Archive for category Friends

Only Em and I are left!

Hard to believe Niklas is on his way home. The last six weeks have flown by. We met at Gusti’s house (the coordinator and my friend) so everyone’s bags could be weighed and if needed…weight could be shifted from bag to bag. We said our goodbyes and headed on our way.

(Some of the other students Emalee grew to love. She asked if she could go home with them.  Um, no.)

Later in the afternoon, Andy took Trevin and his friend Evan to the annual Father and Sons campout. They’ll have a blast together.

Time flies!


April, Andy and I had a luncheon this afternoon at Booksellers. We announced our partnership with Ringmaster. They put together a short video about SugarDoodle and how it started. They did a good job. I volunteered Andy to speak instead of me (not a surprise for those who know me).   


Today was Niklas’ last day with us. He flies home to Germany tomorrow afternoon . So, we took him to his favorite restaurant for dinner, Cafe Rio. He loves their pork barbacoa burrito, but who doesn’t?  Our time with him has just flown! However, I know his family will be excited to see him again.  

{Mish-mash Friday}


After school today my mom asked if I wanted to go pick up some bird food with her from IFA. I said, sure. At the time I had Trevin, Emalee and Trevin’s friend from school, Atti.  When we got there, they loved petting the baby chicks and bunnies.



A bit later we picked the other two up from school and this is what they did most of the day….



It was nice to have a relaxing, kick-back Friday.  Great way to start out the weekend.

{A good friend}


Today I had lunch with a dear friend,  Cindy Barnhisel.  She moved out of my neighborhood a couple years ago but we try and stay in touch.  Today was her birthday and so we got together to celebrate.  It’s always fun to chat and catch up.  It was a wonderful afternoon!

{My friends….Gusti and Cindy}

Some friends come and go, I suppose that’s just life.  However, some friendships can survive years of inactivity and you just pick up where you left off each time you meet up.  Your friendship isn’t conditional, you can just be you and that’s good enough.

A year and a half after Andy and I were married, we built a house in West Valley.  It was an exciting time for us.  Jaron had just been born and we were excited to have our own home and life together.  Just shortly after moving in, I met the neighbors right across the street.  Her name was Gusti Darling and the Darling family.  I loved her last name…how “darling” is that, right?  : )  Anyway, we were eventually made Visiting Teaching companions and the rest is history.

One of Gusti’s talents is photography.  We had her take our family pictures last year at Wheeler Farm.  She did a great job…loved all the pictures.  Remember these pictures????

Well, the years have come and gone, but I still try and keep in touch.  Today was her birthday and I surprised her and took her some flowers (we both love flowers).  I was able to spend an hour so at her house talking….catching up.  Just love her!!

Another dear friend is Cindy.  I met her shortly after I moved in my current ward.  She seemed pretty shy but was very kind.  For a short while she was my visiting teacher; however, we have been good friends regardless.  She is moving away in a couple weeks and I’m sad.  Although she’s not moving far, far away….it may as well be Hawaii.  When someone moves out of your immediate area, it’s hard to stay in touch.  I guess I’m just going to have to make an extra effort to do just that.


{Neighborhood BBQ and movie}

We spent the evening with friends as we hosted a little BBQ in our backyard.  I invited several couples from the ward and we put together a potluck meal… let the kiddos play while we all caught up with each other.  At one point there were so many kids on the trampoline I had to make a rule that only the boys jumped and then we switched to the girls.  After dinner, Dave Bates set up a projector, speakers and a large white sheet and played a movie outdoors (we played the movie “Bolt”).  We got the kids in their fuzzies and blankets and all watched the movie.  I made some hot chocolate and popcorn and we enjoyed the evening together.  How can you not when you’re with friends??

The boys jumping on the trampoline

David Archibald and Andy

Brock Murdock

Our outdoor movie screen

Ashley Bates

Dave Bates setting up the equipment for the movie

L to R —-> Emalee, Addison White, Megan Bates and Sadie Murdock

Kate Nelson

(I can’t remember Sally’s baby’s name….ugg!…but she’s a cutie!)


