Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Best Sunday of All

Today was my favorite Sunday of the year!

No, I didn't transport myself back to vacation.   Or skip church to eat bonbons!

It's the Sunday when all the boring adults got to take a back seat and let the kids do the entertaining gospel teaching during church!   It was our ward's annual primary program and literally the kids did almost everything in sacrament meeting.   They gave the talks, shared how they were living  the gospel, and best of all did all the singing too.  I've always had a soft spot in my heart for children singing and I would love nothing more than to  make the entire primary  bonafide members of the ward choir.   My favorite was their rendition of "The Family is of God".   I also liked "Follow the Prophet" where  Ellie sang this verse as a solo and Adam held up a picture of Adam and Eve during the first verse.

It was a great program that was filled the usual giggle inducing moments, like the kid who kept holding his off-key notes louder and longer than everyone else.  And the other kid who bragged about his dad keeping him away from dangerous things--like bears.   And the little girl who  kept kissing and snuggling up to the boy in front of her.

This year's primary program was extra special for Glen, because up until a few weeks ago he was the primary chorister.  He was absolutely glowing while watching the children sing.   Thanks to his excellent instruction, the kids knew all the words and totally rocked the songs.

After that extra-cute start to church, lucky me, I got to experience more cuteness in Young Women!   My Laurels (and all of the YW) are beautiful and stalwart and a joy to work with each week.   I also love our new Laurel adviser,  Sister W., who is a fun, energetic, and  fantastic teacher.   I feel inspired leaving her lessons and I love watching the girls respond to her humor and sometimes unconventional teaching methods (like having the girls relax on the floor while discussing about the Sabbath).  
I also couldn't help but giggle when Sis. W's husband  interrupted the lesson and brought her a Slurpee, which they had bought the night before and frozen.   It was the perfect comedic relief while talking about keeping the Sabbath day holy.   

Now I am enjoying a quiet afternoon while Ellie, Adam, and Emma play "Ticket To Ride " with Glen and Cami is playing the cello in the basement.  

I love Sundays and the time I get to renew my body and spirit!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Feeling Groovy!

 I just found this draft of a blogpost in my archives and decided that it was a gem that needed to be published.  If nothing else, it has a couple of pretty cute pictures of our family  that I don't want to lose in the depths of our computer files.

From Summer 2013:

As per a long-standing summer tradition at our house, we recently got our groove on and tie-dyed our own shirts!

It's a fun tradition where everyone enjoys the process as much as the finished product.  

These pictures remind me of this quote from Pres. Uchtdorf:  
"In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time."

It is becoming a rare occasion when our family is all together and I treasure these moments, simple though they may be,  when they do  happen.  

I sure love our family!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dirty Look Contest

You probably didn't know this about our family, but we just so happen to all be very gifted in the 'giving dirty looks' department.   

It's a talent that we often keep hidden when we are around other people, but today we are officially unburying this talent and sharing it with all of you.   I'd like to say that the reason for revealing this great talent to you today is for selfless purposes of trying to scare bad guys and grizzlies away, but in reality it's because I am prideful and need some reassurance that I still have the title of Dirty Look Queen.  I need to know that my kids still get the "Hey!  Yes, I'm talking to you buster!" vibe when they see my serious face.  

So here are the contestants.  You be the judge.  

Contestant #1 with the "I'm annoyed at the whole world, especially my mom" look

Contestant #2 with the "Who dares to interrupt my fishing to take a stinking picture?" look

Contestant #3 with the "How can everyone in the entire universe have caught a fish today except me?" look

Contestant #4 with the "I'm not really annoyed, so I'll just put on my cute pose and look fake annoyed" look

Contestant #5 with the "Huh?" look

Contestant #6 with the "You did say 'dirty', right?"

So maybe I lied.  
I didn't even show you my real dirty look, because I didn't want to frighten you with its fierceness, but suffice it to say that no grizzlies will be visiting our house anytime soon and Ellie's "dirty" look definitely trumps all of the rest of ours! 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Elements of a Great Weekend

What are the elements of a great weekend?     

