Thursday, December 13, 2012

A lunchtime conversation

Snack time in her 'playground'
Today at lunch, in the middle of the "What dinosaur do you think this is?" chicken nugget guessing game, Ellie and I had a conversation something like this:

Ellie: "Someday would you like to make real animal chicken nuggets? Like, all kinds of animals and even zebras?"

Me: "That sounds pretty fun, but I don't know how to make chicken nuggets."

Ellie (thoughtful): "We just make whatever recipe we want... and then microwave it!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Portuguese Summer School
At the beginning of the school year, I started getting involved with a committee that had been working on implementing a Dual Immersion Program in Logan school district.  It's been a great experience and really fun to be a part of the process. We presented to the school board last night and the proposal was approved - hooray! So next year Hillcrest (Landon's school) will be starting Portuguese in first and second grades! I'm so excited for my kids to be a part of this,  and how amazing for them to be learning Portuguese at school!  I'm just thrilled that this opportunity has come right now.

Tuesday Flowers

Tuesday's have been flower days since about the time Jordan and I started dating (starting with a flower left for me at work with a note "Tuesdays are for flowers, don't you know?"). The kids have had lots of secret Tuesday adventures to the flower shop to help pick out a surprise for me. With Jordan in New York, the kids and I were at Lee's on Tuesday and when we walked past the floral department on our way to the produce, Landon said "Mom! We have to get you some flowers today!" What a sweetly trained little boy! :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

My first sale!

Woohoo! I'm so excited to think that somewhere in Logan there is a little girl wearing this little clippy I made.  :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Some days are like that.

On a better day :)
For no particular reason, we somehow just had a rough day yesterday. Jordan and I went to bed a bit perplexed at where all the crazyness and chaos suddenly came from. Apparently, Landon noticed too -- his prayer at breakfast time today went something like this -

"Please bless that we can have a great day today, not like yesterday.
And please bless that Ellie can have a great day, not like yesterday.
And that I can have a great day, not like yesterday.
And please bless that we can all have a better day today than yesterday." 

(Thankfully his prayer was answered. We practiced helping Owen say "please" in place of "MORE!", I prepped for scouts while Ellie and Owen did puzzles, the kids played play-dough through the afternoon... nothing too different, except that it was an entirely better day. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas time is here again!

Saturday evening happenings
Oh we're happy about this Christmastime.   We've had an extended Fall with many afternoons of yard work, adventures, and outside time -- yesterday Jordan and Landon adventured by unicycle/bicycle to Chick-Fil-A for an ice cream cone.  But even if it means a break from unicycle practice, Jordan has been wishing for snow. :)  I've been working on an activity advent and I'm excited about all of the simple celebrations ahead with our little family.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Happy Birthday

Hard at work prepping for the red & white/ polka-dot pizza party -- these are serious (and wonderful!) party planners. :)

I had a day full of celebrations this week for my birthday. Waking up to a lively "Happy Birthday to You!" from Landon and Ellie, a surprise breakfast from Kneaders, baking a cake with Ellie, a Pizza party with perfectly matching decorations, calls and visits and birthday cards from people I love...

Plus all of the happy things that a day of life brings right now.  A morning run, our getting-ready-for-the-day time before school, grocery shopping with Ellie and Owen, making Jordan spinach salad for lunch, some time for sewing, Christmas decorating...

And a funny (and very sweet!) birthday present from Jordan -- I may be the one and only person to say that my husband gave me a domain name for my birthday!  ( I'm brainstorming about all the things I can do with this... and  I'm so grateful for his great support in everything I do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Business!

I just dropped off a batch of holiday hair clippies to sell at a  children's consignment store in the mall. Woohoo! It's something I've been thinking about and wanting to do for a long time but had to gather the courage for and I did it at last!  So now I'll be thrilled if they sell, but still super excited  just to think of something I've made hanging up on the shelves at the mall. Hooray!

