Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Knock on Wood

Knock on Wood, as in my new butcher block counter tops, I think that tomorrow my family will officially sit down in our new kitchen and eat a delicious made from scratch meal, and then I will wash the dishes (or someone will:) in our dishwasher. Leftovers will go in a fridge that is located in... the kitchen! It will be a day that goes down in herstory!, as in Lindsey Smith's book of remembrance. One day more, another day another destiny!

Ryan woke up and assembled a table.

Annie had a game today. I love watching her play, and whilst she was the goalie, the other team didn't score.

Ryan (and I )sanded the table and then oiled it down. Big reveal pics are going up tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tamales Terrifico!

I taped a demonstration on the tv show Studio 5 today.  I made tamales, which were certainly delicious.   I usually have a pal or my sweetheart accompany me, both for moral support and for another pair of hands on deck, but both of my go-to's had full schedules, so like a big girl I went all by myself.  Things went very well (as in no fires, accidental burping, cutting myself, or missing ingredients for the demo.) All in all, a success.  I seriously enjoy doing demonstrations.  And my kitchen is on the cusp of completion. I can't wait to start teaching cooking classes in my home.  It will be tasty fun!

Sauteed veg tamale, pulled pork tamale, and green chili corn tamale. Mmmm...

The table is packed with ingredients, my heart is packed with a love of all things culinary.

I just happened to have a dolly in my car (we recently bought it to move our appliances around.) It was very useful for carrying my giant, heavy ingredients bag around. 

Ryan is cutting out the hole for my sink.  What a guy.

What you are looking at is a fully finished countertop.  Just a few more bits till the kitchen is at 100%.

Monday, April 28, 2014


A great pal of mine invited my family to join her family for a service project tonight.  It was just some yard work, not difficult to do, but after we worked for about an hour, the part of the yard we were working on looked sooooo good.  A few lessons learned: working with neighbors is fun. Many hands make light work.  Something doesn't have to be hard or difficult to do to make a difference.  There are opportunities to help others all around us.  It feels good (as in uplifting to our spirits) to help others because when we serve, we are following the example that Christ set for us, thus we become more like Him, and being more like Christ makes me happy. A favorite quote from a favorite book sort of sums it up; "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."(King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon.)

It was a pine needle project, and success was achieved. We filled about 8 huge bags full.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wild Animals

Mr. Fantastic Fox is one of my very favorite movies.  I've been thinking about how different we are all, and how that is such a blessing. Where I fall short, someone else shines and can cover the situation. When we work together, there are no gaps in our potential. The following quote is from a speech near the end of the movie.  Enjoy!

Mr. Fox: When I look down this table, with the exquisite feast set before us, I see: two terrific lawyers, a skilled pediatrician, a wonderful chef, a savvy real estate agent, an excellent tailor, a crack accountant, a gifted musician, pretty good minnow fisherman, and possibly the best landscape painter working on the scene today. Maybe a few of you might even read my column from time to time, Who knows? I tend to doubt it.
[brief pause]
Mr. Fox: I also see a room full of wild animals.
[He approaches their groups as he speaks]
Mr. Fox: Wild animals, with true natures and pure talents. Wild animals with scientific-sounding Latin names that mean something about our DNA. Wild animals each with his own strengths and weaknesses due to his or her species.
[re-ascends the brick pile]
Mr. Fox: Anyway, I think it may very well be all the beautiful differences among us that might just give us the tiniest glimmer of a chance of saving my nephew, and letting me make it up to you for getting us into this, this crazy... whatever it is. I don't know. It's just a thought. Thank you for listening. Cheers, everyone.

So funny.  I regularly feel like a wild animal.  I will be forever grateful for Brandi and Tassi Smith (in-laws) for introducing me to this gem. Take on the week.  Find someone to help.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Long Way Home

I spoke in a church meeting tonight called Stake Conference.  It was such a great learning experience.  I was glad for the chance to study out a topic and prepare a message.  I have been sick all day with a wicked cold, sore throat, and fever and feel like I have been floating all day, so I was very glad that my talk went as well as it did.  It was so lovely to see all of my church friends in attendance, and feel their love and support. Below is a little story form my talk that I hope you enjoy:

"At the end of my run, I had the thought that I should walk back home on a different street than I normally take.  It was a longer way home and I was tired. I found myself thinking, “Fine, but there better be a reason that I go this way instead.  I don’t want to head over there just for fun.” Almost immediately a more righteous thought occurred to me that if I think this is a spiritual prompting, and I did, then whatever happens when I walk that way is fine.  If I meet someone who needs my help: great.  If find a wallet and can return it to it’s owner: Great.  If I meet no one, and don’t find anything to do or say, and the only thing that comes from taking the longer way home is that I let Heavenly Father know that I will listen and obey promptings; then great, really great. I took the long way home.  A sister in our ward was out doing yard work. We had a lovely chat about the gospel.  We were both uplifted. I was glad that I followed the prompting."

