Archive for category Family

All in a day’s time….. 

Some days just seem to be jam packed full of things that need to happen, today was one of those.

. Woke up and had breakfast.
. Andy and I discussed our schedules for the upcoming week for about an hour, deciding who was taking who where. 
. I left to present two boys from the Paradise Ward with their Faith in God certificates from the Stake Primary. 

. When I returned back home, we were having a song practice at my house. I agreed to play the piano for a quartet performing today: Julie Andrews, Gloria Pulver, Tara Hansen and Heidi Bates. We practiced for about ten minutes when Andy goes running out the front door.

. When Andy came back in the house, he said to Julie Andrews, “Your car was just hit and the driver drove off; however, I got their license plate.” We called the police and got the ball rolling. She hit the car with such force that it moved Julie’s car up on to my grass and into my peach tree. Come to find out found the lady that hit Julie’s car lives in our neighborhood. Her version of the accident differed 100% from our account. She said she was swerving to avoid a scooter in the middle of the road. She also claimed to have left a note on our door. When all was said and done, she was arrested for drunk driving and fleeing the scene of an accident. Not very cool!

. At 12:45 p.m. I left for church, arriving early for Jaron to prepare the sacrament. Our musical number was very nice. The new Relief Society Presidency spoke on the importance of eternal perspective. 

. The second hour of church I visited the Riverbend Ward. Their Primary is really struggling (leadership-wise). Their Primary president is fantastic and just needs some extra support. 

. I returned back to our ward for Relief Society where Tara Hansen taught the lesson on respecting the elderly. She is such a delightful teacher!

. After church I went home and got dinner going. While it finished cooking, I ran a birthday present over to Kristy Flanders. Then I dropped a treat over to Julie Andrew’s hoping to help her day end a little sweeter after the whole car incident. Then Emalee and I visited Doreen Evans for a bit. It was fun catching up with her. 

. We finished up the evening watching a movie Jaron chose called, “the Woodcarver”. It was a really good movie that basically had the theme, “WWJD – What would Jesus Do?”

“Laboring” on Labor Day

We were true to the holidays and “Labored” all weekend long. Jaron and Trevin decided to camp out in the backyard last night, which they loved!  Jaron got up early, excited to make chocolate chip pancakes for the family. He is a great little chef. Emalee was watching everything he did, wanting to be his helper. 
After breakfast we got to work. Andy, Emalee and Jaron worked together while the other two paired off with me. Together we cleaned out cars, defrosted the freezer downstairs, did yard work, laundry, washed blinds, mopped floors and even rotated all the water in our food storage room!  
The bummer deal today? My dryer broke! We’ll have to troubleshoot it a little more, but for the time being I hung wet laundry all around the house until it dried.  
Afterwards, we finished up homework due tomorrow, had showers and met up with my mom for dinner. We decided to go to the new movie, “Once I was a Beehive”. It was really cute. I love how Ashlyn looks over at me whenever there comes a point where I might cry. I didn’t cry this time but she always sneaks a look at me to check out if I’m crying. I use to do the same thing tiny mom. Not sure why really but I did. 

On the way out of the movie theater Jaron and Trevin really wanted to play an arcade game. Jaron did really well and earned two small stuffed animals. On the way to the car he said to Trevin, “Today must be my lucky day!”

We finished up the day by starting the Old Testament together as. Family. We figured since Jaron was reading the Old Testament in Seminary this year that we would help support him. We also changed our family scripture study time to nighttime. We’ll see if that sticks of if we’ll go back to mornings.

Navajo Taco Day

Alton slept over last night and the kids had a blast playing together this morning. Each child begged for Alton’s undivided attention (in their own way).

However there was one occasion when all the kids hung out together to look at an older picture album turned into a book.  

Church was very uplifting and awesome. We had a combined Relief Society / Priesthood lesson on the Sabbath Day. I left the meeting with an increased desire to do more to make Sunday’s even more special and sacred.

(A snapshot of Andy and I at church today)

After church we started getting dinner ready. (We invited my mom and John’s family to join us.). While some of us prepared dinner, Ashlyn and Alton played the game Scattegories. Ashlyn loves that game!…but she loves winning even more.

Andy and Emmy worked on making the Navajo tacos together. It’s one of his favorite foods to make. He made it often while he was on his mission since it’s a food they never had in Taiwan. 

Once everyone went home and the kitchen was clean again, I could relax for a bit. Ready to start another week. 

