Friday, December 5, 2014

Beautiful Morning

 We've been running around all week and it's been cloudy and rainy (which we are very happy about).  So it was very nice to be able to stay home this morning.  Tank and Taz(Baby H) happily played while I did some work and I am convinced that nothing makes little boys happier then dirt and sticks and dogs.
We are very fortunate to have such an easy going dog.  The kids can climb all over Apollo and he never minds.
By the way, in case you were wondering . . . apparently it's Spring here and not almost Winter.  Just take a look at all that green grass!  Bryce actually commented this morning that he might have to mow -in December!
 Teancum had to come and see what all the excitement was about.  He wasn't impressed and left.

 The boys even drew the curiosity of the cows.  They are starting to get really big!
 Isn't he pretty!  Or maybe it should be handsome.
 While we were in the back yard playing, Taz lit up at one point as if he had suddenly remembered something.  He took off running and before I could catch up he was playing in the puddle in the driveway.  By that point there was nothing to do but let him enjoy splashing.  After all, he'd been eying the puddle from the kitchen window for a few days.

Now the sun is blocked by clouds and hopefully it will begin to rain soon.  I made bread bowls last night and will be making clam chowder for dinner in anticipation of the rain.  Crossing fingers!

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's December! Our Blessings Jar

Wow!  It's December.  Things have been crazy around here.  My biggest craft show of the year went amazingly well -almost doubling what I made the previous year and Bryce is in that "End of the Semester" mode where's he's been writing papers and doing research like crazy.  Amongst all that we managed to remember Thanksgiving and our year long experiment with naming our blessings and expressing our gratitude.  Thanksgiving evening we opened up the jar that's we've collected these blessing in and read them, remembering the amazing things we experienced in a year.  It was amazing.  We were blessed so much and even though things were sometimes hard, we always had everything that was needed.  Among those blessings included in our jar were my amazing in-laws (parents and siblings), the gift of motherhood and being able to be a stay at home mom, unexpected help from strangers and . . . Bryce getting a job!  He's now working for the Fresno EOC in the IT department and loving what he is doing.  So yes, he now works full time and goes to school full time.  Speaking of school, we also recently found out that Bryce gets to graduate this next spring (pending completion of classes of course.)

So as you can see, we've had a lot of blessings recently, as well as being constantly on the go.  So, back to Thanksgiving.  These are some pictures from that day before we went over to Bryce's parents house.  My Visiting Teacher had given the kids pictures of turkeys to write what they were thankful for and to color.  The lists that they came up with were pretty good.  Tank kept saying "Toothpaste" as something he was grateful because it was making us laugh.  All the kids said they were grateful for rain which is something we've been in desperate need of in our area.
Something that I'm grateful for is my family.  My kids drive me crazy, but they are a lot of fun.  Life wouldn't be the same without them.  Something else I'm grateful is this guy right here.  He works so hard at everything he does.  He's such a blessing in my life.

 And of course, this guy.  He's our goof ball, our class clown.  If you couldn't already tell.  :-)

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Flock

I have so much good news!  But I can't tell it all right now.  I should be wrapping soap like crazy for tomorrow's craft show.  But I wanted to introduce to you our new flock of chickens.  I have no idea what kind of chickens they are but they are beautiful.  We have had them for a week and this morning is the first time we've let them out of the chicken run to explore their new home.
Our rooster is also absolutely wonderful.  Aside from the 5:00am crowing while I was trying to write (very annoying), he is the first rooster we've had that I haven't immediately wanted to get rid of.  He's very mellow, doesn't attack me (yet) and is very protective of his flock.  In the evenings he ushers his girls into the coop and then sits guard at the door before it gets close up.  When one of his girls goes into lay an egg, HE'S the one who does the egg song.  I hope we continue to get along.

Ok, off to wrap some soap.  Remember to come by the craft show tomorrow!  More good news to come. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's Craft Show Time!

Well if you couldn't tell by the lack of blogging for nearly two months, I have been busy busy BUSY!  I've been busy making soap and taking care of the kiddos while the Hubby is in school full time, and working/looking for work full time.  Because I've got such a crazy life schedule as it is, I typically only do one big craft show a year and it's almost here.  This year I will be offering several new types of soaps as well as your old favorites.  I will also be offering for the first time, some lip balms.

This craft show is always a big hit every year and supports my children's' school.  So, come visit us!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Few Recent Art Projects

I've been doing some painting lately.  I know I'm not all that great but I've been having fun with it.  It's nice sometimes to create something pretty that you can physically see.  When I write, I only see it on the computer and sometimes it's hard to get a visual on that to see just how much I've done.  Painting has also been very relaxing for me.  I can paint when I'm tired and can't put together a coherent sentence.  I might make mistakes while painting because I'm tired but that doesn't seem to bother me as much.  I finished the above painting last night and it is acrylic on a canvas panel.  I've never painted on canvas before and I really enjoyed the texture of it.  I went with a canvas panel mainly because it was on sale at the store.  It's also been forever since I've painted in acrylics.  I was in high school the last time I did it. 

These pictures below are water color.  Some of you have seen them already on facebook.  I finished it a few weeks back for my Divine Nature 10 hour project that's part of the Young Women's Personal Progress program.  I've always been kind of partial to water color painting but it can be hard sometimes.  I'm finding acrylic to be a little more forgiving.  Someday I'd like to try oil painting but I think I'll save that for when I can actually take a class on it.  I know next to nothing about oil painting.  What I do know is that it takes a really long time to dry.  That's the extent of my knowledge.
I have also been making a lot of soap lately.  I'm gearing up for my biggest show of the year and I basically only have a month left to get all my cold processed soap made so that it's properly cured in time.  I will be having a lot more varieties of goat milk soap and hopefully some other products that I've never offered at the show before.  Those will depend upon my time.  There is so much behind the scenes show prep that goes on and this year I may be faced with having to buy a new printer to be able to handle the work load of printing so many labels.  Our current printer has not been liking me lately.

