Saturday, January 7, 2017

Valentine Burlap Love Sacks

This is the cute craft I came up with as I woke up yesterday morning for our Other Meeting Activity in Relief Society. I think they are so cute! The little bags are burlap and filled with quilting badding (polyester fiber fill). Tied with hemp chord. That's it!

I cut 8 rectangles of burlap 10" x 5 3/4". Then I sewed a 1/2" seam along three of the sides. I trimmed the extra fabric of the corners so that the corners would be a little cleaner and turned the bag inside out. I used red acrylic paint to stencil on 3" letters that our Relief Society President cut out on her cricket. Then I cut a heart out of a note card and stenciled it in pink. I filled each bag with a handful of quilting badding and tied the top closed with a piece of hemp chord. 

Voila! A cute Valentine burlap Love Sack! Super cute, fast and easy!

We will also be having an exchange table and some finger treats for dessert. I can't wait to share this with our sisters!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mosiah in a Month

So, at the beginning of the summer, I wanted to keep my girls reading their scriptures. They all have different schedules and needs, so I wanted to make sure they kept up their scripture reading. To keep it fun, I wanted to add an incentive. So I came up with the idea of Mosiah in a Month. I used M&M's as a tool to introduce this theme! I copied a bookmark I found online, and adapted them to fit our family. The girls really liked this way of keeping track of their reading. (Some of the younger kids we decided it would be okay for them to listen to and follow along in their scriptures, but I wanted them to read the actual scriptures so they could get use to the language.)
Originally, I told them they would get 5 points for putting their name on the bookmark (basically for trying to participate). Then for each chapter they read, they'd get a point. (If they finished Mosiah, they could read any other book in the scriptures and get additional points for each chapter, but only AFTER they read Mosiah.) They would also get a point if they wrote something on our family text chat about something that stood out to them in their reading that day. (They could also just talk to me or my husband about it too.) They could only post once a day though. It was really neat to read the things that the girls were picking up on from their scripture reading. It really helped enhance my testimony this summer!! ( I did have to make up a chart to keep up on all the points. My husband and I did the challenge along with the girls too!)

Oh! There was an additional challenge! It was called the Dad Challenge that my husband came up with. So the idea behind the points was that depending on how many points they earned, they could "buy" different items on the menu at our big dinner at the end of the summer reading (just like a restaurant.) Different menu items would be worth different amounts, so if they only had 10 points, they wouldn't be able to buy very much. (This was a great incentive for them to read, but I didn't end up using the points in the end. I'll explain later.) So the Dad Challenge was, if they read and shared a thought EVERY DAY, they could have ANYTHING on the menu! They thought that was pretty cool!

They didn't have to read an entire chapter each day. Just as long as they read a couple verses and shared something each day. Ultimately, the goal was to read the entire book of Mosiah, we have some slower readers, so I didn't want them to feel overwhelmed or that it was an unobtainable goal. And I wanted to keep this fun!

So, our celebration dinner was last night. I was pretty nervous because I had to change the rules, but didn't tell the girls! I wanted to keep the incentive for the points, but it just was too much work to make that much food, and I wanted to do a Mystery Dinner, so that would make it even MORE challenging!

I had the girls make up some decorations for the yard the day before. (Pintrest was a blessing!) They also made place mats for the table! We had to host the dinner outside because they couldn't be in the kitchen at all!! I didn't want them to see what I was making! In fact, Saturday, after I went to the store, I told them that all food in the house was off limits. If they were going to eat something, they had to ask me first! (I didn't want to wake up Sunday and realize I didn't have half my ingredients!) I didn't even let my husband in on the menu! I prepped as much as I could on Saturday and then before I started the assembly on Sunday, I hung sheets around the kitchen so no one could see in. (It was my secret lab!!) As you can tell, I really built up the suspense! And it paid off!!

Before the dinner, I held an awards ceremony. I had one daughter who successfully completed the Dad's Challenge (so she got a big package of M&M's) and one daughter that only missed 2-3 days (so she got a medium package of M&M's)! That's pretty good considering the month actually extended into two months. Everyone else, got mini packages of M&M's as participation awards! 

