Saturday, November 26, 2011

This is very cool.

Attention all family history nerds! Check this out:

Log in with your standard LDS account (assuming you're registered at, then click "Create" and open the PDF.


Friday, November 25, 2011

A Month Late

Halloween is not Halloween without pumpkin carving/painting. I was so proud that our pumpkins came out of our garden this year.

Her friend C. is such a boy. He loves to tackle her and wrestle her to the ground.

Her pumpkin had to be purple which is her favorite color right now. She painted the entire thing purple.

Even N. painted one. He got a great view of the men as they used their power tools to carve. Actually only Blaine used power tools. His dremel sounded like a dentist's drill and it flicked little pieces of pumpkin everywhere. Ewww.

Blaine's              Ben's                      Katie's

This was mine. It only lasted a day before it dried up and shriveled up.

Happy Halloween!

Katie made the paper

Well, the Lexington paper:

She and Sierra are on "Photo 5 of 21". Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Note of Thanks

I'd like to pause from my mad efforts to catch up on my blogging to offer my thoughts of gratitude for the multitude of blessings that I experience on a daily basis. Although my life is full of ups and downs and lots of joys and sorrows, I feel so blessed. I have such a perfect existence and feel so much contentment and peace. I know I do not deserve to be so lucky, but I am and I am so grateful for that.

Things that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving:
  • A kind, supportive, thoughtful, gentle, loving, and wonderful husband who always makes me feel appreciated and loved.
  • A beautiful miracle of a daughter who is healthy, intelligent, funny, talented, silly, and loving.
  • Great employment.
  • Kind friends.
  • Good neighbors and community.
  • Fall weather.
  • Generosity of those around us.
  • Loving family.
  • Great parents and in-laws.
  • Wonderful siblings and in-laws.
  • Doting grandparents.
  • A beautiful home.
  • Health
  • Talents
  • Music
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ, scriptures, words of the prophets.
  • The Gift of the Holy Ghost: including promptings, feelings of peace, guidance, tender mercies, gifts of understanding, and faith building and testimony strengthening experiences.
  • My valiant Seminary students for their faith, examples, and testimonies. I love them and am so lucky to spend time with them.
  • A soft bed.
  • Strong water pressure in my shower and warm water. I love the warm water.
  • Running water and electricity. I would hate to live without either of these, even for a day.
  • Blue skies and soft white clouds.
  • Beautiful world: including bright red fall leaves, Blue Jays, Cardinals, and gorgeous flowers.
  • People to talk to when I am feeling low.
  • Generous friends who watch Bee for me on a weekly basis when I am teaching at the Montessori school or when I am needing to take care of other errands. I have been so grateful for this one. People have been so generous. Thank you, thank you.
  • Netflix. I would not get anything done if Go, Diego Go! did not exist.
  • Games on Facebook. I do love me some rummikub and some Words with Friends.
  • Indexing. This is one way (that's very addicting) that I feel like I can contribute to my family history work that is easy and not too time consuming.
  • Computers...the INTERNET. Best. Invention. Ever. I seriously love the options that the Internet opens up for me. I love wholesome websites and movies and games, etc. I am on here all of the time, including when I blog or read others blogs.
  • Public libraries. We have been blessed to have great public libraries everywhere that we have lived. The one here in town is great and we actually just go there to hang out sometimes.
  • MOPS. I have been blessed to be a part of this organization and love to be surrounded by good women who are always trying to improve their mothering. It doesn't hurt that there is always food and that the children are watched while we meet.
  • Extended family. I rarely see mine, but they are great!
  • Printers.
  • Prophets and church leaders. The older I get the more amazed I am by the willingness of church leaders to donate their time to benefit the Kingdom of God. I love their righteous examples and for their pure humility.
  • Prayer: I could not survive without it.
  • Priesthood blessings. The priesthood has been a blessing in my life, especially when I have made covenants such as baptism, temple covenants, and marriage. Here I am specifically grateful for priesthood blessings that I have been given recently by my husband. He is such a good priesthood holder and I am grateful his worthiness to bless me in the name of the Lord.
  • Felt: it makes lots of fun crafty things. More pictures to come.
  • Clean house. Mine is not quite clean, but I would be grateful if it were. ;)
  • Good food. I love to eat.
  • Cheese. Cheese is yummy.
  • Warm bread fresh from the bread. Lately my favorite recipe is the 5 minute artisan bread.
  • Online shopping. So convenient.
  • Amazon wish lists. I am horrible at picking out presents for others and love help.
  • Washers and Dryers. I only manage to keep on top of laundry because of these. I would seriously be at a loss without them.
  • Financial stability. We try to live within our income and are content with how the Lord has blessed us.
  • Public parks.
  • Kites.
  • Cameras.
  • Squirrels. Crazy little tree climbing rodents. I love to watch them as they run along our fence in the back yard. They are so agile.
  • Glue guns. These are so handy.
  • Visits from family members.
  • Cars. Expensive, but extremely useful.
  • The sun.
  • Hearing my little girl sound out letters and try to read.
  • Hearing the funny ways she uses languages and how she is constantly trying to develop vocabulary.
  • Fish sticks, chicken nuggets, fruit snacks, goldfish, and prepackaged apple sauce.
  • Play groups.
  • Creative people.
  • Princess tutus.
  • Imagination.
  • Sleep.
  • My father has found great employment and now he and my mom live 'close.' Nineish hours is so much better than Thirty. I feel like we are practically neighbors.
  • I am grateful that we got to see them on their way out East.
  • I love having a cousin in Illinois and a sister in Texas. I do not feel as isolated out here in the middle of the country.
  • Youtube.
  • Sunsets.
  • Good books.
  • Life!
This is my preliminary list. Obviously I am grateful for more people and things than I could possibly list here. Many thanks to everyone who has influence and blessed my life, my husband's life, my daughter's life, and my families' lives.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Leaves Follow Acorns

