Thanksgiving morning our older kiddos went to grandma’s home to play with cousins. Meri stuck around to help me bake pies. She was such a sweet little helper.¬†She loved putting her hands right in the pie crust and said it was “boingy”. Like a little trampoline she bounced a few of those crusts a few times. ūüėČ Meri also loved rolling out her own little crusts and would pull small pieces off and say “Teeny!” It was so much fun to have her around making this delicious task even more yummy.

pie_helper-3 pie_helper-4

Started out by making lemon meringue. Jim Bob’s dad’s favorite. It also reminds me of Thanksgiving growing up when we traveled to Grandpa and Grandma Smith’s home. Aunt Lillian always made lemon meringue. Sometimes I would spend the afternoon playing with my cousin Emily at her place after the big meal was done. When I did – we always had leftover pie for dinner. That’s it – just lots of lemon pie. Good memories! The secret to the way Grandpa Pipes’ loved them is the graham cracker crust and putting in 1/2 cup of lemon juice instead of water in the first part of the pudding recipe. Gives it a tang that is irresistible.


The pumpkin recipe is the one straight out of the Better Homes & Garden cookbook. We made our own pumpkin puree though – from pumpkins grown in our garden this year. Yum! And because I always forget – 15 oz. of puree is 1 3/4 cups. ūüėČ This year I also tried the Carmel Pecan Pumpkin recipe the next page over. So glad we did – delicious!


And a few photos of the apple in the process. I was afraid the light would be completely gone by the time we finished those. Two regular and two dutch apple. Just a little side note. While finishing the dutch apple pies I realized I forgot the 2 T. flour per pie in the two that were already baking at Mom’s. I figured not a big deal – what difference would 2 T. of flour make? Just so you know – a big one. Those 2 pies tasted good – but were so soupy and made a mess when trying to dish up and eat. After they were drained it worked much better. Another reminder that little things make a big impact.



And the final product. So much goodness. The leftovers were divine too.


The Yum

Sometimes I get a little conceited about the lunches I pack…


I think the note worked – Drewby came home today and said it was his best lunch ever!!

Painting Piggies


Katey decided it was about time to have her nails painted and took it upon herself.






Then she sat in front of the small box fan to dry them.


When I came back a short while later I found her like this:


Just gone.


Nothing better on a late summer afternoon.

{August 22, 2013}

Sleepy One

One of those sweet little memories I don’t want to forget.

Jim Bob took the photos and wrote the notes:

“Today Meri came home from church exhausted. She couldn’t even last through a short movie and crashed in the chair.”


“Caleb came along and plopped down next to her, apparently oblivious as her sleeping body flopped over onto him. She never made a sound.”


Such a cute little sibling moment and a testament of how Meri lives her life – full on no matter what she does. Including Nursery: coloring, singing time and sliding all. No wonder she’s worn out each week!

p.s. Looking at these photos I realized that Meri had her binky back then. She was so sleepy it was popped though. These photos were taken Sept.22nd. A little over a month ago and she’s been long done with the bink. She bit a hole in it, was so sad it was “broken” and threw it away. Asked about it a couple times, but never fully broke down or mourned the loss – just moved on. She has definitely been the easiest to transition on that one.

Easter Tidings

Happy Easter from our family!


Drewby’s drawing: “There is light in the tomb.”

Glad vs. Mad – a lesson to remember


A list… what do you think all these words are about?


The answer? Trials. The hard times. The slaps and the crazies and the wearing out the knees of your pants in prayer hard times.

The lesson today was on choosing to find joy and happiness throughout your trials and your life.

D&C 122:7-8 – “‚Ķthat all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?”

Shelly taught the principle so well and discussed Pollyanna’s take‚Ķ find the good in the hard. These experiences are for us and our growth.

In Sacrament Meeting today one of the bishopric talked about how taking care of a new baby can be challenging. It is a trial. But it is so worth it and we know that. So we’re okay with the sleepless nights and the diapers and the demands. We know it is worth it. Then he asked a question I’ve been thinking about all day – What if we did the same thing with the other trials in our life? What if we figuratively snuggled them up and rocked them? – Knowing they would be for our good.

Same concept – worded differently.


And a mommy tip. If you have a sleepy little one at church that is just. not. wanting. to. crash. Use the camera on your phone like a mirror – so much fun to watch themselves in motion. And/or snap a quick photo. Your little one will also be entertained to see a current up-to-the-minute photo of themselves on the phone if they are anything like my little one. ūüėČ

And there you have it – joy in even the little trials.



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‚Ķ


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.}



Thankful for the journey and for the best partner ever on this ride we call life.


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‚Ķ 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. ūüôā ¬†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‚Ķ). ¬†He says the temple made him feel good. “Yeah – feel good.”

Meri Рwell, 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!

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