong sense of what is right. What more could you ask for? :) Sterling is the whole package. 

I'm so glad we survived Sterling and that he is starting out his teenage years as such a remarkable young man. 

Happy 13th Birthday, Sterling. I hope this is your best year so far!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Big Hero 6


We're not big moviegoers. We're usually content to wait for the DVD and then watch from the comfort of our living room.

But once in a while, we just can't wait. And once in a great while we can't even wait past opening night. (And when I say "we," I mean Soren. Soren has been anticipating the opening of Big Hero 6 since he saw the first trailer months ago.)

What we loved and learned:

  • You'll never think of fist bumps the same again. (ba-da-la-da-la)
  • Being a smart nerd is very cool. 
  • The trailers didn't give away too much. Plenty of surprises!
  • It didn't condone violence (though there are a few scary violent parts.)
  • Friends look out for each other.
  • Bad things happen when anger takes over.
  • Baymax is so lovable. 
  • Family is important.


    Five stars from us! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


We've had one of the longest, most beautiful transformations to Fall. The trees changed color so gradually this year and it seem the leaves stayed on much longer than usual. Even just running errands or dropping the kids at school has been an opportunity to view the brilliant and changing display.

Fortunately, the leaves are not the only things changing around here.  

Illinois has been in trouble for a while. Wherever you happen to live, you've probably heard the dire reports about Illinois and the huge mess we're in. You probably know that our governors have a track record of going to prison after their tenure in office, but by then the damage has been done and we are left to deal with it.

I'm not a fan of Chicago. Simply looking at area, Illinois is overwhelmingly rural and conservative. Then there is Chicago. Sadly, Chicago ends up making all the big decisions and having the final say in elections simply because they are so big. Fortunately, this time they just weren't big enough. Or maybe it's just that Chicago is fed up with the way things have been going and they are ready for change, too.

I am hopeful that Illinois can change. The election of a new governor yesterday is a huge step in the right direction. The race was a nasty-name-calling-finger-pointing ordeal, but it's over.  I'll admit, I feel a little bit sorry for Bruce Rauner. I have a feeling that things might need to get worse before they can get better in order to clean up this mess, but I'm optimistic that things can improve. I look forward to many positive changes just ahead!