Wednesday, August 24, 2016

1st Day - Dog and Dropoff

For the love of all good things, we have finally arrived: our schools are officially in session! My kids began yet another year of their academic careers; a senior, a freshman, 7th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader, and my own special side-kick/flubanoid who is now 1 1/2 and won't officially be in school until I'm 73 (at least that's what it felt like today.) All in all, everything went well... except for the morning walk where my toddler, dog and I escorted my elementary kids to school.  I was hoping that we would arrive earlier than we did, and so we were rushing a bit to the school. Once at the top by the cross walk, I was snapping some first day school pics...when with my back turned (but leash in hand) my darling dog pooped on the pavement about a foot from the sidewalk, in the middle of the road.  I had a bag to dispose of the waste... but it was runny/liquidy and there wasn't a whole lot I could do... luckily on the curb there was some dried weeds and grass clippings which I dumped on top of the poo. Helpfully, a parent testily pointed it out to me, as I was in the midst of wrestling a sick dog, a fussy baby and kids that wanted some last minute mom attention, that my dog had just done what she did. Classic. This is exactly how I pictured sending my kids into this new year. May this morning not be somehow symbolic of how the rest of this school year is going to go.

Aren't they darling?!... now picture a sick dog (Norman is probably looking at our poor 
dog/the scene of the crime.)

Preston: he's going to rock his senior year.

I got to drop my dear cousins off to college (BYU bound, but we love them anyways:~)
These two wonder women are destined for success. Get ready Provo, bc the Coleman girls are here!

Jordan's stuff.  Outside her building. 

Her room. First to arrive means first pick means bottom bunk.
Super Sophomore!

Madison getting the "welcome to the dorms" speech.

Her new place! What a fabulous freshman.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pure Religion

One of my very favorite features of my church is our efforts to help those in need. Every month, members are encouraged to go without food for two consecutive meals (to fast) and the money they would have spent on eating is then donated to help feed the poor, clothe the naked, etc. As the president of our congregations women's organization, I get to go into home of people in our neighborhood (members of our church or not) and write what's called a "food order." It's a grocery list on an official church form. The family then takes the list to the distribution center, which is a free grocery store. Some of the items found in the store are purchased from various places, but much of the products, especially the packaged food, are grown/made then and packaged by our church, which has a volunteer army to keep costs down.  This is a well oiled service machine and our congregation gets assignments every few months to help with the packaging.  With the help of my older children baby-sitting my younger children, I was able to volunteer this time around.  It was a great way to spend 4 hours, and I know the food will go to those who need it.

Why Religion? some ask: One answer is found in the Bible:

James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, 
To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction...

On the packaging menu today?

Pancake mix! 

These are members of my congregation that came to help. We were joined by several others from other congregations within our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.) I know that many people in other religions, and those who aren't in any organized church also look for ways to help others and much good is accomplished... but do you get to wear these snazzy blue hats?!

***This post is for Tuesday, August 16, 2016***

Congregation Campout

One of the highlights of our summer was our ward (congregation) campout at Zarahemla Campground. The setting was beautiful, the food (which was taken care of by the ward (aka "the RS Activity Chair/Bishops Wife/ Rockstar - both dinner and breakfast) was delicious.  There were games for the littles, stories, a movie, a rope swing over a stream, and fabulous friends in the congregation to hang out with and get to know better. All in all, it was a smashing success. Hope we do it next year.

I love campfire, and the smell of smoke.

Part of the dinner crowd: pull pork sandwiches, cole slaw, dutch oven bacon potatoes, 
watermelon, and cookies.

All of our older kids didn't need constant supervision, but Norman can't be trusted in campout situations just yet. Ryan found a grassy field and was playing with him. Looks like chasing turned into tickle tackle.

This was our camping spot. 

We even brought our dog, which is always fun... Calvin was checking on her water and giving her a little campout scratch behind the ears... I wish I had taken more photos to document the fun, but I was enjoying myself too much too much to capture the moments.