Jaron is a Teacher (in the Priesthood)


Today started off great….Jaron was ordained to the office of Teacher in the priesthood.  Those present in the circle are pictured here on the right.  (L to R: Darryl Oswald, Norm Nava, Rick Hanks, Andy, Jaron, Opi and my brother John.)  The bishop was out of town or he would have been in the circle as well.  Trent and Kristin would have liked to of come but couldn’t get away.

Something I thought was cute….  After Jaron had been ordained, he shook the hands of the men who stood in the circle.  Then the bishopric suggested he hug his mom and grandma’s.  While leaning in to give me a hug, he took the magnet that was hanging in the bishop’s office (with his name on it) and moved it from Deacon to Teacher.  (see below)  Although they didn’t spell his name right on the magnet, he was excited to graduate his name to a Teacher.

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Emalee also said she couldn’t wait to go to Jaron’s “Coordination” (aka – “Ordination).  She wondered which class Jaron would now be teaching.  We had to explain that Jaron wasn’t a “Teacher” (of a class per se) but rather, he would gain new responsibilities.  She was disappointed as she was secretly hoping Jaron was going to be her Primary teacher.

The rest of the day was quite calm and relaxing.  After church, I made a crock pot dinner, Andy gave Kai a (much needed) bath, we had our Family Home Evening for the week and we watched the Super Bowl together.


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Sunday’s are a special day

Today was the first Sunday of the New Year.  Our church block is now from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. While getting ready, Emmy asked me to braid her hair. She normally doesn’t have the patience for it but it looked really cute!  Em and I decided to walk to church today, which was nice.


We took a picture after church, but it’s missing Jaron since he slept over at my mom’s house last night.


20150103_151321I love how the picture of our family has Emalee with the sticker on the front of her dress reminding her that she is giving the opening prayer in Primary next week.  We truly are at church.

After church, I made some Pina Colada fruit leather and Andy made a stir fry for dinner.  Ashlyn couldn’t wait for dinner and started munching on her giant Snicker bar that she got for Christmas.

Feeling so grateful for my life and family today. Sunday’s are my days to rest, rejuvenate and plan for the coming week.  I had time to really count my blessings today.  Heavenly Father has really watched over and blessed our family.



20150103_145413My mom came up with this pina colada fruit leather recipe.  It turned out yummy.  In your blender mix 5 c. apples, 1 c. apple juice, 2 bananas, 1 can crushed pineapple and 1/2 bag shredded coconut (7 oz. of 14 oz. bag).  You can also blend in some maraschino cherries.  I poured it out on my dehydrater sheets until they became fruit roll ups!  Yum!!

Kissing 2014 Goodbye

Our celebration started around 6 p.m.  One of my favorite memories of the evening is Mimi pulling out headbands with “2013” on them.  She said, “We’re going to party like it was 2013 because it’s the only thing I could find!”

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My mom came over and we made a dish we haven’t made for a long time, stuffed grapeleaves!  Mmmm…  Years ago my mom had two Armenian sisters as Visiting Teachers.  They would occasionally bring her a plate of grapeleaves.  Di-VINE!  In time, my mom asked them how to make them.


The girls played with their Lego sets for a while.  All the boys (but Trevin) watched an old but favorite movie, “Crocodile Dundee 2″.


While they did that, Mimi, my mom, Trevin and myself put together a 500 piece puzzle.  It sure tested our patience a few times!!  ((For the record, Trevin only helped for a short while but he did come back as we were nearing completion.)) However, we completed it just fifteen minutes shy of the New Year.

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Jaron on the other hand, was invited to celebrate New Year’s with his friend Anna Neff (her family) and other friends from school.  He’s growing up too quickly!!!  He had a blast and came home with a ton of junk food (some of which I’m sure will be used to bribe his siblings!)

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None of us are the stay-up-late kind of folks (excluding Opi). Once everyone left, we were all in bed by 12:15 a.m.  What party poopers, huh?

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P.S. – Ashlyn wanted to take a picture of Andy and I; however, she ended up taking a video clip of us instead of taking a picture….too funny.

{Easter with Day Family}

Click to continue reading "{Easter with Day Family}"

{Superbowl Sabbath}


I have never cared about football….even Andy has only watched it a few times over the years (depending upon who makes it). Tonight we’re meeting up with family and I’m sure the boys will check the score as the girls chat!


Today was Fast Sunday so Jay and Jaron went together to do Fast Offerings after church.  They are so silly together (as you can tell).

