Wednesday, April 8, 2015

You're Egg-stra special

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I am in the middle of a 4 day stretch at work. (I work 12 hour night shifts.) You never sleep as well or as deep when you sleep during the day. By the end of my days I could be dragging pretty well. Nothing a good NIGHTS sleep won't fix though. We truely are not meant to be nocturnal creatures. Tonight could be interesting trying to stay away. ;-) awhhh the joys of shift work. 
Time is short so today I am leaving you with this fun little word art....
Now to figure something for dinner. hmmmm, any ideas?!
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hippity, Hoppity, Happy Easter

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We spent the weekend doing work on our house before selling it. Needless to say our Easter weekend was NOT all that we wanted. Still the boys got to enjoy some fun egg hunts with family and friends. We are back home hoping to relax before everyone returns to work and school. In the meantime I took advantage of my sweet hubby being home to do up some fun Easter word art. I will be posting one each day this week so come back, share your fun stories and pick up something fun to go with all your Easter pictures.
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Smile- it's contagious

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      I have an amazing friend in Idaho. She is the ultimate optimist! I have seen her struggle through life's challenges that would beat down the best of us with a smile on her face. She is forever happy. She thrives on life and the challenges it brings. When we had to make an unexpected and truthfully, unwanted move her words to me were, "what a GRAND adventure you will have!" I struggled with the move that took me away from the town, friends, and family that I hold so dear. I was so homesick and struggled to make our new house and town a home. If those words were a quilt they would be rags from all the times I have thought of her cheerful advice. They wrapped me in a warm embrace as I tried to learn from her amazing example.
     We taught cub scouts together for 5 years. Trust me, a group of 9 year old boys can wear you down. Not Rebekah though. She could smile and laugh off any of the boys antics. She is wise and caring. Her children are amazing and strong and well behaved. I have always been in awe of how she can mold a child; how she can teach a child without them realizing they just learned. It all comes so natural. Her cup is always half full or more. She truly has a smile that is contagious to those blessed to share it! I try to remember her quick and easy laughter. It really does make the day lighter.
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Monday, March 30, 2015

Still Discovering...

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My boys are growing so very fast!
Josh is now over 6' tall. I'm tall but have to look up to him. I told him there have been few men in my life I've looked up too, then gave him a hug. Keegan is learning the joys, and frustrations, of having a cell phone. Tyler is discovering the ups and downs of friends. And Matthew is learning about increased responsibility. I love what each stage of development brings. Even when they were all little, I seldom found remorse in what we were leaving behind because of the excitement of what was to come. I am trading the training wheels, preschool class, and nap times in for dating, driving, and late nights. I love it when they come home jabbering away at the latest activity at school or wanting to go explore with friends cuz it's just not cool to stay home anymore. About the time I wish they were little ones wrapped in my arms Josh comes home with a story to tell or opens up to mom. He loves to hate it when mom makes him break a smile through his crusty scowl. It lets me know, I'm still his mommy.
It's lives lesson I think. To see the adventure in every challenge. My friend, Rebekah taught me that. So today we are "Still Discovering"! Discovering life, love, friends, and family.
And today....I still love it all!
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Journey in Dual Language Immersion