Also, I opened an etsy shop with my bicycle ankle straps. So if you know any bicyclers that would love these, you know where to go. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grandpa Pete

"He loved to make beautiful things."

My Granda Peterson passed away earlier this month with complications from heart surgery. He was born in Logan so his family chose to have him buried here with his parents, and Jordan and I were able to host all the visiting family for lunch and a day of visiting on the day of the service last weekend. What a blessing. 

My heart felt so full with gratitude for so many reasons. 

I was so grateful for the opportunity to serve. Things have been going pretty smoothly for our family and we'd been praying for a chance for our family to serve. We worked and prepared and crossed off lists to get our home clean and organized and to have everything ready for the luncheon... and we prayed that those who would come here would feel a sweet spirit of peace in our home at this hard time. 

Another great blessing was hearing and learning so many really good things about my grandpa. My mom (and her siblings) never had a great relationship with their dad, so I had rarely heard anything good about him. What a gift to hear from my aunts and uncles about his talents, his efforts, his trials, his good desires, his work to be a good father. And what a witness to the power of the atonement to see their healing and their peace. 

One thing my Aunt Eileen said after describing many of the things he had fixed and built  was "He loved to make beautiful things." This is a gift of my own that I've often attributed to my mom. What a sweet discovery to learn that this is something I can thank not only my mother for but her mother and father as well. (And quite likely their mothers and fathers...)

My aunts and uncles have done so much to serve me and my family since I was young. I felt so grateful this past weekend for them, and  for the opportunity to serve these good, good people who have done so much to love and care for me throughout my life. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I'm so thankful for the peaceful lives my children lead.  For the blessings of peace that come from living in this country. And for the peace in our home. (Which of course is not a constantly accurate descriptive word... but is something we work towards.)   I'm grateful for the part that I can play in creating a home where they can grow up feeling happy and secure and safe and loved.

(Just a short video from Ellie during her quiet time today)

Monday, November 19, 2012

I am thankful for sweet songs and words

"We have been born as Nephi of old..."
Last Sunday Jordan was playing primary songs on the piano and Landon walked around the house singing along "And we will be the Lord's missionaries to bring the world his truth..." This evening we went for a bike ride/running adventure and Landon asked me from the stroller "Mom, can I sing you Jolly Old St. Nicholas"?  As I held Owen before bed, Landon sat down and asked "Can I sing to you softly?" I love these sweet songs.

And I love Ellie's songs and poems and rhymes. She loves the sounds of words and loves making up poems by repeating whatever she might have been saying in a sing song voice or with a new rhythm. "After quiet time we'll go to the park if it is sun sun so... After quiet time we won't go to the park if it is rain rain row..."

Owen, unfortunately, has found his own new oft-repeated word and it is an emphatic and energetic "no!" Today at dinner he did not want to try the pasta and ended up in tears... and finally his fitfully waving hands just covered his eyes in despair. And suddenly "Where'd he go?" he asked with a silly smile -- and a new game of peek-a-boo with Ellie began. What a funny little guy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I am glad for many things...

"I am glad for many things that are mine today"

Life got a little busy and I forgot to keep writing a daily 'thankful' post - so here are a few for catch up.

I'm thankful for a balanced budget, thanks to my new trusty notebook system (replacing in part my long-used excel spreadsheets. ) And for the means to provide all the necessities of life for our family.

I'm thankful for Jordan's great job at Animoto. It's been hard to see some good friends  moving on to other companies as Animoto has grown from it's start-up roots.   But it is still an incredible job and a remarkable blessing for our family.

I'm thankful for my children. Every day my heart is bursting when I think of the tenderness of these three little ones. They've each been sick (at least once...) this week. So I've had more chances than usual for holding and rocking and cuddling and caring.

I'm thankful for Jordan. I love him so.

I'm thankful for a clean home. We worked like crazy this week to prepare for company and It's been so wonderful to have a clean house. A raked yard. Organized cupboards and closets (mostly :)  Even a clean storage room! It feels so nice when things are clean.

And just for fun, from last Sunday afternoon --

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Logan thinks it's winter...

