Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Britton has been asking for this Hedbanz game forever. On Christmas eve, as I was coming downstairs after putting Ashlynn to bed, this was the scene. I BURST OUT laughing:) It is kind of a silly/dumb game, but funny. The Hedbanz on everyone's heads are definitely good for a laugh.

This Christmas I did an AWFUL job taking pictures. Christmas morning I was just too involved with kids that the camera wasn't thought about. We did manage to snap a quick one as we were running (literally) out the door to church.

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is when we do the Nativity. We have this program written with the scriptures from Luke, with songs in between. The kids' choices of costumes this year cracked me up. The baby Jesus could use some work. Ashlynn felt her new LaLaLoopsy was a perfect choice however.

I especially LOVED when the ANGEL appeared to the shepherds & they were sore afraid.

One day, when Ashlynn came across the Bass Pro Shop add, this tent was in it. From that day on, she has been so happy that Santa was going to bring her THAT tent. I thought it was kind of a weird idea. Santa, however, listened to the child. Wise choice. SHE LOVES IT!!!! She wants to sleep in it every night & plays in it constantly.

This is the most amazing Christmas break. It has been near 50 degree temps almost everyday. It was warm enough the other day that Alyssa took Ashlynn to the park to play. The boys play football outside everyday. The boys are praying for snow. (Santa brought them snowboards. So snow would be useful). I however will take this weather any day. I am LOVING IT:)

Friday, December 16, 2011


Pretzel Making
This project is NOT so fun with a 3 year old--UNLESS, of course, you ask the 3 year old:) I guess in the grand scheme of things, that's what matters most anyways. I quickly realized that I was in WAY OVER my head with Ashlynn & SPRINKLES. I quickly put away the chocolate, sprinkles, & pretzels. I let Ashlynn dip a few pretzels and I then put it all away. Ashlynn was happy & I will be happy when I get to make them while she is sound in her bed:)



(They make us forget the stressful strain of the moment and remember the fairy tale:)
Luckily my mind works the same way LOL
SO on this day I truly complained. I was so bugged about cleaning the kitchen when I was cleaning it. (AJ did help, but her clean is a little different from mine :) I was bugged that we used 3 batches of ingredients to get 1 batch of cookies. I was irritated that my plans were put on hold for the evening because I had to help with this project that wasn't even mine. Yes, I sound like an AWFUL person. Then I look at these pictures a week later. By then, I have forgotten the stuff I wrote above and write what the pictures make me remember--I was not bugged at all...
I LOVE how this month is so full of baking & crafting. The other day, Alyssa's pregnant English teacher was craving sugar cookies. Being the gem she is, Alyssa decided to come home & make her those cookies. I had spent the day shining the kitchen and the real estate appraiser was coming, so I told her NO:( The next day she asked, can I make them today? I reluctantly said YES. You see, I have made sugar cookies many times. I know the MESS they make. I didn't want my kitchen messy so soon after I deep cleaned it.

After 2 batches of MESSED UP cookies, I decided I had better find out why her cookies were NOT turning out. I am still not sure. Perhaps it was some unseen force or freak of nature or bad karma- wanting to TOTALLY destroy my clean kitchen. I entered my now messy kitchen, looked at these 2 girls' happy faces, listened to the Christmas music in the background & HAPPILY helped put together a batch that worked. I also taught Alyssa a few tips on sugar cookie making. Then I just took in the moment.

I know these pictures probably all look the same to everyone except ME. I, however, love how involved each one is. I love the care Alyssa is putting into something she is doing for a pregnant teacher who is craving cookies. I Love the joy of the moment that is in Ashlynn's eyes.
The kitchen cleaned up quick enough-Truthfully the mess was so worth the captured moments (;
I love that Alyssa wanted to do cookies so I can check that off my Christmas to-do list early this month:) I Love the special feeling that feels the air with the magic of Christmas!

I have found this adorable Mac-n-Cheese only at Target--So worth a trip to the store, don't ya think?

Watchamacallit JARS

I LOVE this website. I had decided to do these jars just for fun. However, I could never find a convenient time to do them. I decided to make them a project for the younger kids to do while the older kids were gone. They LOVED it (the jars, not the kids being gone). I thought they did a pretty darn good job.

