Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Biking to School

Good exercise, right?



Especially at 2:50 in the afternoon when the temperature is pushing 100 degrees.  All I have to say is thank goodness for Hawaiian Shaved Ice!



I think we might melt without it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School, School, School

Dallin and Mandy have now been in school for almost two weeks.  They were both so excited to start school this year.  Seriously, they woke up the morning of first day of school, got dressed, brushed their hair, and put their backpacks on all before 7:05 a.m.  The first bell for school doesn’t ring until 8:15.  I’m telling you – they were excited!

And I was excited for them!  Dallin is in 3rd grade this year and has a very sweet teacher named Ms. Rhoden.


She seems very down to earth and kind, just the kind of teacher Dallin needs.  So far, he has had homework every night (including on the first day of school), but he has always been able to complete it in about 30 minutes, which I think is very reasonable for homework at his age.  I hope it continues that way for the rest of the year!

I really like Mandy’s teacher, Ms. Crane.


I went to the parent’s night last night and she is so positive and realistic in her expectations for the kids.  I have a feeling Mandy is going to have a fantastic year!!  Mandy has told me she has already made lots of friends.   Because for her, friends are by far the most important part of school.

At the parent’s night, they explained that Florida has now adopted a new set of education standards called the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.  Apparently these standards have been developed with the help of other states and now 40 states have adopted them and others are expected to as well.  Supposedly this will mean that if you were to move from one state to another, you can expect the same core standards of education to be taught at each grade level.  This also means that they will be phasing out the FCAT and some other supposedly better test will be used, the same test that will be used in the other states that have adopted these standards.  These new standards are supposed to place a greater emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  Once Mandy reaches high school age, ALL students will be required to take Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.  I’m interested to see how that plays out!

Monday, August 29, 2011

What’s been taking up all my time??

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been blogging as much as usual.  Why you ask?

This is why:


I’ve somehow gotten myself involved in this and while it has been a bit crazy and very time consuming, I am really excited about it.  If you are interested in spending a Saturday doing something educational, musical, and inspirational sign up for it and come on out!  The website is .    This is NOT a church event – it is a community wide event and we want as many women there as possible!  The classes are all taught by people who are specialists in their field.  And the best part – you get a FREE lunch!   Please let as many people know about it as possible.  Want a flyer to take into your office?  Just ask and I’ll get you one!  Or if you’d like, you can go to the Facebook page and invite your friends on Facebook.  So come on – help a girl out – spread the word!  And don’t forget to sign up for it yourself!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How old are you?

Apparently the answer to this question is completely subjective.  According to Layton, it is perfectly ok for it change according to the situation.

When he is clingy and acting like a baby – ask how old he is and he’ll tell you – Zero

When it is time for school in the morning – ask how old he is and he’ll tell you – Five

On Wednesday night when it is time for Dallin to go to Cub Scouts – ask how old he is and he’ll tell you – Eight

Any other time – ask how old he is and he’ll be honest and tell you – Three


I’m afraid to ask how old he is when I’m driving down the road – I’m pretty sure he’ll tell me – Sixteen – and that would be way too much for me to handle :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just because…

…this picture makes me smile.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Goodbye Summer Break

Oh how we are going to miss you and all the fun things you brought!


Well at least the kids are going to miss you.  Me, well, while I did enjoy all the fun – I have thoroughly enjoyed the last few days of peace while Dallin and Mandy have been at school :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cowboys and Cowgirls

My dad had horses for us to ride for about as long as I can remember.  It was one of my most favorite things to do.  I LOVE horses.  Love, love, love them.  They are such beautiful, intelligent animals. As a little girl I used to dream about one day owning a horse ranch.  Funny, right?

Well, obviously, living in a tiny house, on a tiny lot, in the middle of a subdivision, I can’t exactly have horses around like I would love to do.  BUT – my brother does.  And he was nice enough to let us come over and let the kids have a short ride.


Even I hopped up there bare feet and all (because that’s how a country girl does it).


Hopefully my brother will let us come over again soon and enjoy his beautiful horses!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Happy Birthday

Yesterday was an interesting day as far as birthdays go.  Getting the kids ready for church by myself like always. 3 hours at church.  Coming home by myself with the kids while Nathan handled tithing.  Less than a 10 minute Sunday nap.  Then back up to church for a baptism.  Then back home to be by myself with the kids while Nathan went to a meeting.  Not exactly what I would call the most celebratory of birthdays.

So feeling a little pessimistic (which that and being critical of myself and others being my two most glaringly large character flaws)  I decided I needed to kick myself in the butt and start playing Pollyanna’s glad game.  There is always something to be glad about in every situation.  Like – I’m GLAD that I have three super healthy children to take with me to church each Sunday, I’m GLAD that for the first time in many years, I got to listen to the Sunday School and Relief Society lesson, I’m GLAD that Nathan is faithful and diligent in his calling, I’m GLAD that I got to see Jamie get baptized and very GLAD that I got to hold a cute little baby while there, I’m GLAD that Nathan’s meeting was surprisingly short, I’m GLAD that my kids went to bed on time last night without too much struggle.  And GLAD that I know how to quickly whip up a yummy chocolate lava cake to eat with my husband after the kids went to bed.

