Friday, January 28, 2011

GNO-Girls' Night Out

How could we survive without friends?  I don't know that I could.  Being a stay-at-home-mom, living in the country by a small one grocery store town, there are days when I never leave the house.  I like those days :)  Often there are several days in a row when I don't leave the house, so I don't always see my friends.  Often I may only see them once a month, but they are still my friends; they got my back; they are there for me whenever I need them.  I can call on them anytime for anything, and I know they will be there.  Those kind of friends are priceless.   About 8 1/2 years ago I started a Girls' Night Out or GNO group.  Once a month we take turns hosting and get together.  8 years ago I was knee deep in diapers, bottles, laundry, and babies, and I needed a night out, and so we made one.  What a blessing.  Now that I am knee deep in teenager activities, book reports, projects, sport practices and games, spelling lists and even more laundry than 8 years ago, I still need a night out :)

 These are the "old timers" or "old ladies" as the son of one of us calls us.  These are the girls that started it 8
1/2 years ago.  Sadly, some of our original group have moved.  Life happens.  We miss them.  One from this photo recently moved.  We miss her.

This is our group now.  We have added a few.  It is always good to make new friends!  What a blessing to have new friends!  This weekend I am hosting GNO.  We are having a soup night at my house.  I am providing drinks, rolls, and a yummy dessert, and everyone is bringing their favorite soup and recipe to share.  I love soups and am always looking for a new recipe to try.  Like I said before we take turns hosting each month.  At the beginning of the year everyone chooses a month to host.  We do lots of different things--sometimes we just go out to eat at a restaurant, we have made quilts together, gone to the movies, done craft projects, played tennis, and lots of other things in the past 8 years.  Whoever hosts can choose whatever she wants to do.  We always have baby showers for those expecting, and then we provide meals for the new mom and her family.  That has been a huge blessing because there have been a lot of babies :)  Friends are a blessing.  What more can I say?  I love my friends.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Blue Jean's Week

As you may know, I am a huge Becky Higgins and Project Life fan.  That is my mode of scrapbooking.  There are many way you can do this, but I subscribe to the one picture a day method.  I love it.  I am going on my 3rd year, and I am very happy to say that 2009 and 2010 are all scrapbooked and done because I have used this kind of scrapbooking.  LOVE IT!  So, these are my pictures from this last week.  Capturing our life, the fun and not so fun, and what makes it our life which we are so blessed to live.
Sunday:  We love to play games at our house, and this is one that Miss O got for Christmas, Q-bitz.  It has become a favorite of everyone.  Sunday afternoons are a great time to play games and relax!

Monday:  No school today, and the weather was cold, so we had a dance in the house.  Miss E has some moves, let me tell ya!

Tuesday:  This is my upstairs hallway looking into my bedroom.  Mr J commandeers the hallway and my room and anyone else's he wants to spread his wooden railway.  Toot!  Toot!  He here comes!

Wednesday:  Bedtime routine--either Ben or I read with Mr.J.  Love that time together.

Thursday:  My house with the little snow that we have.  I like getting an outside picture of the house in each of the seasons. 

Friday:  My book club!  I haven't been in a book club in over 12 years, and a friend decided to start one and I jumped on board.  Discussing books with friends and eating good food, is there a better way to spend a Friday night? 

Saturday:  Miss A prepared all day for her oral science report on Axolotls.  (Never heard of them?  Look them up, they are cool)  The girl had it down and aced it Monday morning when she delivered it at school.
So wanted to share our week. I am going to try to do this each Tuesday to help myself keep up.  Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A really good book!

Just read a book that I loved!!!  Check it out on my book blog  It is called Dragonfly by Julia Golding

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Happy

We finally got some snow!!!!  My kids were beyond excited!!!
Made some snow friends,

And this little guy asked if he could wear his complete snowsuit, boots, hat and gloves to school the day it was snowing.  When I said, "No, I think you won't have recess outside today,"  then he insisted that he needed to stay home from school to play in the snow.  Um no, sorry.  He was not in the least disappointed when the next day school was canceled because of the snow.  One Snow Happy kiddo!

Did some snow surfing.  
And built some snow forts.  Sadly, this snow is almost gone, but we are expecting more tomorrow--that was the first thing the kids told me when they got home from school today.  "Mom!!  Mom!  Did you know we are supposed to get SNOW tomorrow??"  Yes, we are snow happy here :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


You just never know what life is going to throw at you.  You can be cruising through life and think the path is just a straight line right in front of you, but then bam you hit a 90 degree turn you didn't see coming at all.  Can you relate to this?  Lately I have had some close friends facing some difficult challenges, and this has been on my mind a lot.  All of us have challenges.  Mine are different from yours.  I think it is important when we face challenges--which we do daily--that we take the time to look beyond ourselves.  Look at others and what they are facing.  So often it is a greater challenge that what we face.  When we do this it helps us put things into perspective.  We think, "huh, maybe I don't have it so bad after all."  So often during challenges we get so caught up in our own here and now that we fail to look beyond and see another's pain and challenges and offer help.  This is so important because not only when we do this does it help another but it helps us also.   It is that perspective thing again.  Perspective is so important when dealing with challenges and realizing that what we are going through will not last forever.  "This too shall pass" is one of my bestest friend's favorite sayings.  I think of that often.  "This too shall pass."  This challenge is but a moment in the great scheme of things.  Try and remember the big picture.  Like my little pep talk?  And I often remember a quote from a church meeting years ago, "If you think someone else is perfect, or their life is perfect, then you just don't know them well enough."  No one is perfect, least of all me, and that is important to remember as we face challenges also.  Everyone has them.  That is life.  The important thing is how we choose to deal with them because we do have a choice.  We always have a choice when it comes to how we decide to act towards our challenges instead of reacting. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