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     This year we have the privilege of starting our youngest, Mr Matthew, in a dual language immersion (DLI) program. Our school district made the fantastic decision to introduce all 5 languages offered in the states DLI program, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese. This is an opportunity I would not miss out on. Our school school was chosen for German. My sweet hubby is fluent in German having served an LDS mission there and although a bit rusty he still enjoys speaking this language and stays in touch with friends. We were thrilled that Matthew would be able to learn German. Our oldest, Josh, also entered his first year of German in high school. 
     Matthew spends 50% of his school day in German and 50% in English classes. His German teacher speaks only German to the students. They learn math, German culture and various other lessons in German. After the holidays the students were further challenged to only speak German to each other as well. It's challenging to be sure but allows his brain to focus on understanding and deciphering German.
     Our dinner conversations have been fun with many laughs as the boys share new words and try to stump each other. We knew it would be an adventurous year when the second week of school Matthew was making wise cracks to German. Yeah, little brother thought he was ALL THAT!
     What I find amazing is how much faster Matthew is picking up the language than Josh. Earlier this week dad was thrilled to have a conversation with Matthew in German. He needed a few cues but Matthew was able to share his thoughts and feelings on the topic, why he was too big for "Cars" underwear.
     In sharing this fun moment with Matthew's teacher, Frau Page, she asked why I thought it was that Matthew was surpassing his older brother. Both are strong students. Both have the advantage of a fluent parent. Both are maintaining their grades and proficiency in other studies but Matthew is moving toward conversation passing Josh in language skill. Is it because of an aptitude for language or another reason? The answer is clear...AGE! Matthew's 6 year old brain is still hard wired for language development. He has an advantage over Josh despite prior language challenges.
     Matthew had a significant speech delay. At 12 months he spoke 6 words then...nothing. He stopped speaking. Life was good. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. No trauma or outside influences to prevent him from speaking. We have another son who also had a speech delay so we set to work using the skills and tools we had learned from Keegan's speech therapy to help Matthew. It took a year and weekly speech therapy before Matthew repeated an easy word he previously knew, bye. I was in tears to hear my little boys voice break through again. We heard all the usual reasons why he wouldn't or couldn't speak but none of them fit. Our speech therapist was stumped. He did not know why Matthew was not talking. Matthew learned to communicate through sign to avoid frustration. It took years, but he finally took off talking and caught up to his peers. In fact, this is the first year he has not had speech therapy so it is interesting to me to see him pick up a second language with such ease. 
     I love to hear Matthew share his latest German song, phrase, or just a new word. He even corrects moms pronunciation. Josh continues to learn as well but quizzes his little brother a little's not so cool when little brother is no longer stumped by your "quizzes". Matthew is loving his DLI. He is learning to love the language, culture, and people. We are learning as a family as well. Next year we are even looking forward to having a German exchange student.
     The world is growing smaller. The internet has put the world at our finger tips. The opportunities my boys will have increase everyday. The opportunities Matthew will have by participating in and learning German are limitless. I am thrilled and so thankful our school has this opportunity. How could I NOT have my boys participate in Dual Language Immersion.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Learning Life's Lessons

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I have been trying to get back to my scrap booking, and making a little progress. I have started to focus more on less. It's hard but I have a greater sense of accomplishment by doing so. I want to be able to do it all, who doesn't, but I am learning to do better with fewer. I am learning to say no more often and not feel guilty. I am learning that I am only one. I am learning to fill my own bucket and take time for me. I am learning that in so doing I am a better wife, mom, friend. A better me! I am learning to focus. I am learning to slow down even though the world wants to push me fast. Through it all I am learning I'm enough. My husband loves me, my boys love me, my parents love me and my Father in Heaven loves me. That is MORE than enough for me. Yep, it's a good day. I'll take it!
I hope you are learning life's lessons with few bumps and bruises along the way. Enjoy life and love yourself! 
I am trying to have a new word art for you each week. Usually on Mondays. Come back often. Share your thoughts and let me know how you used my word art. 
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Monday, February 16, 2015

You are my Sunshine

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While the East is getting pounded with heavy snow, those of us in the West are struggling to get the snow we need to see us through the summer. We have been having April style weather lately. While I admit it is lovely to feel the warm sun and go out without a jacket, I am worried. I fear we will have a cold snap just as the trees have come out of hibernation, freezing all the blossoms and killing the potential harvest. It's gonna be a long hot summer I'm afraid.
With temps forcasted to continue near 70, I am going to enjoy what I can before it either freezes or gets too hot to function. So what better thought than this on a warm sunny day? ;-)
Oh, and if anyone wants to send some of the white stuff this way, we will gladly accept it.
Enjoy a little sunshine from me!
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Can I borrow a Kiss?

