Monday, February 29, 2016

Family Home Evening...unedited

Mark took a quick video of our family home evening and I had to laugh at how it all went down. 

Everly was conducting. That means that she repeated what I said two words at a time. And it was crazy adorable. 

Mathew was busy reading.

Ethan sleeping.

Megan reading.

Laney inspecting her toes.

Anna is jumping off the fireplace.

Look at that steely determination! They can't keep me from moving forward with the lesson! I'm focused. I've got a purpose and my husband and I will execute our goals for this Family Home Evening as a team!

Right, honey?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

The red ball

I have the next million dollar idea. 

I am going to set up a booth outside Target and charge moms 50 cents to take their kids picture on the big red ball. 

Because something strange and magnetic happens to kids when they get near those massive red spheres....they have to climb, they have to sit, they beg for a picture.

I'm gonna be filthy rich.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It all depends

Aren't friends great?

I love this picture of Mat and McKenzie because they were laughing so hard and doing this elaborate hand slapping patty-cake game. 

I won't deny that I take pictures like this *just in case* these two end up together.

Wouldn't that be so fun for the pictures at the reception??

Or maybe I'll feel bad that I wrote this when Mat's future wife is reading through these posts.....

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Purpose of the playdate

I have spent more time at the park this year that the rest of my life combined. 

I think it has something to do with not having a baby that is trying to eat the dirt.

And probably that fact that my friends are just as starved for adult conversation as I am. 

Sometimes the only reason we leave is because our kids are saying, "I'm bored. Can we go home now?"

And I whine,  "Just five more minutes?"

I can do that.

The kids love this puppet show at the Library so much, so  I figured we should probably make one for ourselves. 

We scouted out a suitable produce box on our next trip to Aldi and chose the least offensive duct tape from the Walmart selection (we wanted blue, but the silver was preferable to the redneck Hello, Kitty! camo).

We had fun printing and laminating different animals and characters and soon we were in business.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

40 years on the planet

We celebrated yesterday with friends (so as not to infringe on any Valentine's day plans).  And today I get to soak in the love of my family. 

Even better!

Laney woke me up with a darling handmade card....complete with 3 dimensional butterfly. It said "Love you to the end".

I will hold you to that promise, Laney.

Then we met a couple friends at On Track to do my birthday burpees....

Jessica Youmans and Carol Gregg were sweet enough to show up but not sweet enough to let me win. I finished last on my own forty burpees....must be getting old.

Martin and Mari Guenther babysat the little girls, so Mark and I met up with Dylan and Jessica Clarke and Todd and Courtney Flynn for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

By the way, Mango Key Lime cheescake is WAY better if you leave out the mango.

And then the next day, after a long day of church and general Sabbath busy-ness...Mark made me my very own.... 

late-night, sun-is-going-down...

whip-cream frostinged...

super tall.....

Rainbow Cake!!!

And that's a pretty good way to end a birthday.

Friday, February 12, 2016


Tomorrow I will be 40.

But tonight I celebrate.

I want Pork Barbacoa. I want tacos. I want everyone I know to come and have some kind of meat in some kind of tortilla at our house.

And because I'm a lucky girl, they did. 78 people did,  to be exact...

L to R: Devin and Kelley Wilkes, Anne Murphy.

Julia McCauley and Mari Guenther....(Julia is probably looking for the quickest escape route...crowds are not her thing. Which says what a great friend she is that she would step into this madness for me!)

Cameron McDonald, Kevin Murphy and Adam Johnson (Bruce Hurst and Martin Guenther in the background)

Martin, Todd and Courtney Flynn, Mike McCauley and Mark

Bruce Hurst, Jason Fugett and Charles Andrews....Chris Diggins seated.

Banana splits for dessert!! So many people!

Chris Diggins and Martin Player

Carrie Diggins, Breckann Player, Megan, Wesley, Brinlee and Makena Ranzenberger, Mari scooping ice cream, Emma Flynn sticking out her tongue and Lori McDonald with Jamon on her lap...Martin talking to Nate Hurst and lots of people in the background.

Ethan playing light sabers with Aaron Guenther.

Devin, Kelley, Anne, Martin and Breckann

Coutney and Mari

Me and my new favorite birthday shirt.

I loved the whole night. I loved that I got to have so many good friends all under our roof and we got to eat delicious food. I loved their kids squealing and running around with my kids. I loved hearing them talk to each other and share stories.

It was exactly what I wanted because it reminded me how much I have to be grateful for.
I've had a beautiful forty years and I am looking forward to what's next :)

Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


I love Laney's friends. I love the way they love each other and how fierce they are about sticking together. They're not "mean girls". They don't look down on other kids or try to make each other feel bad by playing games. 

They don't care what they are wearing or whether your shoes are falling apart. 

They are the kind of friends you pray for. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Mark was called to the Bishopric!

He is totally overwhelmed by the calling (I think that is a good sign) and pretty scared (also wise).

Honestly, he will do a wonderful job because he loves the gospel and has a sincere desire to serve and be obedient.

When they ask for my sustaining vote, I'm going to raise my hand as high as I can, assuming I'm not busy with two or more children in headlocks.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

WWII Memorial....Kansas City

One morning I woke up and it someone whispered in my ear, "Take the boys to the WWI memorial". It was one of those times when I knew that someone up there was helping me out. 

I needed a way to connect with my boys. 

They are incredibly sweet and willing to go to the Farmstead with the little girls all the time....but it isn't something that interests them anymore. 

So I brought it up with Ethan and he was super excited. 

Mat was on board.

Ethan has been studying WWI this semester in his Modern World History class. He is always excited about what he's learning and it's sparked a real passion for the military and combat.

Mathew is into photography and enjoyed shooting the museum from different perspectives.

We rode the ancient elevator up to the top of the tower and snapped a quick photo...then I was ready to GET DOWN. I don't like being in places that leave me no options for escape.


Now let's go.

We stopped for lunch at Jason's Deli because Ethan insisted that I "had to try" the club sandwich. 

Somebody should have warned him about the method most restaurants use to keep those sandwiches together.


Friday, February 5, 2016


The checkers at Aldi say kids aren't supposed to sit up on the countertops.

We're pretty sure the don't mean us.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


It took me six babies....but I finally got one who looks like me. 

Everly...chubby cheek phase.

Maren....chubby cheek phase.