Where did the summer go? School starts tomorrow!

Trev and Emmy we’re excited to talk to Ashlyn on the telephone this morning. Ashlyn was in Verona , Italy today seeing a coliseum….listened to opera and ate at McDonald’s. Jaron on the other hand was able to visit the Swiss temple today and met a couple from Taylorsville and a couple from Bountiful, Utah (with the last name “Day”). He asked if we were related but I don’t know of any relatives in Bountiful.     

I went to my Zumba class at 9:00. I really look forward to going but worry they’ll cancel it because only three people show up each week (the same three every week). I try and recruit others, and they’ll come once and not return. I guess I’ll keep trying….
Later in the afternoon, the kids and I did a little school shopping. They already had backpacks and clothes….they just needed some folders, pencil boxes and markers…..and snacks for lunches….. and….and…..and….. It all adds up but they’re ready to rock and roll. 

While I taught piano to Diana and Daniella, Andy took Emalee to soccer practice. 

Afterwards, we headed out to pick up some vegetables from my cousin. She said if we wanted any corn, we could go pick some from my uncle. Well, yes please! So we headed over to my Uncle Jack’s house and added corn, tomatoes, onions and carrots to our veggie basket.

When we got home it was pretty late. Andy gave Em and Trev a priesthood blessing for school, a very special tradition in our family. They are both so excited for school. In coming days, it will be hard to get them out of bed but tomorrow won’t be one of them. It’s like Christmas….sort of.


Very blessed indeed

Yesterday was exhausting with all the things on our “to-do” list. Our air conditioner went out Friday night and while Andy and Trev were at The Father and Sons campout, Em and I slept at my mom’s house. Our house was in the high 80’s. 
While there, I helped her build a little dog run within her garage to contain Eisley. That way when she pulls into the garage and Eisley goes through the dog door, she doesn’t run over him with her car, unknowingly. The heat and humidity were two degrees short of a record I found out watching the news. However I felt it while working in the garage…my mom and I were dripping sweat from our noses to our backs. But we got the project done and it looks great. 

Our air conditioner is still giving us fits, but we’ll survive until we figure it out.  

Melissa Wyatt asked Andy and I to help out during her sharing time today in Primary. We were to try and dress as a person in Bible times and recount a specific scripture story we witnessed. I was to tell of the story of Jarius’ daughter. Andy was to retell the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead.  

Before leaving for church, Andy and I got our costumes put together. I put my stuff in my bag and left and when I caught up with my walking partner, I noticed she was dressed like this. She’s never one to feel left out. She creates her own fun. We got a few dazed looks on the way to church, but that’s okay! She’s awesome.

When we got home from church we made some pizzas for dinner and watched a Bible show about Daniel. Different friends (of Trev and Em) came over on and off and we fed whoever came by.  

Later in the evening I started picking the peaches off my trees and sat and peeled, sliced and bagged them while chatting with Val and Christine on a video call. 

It’s been a very busy weekend but I am thankful my body can keep up with it all. Very blessed indeed. 

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.  

Datenight for the old folks

I had the opportunity to babysit Elia this morning. She is from the cute Spanish family I mentioned about last week. Both Ignacio and Isabel had to work and needed help with Elia. She’s as cute as a button!

The afternoon brought brain balance appointment for Emalee, soccer practice for Trevin and shotgun shooting for Niklas with my neighbor in Park City.

We got a movie and snacks for the kiddos while Andy and I went to Hale Center Theatre and saw “Oklahoma”. We were gifted Val & Christine’s season tickets after Andy joined Murray Arts Council. Quite a treat indeed. In fact, it was the first time I’d seen “Oklahoma” (insert audible gasp….Andy did). It was well done. Just wish they gave you more leg room….


Double Dutch


The morning up here at the cabin turned out pretty wet…lots of thunder and storm clouds. I initially hoped to go on a hike but those hopes were soon dashed with the rain and mud.


However, when the rain subsided, we all enjoyed the break in weather by jump roping. In fact, Trevin learned to do double Dutch (quite well might I add). Proud of the fella!!

Church in Norway


I haven’t heard from Jaron in three weeks. I wasn’t worried about him but wanted to say hello. I messaged Quinn and asked her to have Jaron call me, which she did.  

He’s as sarcastic as they come. So in that regard, all is well. He told us about youth conference, camping and staying in a cabin in Sweden for the next ten days. 

They just got back from church in Norway. Not sure who all these people are but Jaron doesn’t appear to mind being the only guy in the photo.  

He did say how he was glad to have cows milk again, not almond milk (among other things).  Not surprising at all. 

Dentist to YMCA

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– The day started in the dentist chair for me….my routine cleaning.  One cavity and three others that need changing out.  My dentist told me that three of my teeth have metal fillings and ninety percent of the time it causes the teeth to eventually fracture.  So I need to have them replaced with porcelin.  Oh joy!

