Monday, May 23, 2016

11th anniversary date!

The Piano Guys were ammmmaaazzzing!!!!

I was shocked at how fast time went. I could've sat and listened to them all night (which is a lot to say for someone who doesn't like to sit still!)  It was so fun to go with Brian - and bring mom&dad along as a thank you gift! Plus Steve+Meg and kids - it was awesome seeing those teens enjoy it just as much as the older crowd.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

YW yard+bake sale miraculous SUCCESS!!

We had a true miracle happen - the forecast had been TERRIBLE up til just hours before this big event. I was nervous - we had worked SO HARD prepping for this fundraiser. Collecting yard sale donations from ward members, making signs, bake sale items, announcements, etc etc.
I prayed that somehow it would all go smoothly and these girls wouldn't see their efforts wasted.
The Lord overdelivered!
We had almost ZERO rain - nothing but a few drops. Just 5 miles away, it was an absolute downpour. There were areas in Spokane experiencing flash flooding. But our little yard and bake sale? Dry and thriving!!
We had a goal to make at least $500. My lofty goal was to double that and make a thousand. But no - we made about $1300!! Enough to pay for all their camp and High Adventure costs.  It truly was an answer to prayers. This event was such a WIN in others ways...the girls had fun and bonded, they talked to people about which church they belonged to and what this fundraiser was for, ward members totally went the extra mile to show their support with donations (which in turn helped them de-clutter!), and I learned some valuable lessons on how to run a successful sale.  And more importantly - how to depend on our Heavenly Father to help me when I'm truly striving to do what I'm called to do... help these Young Women come closer to Christ!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tire flipping!

I've been going to a new little gym the past few weeks and they're having me do some fun stuff! 
Monkey bars, battle rope, obstacle courses, rainbow ball slams...and tire flipping! 
That thing weighed 90lbs!! 
I'm not sure I'll keep going here much longer, simply because it's going to get hot and they do lots outside and I'm lame and love AC...but for now it's awesome to mix it up.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Running with the boss in Ogden!

On Friday afternoon I got to hit the trails with Janae! 
It was so awesome! 
I was scared she'd be too fast for me but we just did a casual run...up the mountain...!! 
Loved it. 
After being up since 3:30 and traveling for hours it felt awesome to workout.
 And work! Ha! 
I have the greatest job working for 
The whooping 5hrs/month I put in are very sustainable and pay off in many having a great "boss" to motivate me to get in better shape and stay on top of our little biz.   


Brian's been doing so great with the kids while I've been away this weekend! (well...from the reports anyway....I'm not home yet to see evidence...) He said Charity's been a total sweetheart, minus some middle-of-the-night mommy missings. Poor baby. Can't wait to snuggle her. It's been a long (yet short!) 3 day getaway for me to Utah! Brian's had Bennett too, but I knew he'd be fine. I was just worried about little cherry. And that he wouldn't do her her and she'd look homeless. Oh well...It's good for all of us, right?!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Good fences make good neighbors!

The windstorm last November blew our fence down. So we've been busy repairing it!  Well... our neighbor has been doing most of the work... which is fine, since we paid for the all the materials...but I think they're still miffed that we're not doing more of the work.... SEE?  Fences are a good thing!! :)

Taking the mamas out

Had fun taking Meg, Mere, and Mom to the theater for the Mother's Day movie!
 Despite being totally full of sneaky liberal agenda, it was warm and funny and relatively clean.
And super relaxing after a crazy busy morning!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day to me :)

Brian and the kids did a great job making me feel loved today :)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sunday best!

New outfits courtesy of Nonny and Gymboree sales, as usual :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

2 yr old discovers wrinkles

Charity discovered the consequence of spending too long in a warm bath...wrinkly hands! And she was NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT! She cried and asked me to get it off her. I explained it would go away soon when she dried off and got in jammies. She still wasn't happy and kept trying to wipe the wrinkles off.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Water sliding at the Valley Y

So glad I grabbed their suits last minute when we were headed to Brianna's volleyball game in the Valley....I didn't realize the big slide would be open and they would have the time of their lives going down it a million times!