I took two incredibly long naps today in an attempt to feel better by tonight, and the naps really did help.  I am a side sleeper, but I don't think that I would actually like a bed like this, though.

Orange Belt

Calvin and Simon had their belt test today taikwondo.  They rocked it and are now officially orange belts! 

I found these pretty tulips in my yard today.

Simon and Calvin showing their stuff.

This shot is so cool. Simon is showing the board that he just broke and Calvin is in the process of breaking a board right at this very minute.  

All of the belt testing successes.

It's got to be official with a belt and a certificate.

Ryan is working at the job that will never end.  He's putting in the kitchen countertops.

The countertops on the South wall are all in.  We need to do one more on the north side of the kitchen, and then cut holes for the sink and cook tops... getting closer...

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Several highlights today, so I will go in chronological order. #1 I am speaking in stake conference on Saturday night, and I am fine tuning my talk, and I think it has the potential to be inspiring, interesting and awesome (just like my kids.)  If you can make it, please come! Text me for details. #2 I got some quotes on the price to get my car open so that I could retrieve the keys I accidentally locked inside of it last night.  All were between $80-$100 (lame!), and I ended up finding a place that charged $20 and had the job done in about 2 minutes. #3 I got a new key cut for my minivan (for obvious reasons) and happened to find a friend whilst waiting and we went out to lunch. #4 Owen got his orange belt in taikwando today, which was very exciting. #5 Ryan's sister Tiffany and her daughter Jordan are staying with us tonight. Jordan finished her freshman year at BYU and is headed back home to NC to prepare for her church mission to Florida.  It was a winner of a day.  

They only charged me $20, and the service man was super nice and funny.  This is the place to call for locksmith services.

Owen with his new orange belt.

Tiffany vaccume sealing some of Jordon's college stuff.  She will store it at our house while she is away... and if we get desperate, we will sell it on Ebay!

Ryan and Tiffany in fornt of the Mexican restaurant where we ate dinner.
As always, the food was yummy. I love Nacho House.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Flippin Keys

Tonight I locked my keys into my car on accident.  Not much else to say about that, except that I am sufficiently unimpressed with myself, and I would like to point the finger of blame at someone... but I know that this was 100% my fault.  Boo-hoo. Anything I spend on fixing this will be more than I have allocated on my budget. Maybe I need to start a "stupid mistakes" financial plan...

My keys look like this... only they're not sitting on a white back ground, they're hanging out in my car... mocking me.

Kokopelli Kids

If you happen to live in Tucson Arizona and you happen to have a 3-5 year old, then you are truly a lucky duck (or Wacky Wildcat... Bear Down!) You live in a place where the finest pre-school education can be found, with Mrs. Lesley (my twin) at Kokopelli Preschool (her very own, successful, inspiring business.) Owen and I came to class today had a great time learning about safety, the weather, the alphabet, and there was even some time for dipping around in the yard. Basically, she is rad, and if I lived in Tucson, I would have Kokopelli Kids. After class, we watched the new muppet movie (not nearly as brilliant as the last one) ate lunch with my mom at the mall (who surprised us and met us right outside the theatre). Then we packed up and hopped on our flight to Vegas, and that was followed by a flippin 7 hour drive home. We got in at 3:40am.

Adrianna was super excited to have Owen come to ehr class, and even led him in  by the hand.

Lesley making the magic happen.

Lunch at the mall: Subway, McDonald's, and some Chinese. Mmmm.

Leaving on a jet plane, don't know when we'll be back again.

This is what Ryan looks like at 2:30 in the morning when he has been driving for 6 hours, and has one more hour to go, and has to leave the house by 7:30 for a big day at the office.  That's what he looks like.

***This post is for Tuesday, August 22, 2014***

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Arizona Essence

There are a few things that will always remind me of Arizona: blistering heat, scorpions, Eegees (a.k.a. slurpees, or slushes) and family.  This time in the Grand Canyon State has satisfied all of my expectations, and even exceeded some of them. My Tucson bonus experience was drying off after a dip in the pool... in a towel covered with cactus needles.  Luckily, I started drying off my limbs and realized pretty quickly that this towel was intended to be used by enemies.

