Remember to savor your life's cupcakes!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

visions of families danced through my head

I started indexing on Family Search this weekend. It is my new passion.
I find it interesting how I am able to read all sorts of names in all sorts of handwriting. Sometimes, not at first, but i close my eyes, open them, and then I "see" the name. It is like a mini-miracle.

After 2 days of indexing, last night I really did dream of families...and they did seem to be dancing. I woke up happy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Great Christmas Read

Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne
We read this book as a family last year. When we got to the end, I started to cry, so my husband took over, he started to cry, so my then 17 year old son tried, and failed. No one could finish without tearing up. We could barely finish the book.

House Party

So, I learned of this site called House Party, where manufacturers of products are looking for people to host a party using their stuff. So last month I signed up for an EA sports Active 2 party and got selected! I was so excited. Anyway, a few weeks later I received a package in the mail with the game and some party favors. I planned the party, invited a few friends, and waited for the day to arrive. To bide my time while a waited I tried out the game, and I loved it! After each workout I feel like I have been to the gym. My kids love to work out with it too! Anyway-check out house party if you love to host parties and try new things...Check out EA sports game if you are looking for a fun new way to exercise. (I have a few coupons left for $30 off the game...expire on 12/19...if you think you might want one, let me know!)

towels were needed!

prizes wrapped in EA paper

Even she got a work out!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for...

This beautiful world in which we live.
May you find the beauty wherever you are today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grab and Go

72 hour kits for the family-done!
For this I am grateful.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Small Change

As I would go through my house picking up, cleaning, vacuuming...I would always find coins on the floor...dimes, nickels, quarters...I would pick them up and pocket them and put them in my penny bank. I would periodically tell the kids that change is not trash; that small change does add up.

Then one day while shopping at CVS I saw a bank that counted the change as one put the money in. I bit the bullet and spent the $9.99, hoping that I could teach a valuable lesson to my children.

The kids were fascinated as I opened the box containing the bank. More fascinated as I emptied my penny bank into the new one.  The dollar amount climbed. $30...$40...$50....The kids got excited. I left the bank on the book shelf. Throughout the next few weeks, the kids would report a new total as they put their change in the bank. Soon we topped $100.

After one month, the bank is full and can take no more money. There is over $150.00 in there. AND I am not finding any more money on the floor. I hope the lesson has been learned.

Like penny banks, life is filled with lots of small change. Small things we can do to make life a better place. A smile. A kind word. A gentle answer. A morning prayer. A few minutes each day reading the scriptures. A small, secret act of kindness everyday.  A thank you note.

As we fill our lives with these small changes, we will find that these small changes do add up to a much richer life.

I am thankful for small change.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

God Bless the USA

Note to the Unknown Soldier:

I don't know you. I never met you.You were so far from home.I know you're the best man I know.
I am glad you are on my side. Did you have a son...a daughter...I might go and thank?
It's a better world because you came.-John Ondrasik

Monday, November 8, 2010

Five for Fighting

So Saturday night I found myself at the Canyon Club in Agoura with friends from Fresno to hear John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) perform.  Great seats...great show...good times.

One song he performed, "Augie Nieto" has the phrase, "It's not the breaths you take, it's how you breathe."  Those words hit me hard.

I thought about our Savior. He took only 33 years worth of breaths...but oh! the breaths he took.

Couldn't stop thinking about that phrase.  I hope to make my breaths better.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

In what world...

is it okay to send a kid home from a birthday party with not one, not two, but three goldfish?!?

Doug told Abby that we should just watch them swim around in the toilet for awhile and save ourselves a step. By nightfall, one fish was gone. 

Next came a visit to the store to buy fish food and now we are $4 into the pets. Later Doug takes Abby to the store to buy a tank. They come home with a tank, filter, lights, plants, rocks...they tell me it was only $10.
That night fish #2 bites the dust.

Hope fish number #3 likes to live alone.

Well, at least Hayley says the tank makes our house look sophisticated now.

It almost goes without saying...

...but I am so grateful for indoor plumbing. I don't even need a reason to be grateful for it. I just am.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

today's gift

I am grateful for my husband. Almost every morning for the last 4+ years he has gotten up before 6 AM to wake the kids and take them to seminary. Without complaining.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rainy days and kids...

                                                                they go together.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Whip Cream Party

What more can I say? I haven't laughed sooooo hard in so long!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A mouse in the house?

Today I was slicing bell peppers for dinner and look what I found!           Made me happy all day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Today I cleaned out, straightened and organized my spice cabinet. I have determined that I have a year supply of most spices.

I mean, 2 jars of poppy seeds and basil. 3 jars of tarragon, cream of tartar and dill weed. Oh imagine the possibilities.

Really-variety is the spice of life...and I am grateful that there are spices in the world to enhance our foods.

(Did I mention that I have over a pound of coriander?)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Todays grateful moment

The first chilean miner has just been rescued. We all sat around the TV watching while the capsule was slowly pulled up-in almost silence.

