Friday, December 28, 2012

Crazy for Games

For a number of years, now, the favorite game in my family has definitely been The Settlers of Catan, along with the expansion games. The first expansion we bought was The Sea Farers of Catan. We played it a lot until the more recent expansions came out, but tend to play The Cities & Knights of Catan the most, now. If you've never played the basic version, you should, plain and simple. It's a strategy game, and since the board is different every time, there's tons of replay value. Before you know it you'll be a brick trading, road building, 2 for 1 trading machine! As avid Settlers fans, we've done a few things over the years to help streamline & enhance our playing experience. A few years ago, my husband and I made a playing board to hold the hex pieces together, so they don't move around during play, and so that you can move the board from off the kitchen table if it's time for dinner. You can kind of see it in the bottom picture. We made it out of two pieces of hardboard. The bottom piece was left in a large square, and the top piece has a hole cut in the center in the shape and size of the Catan game. Then we glued them together, and it created a fabulous board!
The next enhancement we made was for our own Cities & Knights game. We like to play with more than just the normal 4 people, sometimes, so I decided to attempt to make our own 5-6 player expansion. We would actually need the expansions for both regular settlers & for Cities & Knights, so I checked what pieces we would need and set to work. I had almost the right amount of hexes from our Seafarers expansion, but needed 3 more, so I used some extra water hexes as the base, copied the front of the hexes needed, printed them off & used spray adhesive to attach them to the back of the water hexes. My husband made three sets of the wooden playing pieces using his wood working tools, and then I painted them black, pink or yellow. I also made knight stickers to go on the knight circles, and they turned out fabulously!
Our most recent goal was to create a card holder to house all the cards needed for a game of Cities & Knights. My technically minded dad, and my creative husband (along with a little input from their wives to help with design) figured out a decent design, and built a prototype for the holder. It turned out great! You can see it in the top right photo. The card holder is angled upward toward the back, so the cards overlap a little on each level. It holds all the cards, including the victory point cards you win when you conquer the barbarians. We used it during the next game we played, and it was so nice to have all the cards organized, without needing to straighten the piles during the game. It was easy to see all the cards, and I'm sure we'll get plenty of use from the organizer. Another nice thing about the holder design, it fits perfectly into the Cities & Knights box!
So, now that I've revealed how crazy we are about board games in general & Settlers of Catan particularly, what are some games that your family is nuts over? Have you made anything to streamline your game play? Or are we just a weird family? =) Have a happy new year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pressure Canner

I sure do love to use my pressure canner! I use the Presto 23-quart pressure canner and I bet it would make a great gift for the canning enthusiast in your family!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gift Idea

I don't know how many of you struggle to come up with the perfect gift for your husband, but I always have a really hard time. I love to make handmade gifts, and usually make pretty fun things for everyone, except my husband. It's just so hard because when I ask him what he wants, he usually can't come up with anything, or the only things he thinks of are tools. I hate buying tools. So, when I found {this game} on Amazon, I went ahead and bought it, in order to gift it to my husband. It actually wasn't for Christmas, it was to celebrate him earning his Master's Degree this summer. We've played it a few times already, & I think it's going to be a big favorite! It's so easy to learn how to play, and we had a blast playing it. The characters on the cards are hilarious & it's been fun trying out different strategies. So, if your family likes games, or if you want to try a fun, new card game that will test your mind, check out {Loot}!

Vintage Book & Pink Paper Circles Garland

I've been having a bit of success lately selling my paper circles garland in my Etsy store. I just finished making 15 yards of pink, white & vintage book garland (I used pages from a vintage edition of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte) and it is now available in my Etsy shop {HERE}.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our Beck Treks: What can YOU do with 12 words?

I'm providing one of the prizes for this 12 word essay contest. Go to Crystalee's site to enter for your chance to win some fabulous prizes! Hurry, it ends on Monday & the winners will be announced on Tuesday, December 12th (12.12.12).

Our Beck Treks: What can YOU do with 12 words?: The challenge is on. Enter the 12-word essay contest and wow me with your word skills!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Today I've done very little in regards to housework, or any work in general. I'm feeling sick, so aside from dropping off a package at the post office, going to the doctor, and filling my prescription, I've mostly sat on the couch. As I look around my disaster of a house, I can't help but be a bit grateful for a few somewhat odd things.

