Saturday, May 27, 2017


Though I'm still annoyed that we overpaid to have this firepit made and landscaped, I'm glad we're enjoying it! Brian, the typical male pyro, loves to build the fires. And the kids of course come a'runnin. Even when they're in the hot tub and only half (or not at all) dressed. They were even trying to roast little mini marshmallows. So cute. Bethany was just one of the kids! We had her for a couple days while her parents took Nathan to Disneyland. She's such a sweetie, I really love that little niece of mine.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Mother-Daughter Cupcake Wars

Brianna sure loves her Activity Days program! If she had her way, they'd do it every night. The leaders are fun, sweet ladies who make a good effort to help the girls have fun.
This particular activity included the moms, and was held on a Thursday instead of Wednesday so those of us busy with Youth/Scouts could attend.
Though I'm not a fan of copious amounts of sugar, or playing with food (not that this stuff should be classified as food), we had lots of fun. The assignment was to create 4 cupcakes: one with a princess theme, one with a flower theme, one with a "personal favorite" theme, and one with a "creative" theme. So we decided to combine all 4 and create a Rapunzel tower, with flowers at the bottom, Brianna's favorite movie, and definitely creative, right?!  Haha.
We didn't win one of the awards, but that was a good opportunity to teach Brianna that sometimes others don't appreciate our creative geniusness, and that's ok. WE know it was the best :)
But the best part of the activity was at the beginning when we were instructed to each put up ten fingers, face our daughter/mother, and tell them one thing we love/appreciate about each other for each finger. It was a VERY easy task for me... I really adore this girlie. I'm nervous about the teenage years...though she isn't showing many signs of sassiness/sneakiness/sullenness yet, I know every teen deals with one or all of those. I just pray we can get through it together and come out of it still as close as we are now!

Morning snuggles & scriptures

I love the mornings when I can get up before the kids and sneak downstairs to read my scriptures on my favorite couch looking out the big window with the sunlight barely coming in. So peaceful. 
Somehow, Charity's 6th sense of awareness of my presence kicked in and she wandered downstairs to hunt me down. Naked. I don't even know how that happened. But I let her join me, and snuggle her little legs inside my shirt. She promptly fell back asleep as I read. 
And I never wanted to get up. 
I got a LOT of study done this particular morning ;)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bubbly baby


Kindergarten concert

Spot the twins!

Goodness I love that I get to attend things like this.  Makes me love Mom-ing.

Rain Sale

Despite the annoying wet weather,  our annual neighborhood yard sale was fun. At least for the kids. Til they got distracted and I had to track them down when customers showed up. Ok, so it wasn't that fun. And it was a ton of work, sucking up an entire day. We made a little money though... but actually not really since half the stuff was my friend Tara's that I bought from her to help her before she moved. And ended up selling for half of what I bought it. Ugh. Whatever. I just want my garage empty and clean!!! And it does feel good to know others got some cool stuff off us for a great deal. Like one lady who was ecstatic that all our little girl clothes were 25 cents each. And the couple with lotsa kids who bought the big farm table for $40. And the kids I sold the old skiis to for a buck cuz i just was DONE and didn't care. I learned that the line, "make me an offer," when presented in the right tone with sincerity, works much better than pricing things, for the most part. I learned that some people are RIDICULOUSLY cheap, and must think I'm an idiot if they thought I'd sell certain items so cheap cuz I didn't know their worth. But mostly I learned that I definitelydefinitely prefer shopping yard sales than hosting them. And hooray, doing it again next year with the biannual YW fundraiser. Shoot me now. It better not rain!

The very best way to make mashed potatoes!

Crockpot!! Makes it so easy to mash up! We just throw the potatoes in - skins on, never. peel. veggies. - plus a head of cauliflower to mash in with - set it & forget it, boom.
Get a cute 9 year old to do the mashing. 


