Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I just posted about one of my favorite Christmas traditions over at LDS Moms Unite. Go check it out! I also added a new Mormon Messages video to the sidebar. It's about what kids think of Christmas.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Time Out for Women

I was able to attend Time Out for Women on the 15th-16 of October with my sisters, mom & cousin. I always love TOFW & look forward to the break from life to be able to sit & listen to inspirational talks about how amazing I am as a woman, wife & mother. If you've never been, check it out for next year! This is my scrapbook page for the event.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

I think Fall is fast becoming one of my favorite times of year (I'm not sure anything will ever beat out Christmas), mainly because of all the wonderful foods I love to make during fall. I can also finally leave my doors & windows open to let in the cool air (Arizona cool, way different than anywhere else!). I made a batch of Pumpkin Bread yesterday & thought you might like the recipe to try out for yourself. I always make my quick breads in mini-loaf pans mainly because every time I try it in the big loaf pan half of the bread ends up sticking when I try to pull out the loaf, creating a tasty, but otherwise ugly loaf of bread. Mini-loaves are also perfect for gifting, great for dropping by to a friend, or someone who's feeling a little down. Just wrap it in a cute tea towel, add a little note, and you're good to go. Anywho! Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Bread
2 cups pumpkin (like the canned stuff, or make your own pumpkin puree)
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup oil
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, salt, eggs & oil until smooth. Combine flour & baking soda. Stir them into the wet mixture. Grease 2 loaf pans (or, if you do mini-loaves, it filled 5 when I did it), and pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour (or about 35 minutes for mini-loaves). Be sure to do the toothpick test, that's the best way to tell if they're ready. Cool 5 minutes in pans, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Prepare yourself

Can I just say, I'm in love with this page! Not only does the moment portrayed hold special meaning for me, that of holding my precious baby for the first time, but paired with the lullaby that my mom sang to me when I was little, it just tugs at my heart. I don't know if it will have the same effect on you, but I just love to look at it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Can you say, "Dremel?"

Ammon showed me how to use his Dremel tool so that I could do this fun design on our pumpkin. I used an exacto knife to cut out the words and instead of carving all the way through, I just took off the orange skin and thinned the wall of the pumpkin from the inside. If you decide to do something like this with your pumpkin, here's a helpful hint: you can't use a real candle. Since there aren't any holes in the pumpkin, there is no air circulation to feed a candle. I just use a few of the electric candles that have the flicker motion & they work really well!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Can you guess who will be the topic of this post?

Yep, it's Sharon. She just happens to be the subject of 90% of our photos these days. So she ends up being the subject of most of the scrapbook pages as well. Guess what! This is my 300th post! Wow!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trying Out a New Lens

So I was trying out one of our new camera lenses by taking pictures of Sharon at the park this morning. She's always been very interested in the leaves, but discovered sand today. I thought I'd do an ad campaign for her! =)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I saw a poster of typestaches the other day on a blog that I read, and decided I wanted to make one for myself. I'm not sure if I'll actually get it printed, but I think it's hilarious anyway! You ask, "What is a typestache?" A typstache is one of these {squiggly brackets} turned on its side to look like a mustache. I think they're so funny! I really like Mr. Ank. Which one is your favorite?

I now have the high resolution image available for FREE download through 4shared. It's sized for an 11x14 print. Get it {here}.

If you download the print, could you please leave a comment here so that I know the download link is working? Thank you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our New Bed

I found the plans for this bed at Knock-Off Wood by Ana White. It is called the Farmhouse Bed. I did have to figure out my own measurements, because the ones she has for the King-sized version has the mattress turned so it's 80"wide x 76" long. We like ours the normal way. So ours is 76" wide x 80" long. I also added ten inches of extra height to the footboard measurements. This was such a fun project to work on together & it turned out just like I imagined it would!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This week at LDS Moms Unite

The posts over on LDS Moms Unite this week are going to be center around the question:
What ways do you try to keep your child(ren) reverent during Sacrament Meeting?
You can check out my post here and feel free to leave any comments and advice for the things you've come up with that help keep your kids reverent during the meeting.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


12 months of Sharon

A New Blog!

LDS MOMS UNITE Hey everybody! I just want to share with you a blog that I've joined. It's called LDS Moms Unite. Each week there will be a selected topic, and various blog members, including me, will post their ideas, suggestions, and input for all of blogdom to read. The first topic was about General Conference, and how to keep kids interested, or at least not have them screaming for the entire two hour block! So, check back often to see new discussions, and post your own ideas in the comments. The more input the better. Hopefully this site will be a good source of inspiration for many of those challenges that we all face, and we can face them together! I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Turning my heart