Grateful for technology-nations working together for the common good.

Tears of joy filled the miners' family's eyes...and mine.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finding Gratitude

Today,  the testimony meeting at church was pretty incredible. The testimonies were powerful and the spirit was very strong throughout the meeting. Near the end of the meeting, I realized the sleeve on my shirt was wet. I looked down to see why, and saw my 11 year old daughter, whose head was resting on my shoulder, had eyes brimming with tears.

How thankful I am for my sweet, sensitive daughter.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On prayer...

"In that most burdensome moment of all human history, with blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought—His Father. “Abba,” He cried, “Papa,” or from the lips of a younger child, “Daddy.”

This is such a personal moment it almost seems a sacrilege to cite it. A Son in unrelieved pain, a Father His only true source of strength, both of them staying the course, making it through the night—together."
— Jeffrey R. Holland

Saturday, June 19, 2010

On trials...

Challenges come in multiple doses simultaneously applied. When those trials are not consequences of your own disobedience they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow. (Elder Scott)

"It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal....If you have a good miserable day once in awhile, or several in a row, stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out. There is great purpose in our struggle in life." (Sister Menlove)

"And they live happily ever after" is never written into the second act.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Class of 2010

My son graduates from high school today. All I can think about is the little boy and how fast he has grown up. I look around my house and remember when he would hang upside down from the bar in the closet...or hang from a room divider and swing. I see ghosts of little Mario's or Luigi's from the time he loved to dress like his favorite Nintendo characters. Each room in this house holds a memory...even the bathroom...where I would help him bathe when he was younger and the tub time discussions we would have. I hear the laughter and noises from the birthday parties, family game nights, holidays. I think back to the magic of leaving food for the reindeer and looking up the chimney when the stockings were hung. I even can hear the tears of struggling with homework and not wanting to write spelling sentences. We laugh at that now. He was a kid who couldn't write a spelling sentence if it wasn't true. And the balls...always a ball. Basketball, baseball, football, tennis ball.

I look at the young man he is now. I am often blown away at the incredible young man he has become. He is a natural leader. He is kind. His English teacher this year told him that he was the only one of all her students who said hello to her everyday. He is just that kind of guy!

I wish him the best of luck in his future. I can't wait to see the man he will become.Although I really miss the little guy, I love him for the person he is now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We are spoiled

There was a young man in Africa who slept in a cot in the family kitchen, although he was about a foot taller than the cot was long. He was given a gift of a suitcase from his mother. This suitcase was battered and beat up. One that even Goodwill might reject. He placed this suitcase at the head of his cot so that he could stretch out when he slept. This suitcase was his prized possession. This suitcase though, was more than a pillow to him. You see, now he had a suitcase to take with him on his mission.

(A story Steve M. shared with me that Elder Bednar shared with him)

Friday, May 14, 2010

The worth of a "sole"...

The other day Doug noticed that one of his student had a gaping hole in his shoe...essentially, the whole sole was gone. The next day, Doug noticed the boy  was still wearing the same pair of shoes. He called me while I was at lunch with a friend. Doug called to ask me to bring the boy a pair of socks. He had found him a pair of shoes in the PE room. My friend immediately told me to find out the shoe size of the boy and said that she would like to buy him a pair of shoes. She was serious. The following day, Doug asked the boy how the shoes that he found were. He said they were fine, but a little small. Upon closer inspection Doug realized these shoes weren't even close to fitting.  Anyway, long story short-I texted my friend with the shoe size and within an hour, she dropped off to the school a brand new pair of shoes and a package of socks. And these were not spiderman shoes from Kmart either...these were a nice name brand shoe. With decorum and dignity, this boy was told that the Health Office had some shoes for him. Later that day, Doug noticed that this boy couldn't be happier with his new shoes.

Today, I am grateful for the incredible people that I have in my circle of friends. People who notice the plight of others and and do something about it (and not because the government told them too.)  My friend reminded me that when we do service for others we truly do forget ourselves for a while. Man, I have good friends.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Abby!

My baby turned 11. She shares her birthday with 2 incredible men...her Uncle David and her Grandpa Hixon...

It's time to re-visit that old classic (that makes me think of my dad)
"The Men in My Little Girl's Life"
It seems like only yesterday
When I heard my little girl say
"Daddy, there's a boy outside
His name is Rod. He wants to play in our backyard.
Can he Daddy? Oh Please Daddy?

Is it really so long ago, she'd come to me and want to know...
"Dad, there's a boy outside, His name is Lee
He wants to carry my books for me. 
Can he Daddy? Is it alright dad?
He's got freckles.

Then came pony tails and jeans 
And my little girl was in her teens...
"Popsie, there's a boy outside...
His name is Tom. he wants to take me to the prom.
OK Popsie? He's cute Popsie. We'll be home early.

Before I knew it, time had flown. And how my little one had grown.
Now it was, "Father, there's a boy outside. His name is Eddie. 
He wants to know if we can go steady. 
Can we Father? Can we borrow the car Father?