Preston caught a scorpion and put it in a jar.

He named it Sebastian and took it with us from Mesa to Tucson.  Much to Calvin's delight, he released it when we stopped to gas up.  

There is this place store in Tucson called the QT (it might be a franchise and it might be located in loads of places) and it has like 30 different flavors of slurpees.  It was in the 90's today so we thought ice cold drink sounded fabulous.  They even had a horchata slurpee.  It was awesome.

Lined up like soldiers against heat stroke.

Tonight we had a pool party, asian lettuce wraps, and a great Family Night lesson on temples, angels, and miracles.  I LOVE spending time with these people!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014


***Matthew 28: 6 He is not here: for he is risen!!!! ( I added the exclamation marks to the scripture, because I think it more completely captures the miracle that Christ's resurrection truly is. Happy Easter! He is Risen!

After a bright and early Sunday service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we got to spend Easter with Grandma Linda, Grandpa Ed and several cousins.  It was great fun to see everyone play games together.

We enjoyed ham, deviled eggs, sugar cookies, and being with family.

***This post is for Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Family Togetherness

***None of the events of the day were out of the ordinary amazing, just precious to me because they are things that I would love to do with my family on a regular basis.

Due to a little flooding at Ryan's parents house, we are staying with his sister Crystal while we are in Mesa.  They have 22 pets (15 chickens, a turtle, a dog, a cat, some bunnies, and some other animals.) Basically, my kids are having a wonderful time with their Mesa cousins, and their zoo!

Ryan, Preston, Calvin, Uncle Troy, Jena and Ella all went to the Gilbert temple this morning.
Very exciting.

I got to attend the new Gilbert Arizona temple with my mom and adad, and my BIL Jaron and SIL Shelly.  It is simply exquisite.

Easter egg hunt at Grandpa Tom's house.

All the great-grandkids with Grandpa Tom.

Grandkids with Grandpa Tom, who is Ryan's maternal grandfather.

Big family barbecue party tonight!  We danced, drank fresh lemonade, had burgers and hot dogs, enjoyed smores, and basically partied till it was 19:99 (8:39pm.) 

Crystal and I found pillows at Walmart, that smell like their pattern: bacon, pizza, apples, icecream, chocolate, popcorn, candy cane... how fun!

*** This post is for Saturday, April 19th, 2014.

Swimming to Pageant

This post is for Friday, April 18th, 2014.

Swimming in Tucson with cousins.  Annie and Bella making a duck face.

My kids love the sand box in my mom's backyard.

Playing games together... or sleeping in the middle of the chaos.

We drove up to Mesa heading to the Mesa Temple Easter Pageant and parked in front of this house.  The flowers were so lovely Annie and I decided to take a pic.

My parents made the drive from Tucson as well, and Ryan's sister Crystal (and her fam) hooked up with us at the temple too.

Annie, Mom and me at in front of the Mesa Arizona Temple.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Airport Security Incident

***Our day began at 4:15am.  We loaded up the car and drove to Las Vegas to catch our flight from Vegas to Tucson (which was way cheaper than flying out of SLC.) We were lucky enough to get VIP treatment both at check in and in the security line. I think they saw how many kids we have and didn't want to torture the rest of the adult passengers by having us wait with them. The most eventful bit of the journey was when Preston's bag got checked at the security area.

Security Lady:  Can I search through your bag?
Preston: Yes
Lady:  Is there anything harmful to me in this bag?
Preston: No

After two minutes of searching.... the Security Lady pulls out.... an EXACTO blade!

Lady: What's this?
Preston: I'm soooo sorry.  That's for art class.  I was doing some project where.... Don't mind me, I'm just trying to take a dangerous weapon on this flight.

In the end, Preston wasn't hauled off by the FAA. The security guard just tossed the blade, we didn't miss our flight, we were greeted by my twin at the airport, we played with cousins, the adults went out to dinner, adn the nigh for the day was a glorious 90 degrees.  I'm home.

Early morning in the car.

Waiting at the parking parking lot for the shuttle to take us to the Vegas Airport.

Calvin is holding Owen's hand, unprompted, to make sure that he doesn't get lost from the group.  What a good big brother!

Preston loading all of his junk back inot his backpack, after having it searched where his exacto blade was found and pitched.

Annie getting some make up from Nana. My mom rocks!

*** This post is for Thursday, April 17th, 2014.