Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some things change; some don't...

What do these photos all have in common?
Spring 1993
Summer 1993
Fall 1994
Summer 2005
Fall 2005
Summer 2008
Fall 2008
Spring 2009
Winter 2009
Winter 2010
Anyone see a pattern? :)-
I don't get it.
Do you think it's genetic?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"I'm so frustrated!"

As the Relief Society President in my ward, I sometimes have the opportunity to counsel women who come to me seeking advice or simply wanting a sounding board as they sort through their problems.
Often, the issues they talk to me about stem from frustrations in their relationships whether they be with friends, family, or coworkers. Although I don't have a professional background in psychology, I do my best to listen with empathy and ask open ended questions.
One book that I have recommended more than any other is Dr. John M. Gottman's "The Relationship Cure". My bishop says it's the best book on relationships he has ever read. I have found some of the communication exercises in the book to be extremely enlightening. Are you aware of others' bids for connection? Do you respond by turning towards, turning away, or turning against? You may be surprised.
If you are looking for a way to improve any or all the relationships in your life (marriage, parent/child, roommate, coworker, boss, in-laws, etc.) invest the $10.03 and pick this one up at Walmart. Better yet, check it out at the public library for free.
Who among us doesn't want healthier relationships, stronger emotional connections, and better communication? This book not only can dramatically transform troubled relationships into positive ones, but it can elevate and improve even the good relationships in your life. It's extremely useful, practical, and spot-on.
I recommend it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Don't you know? I'm a GREAT aunt!

(Charlotte smiling at me)

My beautiful niece, Candice, and her cute family now live in Omaha which is only three hours away. It's wonderful to have extended family within a day's drive.
(Candice and Charlotte at the zoo on a cold day)

Their townhouse is just minutes from Omaha's famous Henry Doorly Zoo.
(The desert dome at Omaha Zoo)

Candice is doing a great job decorating it and making it feel like home. (The townhouse, not the zoo!) Last weekend, my brother and his wife were in Omaha visiting, so we drove up to spend the day with them.
(Kevin and Marian with their darling granddaughter - one of seven grandchildren.)

We had a wonderful visit, and Kevin treated us all to a delicious dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, my favorite!
(Cheesecake Factory, Omaha)

With Kevin's recommendation, I tried their Chris Outrageous Chocolate Cake for the first time.

It was a perfect little day trip and we certainly enjoyed the company and the food, despite the weather. We look forward to seeing Candice, Craig, and Charlotte again soon...over Easter weekend.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Glimpses of Jen's Spring Break

(Before watching this video, pause tunes at bottom of blog.)

Empty TP Rolls

I always heard if you ever become a Girl Scout Leader or a Cub Scout Den Mother you should save everything (empty TP rolls, egg cartons, milk cartons, you name it) because there will come a time when you need them for a kids' craft. Since Brookie is three now and has such advanced fine motor skills, she loves crafts! I decided it was time to use up some of my collection today. After googling images for "crafts made with TP rolls" I found this darling idea from Parents' Magazine. Perfect for Spring!
Isn't it so cute?!!! I didn't find any directions, but it was simple enough to figure it out.

1. First, I placed a rubber band around the cardboard tube (about 1/8 inch from the center) to act as a guide for my pen.
2. Then I drew a line the circumference of the tube and a second one about 1/4 inch from the first.
3. Next, I cut the tube with scissors from the edge just up to the line all the way around. I made snips about 1/4 inch apart, but depending on how wide you want your flower petals, you could adjust this.
4. Repeat on the other side.
5. Finally spread out the petals.
6. The flower can be left natural or painted any color you desire. (Tip: use a very dry paint and brush. My cardboard got a little too limpy.)
7. Stuff the center with crumpled giftwrap tissue or other colored paper.

8. Stick in a skewer for stem (pipe cleaners could work too; I just happened to have skewers on hand).
9. Add a paper leaf if you want and display in a cute vase or container. Voila!
What child wouldn't be proud to take this home? The true test is...can a three year old do it? With a little help from me, Brookie made three more flowers. Not quite magazine photo quality, but pretty darn good. Her favorite parts were gluing on the leaves, crumbling up the paper for flower centers, and filling the vase with Easter grass. She had trouble cutting all the way to the center line, but did a great job overall! She is so proud of herself and loves her flowers.
Happy Spring Mom and Dad!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

OUT with velcro; IN with grommets

Just a little update on the New Kids' Court:
Turns out that self-adhesive velcro isn't so adhesive anymore once it's saturated with rain water. The spring winds and thunder storms did a number on my creation. So, on to plan B....grommets. Grommets were my initial thought, until I decided velcro was easier and more economical. Grommets are definitely the solution; grommets and zip ties.
Here's how they look up close:
I also ordered interlocking foam tiles like these from They cover the concrete patio perfectly and are working out great for a safe, soft, durable, play space.
Photo of final project still to come...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Clothes Thief by TheSn0wSh0w