But this tree across the street says Fall has just stepped out for a bit and will be back soon.

With that in mind, we've been enjoying the bursts of winter in the middle of our beautiful Fall.

3 mornings of wake-up and play in the snow before breakfast.
2 Jordan + kids sledding trips at the park.
1 giant Frosty the Snowman built by Landon and Ellie and Daddy.

So, today I am thankful for happy feelings about the snow :)

Happy Winter Fall!

A few days ago while we were working in the yard, a couple stopped by to ask what kind of tree this was. We didn't know, and they asked "How can you live across the street from a tree this beautiful and not know what it is?" Now I have my next question for the extension office ready. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Table & Chairs

Owen and Ellie have just discovered the fun of playing under our kitchen table. They think it is the silliest thing ever. "That's funny!" says little Owen :) 
Owen helping Jordan with the finishing touches

Also,  we (finally!) recovered our kitchen chairs today. Hooray! We rarely are able to start and finish a project in the same day, but we did it - from a supply trip to Hobby Lobby to 4 complete chairs and with an evening to spare. Even with our great little helpers joining in throughout the project we got it done! :)

Grandmas and Grandpas

Grandpa Brough helping Owen get ready for the day
I'm thankful today that my kids have Grandmas and Grandpas that love them so much and are so loved. Winslow's birthday was yesterday and the kids had such fun making cards and putting together a present for him. And we're looking forward to the holidays and more time to spend with all the grandmas and grandpas.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I'm thankful today for good books. My constant clean up sweep through the upstairs always includes books - systematically emptied to the floor by Owen, or left behind and forgotten from happy reading time by Ellie or Landon. We went to the 'Math-a-magic" activity at Hillcrest tonight and ended up spending most of the activity time in the school library where Jordan read books to Owen while Ellie and Landon played Bingo until they won a prize (a new book). Ellie could hardly watch the magic show afterwards because she was just so excited about her new "Ten in the Bed". Landon got home and asked for a very special box to keep his new Magic Treehouse book in.  I so love books - I'm glad these little ones do too. :)

Also, my favorite post-election thoughts here, here and here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Today I'm thankful for beautiful music. I've been sitting at my sewing machine this evening with Pandora by my side playing from my favorite Broadway shows, and I'm just loving it.

Also today, a walk by the used-to-be canal at the end of our street, an afternoon at the park, an evening of yard work --- it has been another beautiful Fall day. (Made sweeter with the urgency of enjoyment that comes in knowing snow is likely just a few days away :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Beautiful Logan Days

I'm thankful today for a beautiful Fall day.  And some fun and silly running around time with these two.

Also, I read this today (from a New York mom-blogger) -- after prepping and fundraising for the cancelled NYC marathon, she spent her un-marathon hours (and then some) in disaster clean up. Makes me want to do more good. And handle disappointments in the best ways.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Making Things / Time

Ellie helping make chocolate chip cookies

This Ellie sure loves to make things. With ingredients, with lego blocks, tinkertoys, waffle blocks... she loves to make oatmeal (sillyness from this morning "you made oatmeal for me! I love oatmeal!" ) she loves to make up the perfect outfit (and tell us all about it), she just loves to make things. 

Me too! I took some time during naps today to clean up my craft room and finish up some mending projects that have been needing my attention. So today I'm thankful for time to make things and for the happiness that comes from it.

And one more thankful for the day --

Our family home evening lesson tonight came from this excerpt Kathie sent me from  Abundance.

  Each of us starts with the same twenty-four hours in the day.  How we utilize those hours determines the quality of our lives.  We go to extraordinary lengths to manage our time, to save time, to make time.  In the past, just meeting our basic needs filled most of our hours.  In the present, for a huge chunk of the world, not much has changed.  A rural peasant woman in modern Malawi spends 35 percent of her time farming food, 33 percent cooking and cleaning, 17 percent fetching clean drinking water, and 5 percent collecting firewood.  This leaves only 10 percent of her day for anything else, including finding he gainful employment needed to pull her off this treadmill. Because of all this, Ridley feels that the best definition of prosperity is simply "saved time."  "Forget dollars, cowrie shells, or gold, " he says.  "The true measure of something's worth is the hours it takes to acquire it."  [Abundance, by Diamandis & Kotler]

What a blessing it is to have so much time available to choose what we want to do!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Today I am thankful for Owen. What a happy, sweet, and just great little guy he is. I love him so!