Its been a goal for awhile to hit 7 miles in an hour on the elliptical.
Because,  ya know, that's really meaningful in life.
Basically the most epic accomplishment on the planet and I'm now ready for translation.
But forreals, it feels good to work hard towards a goal (albeit arbitrary) and hit it. Just barely too, with less than a minute to spare.
And soaking in sweat.
Cuz I'm classy like that. 
Thank you ipad and Netflix for helping me love my cardio sessions.
Seriously, it's almost my favorite part of the day to zone out on a show and get my sweat on.
I feel like I can handle anything after I've had that fix.
So Zen. 

Butterfly shirt

I just love this on her  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mother's Day necklace

I had this made for Brian's mom from my friend Jill's etsy shop called Washburn collective. It was the 5 initials of her kids on the little charms. I was going to buy a similar birthstone-type customized mother's necklace off Amazon or another site...but then I remembered Jill's business and was so happy to support a friend plus send a meaningful gift.

I'd like to make one for myself.... but I gotta wait for the rest of the initials ;)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Feeding goats

Took Lily with us to Martial Arts, so she got to help Charity feed the goats! They love doing it of course. Feeding goats is endlessly entertaining for some reason.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


We had SO much fun at the Tim McGraw Faith Hill concert!! My friend Shannon came with us, Steve got Meg tickets as her mother's day present, and Mere+Lindsay got mom&dad their tix.

We called it our 12th anniversary date night....kinda lame, since we were going anyways, but it sounded good :) Plus we did do our Tennis date for our anniversary as per tradition, so it was a good one.
I even made some $$ off the concert...I bought 12 tickets and sold 6 of them for a small profit on Craigslist. That was kinda fun, but I don't think I'll do it again....took too much time...gotta keep life simple and not give myself more THINGS to do, even if it means making a few bucks, cuz we're doing fine at the bank, but what I really need is just more hours in the day. So much going on in life. Trying to keep all the balls in the air, but occasionally a few drop. 

Found this!

Guinea Pig abuse?

Yeah, that's BacaBaca in the bin of beads. Poor thing.
I can't believe we still have this guinea pig.
We're at the point now where the kids are really attached, especially Brianna, so it'd be heartbreaking to her to lose it.

I'm a splendid art mom

One of the girls in Brianna's class drew this. I'm the one on the middle, apparently :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Weight is relative

When I ask her to clean up her toys, it's just "sooo heavy, too hard!!"
But when she wants the giant jug of apple juice from the garage? No problem lugging it into the kitchen!!

Fashion over function

Usually I don't interfere with her fantastic wardrobe choices. They're just so entertaining. But this one looked uncomfortable so I gently informed her that socks+flipflops doesn't really work.
Her sweet little response..."But I like it mommy!"  

Ok Courtney,  you just keep being you and rocking it!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sammy visit... TO MY HOUSE!

Sammy's first visit to our home meant her introduction to the guinea pig! Which she quickly made clear she was NOT interested in :)  Sammy's never been a fan of animals, as far as I can remember.
But I'm definitely a big fan of Sammy coming to visit at my house!! I didn't know she could, since we don't have a ramp. But her awesome LIFE caregivers were able to get her up the couple steps into the house, and we had a LOVELY visit!! We're going to do this more often, I'm so happy!!

Sunday YW lesson

I love/hate teaching YW.
Hate: the time it takes to prepare. I spend hours. And I don't have hours. So I feel like I get behind in everything else in life.
LOVE: Everything else about it! I love sharing what I've learned with these awesome 12-18yr old girls.  I love learning FROM these girls! I love studying the scriptures with them and learning together! There's a beautiful strong spirit in our classroom every week that energizes and refreshes my soul. I'm so grateful to observe the Sabbath day. What a loss to treat it like any other or think it's there for any other purpose than to worship our Heavenly Father. 

Today's lesson was about strengthening our testimonies. Testimonies come by revelation from the Holy Ghost. He reveals the truth to us as we pray, study, and live the Gospel. I know this is true.