I’m new to Facebook.  My friends (and husband) have been on for a long time.  In reality, I have too, but I have not actively used the site.  Recently, I started making connections with friends from teenage years, missionary companions and more.  One of those friends in particular was Morgan.  I saw her and Alyssa each Sunday at church and I loved talking with them.  I was a Laurel at the time and they were both Beehives.  I specifically remember that I always wished that when I was a Beehive that someone “older” would talk to me or say hi.  I decided that when I became a Laurel, I would try and include others, best I could.  Little did I know it would be the start of a wonderful friendship.  I recently came across Morgan through Facebook.  She had a link to her personal blog and so I checked it out.  I was taken with all that has happened to her in life, her feelings, struggles and more.  I admired her strength and honesty…  Since I read her blog, she has been on my mind constantly.  I decided I would send her a small care package.  When she received it, she shared the following entry on her personal blog.  I especially enjoyed her thoughts and feelings on friendship.  I agree that TRUE friendships can never be broken because their love is unconditional.  I love you Morgan!


“Our friendship began when I was just 8 years old.  She was my piano teacher.  Her name is Melanie.  What began as a simple student/teacher relationship soon blossomed into a friendship I can only explain as kindred.  I’m not even sure how many years seperate us, but there are a few. Of course, we never went to school together, we didn’t hang out on Friday nights, and I didn’t tell her all my deepest darkest secrets.  Age was never an issue because our friendship was so much more than that.  She made room in her heart for a shy, insecure young girl, and took me under her wing.  She believed in me! Each week at church, she would deliver a special “Love Note” she had made just for me.  These “Love Notes” were uplifting stories, with personal notes inscribed at the end of each one.  Sometimes they were spiritual, others were humorous, many were inspiriational, and each one taught me something of worth. I still have each and every one of them! She made it her mission to help me know and understand that I am a beautiful daughter of a loving Heavenly Father; that I am of infinite worth.  She made me feel important! She embodied that message with every fiber of her being.  I had long forgotten what she had tried so hard to etch into my heart, until today.
A gift for you, Melanie:

The contents, though cherished, are not nearly as dear to me as the message unwritten.  She reminded me that MY Heavenly Father loves me!  He knows me!  He thinks about me! He is mindful of me! I am not alone!  How powerful that a message so simple could be delivered by a friend from the past at such an inspired moment. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I read her letter and felt how much she cares for me.  My Heavenly Father knows exactly what I need and when I need it. 

Melanie, Thank You for reminding me who I am! Thank you for being the person you are! Thank You for believing in me still!  Thank You for your wisdom and encouragement! I feel refreshed and ready to press forward! I look forward to using the tools you have armed me with.

A Love Note
by: Morgan

True love and friendship, in it’s purest and most honest of forms, is a bond that can never be broken.  It can stand the test of time, distance, and circumstance, and pick up right where it left off.  It etches itself on the soul of all those it touches.  It makes the hard times just a little bit more bearable, and the good times – memories that last a lifetime!

So to all the rest of my friends and loved ones out there, a challenge.  Reconnect with someone close to your heart!  Fill your life with true friends.  The kind that love you for who you are, no matter what.  The kind that uplift and encourage.  The kind that will still be your friend many years from now, even if you never see them again. The kind that make your life better just by knowing them. But most importantly, strive to be that friend to others.  Strive to make a difference in someone elses life.  You’ll be a better person for it!”

{Introducing my new friend, Stephanie}

One of the biggest benefits to online blogging is meeting new people!  I’ve stalked Stephanie’s blog for sometime now and we’ve chatted back and forth.  She is the Young Women’s President in her ward and one of her Young Women was coming out to Salt Lake to get married.  She and her husband came out here to share in that awesome experience. 

While here, I had the opportunity to meet Steph and hubby.  What FUN people!  They are so warm and sincere.  There are some people that you meet for the first time and after a few hours together you feel like you’ve known each other much longer.  This was the case for me. 