The past few days, Owen has had a new game of pretending to get hurt then coming to me for a kiss, then again and again and again...  :) So funny and he thinks it is just the best new thing.  (Video below)

Setting the table

A happy Owen reading Things that Go

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I'm thankful today for a happy moment of catching Landon just playing and being a little boy - I sure love this Landon.

Also, we are just about done with our park strip rocks - hooray!

And I loved this sweet description of concern + gratitude.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Something you may not know about Jordan...

(What a rider! And what a cute little guy! And what a beautiful Fall day too! 
 Jordan is a unicyclist! Looking to add one more mode of transportation to our outdoor adventures, Jordan bought a unicycle. After about 3 years of practicing and riding just a few feet at a time, this summer he finally saw some definite progress, and with the last few weeks of lunch break practices he is now cruising around the neighborhood like a pro.  Next step -  off-road unicycling?

Look at him go!

Happy Halloween

a ballerina, scuba diver, and shark

We had a busy Halloween day -- with early morning costume adjustments, Landon's class party that I organized and prepped, a Hillcrest costume parade, the annual Lee's event, a pumpkin dinner flop (after an empty oven cooked for 2 hours -- the drawback of a double oven :) , neighborhood trick-or-treating, and treat giving out... what a happy busy day!

And a fun  animoto here --

Class Party Details --
I have to share because these just turned out so fun :)

The kids made pumpkin stick puzzles (idea from MADE)
Halloween Twister (made by me -- not too fancy, but the kids sure loved it! )
Don't Eat Pete (from SpringTimeTreats)


A class book with a Halloween poem and picture on each page that the kids drew of their own costumes.

And a monster story and monster cookie decorating. 

Fun! :)


I'm thankful today that these three are good friends. Of course I play mediator a lot, but I love the moments of finding them just playing together so happy in each others company. And sweet Landon and Ellie can't stand to go to sleep without the other nearby. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful November Days

I'm thankful today for...

A leaf raking lunch break with Owen and Ellie and Jordan.

In other news --

Thinking a lot of the East Coasters trying to get back on track (Jordan's Animoto friends are still without power or water).

A Happy (and busy!) Halloween yesterday

I was thrilled with an hour of focused time this morning to do dishes, put up our new November calendar and dates, and make lunch all while Ellie and Owen played play dough. Woo-hoo!

Landon lost his second tooth this morning during our pancake breakfast - "Oh! It' just such an exciting day!" 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dentist/Brownie Journey

I drove down to Provo on Thursday for a dentist appointment. An interesting audiobook and the familiar sights of Provo made the otherwise not-so-pleasant trip a happy one. And the best reward from my trip to take care of my teeth was a new freezer stash of BYU Brownies. (I'll keep my toothbrush near :)

Hidden Picture

I just finished one of the big projects I started yesterday (a Halloween twister mat for Landon's class party tomorrow). I finally glanced around enough to notice why Jordan mentioned last night with more than  a hint of relief "Just 2 more days of these projects, right?"  :)

So, here's the hidden picture: can you spot 10 projects in the works on this kitchen counter?

(I promise this counter was clean yesterday afternoon!)

