Planning… and wishing… and hoping… and dreaming.  One book for each month this year.


Brown paper covers sewn with regular ol’ typing paper on the inside.  And a smattering of embellishments…


Smencils not required, but oh-so-fun.  {And they have Smalentines.  In mint chocolate chip, ch-ch-cherry, be mine, sweetheart and strawberry cream.  I swoon.}

Exhibit A


Part of our Thanksgiving feast…

Evidence of a blessed life cards ready to be filled out – thanks to Nisa for the fun-loving designs that only took slight adapting.

I just left a basket of cards nearby (journaling cards on one side and notes/frames on the other). Any family that wanted to fill one out could write/draw pictures and then clip it on the ring.

Made a file folder cover with my little guy and evidence all over his sweet mug.  And just like that… this little album is ready to be loved and enjoyed often. One fun way to count those blessings. 🙂

{credits:  Splendid Fiins:  Evidence-notes and framesEvidence-journaling cards, also: file folder, tag, clip ring, walnut ink, font: Artistamp Medium and my handwriting}

This little book is from last Thanksgiving.  I realized I never shared it here… it was sure fun to take a peek at again this year.  Handwriting and artistic skills have advanced a little, but it’s wonderful to see that many of our blessings counted are the exact same.

Giving Thanks

Thankful for so many blessings. Thankful for a Heavenly Father who is aware of each of us and our needs. Thankful for my family that keeps me smiling and giggling. Also, thankful for the yummy smells in my home.

That’s the short list.  I was making pies this morning and that last one had to make it’s way on.

There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for, always.  Another one at the moment is an amazing aunt that took the time to teach me how to make tortillas.

It started when her boyfriend came for a visit and taught her his mother’s recipe.  The tortillas all the neighborhood children still talk about now that they’re grown.  That’s the one.

It looks a little something like this:

“THE tortilla recipe:
it is 3 to 4 cups flour to one cube softened butter….mixed in well with your fingers…add about 2 tsp salt and a pinch of baking powder. Have 2 cups lukewarm water ready to add as needed. It takes most of it. Mix with your hands to a dough that feels about like pie crust dough..not too wet but not dry either. flour the area you will roll them out very lightly (the flour burns on the grill otherwise) and using a peice of the masa about the size of an egg roll it out (flipping it over and around after each roll) until big and thin. (they aren’t all perfectly round but still taste great) then on a hot grill (we used a skillet, a cast iron grill and a big electric grill and they all worked great) that is dry..not greased at all….put one at a time and turn with it bubbles nicely all over…it may puff up and that is fine..when done stack them up on a paper towel on counter to cool before bagging them up. Thats it!! I think I covered it all. The butter and the dowel for a rolling pin (the size of a garden tool handle) really makes all the differnce. And every single other recipe I have tried in the past called for too much baking powder. Eppy explained that more than a pinch makes it stiff and hard to roll. That pinch is enough.”


Now, tortillas and I go way back.  My roommates in college used to tease me because I bought and ate way more tortillas than bread.  I wish I knew how to make them back then.

Jenny’s daughter showed up at my door a few weeks ago with this:

Inside were these treasures:

Part of the original rake-handle-rolling-pin and masa made by Jenny.  We ate that plus another batch in the first evening.

My first tortilla:

Not the prettiest thing, but it was sooo very yummy.  I’ve made them 3 times in the last month and am working on perfecting the skill.  My family doesn’t seem to mind.

The first photo is from one of my latest late night attempts.  I’m getting there.

Here’s Jenny’s actual recipe card she also sent over:

Adorable.  Those smiley faces and happy-go-lucky writing… she’s a lady in love.  I love that she’s in love.  I’m in love too.  Thankful for her tortillas and her sharing heart.


Gorgeous October day (the 29th) when we visited the Boise Idaho temple open house – the temple of my youth. 🙂  I remember saving pennies to help with the initial construction.  Now it’s all renovated and simply beautiful.  I’m so grateful we were able to take our family on the trek to see this wonder-filled building.

