Easter Week

This Sunday is Palm Sunday.
I love thinking about Easter Week, the Savior's last week.

This is a beautiful video you can watch this Easter Season with your family.

You can follow along each day of Easter Week here.

I put up a post last year of the Bible videos you can watch each day for Easter Week.
Our family likes following along that way.

the Small Seed posted this idea on their blog from Melanie Burk's idea.
You can download the pictures shown below for each day, and some scriptures that go with it, or an activity to. You could put the scriptures in an easter egg for you littles.
Don't make it a huge project. Keep it simple, the blog post has a lot of detail. It's too much for me.
I'm showing it, because I love putting up these pictures on a wall in our home.
The post allows you to download the pictures easily.



Certain Women

She talked about the words 'certain women'
that are mentioned in some scripture verses.
She has passed over those words before.
But recently, in her scripture reading those words 
have jumped out at her.
She talked about the description of 'certain women'.

I can't get the phrase out of my mind.
I love it.

Am I a certain woman?
What do I need to do or change so that I can be one?

Mary Heard his Word - Painting by Walter Rane

 from the scriptures,

"Martha, Martha,
insert your name here,
thou art careful and troubled about
many things;
But ONE thing is needful:"

I loved that too.
These phrases keep running through my mind:

Certain Women &
One thing is Needful. 

Certain Women - Painting by Walter Rane


Spring Decorating Ideas

One of my very favorite things to do is organize and decorate my home.

But, it's really hard to do with kids, kids, budgets, kids, time, kids,
husbands, life, messes, life, and kids, etc.

Wayfair wanted to make it easier for us by making a list of some
current Spring Decorating ideas we can add to our home. 

Just pick 1 of these ideas to add to your home this season.
This makes it easier.
Treat yourself to one of these for Easter, or Mother's Day.
If kids can get jelly beans, then we can get 1 thing to make our house happy.


JoAnna Gaines Stuff

I'm currently reading: The Magnolia Story
It is a good, interesting read. It is inspiring.
Thanks Molly for the book loan.

I'm excited to try this Lemon Pie recipe from JoAnna:

I glanced through their magazine at the grocery store.
I loved it.

Here's the blog post that really got
Chip and JoAnna started with their TV show Fixer Upper:

I thought this was kinda fun stuff to peruse through this weekend.
I haven't watched their show in a long time,
so I'm not burned out on them yet.

Are you?


2017 Valentine's Recap

I hope you've been having a good week!
Sometimes holidays, for moms, can help our week or hurt are week.

No worries if your Valentine's didn't turn out the way you liked this year,
Valentine's comes around again every year.

NieNie posted this song on her blog this week.

I LOVE, LOVE it. It totally made my Valentine week.
I replayed it, and hummed, and sung to it all week.
I love the lyrics, the music, the married singers, etc.

Chris and I had an adult ward Valentine's Dinner last weekend.
Nothing too exciting, but fun to dress up and have a planned date.

Sadie made these cute Valentine's this year.
We all loved how they turned out.
Here is the link if you want to pin the idea to use for next year.
There is a free printable included on the link.
Brandon used window cling Valentines
I got at the store last year on clearance.
Luckily, he was willing to use them for his Kindergarten class.
Tate wanted to do a maze for his Valentine's this year.
He wanted the maze to be really hard. It was.
I'm not even sure he could solve it.
We googled heart mazes online, cut and pasted it onto a document,
and I added the aMAZEing part to it and we printed them out on white cardstock.
Tate folded them in half and attached a pixie straw to it for the candy part.
I told him he should hand out pencils, instead of candy, to do the maze.
He said, " Nah,  somebody else will hand out pencils for their valentine's so I don't need to."
Good point, Tate.
My Valentine, Chris, likes cookies, so I tried to up my cookie baking abilities for Chris this week.
I tried this recipe from browneyedbaker.com
As I was linking you to this recipe I discovered Michelle from browneyedbaker.com has already improved upon this recipe even more with this recipe.
So, now I need to try her updated version. So many cookies to bake, so little time.

The real secret to her cookies was not using all-purpose flour and using cake and bread flours instead.
I'm learning that there is a difference with flours, and it can effect our baking.
I refrigerated my dough for about an hour. I didn't need to do it for 24 hours.
I used milk chocolate and semi-sweet chips in my recipe.