1. I'm grateful for a cluttered living room. Toys may be scattered everywhere, Savannah may have ripped a magazine to shreds, a stack of laundry is stuck in limbo on the couch half folded & just waiting to be put away, and a box of dress-up clothes is overflowing everywhere, but having a messy floor means that I have a home. I am so grateful to own our home, to have our own space & be able to fix things when they break, and to not worry about putting nails in the walls to hang pictures.

2. I'm grateful for dirty dishes. No, I haven't finished washing all my dishes from Thanksgiving leftovers. Yes, the stacks of dishes are getting perilously high. No, I don't feel like washing them today. But, I am certainly grateful for those dishes because it means we have enough food to eat. We aren't going hungry, and we can afford to splurge a little on ice cream, somewhat expensive cheese & deli meat, and a bag of chocolate every now and then.

3. I'm grateful for the cold. What?! Don't shout so loudly! I can explain! I'm grateful for the cold mainly because it means that I can finally wear my cute peacoat & hand crocheted scarf! I also like the cold because I can always put more warm clothes on to feel nice & toasty. When it's hot, you can only take off so many clothes before you get arrested.

I love this time of year, when people turn a little nicer, strangers smile & say hello, hearts are turned toward those less fortunate, and sitting on the couch with a mug of cocoa can make my day. I hope you enjoy the upcoming Christmas season. Take time to spend some lazy moments with your family. Laugh until you cry, or shoot milk out your nose. Go for a walk in the snow, or at least in the slightly chilly evening. Listen to Christmas carols as often as you'd like. And always remember the reason for the season, that Jesus Christ is our Lord & Savior.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Well hi there! I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving! As for me, I'm making my very first Thanksgiving feast (of course, I've eaten many a feast, just never cooked it all by myself). I'm roasting a chicken instead of a turkey, but I'm making cranberry sauce, pumpkin and pecan pies, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, bacon wrapped asparagus, and of course a birthday cake for my sweet Savannah who is turning one on Thanksgiving!
I hope you enjoy this free printable Thanksgiving sign. Feel free to save it to your computer and print it at your favorite photo printing place. It is sized to an 8x10. You can get the high resolution image {here}.
And just so you know, I almost wasn't able to post it, because when I went to upload it, I was informed that I've maxed out my free Picasa storage space and would have to purchase more if I'd like to continue to post photos on my blog. I deleted some random photos from my account, just so I could post this! Has this happened to anyone else? What did you do? Is there any way that I can get around having to pay for more storage? Anyway, happy Thanksgiving! Don't eat too much!

If you download the print, could you leave a comment, just so I know the download is working properly? Thanks so much!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm back & have an update

Well hello my long ignored blogging friends! I've been super busy lately. Mostly I've been making crafts, sewing, & making more crafts. I was getting ready for my first craft fair. Yeah, it didn't go well. But thanks for asking.  Since this was my first fair, I really had no idea what to sell, how much to sell it for, or how many layers of clothes I should wear. Now that it's over, I can definitely look back & say that I was catering to the wrong age group. I had lots of items for children (only saw a handful of kids at the fair, and only a few younger women), and while I absolutely love all the things I had for sale, others clearly didn't share my love.
So, now that the fair is over, I decided to try selling my crafts in my Etsy shop. I'm giving Etsy another go, so hopefully I'll have a bit more success than I did at the craft fair! So here's a link to my {shop}. Please check out my listings, and maybe {if you love me} you could come back and tell me what you think. I'd love some feedback! Here are a few pictures of my favorite items! Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Book of Mormon App

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as Mormons. As a Mormon, I believe in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is similar to the Bible, but is written by people who were living in the Americas before and at the time of Christ. Jesus Christ visited them after his resurrection and taught them many of the same things that he taught to the Jews while he was alive. Recently, the church created a free app that contains text and audio versions of The Book of Mormon. To learn more, check it out here. To download it from the Apple store, go here.
I've read The Book of Mormon many times in my life, starting as a small child reading with my family. I first read it on my own around age 14, and have read it over again many times since. I want you to know that I know that it is a true book. In my current reading, I am in 3rd Nephi, which is when Christ visits the people called the Nephites. It is beautiful scripture, and always touches my heart. I know that I can come closer to Christ by reading The Book of Mormon, and invite you to do the same.