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We try to spend time with each of our boys but as they have gotten older and less time we haven't been as good about it. When we do they usually choose time with their dad. He is the fun one always up for a good board game or video game. Lately however, they have been clamoring to have "dates" with mom. I have to admit how happy that makes me. It can be tough to fit in with crazy schedules but I have really enjoyed my nights out on the town with my boys. So far it's been movies but later this week I get escorted to a BYU basketball game. Josh has been to several college games of various sorts and is thoroughly enjoying them. He text me on the way home with his dad a couple of weeks ago asking if I would accompany him to a game on Valentines day. Unfortunantly I have to work that night but he managed to get tickets for a game earlier in the week. I'll admit, I'm looking forward to it. One on one time is a great chance to talk and see what is going on with my boys.
With Valentines around the corner I thought I'd do a fun quote for the occassion. Now I'm off to plan something for my sweetheart. It's gonna have to be creative with my work schedule and my "other" date. lol
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Love is an Adventure

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Although I have a house of boys we are more likely to be found hiking, camping, and fishing than on the soccor, baseball, or football fields. We often joke we are a house of nerds, and proud of it. My brother was the ultimate jock. The coaches were sorely disappointed when his little sister came up the ranks. No hope to help the girls basketball team. Now Youth Legislature, yep, I was all over that.
Now, my boys are following mom and dads footsteps, ehehehehe, seldom any sports....
except tonight. Yep, Superbowl is one day you will find us wrapped around a ball game. Some of the boys like it...others eh, not so much.  Still, we enjoy a good game. Don't ask who we are rooting for, its usually supporting a family or friends team. This year, Patriots vs. Sea's a toss up. My dad is Patriots fan and my father in law is all Sea hawks. Does that make us a house divided? Nah! Just a bunch of nerds having fun.
It gives mom an excuse to try new treats and some old ones too as we enjoy a snacks and finger foods. Last year was a hit, this year, not so much. On the menu, hot wings, little smokies with mac and cheese, chili con queso dip and caramel corn. My idea to cook things in mini crockpots missed the mark but the caramel corn is always a hit.
For the rest of the week here is what we have on the menu....
Homemade spaghetti
Broccoli and Chicken Alfredo
Chili Mac
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Cream Cheese Taquitos
What are your superbowl favs?
While watching the superbowl I did up some word art perfect for February.
I hope you enjoy it.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Small changes

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Every day I lay out a plan of what I hope to accomplish that day. Somedays I get it all done but most of the time, not so much. Between work, kids, family, school, much pulls at me and my time. BUT I know  that over time, step by step, we are making it. We are reaching our goals. Whether they be losing weight, getting out of debt, saving for a mission, taking a family vacation, or just making it to the next day, we get there one step at a time. That is why I loved this quote. A reminder of small steps.
"Small changes eventually ad up to Huge results"
This week I am hoping to add a few drops to each of my goal buckets. 
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Homemade Wheat Bread

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Several of my friends saw my post on FB about making bread and asked for the recipe. So here you are guys!  This is my go to recipe. I have tried several others but still go back to this.
Yummy Homemade Wheat Bread 
This recipe came from a Relief Society meeting on self reliance. I don't have the name of the lady and I don't remember the ward I was a guest speaker for. These are proportions for a Bosch mixer. If you have a Kitchenaid, just cut it in half and that will work.

Bake: 350
Yield: 4 large loaves
Time: about 2 hours including rise time

14-16 cups whole wheat flour
2 rounded Tbs yeast
1/2 cup high-gluten flour
1/4 cup dough enhancer (or 2Tbs lemon juice or 500 mg Vit C)
6 cups very warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar (honey is best)
1 1/2 Tbs salt

Directions: Place 9 cups fresh flour into mixer with kneading arm. Add dry yeast and gluten. Pulse to mix. Add water and mix for 1 minute. Turn off mixer, cover, and let dough sponge for 10 minutes. This makes the bread have a lighter texture. Add oil, honey, lemon juice, and salt. Turn on mixer, and quickly add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time until dough forms a mass and clean the sides of the bowl. I generally use a mix of wheat and white flour. Turn mixer to high and knead for 8 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead at least 12 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

Preheat oven to 150 during this time. Lightly oil hands and counter surface. Divide dough into equal portions. Shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans. Turn off oven. Place bread in oven, arranging pans with space to allow heat to circulate freely. Set kitchen timer and watch closely. Let rise until almost double in bulk, about 20-30 minutes. Leave bread in oven and turn heat to 350. Bread will continue to rise a little more. Bake for 30 minutes until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pans and let cool on wire rack. Beware of ravaging children. Use extreme caution if there is butter or jam nearby!
Enjoy all the Yumminess!
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Never give up- Free wordart

