Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Right Path...

With the Holiday Season upon us I have been doing a lot of pondering as I look at my life.  I've been wondering about the paths I've taken or not taken in life...
Did I raise my children right or should I have done things differently...
Should I have prayed more with them...
or had Family Home Evening more often...
perhaps been better at reading our scriptures together...
Maybe I should have been more diligent in doing these things on my own as well......

People say you shouldn't wonder "what if"...
but with the world in such turmoil and my kids growing up, honestly I can't help it.

I worry as I watch my kids and their decisions in life and I wonder...
"Are they taking the right paths?" 

Its funny...
Our children are growing up way to fast, they are faced with so much hate and deceit in the world.  Satan is finding creative ways to lead them away from the family that they are gone before you even realize it!  

Last month was the election and honestly neither person runny was a good example of who you would expect to lead our nation.   Now that the election is over it seems like our nation is at war with itself!  And to be honest its been this way for awhile!  Theres so much hatred out there.  People fighting with each other...accusing everyone of terrible things...people killing each other...and so much more!   So many of you have been wondering "how can I live in a world like this" or "how can I raise my child in this nation".
Well it comes down to what I've been pondering lately.  And honestly, I guess it really doesn't matter whats going on in the outside world.  The most important thing is inside our homes and what we teach our children!!  

Once we've chosen our path...right or wrong...and we teach our children, again right or wrong...Its left up to them to decide which path they will chose as they grown older...Its an on going process...we chose our path and hope we've done our best to teach our children...then as they grow older, its up to them to chose their path...All I can hope is that if they stray off the right path that they will one day find their way home!       

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Its a kind of Lularoe Life.......

Its seems like every time I've blogged lately I've made a comment about how long its been since I blogged or how crazy life has been or how stressful life has been...WELL this is NO DIFFERENT!!  But today's not the entry for to catching you up with all the craziness in my life!!!    

Today is the day to tell you about my NEW FAVORITE THING!!!  So during the summer I was invited to something called a POP-UP Party for something called Lularoe!  
WHAT THE HECK IS LULAROE...and how the heck do you even say it...Lola Roe...Lu Lu Roe...What is it...oh...Lu-la-roe! So what is a Pop-up party and Lularoe...
ITS A PARTY WITH CLOTHES...Clothes people...clothes you can try on either in your home or in the home of the Lularoe consultant!  And who is this AWESOME Lularoe consultant that has introduced me to my new favorite thing... Courtney Brinkerhoff!  She is the cutest, sweetest, little thing!  And she has the most adorable little family!  LOVE HER KIDS!!!  

So Lularoe is the most comfy, fun and cute clothes around!  And the best part...most of their stuff looks good on any body!  And all their clothes have names...names like Cassie, Irma, Joy, Sarah, Mae, Julie, Nicole...notice a pattern here...they are people names...AND not only do they have clothes for women...theres little girl clothes, teen clothes and ready for it...Mens t-shirts...AND THE BEST PART...they are all soft...like butter!  Check out Courtneys facebook page at LuLaRoe by Courtney Brinkerhoff and her instagram...you won't regret it I promise!  

So after my obsession started and attending every pop-up party Courtney was having...I gave in and hosted a pop-up party myself.  CAN I SAY Courtney's pop-up parties are so EASY...If you want you can host the party in HER HOME...You don't have to clean your house...all you have to do is bring a few snacks and your good to go!  Courtney does ALL THE WORK...and you get to have all the fun and play dress up!  Why do I say dress up because ALL THE CLOTHES ARE RIGHT THERE!  You try it on, LOVE IT and then you can buy it right there!  Really...how stinkin easy is that!  Or if you want she can bring all her clothes to your house for the party but then you have to clean your house, make sure all the family is out, have rooms for people to try things on...you get the idea!  Having it at her house all I had to do was bring some goodies to eat............

Which brings me to my blog today!  A lot of the gals that came to the party was requesting some of the recipes that I had there...and I HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE...I didn't get the recipes sent out...SORRY LADIES...I'm sure you can all relate to have a crazy busy life!  


Zebra Popcorn

So lets start with Zebra Popcorn or what I sometimes call it CRACK!  This stuff is so addicting!!  You can't just eat one piece or two or three...YOU WANT IT ALL...so the name CRACK!  This is so easy to make that you need to have self control and not make it all the time!  


