Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stone Mountain

On Memorial Day, we went to Stone Mountain. We have taken the kids to the Laser show before, but this time we decided to do the hike up the mountain before watching the Laser show. I have done this with Matt before multiple times, but never with our kids, so I was pretty sure there would be some whining and complaining about walking straight up a tall stone mountain. We had a couple of cousins with us too and I have to say that they all made it up to the top without complaining and without asking for help. I was impressed.

We tried to do a top of the mountain shot- but there were a few kids who were really nervous next to the fence and then trying to get 5 kids to look and smile at the camera at the same time, proved to be impossible. But at least we have a picture to remember it by!

I decided I would take a few pics of individuals too. There is Matt.
and Bans. All a little red in the face, well not so much Matt. It was nice and hot. And humid.
The rest of the individuals resisted a personal portrait.
When we made it to the lawn, some other cousins were there waiting for us and saving us some seats (Along with their parents, of course). The kids danced to the music to pass the time until it was dark.
Chicken dance and Isaac's head
The next bunch of pictures were a few that I tried to get of the cousins doing a Congo line. It was pretty funny to watch. They were having fun too. Obviously, I don't have a very hi-tech camera because all of these are blurry, but you get the point. They are still fun shots.

We had a great time. The laser show has improved quite a bit since we were last there and I really liked the Memorial Day tribute/fireworks that celebrated our veterans.

It was a nice night!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I used to think that I didn't like gardening. My grandpa used to make us pick and pick and pick and pick things out of his garden when I was a kid and it kind of set me up for having a grudge against gardening.
Dumb, very dumb of me.
Now I feel so blessed that my grandparents and my parents always had such a huge garden because as a child growing up, we had so much fresh produce and it was delicious. Store bought veggies and fruits just aren't the same. They don't taste as good.
I love fruits and veggies and I know that played a part in it.

Anyway, my dad planted me a garden when he was here. He did the hard part. He tilled, fertilized, bought all the plants and planted everything for me.
All I have to do is weed, water and harvest.
And what a harvest we are having already.

We have had large amounts of green and red leaf lettuce- our salad on Sunday was from the red leaf lettuce pictured above and it was soo good. My neighbor gave us one of her green peppers too.

We enjoyed our first onion, zucchini and large amounts of swiss chard for dinner last night.
There are about 10 more zucchini that are almost ready to be picked.
I'm over my grudge of gardening and have plans for an even bigger one next year.

It's just too much fun eating the food you grow and it tastes soo good.

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a 'healing' cures our illness or lifts our burden. But sometimes we are 'healed' by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

"All that will come may be clasped in the arms of Jesus. All souls can be healed by His power. All pain can be soothed. In Him, we can find rest unto our souls. Our mortal circumstances may not immediately change, but our pain, worry, suffering, and fear can be swallowed up in His peace and healing balm."
- Elder Kent F. Richards

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"True, enduring happiness, with the accompanying strength, courage, and capacity to overcome the greatest difficulties, will come as you center your life in Jesus Christ. Obedience to His teachings provides a secure ascent in the journey of life. That takes effort. While there is no guarantee of overnight results, there is the assurance that, in the Lord's time, solutions will come, peace will prevail, and happiness will be yours.

The challenges you face, the growth experiences you encounter, are intended to be temporary scenes played out on the stage of a life of continuing peace and happiness. Sadness, heartache, and disappointment are events in life. It is not intended that they be the substance of life. I do not minimize how hard some of these events can be. When the lesson you are to learn is very important, trials can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining focus of everything you do. Your life can and should be wondrously rewarding.
-Richard G. Scott

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Braves win the Championship Game!!

We just got home from a very exciting game!
Jonah's team was definitely the underdog, having been beaten by the Dodgers twice during the regular season. But, the Braves came out strong and took the lead and held on for the win!

Jonah's team had some really talented players, but there were also a few that were not as talented. His coaches were so great though. They let everyone play and were so encouraging. Very classy. They never let Jonah's team taunt the other teams and they never said anything bad about the other teams. They were just so inspirational and I'm so glad that Jonah had them for coaches.

Sometimes the good guys really do come out on top!
Go Braves!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Compliments and Positive Words

Yesterday I had the opportunity to watch the sweetest little girl, who happens to be Savannah's best friend. They play so well together and it is just an absolute joy to have them together.