1. Halloween Twister mat  (spray paint, stencils, hole punch, paint brush, cutting board, scissors, sticky glue)
2. Jello Worms experiment (rubberband, tall cup - and some straws under one of those piles I think)
3. Morning Dishes Job (silverware tray, veggie scrubber, breakfast dishes, fondue pot...)
4. Lunch (Ellie's paper plate turned paint holder, Owen's tray, Spinach salad bowl)
5. Ellie's pretend Road/ Class book  (long colored paper strip scraps, 3-eyed guy and Lightning McQueen)
6. Tuesday flowers (leftover vase of flowers being replaced)
7. Portuguese learning (notecard taped up)
8. Family Game Night (box of cards/ computer stand)
9. Pumpkin Puzzles (painted craft stick pile)
10. 10 more projects (open on my computer desktop - Don't Eat Pete, halloween snack brainstorming, uploading photos, emailing,  snack bag labels, monster matching game search, weekly goals chart, family budget...)

(Not pictured -- every other surface and space of our upstairs, and my craft room, and my bedroom all looking about the same...)

Time to tackle this mess!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Smashing Pumpkins

more info here on the event
Today Landon and I went with Jenny to the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Toss at Elkridge park.  Several teams of USU mechanical engineering students (and others) built enormous catapults and competed in distance and accuracy to see how well they could sling pumpkins (leftover from last weekend's Pumpkin Walk) across the park's field. And it was really fun to watch! They filled a few pumpkins with candy before sending them flying, so of course Landon left happily with his pockets filled to the brim.   I think it must have been the most unique fall activity I've ever been to -  and possibly even more entertaining than the scenes these pumpkins once filled :)

Park Strip Rocks

The pile of rocks on our driveway is much more compelling than any other toys we might have :)

We've been working (and working and working...) on redoing our park strips and adding some weed barrier to hopefully make them a little nicer. We're getting closer, but if/when we ever do finish, Owen will certainly miss one of his favorite play places.

Little Missionary

Ellie was so excited to find her old (long lost!) hymn book in the lost and found at church that she wanted me to take her picture. (And doesn't she look like a 3-year-old sister-missionary-in-training?)  We were excited to hear the news about the missionary age changes.  Listening to conference, Landon could tell by our reactions that something exciting was happening and he tried to listen harder to figure it out. Frustrated, he said something like "What's happening? You guys can understand all these things, but I can't!" When we explained more,  Ellie (who has often heard us talking to Landon about serving a mission)  said "I think I will go on a mission when I am 19!  It will be exciting to see what impact these changes will have!

Welcome Home

Jordan and I went to Park City for a few days to celebrate our Anniversary while Grammie and Grandpa took care of the kids at home. It was absolutely beautiful and we had a great time biking, shopping, sleeping in, reading, relaxing, and eating yummy food. After a great trip, we were happy to return to our sweet family. Owen held on tight to Jordan for at least 20 minutes after we walked in the door, and only let go for more hugging time with me.
Oh, how we love these Owen hugs!

Snow day

Owen may soon be wishing for these green grass days again!
Our first day of snow came as a complete surprise to us. Landon and Ellie were thrilled to pull out their winter clothes and build snow castles and gather snow balls and make footprints through the backyard. Ellie couldn't get over the sillyness of snowy days in the Fall!  And with an Owen who loves to go outside, it was so fun to reintroduce him to snow.  I'm not sure whether he loved it or not, but for the past few days he has looked out the windows with exclamations of "Wet!" and "Cold!"


While Kathie and Winslow were visiting, Landon got to go fishing with Grandpa and April at the fishery. With such fishing success,  he was a proud little boy!

Try to remember the kind of September...

It's been a while -- our Autumn time has been flying by! But, since I so soon forget the moments I think I will never forget, here is a bit of our September in pictures.

A snack time picnic watching the diggers hard at work near our house. 

After school snacks
Early Fall afternoon walks

Watching/listening to Pandora (especially our favorite Laurie Berkner or 'You are my Sunshine')

Oh, yummy fruits and veggies! A favorite part of Fall. (And our lovely Portuguese labels too)

Adding patches to Landon's pants... a sure sign that Fall had arrived.

Campfire dinners and hikes and our first on-our-own overnight family campout

The new look of our kitchen courtesy of the newest climber in our home.

Beautiful hikes!