 I got the cutest video of Bennett yelling, "I don't need your help but THANK YOU!"

" show me your muscles!"

Friday, April 29, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Nap when the baby naps! Or...just be lazy

I really should get up and DO something. Because there are a million somethings to be done.
But the older 3 are at school, the toddler is asleep, it's silent in my usually noisy home....and I just wanna stay right here doing nothing but relax and stare at her.
Well, and play on my phone of course:)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Morning swim

The twins plus a friend played while I did laps.
And apparently Bennett is working on his gang signs.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Big girl doing big girl homework!

A report on an endangered animal of her choice...she picked Snow Leopards. Then used her tablet and asked Google to tell her all about Snow Leopards, including how to draw them. It was so cute. One of those omywordmybabyisgrowingup moments.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Oh kale yeah!

Planted kale from seed LAST some great leaves from it in the Fall...left it out all winter...spring hits and BOOM! more kale! Zero effort from me!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Day of rest?

My sundays are pretty busy, with meetings and church responsibilities....I love it and believe whole heartedly I'm doing what God wants me to do...but at the same time, I miss lounging around with these goofy faces Sunday mornings.
They're my loves.
At least Brian texts me pics so I know what I'm missing ;/
Where much is given, much is required, eh? Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven:)


Saturday, April 23, 2016


A couple months ago - around Brianna's 8th birthday, I realized she hadn't been to the doctor in....ever? Like since that time she put a rock up her nose. Or got her last round of immunizations before Kindergarten. And even then, they didn't do a checkup. Since our insurance covers an annual physical for everyone 100%, and Brianna had been ASKING to go to the doctor (I think she thought they give out prizes or something...or maybe she just wanted attention)... I went ahead and made an appt! With a PA, cuz the nearest Pediatrician is kinda far. And I don't have any more faith in a Ped vs PA for stuff like this. It was kinda ridiculous they couldn't get her in for 2 MONTHS.
Checkup went great- she's in the 75th percentile for height and weight. Eyesight, BP, and everything just perfect. I asked the PA to explain the importance of SLEEP to Brianna, since she likes to try and stay up too late:)
I'm so grateful for healthy children!!! What a blessing.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gorgeous trails, sunny days

Been loving my morning runs on the trails behind the Y. They're super short cuz I've been a big slacker in the running dept,  but I'm grateful to be doing what I'm doing. 

The YELLOW wildflowers (and even the dandelions!!) are especially making my day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"My first recipe!! Send it to Nonny!!"

She was super stoked to "invent" a smoothie (smoothy, as she cutely spelled it) recipe and write it down.
Can't really go wrong with fruit+froyo in a blender...
Next time I'll show her how fun it is to add GREEN stuff to the recipe :)

Monday, April 18, 2016

sdrawkcab gnitirw ttenneB

Is this normal or do I need to be worried?!
His preschool teacher says it's common enough...but trippy! Letters AND words AND the sentence backwards!!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Happy BIRTHDAY Papa!!

He'll come from his trip to find this on his garage! Plus some hanging fushia plants, balloons on his fence, and 2 boxes of organic Figgies :)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The best races

These are my absolute favorite types of races to do.  
I used to care about courses and accurate maps and good competition and blah blah blah.... 
Now I'm happiest when my kids get their faces painted and take pictures with Batman in a beautiful park on a gorgeous Spring Saturday morning. 

Bonus: they learned what Autism means and we had a good discussion about how to treat kids who act differently  (ie - the same as everyone else! With kindness!)

The only downside is that I'm super out of shape. My time was awful and I got beat by a pregnant girl. A very speedy pregnant girl, but still. It's embarrassing. I'm going to fix this!! [starting monday] :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


I just reallyreally adore her.
She's as sweet as can be and ridiculously fun to be around. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Now I love Fred Meyer even more!