My 2010 Reading List

My 2010 Reading List I posted over on my book blog, so if you would like to check it out please click here .  Hopefully if you are looking for a good book you will find one.  What are some of your favorites from 2010?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Winter Entertainment

Winter entertainment is definitely different than summer.  Especially if the weather is just plain cold, no fun snow, just cold.  That limits most activities to indoors.  With about 2 weeks off for the holidays, entertaining inside can be a challenge at times.  Here is what we have been doing. . .
Nerf gun practice.  Miss O got the giant gun but all the other kids got a smaller one, so the adults stole the kids' guns for target practice :) 

We went to Rome(just me and Ben)--or as close as we could get without using our passports or buying plane tickets.  We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary after Christmas and stayed here.  Very good winter entertainment.  I would highly recommend it :)

Perler beads.  Are your kids into these?   We have had these for years and the kids still love them.  They use them all the time. 

And after a cold winter day my kitchen counter is full of patterns of Perler beads that need to be ironed. 

Train tracks extravaganza.  Filling a room with train tracks is Mr J's favorite thing, and it is even better when his big sisters help (and even better when they all help clean it up :)

This was a blessing that came in the mail right before Christmas.  It has kept Miss O and Miss A very entertained with what plants they want to get for the summer garden. "Mom, will kiwi grow here?  Mom, what is our hardiness zone?  Mom, can we grow dwarf pomegranates?  How about kohlrabi?"  A what?  They have big lists of what they want to order.  Nothing like planning your summer garden in December to beat the winter blues!  Hope all are being entertained well at your house!  We are still hoping for some snow so we can have a little fun outside entertainment here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I am offically the mother of a teenager!

 Christmas break was a busy time here, and I am sure it was at your house too.  It was extra busy here because we had a birthday party, and I officially became the mother to a teenage girl.  Oh. my.  Never really thought this day would come, but it did and much quicker than I ever imagined.  Sometimes time seems to never pass and others it seems to fly like the wind. 
These last 13 years have flown like the wind, and this beautiful girl turned 13.  Love her to death.  She is amazing.  I don't know what I would do without her. 
This year was her year for a "friend" party.  I have a strict formula when it comes to my kids and friend parties.  They get their first "friend" party when they are 5 and then every other year, always on odd birthdays.  The even ones are just family parties.  This method keeps me sane when it comes to birthday parties (sort of), so for this friend party we had seven 13 year old girls in my kitchen decorating gingerbread houses.  What a mess!  I thought I was smart doing this with 13 year olds versus 5 year olds.  But honestly I don't think the 5 year olds could have been any more messy, but we just hosed down the kitchen when they were done, and life is good (just a bit sticky in places that we missed).  So maybe that is the first lesson I've learned as a mother of a teenager--13 year olds are just as messy as 5 year olds.
She got a bike for her birthday.  One of the disadvantages of having a birthday 2 days before Christmas is you get everything at one time during the year, even things you really can't use during this time of the year--like this bike that she has only ridden 2 times because it is so cold!  She will appreciate it better in about 5 months, though :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010

Santa found us this year.  We must have been good, but there were times I really wondered :) 
Christmas morning and these are a few of our favorite things. . .

Boys in BYU hats

Girls with big guns (I cannot tell you how amazingly excited she was about this present.  Thank you Santa.)

Girls with new piano music (Harry Potter and Taylor Swift)

Girls with puzzle erasers things (are your kids into these?  These stocking stuffers were a hit this year)

And my favorite thing--a porch swing made by Ben!!!  It is beautiful, and I had no idea he had been working on it for the last 2 months.  Lucky for him our next door neighbor has a huge wood shop which is where he kept and worked on it.  It was hanging up and ready to swing on Christmas morning as I got a card that said, "Go look on the front porch."  The kids knew and even helped some, and none of them spelled the beans which is even more amazing :)  Hope Santa found you all too!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Eve

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to your New Year.  2011 is going to be great!  We will make it great.  Wanted to share some photos of our holidays.  These are from Christmas Eve.  We had 15 here to celebrate.  What we do on Christmas Eve is . . .
Eat--We do soups on this night--My DeeDee's potato cheese and then usually another kind, my sister made a Chicken barley that was amazing this year.  We have rolls, lots of yummy sides, Egg Nog and the crowning food is a very special rice pudding for dessert that is To. Die. For.  It is supposedly the recipe from the Puddin' on the Rice eating place in Utah that I got from a friend several years ago.  It is amazingly yummy, but we only have it on Christmas Eve because it takes 3 days to make and 4 cups of heavy cream, and once a year our diets can handle it, but that's all :) 
We sing lots on Christmas Eve--jammin'-- we do that a lot at our house.  Miss O and my mom.

We re-enact the Nativity with Mary and Joseph,

The Shepards,

And the wise men, and I rarely have any clean towels left after we do this, and Ben usually has a few ties go missing, but it is worth it.

The kids always get to open one present Christmas Eve--new PJ's!  This was a tradition Ben and I both had growing up.  Love it.   Hope your Christmas Eve was a happy one!