Both of them came to church with us today and that was a lot of fun.  Afterwards, they came over to our house and we played some games, made dinner, and then went downtown to see the Christmas lights on Temple Square.  We then came home and put the kids to bed and played some more games.  Neither of us wanted to leave.  I told Andy we have to make some serious plans to go and visit them.  They were so very kind and thoughtful.  They gave us….

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You are soooo sweet Steph.  I haven’t taken the FRIENDS blocks out of the box yet, but I know exactly where they will go….on my mantle when I clean up my Christmas decorations tomorrow.  Thank you for taking the time to visit with our family.  We loved getting to know you and your hubby!!!

{Happy October Folks!}

Can you seriously believe it is here??  October is the startings of the holiday fun.  I love this time of year.  I enjoy snuggling under blankets, drinking warm drinks…my personal favorite is a hot cup of Postum with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  You have to try it.  This is my birthday month and Halloween.  I love decorating my house and creating fun memories together.

Most of the day today however was getting to know my new friend, Danielle, from Brazil.  I met her online through a Yahoo Group I’m on.  She mentioned she was coming to Salt Lake for General Conference and started asking questions about the area and such.   Over the course of several weeks we chatted and got to know each other. 

I picked her up yesterday from the airport, took her to the Conference Center and secured tickets for each session of conference, took her to her hotel to check in and then brought her back to my house to call her family.  She helped me get ready for Family Night and we enjoyed talking with each other. 

When Andy got home we took her and the kids out to dinner to Mimi’s Cafe, one of our favorite restaurants.  Two of my very favorite foods there are their carrot/zuchinnin muffins and their french onion soup.  Wowsers it’s good. 

One thing after another, it got late.  We dropped her off to her hotel and ended up having to do family night tomorrow night.  It should be a fun one.  I’ll detail it tomorrow.  Until then, later gator!

{First Loose Tooth}

Aug 22 07_01Well, it’s official…Jaron’s first tooth is loose.  Jaron was eating lunch this afternoon and asked me a question.  I told him not to talk with food in his mouth.  He said, “Mom, I didn’t have food in my mouth…see!”  He opened his mouth and I saw another tooth trying to pop through.  I asked him, “Open your mouth again…”  Sure enough, another little tooth is trying to surface by pushing his front – bottom right tooth out.

J – “Mom, how much money will the tooth fairy leave me?”

M – “Money?  Oh…you never know….the tooth fairy may decide to give you something else.”

J – “Really, like what?”

M – “Like, eggs, garden hose, toilet bowl cleaner, etc.”

J – “Nuh-uh mom!”

M – “Okay, just checking.”

Today I got to visit with my friend, Monique.  We haven’t got together for several months.  It is nice to slow down life enough that you can enjoy visiting and catching up with friends.  We spent the morning and early afternoon visiting.  Here are some pictures of our kiddos:

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This is Jaron and Asher playing together.

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Ashlyn, Artimus, Reuben and Trevin

Me, Monique (holding Esther)

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Pic 1 – Ashlyn playing with a doll
Pic 2 – Miriam showing me her artwork.
Pic 3 – Monique gave each of the kids a coin to get a treat from a candy dispenser in her pantry.

I had a Primary Presidency Meeting today and grocery shopping to tackle.  Some days, I feel like I’m spread so thin.  I found this quote today from President Hinckley that I love and want to always remember.  I should memorize it.  He is so wise.  I hope you enjoy it too….

“It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is.  It all works out.  Don’t worry.  I say to myself every morning, “It will all work out.  Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future.  The Lord will not forsake us.  He will not forsake us…if we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings.  He will hear our prayers.”

