Reunion Cheater

I know this is totally cheating, but Erica did such a great recap of our reunion at her house that I’m just going to link to Betty Peanuts. One day I’ll get my pictures and comments in here too. It was fun, thanks for a great visit!

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So Happy Together

We recently went to Rob’s office as a family field trip. He needed to make a call to Australia on a Sunday evening, which was their Monday morning, so it was a good opportunity to show us around without being a distraction. First we visited his office. A computer, piles of papers, a telephone, pretty predictable. Hard to believe our fantastic Daddy spends his work hours in such an ordinary place. I remember going to my dad’s office as a kid and thinking it was the most exciting place to be. I’d play on the phone, write post it notes, and type on the typewriters. Our kids were the same way visiting their dad’s office. So many work things and office supplies to see!

In the 60’s the buildings were hip, but now it’s not quite as  impressive. However, there are beautiful grounds to walk around on. The kids loved walking around the gardens and looking at all of the beautiful plants, flowers, and trees which have been labeled with little plaques just like you’d see in a nature preserve. Here are some pictures I took of the kids with their Dad:

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Be A Hero

This is the fourth year that we have done Hero Camp. If you want to see past years here are the links: 2007 Operation Divine Love, 2008 Always Remember, 2009 Feel the Joy.  Because it is so fun and such a testimony builder, I decided that I really wanted the kids to have this experience again this summer, so we commuted the hour and a half drive to participate. We stayed with our good friends on Tuesday and Thursday night to break up the week and it wasn’t bad at all. Totally worth it!

This year’s theme was “Be a Hero.” The Olympics was part of the theme and the social hall was decorated like a stadium with balloon people. So cute. Each day (Mon-Thu) had a focus and a hero and there there are classes and activities revolving around that. The kids also practice songs throughout the week and perform them on Friday morning for their parents. There is a memory book that is put together for each child during the week too. This year I was on the committee for this so I didn’t spend much time involved with the classes, and don’t have as many pictures. But you’ll get a feeling for it.

Monday: Believe – Nephi – “I will go and do as the Lord commands…” 1 Nephi 3:7 – The kids talked about setting worthy goals and believing that the Lord will help you accomplish them. Hunter was a counselor this year and helped with organizing the groups and getting the kids where they need to be. He did a great job!

Tuesday: Train – Missionaries – “Be ye strong therefore,… for your work shall be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 –  The kids had their pictures taken in front of a Wheaties box for their memory books, and saw a dog show to demonstrate “the five S’s of training: stamina, speed, strength, skill and spirit.” -K. Doherty

Wednesday: Overcome – Job (Who better to demonstrate the ability to overcome obstacles?) – “And to him who overcometh, and keepeth my commandments unto the end, will I give power…” JST Revelations 2:26 –  A bubble lady gave a demonstration and there was an obstacle course that the kids did with donations going to an Autism awareness charity.

Thursday: Unite – Helaman and the Stripling Warriors (sorry the picture is so dark) – “they did assemble themselves together… and they were exceedingly valiant for courage… they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God…” Alma 53:16,20,21 – Each child had a picture taken with their mother and wrote a note for their memory book with the words “my mother taught me…” Sabrina wrote to swim; Hannah wrote to share and love; Emma wrote to be an example. They all decorated a cardboard shield and got an inflatable sword.

Friday is the most fun for the parents because that’s when the kids perform their songs, watch a slide show from the weeks activities, and get a memory book. Then everyone heads over to the lagoon to swim and play with their new and old friends. This year there was a sno-cone machine and nachos which Hunter hovered around much of the day. The girls swam and played for hours and then we left for home. I heard many times that week why did we have to move mom? I wish we could stay… I’ve heard a rumor that there will be a sort of manual made so others can start Hero Camps in their areas. I would be nervous to head it up, but it would be so fun to start it here next year. Something to think about…

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Sunday Best in Utah

Here’s a quick picture I took on Sunday while we were visiting Mammy and Pappy in Utah. If you look closely, you’ll count one extra member of the family. That’s Haven, our 9 year old cousin (and Kit Kittredge look-alike). She and Emma had a grand time together over our vacation. As did all of us with the whole bunch of cousins. More details to follow.

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The Lord is My Shepherd

jesus_shepherd_deweyI was a substitute teacher for Hannah’s primary class, and really learned some things. We talked about the parable of the shepherd from the New Testament and I saw a lesson in there that I had not noticed before.