I was doing dishes and I overheard this little girl say some of the cutest things. She was being totally sincere.
When she and Savannah were playing, she just said out of the blue, "Savannah you are so pretty." She repeated that a couple times throughout the day.
Then, when Matt was getting ready for work, he came into the room to say goodbye to them and she said, "I like this room- it smells so nice and clean."

She complimented me as well and it made me think about how compliments and positive words really make a difference in a persons attitude. This little girl is one of the happiest people around. She is always smiling and I have to say, that being around her, makes all the happiness and positive feelings completely contagious. We all felt happier and started saying nice things to one another.

It's so much better to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. And which ever of those we choose to do, can be done so easily with the words we decide to use.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Beatles Montage

A couple of weeks ago, a flyer came home from school about the opportunity to be in the end of the year "Beatles Montage", song and dance thingie.
It was open to all grades, so I asked the kids if they wanted to participate and they both decided it would be a fun activity. I don't particularly like the Beatles, but I knew it would be fun for them. The kids were divided into groups and practiced different songs. The picture above is Jonahs group singing "Drive my Car".

I had to check the calendar and make sure there wouldn't be any conflicts with baseball since we were already knee deep in that and it all looked like it was going to work out.
Until Jonah's baseball tournament last Saturday (which I thought would be an all-day tourney). They won a very exciting game and then made it to the semi-finals, with their game being tonight at 6 pm. Too bad the Beatles performance was also tonight at 6:30. Jonah had a major part in one of the songs, so we decided he would do the Beatles thing and then we would high tail it to the game. (Too bad it takes 25 minutes to get to the field from our house- the school is just a few minutes from our house).

Anyway, we made it through the performance and jumped in the car and drove off to the game. We got there right as the game was over and they were having the end of the season pizza party at the picnic tables. Jonah's team played the only undefeated team in the semi-finals, so we guessed that they probably lost, since earlier in the season we lost to the Pirates and tied them.
Wrong!!!! They won! Jonah's team made it to the championship game! Yay!!
Anyway, back to the Beatles thing.
Like I explained before, my camera is not the greatest, so these pictures aren't very good. But, up above is a side shot of Ryanne performing in the "Octopus Garden".
At the end of the program, all the kids performed- "All You Need is Love" and "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-dah". Jonah was Desmond, so that is him up in front of the crowd with suspenders.
After the show, we took a couple pictures in front of the Beatles stage.
They had fun!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A phrase from this hymn that we sang today, really struck me.
Here is the verse.

"As now we praise thy name with song,
The blessings of this day
Will linger in our thankful hearts,
And silently we pray
For courage to accept thy will,
To listen and obey.
We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full.
We’ll walk thy chosen way."

Do you pray for the courage to accept God's will? Do I?

I think it is hard sometimes to understand why things happen the way they do.
Life can be full of sad, hard, unexpected turns.
I often try and try and try to understand why these sorts of things happen. What is the point?
Why does it have to be this way?
I wrestle with it in my mind and my heart aches. Tears fall and it is hard.

I need to make a better effort to have a "thankful heart", which I believe will lead me to
pray "For courage to accept thy will".

Because for someone like me, it isn't easy. at. all.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Random Update about Life's Activities

Sometimes I wonder why I even have a camera. I am the worst at taking pictures. So much has happened in the past month or so and I have failed to get almost any of it on film. Plus, I think my camera is on its last leg. It is getting very temperamental. It only turns on and off when it feels like it. So, that is a whole other story.

Here are some of our happenings in April and May:

* My parents came to visit for 1 week together, during my kids Spring Break; my mom stayed an extra 2 weeks (I didn't take a single picture of my parents with my children- UGH!!!)

*My dad planted me a garden in the backyard. I told him if he planted it- I would take care of it. Currently, I have swiss chard, green and red leaf lettuce, carrots, onions, some green beans, zucchini, summer squash, green and red peppers, grape tomatoes and plum tomatoes, and a japanese eggplant growing like mad. The okra and cucumber didn't make it :(

* A hand weight fell off our 6 ft. pantry, directly onto my foot, smooshing my second toe. I couldn't walk on that foot for quite a while and even now, 4-5 weeks later, the blackness of my toenail and the surrounding area makes people squeemish. Who knew you actually needed those darn toes?