Our Tuesday, Valentine night was little hectic with some meetings both Chris and I had to attend to.
(We had gone out to the ward Valentine earlier in the week, and did lunch that day together).

In the evening, I did a dinner with just the kids.
We did Cupid's Crazy Cafe from an old ward friend.
It was a huge hit and not all that hard.
I just assigned a spaghetti dinner, salad, drink, bread, dessert (the above cookies) and jello
a different name and number from the photo/list below. One of the items was silverware.
The kids had no idea what I had made, and I fed them in a separate room from the kitchen.
They had to choose 2 things first.
My kids could end up with a salad and a cookie, but no fork to eat it with.
Or spaghetti with nothing to eat it with, or just jello and a drink, etc.
All my kids loved it and giggled their way through the whole meal.
Even my teens loved it, which is saying something!
This is a new tradition for sure, they are all requesting it for April Fool's.
We can change it up, by the food we serve.


My Kids Art Gallery Wall

For years I have been saving up some of my kids favorite bright art pieces.
I've always wanted to make a display of their artwork.
After doing some online searching for ideas and some trial and error,
I decided to do an art gallery wall.

I had a bunch of leftover frames I've collected over the years.

I removed the photos in them, and put them in an album.
I removed the glass from the old frames, and spray painted the frames white.
I did this in the spring in my garage. Each frame took 2-3 coats.
Each coat takes 10 min. to dry. It took about 1/2 day in and out of the garage to coat them all.
But, it really didn't take too long.

Most of the frames already had white mats inside the frames
which I think complimented the art better.

I love how it turned out. I didn't work too hard on placing or measuring the art on the wall.

The all white frames and white mats is what made this work.
It unified the wall and made the art POP with my random old frames.
I did add 2-3 elements of some natural wood on the wall to add a little diversity.



What's SAVING me right now

After reading this post about what is saving a fellow blogger through winter, I decided to do a similar post. Thinking about the simple, happy things right now is better for me than focusing on what's driving me nuts.

And I am going NUTS, because I'm a 1st time dog owner of a new puppy.
The small things are saving me and keeping me sane right now!

Here's what's SAVING me now:

The Dog Crate:
With having a new puppy inside because of our cold winters;
being able to crate him as needed is saving me BIG right now.
I believe in the dog crate, yes I do. 

I still love blogs over Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, news, etc.
I check in on my favorites every morning. It makes me happy. I miss the days when blogs were more popular and more women and moms posted. It was so raw, real, interesting and less profit oriented.
Here's a couple of my favorites right now: dandee - emily - barefoot in the kitchen

I like being able to pray everyday to our Heavenly Father. Sometimes my prayers are quick, with lots of pleadings and requests for help. The other day in Sunday School our teacher reminded us how amazing it is that we can talk and communicate to the Supreme Creator of this universe who is listening to everyone's prayers all over the world - 7.5 billion of us. Our Sunday School teacher asked us if we still believe in prayer after putting it in that context. I do. I do believe that he is hears and answers my prayers and your prayers. That saves me every day, every hour.

Easy Dinner Recipes:
I get tired of my same-o, same-o recipes. I'm sure my family does too. The Six Sisters new cookbook called Dinner Made Easy with six sisters' stuff has saved me this winter. The book has similar ingredients I'm used to using, but just gives me some fresh, new ideas to put dinner on the table. I have loved it and my family has enjoyed the meals. Double Bonus!

Oh how I need good tv and movies with great characters, plots, and acting. It really is my therapy to help me survive this life of mine. Here are some of my favorites this winter and how I watched them: Victoria on the PBS tv app. It's on Sunday nights, but I prefer watching it on the tv app so I can watch it on my own time without kid interruptions. Crown on Netflix. The Lemony Snicket Series on Netflix for my kids. I need good shows for my kids to watch too. That saves me as well.

Sunday Night Treats:
I like to bake a treat on Sunday if possible, maybe this helps be gear up for Monday better. I tried Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake last week. I'm hoping to try Vanilla Pudding Cake next. 