***This post is for Friday, August 12th, 2016***

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Beauty Bucket List

Sometimes when I come home from church my daughter has set up a nail spa for me: complete with treats, hot hand wax, warm towels, a foot soak, and all the nail polish she possesses. It is so much fun to have her do my nails, and then I usually do hers as well. She thought it would be fun to do a little nail spa day for some of the little girls in our neighborhood.  We figured we couldn't handle more than 5 ladies at a time, so we are going to have two spa days. Below is round 1. What fun! I think this little party has been my favorite time on our summer bucket list.

All set up. Annie is going over the nail menu options.

We started with fruit nut cups and lemonade. Owen dressed as a waiter to serve the treats.

We made chocolate dipped strawberries for the occasion, they tasted better than they looked.

Foot soak in lavendar water. FYI: I now know that most six year olds do  
not lake the sugar foot scrub.

After the pedicures, we had our second snack and turned on the movie Cinderella to entertain whilst doing the manicures.

Wax hands.

Seriously, so fun.

*** This post is for Thursday, August 11th, 2016***

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tour de Bountiful

We were lucky enough to have an epic Utah bike race wiz through our neighborhood. Streets were closed. Lawns were raided. People got off work.  Everyone cheered wildly. It was the perfect way to get into the Olympic mode. Utah is a pretty cool place to live.

Some friends and neighbors gathered to watch. The streets were lined with American flags and spectators. 

I wonder how fast they were going? Fast to be sure, but I still bet Annie could outrun them, especially if she was trying to evade the law.

My dears convinced me to do a late night at Lagoon.
Seriously, 10 points to mom.


We ended the night on the Ferris Wheel. 
It was lovely.

***This post is for Friday, August 5th, 2016***

Congratulations to my parents on their 45th wedding anniversary! Thats a lot of dinners, movies, and kisses shared. So glad I won the parent lottery, and will be forever grateful for the blessing of having parents who not only love each, but have been in love with each other for all these years. XOXOX!


Preston Edward Albert Smith is no longer sweet 16, but is now senior 17, as in he is now at the top of of the high school.  And it is going to be a fun year: musical theatre, drama, choir, will be a year to be remembered.  How blessed I am to be the mother of this handsome, talented, supportive, fun son.  It has been a wild ride at Lagoon raising this man-cub. I loved hugging him tonight before bed, having his 6' 1" tower over my 5' 2", and remembering when I held his 6 lbs self in my arms... so I guess all the fruit snacks really did work their magic!

Preston went boating with friends all afternoon to celebrate, so he opted for a breakfast party.
Because he has good taste, he requested crepes, berries, whipped cream and honeydew. 

***This post is for August 4th, 2016***

Monday, August 1, 2016


On days when I see myself and this planet further away from perfection than I would hope, it is often food that comforts me. And not necessarily the consumption of vast quantities of it (I'm lousy at pigging out) but simply knowing that God has provided such a delicious variety of foods we can consume, that exist on earth not only to fill my belly, but tantalize my taste buds... knowing this makes me smile on crummy days. And today wasn't as fabulous as I would have hoped for. Certainly, a Monday.

Whenever my sister has an especially lame day, she heads over to Costco and purchases that really tall chocolate cake; the one that reminds me of the cake in the movie Matilda. She calls it a "celebration of mediocrity." It's a brilliant idea, but I was just too tired to head to Costco. I even grabbed supplies to make a batch of Rice Krispys, but I decided even that was too much effort (which really says it all, given that it seriously takes about 3 minutes to prepare a batch.) But I want to celebrate food in some way today so I am unveiling a new "recipe." My Grandma claims to have invented stickers, my mother claims to have invented Diet lime Coke, but I'm getting dibs on this one. I think I have cracked the code on the perfect "Smore." Behold....

Perfectly toasted marshmallow
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

© The Chipper Chef, 8/1/2016

Squished perfection.
Whilst shopping for a campfire, I had what some might call revelation, or at least inspiration, when this little gem came into my mind. It' is now officially tried and tested.
Take these to your next campfire and minds will be blown.

A delectable shot of a hand grabbing for some cake. I would love to have a cake party where we have no plates or forks, we just grab a hunk of what looks delicious... and then a maid service cleans up the ridicule mess that would ensue.