John 10:1-15

1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

I know that Jesus Christ is The Good Shepherd, and I know He teaches in parables so that we can apply the principles to our own lives. As a mother I can’t help but see the parallel between shepherding and parenting. I noticed that there are two approaches to parenting here. One is as a shepherd- who leads, loves, provides nourishment, protects, sacrifices, and knows each of his children and their needs. The other is a hireling who has only taken the position to gain something for himself or because it was the default- he pushes instead of leads, is not willing to sacrifice, is not interested in protecting, thinks of the sheep as something to control and will quit trying when the job requires too much. I realize that these are extreme examples and not everyone falls into one or the other of these categories. But I’m so grateful to have friends and family who are such wonderful examples of parenting as the shepherd. I learn from watching them, and strive to be more Christlike in my parenting because I know how important each one of my little sheep are.

I can feel the devil sending in his thieves to destroy the souls of the rising generation. And to add one more metaphor to the mix: I almost feel like there is a flood of evil and Rob and I are constantly bailing out our family’s boat. I know that God is watching over us all, and that my bailing bucket will get lighter as I look to Him with faith- and never stop bailing. I am optimistic for the future and know that we will survive the floods and reach our loving Shepherd.

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Lunch Transformation

Packing school lunches- so glad we don’t have to do that again for a while. School is out, and I meant to post this when it was more relevant, but now is when I have the time. So here we go.

Here is my wonderful, lunch-making husband. When we moved here we were disappointed that we could no longer walk to school, but had to drive. And on top of that we had to be out the door 45 minutes earlier. Since neither Rob or I are really the type to jump out of bed in the morning, making lunches was almost impossible to do while getting the kids breakfast and ready for school. So we decided that I would be the driver and Rob would be the lunch maker. He decided that it was easiest to prepare a weeks worth of  shelf-safe-starter-lunches on Sunday night and put them in a cupboard. Then each night he would make sandwiches and add in just the refrigerated items. The finished lunches were put on the top shelf in the fridge and we could just grab and go in the morning. (Notice the beautiful homemade bread for sandwiches?! Rob made that. I love it when we run out of bread on Sunday!)

When we made up so many lunches at once we realized that we went through a ton of plastic baggies and paper bags. I don’t count myself as an environmentalist, but it was a surprise to see how much trash we were generating.  As I was contemplating this, I came across a great deal at Easy through Jasmere -a website that provides discounts where the more people that commit to buy, the lower the prices are. It was a little confusing at first that I was actually buying vouchers to use in the store, and not the products themselves, But eventually I got my lunch boxes and we have been using them for a while now.

Usually we stick with the PB&J sandwiches, string cheese, a fruit or veggie, and a couple of cookies as the standard menu. Above is a day that I was feeling adventurous and used pita pocket bread and gave them all cheese and either pepperoni or roast beef to go inside. It wasn’t a huge hit with the kids, but I tried.

So here’s a breakdown of my experience going to the container lunchboxes:


  • Not so many baggies and paper bags
  • It’s faster to line up the trays and just drop things in
  • Sandwiches, strawberries etc. don’t end up squished
  • The kids bring them home so I know what they did and didn’t eat
  • They stack nicely, so they take up less space in the fridge
  • Everyone has their own color lid so we can tell which belongs to each picky eater
  • The cooler bags are big enough to add in extras that don’t fit in the tray
  • The lids are easier for kids to open and close than plastic baggies.


  • The bags are bigger than a standard lunch bag and are awkward to fit inside a backpack
  • Washing the trays and lids (although they do great in the dishwasher)
  • If we put things like cookies or crackers in the trays and overnight in the fridge, they end up soft the next day. So we still use some baggies.
  • It’s a big initial investment. I wouldn’t have done it without the great deal I got.
  • The trays are just barely the wrong size to be able to put a fruit cup in and close the lid tight. Since you can’t put canned food in a compartment without making a sticky mess that would be handy.
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An Addition to Our Nest

We are proud to announce that there is a new member of our household. He doesn’t have an official name yet (partly because he’s so young that we’re not 100% sure he is a boy), but the front runner is Huckleberry. After hours of pleading and many months of saving up her money, Emma finally convinced us to let her get a parakeet. We all went to the pet store to pick him out today. Emma picked an aqua color cage that matches his feathers quite well. She has also done a lot of research on how to care for parakeets, and although he is a little shy today, she hopes to train Huckleberry to talk and to sit on her finger.  This is the first time we’ve had a bird in the family, so it’s all very exciting!



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