Hand Held Milk Frother:
I got this little tool for myself for Christmas and I LOVE it.
I like to microwave milk for about 90 sec. and then add flavored syrup or hot chocolate mix to it.
Then I use my hand held frother, and it makes it all frothy and creamy, and it really does make it taste better. YUM!


Katie Reads

I've never been much of a reader. But, I've always wanted to be one.
I tend toward movies instead.

A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to join a woman's book club.
I was hesitant to join, since I don't read much, and wasn't sure if I would be a good participant.
Thankfully, we were still invited if we hadn't read the book.

Over time the book club has gotten me reading! (Insert Clap Emojis here.)

Being around other women who were reading, got me to find books that interested me.
The women share my same values and morals,
so it was easy to get some good, clean books to read.

Here are some books that I have read and enjoyed this past year:

When Breath Becomes Air: An interesting read about a neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with cancer, and his words as he knows he is dying. An interesting perspective of a dr. who becomes the patient.
Not a long read, not super depressing - just interesting.

The Boys in the Boat: I loved this book about some college boys who were on the rowing club in the Seattle area during WW II times, and how they miraculously managed to get make the US Olympic team, and won the Gold in Germany, during Hitler's time in history. A great underdog story. They were on the same US olympic team from the main character from the book Unbroken.

Counting by 7's: This is a pre-teen book for even older elementary students. But, I loved it!
The adult characters are interesting, and in some ways not really going anywhere in their lives, but a young orphan girl turns things around for all of them. Great story of the human spirit, serving others, and becoming better ourselves. Fabulous story with uplifting message.

The Lifeboat: This is kinda like a Titanic story. It's the story of when strangers are put on a lifeboat together, after their large ship is sinking. They are on the lifeboat for days together, and it's their moral, and ethical survival story as they are out in the middle of the ocean, with no way of knowing how long they will live or if they will be saved.  Great character development.

Women and the Priesthood: Sherri Dew a life-long, female member of the LDS church has never married, and has served in high leadership positions within the church. She has had many questions from women about the priesthood, and being a single sister has had to understand how the priesthood is part of her life. She has studied this topic prayerfully, and scripturally for years, and shares her insights and answers in this book. A great read for all of women to understand the priesthood better. Non-fiction

Unbroken: the Young Adult version: I chose to read the young adult version of this book, to avoid some of the intense scenes that are part of this character's life. I also wanted my kids to be able to read this book as well. I did enjoy this book and the story. Louis Zamperini is a fascinating individual. It was well worth reading about his courage, choices, and utter will to survive.

The Light Between the Oceans: I loved this story. Great characters again. This story makes you really think about what you would do if you were in a similar situation. One of the smaller characters in the book ends of being one of the strongest characters in the book, that teaches us all an important lesson when asked how he can be so happy when others treat him so badly. The movie was good too! Non-fiction

Martha Washington: This is a young adult, smaller biography, but a good read about Martha.
It tells more of her story before she was married to George Washington. It shares her love of family, her children, and grandchildren, and the interesting trials she endured throughout her life. A good reminder that women have the same fears and worries no matter the time of life your are living.


We finished the Book of Mormon

A couple of years ago. I don't know how long now, too long really.
(I should have written down the date.)
Our family started reading The Book of Mormon to finish it.

We used a similar chart like this one to help move us along.
I liked this reward incentive because it was for each book,
instead of just doing one reward for the whole book.
It helped encourage us better.

We weren't the best at it every day. We tried though. Sometimes each member of the family would read a verse or two. Other times one person would read a few verses. Sometimes we listened to it with our devices. Other times we even watched a video. We forgot where we were a lot. That means we read double some times, or probably skipped some parts.

The point is we were consistent.

The kids were in the room with us, not always sitting still,
maybe never sitting still, or even behaving for that matter.

But we did it, We FINISHED!
That was a great feeling. Really Good. 