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It's a beautiful sunny Sunday. I thought it would be a great day to sit down and design a bit. I am hoping to get back to my blog. It's fun for me to look for a project but end up getting lost in memory lane. My projects have become a bookmark of what was going on with me and our family at the time. I am also hoping that a little digital wordart designing will help drive me back to my scrapbooking. So many other things have gotten in the way over the last couple of years that I am falling impossibly behind. Once upon a time I kept up on the memory books rather well. Reflecting back, I realized it was when I spent my Sundays scrapbooking. I want that again. So here is the first of (hopefully) many more wordarts. 

Last year I broke down and bought a new paper planner. I am such a list maker I fell in love with it. Each week allows for thoughts and inspiration to be jotted down. I find great thoughts and write a theme of sorts for the week. I've tried to fill my planner out in advance. It has been so helpful to keep me organized and on task with the goals I have set. Last weeks theme was "Focus".

This past week was a rough one for me. I have been fighting- literally- to lose weight with no success. I know I need to see an endocrinologist but until then I'm eating right and working out.I usually do well. I really do like going to the gym. I just feel better. I am healthy. But....
Last week though I broke.
Discouragement set in. I was tired of fighting and not seeing results. Most days I'm good but some are sooo hard. My body seems to fight me at every turn. Sacrifice is hard when there's no reward. I was in tears as I struggled to maintain my fitness level, let alone improve it. It seemed so unfair to work so hard and not reach my goals year and year. My good friend and trainer lifted my spirits to live for another day. "We have all been there. What I won't accept is not believing in yourself. You are an amazing resilient woman physically and mentally. Set backs humble us and are what makes our successes that much sweeter" she said. I love this lady! Sometimes it's hard to believe in ourselves but there is someone who does believe in us- Always!

 After a forgettable workout I sat down to plan the rest of my day. Trying to stay on track I opened my planner. It was the first time in the week I had been able to look at it. My quote for the week,
"No matter how you feel, Get up, Dress up, Show up & Never Give up!"
I wrote this quote on THIS week a couple of weeks ago. 
I stopped.
I thought.
I cried.
I said a little prayer of thanks for my Fathers inspiration;
 For knowing what I would need, when I would need it before I even knew I would need it.
The rest of the day and even the week that became my motto. I wish I could say the struggle was better, perhaps it was only a smidge but my resolve was renewed and I recommitted to continue the fight to a better me. One day I will get there. Until then I am never giving up!

Whatever YOUR challenge,
Fight for it and keep a strong support system nearby for those moments of weakness and discouragement. As Steph said, "we all have them"!
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pinewood Derby Certificate Printable

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It's that time of year again.
The ultimate pack meeting that every cub scout looks forward to all year long. 
Okay! It's also got the dads all in a mess as well. 
It's always so fun to watch what the boys come up with and the creativity and personality that shows through in their cars. 
I also smirk at the dads. We have a couple who are wonderful dads and great examples to my own boys. They are also just a TAD BIT competetive. My dear husband noticed an ever so slight fist pump by the most reserved, quiet man I know. Yep, even THAT dad couldn't hold back his anticipation and excitment at seeing HIS boys car cross the line in first place. 
We are blessed to have healthy competition that doesn't get out of line. It's a great evening for everyone. 
For a scout's also a TON of work! The payoff comes in the boys faces lighting up. I just LOVE it!!
This year I am not a cub scout leader *sniff* but I had a request for some of the certificates I have previously done. So I did a little editing so that you can print one for your little pack and hopefully save you a little time and headache. 
 Here is my original post when we used this certificate. It was a couple of years ago. So fun to look through those old pictures.
You can download it 2 ways. Just click on the link you want:
And the pit pass. Just print it and make the copies you need. I laminated mine and made lanyards for all the boys. They absolutely LOVED it!
Here are the links for the pit pass:
Have fun!!
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