Because we were super slackers and didn’t get up early to read scriptures, we did it after church. 





Our day was filled with other things too.  I taught all four kids piano, made more phone calls for church stuff, filled out a spotlight questionnaire for Ashlyn for New Beginnings, went to a meeting for the Day of service coming up next week….and held Family Home Evening…..which avtually turned out well! (Happens sometimes)





Cooking dinner for Chinese New Year…


What a day!

{A friendly minute-to-win-it competition}

What a fun night.  I invited the Kluse’s over for dinner and a minute-to-win-it competition.

For dinner, everyone was able to build their own pizza.  We baked the crust and then each person could top them with their favorites.  We had tons of options and it turned out pretty tasty.

Afterwards, we had several games ready-to-go.  Boy, the kids REALLY got into it.  They all wanted to have several tries at each game….it was cute.  In the end, first place went to Ashlyn…second place went to Alton and third place went to Jaron.  Actually, there were seven places…not three.  I wrapped up seven small gifts and put them on the mantle.  As I announced 7th place, that child got to pick their gift but couldn’t open it….and so on until there was only one gift left.  Ashlyn could take the one left or anyone else’s.  It was the bonus of getting first place.  In the end everyone got something and all of their gifts were different so they were excited for each other.  It was a fun night for all.

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{Chinese New Year – 2013}


Tonight at family dinner, we invited the missionaries to come and join us.  You can see them pictured below; however, for whatever reason one elder thought he should pull a funny face while I took the picture.

We celebrated Chinese New Year, as we have in years past.  Jaron and Mimi always make certain Chinese foods together (fry the won tons together)….he really looks forward to it.  Traditions….we love ’em.

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Ashlyn, Amelia and Emalee


{Superbowl Sunday}

We are not normally super bowl fans.  However, Trent’s favorite football team made it to the Super Bowl and we decided to watch the game together.  Unfortunately for Trent, his team lost in the end.  Kind of a bummer.

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This photo captured kind of a funny expression for Jaron but he’s really trying to smile here.

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We invited the Warner’s to join us.  We had a blast.

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{Happy Birthday Marissa!}

This day was long yet wonderful.  Mid-morning I received a knock on the door.  It was Jamie Bailey, our Primary President.  She had an invitation in hand for Jaron.  I wondered what it was for.  Then I realized it was for the Priesthood Preview.  Really?  I hadn’t even thought about it much but here was my reminder that Jaron would turn twelve in a couple weeks.  I got his appointment set up with the bishop after the Priesthood Preview.  The following Sunday he’ll be made a deacon.  I am happy for Jaron and for the opportunity he’ll have to serve others and hold the priesthood.  However, I’m also sad because he’s growing up.  {{Mommy Moment}}

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Stake Conference was amazing today.  I sat and cried through most of it.  The Spirit just touched my heart and squeezed the tears right out of me.  One of my favorite parts of conference was the Men’s choir.  Wow!  All of their musical numbers were BEAUTIFUL!  One of my favorite moments was when they sang the closing number, “This is the Christ”.  Emmy was sitting on my lap and she could see the conductor of the choir quite well from our seat and could see how “in to it” he was.  So, she started swinging her arms imitating his every move.  She has done this on other occasions as well.  At first I let her do it but when she nearly whacked me in the face, I gently put her arms down and within seconds they were back up again with gusto.  As the number concluded the gentleman seated behind me leaned forward and said, “She’ll make a fine conductor one day.”

After conference I came home and wrote the missionaries…all seven of them.  I try and write them regularly simply because I remember how much it meant for me to receive a letter from…well, anyone.

Later in the afternoon, I met with Carol Higginson.  I was called to replace her in the Stake Primary Presidency as the secretary.  She asked to be released after having had her first baby.  She also finished nursing school at the same time.  Anyway, I met with her to learn more of my duties and to get some of her files and paperwork.  I also enjoyed visiting with her and her husband and meeting her son, Ben.  I will miss working with her.


We finished off the evening at Mimi’s house to have Sunday dinner and to celebrate Marissa’s birthday together.  It was very enjoyable…as usual.  We gave Marissa a Barbie Veterinary bag.  The dog (which is sooooo soft) comes with all the things you would need to help it when it becomes sick.  Mimi and Opi gave her a Mulon fan (it’s what she wanted more than anything else).  Happy Birthday Marissa!

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{New Year’s Party}

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My mom, Julie Warner (friend), Heidi Seidel (friend)

Bailee & Wade Warner

Tucker Warner

We had lots of games going on….


