Good American People

I know, huge surprise I am posting again after a long time. Not that I haven't found anything good to post about, more that I haven't had much free time. Anyway, I thought I would try to focus on something positive on a day when many may take the alternate route. Yesterday was election day and while many people are happy about the presidential election results there are many that are not. (I happen to be among the later group.) That being said I saw this on facebook and it gave me a different perspective. I still believe in the political system of voting and always striving to make your voice heard and stand up for the values you believe in. But really when all is said and done the Constitution, the document that defines what makes our country special and unique, will be saved by good American people not by Washington. I believe good things can come from Washington but we, the people, have to make sure we do our part and not leave it up to the politicians.  

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be a dooms-dayer or anything. I just get a little down because I am a very passionate person about almost everything. I believe there is good in all people and hope that God will continue to bless America. So no matter which side you fall on, just remember to stand up for, protect and cherish the freedoms we enjoy each day! 

"My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessing they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!" - Thomas Jefferson



I remember as a little girl thinking these were the most beautiful flowers and our yard and field had many of them. It was wonderful especially because I knew my mother loved them too. At least that is what she told me when I would bring them to her. I grew up and learned the reality of this little or in some cases huge weed. I did not like them, until today. 
I was out in the yard pulling some weeds and watering the garden when the Silly One came up to me with a small dandelion in his hand and said, "Mom! I got this flower for you." This is the first flower he has picked and given to me of his own doing. It was so sweet and I told him I loved it. 


How Does Your Garden Grow?

This is what I got out of my garden this morning. So far we have only had a few strawberries and the juliette tomatoes and so I was excited to see the others. 

This is what my garden looks like right now. I think it is going well and just put up the trellis so hopefully it works. Right away the eggplant had more room so that is good. 
The crops I have growing are pumpkins, squash, strawberries, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, corn and cucumbers.

The lady finger eggplants, they are so cute!

The first pumpkin, this makes me actually excited for the fall. 
Just about everyday the Silly One will say, "Mom, our plants are growing." Yes, yes they are. 


America, America!

I have always been a proud American and love celebrating the greatness of this country I am blessed enough to live in. I am especially proud around this time of year, obviously, and love when the Olympics come as well (23 days and counting). One of the things I love the most is seeing an American on the medal podium with their hand on their heart singing the national anthem. Seriously gives me chills every time.
 Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower said,
"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." 

I tend to be one who gets quite emotional and passionate about certain things pertaining to politics, including the recent ruling by the Supreme Court. I won't go into all that but wanted to share that while stewing over things a thought came to my mind. This is a choice land, blessed above all others. This scripture came to my mind in the Book of Mormon (of course I had to look it up to find the exact wording):
"Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promised, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever." (2 Nephi 1:9) 

In short, keep the commandments and God will continue to Bless America. Our daily actions determine our freedoms. I hope that my boys grow up with the same patriotism I was raised to have and enjoy this blessed land of America, land that I love!


Baking Soda

I was reading a baby magazine recently and came across this little sidebar that talked about some different uses for baking soda. So this is just a "good to know" and for my future reference of some of these ideas. 

* Sprinkle a few spoonfuls into baby's bath water the help relieve diaper rash. (I have also heard this is good if a child has chicken pox.)
* Mix baking soda and baby oil into a paste and gently rub into baby's scalp to wash away flaky skin from cradle cap.
* Combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of warm water to clean toys, rinse and dry.
* I also made a paste with water and baking soda to clean a bag that smelled awful. I rubbed the paste in and let it sit for a least a day to try to get the smell out - it worked.


