Sunday, August 31, 2014

Epic Lesson

Today was a special Relief Society lesson. The Relief Society is the women's organization in our church.  With the agreement of our congregation's primary and young women's leaders, I requested that the men take over their jobs for the day, so that we could all gather and enjoy: chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting (made from scratch), fruit kabobs, an insanely beautiful duet about the parable of the good Samaritan, and a lesson that I taught on "discipleship."  It all went very well, with so many people, especially my councilors chipping in.  I LOVE MY WARD!!!

My favorite quote for the day is:

The daily discipleship to which I’m referring is designed to develop the very attributes which are possessed to perfection by Jesus. These attributes emerge from a consciously chosen way of life, one in which we deny ourselves of all ungodliness and we take up the cross daily—not occasionally, not weekly, not monthly. If we are thus determined, then we are emulating yet another quality of our Lord, of whom we read, “And there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it” (Abr. 3:17). True disciples are meek but very determined. - Neal A. Maxwell, September Ensign, 1998
It's such a great reminder that our quest for discipleship should be approached the way we would train for a spot on the Olympic team. Daily devotion, hard work, perseverance, faith. Happy Sunday Night!

The cupcakes I made for today, about 100 of them.  The recipe is in my book "Feast."

My ciuncellor put these together as a hand out.  It reads "GO and do thou likewise" and it's attached to a small first aid kit... good Samaritan... clever... awesome!

The table with the goodies: cupcakes and fruit kabobs. Tasty.

I also had my councilor help with the table displays, which is why they looked sooooo good!

After dinner, Preston requested some spud nuts for dessert. They only take three hours to make, so we totally did it. Donuts at 10pm!

The oils temp was perfect because they came out great!

We had two options: cinnamon and sugar  or an orange glaze that Ryan made. Both were amazing. Deep fried bliss.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Two New Family Members

I neglected to announce the arrival of two new family members: two beta fish, Angel and Elvis joined our home last Satruday, I think it was the 23rd of August.  Anyway, the kids thought they were worthy of spending allowance money on, and their presence hasn't really affected how the house runs. I am now missing two pitchers, as they were chosen for their new homes. But all in all, the addition has been virtually transition free. Welcome Angel and Elvis. May you enjoy your stay here at the Smiths.

Ryan working on the basement wall. So close to being done. I'm extremely grateful for my handy man.

Elvis. We're almost positive that she's a girl fish... because of the eggs she has laid.

Annie wanted to make sure that no one accidentally drank our new family pets.  She added the  labels to the pitcher which,  thus far, has worked.

Angle. This one looks albino and reminds me of brides'e dress.

Helping hand came over to prep for a special RS lesson tomorrow. Hopefully there won't be loads of out of towners, but all are certainly welcome!

Girl's Night

Annie and I decided it was high time we tray ourselves to some high quality girl time.  This meant three destinations/ activities: 1) manicures 2) haircuts (at least for Annie) and last, but not least, although it was the least expensive, 3) the Dollar Store.  Boom baby. Girl time fun. It's great to be eight and thirty six.

Getting her nails done.

SO many colors to choose from.

Annie chose them all! Actually, 5 for each hand, each one glittery.

Love those fancy nails.

On to a haircut. The scalp massage is easily the best part of the entire experience.

Darling. She has a lollypop in her mouth.

Dollar Store party!

*** This post is for Friday, August 29th, 2014***

Pineapple Party

I knew that today would be a pineapple upside down cake kind of a day. First of all, I wanted to eat some. Second of all, I know how to make them. Third of all, I had a fresh pineapple in my kitchen... after I went to the store to buy a fresh pineapple for my pineapple upside down cake.  Victory was achieved.

The pineapple. Perfectly ripe. Party for my taste buds.

The recipe didn't call for cherries, which was ridiculous. I corrected the error and brought the splash of color and flavor.

Thick cake batter.  Insanely tasty to lick off a spoon.

The finished product.
It's the prettiest cake I've made in a while.

Barbecue dinner outside on the deck.

Annie took an old tissue box and made a darling piggy bank.  Give this girl some craft supplies and magic will happen.

