Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Joey's First Pinewood Derby

Father and son took to the "Awesome Garage" to start on Monkey Boy's Pinewood Derby car.  The sawdust was awfully irritating for his eczema-prone skin, but he quickly got the hang of the mitre saw and had quite a good time molding the block of wood into the shape he designed. 
He could hardly contain his excitement in anticipation of the event... two weeks is a long time to wait!  Unfortunately the excitement faded shortly after check-in.  His car did not weigh enough, and whilst adding more weight the car split.  The result was a qualifying weigh-in, but a wobbly car for the poor kid.  Race after race, we watched as his countenance changed from excitement to disappointment. 
His derby car did not do so well, but we were so proud of the way that he carried himself through the frustration.  He was a very good sport about the whole thing.
"Sportiest Car"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Use Wheat Thins for Bribery

Although I use Wheat Thins crackers as a bribery, I still can't get great shots of them.  Daisy's always got slobber hanging out the gaps in the sides of her mouth.  Copper's always got Daisy's slobber smeared on his inside out ears... it never ends.  They are always messing around, just like a pair of kids.  Why do I ever think I can get a photograph of them NOT being kids? ha ha ha!
At least they are happy together, ear pulling, slobber, and all!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thistle {favorite friday}

Buggy is working on a book soon to be published for a literature project her class is working on this year.  She chose to write about our family holiday in Scotland three years ago.  I know it's going to be fantastic and interesting, as her writing always is.  One detail she mentioned (which I thought was great) was seeing all the purple thistle, as that was almost the only contrast to the dark overcast sky and continuously green countryside.

The above {favorite friday} image is sadly not one from Scotland, but was taken high in the Catalina Mountains.  I am still hopeful that I will be able to retrieve all the 2009 files from the broken external hard drive that I was storing them on... fingers crossed!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Woes of Training Daisy

Daisy had no problem fitting right right into our energetic and fun-loving family.  Training her on the other hand has been a bit of a bumpy road.  Maybe I'm lacking in patience, as I probably expect her to understand the routine as well as Copper does.  Even me learning simple commands in Spanish - which she seemed to most excitedly respond to, has not made much of a difference - I unfortunately lack the accent.  Walks are a bit of a fiasco... the first 400-500 yards are me yelling "halt!" which Copper understands as "stop pulling!" while Daisy continues to drag me along.  I know Copper gets annoyed with her.  He was trained to stay left, and she wanders from side to side - often stopping in front of him, then he has to go underneath her to continue moving on.  It's quite the event every time we leave together.  When it's time to head home the walk back is spent telling her to "come on!" as she's most definitely runs out of steam by then and is happily but lazily moseying along - making another annoyance for Copper as he likes to keep moving at a steady pace.  It's... comical.  Hopefully we can establish a routine that works for all three of us soon!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The OpLove Albums

A while back... like way back last month, I did my first couple of sessions for the wonderful non-profit organization Operation: Love ReUnited.  I decided to use My Publisher for the albums.  I LOVE how they turned out and I am thankful I decided to go with an upgrade.  The quality is fantastic, and they are just the right size and price.  I hope my OpLove clients enjoy them as much I do.
The only fault is that my logo on the back seems awfully small and insignificant.  Not that I'm looking for praises and recognition... but as far as design and aesthetics go, I really think My Publisher should give the option to make it slightly larger.  I don't want to have to squint to read the credits.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

He Makes Me Happy

Happy Puppy.  Happy Tuesday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Making Soup Together

Last week Bug helped me make a soup I saw on Pinterest.  I don't remember the name of it but it had creamed cauliflower, broccoli and carrots as the main ingredients.  I just knew it was going to be delicious because the photo on Pinterest was enticing and our own soup concoction had the most wonderful, homey aroma.  Unfortunately after several hours of waiting to partake, we discovered that it was NOT good.  Not good at all.  I'm not blaming the kitchen helper, or my false pretenses of what this soup was going to be, I (and my enduring family) know I am about 50/50 when it comes to kitchen creations.  In the end, we still enjoyed the process of making that awful soup together.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I {heart} Blog - to - Book

I recently published all the 2010 blog posts from this blog using the ultra easy and free - Blurb BookSmart program.  I LOVE that I was able to simply click a few buttons and everything was downloaded into book form, ready to print.  The program is, as I said, easy to use and has a variety of templates to choose from... or you can do what I did and custom design every page from cover to cover - which was no small task, trust me!  The finished product looks fantastic and is such a wonderful way to record our family history.
One thing I have learned though, as much as I try, I am NOT a writer.  I didn't like having a book with loads of lovely photographs of family adventures but no story or testimony of those experiences to go along with the images.  In creating this book of blog entries, I found myself going back and filling in details for stories I had only briefly mentioned on the blog.  So now it is a new goal of mine to be a little better with my words, for the book's sake!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Angel Moroni {favorite friday}