The quote below and others like it, are what encouraged me to keep trying to finish the book with our family, even when it was challenging at times for sure: 
(The quote is from Elder K. Brett Nattress from his Oct. General Conference talk, 

"As further evidence to help you understand the challenge my parents faced in raising our family, let me tell you about our family scripture reading. Each morning, my mother read the Book of Mormon to us during breakfast. During this time, my older brother, Dave, and I would sit quietly but irreverently. To be completely honest, we weren’t listening. We were reading the print on the cereal boxes.
Finally, one morning, I decided to square up with my mother. I exclaimed, “Mom, why are you doing this to us? Why are you reading the Book of Mormon every morning?” I then made a statement that I am embarrassed to admit to. In fact, I can’t believe I actually said it. I told her, “Mom, I am not listening!”
Her loving response was a defining moment in my life. She said, “Son, I was at a meeting where President Marion G. Romney taught about the blessings of scripture reading. During this meeting, I received a promise that if I would read the Book of Mormon to my children every day, I would not lose them.” She then looked me straight in the eyes and, with absolute determination, said, “And I will not lose you!”
Her words pierced my heart. Notwithstanding my imperfections, I was worth saving! She taught me the eternal truth that I am a son of a loving Heavenly Father. I learned that no matter what the circumstance, I was worth it. This was a perfect moment for an imperfect little boy."


2016 - Year in Review

January was mostly uneventful, except I caught pneumonia for the first time.
It lasted most of the winter for me.
The family carried on as usual while Chris did a great job holding up the fort.

February the kids made homemade valentines.
I  traveled to Oregon for my annual Girls weekend with my mom and 4 sisters.
Even though I was still feeling under the weather, I had a great trip.
Lindy and Kyle both competed in a National History Day project.
Kyle's topic was the Pioneers of Flight and Lindy did the enviornmentalist, Rachel Carson.

In March we got a new swing set for our backyard. We traveled to Utah for the Provo, LDS temple open house and we hiked Y mount for the first time as a family. We got a new piano.
Tate played Charbonneau, a French explorer, in a school play. 
Sadie dressed up like Sally for Dr. Seuss's birthday.
Tate also participated in his school's STEM night and made a paper airplane experiment/poster board, where we won a prize! We spent part of our Easter weekend in Sun Valley, where the kids were part of a 5,000 easter egg hunt.

April was Brandon's first time playing soccer, and Chris was his coach.
Lindy competed in the State National History Day. Tate participated in the Pinewood Derby, his last one, and he played a giant recorder for his school concert. Lindy and Kyle did track, where Kyle tried triple jump, and got his personal best in the mile at 6:26. We celebrated Chris' birthday.

Sadie turned 8 in May and was baptized. We celebrated with both sides of the family on Mother's Day weekend. It was wonderful. Sadie also participated in her clogging spring recital. We planted our garden, the first time in our new home/yard. Brandon took swim lessons, Kyle flag football, and Tate gymnastics. We also ran in the bubble run as a family, lots of fun.

In June we went cherry picking out in Emmett for the first time. Our ward was divided, and we were put in the new Mason Creek Ward. I was called to Activity Days and Chris was put in the Sunday School Presidency. The kids ran in the Capital Class in downtown Boise, always a fun tradition. We camped at Warm Lake. Tate started taking Banjo lessons and Kyle did a rock climbing camp.

For July, Chris' mom boat was on it's last legs, and it stopped working in the middle of the Reservoir.
We rowed and rowed until it got dark. Luckily we made it to the road, and Chris was able to get back to our car. The next morning Chris was able to reload the boat. It was repaired once again. Kyle discovered his love of fishing this summer. Sadie took a cheer class. Chris and I saw Matt Damon up close when he came to Boise for his new Bourne movie. It was exciting!

We had a family reunion on the Oregon Coast with my parents and all my sibling's families. It was great fun. We love the Coast. Then just our little family went to Seattle. We all loved Seattle. We went to the aquarium, the space needle, the gum wall, pike's place public market, rode a ferry, saw the Locks, ate chinese noodles, went to the Chihully Glass museum, and watched a Mariner's baseball game. Lindy started driving this month and learned to play the ukulele. The kids also started school at the end of August. 

We visited Sun Valley in September. Lindy started on her high school cross-country team. She made Varsity as a freshman. Kyle became a Life Scout. Lindy sang the national anthem at a school basketball game with 3 other choir members. Chris and I went to the wedding of one of his Dental School friend's daughters. Which means our friends have kids old enough to get married. Yikes.