And hey, if you read it and don't like it, you won't be out anything, as it's totally free!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cloth Diapering

When my older sister told me that she was planning on using cloth diapers for her first baby, I finally convinced myself that I wanted to give it a shot, also. I've thought about using them for awhile, and just never wanted to take that leap. A friend of mine also uses cloth diapers and told me that the ones she uses are so much more affordable than some of the more popular cloth diaper brands. So, I checked it out. I looked at a lot of different brands, read many articles & blogs with advice & experiences, and in the end, while other brands may be better quality, or more absorbent, I opted for a good product for a great price.
I ordered from Sun Baby Diapers. For my first order, I didn't want to order a bunch of diapers without knowing whether I would like them, or not, so I opted to buy the pack of 6 diapers with 12 microfiber inserts. These are pocket diapers, so they have the waterproof outer shell and a fleece lining that creates a pocket, into which you stuff an absorbent liner. They also have tons of snaps (instead of Velcro) to accommodate many sizes. I was so excited when the diapers finally arrived! The shipping did take awhile as they shipped from China, where the seller lives, but it was also free shipping.

I have been so impressed with these diapers. I've had them for a few weeks now & have never had a problem with leaking. They are simple to snap on, even with my 10 month old squirming all around. They seem super comfortable & I haven't noticed any squeezing on my daughter's legs. As for the "what do I do with the poop" issue, it really hasn't been bad. I give it a quick dunk & swish in the toilet, and then just put the soiled diapers into my washing machine. I don't do laundry every day, so the diapers can sit there until I have enough to do a load. Six diapers is just enough to get me through the day, but I definitely wanted to have more, so I don't have to wash them every day. I recently placed another order, this time for 12 diapers with just 12 microfiber inserts. My two orders totaled $105. So, I've ordered 18 diapers with 24 inserts, which works out to about $5.85 per diaper, with a few extra inserts. That's a whole lot better than between $10 and $20 a diaper!
With cloth diapering, it kind of made sense to just use cloth wipes. Again, I researched a lot to find out the best way. If you want to pay tons of money, there are certainly organic wipes & special sprays you can use. For me, I like to just use a spray bottle filled with water to get her bum clean. I made some wipes by cutting squares of flannel & serging the edges & these work great. I also really like the wipes that I made by just cutting up some thrift-store-bound t-shirts into handy squares. I just stuff them all into a disposable wipes container for easy access.
I did buy a wetbag to use for dirty diapers while on the go, and it works perfectly. We are definitely cloth diaper fans & it certainly doesn't hurt to see those chubby baby legs sticking out of a big, fluffy cloth diaper.
I'm sure if you asked someone else about cloth diapers, you would get completely different advice, but I just wanted to share my experience with this seller because it has been so positive.
I wasn't compensated in any way for this post, I just wanted to share a good product with which I've been very impressed.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Christmas 2011 pages

I'm playing a little bit of catch-up on my scrapbook pages, since I never got around to scrapbooking photos from around Christmas, due to have a newborn at the time. Here are the photos from our Christmas Eve dinner of Scottish food.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What we've been up to lately

It's been awhile since I just did a normal blog post. I haven't really had much time or space to do any crafting lately. My craft room is a disaster as it has kind of become a general dumping ground for things that don't have a designated spot. I'm working on cleaning it off so that I can get back to my creative ways. We do stay busy around here, though, so I thought I would share some pictures of what we've been up to lately. Savannah has started standing up all on her own. The bottom left picture shows her first attempt outside. She thankfully didn't stand up, because I'm sure she would have fallen right onto her face.
We spent a week in Phoenix with my family last week, and while we were there I got my hair cut (it's finally the cut that I've been dreaming of, since the last guy kind of did a hack job on the stacking in the back), I went wedding dress shopping with my sister for her upcoming wedding (she was able to get the perfect dress for an amazing price! Score!), I took the girls to the Children's Museum of Phoenix with my Mom & sister, Janelle. Sharon had such a great time at the museum! I would definitely recommend it to those of you with smaller children. There were things to explore everywhere! She loved the 3 and under area, where they have a little house, with a little kitchen & a monster mom! Savannah enjoyed all the baby areas, and I loved how she looked holding on to the little ballet bar. My favorite thing at the museum was the interactive cactus next to the noodle forest. The cactus has a crank on one side, a belt that goes vertically up the trunk and has little squares of velcro attached to it, little critters that also have velcro that you stick to the belt, and a fan at the top that whacks the little critters all the way across the room when you wind the crank & move the belt. So fun!
While there we went swimming a few times, I found some great clearance clothes, including my favorite shirt from Target for only $3 (I bought one in every color), went out to eat with my sister and her fiance, and just hung out with the family.
I also entered a few things into the Mohave County fair. I won a first place ribbon for this picture of Sharon with the fish she sort of helped catch.
And got a second place ribbon for this photo of Savannah.
I also won a first place ribbon for my prickly pear jelly, second place for grape jelly & an honorable mention for my bottled chicken.
Sharon loved seeing all the animals at the fair, and even Savannah got pretty excited to see some of the little critters! She would start kicking her legs and waving her arms and making all sorts of squealing noises. They liked seeing all the lights once it got dark, but definitely didn't like all the noise from the rides and the people.
One of the most hilarious things I've seen was the chicken wearing the sweater! It was on display with all the other animals at the fair! On the tag it said, "Chicken sweaters for sale (xxx)xxx-xxxx." So hilarious! I'm glad Ammon thought to take a picture of it!
I've been making lots of yogurt, trying to catch up on laundry, chasing two munchkins around, enjoying our homegrown veggies, playing out on the back lawn in the evenings, getting rid of clutter around the house, and just enjoying life.

