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. 😉 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. 😉 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.


Spotlight: { Meri }

Katey: What I love about Meri Jane is that she is cute and so playful!

Drewby: I love Meri because she laughs a lot.

Caleb: What?

Daddy: What do you love about Meri?

Caleb: Her kisses and her hugs. She hugs like this. And sometimes she falls down and gets hurt. One time we put cushions down by a chair and we all three (Meri, Katey and Caleb) fell at the same time and we did not get hurt. So I love 4 things about Meri.

Autumn: I like Meri… because… of her smiles. She is almost always smiling and her giggles!!

Jacob: I love Meri because of her vocabulary. She is such a fast learner and will use a word like as if she’s always used it.

Josh: One word that describes Meri? Cute. Lovable. Playful.

Jacob: Um, that’s three Josh.

Josh: Is this your comment or mine?

Drewby: Hi Mom. *wave*

*And now a full-on confession about how Josh and Drewby borrow Daddy’s socks when they can’t find any. News to Daddy.*

Autumn: I also love Meri’s personality. She is so adorable.

Daddy: Meri Jane.

Meri: What?

Daddy: I love your indomitable spirit and how you find things so funny!

Meri: Kitty, kitty!

Mommy: Meri is always up for a challenge or adventure. She is also a very good memorizer and expresses herself and feelings so well. My favorite is when she jumps in the air and says “Yes!!”, then crouches down again, jumps up her whole body length again and says “Yes!!”

We love having such a sweet & feisty sweetheart in our family. She can hold her own and is such a sweet cuddler and lover of long stories. She knows so many body parts including chin, elbow and bum. She also adores ice cream and knows how to get our family eating it more than we used to – little miss charmer.

Meri: Look!

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!!

Armpit Fudge


The recipe from Scout Round Table last week:


I knew as soon as I saw it that not only would my 8 & 9-year-old scouts love this, but my little ones too.


I was sooo right. Fun, easy, yummy and a little bit gross.  Enjoy!


p.s. You can totally just squish it up with your hands if you want! 😉 Or double bag the ingredients and make a throwing, running, squishing game out of it.

p.p.s. The recipe is from cubscoutideas.com. My only adjustment – snip the corner of the bag and squeeze out – much less messy than a spoon. 🙂 There is also a Cub Scout requirement list included on the paper & site.

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}

Spotlight: {Caleb}

Daddy: You ready? Please be thinking of something you love about Caleb. I will start! I love Caleb…

Caleb: I love Dad because he eats hot dogs so fast.

Daddy: Caleb, I love it when you help Meri and give her treats. When you share with her and help her do something that she needs help with.

Jacob: Excuse me. Not like toot excuse me, but can I go next excuse me.

Jacob: I love Caleb’s energy and enthusiasm. Whenever he sets his mind to something he always gets it done no matter how long it takes.

Caleb: The coconut canon is a slice of butter.

Josh: It’s a slab.

Daddy: It’s called a pat. Focus people, focus. It’s almost bedtime.

Meri: Me bed. Mommy’s bottle.

Josh: I love Caleb’s active imagination.

Autumn: I love Caleb because of his laugh… and his funny jokes… and his imagination.

Drewby: I love Caleb because he likes to play a lot. Play with games.

Katelyn: Is it my turn? Is there anybody else?

Caleb: There are three ones left. Meri, Mommy and Katey!

Mommy: Caleb is soo smart. He currently loves science books and is quick to grasp concepts. He has been pointing out solids, liquids and gases… and is almost always right. He is very goal oriented if there is a reward he wants to get to and yes – his imagination is charming.

Daddy – to Meri: Do you love Caleb?

Meri: Uh-huh!

Daddy: Good enough.

Katelyn: I like Caleb because he is so playful and happy and stuff like that.

Meri: Mess. Whisker mess. (playing with Daddy’s chin).

Meri: Love Caleb. Mommy love Caleb… and me. Nose.

We love our humming-during-every-song-during-the-Primary-Program little man. He keeps our family – and the neighbors laughing with his outdoor nature shenanigans and is just so much fun! Love our sweet, active three-year-old.

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.

Night Photography

Jim Bob and I spent some time this summer playing with night photography. Jim Bob more with the stars, fireworks and lights – me with the moon and an occasional flashlight. 😉 So much fun to experiment in low light and try a few times to get the image in our minds. It helped that we had just acquired a tripod begging to be played with.

Here are a few of my favorites – some from both of us:


Date night back in June. No, not in the treehouse. The two of us running around trying out different shutter speeds and the amount of time we left the lights on for each platform. Lightbulbs, Christmas lights, flashlights. Climbing on limbs and ducking out of sight. So fun and learning/experimenting together is even kinda romantic.  {28mm, f3.5, ISO 800, 5 sec – where we ended up after much playing around. ;)}


Jim Bob’s description: One of the things I LOVE about living in a small town is that I can go in my backyard on any given night and have an excellent chance of seeing the Milky Way. {28mm f3.5 6400 20sec}


These two were taken at the Riverwoods while there for an Usborne Book booth in August. Jim Bob spent much of the time wandering, setting up and capturing light shots. So many fun ones from that night and such a fun atmosphere.



Moonlight & clouds – with a wondrous foreground. 🙂 Our neighbor sent a text to let us know that the moon was gorgeous and that Jim Bob and I needed to take photos. We headed up to the Heritage Gardens and had a wonderful time together taking photos of the Manti Temple. {ISO 100, f 5.6, 1/6th, 56 mm (28-135mm lens)}


One of my favorites from all summer! Jim Bob again. 🙂  – “In Manti the volunteer fire department shoots the city fireworks from the county fairgrounds, right below the Manti Temple. I setup the tripod on top of our van and got a great view of the show.”  {28mm f8 4sec iso100}

Love the memories made and the photos captured. More to come for sure…




psst… He loves you too! 🙂

A little storyboard for you…


A close-up of the photos:



Sunday-2  Sunday-4

How Meri loves her swing, her daddy & both combined!! So. Many. Giggles!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...