Today's {favorite friday} edition is of the Angel Moroni atop the Palmyra New York Temple.  Two special personal goals this year involve attending the temple.  Freckle Face will be turning 12 and will experience (the first time that she'll remember) going inside the temple to do baptismal ordinances for the dead.  She was not yet two when she was sealed to Sam and I inside the Manti Utah Temple.  The second goal is to have an image of that temple framed for our wall at home.  I haven't found one to fit my tastes or one that doesn't cost a small fortune.  It's so far away for us to go there from where we are now, but if I need to, I will drive there and take one myself... hopefully sooner than later.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


 Love seeing them napping together... even though they're not supposed to be up there on my bed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Callings

Last Sunday we received new callings at church after being released from Primary Sunbeam teachers about 6 months ago.  Sam is now in Scouts which he is especially excited about, and I accepted the call to Visiting Teaching coordinator.  Not a whole lot of anything else is going on around here lately... I suppose it's because we are still recovering from two TDYs, the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and kids home on break for so long.  It's nice getting back to some normalcy like cleaning the house, doing laundry, taking the dogs for a walk, simple home-cooked dinners and treats, quietly reading a good book or two, chatting with distant friends, and a little bit of blogging :)  I appreciate that at this point, at least for another month or two, there's very little pressure and no deadlines to frantically meet.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Skateboard Shelves & Hanging Medals

Freckle Face has been patiently waiting for me to get her room organized and painted.  Finally, it is done!  She picked a lovely lavender color that matches her bedding and furniture perfectly.  We made a few changes, besides painting of course, like taking the bottom bunk bed out entirely so she could use that space beneath the top bunk for her bins and pet gecko, Peanut.  She also put her large college dorm chair under there which makes a perfect reading/homework nook.  Next, we uncluttered her desk area and put everything in easy pull-out Rubbermaid bins.  We mounted the mini-skateboards to be used as shelves for displaying her various souvenirs from her many adventures over the years.  Lastly, we hung all her medals from a planting hook - which I like so much better than when she would hang them from the skateboard wheels.  I'm very happy to have the project complete, and she's happy about the way it all turned out.   
This poster was made by yours truly for her upon the request of her fun-loving and supportive 5th grade teacher.  The students were facing rigorous testing and her thoughtful teacher wanted each student's parent to make an encouraging poster for their child.  Freckle Face's was the most simple, yet the most talked about poster in the group!  I am happy she still wants it hanging in her room :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Their Recent Accomplishments

I am slacking in the "recognition" department here... so without further delay:  Monkey Boy received Bobcat of the Month Award for November and Buggy received the same recognition in December.  Neither occasion did their mother take the camera or even mobile phone to document the recognition... and I call myself a photographer, geesh!  Anyway, congratulations to both my high achieving students - this marking the third year in a row they've both receive the award.
Sadly, football season came to an end mid-December.  We're proud of how well Monkey Boy played his first year, with energy and enthusiasm.  He can't wait to start playing again next fall.  He also received this sweet football trophy.  LOVE. IT. It has got to be THE coolest trophy I've seen in a long time, and he's so proud of it!
And sadly, softball season has also come to an end for Freckle Face, she enjoyed every minute of it and we are so proud of how well she did in the majors with the much older and bigger girls.  She is excited for the spring season to start up soon (in about a month).  Her teammates were all wonderful and we really admired her coaches for all the work they put into helping each of the girls.  It was a great experience for her.
She also received the Best Lead-Off Hitter title... her head coach began calling her "Wheels" early on in the season; a nickname she's quite proud of!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pink Blossoms {favorite friday}

So it's {favorite friday}time again where I share a past favorite image.  Love these blossoms... makes me want springtime to be here already!  Not that I want to rush time or anything, but I am glad this week is just about over so we can start fresh next week.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Dog Days of Winter

Everyone's back on schedules this week and the dogs are loving it, napping and playing together uninterrupted all day long.  I am spring, err, winter cleaning while the mood and energy is here.  Looking forward to having it all done.  There's nothing better than being organized and refreshed!  Hoping this isn't "dog overload" but I've only randomly snapped pictures to share while I'm on this new year's cleaning kick.  Happy Wednesday all!
 Love her expressions.
 So handsome!
She comfortably sleeps in the most cramped and awkward positions, which might explain why she loves napping in the crate.