{Getting ready for school ~ Sleepover at Mimi’s}

Well, I did it.  Jaron and Ashlyn are officially signed up for school.  They’ll both be attending a private school close by.  They were so thrilled to see their classrooms for the first time.  They are just across the hall from each other.  Jaron will start first grade and Ashlyn will start Kindergarten.  There are many things I love about this school, but I’m even more thrilled that THEY love it.  Take a peek:

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After getting their paperwork filled out, we ran a few errands.  While I was at ShopKo, I spotted these AWESOME thermos’ for the kids for their lunches that I’ll be sending.  The first one is for foods (soup, casserole, or heck, even ice cream!)  The second one is for beverages…hot or cold.  That way I can send milk with their lunch and know it will stay cold.  Ashlyn LOVED the princess theme.  Jaron got Superman.  He “would have” got Spiderman, but they didn’t have any left.  So sad! : (  However, I’m sure he’ll survive.IMG_0418

Remember last week when my dear friend Tiffaney came over to visit last week?  Well, she and all three of her kiddos (who are not kiddos any more) were able to come over and visit for an hour or so.  My oh my, how they’ve grown so much!  Her youngest was around ten years old when I saw her last and she’ll now be going into eighth grade.  She’s blossomed into a beautiful young lady.   Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth?  I made a Strawberry Flat Cake for them and it turned out super yummy.   It was fun to visit with all of them.

Jaron and Ashlyn have been so excited for today.  Mimi had promised Ashlyn and Jaron a sleepover at her house a month or so ago.  Both of them were sooooo looking forward to this sleepover…especially Jaron.  I thought it was Mimi’s annual grandkid sleepover, but that is going to be in August.

She took them to the grocery store and told them they could get whatever they wanted for dinner.  Both of them chose a TV dinner.  : )   I remember as a kid thinking TV dinners were like heaven.  I don’t think Jaron and Ash have ever had a TV dinner.  Anyway, then Mimi took them to the dollar store and told them they could get two things.  Ashlyn chose a princess ball ‘n jacks game and a tootsie roll.  Jaron chose a bag of red plastic firemen and Hershey’s chocolate bar. After dinner, they decorated pencil cases, played with their toys, baked cookies and watched the Secret of Nimph.  Too much fun for one day!

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Eating their TV dinners….

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Their decorated pencil cases.


Here are some random pictures of Marissa and Emmy:

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“Friends are like Peanut Butter … it sticks to the roof of your mouth .like a friend sticks to you…. and it feels as if they never go away!”

{Good Friends}

Today I was able to meet up with one of my good friends from a previous ward.  I was “assigned” to be her Visiting Teacher; however, she quickly became a lifetime friend.  She moved to California not too long after we moved out of the ward and I would hear from her occasionally.  I was so excited when she e-mailed me and told me she’d be visiting Utah.  We got together this afternoon and went out to lunch.  We actually did takeout at Applebees and went back to my house to eat.  It was a delight to catch up with her and laugh together.  Before she left, I gave her and her two girls a little gift.  (Her girls didn’t come today but she promised she’d stop by again tomorrow because her girls want to see me before they leave).  Anyway, I went to my local scrapbook store and they sold these cardboard letters.  I traced the letter onto a piece of scrapbook paper and cut it out to fit perfectly on top of the letter.  Before I glued it down, I took some rub-on letters and put my favorite quotes on each one.  Then, I used Mod Podge and glued the paper to the cardboard letter.  I put another coat on top of the paper as well and let it dry.  It dries pretty quickly.  Then, just add whatever embellishments you want.  Very simple and cute.  Here is how each one turned out.

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This one is for Whitney – I chose the quote “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

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This one is for Brianna – “Do good.”  Simple and to the point.

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This one was for my friend, Tiffaney.  The quote says, “Friends are like pillars.  They hold you up, you lean on them.  Sometimes it’s enough to know they’re standing by.”  It describes our relationship perfectly.

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P.S.  A few nights ago, we went and saw Ratatouille.  I thought it would be fun to make the actual recipe:


1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about 3 medium) or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 large red bell pepper or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch squares
3 medium zucchini, sliced
3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs dried basil
2 cloves garlic, crushed through a press
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 (6 ounces) can tomato paste
1 (5 ounces) can pitted ripe olives, drained and chopped coarsely
3 Tbs chopped fresh basil
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients except tomato paste, olives, and basil in slow cooker. Mix well and cook on high for 3 hours. Add tomato paste, olives, and basil, mixing well. May be served hot, cold, or room temperature.