Grandma sent back this stuffed horse as a gift from the airport to say goodbye. Bee said something to the effect of "I love it soooo much!" when she first saw it.
I recently posted about the abundance of acorns in our backyard. These are accompained by a multitude of leaves. They provide for hours of entertainment and imaginative play. Bee really jumped into them this year and was so creative as she imagined what they could be. Most of her ideas came from a tv show about a boy named Diego and involved rescuing animals in trouble.

At first it was a mud puddle and she was stuck in it. I had to rescue her multiple times.

Then it was a net that she was caught in. I had to rescue her again. I tried to explain to her that she needn't get caught in the net again now that I had saved her ten times, but that thought wouldn't enter her determined little mind. Then several other animals, including pumas, were caught in the net/mud puddle and we rescued them over and over.

Leaves really are fun to play in.

Here she's relaxing in the prickly leaves.

She even let me bury her in the leaves up to her neck because she had to pretend to be a rock so that the pumas would not see her. Apparently she is scared of pumas. :) Go Diego, Go!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Love My Family

The week of visitors passed so quickly. We played games, watched Bee show off, went to the amazing dollhouse museum, walked around town, and just spent quality time together. She was so happy to have people to show off for and had them laughing hysterically. She was such a ham and loved all of the attention.

Backyard action.

Here she is "toasting" a marshmallow. You can probably imagine how it turned out.

It took longer than she had expected, so she decided to sit down on the job.

Isn't she precious? I love how her eyes are smiling in this picture. She is such a joy in my life. I love her to pieces.

Grandma got in as many hugs as the 'baby' would allow. She also enjoyed tickling. She refused to be called baby.

We are so lucky to have such great family. I wish we could live closer to them. We hope to see them again soon. Bee keeps talking about how her grandma is going to come visit in "one minute." She was so happy they came and so sad to see them go.

