Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday: Success

  The agenda for the day had us gals do a little shopping, the kids and men playing at the park, then off to the Air Force Academy for a tour, then an Air Force volleyball game.  It was a wonderful day. I wish we lived way closer to the Websters!

I would love this Christmas pig I found at Target, but knew Ryan wouldn't see the value in such a fine decoration. But I seriously LOVE this pig.

Words can't describe the joy I feel at my black Friday find.  I knew Ryan would also not see the value in the giant fork and spoon, but he'll come around.  I cna't wait to have them mounted in my kitchen (by Ryan).  Who wouldn't want to come take cooking classes at a home with these?!

The gang in front of the Air Force academy chapel.

We got free popcorn bags and soda at the Air Force Volleyball game, which is how you know it was a great game. Go Falcons!

Calvin even won a t-shirt at the game.  Very exciting.

*** This post is for Friday, November 29th, 2013***


Family, Cooking, Turkey, Gratitude, two ovens: a perfect day.

For Thanksgiving this year, I made all 9 of the gents turkey hats.  My Brother-in-law wore his new hat while he prepped the turkey, which is why, I believe, the turkey turned out perfectly.

I also made thses matching aprons for the ladies.  I think everyone looks good in an apron.

RYan got to play a football game this morning with Calvin, watch some football on TV, and then take a nap, which mean that his Thanksgiving was flawless.

*** This post is for Thursday, November 28th, 2013***

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Colorado Springs!

We arrived early this afternoon*** in Colorado to a bright cheery welcome from the Webster clan! My older sister, Hillary, and her husband, John, and their 5 children, Sam, Emma, Noah, Joshua, and Julia reside in Colorado Springs since John is a professor at the Air Force Academy.  Our #1 priority of the day: pie, pie, me oh my! We cranked out 8 made form scratch pies today.  Two apples, two chocolate silk, two pumpkin and two chocolate pecan. It's so nice to be here.  I love the holiday season; family, friends, food!

Pie mat.

Hillary escorting two pecan pies into the oven.

Apple pie.  American holiday classic.

The Webster's have a darling dog named Georgie.  She is an old English sheep dog. And I love her fluffiness.  She makes me smile.

***This post reflects Wednesday, November 27th, 2013***

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jalepeno Jam Sweater

  I go running/walking with some friends several times a week.  Even though we meet early, whilst it's still dark outside, and flippin cold I am always glad when I've made the effort. I went running yesterday morning, and it was especially cold, which meant that my nose started to run. I just don't run with tissue. I don't think that I ever have.  So I did what anyone else would have done (I believe.) I wiped my nose on my sleeve.  Problem solved.  But a new problem was created.  About 30 seconds later my left nostril felt like it was on fire.   The pain continued for the duration of the workout.  Allergies? Some weird nose illness?  A sign that I am never meant to run in the dark, or get up before 6:00am, or be exposed to temperatures below 60 degrees? It took me forever to finally figure out that I was wearing the same sweater that I had worn just a few days prior whilst making cranberry jalepeno jam. So yesterday, along with all the other stuff that I wrote about, was carried on with a jalepeno burnt nose.
Now you know.

This afternoon we left town to spend Thanksgiving weekend with my sister in Colorado.  We are stopping tonight in Laramie, WY. This little play structure was at a rest stop.

This darling little museum was also at the rest stop. Calvin was very impressed with all the antlers.

Annie pretending that the bear was about to attack.  

Any hotel with a pool and a hot tub gets an automatic 10 points.

Welcome Home Center

My family was lucky enough to have been invited  to hold our family night at the senior center this evening.  What that means is that we were able to sing some songs, say some prayers, and share a short lesson on Gratitude (Tis the Season) with the residents of the lovely facility.  We had everyone in the room share something thing that they were grateful for.  A kind, intelligent man shared some of his thoughts on how grateful he is for his trials and challenges, because they help him rely on Heavenly Father and the Atonement.  It was such a peacful night.  Preston made butterscotch cookies this afternoon for dessert, and Calvin, Simon, Annie and Owen loved handing them out.  Preston played the piano for us.  The name of the care center is "Welcome Home," But I always think "Welcome Awake" because I wrote a poem by that name several years ago, and have told it to my kids, especially when they were wee babes.