*Matt and I took a quick trip to Utah for a friend's wedding. I found cheap tickets and my mom extended her ticket so she could keep the children. Later, I realized why the tickets were cheap. We came back on Easter Sunday, on a 6 am flight.

* We have discovered and are currently, still discovering, that when you have 2 children playing baseball and Dad participating on 2 separate softballs teams, you spend the majority of your life at a baseball field. For the past 2 months we have had a baseball game at least 3/4 nights a week and at least 3 on every Saturday. Crazy.

* The Atlanta Temple Open House and Dedication took place. (Once again- where was my camera???!!!!!) I kept the kids out of school and we were able to take grandma & grandpa (My parents) with us. I also was able to go back and take my friend through the open house with me. It was a really neat experience. I'm so glad we have a temple closer to us that we can frequent more often.

* We picked strawberries at Washington Farms

* We had our dear friends come and stay the weekend with us

* The kids are participating in a Beatles Montage singing/dancing end-of-school presentation and have been practicing after school for a couple of weeks.

* I didn't feel good for 3 days. Too bad it was the week that I was making a wedding cake, catering a lunch, and making cupcakes for a birthday party.

* Ryanne started to feel sick the day after I started to feel better. I thought it was the same thing I had. It wasn't. She has strep throat.

*School gets out in 7 days!! (7 School Days!!) I don't know who is more excited- me or the kids!!

* We finally made the Bunny Buns that Ryanne requested that we make for Easter. My mom was going to make them the weekend she was here with the kids, but it didn't happen. We made them yesterday since Ry was home from school and for once in my life- I took pictures to prove it.
Ryanne wants to know when we are going to make them again. Ha. It was really fun. I let the girls mix up the bread dough and knead it and then we all got to shape them. They were really yummy and it made a ton of bunnies!! I will include the recipe at the bottom of the page with the few changes we made. They are basically just a cuter version of an orange roll.

Jonah made me the cutest Mother's Day breakfast. It was so fun. He spelled Love with Cheerios, but they moved, so you can't see that here. Ha ha. So cute.
The wedding cake I made. It was really nerve-wrecking and I wasn't very happy with the outcome and of course, my camera was having fits, so I didn't even know if I would get a picture of it.

Some cupcake toppers I made. Those, I absolutely love.

Until next time.

Bunny Buns

from The Friend Magazine
my changes in RED

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup SKIM milk, warmed not quite to boiling

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter never shortening

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

5 1/2 cups flour, sifted

Glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup hot water, 1 teaspoon butter

Orange glaze- 2 cups powdered sugar, fresh orange juice -enough to make a glaze (I didn't measure), fresh orange peel

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.

  2. Sprinkle yeast in the warm water and set aside.

  3. In another bowl, blend milk, sugar, shortening, and salt. Cool until lukewarm, then add eggs, water with yeast, orange juice, and orange peel.

  4. Stir in flour a few cups at a time to make a soft dough. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  5. Knead dough 5–10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic. I had to add extra flour to get the dough to come together. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover bowl with a clean towel and put it in a warm place. Let dough rise for 2 hours, or until double in size. Punch dough down and let stand for 10 minutes.

  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into strips 1/2 inch wide and 14 inches long. Roll between hands into rounded snake shapes. Cut one strip into pieces 1/2 inch long, and roll into balls.

  7. Place one long piece of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Place one end of the strip over the other to make a loop; bring the end that is underneath up and cross it over the other end. Place a ball of dough on top of the bottom loop.

  8. Cover bunnies and let rise in a warm place for 45–60 minutes, until nearly double in size. Bake at 375ºF (190ºC) for 12–15 minutes.

  9. For the glaze, stir powdered sugar, water, and butter together. Frost bunnies with the glaze while they are still warm.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird

That is a mockingbird. I really didn't know what one looked like.

I thought I didn't like this book. I don't know why. Heather kept telling me it was her favorite. I must have had some bad memory of it from high school or something, but I finally gave it another chance a couple of months ago because my local book club was reading it and I wanted to participate. I love it. It is so good. I could go on forever about why I love it, but I won't.

Here are a few of my fave quotes.

"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions...

but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11, spoken by the character Atticus

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do." ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11, spoken by the character Atticus

"So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses.... That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children." ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 16, spoken by the character Atticus

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
To Kill a Mockingbird
Atticus Finch to daughter Scout, Chapter 3

That is all for today