Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Ok.  Where do I even start?  Since school started, Jess went to Tucson for 2 months to take a class for the army.  He missed our anniversary but made it back in time for our birthday.  The girls started after school programs.  Reanne finally got to start her martial arts class that she has been begging for.  Besides self defense, it teaches leadership skills, and discipline.  She also loves it, which is a bonus.
 Sierra is now in tumbling and jazz dance.  I keep asking her which one she likes better and she can't decide.  Both Reanne and Sierra are getting pretty strong and Sierra can almost do the splits.  You can tell by Sierra's smile that she is in heaven.
 I started a new job working for my dad as his secretary.  My business cards say I am his executive assistant, but I guess that's ok since there are just 3 of us at the company.  It's definitely better than cleaning houses every day.  After 2 months I am finally starting to feel like I am getting the hang of things.

Halloween was good and bad.  Our Halloween dinner was awesome thanks to my mom for creating the main dishes.  The rotting skull meatloaf was so scary that Reanne didn't even want to eat it.

My contribution was the deserts.  Doughnut hole eyeballs and Frankenstein fingers.  I know I have done the fingers at least twice before, but I just love chocolate pretzels.

Halloween night was a total loss.  Lets just say that we "lost" two out of three kids and there was at least 2 weeks of grounding that occurred at the end of the night.  I didn't get one picture of them, which is a first for me.  All agreed that it was the worst Trick or Treat night ever.

On a positive note, all my kids entered the Reflections contest at school and this year they all won.  Reanne and Sierra both won an award of excellence in their categories and Grant won an award of merit.  We will see how the girls do at the next level.

Jess and I both got new callings.  At the moment we each have 3 callings.  I just got called to be a bear leader for cub scouts, which is the second time I have had this calling.  My first repeat.  Jess just got called into Young Mens as the teacher's quorum advisor.  I know he will love it, but I am trying hard to have a good attitude about it.  That just takes him away more…Sundays, Wednesdays and a weekend once a month for camp outs.  Let's just say it out loud shall we.  Women raise a family, not the man.  I need to just accept that fact and move on.

So I think that is it.  All the highlights that is.  The rest of the last few months consists of driving to work, driving kids around, homework, feeling guilty for having cereal and corn dogs for dinner every night, picking and picking and picking garden produce, late night canning sessions, and grocery store runs late at night.  Honestly, I look at my life sometimes and wonder how things could get any more crazy.  Then as soon as I do, something else changes to add to the craziness.  One day I will feel like I have it under control.  But not today.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day of School!

I really love looking back on my blog to read about my kids and watch them grow up again.  It makes me sad that I have been so poor in writing down things this year.  I am going to try to do better.

In my last entry I wrote we hadn't done much this summer.  I guess these last few weeks made up for that.  My brother and sister in law gave us free tickets to Lagoon.  My kids had never been and I hadn't been in probably 15 years.  We had so much fun and the kids each conquered some fears.  I was proud of them.
Grant had his 6th birthday.  He is so dang cute.  I just love that boy.  Reanne carried on her traditions of making him a crown and a birthday chair to open his presents in.  They also decorated the golf cart so that he could have a birthday drive in it.
We also went camping with my Aunt and Uncle and their family above Aspen Grove.  We usually just go up for dinner and skip on the overnight part, but Jess happened to be home this year and so we decided last minute to go for the whole night.  It was our first tent experience as a family and the kids enjoyed it.

On the last day of summer, Reanne had an appointment, both girls had birthday parties, there was the school open house, and Sierra started her dance class she has been begging for.  It made me really grateful school started today.  And now the house is so quiet.  Even though I got to run this morning and write in my journal, I miss my kids already.

Friday, August 1, 2014


What I tell people about our summer, is that we haven't done anything really exciting.  We did start out great by going to California again.  It was another quick trip, but fun to see Lori, Billy and their kids.  We came home to put vegetables in the garden and do more weeding.  Yard work is definitely the theme of this summer.

Let's see…there was weeding, trying to get rid of peach bore, realizing my grass was dying, weeding, finding out my fence covered my side yard sprinklers, more weeding, ripping out dead grass and finding grubs, treating the grass, ripping out more dead grass from my side yard, weeding, trying to get ride of squash bug, and more weeding.

Lucky for my kids, we have done a few fun things too.  Besides going to Cali, we have gone to the splash pad, the pool, are doing the library summer reading program, went to Stadium of Fire, and the Mapleton Pioneer Day activities in the park.  I thought we might have done some family hikes, but Jess has been working a ton.  He comes home at around 6 and then works more from home.