Today I am excited! "Why?" you ask. Well, I'll tell you! It's because of Patriarchal Blessings. If you aren't familiar with what a Patriarchal Blessing is, feel free to click on one of those links to find out more. A Patriarchal Blessing is specific to each person. It contains advice and blessings for the Lord, and also reveals your lineage from Abraham. I received my blessing when I was 15 and it has been a great source of comfort, joy, direction, advice, and so much more, throughout my life. Even though it always contains the same words, I feel like I find something new each time I read it. I love it! It's like a chapter of scripture written specifically for me, which is pretty neat! So, why I am I so excited?
Last week, I was checking out the new website. It has recently be redesigned and is amazingly easy to use. It has some new features, including a certain button under the Tools menu called "Patriarchal Blessing: Request a Copy." There are two ways to use this button. If you've received your own blessing and would like another copy, you can request your own. Or, if you have deceased ancestors who received their blessings, you can request a copy of their blessing. Obviously you have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use this, and you do have to log in to make the request.
I haven't done much research for my family history, but I am so excited about this feature, because in reading the blessings of my ancestors, I can come to know them in such a personal, spiritual way.
So, I requested a copy of my grandfather's blessing, and it arrived in the mail today. Such a neat experience! So go ahead, check it out, and request the blessings of those of your family who have passed on. Today I requested the blessings of my great grandmother and grandfather. I can't wait until they arrive.

Mohave County Fair Page

Friday, October 1, 2010

A New Kit at Summertime Designs

You may have noticed that I really like digital scrapbooking! Well, one of my favorite digital elements designers is Summer over at Summertime Designs. She makes her kits, and then you can download them for FREE from her website. I love it! Her kits are definitely my style and are so fun! She has a new Halloween kit on her blog, so go check it out!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Page

Hi all! I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a new page to my blog. You can click on the link to the right of my blog posts where it says Food Storage Resources. I've been impressed lately to do a better job of getting our food storage and emergency supplies organized. We've had a little bit here and there, but I really feel like we need to be better prepared for emergency situations. I have a first aid kit, I bottle my own meat, I love to do canning, but it just isn't quite enough. We've started storing water in a couple different ways. I've begun to fill up my canning jars with water when they aren't being used to store food. Rather than just have a bunch of empty jars on my shelves, now I can use them for water storage. When I need them for canning, I can just use the water for the garden, or anything I need. We've also started filling the heavy plastic apple juice containers with water and storing them underneath our extra bed. We don't have the recommended two week supply, but we are getting there, slowly.
I've always been a little intimidated by the popular form of food storage, where you buy 30 lb buckets of wheat, oats, rice, sugar, etc, because it just seems like a lot. We also don't have a lot of room to store large buckets like that. So, my idea of food storage has begun to change. Rather than thinking I need huge buckets of bulk food (I do have some buckets of wheat and oats, but I am using them for making bread, and other everyday things), I've started to stock up on the foods we eat all the time. Smiths grocery store just had another case lot sale, and it seems that they have one at least twice a year. When the case sale comes around, I make sure to buy a few cases of things we use all the time: cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, honey, canned tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, mandarin oranges, canned vegetables, etc. These are things I regularly use in our dinner meals, and won't require a lot of preparation. If necessary, a lot of them could be eaten right out of the can without needing to be cooked. When I combine these case items with my bottled meat, jams, jellies, canned beans, and other fruit of bottled, our food storage doesn't seem to be so lacking. Rather than having buckets of stuff I don't know what to do with, I can store the food we actually eat and I can rotate it better knowing that we will eat it before it goes bad.
I hope you check out the new food storage page, suggest any resources you like that I don't have, and I'll keep adding new links so that we can all be better prepared for those unexpected disasters and emergency situations!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dollar Store Fall Wreath

Our front entryway has been severely lacking in any sort of decoration because I just haven't know what to do with it. Since I am hoping Fall will be coming soon, I decided to give it a little jump start by making a fall wreath to hang on the front door. I went to the Dollar Tree and found an 18" plain wreath. I also bought bunches of leaves in varying tones of fall, and a couple bunches of fall color flowers and berries. I think I only used about 4 bunches total, though I bought a few more than that. I simply hot glued the leaves and flowers to wreath, so it's a very easy project. All-in-all this wreath only cost about $5 and it looks great in it's new home on our front door!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Was she really that small?