Updated Yogurt Recipe

Someone recently asked for the recipe I use to make my Greek yogurt, so I thought I would type it up to share with everyone. I orginally followed a tutorial found {here}, but I've changed a few things since first making it.
 I like to use a thermometer to get the yogurt to the right temperatures and like to strain the yogurt after letting it sit overnight to make it thicker like Greek yogurt. It turns out nice and thick and tangy. So, here is my recipe.

Homemade Greek Yogurt
1/2 gallon of milk (I've used whole or 2%)
6-8 oz container of plain yogurt (I like to use the Dannon Greek Yogurt)

Set out your starter yogurt so that it can get to room temperature.
Heat the milk in a large pot until it doesn't quite boil and starts to get a little frothy (if you have a thermometer, heat it to 185 degrees).
Remove from heat & let cool until you can hold your finger in it for 10 seconds without screaming (about 110 degrees, definitely not above 120 degrees, but not cooler than 110).
Stir, or whisk, the starter yogurt into the milk. Pour into a bowl or pot that has a lid, or canning jars. Put on the lid(s) and wrap in towels (or you can use a wonderbox, which is what I do. I've also seen recipes that use a crock pot, or just a sunny window. You just want to keep the yogurt warm, around 100 degrees).
Let sit overnight. You want to leave it at least 7 hours, but the longer you leave it, the thicker it will get. After it sits overnight, I like to strain it a little bit to make it thicker like the greek yogurt. Line a colander with cheese cloth & pour in the thickened yogurt. You can place a bowl underneath and put it all in the fridge. I just left mine in the sink. Let strain for up to two hours for very thick yogurt. I've also started hanging the yogurt filled cheese cloth, by just grabbing each corner & using a clothes pin to pin it the side of my dish drainer at the edge of my sink.
I love to eat it with honey drizzled over the top. If I'm sharing with my baby, I omit the honey & use sugar & vanilla instead, since babies shouldn't have honey. I love to add fresh fruit, or a swirl of jam, and some granola. I usually do this by the bowl, not to the whole batch at once. Be creative. The unsweetened yogurt can also be used like sour cream. I've used it in burritos, potato salad & to top enchiladas.
Be sure to give it a stir each time you take it out of the fridge, just in case more liquid has separated. Also, be sure to save about a cup of it to use as a starter for your next batch. Enjoy!

For my last few batches, I've used an entire gallon of milk & just the same size container of plain yogurt as starter & it has done just fine. It makes 2 quarts of yogurt, which makes it so that I don't have to make yogurt quite as often. We really like it, so it still tends to go pretty quickly! I also no longer put a paper towel on the yogurt when I put it in the fridge. Straining it in the cheesecloth gets enough of the extra whey out that the paper towel just isn't necessary. I have noticed that after straining, the yogurt gets a little thicker after sitting in the fridge.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Party Details