Square Foot Garden

There is something quite satisfying and making something out of nothing. There is also something satisfying in working outside to make things beautiful. That is where I would put gardening and I think I have that love of plants and the outdoors because of my Dad. Growing up we would work outside from mowing the lawn to weeding the garden. I remember one time when I was quite young, my little brother and I had the job of taking all the rocks out of our garden. It wasn't pleasant but I do remember eating the fresh fruits and vegetables that came from our garden every year and loved that. 
Since the Smart One and I have been married we have tried to do some sort of garden each year. Some years have worked and some have failed miserably. The first summer we were married we planted zucchini where some bushes had died in front of our apartment, that was awesome.We were able to move our fence this spring and get about 5-6 more feet in our yard, perfect for a square foot garden. I read this book and tried to do many of the things the author suggested. I checked it out from the library but I think it will soon be part of our library. The Smart One did a lot of work to build the box and work with my vision. It was more work than we anticipated which means the next time we need a box he might just buy a kit. ;) Here is the result:

I planted pumpkins, straight neck summer squash, tomatoes, red and green peppers, eggplant, strawberries, marigolds, corn, cucumbers, and lavender. Several of these I started earlier in little planters and planted everything this morning. I got a lot of help from the Silly One in planting and digging holes. The Small One helped by taking a good nap. So this turned into a family garden in which everyone did something to help. Hopefully we'll have a plentiful garden picture to post later this summer. 



Count Your Blessings

Today I had a very real moment where I was able to reflect and realize how blessed I truly am. I think everyone has those moments where you get a little down or think "My life would be better if . . ." I honestly come home tonight and wanted cry because of how wonderfully blessed I am. My boys were already in bed and asleep. I went upstairs to check on them and kiss them "good night." I would have picked them up and hugged or rocked them. There are so many people struggling with a variety of problems and issues and as much as I wish I could change or take problems from people to help them I can't. But I am grateful for what I have. 
Our picnic at the gardens last week. 
I have a husband who loves me and my children. I have been blessed to be a mother and trusted with these two wonderful boys who make me smile and laugh everyday. We try to create a stable happy home for our family and times when I think it is far from perfect today I was grateful for where we are. I know, nothing earth shattering or new mind blowing. It is simple and that is my life. 
"Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings see what God has done."  
What will you find, what has God done in your life?


Your Children Want YOU

I have seen several people post this article on facebook or blogs and I finally took a minute to read it today. I would recommend reading it if you have a minute, it isn't very long. As I sat down to read this I had my 3 year old screaming in his bedroom because he crumpled up his bread that was part of his meat and cheese sandwich. He wanted more meat and cheese but not the bread. So when the bread went to the floor he went to bed for a nap. (I know I'm a mean mom.) I read the article and thought I have so been there before countless times. It is hard being a mom but it is also a wonderful blessing. I feel the same as this woman, if I could choose any mother in the world to be my mom it would be my mom. All I can do is be that same type of mother that is just right for my kids. I don't have any great insights or thoughts to make things better or I would be doing them. But at the end this women posed a question and a challenge, it is something I am going to try to do. I am who I am, I am enough.

QUESTION: How do you keep the right perspective on your importance to your family - in the midst of so many ideas and temptations to compare yourself with others?

CHALLENGE: Recognize any tendencies you might have to get wrapped up in discouragement, and set up a regular way to remind yourself that your children want you.
I love my little guys and am grateful to be their Mommy.


What to buy when

I love saving money, it actually is a bit of a hobby. I am a couponer and I search out deals. I am not crazy about coupons like some people but I definitely use them on stuff my family uses or needs. So when I read an article in Parents magazine called "A Year's Worth of Deals" last week it was right up my alley. Some of the items were no-brainers but I thought it was a great overview and something to remember for the future. I considered tearing the page out to keep it and then remembered whenever I do that I end up losing it and whatever I wanted to remember I don't. (Am I the only one that this happens to?) Anyway that is one reason I love pinterest, it saves me from losing stuff. So posting this here I am doing it for my benefit and maybe someone else will find it useful too.

Luggage - prices drop to get rid of what didn't sell during the holidays with the travel push.
Sports Equipment - prices are lower during the colder/off-season months
Exercise Equipment - take advantage of those who made healthy New Year's resolutions
Linens - it has been a traditional sale in January since 1878.
Furniture - new styles come in February so they need to make room

TV's - good deals before Super Bowl Sunday
Cameras & Camcorders - Electronics trade shows happen in January so last year's models will be discounted for new products
Winter clothes - Spring and Summer approaching so now you can stock up for next year. (I do this especially with kids clothes).