12 cups popped corn (approx 1/2 cup un-popped) 
1/2 cup butter
 1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces dark chocolate
6 ounces white chocolate (or you can use any color...like orange for halloween or red and green for Christmas) 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Lightly butter a large baking sheet, set aside.  Place popped corn in large mixing bowl.  Place butter in 2 qt microwave safe bowl;  microwave on high about 1 minute or until butter is melted.  Add brown sugar and corn syrup; microwave on high, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil.  Without stirring, continue to microwave for 3 minutes.  Stir in vanilla and backing soda.  

Drizzle syrup over popped corn; mix well to thoroughly coat popcorn with caramel.  Spread popped corn on prepared pans.  Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Remove popcorn from pan, spread out on parchment paper for was paper far enough apart so pieces don't touch.  Cool.  On low heat, slowly melt dark chocolate ( in double boiler or microwave).  In a straight thin line, drizzle dark chocolate across caramel corn (see below).  Next do the same thing with the white chocolate.  Cool completely and allow to harden,..THEN EAT!  

Side note...To make even consistently thin lines place melted chocolate in a zip lock bag, close tightly.  Clip a small hole in the tip of the bag and squeeze across the popcorn!  

Fire Crackers 

OMG!!!  So I go to a lot of craft classes and a gal brought these and I couldn't stop eating them so I had to get the recipe...I have altered it a little but other than that...YUM YUM YUM! 


1 lb saltine crackers  (I usually by the mini saltines or the mini butter crackers but you can use full size ones) 
1 cup canola oil   (I cut this down to 1/2 cup so its not so greasy now but you should play with the recipe and decide what you like)
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes (you can cut this down or omit completely but it does give it a little bit which is yummy) 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Place crackers in an air-tight container. 
In a small bowl, mix oil, dressing mix, peppers and garlic powder. 
Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
Pour mixture evenly over crackers, like drizzling icing on a cake. 
Close lid tightly and flip the container over every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes.  Lightly shake back and forth to make sure all the crackers are coated. 
IMPORTANT...remove from container and store in a zip lock bag.
Will keep for about a week...if they last that long!

OK this is a family favorite and you might find it a bit strange but once you taste it...YOU'LL LOVE IT!  Also don't tell people what this is till AFTER THEY TASTE IT!  


12oz cream cheese, soften
3/4 cup pumpkin (I use fresh but can works just as well) 
1 tbsp taco seasoning mix 
1/8 tsp garlic powder 

Mix well; chill; serve with wheat thins or pita chips 
Seriously you will LOVE this dip!!!  

All three of these recipes are really easy and have become family favorites!  I'm sure if you make them they will become yours too!  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

WE SURVIVED...A Stressful Excitement...

HOLY CRAZINESS BATMAN!!!What an exciting few months life has been in our family!!! Geesh...I'm not even sure where I should start!!!

I suppose I should start with...ummm...I know...its back a few months...BUT DEAL WITH IT...But let's jump back toooooo lets see... the beginning of March and Cayla is telling us she is already having contractions...HEELLLOOO----SHE'S NOT DUE TILL THE END OF MARCH!!! So the Big question that DJ and I start asking each other "When do I fly up to Washington and for how long?"  After long discussions we decided to have me fly up a week and a half BEFORE her due date, keeping fingers crossed that NO BABY comes.  I decided not to get a return ticket home because you never know what will happen- what if she's late...you know better safe then sorry.  

SO up I went...then of course NO BABY!!!  DAY after DAY went by...TICK TOCK...TICK TOCK...fast forward to the 29th and guess what...right as we all go to bed, make up off, PJs are on, everyone is settled in - Cayla's water broke and off we go to the hospital and on the 30th our sweet little Justin was born!!!  Talk about staying up all night and all day!! 

Right after that - yep grandma (ME) was heading back to the house to play with Eric and David.  (Uncle Dan wasn't too happy I didn't show up 30 minutes earlier because he got stuck changing a blow out of a poopy diaper...his first, I think since his kid was little and now he's 15...blahahaha)

I ended up staying in Washington a little longer than I planned.  I mean I didn't mind.  I got to spend time with the grandbabies! I ended up missing Easter at home and I miss Joshua going to Prom!!  But I got to do some fun things with Cayla, Craig and the boys and with Daniel!  