I will have more detail about the upcoming show soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Little Moments

Sunsets are like Little Moments.  If you aren't paying attention, you will miss the beautiful ones.
             Little moments. Little fleeting moments so small yet so powerful that for those few seconds I am transformed.  These moments come so unexpectedly.  They still me.  They open my mind and peace floods in.  Peace.  Peace.  Comfort.  Love.  Assurance that in that exact moment I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.  Divine Approval.
            These moments come when I’m carrying a basket of laundry, when I’m hugging my littlest child, when I’m folding clothes late at night, when I’m helping my oldest with his homework, when I’m listening to the new young women choir sing together for the very first time.  Each moment teaches me something new.  My life, right now, is enough.  It’s hard, but I’m a good mom.  This is exactly what Heavenly Father wants me to do and what I want to do.  I am doing good work.
            It sometimes is hard for me to reconcile my dreams and aspiration of being a writer with the important role I play as a mother.  The world pushes for women to be career oriented even to the point of sacrificing the domestic and family life in order to achieve it.  While I know that there is nothing else in the world as important as raising my children, I still fall into the trap and even sometimes despair that I’ll never be able to achieve this dream I have of being a writer.  After all, women younger then me have already been at the top of bestseller lists and seen their works hit the big screen.  How in the world will I ever be able to compete with them?  Then, when I feel as though I should give up on the whole notion of being a writer, something magical happens and words flow out of me that I didn’t even know I had and it’s amazing, wonderful and energizing.  When this occurs, another little moment comes.  A moment that stills me, enlightens me and assures me that what I have written is good and that I need to keep writing. 
            Do you know what I’ve figured out about these little moments?  They are a testimony to me of just how much Heavenly Father knows me and loves me.  He knows I worry all the time about being a good mom and that I’m not doing enough for my kids.  He knows that I wonder if I’m fulfilling my church calling to the best of my ability while struggling to keep things operating in my home.  He knows that I love to write and create beautiful things.  He knows that I doubt myself all the time.  He knows me better then I know myself.  I am so grateful for these little moments.  These little fleeting moments are helping me to learn who I really am.  I am a lot better then the world would have me think I am.

Monday, September 1, 2014

This September Light

Have you noticed the light outside lately?  It looks different.  It feels different.  It's like the in held breath before a long exhale.  It's . . . beginning to feel like fall.  The days are still hot but they are also getting shorter.  The mornings are beginning to have that dewy crispness to them and everything around me seems to whisper that things are about to get better -gloriously better. 

I have always loved the fall.  October is by far my favorite month and the great thing about September is that it ushers in this wonderful time of year.  Just think about it.  In just a little while the leaves will begin to fall (though in some places, they already are).  The colors will change.  The air will take on that Autumn scent.  Rain will fall -a lot of it I hope.  I will be able to wear long sleeves again and Bryce will consent to my making soup.  Oh hurray!  I love soups.

The light though . . . that's my favorite.  This light is like a warm blanket that envelopes you as you bask in it's orange brightness.  Perhaps it is just me but it makes me tingle with excitement.  Excitement for cooler days, rain, wind rustling fallen leaves, open windows, honey tea and soup. 

Also, excitement for the gospel.  Excitement for the hastening of the Lord's work.  Excitement for harvesting in the vineyard (and I'm not just talking about grapes).  Excitement for Golf Boy's baptism, a soon to be missionary niece, for tithing and for blessings more numerous then I could ever have imagined.

Speaking of love, have I mentioned lately how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you?  Well they do.  So very much.  I know it and I have felt their love for me in my own life.  I have felt their love in numerous ways these past few weeks.  Peace and a feeling of calmness the moment I step into the temple.  Comfort when I'm feeling sad.  An offer of chickens and a pasta maker (I know . . . silly, but there's a story behind it).  Having enough to take care of our needs.  Laughing children and the reassurance that everything is going to be alright.

This September Light has helped me feel hope.  That's what I've really needed lately.  Hope.  Hope that I can step up and take on the challenge of being a good mother while Bryce is gone a lot for school.  Hope that he will do well in school and that he really will be graduating in the Spring.  Hope that his job interview on Thursday goes well and that he does well on his test on Friday.  Hope that somehow, someway, I can get my brain back and get back to writing those books that are currently stuck in my head and hope for being able to do some needed things that have been put off for too long.  Oh, and maybe hope that I can declutter and organize, but that one's a little low on the list. 

Now it's time for me to go make some honey tea for my sore throat from my fall time allergies that I'm hoping won't last for much longer.  Oh, and maybe get some sleep. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cliff Lake 2014: Day 4 -There and Back Again

Here we are on the final day of our hike.  The morning started off smoky and cloudy.  The wind had picked up and grew strong during the night and brought smoke over from the French Fire.  It was a little hard to breath so we didn't do much sleeping in.  As soon as it was dawn, we began packing up.  By the time we had finished breakfast and packed, the smoke cleared away somewhat, making it easier to breath.  We hit the trail early, leaving behind the beauty of the high Sierras to descend back down into reality.  We followed the same hike out as we did hiking in.  The overcast sky made all the vivid greens pop out.  It was absolutely beautiful.
I feel so blessed to have been able to go on this hike with my amazing husband.  While I missed my kids a lot, it was really nice to be able to have some "us" time.  Some day when the kids are older, they will be coming on these hikes with us and I can't wait to be able to share these experiences with them.  Hopefully they will develop a love for these quiet woods like we have.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Bryce who has made these past ten years the best in my life.  Here's to many more wonderful memories together!

In case you missed them: