Tonight is the final performance of the Manti Mormon Miracle Pageant!! 🙂

Thankful for summer nights full of scriptural truth and hope.

A few pics from last night – love these little Nephites!

MM_Pageant_2015-1 MM_Pageant_2015-2

One of my favorite parts? Walking around barefoot everywhere and Meri’s cute observation that the warm asphalt “feels like cookie”. She seriously mentioned it every night! 🙂

And the ninjas behind the scenes – Jacob and Josh – helped their Grandma Pipes this year with props and sets. Their favorite part? Shooting off the fire in the storm scenes right before Christ comes to America.



Stage crew has it’s advantages! Those down times when you’re not moving stuff, there is usually just enough light somewhere to read by. 😉

Jim Bob captured this moment last night:


Makes me smile. Those would be my boys!!

{Ha! I’ll work on getting it facing the right way. 😉 There it is for now though. 🙂 }

Have patience, sir

“Waiting can be hard. Children know it, and so do adults. We live in a world offering fast food, instant messaging, on-demand movies, and immediate answers to the most trivial or profound questions. We don’t like to wait.”

We’ve been learning about patience in our family – like studying it. We read those words from President Dieter F Uchtdorf​ and in the same talk learned about an experiment where 4-year-olds were given a marshmallow and if they could wait 15 minutes they could have two. Only 30% could do it.

I decided to try it with my kiddos. I didn’t have marshmallows, but I had peanuts and raisins. Same experiment. Wait 15 minutes and you get double.


I set a timer on the oven and I did see eyes wander that way often. We continued on with our school lesson though –  about The Comedy of Errors and patience. How the twin brothers did not discover they were in the same town until the end of the play and the purpose Shakespeare had with writing it that way. The kiddos were still sitting at our school table. The peanuts and raisins were right in front of them, but only some chose to stare at them. 


At one point Caleb wandered away into a different room and stuffed his mouth full of granola. I wondered what was up and he said he was using it to distract his mind from the raisins. Ha! Different techniques for different folks. 😉

The Stanford professor that did the original experiment went on to observe the same children over time. He learned “…those who waited tended to be more positive and better motivated, have higher grades and incomes, and have healthier relationships. What started as a simple experiment with children and marshmallows became a landmark study suggesting that the ability to wait—to be patient—was a key character trait that might predict later success in life.”

My proud mommy moment… ALL of my children did it. Even Ms. Three Year Old made it 15 minutes!!


0.2 seconds later. 😉


Not sure whether to be more proud that my children were patient or that they consider peanuts/raisins to be treats. 😉

{ President Uchtdorf’s talk: }

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! 🙂

Lessons Learned.

Subbed in the Sunbeam Class at church today – my favorite!

Lesson: I Love My Whole Family (discussing extended families 🙂 )

Caleb drew a beautiful portrait of Jim Bob.


We played a game with photos of my family and took turns pulling one out. Then they all told if it was Great Grandpa, Aunts & Uncles, Cousins, Brothers & Sisters, etc. that was missing. That lead into a discussion of wanting everyone in our family to live together again – no one missing in the eternities.


I also learned some fun things we can do with our families (thanks to those 3-year-old and 4-year-old little ones). The list: play train tracks, wash our hands, and “tickle so hard until we pee our pants – for real”.

1001 Words #6




{aperture: f/4.0, ISO 100, shutter speed: 1/100th, 47mm on 28-135 mm lens}

1001 Words is a fun little series where I post one photo + one word.

A side note:  This is what our June looks like.  Our family is in the Mormon Miracle Pageant. We are a Nephite family and Jacob is a Nephite warrior. Meri portrays such a sweet (and wiggly) Nephite.  Shiny headband and bright shiny eyes. Pleasant as all get out – even though she’s teething. Such a sweetheart. You are more than welcome to come see our whole family in this outdoor production. It is Tuesday through Saturday this week (we also performed Thursday through Saturday last week). 9:30 pm at the base of the Manti Temple.

Our treehouse and living room are available if anyone would like to spend the night after. All are invited!!

Easter Tidings

Happy Easter from our family!


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

Fish story

Can you guess what the Sunbeam lesson was about on Sunday?


What I learned:
3. Crocodiles – the bad ones – eat bugs and bees while baby alligators eat monkeys. (thank you Caleb & Madi)
2. There are a lot of stories in the Bible about fish. The creation, Jonah & the whale, fishermen disciples, feeding the multitude with loaves and fish…
1. Cutting fish free-hand is impressive. Cutting sharks is infinitely more appreciated by three-year-olds.

After we got home Meri had her turn loving on the fish:

fish-4 fish-6 fish-8

She kept saying “Feesh!” and “Feeshies!” It was so sweet.  Jim Bob put the jar in the window sill of the dining room while she ate her lunch.  She had the hardest time concentrating – just kept moving so she could see those swimming, fascinating beauties.


{Big thank you to Mom Pipes for letting me not only borrow her guppies – but let me have her rainbow fish crackers as well! :)}

And a quick little update on Caleb’s growing project from last week:


He’s so excited.  He wore it around his neck for half of Monday.  🙂


Sunbeam lesson: I Am Thankful for Trees, Plants & Flowers
{I subbed today! :)}


My top 3 moments from today:

3. When explaining pollination and asking what animal helps plants by pollinating one sweet little girl burst out with “Elephants!” That was a fun visual.

2. One little one commented that trees are for climbing – and falling down. And then all six little angels hopped up onto their chairs to peek out the tall window to see trees and plants outside (it was a little too blustery for the planned nature walk).

1. When we finished up our seedling packets the little sunbeams ran around the room singing/yelling “It’s growing! It’s growing!” {I’m sure those little seeds were thinking about it…}

Thankful for the wondrous world created for us! Especially sweet and funny three-and-four-year-olds.

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 – “…that 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… 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. 😉

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

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