 I made a pinata for the party this year. I was inspired by the pinata on this page. I decided to make the pinata base, as well, rather than buy one. I just did a basic paper mache on a large party balloon. If you've never done paper mache, you must have skipped grade school, all you do is mix flour & water until it's thin enough to dip strips of newspaper into (or, in my case, since we don't get the newspaper, I used the Republican voting information booklet, just the section that was in Spanish). Then, dip one inch by 4 inch strips of newspaper into the flour soup, use your fingers to scrape off most of it, and apply to your balloon. Cover the whole balloon with one layer, let dry, apply another layer, let dry...repeat until you think it's thick enough. The pinata was sturdier than I thought it would be. I only did 3 layers of paper mache, and instead of breaking when it was hit, it just got dented. Eventually it fell off of the wire hanger that I installed, so I just ripped it open for the kids. They didn't mind.
 I made tissue paper pom-poms in each color of the rainbow, just using the basic tutorial from Martha Stewart. I hung them up over our dining table light using push pins and fishing line.
 For the cake, I just used two basic Devil's Food Cake boxed cake mixes & 1 1/2 tubs of store-bought cream cheese frosting. I used 3 layers of cake & just used the cream cheese frosting between the layers. I used an offset spatula to get the outside nice and smooth (it could have been smoother, but she's 3 years old and doesn't really care). I used this recipe to make the marshmallow fondant. I did have a problem with the fondant being too dry & crumbly, and it didn't mix together well, so I squished as much of it together as I could & threw it in the microwave for about 15 seconds & it mixed perfectly after that. I divided it into 7 sections & added this food coloring to make the 7 colors. After icing the cake, I rolled out the fondant & cut out a bunch of circles & two stripes in each color. The circles went around the side & the stripes went on top in rainbow order. I made the pom pom bunting with two skewers, white yarn & leftover tissue paper circles from the pinata just stapled onto the yarn. (By the way, I made that cake stand using a dollar store plate & a thrift store goblet)
As you can see, Sharon was pretty excited about it. All in all, none of these things were really difficult, just time consuming. I love doing it, especially when I can see how happy it makes Sharon!

Sharon's 3rd Birthday page

Sharon was so excited about her birthday this year! She loved her birthday cake (though she mostly just ate the ice cream and the fondant) & kept dragging her little step stool into the kitchen so she could stare at it. She couldn't stop talking about her friends coming over for her birthday party & we had a great time celebrating her birthday this year! I can't believe how much she's grown. She sure is our little lady & is a major chatterbox! Happy birthday Sharon!

Monday, August 13, 2012

7 Years of Marriage

I can hardly believe that it's been seven years since this day!
Ammon and I met at the Institute at NAU. I will admit that his habit of wearing tight fitting Wranglers, boots & a cowboy hat may have had some influence on my attraction to him. 

He was a little bit quiet in crowds, but tons of fun once you get to know him. He had a slightly dry sense of humor, but could definitely make me laugh. 
We went on quite a few dates, which were mostly pretty simple. I remember one of our first dates when we went grocery shopping and then went back to his apartment and made his famous green salsa (he converted me to avocados with this) and made a couple of terrible looking cherry pies. We also went ice skating at the local indoor rink for a Ward activity, but it stands out because that's the first time we held hands.
I really liked going to all the Institute dances because Ammon has a fabulous two-step and is a fun swing dancer. Always a plus if a guy can dance!
We got engaged in March of 2005 out near Lake Mary in Flagstaff, AZ. We were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple on August 13th, 2005. I can hardly believe that it's already been 7 years since I married this guy! We sure do have a lot of fun together!

I sure am loving our life right now! We have two beautiful & healthy girls, he just finished up his Master's Degree, we love our house, our Ward, Ammon really likes his job, & I love getting to stay home with our two crazy kids! Life is so good & I wouldn't want to share it with anyone else!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aviator hat & goggles

I was going through my blog reader yesterday and came across a pattern for an aviator hat and goggles. I thought it was so cute & decided to make some for Sharon, since she so loves the movie Up right now. I mean, who doesn't love the movie Up. I might just have to make myself a set so I can pretend to be Ellie, too! So here is the link to the pattern. She has some pictures of the finished product & a printable pattern, but doesn't really include much in the way of instructions. She has 4 printable pages of the pattern, & I just copied them into Word & made them the same size as a sheet of paper, so that they would print full size.
Then you cut them out & tape together the top pieces & the bottom pieces, matching up the writing on each piece. Cut out two of the hat shaped piece & just one of the rectangle. If you want a lining, cut out the same amount from the lining fabric. For my outer fabric, I used some corduroy pants that I've had lying around in my fabric stash. I used a fat quarter for the inner fabric. The way you sew it together is by sewing the rectangle along crown of one of the hat pieces. Then, sew the other long side of the rectangle to the other hat piece. Make sure you don't just sew the hat shaped pieces to each other, otherwise it definitely won't fit any head. Then sew the lining fabric the same way. Turn the outer hat inside out, then insert the lining hat into it so that right sides are facing. Sew all around the edge, leaving a space for turning. Trim the corners on the straps & then turn everying right side out. Top stitch around the edge, making sure to enclose the space you left for turning.
I made the goggles in the same way she made hers, basically just made a paper pattern that looked good and then placed it on top of a double layer of felt and sewed around the edge. They were super simple to make. Sharon thought they were so fun! Hopefully this isn't the only time she wears them!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