Grills - getting ready for spring and retailers want to unload last year's models.

SAVE YOUR MONEY - retailers anticipate you getting a tax refund so many places will actually increase prices.

Vacuums - New models come out in June, get rid of the older models

Tools - prices drop in time for Father's Day

Furniture - Second round of new styles come in August so the old inventory needs to go

Summer Clothes - Fall and Winter around the corner so stock up on warm weather clothes for next season.
Computers - Retailers want to get in on the back to school action
Small Appliances - Microwaves and toasters want to see back to school action as well.

Cars - Dealers are eager to move inventory for new models. Best selection will be now although prices may drop further towards the end of the year.
Outdoor Equipment - Stores are getting ready to sell snow blowers and leaf blowers so they will drop the prices of lawnmowers and patio furniture.

Big Appliances - Next year's models are coming. You can also save more if you are okay with a little dent or scratch.

TV's - Thanksgiving and football, enough said.

Toys - It's actually a miracle they price this right when you are looking for it.

Stuff you can buy anytime during the year:
Homes - especially right now it is a buyer's market (I know a great Realtor if you need one!)
Cell Phones - new models come out all the time so there are often sales when there is a shift in stock
Mattresses - Always negotiate listed price, you can often talk your way into a better deal.


Stake Conference

This weekend was our stake conference. I usually enjoy stake conference but I have to admit I struggle as well, and that is usually with the general session on Sunday. It did finally click to me why they have an adult meeting on Saturday night, it is so people with young kids can actually get something out of stake conference. Seriously. Anyway one of the things that impressed me the most came from our Stake President Saturday night (go figure). He read the first part of 1 Nephi 19:1, "And it came to pass that the Lord commanded me, wherefore I did. . . " He stopped and explained that the Lord commanded Nephi to do many things and he did them. We need to be the same way. He challenged us to write down one thing we have been asked to do that we aren't doing and work on it. There are many times that after meetings like that I feel so uplifted but also look at my life and think I have so much to work on and improve. It was comforting to me that he asked us to pick one, that is not so overwhelming for me. Now the trick is to make my goal a habit, but the first step is writing it down, right?


Master Bedroom

Before and it so needed some interest!
 Another one of my resolutions was our master bedroom. I had a plan and created a design last summer after watching some HGTV and doing a little research. I came across this awesome product from Inhabit Living. They have some great stuff but I immediately fell in love with the wall flats and we chose the Stitch Style. The great thing about this company is that they sell "seconds" as singular panels so we were able to buy just a few instead of a whole box. I had the texture or interest for the wall and now needed colors. 

Paint Sampling
I had been thinking of all sorts of color palates that the Smart One would be ok with and when I finally talked him into doing this project for my birthday we talked about colors for real. We were driving to pick some colors out and I made the comment, "It is all I can do to not want to paint our whole room purple." We got there and found some great colors. The main wall color - Clark + Kensington's Baby Elephant and then the Smart One suggested Bengamin Moore's Cabernet. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven when he suggested PURPLE. Just with the sampling we thought the original color was too dark, the furthest to the left. I had them lighten it and thought it was perfect. It was only for the headboard after all. 
Main wall color and plywood mounted
We painted the wall the Baby Elephant color and then attached a piece of plywood to the wall. The plywood was used for the wall slats. At first we tried carpet tape, that didn't work. So we tried contact cement and that did the trick. 
Ready to move the bed back
We then just got a simple molding to frame the whole headboard and painted it the same color as the other trim in the room.  

  I also realized we needed some matching nightstands. I saw this idea on pinterest that I would love to do someday. But I then found this product made by WayBasics that will do for now until we have a custom bed made one day. :) The Smart One figured out a good system to attach them to the wall and I have to say I am more than happy with the way it all turned out. 

I realize this isn't for everyone, but my motto with design is that if you love it then it is perfect for you. And it is for us!