1.  Some good old-fashioned hard work
Saturday morning we participated in a "Day to Serve" service project with our ward where we helped build fences at Claude Moore Colonial Farm (a local historic site)

2.  Some great food
Saturday evening I canned two batches of homemade blackberry jam from blackberries we'd picked fresh on Labor Day.  

 Then, so we could have something worthy of slathering homemade jam onto,  I made five loaves of homemade bread with freshly ground whole wheat flour.

Then on Sunday we made our own version of Cava's Greek salad with lemon tahini dressing and freshly made pita bread.    It was absolutely delicious and I  delighted listening to my children chat about the merits of tzatziki sauce and what kinds of hummus that they preferred.   I had never even heard of hummus until about 10-years ago! 

3.  VISITORS!!!!
My brother Tim visited us last weekend….a fact which made the nieces, nephews, and siblings all very happy!  We miss him and hope he'll come back soon! 

4.  A field trip somewhere cool
In this case it was Daddy's office!  The office was deserted because it was Saturday, but the  kids loved  being there in Daddy's lair and decorating his whiteboards for him!  

In other words, we've had a couple of great weekends around here! 
And based on the fact that our wake-up time all week is now more than two whole hours earlier than it's been all summer,  some great weekends are exactly what we need to warm up to this new school year!


Sunday, September 7, 2014


What do you get when you cross a hungry college boy with empty cupboards
and a homeschooling mama with Fridays set aside as field trip day?

You get a spontaneous family trek to Harrisonburg to surprise Spence.   

He didn't know we were coming, but I daresay that, despite us interrupting his afternoon plans,  he was pleased when I told him that our mission was solely to take him  grocery shopping and out to dinner.   

We loved being able to spend the afternoon with him and his girlfriend Erin
and I loved knowing that,  although I can't cook homemade food for him while he's away, that at least his cupboards are now properly full!  

We stopped at our favorite H-burg pet store on the way out of town
and eventually arrived back home satisfied that our mission to prevent a case of no-money-college- onset-malnutrition in Spence was properly satisfied!

We love you Spence!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Big Things

After several months of having zero furniture in our living room….

or dining room...

I am happy to say that things are slowly starting to happen around here...

and I like it!  

We've got a long way to go still, but progress is progress and I'm excited! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Where Peeta Walked

Congratulations to Sheila who correctly guessed in the last post that we were  in DuPont State Park, the filming location of Hunger Games.    Although we knew about the Hunger Games connection before we went there,  our purpose in going there was to see all those beautiful waterfalls and gorgeous forests.  It was funny though, because we met some very confused hikers who could not understand why on earth there were so many teenagers traipsing around a state park.  At one point, we walked by a group of  100 or so teeny boppers who apparently were on some kind of pilgrimage to "walk where Peeta walked".

 Let me tell you though….

it wasn't all that glamorous!

The Western North Carolina scenery, though,  was absolutely glamorous and then some.   It is a gorgeous part of the world and we would definitely come back for another visit someday.  

Here are a few more of our favorite photos from the vacation, then  I will only have one more vacation post to go, so I can finally get back to blogging about current events again….like the fact that school is in session!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Super Hard Quiz: What Movie Was Filmed Here?

Can anyone guess what movie was filmed in this location?  

Here are a couple of views...

and a hint.  

Here are two more hints...

and one more view.  

 Can anyone guess without looking at google or asking a teenager?   

First correct answer will win adoring praises and the first gazillion dollars I earn. 


Friday, August 29, 2014

The Best Part of Vacation….

….besides not cooking, getting plenty of sleep, and enjoying the glorious beauty of Western North Carolina…

was just being together as a family! 

With Glen working long hours lately, it simply was just nice to be together without a busy schedule each day. 

We walked,

we talked, we laughed,

we played, we fished, we explored….

 and ate ice cream together almost every day.   

The only thing we were missing was Spencer... 

who was already back to school.   
While we relaxed and had fun on vacation, he was gearing up for Organic Chemistry and other such brain frying academics at JMU! 

And whatever you do, please don't remind me that this time next year we will be dropping off Cami for her freshman year at wherever university.  

It makes me feel sad and old just thinking about it!    


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