Monday, November 21, 2011

We Love When Family Comes

We love visitors and feel that we've been extremely lucky to have so many people visit us. I don't know how Kentucky is more of a draw than Iowa was, but somehow it is. Therefore, we were extremely excited when we found out that grandma and Denali were coming to visit for a week. They came bearing lots of love and lots of thoughtful gifts. We enjoyed every moment and were surprised by how fast time flew. Speaking of flying, their flights here were atrocious and they ended up spending the night in an airport. We appreciate the sacrifices that they made to come see us.
There's nothing like raking leaves in your Sunday best. Actually, it looks more like she's dancing.

The miniature princess dolls are MUCH appreciated.

While I was out of town for the weekend attending Time Out for Women, Benjamin took care of his family, celebrated his mom's birthday, and took everyone for a day outing to a local historical site. This historic shaker village has lots to see, especially furniture and animals.

Have I mentioned that Kentucky fall weather is nice. I love the blue skies and the light jacket weather. Here's to a mild winter. We still remember Iowa, and although we loved loved love it, we do not miss the winters.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Toys Not Required

Children have the amazing ability of entertaining themselves with the simplest of objects. Boxes, noodles, cupboards, etc. often provide them with hours of entertainment.

Recently I removed the slipcover from this old couch and washed it. Bee found the cushions, removed them and played. She jumped, climbed, laughed, rolled, and had so much fun.

This age is so much fun some times. She finds so much joy and is so precious to watch as she explores and plays.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Skin is NOT for Writing On

Skin is NOT for Writing On

We are still working on this one. We are also trying to teach that walls are not for writing on, this has become especially difficult since the release of a popular movie about a young girl with extremely long blond hair that paints and decorates all of her walls.
I set her up at the table with markers and papers to make a birthday card for her grandmother. I obviously did not supervise properly.

However, I could not be mad at her because I was so proud of her writing. I asked her to make a birthday card and asked her to write an H for happy birthday. She promptly did so. She also complied when I asked for the A, the P, and the P. She got bored after that and then proceeded to color it all in and make it mostly unrecognizable. She always has preferred writing and reading from right to left, I am still trying to break her of that habit before it becomes too ingrained. 

A few days later I found this. Again, really?
Here you can almost see her smile. She's pretty proud of her handiwork. These were actually dry erase markers and they didn't come clean for several days.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mess for Less

One of my favorite blogs lately is called Mess for Less. I love it because her girls are at a similar age to my daughter and she has so many creative, yet extremely cheap and simple, crafts to do with kids. I've already mentioned some of them on previous posts.

She posted once about using contact paper to keep her girls entertained. I decided to do this too and used my leftover scraps from another project. I taped them to the floor and enjoyed watching the kids approach the rectangles hesitantly and then interact with the mildly sticky surface. Some liked it more than others and they didn't play with them for very long. I think the setup was longer than the actual play.

I loved how they started being more creative at the end by jumping from square to square and then pretending to sleep on them.

P.S. Hardwood floors are awesome. These are actually my friends floors, but I have them too and I love how easily they clean up and how versatile they are.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Birthday Party

My friend Jenny is amazing. She always makes the cutest things and is great at organizing games and parties. Here are a few pictures from the PINK birthday party she put on for her daughter. Bee had so much fun and still talks about this party. She has decided that she wants a BLUE party for her birthday, which is coming up sooooo soon. Ahhh!

Everything was perfect and there were so many cute details. Look at the pink tutus hung up on the left. The birthday girl had her own special tutu. The happy birthday sign on the wall was perfect. The tissue paper decorations hung from the ceiling and looked great. The table was covered with every possible pink candy that you could imagine. The activities incldued decorating crowns, painting fingernails, making bracelets, eating the beautiful barbie cake, and jumping in the bounce house.

She ate her cake by the handful which was entertaining to all the adults in the room.

Happy Birthday to S. She is such a good friend to Bee and we love spending time with them. Bee mentions her a lot and go through withdrawals when we don't see them often enough.