These are the finished products.
Peppermint krispies

That same day we became BORED yet again. So when the home teachers called to say they were coming the following day, we decided to make them a treat. I thought this
recipe looked pretty tasty. It's also a really easy, fun recipie to have the kids help with. (FYI... we kept getting bored due to the fact we were home without a car. J.D. was hunting. the other car was in the shop & it was freezing outside. We r not usually bored so often. It turned out to b a great day)

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Every night before Ashlynn will go to sleep she Must here the "Temple song." Every Monday night she begs to sing the "Temple song." Around when Ashlynn turned 3 my sister Trisha was getting married in the Idaho Falls Temple. My sister Jana made Ashlynn an adorable little dress for her birthday she was so EXCITED to wear it & has called it her "Temple dress" since that day. Ashlynn LOVED waiting with TONS of family & friends for Trisha to come out of the Temple. She has had a LOVE for the Temple ever since that day. The other day when my visiting teacher brought her home from playing she mentioned how Ashlynn & Alexa were packing up & pretending to go to the Temple. I thought that was ADORABLE.
Ashlynn is always telling us how she just wants to go to the Temple so when I found this cute craft on this website I wanted to make it for her for Christmas. I think she will LOVE it. Thanks to my Awesome husband I was able to get the wood cut out & the picture on straight. I LOVE how willing he is to help me with all crazy projects I come up with:)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


The other night for Family Home Evening, I thought it would be fun to make the Nativity paper dolls I found on this website. The first 10 minutes were SUPER fun. The kids were smiling the atmosphere was happy. We were in what you would call a "LEAVE IT TO BEAVER" moment. A MOMENT is about all it lasted. So as kids are starting to get on each others nerves I'm thinking "LORI FIX THIS". Keep the moment. It was NOT to be:( I sent J.D. to the store to get treats. By the time he returns, 1/2 the kids have left and the other 1/2 are complaining they hate to color. I colored on a face as all the children laughed and ask where I received my skills :) Daxon fixed most the faces.He draws faces very well. Daxon also colored the manger & I must say he took great care in making sure it was JUST RIGHT. We called all the kiddos back to the kitchen to finish up the project & glue on all the final touches. It was fun but I think we will leave it for a more crafty family next time:)
Alyssa's favorite time of the evening
Alyssa-Mom what are you doing?
Mom-Coloring Christmas lights
Alyssa-Mom The Nativity did not have Christmas lights:)

SO we went to get a tree the other night. The kids are SO very excited. we get to the store & I don't really love any of the trees. I suggest we wait & go cut one down the next day. They are on a MISSION & want one TONIGHT!!!! SO we go to Lowes it is so dark we can't see them very well. This adventure that is suppose to be exciting & fun. Due to me wanting a tree that looks a certain way is turning out NOT SO FUN;(
Riley from the back of the car says, "YA know when I have kids I am going to make this fun... I am going to let my kids pick out WHATEVER tree they want & decorate it however they want." We went back to the first store they picked out the TALLEST tree they could find )that was the only criteria) :) and they were HAPPY as could be & we were on our way. Daxon did most the lights & the kids all loved just throwing ornaments wherever they wanted & Riley was right==it was the funnest we have ever had decorating a tree!

Sunday Entertainment
Sunday Ashlynn was so bored, as were the boys, so I decided to do the what I call "POOR MAN" gingerbread houses. It was great & no one seemed to care that it was whatever I could find in the cupboard & NOT candy. Ashlynn thought she was in HEAVEN. She actually made 2 of them. it kept her entertained for at least an hour & a half. I loved it because I didn't feel bad trowing it away the next day & I kinda don't love having the ones with candy lying around my house all season long cluttering up the place. I guess you could say it was a win win.

Love this BOOK

Checked this out at the library. If you haven't read it & want to laugh you should get it. It is ADORABLE & so funny yet thoughtful at the same time. LOVED IT!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Over Thanksgiving weekend we had dinner at some friends house & had a great time. They are the type of people I LOVE being around in hopes that their goodness will permeate me somewhat & I will somehow become more like them:) We skipped all the shopping on Black Friday which I think I will NEVER EVER do again. Stuff costs too much at regular price!!!! We left early Friday and headed to Omaha.

Ashlynn having a preschool Thanksgiving party.

On our way out the door to stake conference I was feeling overwhelmed & frankly NOT in the mood to go. I didn't want to be out in the hall with Ashlynn constantly & it just sounded like
A LOT of work. A few months ago I bought this reverence book & Ashlynn LOVES it. It has helped also as we talk during the week about how to behave in church. Well on the way out the door I had an idea take a string & fruit loops for Ashlynn to string. (I wonder where that thought came from:) It turned our BRILLIANT!!!! She literally put fruit loops on that string for the first hour & a half. So if you have a stake conference coming up remember your string & fruit loops:)
P.S. The meetings were wonderful & I left very happy that I was able to be apart of them!

Love the sweats with the shirt BUT I REALLY LOVE these BOYS:)

Bass pro shop is tons of fun this time of year. On the weekends it has lots of fun things going on Alyssa was such a big helper with Ashlynn writing a letter to Santa.
Loved the ones that adults left behind one the table kinda funny.