As I said being naturally a little on the pessimistic side and often feeling critical of myself (and admittedly sometimes others), it is easy to find myself not always feeling all that happy.  As a result, I’ve spent many an hour, while mindlessly doing other things, thinking about the secret to happiness.  I’ve come to the conclusion that for me (and I’m sure this could be a little different for others), the secret lies in two things.

1.  Happiness, like the constitution gives us a right to do, must be actively pursued.  It must be a conscious choice to purposefully seek happiness.

2.  That pursuit of happiness is most clearly road mapped by the 13th Article of Faith.

Let me explain.  The road map starts by stating that “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men”.  Honesty is an easy one to see how it helps you to be happy.  Because well, everyone knows, because everyone’s done it before, that when you tell a lie, even a little white lie, it leaves a feeling of guilt, which is certainly NOT a happy feeling.  And when you get caught in a lie – so so so much unhappiness ensues. Not being true (or loyal) and chaste has similar feelings associated with them, only more so.   But when you are honest, true, and chaste, you feel good about yourself and happy with your choices.  Benevolence, virtuousness,  and doing good to all men is another easy concept to see how it leads to happiness.  Always, always, always, no matter how grudgingly you start out doing it, when you serve others and are kind, you WILL feel happier.  Service and kindness to others is something that I also think is the secret to having a high self-esteem.  Not all this garbage about telling yourself how special and wonderful and extraordinary you are.  I honestly (see how nice it is to be honest) think that the if you want to improve your own or your child’s or whoever’s self esteem – DO SERVICE WORK!

The next section of the 13th article of faith discusses hope and endurance of life’s trials.  And what is hope if not the seed of happiness.  Hope of our Heavenly Father’s promises is sometimes the only thing that makes life’s trials endurable.

And the last section of the 13th article of faith encourages the active pursuit of all things lovely, virtuous, of good report or praiseworthy.  Haven’t you found by experience that when you surround yourself with things that are lovely – whether it is music, art, nature, people, or other things – that it brings feelings of joy?  When you hear or see things that are praiseworthy, that your heart and mind are expanded in some way?  It seems so to me.

And so today, like almost every other day, I’m going to pursue my happiness.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Planting a Tree

For my up-coming birthday, Nana bought me a Crepe Myrtle tree to go in our front yard.  I’ve been wanting to put one there for a while, so I’m super excited about it!  Everyone worked together to get it put in the ground perfect.  They prepped the spot by removing weeds


and wetting the ground.


Nathan carefully put it in


and they all packed the earth around it.


Then Mandy gave it a really good watering


and Layton made sure it had lots of good fertilizer.


I’m hoping it grows quickly and that in just a few years we’ll have a big beautiful tree in our front yard!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who knew…

that getting buried in the sand could be so much fun!


Monday, August 8, 2011


I think Layton may have found a little sand…


Friday, August 5, 2011

A Treasure


A couple days ago, I had the pleasure of taking a few newborn pictures for a very good friend of mine.  I’ve never done newborn pictures before and she let me use her precious little daughter as my model.  See the blanket she is all wrapped up in?  It was crocheted by my Grandma Woodberry almost 20 years ago.  She gave it to me when I was a teenager to put in my “hope chest” for when I had a family.  All three of my children have gone to church on their blessing day wrapped in that very same blanket.  Seeing little Callie in it reminds me of so many happy memories.  Memories of my grandma and memories of my own children when they were so tiny and new. 

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.

~Margaret Fairless Barber

Sometimes looking backwards to happy memories really is so very refreshing.  It makes looking forward just that must sweeter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Speaking of Super Heroes…

Listening in to some of my children’s imaginary play can be so entertaining. The other day, I over heard Dallin and Mandy going to the “store” to buy super powers.  Seems as logical places as any to obtain a super power, right?

Mandy chose to buy the power of fire and lava.  Pretty normal elemental power. 

Dallin chose to buy the power of water and ice.  Again – a pretty normal power to pick out.

And because Dallin and Mandy were doing it, Layton had to join in too.  So what power does he “buy”?  Why butt power of course?  What could be more logical?  Fire, water,….and butt

And you can’t just use Layton’s special power in a normal way, oh no, it was necessary for him to take off his shorts and underwear to make the best use of his super power.


I know I’ve said it before…but there really is something wrong with that child.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Is Dallin the REAL Superman?

Dallin got a pair of sunglasses at his cousin’s birthday party a week or so ago and decided that he liked the idea of wearing glasses.  So he popped the lenses out and then wore them for DAYS.  He thinks he is so cool with them on.


Don’t they remind you of Clark Kent glasses?  I wonder if we have had Superman living with us all along and just never knew it :)