(Before watching this video, pause tunes at bottom of blog.)
My son, Daniel, and his buddies in BYU's Snow Hall are constantly creating videos for fun. This one took 2nd Place in BYU's Funniest College Videos Competition. Check out more of them on youtube. They are all done by "TheSnOwShOw"...and they make! me! laugh!

p.s. "Two Man Flash Dance" always puts me in a good mood. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011


Guess who dropped in for a visit tonight? Sweet little Olivia - one of my former daycare babies - who moved away six months ago. It always makes my day when she comes back to see me!

Oliva when she first came to my home
Olivia now

She is 23 months old;
Still one and she's potty trained!
She can do a perfect summersault!
She can communicate in clear sentences.
"Shakes her bootie" & does other cool dance moves.
She can hop and jump,and run like a champ.
She is good at puzzles, shapes, and colors.
She gives the best hugs - if you're lucky.
She makes my world better.

Thanks for the Jimmeries; we'll never Fredette it

Sadly BYU basketball is over.
It was the BEST year ever!
Jimmer's 32 wasn't enough last night,
but he is still so ballin'.
Love that kid!
Can't wait to see what the future holds for him!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jimmer those Gators!

Are you ready for this?




This game should be WAY exciting since number 3-Seed BYU will be taking on number 2-seed Florida, and we beat them last season in double overtime. Plus, it's always exciting to watch Jimmer do his thing.

  • Did you know that this is the Cougars' first time in the Sweet Sixteen since the winter of 1980/1981, my freshman year at BYU?
  • Did you know that their current record is 32-4, the best 36-game record in program history and the most wins in a season in school history?
  • Did you know that BYU's .889 winning percentage is also a school record?
  • Did you know that Jimmer leads the nation in scoring at 28.8 points per game and adds 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game? (Actually, he's scored more than 30 points in the last six out of seven games.)
  • Did you know that Jimmer is MWC Player of the Year?
  • Did you know that I think he should be NCAA Player of the Year?


Rebecca Black - Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

(before watching this video, pause my tunes at bottom of blog)

I've seen and heard a lot of criticism about Rebecca Black and her song (FRIDAY). I think she's is a pretty girl with some promising talent. Yes, the lyrics are simple, but it's a very catchy song. She's 13 years old! Most of her fans are probably tweens. This is basically how they talk and what they think about. Besides, remember the huge hit by the Bay City Rollers in the 70's? "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!" (repeat about five times) "Sa-Sa-Sa-Saturday night!" (repeat about four times). Then back to spelling the word "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!" (As if we don't know how to spell?!!!?) "I I I I I've got a date! I I I I I just can't wait!" It's simply a fun song celebrating the weekend--something we practically LIVE for when we are young (and some of us when we are old). I think it's about time we had a song about about Friday, don't you? "Friday! Friday! Gotta' get down on Friday!" One more thing...I find it refreshing to hear a nice, clean, fun song with no inappropriate lyrics. I also like the fact that in this video her clothing basically covers everything that it should. It would be nice to see more of that in the music industry. Hmmm...tomorrow is Friday. Gotta' make my mind up. Which seat can I take?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Now and Then

Did I mention that all four of our kids are attending out-of-state universities? It's amazing the vacant emotions that surface with "empty nesting". I really had no idea! My daycare babies have been a huge blessing. Kids are what I do. I'm pretty darn proud of how mine are turning out.
Now - 2011
(Olathe, KS; the day after David returned from Japan)
Then - 1992
(It's not time to cut the cake yet. Could they possibly get any closer to it? "We're not touchin' it; we're just lookin'.")
Then - 1993
(Jennie, bursting with personality; David, not so much.)
Then - 1994
(Why did we always take pictures in front of Nana & Papa's fireplace?)
Then - 1995
(See? BTW, I love the handholding!)
Then - 1996
(Goofing around on the playground - Atascadero Zoo)
Then - 1996
Feeding the ducks at Waller Park
Then - 1997
(Ready for church - Jennie was always a little mommy.)
Then - 1998
(We support Cub Scouts. Hugs!)
Then - 1999
(First day of school. Sorry about your bangs, Jen. I didn't know any better.)
Then 2000
(Vacationing witout Dad; Avila Beach, CA)
Then - 2001
(Outside our first home in Olathe, KS)
Then 2002
(Alpine Slide; Park City, Utah)
Now again