Now a mystery dinner is lots of fun! A lot of work for me, though. I wanted it to be Book of Mormon based, which was super hard! I looked ALL OVER on line, and found very little help. So, this is the menu I made up.
The girls were instructed to use all 15 numbers. They couldn't use the same number twice! They had to enter a number in each box for the three courses. It was fun to hear what they thought things might be. (And yes, that means that some of them had their dessert for the first course, which they thought was AWESOME!) **I posted the menu and items below.

 I had to have my husband help me with this part. It was too much all by myself. I put sticky notes with the numbers 1-15 on the table with the food item so it would be faster and easier to fill each plate. (This was a saving grace!! If you ever do this, the sticky notes are a MUST!) I also put names on each plate so I could match things up easier. Now the rule is to take away the plate and everything after each course. (If they were lucky enough to order water their first course, I let them keep it.) We used paper plates and they had a clean one for each course.

Also, I would suggest only putting only a couple apple slices, or carrot sticks, or whatever the item is on the plate. It ended up being a lot of food and they were all stuffed by the end and really hadn't eaten all that much! After the dinner was over, they were allowed to go into the kitchen and have seconds of whatever they wanted.
The girls had a blast with this whole thing! They didn't even mind that their points did or didn't count! And they said it was the best dinner EVER!!! I'm so glad it created a fun memory and all my hard work paid off! They are even planning other events for me now! Nephi in November, for example! I'm so blessed to have such a great family!

If you end of doing this with your family, let me know how it goes and if you come up any helpful hints for the future!

  1. Carrot sticks – Swords & Spears 
  1. Water – Alma the Younger's Joy 
  1. Jello- Temple Blocks 
  1. Caesar Salad – Roman Mix-up 
  1. Ice Cream – Nursing Child's Treat 
  1. Fork – Two Paths 
  1. Watermelon (cut in triangles) – King Benjamin's Tower 
  1. Green Bean – Lord's Vineyard 
  1. Apples –Iron Rod Reward 
  1. Red Sauce – Red Sea 
  1. Bruschetta – Mana 
  1. Cookies – Helamen's Shield 
  1. Ice –Spiritual Rocks 
  1. Grapes – Seeds of Faith 
  1. Ravioli – Nephi's Wet Pillow

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I have a new calling in the Relief Society. I'm the 2nd counselor and over the Other Activities. I don't have a committee yet, and so the presidency helped me throw this evening together.

Our theme was, "Take a Leap of Faith." We asked a few sisters to share their conversion stories (in about 5 min. each) and then I closed by sharing Elder Bednar's talk, Converted Unto the Lord, from October 2012. It's a great talk combining testimony and conversion. “Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion.” I closed my talk with the scripture, Alma 5:26 "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" I made up some handouts for the sisters, which I have posted below. (I think they turned out cute!)
To close out the evening, the sisters were asked to bring something to share that they had never made before (Take a Leap of Faith). And then we, as their sisters, would in turn "Take a Leap of Faith" and try their creation! It was a great hit!

For those of you who are curious, I made a Maple Bacon Cupcake. (My hubby has tried to encourage me to make these for two years, but honestly, they just sounded gross.) As this is something I have NEVER made (and would never normally make), my daughter and I gave it a shot. We made a homemade maple cake and folded in bits of bacon. We topped it with a maple frosting and candied bacon. It actually turned out quite tasty! Kind of like breakfast, but better! So my husband now has gloating rights, and I will probably make it again!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine Cookie Bake

Yes, it's that time of year again and we had our annual Valentine Cookie Bake! I remember doing these with my grandma and there were tons of pink cookies and pink frosting! When Lylli was about 3, I decided to start doing cookie bakes at Valentine's Day too. They have always been a lot of fun. Last year was the only year in 7 that I haven't done one. So we were excited to get back to it this year! We usually do it the Saturday before Valentine's Day and this year was no different.