Mimi and Opi


Me and the Mister

Ryan and Martina stopped by on their way home for a few minutes (especially after he heard we had seven layer dip – his favorite!)

Alyssa and Grace

MaKenna giving Mimi a massage

Andy putting together a puzzle.

{Christmas Eve 2012}

We spent Christmas Eve at my mom’s house with Jeff and John’s family.  We made dinner and enjoyed lots of munchies.  My time was spent holding Hazel as much as I could….love her!

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Here are the crazy kiddos eating their dinner….

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Jeff, Andy and John dishing up their food.

Throughout the evening, John had the kids tracking Santa using an Ipad app.  Amelia and Ashlyn were obsessed with checking his status every five minutes.  It was cute.

Later in the evening we opened presents.  Grandma gave the kids books, which they loved.

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Another thing John did on his Ipad was create these elf videos using photos of all of us.  So funny….

Jaron and Alton

Amelia and Emalee

John, Libby and Andy

Spencer, Amelia and Trevin

{Kluse Adventures}

You can see Mom and Jaron in the background and of coarse John bossing everyone around! ;  )                Ashlyn and Amelia helping out!

Today was such a busy and fulfilling day!  The morning was spent getting our house clean and things done around the house.  Later, we had planned to get together with the Kluse family and hang out together.  Jeff flew in from California yesterday and so we made plans well in advance of what we wanted to do.  Gotta make the time count, right?  Our first stop was at The Road Home.  We volunteered for two hours sorting clothes and toy donations.  It was great for the kids to be involved.

We would take a bag of donations and sort them into boxes.


It was a pleasant surprise to run into my neighbor and good friend, Doreen Evans and her daughter Natalie Thurman.  Doreen and I hang out all the time.  Her daughter Natalie takes our family pictures each year.  I love them both!  It was awesome serving side-by-side with such wonderful women!  The other picture is of me and Emmy (and in the background you can see Reese – Natalie’s daughter).

Jaron and Alton sorting clothes.                                                                  The donations keep piling up.

Jeff and Andy also helped with some of the food donations.


Eventually John’s job became box maker.  He taped up the boxes that were full and Libby helped label and put them out.  They worked non-stop making and sealing up boxes while we all sorted.

This photo finishes up our time at The Road Home….and this face is a classic “Emmy” face.  Glad I captured it.

Our next stop?  The planetarium.  We have season passes (both Lib and I) and decided to go there all together and see the light show, “Let it snow.”  We took an elevator up to the floor with the theater.  The elevator was the biggest I had ever been in.  The doors opened on both sides and easily held our whole family.



Ashlyn begged us all constantly to hold Hazel.  As soon as Libby would let me hold her, Ashlyn was there at my side saying, “Mom, can I hold her?  I want a turn.”  She was thrilled to get the chance.


The laser/light show was pretty neat but at times nauseating.  It is amazing what they can do.  The screen is the ceiling and because it is in the shape of a dome, their projections can make you feel like you are in the middle of the film.   It’s crazy.


After the planetarium, we bundled up and headed outside.  We weren’t sure where we wanted to eat and after wandering around for a while decided on a food court so everyone could find something they wanted to eat.  On the way though, we stopped a few times to warm up…..

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Time to eat!

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After she was done eating, Ashlyn begged to hold Hazel again (big surprise, right??)

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The highlight of ALL the kids’ evening was getting to ride TRAX to see the Christmas lights on Temple Square.  It was the first time my kids and John and Lib’s kids had been on TRAX.  They were thrilled.  On the way there, we were all standing (except my mom).  A very nice gentleman (pictured there in the green coat) gave up his seat.  Alton and Emalee are by my mom and the rest of us are scattered throughout….wherever there was room.  (On the way back we all got a seat, which was nice.)

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Temple Square was CRAZY!!!  The weather was nice….it was the last weekend before Christmas and it was the perfect formula for a million people to be there.  Wow.  Seriously.  You were constantly bumping into someone and had to say, “Excuse me”.  Emalee had to go to the bathroom and once I found one, it was at least a 20 minute wait because the line was out of the women’s restroom.  The lights were beautiful and it was fun to be together but it was b-u-s-y.

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You can see Libby holding Ashlyn and Emmy’s hands….Andy and Jaron are pictured too.

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Amelia and Trevin

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On the way home, someone got the great idea to finish off the night at Cold Stone getting some ice cream.  Um, yeah!  Sounds good to me.

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