Canning season has just started.  I was given a ton of apricots this year.  I made apricot pineapple jam, apricot jalapeƱo jam, and apricot nectar.  I have also made my first batch of spaghetti sauce.

The kids found out who their teachers are for this next year.  I can't believe school is already around the corner.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


So I laughed when I read last months post.  I thought that I had taken care of most of the weeds!  Perhaps in November I will be able to say that they are now gone.  I decided that the weeds have to be a family effort.  So every morning before the kids can do anything else, they have to fill a Walmart bag full of weeds.  Then I secretly go out later and pull more.  One month later they still aren't gone.  Now that we have a fence and our neighbors have landscaped, I HOPE next year won't be as bad.  We just collected every seed from their out of control weeds in our yard.

We also got rid of the new bunny.  Her baby that all the kids got so attached to, died.  When her third litter all died, I decided that I couldn't take all the heartache and tears from the kids.  Spaying her would cost about 200.00!  Obviously that wasn't going to happen.  We gave her away last night and the girls were in tears again.  I really hate pets.  Jess is picking up a spayed, female bunny from the humane society to keep cuddles company and to pacify the girls.

Besides planting flowers out front, we planted our first garden!  I am pretty excited.  We have two boxes of tomatoes, 5 rows of peppers, onions, kale, a box of strawberries, zucchini, crook neck squash, eggplant, and rhubarb.  I also noticed our two peach trees, nectarine, and asian pear all have some fruit on them.  That was a happy surprise since I thought it would at least be one more year until I got any fruit.

This is my first full week of not working and I am loving it.  It's amazing how much I can get done in one day.  I also have a goal to get more healthy over the summer.  I wasn't able to exercise very much over the last couple years while I worked.  I am hoping to get more in shape and loose 8 pounds.  I am down 3 so far…we'll see.


Thursday, May 1, 2014


I guess I am now updating my blog once a month.  I have been so so busy!  I decided to tell all my cleaning clients that I need the summer off.  I made that decision mostly for my kids, but I really need a break too.  Most of my clients are cool with it, and it is a big burden that has been lifted for me.

At the beginning of April during Spring Break, we all went to California to see my sister Lori.  The kids were surprised that Jess was going too.  It was a quick trip, but it was so fun to see her, Billy and the kids and to spend some time in beautiful Santa Barbara.  We went to the zoo and spent some time walking around the huge ranch she lives on.

April also brought some rain and A LOT of yard work.  Weeds were everywhere, but we took care of most of them.  We laid more bark, planted flowers in the front of the house, brought in dirt for our grow boxes, and planted some raspberry starts that my nice neighbor brought over from her old house.  I also added some herbs to my herb collection: sage, tarragon, yarrow, and lemon balm.  I love my herbs.

Snuggles also had her second batch of babies.  This time I was definitely not going to interfere.  She didn't birth them in the the box we left for her, and so by the time I checked on the babies after work, most of them were baked from the sun.  I did move the two living babies into the box.  One was strong and one was pretty weak.  The weak one was somehow missing the next day.  Jess and I think she might have eaten it.  Yuck!  I was pretty doubtful for the last baby, but as of today, it is alive and growing.  Here is a picture of it at 10 days old.  It already has a thin coat of fur and it has rumples everywhere.  Though the bunny farm was not my idea, I have to admit it is really cute.  The kids really love checking on it and watching it grow.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I can't believe March has come and gone already.  I feel like I have never been so busy in my whole life.  Here are some of the things that have happened this month-

We got a bunny hutch so that our rabbit can be an outside pet.  Along with the hutch, we added another bunny to keep Cuddles company.  Her name is Snuggles (of course.)
Snuggles also came with some other surprises.  Sierra discovered these little guys in the cage one afternoon.
There were originally 10.  These 4 lasted the longest.  Unfortunately, they all died by the next day.  Jess  thinks that she will do better with her next litter.  I'm not so sure…but time will tell.

I also really wanted to do a house project.  I didn't have time to do it, but every once in a while it becomes really satisfying to make something.  So I chose something simple. I added a few ruffles to a shower curtain and a padded top to the stool in the bathroom.