Thankful that we can be a forever family.

A little contemplative… Jacob said that he found the Angel Moroni on a gigantic pillar next to the temple quite interesting.  He also said the temple makes him feel happy and warm inside.

Joshua loved the big stained glass window of the Sacred Grove by the baptismal font.  He said with the sun shining through it looked very beautiful and made him feel peaceful.

Autumn loved the beauty of “the room where you be quiet” (celestial room).  She also loved the sealing room where you can see the mirrors “go back and forth, on & on”.  She has never seen mirrors placed like that before and loved it.

Andrew liked the baptism room too.  He said you “go into a big circle of water and underneath there are ox.  12 of them!” He said said he felt warm and happy – “just like Jacob”.

Miss Katey loved the Bride’s Room where the ladies get ready on their wedding day.  She also loved the crystal chandeliers.  While touring she said “it’s sparkling everyday.  Sparkles forever!”

Caleb loved the “baptism water with cows” (one way to describe it…).  He says the temple made him feel good. “Yeah – feel good.”

Meri – well, she loved all the lights inside the temple.  She also loved the big, beautiful windows and tried to reach every sparkly chandelier.

Jim Bob loved that they took an already beautiful temple and made it even more beautiful. “Perfection even. There is nothing lacking in construction or design.” He also loved the awe of our children – He said his very favorite part was watching their “big bug eyes and wide gaping mouths taking it all in and not believing the beauty of the temple.”

Me – The temple was absolutely gorgeous – dark wood and beauty all around. I also loved the beauty of the people there the day we toured the temple. Everyone was full of smiles and willing to help. From the men directing traffic to the people putting on protective footwear to the ladies passing out candies on temple napkins to the piano players in the adjacent church – everyone was so friendly and genuinely happy to be there. I especially enjoyed the faith building stories of our tour guides.

“The evening before the rededication (last night), President Monson told a group of 9,200 young people, gathered for the youth cultural celebration, that the temple “shines as a beacon of righteousness to all who will follow its light.”

“We treasure that light, and we thank our Heavenly Father for the blessings this temple and all temples bring into our lives,” he said.”

We rejoice in the blessings of the temple!

Everyday #2371

This is Drewby’s latest drawing.  I love the Christmas scene – tree in the window, snowflakes falling, festive red roof.  The worm in the hole on the left makes me giggle.  (We think it’s all about perspective – showing the cutaway underground.)  What makes me really smile is the snowball storage in the basement.  Complete with two fans to keep those snowballs cool.  Brilliant.

p.s. While talking with Andrew the next morning he informed me that the worm is getting ready to hibernate.  🙂

Flecks of Gold


This here reminder is printed on Red River’s River Linen paper (one of my favs) and displayed on our piano.  It coordinates with my treasure theme for the year.  I absolutely love this quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard:

“Great things are wrought through simple and small things. Like the small flecks of gold that accumulate over time into a large treasure, our small and simple acts of kindness and service will accumulate into a life filled with love for Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and joy each time we reach out to one another.”

I love that the little things I do each day – for my family and others are like flecks of gold.  It’s nice to imagine all that treasure building up, fleck by fleck.

The beginning story part of Elder Ballard’s talk was made into a Mormon Message:

His whole talk from General Conference can be found here.

Elder Ballard’s beautifully worded sermon is a treasure.

A fun little side note.  The gold flecks on my poster?

Those are cupcake sprinkles – sweet, no? 😉

Drewby Love Stories


Sugar lips and fingers at 2 years old were common. Andrew was into everything.  Sticky sweetness all wrapped up and topped with a grin. At 6 years old he is even sweeter – but it’s his personality that is now the {icing on the cake}.

As direct proof – here’s one more Drewby love story:


Drewby asked to help make sandwiches for lunch. His first time and he did great – with a little help from his younger siblings. Come to find out – they were J & J sandwiches. Apricot and strawberry jam – tasty!

Secret Ingredient

Love these sisterly fun times, so I’m capturing and preserving them.