Welcome Awake

Welcome Awake,
Little One!
The stars are gone.
The day’s begun.
Smiles and tickles
And up you go.
I am your Daddy
And I love you so.

Welcome Awake,
Darling Dear!
The sun is up.
The day is here.
Hugs and kisses
All over small you.
Who gets to be your Mom?
I do!!!

To Preston, Calvin, Simon, Annie and Owen

Calvin with a cookie tray.  Ryan chatting with a resident.

Simon handing out cookies.  Annie is the blur in the back of the pic.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Service

After spending the entire weekend on homework, my oldest son, Preston Edward Albert Smith had a service filled, action packed Sunday.  Passing sacrament during two services (our regular branch and the senior care center), home teaching with his Father and my husband, and then babysitting whilst Ryan and I went with Jade to her Young Women's in Excellence. Super pleased with my oldest tonight!

I fear sometimes that my oldest two kids aren't around enough for me to get as many pictures of their little siblings.  Here they are.  Proof that they exist.  Aren't they handsome.

Jade standing by her display: pictures, Shaytard calendar, scriptures, Edinburgh sweater, tartan scarf, and scottish shortbread that we made today.

Jade singing with the young women.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Antelope Island

Mission: Antelope Island. Complete success.

We found a geo-chache box tucked away near an informational lookout sign.  Boom, baby!

The views were fantastic.

We went to a farm tour.  Our guide told us many interesting stories and tidbits.  The picture above answers all of your questions about what barbed wire was used in the West.

Owen yelling "Yee-haw"

Calvin and Jade in the loft area of this massive barn.

Simon re-enacting the scene from Footloose.

The front of the farm.

This Buffalo was literally 10 feet away from our car.  So very exciting!

The night ended with a little marshmallow roast in our wood burning stove.
Marshmallows, ganache, graham crackers.

Cranberry Jam Party

I have been wanting to make cranberry jams for quite sometime now, so today* I seized the opportunity and made some cranberry orange jam, and some cranberry orange jam.  If things go according to my plan, tomorrow will be cranberry mint jam day.  As tomorrow is Saturday, and everyone will be home, swarming around with their own desires and agenda's, I think it will be a November miracle if  jam is on the list of to do's.  But at least, for today, jam making took it's proper place.

Cranberry Orange jam.  I did make more than three jars, I just put them away before I remembered to take a pic.

Ryan asked me out on a hot date.  Ender's Game.  Read the book, enjoyed the movie, but hitting the cinema two nights in a row seems a little predictable to me.

****This post reflects the events of November 22, 2013 (Friday)****

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Catching Fire

Today was spent in quite reflection at a funeral. It was lovely.  The talks were uplifting.  The table display reflected so many wonderful sides of the teen, and the luncheon was wonderful.  It was great to be part of such a memorable day.  My night was spent with a friend and 8 teens watching the double feature: Hunger Games followed by Catching Fire.  Dinner: Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake and Popcorn.  Tasty - Yes.

Sooo glad they didn't try to make Peeta's hair blond this time. His hair color was horrible in the first show.  If you like the first movie, the odds are ever in your favor that you'll like round two.

Annie had a cookie exchange for her church girl's group called Activity Days.  SHe made sugar cookies with pink sprinkles. Yum!

Catching Fire.  My friend Amy and I were the drivers. Next to her is her daughter, Helen, who is the same age as Preston. 