Grant also participated in the Kindi 500, a Kindergarten tradition at Mapleton Elementary where the kids go from room to room learning about American symbols.  We made Grant a jeep and he was pretty excited.  You've got to love Kindergarten.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Finally Done

After 3 years, Reanne's quilt is finally finished.   I told her she is banned from ever having pens or pencils on her bed again. :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My experience with essential oils

I knew essential oils were out there on the market, but I never really knew what they did.  I was skeptical that they really did anything.  Words like hippie and placebo effect came to my mind when I thought about them.  In fact, I actually tried a few and wasn't that impressed.  Someone gave me Balance from Doterra for Reanne to help her with her moods, and I didn't feel like it did anything.  My one positive experience with oils was with my neighbor.  She is a massage therapist and used some on me when she gave me a massage one day.  What she used helped make my muscles relax so she could do a better job.

About four months ago I got a migraine headache.  I was driving home when my vision started blurring.  This was bad because I had to go to the school open house and Jess wasn't home to go for me.  I went next door to ask my neighbor for a ride to school.  Before we left she put a blend of oils from Doterra on the back of my neck and told me she would work on my back after we came back.  It ended up she didn't need to because my headache was gone by the time we drove home.  I was really shocked.  I immediately bought some of that oil since I get headaches all the time.  (This oil does not work for Reanne by the way.)

The next experience I had with it was with Reanne.  My friend who was cutting my hair mentioned she  sold and used Doterra oils.  She used it for her depression and anxiety.  Close to the same day another friend told me the same thing.  I thought that I might as well give it a try with Reanne.  She has been taking 5HTP which has been amazing for her depression, but she still has issues with anxiety.  I bought a diffuser and some orange oil and started using it during math, which is a really hard thing for us to get through without fighting and tears.  After using orange oil, our calm time during math went from about a minute and a half to almost an hour.  I was again shocked.   I used it again the other day when she had a horrible day.  She was in hysterics, screaming she didn't know why she was alive.  The thought came to me to diffuse some oil.  I put it in her room and just left without saying anything.  In about 10 minutes she came out and was able to speak to me in a normal voice and function again.  

After two successes I thought I would try oils on Grant's eczema.  We have been using a very expensive cream on it since he was a baby and it had stopped working because he had built a tolerance to it.  His legs had become so bad that they were always bloody.  I had tried Melaleuca on it before with no success.  This time I tried a blend called Clear Skin.  It was very slow, but I felt like it was making a little difference.  Then someone told me to dilute the oil so it stayed on the skin longer.  I tried that and it made a BIG difference.  Grant's skin is almost normal again.  

We have also been able to stop giving Reanne Melatonin at night.  She HAD to have it in order to fall asleep before 11:00 at night.  Now she falls asleep within an hour of us diffusing lavender.

So my overall thoughts about oils are first, just because it is natural, doesn't mean it won't work.  I have a new gratitude for God's creations and his wisdom in making plants that would be beneficial for the ailments that we might have on this Earth.  Second, everyone is different and everyone has a unique body makeup.  An oil that works for one person might not work for another.  Just like Aspirin and Tylenol don't work for me and Advil does.  Third, the oils have been a substitution from one medication to another.  It still costs money to buy the oils.  The reason I made the substitution, is that there are no side effects with oils and I find them more effective than manmade medications.  At least with the oils that I have tried.  Last, I don't think that essential oils are a cure all to everything.  I definitely believe in doctors and the medicine that has been created to help us.  But I love the idea of being able to take care of more things myself from my home.

So I am not trying to sell these oils to anyone, but I really wish I had known about all this before.  It would have saved me a lot of stress and headache (literally) over the years.  I wanted to share my experiences because they have overall been so positive and have been a huge blessing to our family. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Holiday Happenings

During the school break there were some fun activities at our house.  The first fun and exciting thing that happened was that Jess graduated!!  We celebrated by eating brats for dinner and hanging out at home as a whole family.  It's amazing how a simple and low key celebration could be so great.

We also put on the second annual tamale making party.  We got together with Jess's brother and sister and their families.  With everyone pitching in, we made 280 tamales!  There were five different fillings: a traditional red pork with olive, black bean and corn, green chili and cheese, green chili pork, and a chipotle with antelope.  I haven't tried the antelope ones yet, but the rest were amazing.  This is a tradition worth keeping.
We also went sledding a few times at a park with THE perfect sledding hills.  The kids had a blast, with or without sleds.  (Grant went down the hill on his knees half the time.)  I thought it was still a bit cold, but we kept having to remind the kids to keep their jackets and gloves on.