Yes, it seems like only yesterday, I heard my lovely daughter say,
"Dad, there's a boy outside. His name is Jim.
He asked me if I'd marry him. 
I said Yes, Dad.
Got something in your eye Dad? I love him Dad.

A child. An Adolescent. A young lady. A wife.
And oh, yes. There's another man in my little girl's life.
"Hi Dad. There's a boy outside. His name is Tim.
I told him Grandpa was going to babysit him.
Thanks Dad. Bless You Dad. Good Night Dad.

Happy Birthday to Abby, David and Dad!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Prophet said to plant a garden...

Burpee's Tomatoes
I love planting and tending a garden. (Except when I find caterpillar things in there.)

Whenever I am in the garden weeding, watering or harvesting, my mind always turns heavenward.

I have discovered the the more time I spend in the garden, the easier it is to differentiate between young plants and weeds. At first glance, the weeds can appear as young plants. But as I spend time in the garden I learn what the plant is supposed to look like and I learn to recognize what the weeds look like.  I often find myself likening weeds to sins or bad habits.

I think about how the weeds, if not pulled, will take over my garden and hinder my plants growth. It makes me think of examining my own life on a regular basis looking for weeds that might be growing there. If I neglect my garden for a few days, the weeds can really take over and the task of pulling them can seem daunting.

I think about my kids, and how if some bad habits go unrecognized by me, their growth can be hindered. I often wonder if I am spending enough time with my kids. Do I recognize the weeds in their lives?

I have learned that the longer the weed is left in my garden, the deeper and bigger the root grows. It becomes harder it is to pull out. The earlier I can pluck theses offensive things out of my fertile soil, the easier it is.

I think about the things that are needed to help things grow. Soil, sunlight, water. I think about the importance of daily prayer and scripture study.

As I plant the small seed, I recognize that I am exhibiting faith that something will grow. I have faith that the person who put the seed in the packet knew what kind of seed it was. I have faith that nature will do it's thing and help my plant to grow. I think about how great it is that from a small seed, beautiful things can grow. And so it is with faith.

I think about reaping my harvest. It takes a lot of work to prepare, plant and tend for a garden. The rewards don't always come immediately. But in due time, the rewards will some. Just not on my timetable.

My heart is filled with gratitude for a Heavenly Father who as part of His plan for us gave us gardens.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Did God have to make popcorn trees so fun?

No. But he did.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Homage to the Oscars

I'd like to thank my producer, Heavenly Father.  Without him, my life would never had happened.  This entire universe in which we live was his production. His vision. How grateful I am for him.

I'd like to thank the casting mom and dad. They chose to have me. They wanted me. They wanted me to succeed in this role.

I'd like to thank the greatest director ever...the Holy Ghost. He has been there to lead and guide me. To help me become the best me I can. When I follow his direction, life just is better.

I'd like to thank my co-stars for helping me in this role. My friends, family and children who add color and interest to my life.

I'd also like to thank my leading man-how fortunate I was to be able to work so closely with him through so many stages of my life.

I am grateful for the script. The scriptures and the words of our prophets are an incredible source of comfort and knowledge.

The the editor of our life is Jesus Christ. It is because of Him our mistakes can be corrected. How grateful I will be on that judgement day for all the scenes in my life that will be on the cutting room floor.

Did I forget anything?

Monday, March 1, 2010

ok---this is funny/sad

I just learned yesterday that my 87 1/2 year old mother-in-law instead of showering,  has been spraying herself
with Febreeze so she doesn't stink.

Monday, January 11, 2010

3 products I love

#3-I have to include these today because I am trying to make my last two packages last...and they are just sitting on the counter taunting me...Trader Joes sells these babies at Chirstmas time. The chocolate dipped version sells out really fast. Nothing says Christmas like peppermint chocolate cookies.
#2-I love this product. I use it often...I almost could buy it in bulk. I put it on chicken to make a crispy coating...i put it in meatloaf instead of the bread or cracker crumbs...I think it makes the loaf from better...I put in on my French Toast after dipping it in the egg batter and then I have a crispy French toast...just like in the restaurants. I feel like I have only just begun exploring the possibilities of Panko.

#1-This might have to be my all time favorite right now. This find has the subtle taste of Dijon mustard with the texture of mayonnaise. Put this on your sandwich and mayonnaise is not needed...and it has only 5 calories per serving! (And my kids love it too!) A perfect dip for artichokes with none of the guilt.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Today I took my daughter to McDonald's after an ortho appointment...and something caught my eye...something called a first glance I was all---gross...then I looked was a Big Mac in a wrap. Yes-a Big Mac...upon closer inspection it appeared to have only 1 patty and 1/2 slice of cheese...lettuce, special sauce, pickles, onions and no sesame seed buns...I (being a Big Mac lover) decided to try it. It tasted like a Big Mac...left me satisfied like a Big Mac...looked up the nutritional info---it is around 200 calories less than a regular Big