*** This post is for Wednesday, August 27th, 2014***

Thursday, August 28, 2014


We had a little scare/excitement this week.  My first prenatal appointment had my belly measuring a little larger than normal, and my midwife thought it was probably one of two options. 1) This is my sixth pregnancy, my body has done this before, and it is perfectly content to leap into large womb mode, or 2) twins.  I'm a sororal twin (usually people either say identical or fraternal, but my twin and I are not identical, and we certainly aren't "brotherly" twins, so sororal it is.) Identical twins are an exciting fluke, but sororal/fraternal twins can actually run in the family, so I opted to have an early sonogram to take a little looksie.  I have decided my mommy sense is working very well, because I really didn't feel a twin vibe, and when I saw just one little dancer, my suspicions were confirmed. One Smith!  She was all over the place; kicking, stretching, arching.  It was simply darling to watch, but I was almost hoping that she would be quietly playing tea party.  I already have an all over the place, high energy daughter (and I love her!) but I would not be genuine if I didn't acknowledge that I am hoping for a calm (like her father) daughter.  They weren't able to confirm the gender yet, but I am hoping that my mommy sense is just as accurate as I was with the twin thing.  If it's a boy, we will love him with all of our hearts... and Annie and I will go on a girl's trip to... celebrate:~)

Look at that alien head, her wee arms and legs, and that kissable belly.
Mercy, she's already adorable!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I don't know how to properly state this so that the full depth of my feelings and emotions will be correctly represented.  The entire day the only think l've wanted to do is eat... all day long.  EVERYTHING sounds delicious to me right now.  I don't have a craving. I'm simply craving. I also don't think I'm far enough along (about 11 1/2 weeks) to constitute a real genuine "eating for two." So today's lunch was a chili cheese dog and gator tots... and water, to be healthy.  I thought later in the afternoon, "I should eat some veggies," so I had celery, covered in peanut butter.  Dinner, from a healthy standpoint, wasn't much better.  What a day!  By the end of this pregnancy, I will probably be my own zip code. But I will enjoy every bite. Literally, every single bite.

New Sonic in Centerville.  The chili cheese dog is to die for.  The tots were also heaven. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

So it Begins...

Today was the very first day of the 2014-2015 school year.  And it was a smashing success.

Preston - Sophomore at Woods Cross High School
Calvin - 7th grader at Mueller Park Jr. High
Simon - 5th grader at Leo J. Muir Elementary School
Annie - 3rd grader at Leo J. Muir Elementary School
Owen - 1st grader at Leo J. Muir Elementary School

Whilst my children were all growing their brains in school, I went to workout at our rec center, and then I had my first baby making midwife visit.  I hear our little one'e heart beat. It was amazing! As of today, I am 11 weeks and tow days along, and my wee thing is due on March 14th.

Calvin and Preston. Calvin is almost as tall as me now. Preston is about 2 inches taller than his dad.

Simon, Owen and Annie saying goodbye to Cricket on their first day of school.

Tonight for FHE, my boys and Ryan cleaned out the rain gutters of a friend.  What a guy!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


A wonderful pal of mine gave a great lesson on treasures today.  It was a reminder that many of the things that people value are actually of little worth, and often the things we take for granted are the very things that can give us the most peace and joy.  We were asked to list some of our treasures.  Family trips (just the getting away and building memories), giving birth to my 5 (soon to be 6) littles, marrying my sweetheart, hot cocoa.  I found this great quote that was given by an apostle in my church (doesn't that sound like the New Testament...:~) Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:

The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy.

Court of Honor tonight.  Calvin has the best leader in the world.

Building a marshmallow spaghetti building.  I love to see two brothers working together.
Scout shirts, glasses, marshmallows.

The Red Room

Preston Edward Albert Smith officially has his own room again, and one of the walls is red.  I like the idea of this fresh start for the school year.  On this last Saturday of summer break, my oldest finished an essay that is due the first day of his Honors English class. It was about Anne Sullivan, who was Helen Keller's teacher. Of all the people I could have my son research, Anne is definitely near the top of the list.  Well done Preston, both the essay and the paint job.