Autumn & Katey made “strawberry jam” together. They combined raspberry & strawberry yogurts, frosted sugar cookie pudding, lemon juice, fresh strawberries & a “secret ingredient”. They had so much fun & claimed  it was super yummy.

My favorite part? The cute ribbon packaging.


Such fun, silly girls:

Jam mustaches:

That secret ingredient?  Raisins.

And perhaps a little sisterly love.


Mommy and Me Journals

I found about this idea for capturing everyday from my good friend Mindy:  Mommy and Me Journals.

{credits: here}

These are journals to ask questions and draw pictures in. We take turns. Child asks a question. Then they place it on my pillow. I answer their question and ask them one and put on their pillow. They answer my question and then ask me a new one and put it on my pillow.  Back and forth – as often as wanted. So. Very. Wonderful.

Mindy’s cute journals are here. | A post about them is here – on Purdue Avenue. | More about this sweet concept here.

The journal above is Autumn’s.  She’s a talker and this is just perfect for her.  The little question book on the back was made with her in mind – she likes lots of ideas to pick from.

Sometimes Autumn uses the booklet for ideas – and sometimes not.  You are welcome to download our questions by clicking on the image above.  The directions for folding/cutting/making the sweet little books is on Elsie’s blog.  My book is made based on a template by Mandi (thanks for making it easy girl!).  If you’d like to make your own – head to her blog and download the evidence field book from the sidebar.  The photoshop template is in there.

Inspiration is everywhere when it comes to questions.  Autumn recently discovered the “English Roses” book series. This one has tons of questions that the girls answer and then blank ones to answer in the back. We used some of the ideas above. I also found some fun questions in our Cranium game: What would we talk about at the beach? How many feet could I fling a spoonful of mashed potatoes? If you were packing a picnic basket, you’d be sure to put ________ in it. I also like the idea of just asking back and forth with whatever comes.

Katey saw us having so much fun and wanted a journal of her own. She started by drawing a picture. We draw pictures back and forth and leave them on the pillows too. The first picture is of a mommy with her hands over her head. I was told she was saying “What are you two doing not in bed?” This is guaranteed to be interesting…

Autumn’s journal always has a quick turn-around.  It is so fun to discover and share with her.  Without this journal I might not know that the person she would most like to meet is a poor man so that she could give him money (so sweet!) or that her favorite thing to do at dance class is dance. 😉 She has learned all about my BFF from high school (that she is named after – middle name) and I now know that she prefers a different color of nail polish on her fingers than her toes. I accidentally messed up on one of my questions and just ran with it: If you were on a desserted island, what three desserts would you search for first? 😉 We use the journal to make plans, design dresses, talk about favorite songs and she heard all about my first date with her daddy.  We have named constellations, talked about her future family (she’s planning on 100 children), drawn self-portraits and I learned that the thing she daydreams about the most is ice cream.  I am excited to see how the conversations change over time.

My current fav:

Me:  What qualities do you want in your future husband?

Autumn:  Advencrich and tikalich  (adventurous and ticklish)

Olympic Gold

Meet my amazing, sweet, beautiful, giggly, new mama, fun-lovin’ sister Christina:

She’s on the right. 😉

Recently we went on a road trip/family reunion together.  It was pure gold.  I loved having her riding shot gun and we talked and talked and talked for a few days.  Loved it.  On our last day together we visited our hometown and took some sister photos by the train station.  We might have been excited about the Olympics coming up and our photo shoot shifted.

Synchronized swimming anyone?  We need more people on our team.

Shot put is one of my favorites.  Christina – well, she’s a good sport.

Did you see Reese Hoffa win the bronze last night? Ah-mazing!

I find it interesting to hear what people say/yell/grunt when throwing.  What would you scream?  For me it’s a toss up between plum and sprinkle. 😉

If there was an event for dancing – we would so tie for gold and share that podium.

Perhaps in the future – doesn’t hurt to dream big.  And these moves aren’t going anywhere.

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