The happy group who came with us for the double feature.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Helping Hands

Last Friday a lovely young lady in our ward passed away.  She was only 19 (complications from diabetes) and her presence will be sorely missed by many.  My new calling has given me a chance to see many acts of kindness and love toward this loving family in their time of need.  Sign up slots to help with meals and funeral arrangements have been filled to overflowing.  Letters of love and encouragement, flowers, heart attacks, and other gifts have been left at their doorstep.  Kind words, thoughts, deeds and prayers have been offered.  What a blessing to have Jesus Christ as our example. What a blessing that I am surrounded by so many people that desire to be like Him, and therefore serve those in need.  Our efforts wont bring their little girl back, but they will help bring the Spirit of Christ into the hearts of those who are suffering.  I found this poem tonight, and it made my heart happy.

Here's to the everyday heroes,
The volunteers who do what they can,
To ease the suffering of others,
And be of service to their fellow man.
May they know the true satisfaction
That comes from helping others
Less fortunate than themselves,
But no less their sisters and brothers.
May they feel the gratitude in our hearts
For all of the good that they've done.
The appreciation that we all feel for them
Is truly second to none.
By: Kelly Roper

Revelation 2:19

 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Terrific Temple Tuesday

Today will be forever memorable in the mind of Jade Louise Herriot, and those who love her.  We went to the Salt Lake Temple (Jade's first time ever inside the house of the Lord) to perform baptisms for those who have passed on. She had such a great time that she headed on over to do the same thing at the Bountiful Temple.  She fasted for the first time today as well.  And even received her Patriarchal Blessing tonight.  It basically confirmed what I already know: Jade Louise Herriot is amazing, her future is bright, Heavenly Father loves her and has a wonderful plan for her.  I am so very excited for her.  I'm grateful to know her.  What a glorious day!

Right after doing work in the temple. Aren't we beaming.

A long distance shot.  Still cute though.

Jade in front of the Christus Statue.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Athena Xena

The Smith family is proud to introduce our newest family member, Ms. Athena Xena. Athena is a Greek Box Turtle, loves her dehydrated carrots, enjoys long walks on our tan carpet, and fancies herself as speedy.  We can already tell that she is going to be a fill the hole in our hearts that we didn't even know existed.  Welcome, Athena. You have much to learn.

Today started with a bang: A surprise baby shower for a new gal and pal in the neighborhood.  Here was a shot at the beginning of the party.  The group doubled and so did the fun.  Babies are cool.

Calvin at the pet store.  ANnie isn't quite sure about the affair.  I think that Calvin and Athena have a special bond.

Ryan held her and jsut knw by the look in her eyes, by the waggle of her tail. by the shape of her shell that she belonged with us.

Loading the cart. In reality, Petsmart was way less than Petco.  Who knew?!

Happy kids.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


If anyone is looking for a killer Christmas gift to give to kids aged 4-12, I've got it for you. Its a little gem called "Brik-a-Blok." My inspired Mother in law purchased this for my kids for Christmas a few years ago, and I seriously have no idea how we ever got on before them, or what a Sabbath day would look like without them all over my living room.  Brik-a-Blok is an interlocking plastic panel thingy that snaps together to form: houses, tunnels, kennels, whatever you want.  Even better, they are large, so kids and pets can climb in them.  Chuck sleeping bags and pillows inside and you have a cozy fort.  Really, it is fantastic.  My Christmas product endorsement, brought to you before Thanksgiving.  What the heck.

This was tonight's entertainment, courtesy of Annie, Owen and Simon.  Good stuff.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ice Skating

It's days like today where I am so very glad that we have a rec center so close by, and that we are members of it.  The weather was snowy, rainy, dreary.  We finished our Saturday cleaning chores. I didn't want any one to veg in front of the t.v., so we opted for ice skating.  Preston and Jade observed from the stands.  Calvin, Simon, Owen, Annie and I took on the ice. I was basically like Nancy Kerrigan.

Getting the skates on.

Annie, eager to show us what she's made of.

I didn't know that they had these bar things for the little kids.  Owen loved it.

Calvin returning his skates.  Operation: Saturday Ice Skating = Success