The other day, as Sharon and I were walking back from checking the mail at the mail box, she told me, "Sanannah's my friend." What a heart-melting moment. This picture definitely doesn't show how much they like each other because they were both so done taking pictures. Sharon usually comes in my room first thing in the morning and likes to climb up and play in my bed. As soon as she hears her sister making any sort of noise over the baby monitor, she slides off the bed, and runs into her room yelling, "Sanannah! Sanannah's happy!  Good morning Sanannah!" I was actually trying to take Savannah's picture, but Sharon kept trying to insert herself into the shot. I finally let her sit with Savannah, and this was the only picture I got.
I sure am happy that they like each other at this point. I only hope it continues as they get older!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

8 Months Old

Our happy girl is 8 months old today! What is she up to? She is completely mobile & loves to crawl around after Sharon, likes getting into the dog water, will eat anything we give her & many things that we don't, she's become a little bit of a mama's girl & always wants me to pick her up if she sees me, she's been pulling herself up to standing using anything she can & can even stand while only holding on with one hand, and she's growing like a weed.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sharon's Fish

One of the days that we were at our family reunion, we drove over to one of the Greer Lakes to do some fishing. Sharon really wanted to help & loved getting wet in the lake. We eventually took off her shoes, pants & shirt so she wouldn't get super muddy. Ammon caught one on his fly rod & let Sharon help scoop it up in the net. She was SO excited & ran over with the net to show me the fish she caught. She sure is our outdoorsy little girl! Great job!

A Family Photo

We had a fabulous time at our Hoggan Family Reunion over in Greer, AZ. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with a little rain most days. We had fun hanging out and relaxing with family at the gorgeous Red Setter Inn (which is part of the Greer Lodge Resort). We took a a group family picture the last full day we were there and also squeezed in some shots of our individual families. This was the best one of us with the girls. I love that we were able to capture Sharon's real smile (she was actually laughing in the picture) and even had Savannah facing forward (good luck getting two kids to smile in the same shot). They were so ready to be done at this point, so I was pleasantly surprised that we managed to get one as good as this.
I haven't had tons of time for scrapbooking lately because of my new calling as the Gospel Doctrine teacher at church, and also because Ammon has been so busy with work, his calling as the Young Men's president at church, and studying for his defense of his Masters thesis coming up on the 25th of this month. I am so ready for that deadline & will be happy to have him home & not studying all the time. Sharon is busy growing & learning new things all the time. She's a major chatter box & loves to help out and play with her sister. Savannah is totally mobile now & loves to get into the dog water & pull herself into a standing position using anything that won't move. She hasn't really figured out how to get back to the ground, yet, so once she's done standing she just starts to cry and needs help to sit back down. She hasn't taken too many tumbles, but I'm sure she'll get her fair share. We are doing well & loving our little family.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Diaper Cakes

We just got back from a family reunion, and while there, my sister and I threw a surprise baby shower for our two sisters that are both pregnant and expecting boys. I had so much fun making things for the shower & one of the items that I made for each of them was a diaper cake. I bought a box of 108 size one diapers & used 54 for each cake. The bottom layer used 27 diapers, the middle used 17 and the top used 10. Inside, I included a burp cloth, a onesie, teething ring, pacifier, pacifier clip, baby powder, and the sample pack of Johnson & Johnson baby care products. On the outside of the cakes I placed a stuffed animal on top, a smaller beanie baby on the side & a handmade wooden rattle. I think they turned out so well! The layers are held together with rubber bands & then I covered the bands with decorative paper & ribbon to keep them together a little more.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Woman of Faith

When I watch these Bible Videos from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I try to think about my own life, and how the teachings and principles portrayed apply to me. As I watched this video, I asked myself, "Would I have enough faith to be healed as this woman?" My own personal struggles aren't exactly what this woman faced in her issue of blood, but they are every bit as real and difficult. I believe that the atonement of Jesus Christ has the power to heal me, to help me feel peace, and to have the strength to accept my circumstances. I have felt the healing power of the atonement & know that I am blessed every day because of it!