Wasn't the Red Room the punishment for Jane Eyre?  They believed the room to be haunted by ghosts.  I won't tell Preston.

Last summer trip to Lagoon.  Ryan hates this ride, but I could go either way.

Preston was home working on his essay. Good boy. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Final Friday

Today is (finally!) The last weekday of summer vacation.  We have seen 25 summer visitors from out of state and out of the country. We have Lagooned, Thanksgiving Pointed, Rec Centered, Temple Squared, Sprinklered,  Danced, Conceived (well just me) and Basked in the summer sun.  We have read a bit, played hard, and are hopefully ready to head back to school on Monday.  How thankful I am for this wonderful time of year, and for the coming autumn season of cocoa, crock pots, and cooking classes. 

I saw these little beauties at the DI. They were half a size too big, but fun enough to take a pic of.

What the end of the night looked like for Owen.

What the end of the night looked like for me.

***This post is for Friday, August 23rd, 2014***

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I think it is just nutty that my brother, my closest childhood girlfriend (not including my twin, but she's also my sister...) and the prophet of our church, Thomas S. Monson share a birthday.  How very lucky August 21st, 2014 is!  All three of these individuals are people that I admire.  They are kind, funny, cheerful, and they all really like me!  Happy 39th, 36th, and 87th birthdays.  May this year bring you joy, love, excellent food, and little glimpses of how amazing each of you truly are.

Swimming at the rec center.

My pen exploded in my purse. What a bummer. This is my hand after begin washed once and hand sanitized twice.  How lame,

Owen, Simon and Annie had their back to school nights this evening, and Preston trie rout for musical theatre.  He will do great!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Calvin's turn

Today was Calvin's back to school night.  We visited each of his classes, met his teachers, took notes, and celebrated the hoy that being a 7th grader will be.  What a guy!

Calvin and a pal, discussing something very educational.

A dear friend dropped off some raspberry cupcakes, just because!  The picture doesn't do them justice, but they were indeed tasty!

Sophomore Orientation

Preston is finally heading off to high school. When I was a wee young lassie, jr high was for  7-8th grades, and high school was for 9-12th grades.  9th graders were "freshmen" which made since because they were fresh/new to high school.  7th - 9th graders are in middle school here in Utah, and 10th - 12th graders are in high school.  This obliterates the term "freshmen" for the 9th graders, translates into less electives and groups to choose from (high schoolers have way more clubs and classes).  Either way, Preston will officially be a sophomore on Monday at Woods Cross High School.   Musical Theatre tryouts are on Friday.  Grab the bull by the horns, son, work hard, play hard, and make crazy good memories.

Sophomore Orientation.

Calvin getting his hair cut.
He left it long on the top.

Owen found some new shoes.

We say this little guy on our shopping adventure.  It's just a cool insect.

*** This post is for Tuesday, Aug 19th, 2014***

Monday, August 18, 2014

Adios to our Scotland Lassies!

Our dear friends from Scotland have officially returned to their home country, and out house seems a little too quiet.  How blessed we are that Heavenly Father has helped us to cross paths.  Our house is less interesting with their absence!

Our Scottish friends, my kiddos, and our dear dog, Cricket.

Frowns at the airport,  What a long flight!

Annie Joy climbing the ropes at gymnastics.  She loves every second! 


When I was a wee lassie, about 12, I took piano lessons.  It didn't last very long as our teacher lived far away and by then, my driver (aka my older sister) was well into high school and had quite the social life.  Anyways, one of the few songs that I ever learned to play, and even memorized, was Count Your Many Blessings.  It's still a personal favorite. Not because I think that we really aught to make some blessings list, but the general idea of the song being a reminder that everyone of us have loads of things to be grateful. Literally, way too many to count.  A few things I am grateful for: a daughter that prays every night for her baby sibling growing in my belly.  The Relief Society.  Computers. Deodorant.  Fettucine alfredo with chicken.  My marriage.   So don't go count all your blessings, for the love of all good things, but in honor of our abundance, join me and take a second to notice God's love, aka, some of you blessings.

My very favorite deodorant in the entire world is lilac deodorant.  
It just smells so good.

***This post is for Sunday, Aug 17th, 2014***