I've seen this at other grocery stores in more enlightened areas of the country... but figured Spokane wasn't quite THERE yet.  But I guess we are, because our grocery store is now offering a free piece of fruit to kids instead of crap from the bakery! Yay! They behave so much better while shopping with me if they're munching on an apple or banana :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bouncy bed?

Inspired by Brian's tales from his childhood summer nights spent sleeping outside on his trampoline, the kids *jumped* at the first chance to do the same!
IMO - it's not quite warm enough at night to be doing this. But they insisted! So every pillow, blanket, and large stuffed animal was brought to their trampoline campout. 
And of course, Brian slept out their with him. Both for safety, and fun :)  They watched "Little Rascals" on his ipad before falling asleep. Then Courtney slept in til about 9am! Bennett transferred to his own bed inside at 5:30 or so. 
Honestly, I feel kinda lame I'm not out there with them. I totally would, but Charity is already such a finicky sleeper.... and I just treasure my sleep too much to risk losing a night of it!  Maybe next year? 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring art from Brianna

I love it when she surprises us with her cute little art gifts. She's so creative and sweet!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Aloha (goodbye!) dinner

Before mom, Dad, Lily and Mere left on their latest Hawaiian vacation, I wanted to throw a little goodbye party. The tropical theme is always fun, and I have a handy stash of decorations always ready to go! 
I wanted to do the pizza in the shape of the letters ALOHA, but ran out of time, so HI had to suffice :)  We had tiki torches lit outside and a little bonfire. 
I miss them when they're gone!! And not just because they help me with my kids :) 
They wanted us to join them on Oahu... but honestly I just wasn't interested.  A quick cost-benefit analysis demonstrates to me that it's not worth it. Maybe in a few years? Or maybe I can get away with just doing my style of vacations.... quick easy and fun!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Hard work pays off!

 THIS girl..... 
When she puts her mind to something, she's going to make it happen!
She's been wanting her own tablet. Bad. 
She discovered they can be as cheap as $49  (well, 50-something with tax, which she found really annoying.... me too, babe, me too).
Brianna has spent the past month doing jobs for Nonny, Papa, and her parents to earn all the money to buy this herself! 
She showed up at Shopko with her bright pink wallet, stuffed full of crumpled bills and heavy with coins.
The look of pride and joy on her face was priceless! 
And I was thrilled they offer a $5 insurance plan! Full replacement at Shopko for a year if anything at all happens to the tablet. Which is likely to happen, considering the ages of her siblings....

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Easiest way to deal with the piano practice battle...

Hiring the older cousin to come help!
Such a win-win....she makes a few bucks, gets valuable teaching experience, practices PATIENCE...Brianna does a full focused hour of practice (which she'll thank me for in 10 years or so)...and *I* do NOT have to lose an hour of my personal productivity time!:)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Would you like a bath with those bubbles?!

Brianna learns to play Life!

It's hard work! Career choices, college debt, children, starter homes, lawsuits, parties, adoption, pay raise, job loss, retirement at millionaire mansion....
Lots for an 8 yr old to absorb! She loved it and it wiped her out mentally :)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spring Break Chore Charts

Ready to make this week a productive one!
Or at's evidence we tried.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Grateful for one hour printing and modern technology on birthdays

I neglected to get a card in the mail to my grandmother celebrating her 94th birthday.
I wasn't even on the ball enough to send anything for her with my parents who flew out to see her.
FORTUNATELY, Walgreens has one hour printing. And I know how to write a big sign, take a picture, and get my parents to pick up the photo at the Walgreens next to her home and bring it to her on the evening of her birthday. Including the photo collage of all her great grandchildren from her son Steve and Debbie.
BAM, creative thoughtful card.
Procrastinator style.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

*Updated* Smith Grandkids

Mom- which color theme do you like best?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sunny picnic with mom

Nothing like vegan enchiladas on a beach towel with your mama in the Spring sun!