The girls each get to invite a couple friends. Layla, being the loving soul she is, invited more friends than she was supposed to and therefore earned herself her own party. (Don't ask.) (She's the one bottom right.)

Lylli, of course, only invited three friends and only one could come, but I think they had a good time. Although, I can never get a good picture of that kid. I even took a couple and this was the best one. Crazy, I know!

Seryn, in all her silly glory, (middle) had all her friends show up. It was interesting to watch my girls interact with their friends. I'm proud of my girls for choosing such good friends. They seem to come from great families! That's always so nice!
The Blevins came over too, but for some reason, I didn't get pictures of them. Needless to say, we had a great day full of pink and sweet!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Trip to Washington

For Christmas, I got the girls and I plane tickets to go to Washington in January. It was their first ever plane ride and it was a great vacation! We had a lot of fun! Here are a few highlights from our trip!

Layla, Seryn, & Lylli at the airport waiting impatiently for our plane! Although, they did like the moving sidewalks at DIA!
They were so excited! And we hadn't even started moving yet!
There was plenty to do and you'd think they had done this a hundred times! They were so well behaved!
The kids on the ferry. We got to take the ferry a couple different times, and every time, my kids loved it! Unfortunately, it was too foggy to see much.
Lylli stole my sweatshirt and was hanging out on the couch. I think this was the night she wasn't feeling very spunky.
Most nights, the floor was covered with kids wrestling each other! They thought that was great fun!
Pizza in Seattle before the Science Center. YUM! Joe, Layla, Lylli, Julianna, Seryn.
I don't care what age you are or how often you've seen this, it is a cool building!
They had a train exhibit at the Science Center that was pretty neat.
Lylli and Joe really liked the space exhibit! This is inside a spaceship. Lylli is doing a project on NASA this week and so she LOVED this!  
Seryn climbed up this and kept slipping off several times and was so proud of herself when she finally sat on top of his head! Silly kid. The kids really liked the butterfly exhibit. I had my camera out ready to take pictures, and a butterfly came and landed right on my camera and hand. So I couldn't get a picture! But it was cool!
This is always a cool place to get pictures!
The girls though this was pretty cool to!
One day, Brian took us to see the navy ships. They were pretty neat.  He actually spent almost a year on a ship like this, though his ship isn't either of these. (His was one over.)
Yes, this is everyone's backs, but it was hard to get them to want to pose for more pictures.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Christmas was lots of fun for us this year. I had to work until 2 on Christmas Eve, but then I met the girls at my parents' and we had homemade pizza for dinner. Then some family came over and we did some singing and made (and ate) homemade doughnuts. They are, of course, amazing!!

This year, instead of getting pajamas on Christmas Eve, the girls got robes, which they love
Which they love, obviously! In fact, Lylli would now like to be Obewan-ka-lylli for Halloween! Silly kid!
Seryn and Layla loved the sing-a-long. Lylli was off crocheting somewhere. I taught her to crochet that night. She loves it.
Santa even stopped by our house this year. Lucky us!
And it should be known that Santa and I coordinated gifts this year. So mine was the first to be opened so that Santa's would make sense. For Christmas this year, I bought all four of us plane tickets to Seattle Washington. My brother, Dean, lives out there as well as my boyfriend, Brian. The girls were VERY excited to learn they would be seeing everyone AND flying on an airplane!
Here is Seryn putting togethe her Kinex with Grandpa. (Brian got all the girls Kinex, which they love.)

Layla got some beautiful earrings. I think they're too big, but she loves them! Of course!

And this is the ferris wheel Lylli made with her Kinex.

Of course, I can't begin to name all the wonderful gifts we received this year. Harry Potter wands, a mini food processor, suitcase, jewelry. Well, you saw the pile of gifts. I could go on for a while. But what's most important is that we had a nice time. I made dinner and my parents joined us. It was laid back and really nice.

Santa's Lap!

We weren't excited to see Santa at all! Can't you tell?