Since it was Sharon's birthday, and I recovered all our pictures of her from my parents' computer while we were visiting, I've been taking some time to look through all of our pictures from her 3-month stay at the hospital. Looking at these pictures, I can hardly believe that she was really that small. It's hard to remember sometimes that she had such a rough start at life since she is now doing so well, and seems so normal. I count myself extremely blessed to have her in my life. She constantly makes me laugh and she is so smart, and cute, and inquisitive, and determined, and stubborn (not at all like her mother), and she is such a huge part of my life! I never would have guessed that one of the trials of my life would be to have a premature baby the size of Sharon, and it's still hard to believe it's only been a year, but I wouldn't change one bit of the experience. Yes, it was stressful. Yes, I had many emotional breakdowns, usually about once a week, or if Sharon was having a bad day. BUT I also had so many blessings throughout the whole experience. Seeing such a tiny little person (yes, she was a person, even being that small, with her own personality and attitude) fight to survive even though everything was so hard has given me a small glimpse into the wonderful miracle that life is. There is no way that we are simply an accident!
Anyway. These pictures were taken on September 15, 2009. Sharon was starting to look a little better by this time, as her eyes were finally opened (since they were still fused shut when she was born), the bruising on her head was going away, she didn't look so much like she'd been socked in both eyes, and she'd gained a little bit of weight, so she didn't look quite so alien. I can't get over how teenie tiny her hand is. I mean, do you see that! Her whole hand was as big as the first joint of my thumb! She even has finger nails on those tiny fingers. I love these two pictures! I'm not even sure why because they certainly aren't the most darling, or the most glamorous. Maybe it's because that even though she was covered in tubes, wires and tape, all I could see was my amazing little girl, her cute little nose, her Wilhelm chin, and her many amazing expressions.
I was sitting next to a woman at church today who has a fairly new baby. She was sleeping, but every now and then would make little squeaking sounds. Then at the end of the meeting she started to cry, the newborn cry, because she was hungry and I couldn't help but smile and feel a twinge of envy. I remember sitting in the delivery room after they'd taken Sharon out and hearing a baby screaming in the other room. What I would have given to have a beautiful new baby screaming in my arms. And for the next 2 months we couldn't hear anything from Sharon because of the breathing tubes. When we finally heard a tiny cry from her it was such a welcome sound, and pretty emotional for me as well! I love to hear her cry (I prefer laughing now) because her crying just makes me realize how blessed I am that she was able to stick around and be our little girl! I love you, Sharon!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Now and Then

I just thought it would be fun to do a couple of pictures of Sharon from now and then. The first one is from our most recent family photo shoot last weekend. The second one is the first time I got to hold Sharon in the hospital on September 7th, 2009 at 10:56 AM. You'll notice I scheduled this post for that exact time on the exact day a year later. I know, I'm weird. I'm just excited to see just how far she's come!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Family Pictures 2010

Since it is Sharon's first birthday and our five year wedding anniversary, I figured we should probably take some new family pictures. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.
Thanks to my brother, David, for taking our family pictures for us! Edited by me.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Sharon

Our little girl is one today. I can hardly believe that this past year has flow by as fast as it has. I am happy to say that Sharon is healthy and happy! It was one year ago today that we were presented with this not so beautiful little girl.
Unfortunately we were definitely not excited about her entrance into the world. You see, she wasn't supposed to be born for 3 more months. You can check out her birth announcement here and read more about her first few days here. She weighed 1 pound 12 ounces, and had pretty much no body fat at all. She had to be on a ventilator and oxygen for a couple of months, she had pneumonia, a surgery near her heart, and overcame so many hurdles in order to make it to this point today. She is so much fun, and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing little girl in my life. She is a constant source of joy, frustration, hair pulling, crying, and so much laughing. I am so happy to say that she is here to stay! Happy birthday my sweet Sharon!
I love this picture of Ammon's hands with Sharon. It really shows just how small she is! Her whole hand is as small as Ammon's thumbnail. It was amazing to try to change her diaper because her legs were like two pencils.
Here's another one to show how small she is. That's the nurse's hand and that stethoscope is only a little bigger around than a quarter.
And here we are just a couple weeks before taking Sharon home. I love this little girl!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ammon, Sharon & Guitar

Camping Scrapbook Page

5 Years Down

Wow! Five years of wedded bliss. I can harldy believe that it's gone by so quickly. Our lives sure have changed in the last 12 months with addition of our presently super grouchy, teething, congested, and snotty Sharon. She really is the most beautiful girl ever and is usually so happy and goofy. I can't imagine life without her as she kind of fills my days completely. Anyways, back to our five years of wedded bliss! I certainly am blessed with such a wonderful husband. He can always make me laugh, which I think is a pretty great commodity! Life sure would be boring without all the crazy and goofy things Ammon does for me.
If you didn't know, the 5th anniversary is traditionally a wood gift. We are planning on building a bed frame for our mattress once we get around to it, so that was going to be our gift to ourselves. Ammon decided he still wanted to make me something for our anniversary. So, he made me a fly tying stand modeled after one that he's had for a long time. I can't think of many other women who would be thrilled to be given a fly tying stand as an anniversary gift, but I love it, mostly because he made it for me!

He ran the Provo Freedom run 10K this year! I am so proud of him!

I love that he loves the gospel. He is a worthy priesthood holder, does a great job at his calling in primary and Cub Scouts, and I love to go to the temple with him.
He loves to try new things, like trying to get up on the wakeboard at our family reunion. He was pretty close!

He's the favorite uncle, at least to some of his nieces and nephews.
He's an amazing father and Sharon always love to see him! She gets a huge grin on her face when he comes home from work & she loves it when he sings to her and when he rocks her to sleep.
I am so grateful for this wonderful man and the years of marriage we've enjoyed! I look forward to many more years, and lots more laughs! I love you Ammon!