– Emalee came upstairs ready to go to school looking like this (see photo below).  I asked her about it and she said she was going to go to school as Naomi.  She even sang me a little song about it.  However, when it came down to it, “Naomi” never made it to school….

– Ashlyn had a very long day at school and enjoyed a nap even among the chaos of our family life.

– I mailed a small Valentine package to my brother Jeff.  I asked Libby to have her kids do Valentine’s too.  I put in a box of Sweet Tooth Fairy cake bites…which he likes.

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– I put a meatloaf and potatoes in the over and headed over to the YMCA for their weekly Zumba class.  Andy then took the kids to mutual/scouts and activity days.

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It’s that time again….

It’s right around the corner…yep, Valentine’s.  Jaron and Ashlyn are too old to make Valentine boxes for school but it didn’t stop Jaron from helping Trevin with his.  Trevin wanted to make a minion and so they worked together to make one.  Emalee is still trying to decide what kind of box to make.

Day in a nutshell…

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Here was our day in a nutshell…..

. I got up and studied Alma  Chapters 18 & 22 to see how Aaron and Ammon were missionaries.  Loved it.

. I attended the Millrace Ward while my counselors went to Taylorsgrove’s Ward conference.

. Andy had to head to the church an hour early to practice with the choir….they performed during sacrament meeting (their medley turned out soooo beautiful!)

. At 4:15 p.m. I walked to the Stake Center to train the Paradise Ward Primary Presidency.  They received a couple of new counselors and so my presidency and I met with them for about an hour.

. While getting ready to leave the Stake Center, I felt a drip coming from the ceiling.  I looked up and sure enough there was a leak…slowly dripping through the ceiling.  I called Brother Jasper to let him know about it before getting on my way.

. Afterwards I walked to my Visiting Teaching sisters house for an appointment (Julie & Whitnee Warner)

. Jaron and Ashlyn had a Bishop’s Youth Fireside tonight at Teri Hanks.  When I asked Jaron what his favorite part was, the reply was “ice cream”.  Should have expected that one.

. Upon returning home, Jaron had his “snuggle” time with Kai.  The two of them sit and snuggle together, sometimes for several minutes.  Kai loves the attention and Jaron is happy to give it to him.  They are the best of buds.

. I finished up the evening by reading in bed.  It’s my favorite thing to do.  I completed the book tonight, “Lemon-Sized Tumour” by Jenny Overton.  It was heart renching but so honest.  It makes me so grateful for my own health and wellness.  Truly, the things that matter most are not things.


Relief Society Day of Service and Spencer’s Birthday


Mimi making arrangements to get all the sack lunches we made for St. Vincent’s delivered.


This is a picture of my part of the assembly line. We made hundreds of sack lunches for St. Vincent’s. I helped put in the chips and cookies.


(L to R) Bailey Warner, Kylie Murdock, Ashlyn and Cassie Bates ready to help watch the children in the nursery while the women complete the service projects.

IMG_0157This morning, while Andy took Trevin to his soccer game (along with Emalee), Ashlyn and I headed over to the Stake Center for the annual Relief Society day of service.  I was in charge of running the homeless lunches (450 of them) last year so it was great to just “go” and “do” instead of plan and worry.  Mimi on the other hand was one of those that was in charge this year so I’ve tried to help support her as she helped me so much last year.

I started out helping with the homeless lunches again.  When we finished assembling the lunches, I helped on other projects.  Mimi, Ashlyn and I met up at lunch time at the potato bar.  One of the sisters at the next table had brought her newborn baby and let us hold, cuddle and fall in love with her little piece of heaven.  We all took turns holding him….not willingly, but took turns nonetheless.

By the time Ashlyn and I got home, Jaron had returned home from the Klondike overnighter with the Scouts.  He said he had a good time but it was pretty cold.  We finished off the evening by going to Spencer’s 7th birthday party.  I can’t believe my sweet newphew is seven years old.  I love that Spencer LOVES birthdays (his or anyone else’s).  His favorite part is turning off the lights so he can blow out his candles.  Libby made a wonderful Mexican dinner and we all enjoyed each others company.  However, my mom had to stay home because she was feeling to sick.  Andy and John went over after the party to give her a priesthood blessing.  We hope she feels better soon!!


  Mimi eating her lunch at the Relief Society day of service.


Me eating my lunch at the Relief Society day of service.



Klondike, Tae Kwon Do, Cookies and more

Today was a very busy day.  Mimi and I went exercising at Curves.  While chatting with her she mentioned all that she needed to do today in preparation for a huge service project she’s involved in.  I offered to help her bake some of the cookies for the sack lunches that will be donated.  She brought over a box of sugar cookies and toffee cookies.  After I finished cooking all of them, Trevin and his friend Atti took them down to Mimi’s house for me.  Trevin has lost so many coats he is now using Emalee’s quite regularly.