Yep, we had Prom in April!!  Gotta give Joshua credit...He looks pretty good in a tux!!!  Now his dad on the other hand can't take pictures!!  UGH...men!!!  I left the good camera with him thinking I might not be back in time and whats he do...he takes the pictures with his phone...again...UGH...MEN!!!

Now that Prom is over its time to get down to the important stuff...SCHOOL IS ENDING...you know..."SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER!!"

While at Cayla's I realized there was only a month left of school and I hadn't even done Joshuas graduation announcements - SO after the babies went to bed ever night that's what I worked on...one problem...Cayla took Joshua's Senor pictures at Christmas time and (I know I'm mom) but she did a really good job and I loved them all and I had a hard time just picking one. SO I picked a few and even those weren't the best ones they were just the easiest ones to make announcements out of!  I know I could of put more than one pic on his announcements but I'm not that tech savvy, LOL.  I'm as basic as you can get!!  
 So announcements are done - SORTA - just need to get home and get Joshua's approval.  But of course I get home and still change it up because when I order them they had problems...nothing EVER goes as planned and of course nothing can ever be easy!  IT'S ALL GOOD!!!  
On top of getting Joshua ready for Graduation we were also getting ready for Seth's 8th grade promotion.  We didn't want him to feel left out at all.  For years Seth has had a suit for Church, that is till he decided to grow like a skinny weed!  The kid eats more than any grown man, heck any 10 men but is skinnery than a skeleton.  So for the last 6 months, well longer, we've been looking for a suit for the skinny tall bean pole.  Couldn't find anything! ugh, everything was short in the legs and arms, hug in the waist and shoulders!  While in WA my nephew, who is tall and skinny had a suite and my brother said were he got one...So last week- yep last minute- off we went- WE FOUND HIM A SUIT...AND HE LOOKED AMAZING!!!

Right after we got the suit it was time to ship him off to Catalina!  Yep thats right we got rid of our kid!  LOL Not really...So the 8th graders take a trip to Catalina the last week of school.  At 11:30 p.m...thats at night, you know just before midnight...you know when normal people are sleeping!!! The kids meet at the school, load up on the busses at 12:15 a.m-again thats in the morning!!!! Then they are off, out of our hair for 3 days!!!  They get to CA and take a boat around 6:30 a.m...Now I knew my son would get sick - I even gave him meds to take cuz I knew BUT he didn't listen to me (I'M JUST MOM...WHAT DO I KNOW).  He felt good so when they announced any kids who might get sick we want you up front, Seth thought he was good and stayed where he was and about half way he started feeling sick.  He said he told his friends he'd be right back, went up top and proceeded to up chuck...SEE MOTHER KNOWS BEST...then he went back to his friends like nothing happened!  

The rest of the week was a blast for them!  They got back at 9:30p.m on Wed and had to be at the school Thursday morning at 7:30a.m for promotion practice.  And then that night...THE BIG NIGHT...Seth was promoted 8th grade...HE'S NOW A FRESHMEN IN HIGHSCHOOL!!  I'll be honest its been a long road to get to this point with him.  There were some times I didn't think he'd live because I was going to KILL HIM!!!  BUT HE DID!!! Now we are on to the next chapter in his life - HIGH SCHOOL!  This shall be FUN with this one...Am I scared...OH YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!!  LOL

Now Joshua had a pretty easy week leading up to graduation, actually hes last semester of school was pretty easy.  He only went to school til 12:30.  His first house he was a teacher assistant, second hour he had a criminal law class (which was his hardest class but pretty easy for him) and his last class was his culinary class which he had taken all 4 years for the food (smart kid).  But the last week of school the seniors were out by 9...all they had was practice after finals and since Josh really didn't have any classes he was done!  EASY EASY EASY!! 

We went from one celebration right into another!!  Joshua had to be dropped off at the High school the next morning at 6:45 a.m ...again we are talking in the morning people!!! His graduation was at 8a.m at the Goodyear Ballpark!  (Let me add this little side note...it was 10 degrees cooler the next day, than it was the day of the graduation...COOLER!!!!!!!!!!!) Do you have any idea how HOT it was at 8a.m.  And yes I was a BAD mother, I made my son wear a suit!! I did't think it would be so HOT at 8 in the morning...it was HOT, NO BREEZE, NO SHADE, JUST HOT.  