During the lesson, I asked for a volunteer to come stand up. Silence. Waited. Waited. Finally,  one girl slowly came up. I smiled,  handed her a dollar, said "Here's some cash! You can go sit down now!" 
Shock and surprise from the rest! "WHAT?! I wanna volunteer!" "I'll do it!" "You didn't tell us what we'd be getting!"
I stated, "Looks like a lot of people here today missed out on an OPPORTUNITY. WHY did you miss out? Was it fear? Scared you'd have to do something dumb or hard or embarrassing? Was it apathy? You don't care and just wanna sit there and do nothing? Was it distraction? Your mind is off in la-la land, thinking of boys, school work, lunch, your phone, and everything besides what's most important right now? Was it hesitation? You wanted to volunteer,  you were just too slow? You have so many opportunities right now in your stage of life. Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, Young Womens, Personal Progress, Mutual, Seminary, Family activities,  personal prayer and scripture study....Do NOT miss out on these opportunities because of fear, laziness, distractions, apathy....because the blessings of taking advantage of opportunities are better than you can ever imagine! You think CASH is a cool prize? Live the Gospel to the fullest, develop a rock solid testimony, and you will be rewarded with the greatest "prize" you can imagine!"
Then I had some girls come up and share snippets from GenConf messages I had them prepare ahead of time, highlighting specific ways to strengthen our testimonies. 
Then, to tie it in with Mother's Day, I told them that sometimes we struggle and need to temporarily lean on others with more experience and wisdom than we have. Who better to lean on than our loving, strong mothers?! (fortunately, all my girls do have active moms, otherwise I wouldn't have done this activity of course). I handed them all a photo of themself and their mom when they were little. Then I handed them a short statement of testimony. They went around reading the testimonies, and when they thought it was the one the one their mom wrote they had to declare,  "That's my mama's testimony!!" Then they put the photo and testimony  up on the board together. It was so cool seeing them all listening so INTENTLY! At the end I put up the paper, "And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers saying..." and we all read the next sign together: "We did not doubt,  our mothers knew it!"

When your purple potato explodes in the microwave...


Brianna's job yesterday: empty and clean out entire pantry! Amazing how it looks like SO MUCH, but it all fit nicely into that small closet pantry, that didn't look full at all! So nice to have it all cleaned up. Now I gotta put it back in....😨  

Saturday, May 13, 2017

So many caption possibilities...

Nonny Cinderella outing

 Her text: 

"Here w/some of my princesses 👸 👸 👸 👸 -  at CINDERELLA!"  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Swingin in our park

Can I sue the roofing company over this?

It's reeeeeallly awesome to pay a storm-chasing roofing company thousands of dollars to have a new roof installed... have to pester them to come back and clean up their mess... then STILL find nails all over...try to clean them all up myself...but still have my sweet little girl get stabbed in the foot by one while she was playing in the grass. Poor baby. It hurt her SOOOO bad! She was limping all day, and the site was painful for days. Fortunately she's had a tetanus shot within the last few years.

I sent these photos to the company, and they sent us a $200 Amazon gift card, and sent Brianna a card and $100 cash. Not even joking. So weird. Like "shut up" money. Cuz I think we could sue. If I was inclined to deal with that nonsense stuff. Not worth the headache, since she's fine now.
Well... except that she now has $100 and is super eager to spend it on toys and I'm having to coach her on appropriate financial planning.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

MSHS Block Party

The high school throws this community party every year and it's such a blast! We got to do face painting, carriage ride, games, dinner, live band, obstacle course, Annalee's theater performance, and Bennett's art was displayed!

How we feel about Summer

Sprinkler jumping!

Yay for our first warm day!!


If the weather is right, the guinea pig gets to go outside for a little bit! She loves to eat the grass. And I can't imagine she doesn't love the fresh air. Bonus: her droppings go outside! Minimize cage nastiness!

I still wouldn't mind finding a new home for her....

Monday, May 1, 2017

Painting dolly's nails

Happy view

I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing my sweet little people having fun in their giant bath tub. I probably take for granted what a blessing it is to have four beautiful healthy happy kiddos. It's humbling to look at their amazing little beings and know I helped bring them into this world. And overwhelming to plan out how I'm going to help them learn what they need to know! But I'm just so immensely grateful for the opportunity.