Chris and I went to Denver for a dental conference. We heard Malala speak. It was fabulous.
I had another girls weekend with my sisters at Sally's house in Evanston, WY. It was another great weekend. Tate turned 11 and celebrated at pumpkin patch called the Farmstead. Tate also got a pair of Heely's (shoes with wheels and drove me crazy skating in the house.) Kyle turned 13 and he celebrated at an indoor arcade place. For Halloween Kyle was a lumber jack, Tate was Tape Face from America's got Talent, Sadie was a witch, and Brandon was an army man. Our stake was divided and we became part of the Victory Meridian Stake.

Tate earned his scouting Arrow of Light. I took a calligraphy class. Sadie sung in primary ward choir number. We went to FREEZING BSU home game. We voted. Nothing more to say about that.
Thanksgiving was spent at Grandma Dianne's which is always fun. Good Food, games and dance party with glow lights!

We celebrated all month. We started with doing the church's 25 ways in 25 days to do acts of service to remember the Savior all month. We didn't do something everyday but it was a nice way to keep the true meaning of Christmas in our home. Kyle went scuba diving for scouts and loved it. We went skiing to Tamarack as a family a couple days before Christmas with my brother Steven. The snow started to fall this month, and it hasn't stopped. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner at Molly's house with Sally's family. We had Grandma Peggy's annual Christmas party at Cousin Vin and Dusanka's house. Lindy and I sang in the ward Christmas morning sacrament meeting. We celebrated Brandon turning 6 at Jump Time and Lindy turning 15 just at home. We told the kids after Christmas we were planning to get a new dog in January. Oh boy.


Happy 2017!

Ready or Not here comes 2017!

I hope you had a good holiday.

Chris and I enjoyed this movie, Lion, starring Nicole Kidman over the holiday.

I also loved the Star Wars Rogue 1 movie, which surprised me.
The characters were excellent,
and it might be my favorite of all of the Star Wars movies.

I'm listening to this new song from John Mayer over and over again,
called Love on the Weekend.

I tried making this breakfast casserole.
I loved it.

Today the kids start school again. Hooray! Christmas was fun,
but I'm glad to get the house back again.
Today I'm calendaring, and making a to-do list.

I don't know if I will get the house back again,
though, because come this weekend.
We will have a new dog.
Our 1st dog.

After a lot of thought and decision,
our family has decided to try life with a dog.
This could be our best or worst decision.
We will have to let time and experience decide.

Lindy needs a running partner,
my 3 boys need an active playmate,
and Sadie needs a pet to snuggle
and to love.
Chris grew up with dogs, he's content to give it a Go!
I did not grow up with dogs, so this is a labor of love for my family.

We will be getting a Brittany puppy that is about 9-10 weeks old.
Wish me and all of us LUCK!

(The one we are getting is a boy that is sitting on top of the army blanket.)


25 Ways in 25 Days

My kids and I love counting the days until Christmas!
Usually, we have lots of ways we do this with countdown chains from school,
chocolate advents from Grandma, and our elf, etc.

I like to prepare an advent for our family about Jesus Christ
- his life, his stories, his miracles, his service, etc.
It helps us stay focused on what matters most during this Season.

Our church has prepared an advent reflecting this very thing.
This year all over the world, no matter your age,
your faith or religious beliefs,
you can do small things to help serve others.

It's beautiful and simple.

You can do one thing each day, or just do a few of things
throughout the month. No need to go overboard, or to feel guilt, or stress.

It starts tomorrow on Dec. 1st.
It will help you enjoy Christmas better, in a more meaningful way.

Go to this link to print out a pdf of the calendar, so you can follow along.

The idea is to #lighttheworld with small acts of service.

This initiative will help each of us remember Jesus Christ,
and more importantly come to know him.

This website will give you more information.
Share your ideas on social media using the #LIGHTtheWORLD


Thanksgiving Family TV Time

There are a couple of great shows coming up to watch on Thanksgiving Night as a family.

PBS is showing a new movie of Anne of Green Gables.
Check your local listings for the time.

BYUTV is showing a 1 hour movie called Winter Thaw based on Leo Tolstoy's short story called, "Martin the Cobbler".  It looks excellent!
The movie will be shown on Thanksgiving night as well.
You can watch the trailer on Facebook.

Happy TV Watching!