OK back to the day...So out come the grads...Most of them were wearing these graduation shades they had made...and of course they didn't tell anyone...what rebels!  Love it!  The graduation it self was fine, just super long considering we were all hot!  But when it was all said and done...WE HAVE A GRADUATE!!  JOSHUA DID IT!!!  We are super proud of him!  

But that wasn't the end of our crazy day with him!  You see this just lead right into our next event of the day!!  Our best friend Russell was getting married!  So right after the graduation was over Rus took off, didn't hang around for pictures and took off for Mesa.  We took pictures then headed home, changed our clothes and headed to Mesa to be there for Rus and Cheri!  Then we did the disappearing act just like him and took off before the pictures and headed BACK to our side of town to get things ready for the NEXT EVENT, Joshuas party!!  But how awesome was it that Cheri and Russell took time to spend it with us...They came that night to the party!!!  Crazy newlyweds!!!  LOL 

So now its time to rush around the house and get things ready for all the family and friends to come over to celebrate Joshua's big day!  Of course it wasn't just about Josh...it was about him and his friends!  So of course ALL of them were invited too!  Nothing like having a house full of friends and family!! 

Along with all of this there was also a trip  to Tucson for my aunts funeral, physical therapy 3 times a week, a couple of concerts, getting Seth ready to leave for 3 weeks with his grandparents, seminary graduation, our 26th wedding anniversary, and whatever else I'm sure I forgot!  I think I need a vacation!!!   

  I love my family and I always want to celebrate them!!! Of course this is only part of the crazy stressful excitement that took place in our crazy lives...but any one that knows me knows I wouldn't have it any other way!!!  And we SURVIVED!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2016


So today is Mother's Day! Lets start with saying HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you AMAZING MAMMAS out there! Especially MY MOM! I mean seriously...she had to put up with me and my brother and sister for all these years! Look we are adults and we are STILL giving the poor woman gray hairs! I'll claim a few of those gray hairs BUT not all of them... Dan and Kim have add some of those too...Just like our kids have added plenty of gray hairs to our heads! But I wouldn't trade a single gray hair...isn't that why we have hair dye (just kidding,sorta)! 


A couple of weeks ago I was asked to teach the lesson in Relief Society for Church and it just so happened to be on Mothers...Behold thy Mother by Jeffery R. Holland. Of course any teacher will tell you that you get more out of a lesson than those that you teach. But I wanted to share with everyone a few things that I shared in my lesson because with it being Mother's Day I thought it was a great message to pass on! On two of the stories, I'm just going to warn you...get your tissues out!!! 

Then Elder Holland says Something that sets the tone for the whole lesson. This statement to me, as a mother, was so powerful. At the time I was preparing the lesson, I had just gotten, home from Caylas...like just 3 days before, helping her from having a baby (grandbaby number 3...so exciting) and this was just so neat...especially with all that's going on in my family right now that it just struck a chord.

"Today I declare from this pulpit what has been said here before:that no love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." 

As I've raised my children it's always amazed me that the Lord would entrust such spirits in my care. I've never claimed to be the best mother out there...I've told my children that when they were born they didn't come with an instruction manual for me to follow so I'm sure I did things wrong, but that was ok because I did things my way and well they lived so it was all good but I can tell you that I hurt when my children hurt, I was angry when my children were angry. I was happy when my children were happy. I know all of you can relate. And as my children get older...that's not going to change. I will always feel that way for my children, just as I know my mother still feels that way for me! 

Sister Carol B. Thomas (former 1st councilor in the general YW's Presidency) said: "Nothing we do in life is more important than mothering our children. And as we strive to deepen our family talent for spirituality, our most effective teaching will come by our examples. Not everything we do will be successful, but remember my mantra: If you're a good mother 60 percent of the time, you are a good mother." 