Material List:
Inhabit Living - Wall Slats, Stitch pattern
Benjamin Moore - Cabernet lightened 20 drops of white
Clark+Kensington - Baby Elephant
Simple molding from Home Depot
WayBasics - Cube Storage Plus in Black


More Organized part 1

One of my resolutions or goals was to get more organized. This really is going to be a year long process for me and maybe more. I had this problem:

It was driving the Smart One crazy! And not only did I have necklaces, bracelets and miscellaneous jewelry scattered on the dresser, the Silly One could reach most of it. (sigh) I knew something had to change and I had seen some ideas on pinterest but nothing I actually thought would be perfect for me. So my idea came from a few ideas and my own imagination. :) 

I found this great board/plaque at DI (Deseret Industries) for 75 cents. It had a little damage on a couple of the corners but it was in decent shape and had holes in the back so it could be easily hung up on the wall. I spray painted the edges black. The Smart One helped with this step because it was so cold in the garage when I was trying to do it. :)

I then found some sweet paper that I didn't think I would get sick of quickly and used mod podge to cover the board. I had to actually use two pieces because the dimensions of the board were approx. 14" x 11". I then found a 4 pack of bathroom hooks from Walmart for a couple of dollars. They had adhesive backs so I didn't have drill anything just stick them on. I had most of the supplies but out of pocket for this project I spent less than $5!

Add jewelry and hang it on the wall (above and out of reach of the Silly One). Not everything is hung up like earrings and such but the dresser looks much better! I do have some other ideas churning about the earrings but it will have to wait. We are in the middle of my master bedroom plan. I am so excited for the finished product! Stay tuned. 

How are your resolutions/goals coming?


I Love Pinterest

I love pinterest, it is no lie around here. These two ideas (idea 1 and idea 2) on pinterest inspired me to add a little Valentine's Decor.
The black paper has swirls on it and is better close up. The letters are these patterned transparent letters on pink paper. 

Just some simple hearts above the door. I love the ribbon, it was actually on a present I got for my birthday this week. 
Hearts are pretty simple, not sure I'll do anything with shamrocks. :)



I took the boys to the dinosaur museum on Wednesday. The Silly One has been asking for weeks to go and we had an off afternoon so I decided we needed an outing. It is always fun to go and it was really great this time because it was pretty empty and we could look at whatever we wanted and spend as much or little time wherever. The museum starts with the oldest creatures and then moves forward in time. So towards the end they have mammels and such. We got to the exhibit below and the Silly One said, "Look at the monkeys!" Really? I don't have a clue why he thought that, perhaps he is advanced in scientific thinking and has his own thoughts on evolution. :)

He needed a picture with the "monkeys."
In a nearby exhibit there were more mammals and this one to me looked like a llama. Before I could point it out to the Silly One he said, "This one says he has a long neck like a giraffe." And there you have it. 

We'll have to keep going to the dinosaur museum to get some more frequent entertainment like this!


Starting Over

It is only January 8th and I plan to take down my Christmas decorations this coming week. I have a hard time taking them down each year. I think it is because I dread January. I am trying to be good about it, I think every year I think I need to be better about January. It also is just that I do love the holidays so much and the change in decor is fun, I take it down and go back to the regular stuff. :\

Anyway, I enjoy doing resolutions each year and this year I am doing a little twist on it. I read an article about an annual bucket list instead of resolutions and we are trying it out. I'll just list my resolutions and a few of our family items on the bucket list.
My resolutions:
1. Continue my Organization Plan and implement that into daily life.
2. Read the Book of Mormon as part of my daily study
3. Finish at least 4 seasons of my Sarah Jane patterns and hang them in my home
Family Bucket List:
1. Trip to South Bend with the Smart One to watch our favorite Boys in Blue (aka BYU Cougars) play Notre Dame.
2. Camping some place new
3. Finally get my master bedroom done (painting and my custom head board and perhaps the diy night stands)

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." - Benjamin Franklin

It is always fun to look back on the past year and the things that have been accomplished. One of my goals from last year was to see more good, hence the reason I started this blog. It has been just over a year and I love having a reason to look and share the good in my life. Many times I experience or see something and think, awesome I can blog about that. Here's to pleasant reflections of the past year and a Happy New Year filled with many blessings and happiness!