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Jay Brimhall came by around 4:00 p.m. to pick up Jaron for the Scout Klondike campout.  They went up to Don Hughes ranch….where there was actually snow (unlinke around here….look at the lawn in the picture….no snow).  Jaron is in shorts and looking like he’s planning on going to the beach.  I made sure he had what he needed but whether or not he’ll use it is up to him.

Andy, Trevin, Emalee and Ashlyn headed off to Tae Kwon Do together.  They are getting close to advancing to the next belt.  Afterwards, they went and got ice cream together.  Emalee shared a few bites with me when she got home.  The girls painted each others nails, I read a book and we all settled down for the evening.  Grateful for all the busy moments but my spirit thrives on the quieter ones. 

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We are the “DayShines”

Well, it’s official.  We (as a family) are running a 5K together.  We’re doing “The Color Run” in Omaha, Nebraska on July 18th this year.  It will be part of our little family vacation.  We’re all signed up.  Our team is called, “DayShine”.  Part of the fun is they throw colored chalk on you during your run but this year they are adding glitter…hence that name ‘DayShine’.

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Today, Ashlyn had soccer at the indoor facility.  I dropped her off and came home to exercise (pictures on left are on my treadmill…before my workout).  Afterwards I made dinner…tacos.   We had originally planned on attending the temple together tonight but one thing happened after another and we didn’t go….BOO!


Andy took Jaron to his first indoor soccer game at the Taylorsville Rec Center.  Jaron’s team ended up winning 13-1.  Jaron even scored one of the points.  He did a great job!

My next addiction….reading.

When the new year started, I made a few resolutions.  One of my goals was to read more and watch less TV.  It has been surprising how easy this goal has been to achieve.  I actually look forward to my “wind-down” time.  After I brush my teeth, write in my journal and get into bed, I pull out my Kindle and start reading.  So far this year I have read five books:

1 – The Power Within by Trent Heppler
2 – Crushed by Kathryn Mann
3 – Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
4 – Weight Loss Interviews: The Real Life Stories
5 – Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

Reading is not a new passion really….it’s just that I get so “into” reading, that I stay up L.A.T.E. reading my books.  I stayed up so late last night that I finished my next novel after two nights of reading….hundreds of pages down and hours less sleep.  I have to figure out the balance.  That has yet to be achieved.  Needless to say I woke up a tad tired, which isn’t good.  However, I made the best of it.


Trevin practicing his piano lesson.

I signed up for a Yoga class today.  It would have been the first class and when I got there our instructor called in sick.  Boo….so sad.  Instead I went on a couple mile walk/run.  It felt good but my legs were jello.

Afterwards, Emalee and I ran some errands.  I bought myself quite a treat tonight….an mp3 player.  They’ve been around for years but I’ve never really had them.  Now I can listen to music, General Conference or books on tape while exercising.  So excited!

At the same time, Andy took Ashlyn to Murray High School.  Her soccer coach e-mailed us letting us know that the soccer coach of Murray High needed a few more players to do drills with.  He invited any of the girls on Ashlyn’s team that will eventually be attending Murray High to come and do conditioning drills with them each week.  She a bit apprehensive, not knowing how hard it would be…..but she went.  She is pictured in all black in the photos.  When she came home, she said she actually enjoyed herself and is excited to go back next week.  What a great opportunity for Ash.

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On a work note, myself and April have been putting in countless hours working on a project for Rootstech.  It is a huge family history conference which will take place next week.  We have been working on a family history packet that will help encourage youth, adults, children, families, wards to become involved in such a rewarding work.  I can’t wait to show you.  Tomorrow….hopefully.  Stay tuned.


P.S. – I received a letter in the mail today from our Stake Presidency.  They wrote, “We want to express our sincere appreciation to you for the wonderful message that you shared with us at Stake Conference.  You added greatly to the spirit of the meetings.  There have been  many people who have said that they greatly appreciated your comments.  We are especially grateful for what you taught about how to teach the gospel in the home.  You are certainly an expert in that area.  We pray that our Heavenly Father will continue to bless you and your family as you continue to serve in His kingdom.”  It was signed by the Stake Presidency: Preston Wakefield, Dave Tidwell, Bruce Gale, Mark Ethington and Sid Sietz.


A lunch worth trying….a day filled with here and there.



The most delicious lunch….mmmmm!

I made the most awesome lunch today.  It consisted of sweet potato, avocado, tomato, turkey bacon and a fried egg on top.  It was delish!!  Most of my day was spent preparing for my Primary Presidency Meeting at the Stake Center.  We are starting to plan our upcoming Stake Activity Day Camp and it is going to be awesome.

Before the meeting started, Ashlyn and Trevin went to piano lessons.  I made ham and bean soup for dinner.  Then I took Ashlyn to basketball practice (with the Young Women).  Then I dropped Trevin off to Scouts, Jaron to Young Men’s and Ashlyn to Young Women’s.  I then walked to the Stake Center for my meeting.  It was a busy but great day.