60 percent of the time...ok I think I can manage that...so maybe I haven't done too bad of a job with y kids. And as a friend pointed out during the lesson we are sleeping half that time so its even lesson...so I'm doing really good! LOL 

OK so I don't want to give me whole lesson so I'm just going to jump ahead here...But I wanted to give a few key factors before I jumped into two random stories about motherhood. But here they are! I know each of you will relate to these in one way or another.

Elder Christiansen stated: So far, no worthy substitute has been found for good mothers. Without them, civilization is doomed to decay.” 

According to a Jewish proverb: “god could not be everywhere; therefore, he made mothers.” 

Abraham Lincoln articulated the sentiments of virtually all mankind when he said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” 

Just like the Savior, as mothers we make sacrifice for our children. We feel their pains and sorrows. We also want them to succeed and we will do all that we can to help them towards that path to success, we will give them the tools they need to get them there, just like the Savior gave us the tools to return home to him and to succeed here in this life! 

Lucile Tournear shares the following story: My mother was so quiet and unassuming that many of her closest neighbors never really learned to know her; yet she was truly a friend to the friendless and a comfort to the lonely-hearted. 

My early childhood would have been desolated indeed without her love and devotion. How clearly I remember a conversation that went something like this: Mamma, will you read to me now? Just a few pages, Mamma.” I would carry a book into the kitchen where my other was ironing or to the dining room where she sat at her sewing machine. Sometimes I followed her to the back porch were she scribbled clothes on a washboard. Her explanations that she must first finish her work were always gentle and patient. Never did she raise her voice in anger or impatience. More often than not, she would leave her work only to finish it later in the evening when I was tucked safely into bed. Due to her kindness and tact, I was eight years old, before I realized that I was blind. 

When a teacher was found to teach me Braille, Mother learned Braille with me. Since we could see the teacher only once a week, Mother felt that my progress would be too slow with so little help, so my education became another of her many tasks. When I did enter a day school for the blind, I was able to go into the fifth grade with the children in my own age group. Had she merely been the traditional busy housewife, this would have been noteworthy enough, but since she was the sole provider for four children, it was remarkable. By taking in washing and sewing, working in the homes of neighbors, and remaking second-hand clothing that friends and relatives contributed, we were able to manage. 

My mother was often asked why she did not send me away to school. In those days, practically all blind children attended special state institutions. To such questions Mother would say, “I want Lucile to have the same love and care that my other children have….”… 

I could never have finished high school and college without Mother’s help. In the late twenties and early thirties, there were very few textbooks to be had in Braille. Mother did most of my reading. She also spent long hours dictating French to me, and I transcribed page after page of it into Braille…. 

Because of her, I have never known a world of darkness. Because of her, I have been able to live a busy and happy life. With her as my inspiration, I shall continue to do so. As she always has been, she always will be my guiding light.

As mothers we make countless sacrifices for our children...sometimes we don't even realize that we are even doing it! It takes a special angle to be a mother! 

So lastly I want to share with you a parable that reminds us of the great sacrifices made by mothers, and of the crown you'll receive for faithful motherhood. 

The Crown from Heaven~ 

At the door of the Angel of Life there sounded a knocking, a knocking, at first very faint, then growing louder and more insistent. Opening the door, the angel saw on the threshold a woman pale with pain, but with a look of expectant joy in her eyes. 

“I am here,” she said triumphantly. “I have come for my child. Give it to me quickly for it is a long journey and a hard one, and my strength may be exhausted before I return.” 

“Wait,” said the angel slowly. “Your child is here – a beautiful boy. But first you must pay for him.” 

“Pay you?” faltered the woman. “But I have very little money and we shall need that for him.” 

“I have no use for money,” answered the angel. “But I must have a little of your health, a great deal of your time, some of your peace of mind, and at least half of our heart.” 

Without hesitating the woman handed him the things for which he asked, and the angel turned away and returned with the child. The woman clasped him eagerly in her weak arms, then bravely set out for the land from which she came. As she turned to go, the angel placed on her head a crown. She turned in surprise. 

“This is my gift to you.” Said the Angel of Life. “It is the crown of motherhood, which will recompense you for the things you have given up.” 


Sorry its so serious, but I wanted to share with you these stories today! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HAD A HAND IN TOUCHING THE LIVES OF ME AND MY FAMILY IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER! Each of you will always hold a special place in our hearts!