The gingerbread houses at the Mormon trail center I must say are AMAZING!!!!! LOVED this one it pulled at my heartstrings.

Britton loves having his picture taken. The other boys you don't see much that is because 1 they NEVER stop moving & 2 they HATE it:)

This is my friend Brenda & her 2 little girls. We met them at the zoo. I haven't seen her in about 20 years. We Loved getting to hang out with her and her family. Ashlynn loved having some little girls around.
At least we have 2 girls who will let me take pictures. Our boys are like
It was a great weekend. ALREADY Can't wait for Christmas break!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

I was out shopping and the kids &
Jers made this funny movie to wish you &
yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The other day I was on facebook & someone had posted this quote. I LOVE IT!!! I might would change the words "this world has to give." to say "that God has to give." Nevertheless, I love the quote. It made me think about how blessed my life is because I am a daughter of such an elect lady. My life CONTINUES to be blessed EVERY day because I am JoAnne's daughter-even though she was taken by the cruelty of cancer over 8 years ago. I cherish the fact that I get to be the mother of 2 beautiful daughters that fill my life with joy every single day.

I often hear moms complain about teenagers. Although they have their moments(at times many), having a teenage daughter is AWESOME!!!! I have someone to go to Broadway shows with who gets as EXCITED as I do. I have someone who wants to watch shows like Monte Carlo with me and I can blame the fact that we are seeing it on their, not my own, LOVE for younger movies. I have someone to talk to who definitely LOVES to talk as much, OR MORE, than I do. That is hard to come by. :)

I LOVE that ASHLYNN is still home. I think I cried all day the day she started preschool. It was a wake-up call that my life is changing stages WAY toooo fast. I only have 2 more years of a kiddo at home & then they will all be at school all day everyday. That makes me want to throw-up. Not that some days I don't rejoice as they walk out the door. I do. In fact, most days as Britton, being the last one to leave, walks out the door, Ashlynn & I crank up the tunes & do a HAPPY dance. But still we are SUPER-elated for them to return 8 hours later:)

I LOVE that Alyssa finally got a sister. I cannot imagine life without sisters nor, would I want to .

I LOVE how with girls, when they are little, you get to play dress up & have little tea parties.

Then they grow up and you still get to play dress up, but you send them off to real parties. That is a little scarier :0

Right now, the thing I LOVE about Ashlynn is how EVERY morning, as she comes downstairs, she acts as if she hasn't seen me for years. She runs too me with her high pitched voice, "MOM," and gives me a HUGE hug-it's priceless. I Love how excited she gets about the little details of life that we seem to miss as we get older. Her age is such a blast. I LOVE how Alyssa is so attached to her phone that I can get ANY room cleaned, keep grades up, and get good behavior just by threatening to take it away:) . What a great and powerful tool we as parents have in today's world. I LOVE that Alyssa is so into doing her Personal Progress right now. She is on fire with it. We are having to force her to put it away to go to bed or go do her jobs. Not a bad thing to have to force your kid away from. Today I am thankful for my daughters. Thank You Heavenly Father for sending them to me!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The other day a lady at the gym mentioned a trail she had been riding out in Adel & how beautiful it was. I am a sucker for that kind of stuff. Partly why I LOVE Iowa so much in the Fall it is gorgeous. Just driving on the freeway to go to the store is an adventure filled with vibrant crisp colors. Yes I know that sounds so lame, I really do LOVE all the color and after Summer the air without humidity is golden.

Ashlynn loves this trail daily she asks to go to the "HER" woods. She wants to go see her butterfly & caterpillar:)

I am kind of (okay not kind of )I am a HUGE scardy cat to go places like that alone. Someday I WILL be brave(It's a goal:). For the time being I force others such as my husband to go with me on my trails. Just look at this cool bridge really I am doing him a HUGE favor in having him go right:)

The 1st time we went on the trail I could not get the older kids to go. Ashlynn however LOVED crunching through the leaves.

throwing them

running in them

It is a beautiful trail!
Ashlynn & I decided we wanted to go on this walk again a week later. Due to the fact J.D. was not home I forced the older kids to all go. I told them they didn't have a choice. I wanted to go & I wasn't going alone. This was met with MUCH complaining so I made them a deal. They LOVE the waukee Ice cream shoppe so I told them if you enjoy the walk & do NOT complain I will take you after we leave.
We had such a great time. The kids all got along they didn't complain that they weren't home playing with friends Riley even said "Thanks mom for making us go this really was fun." I LOVE being a Mom. I wonder if I will ever- not -have to bribe my kids to go on a walk with me ha ha.
It is amazing how bribery for something as simple as Ice cream can make an afternoon that could be a disaster filled with why do we have to do this. A MAGICAL memory filled with so much fun!