Thursday, October 30, 2008

Her Dad Would be Proud

Abigail came home from school today and said, "Mom, guess what happened on the bus today." Her eyes started to light up, so I knew it was something she was excited about. Apparently, on the way home from school today some kids began talking about poliitics. Now, Abigail's dad talks a great deal about politics to the girls. He feels like it is important for them to understand the different party platforms, as well as explain our personal political beliefs. Yesterday as the girls were helping me, politics came up again. Steve wasn't around, so I took the time to talk to the girls about our political beliefs and specifically about being courageous and standing up for one's beliefs - something that has been on my mind lately. I talked to the girls about the recent articles in the Ensign regarding abortion and gender. I thought it was a good discussion. Surprisingly, the girls listened rather intently and asked a lot of good questions.
The political views discussed on the bus were different political views than ours. Abigail bravely began talking to them about how she believed differntly and explaining to them why. She told me, "Mom! They didn't know what to say!" It turns out Abigail stumped them. Eventually, someone did pipe up and said, "But shouldn't homosexuals have rights too?" Again, Abigail explained to them that yes they should, but also explained how the prophet has counseled us to defend a traditional family and why it is so important. She also explained that we should support a candidate that shares our same moral values. I think it was a brave thing for Abigail to do today. Some of those who were in opposition to her were her very good friends. It wasn't just her political beliefs she expressed, but more importantly it was that she stood up for her moral beliefs. Her dad would have been proud, just like her mom.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I am a little bit stressed. A few days ago my camera broke. I am trying to get it fixed, but of course that means I have to ship it far, far away and I won't see it again for at least two weeks. I found my old camera, but I can't get it to charge. So, that means that I won't be taking pictures of:

  • our pumpkin carving
  • all the beautiful leaves that are about to fall in our yard
  • The Halloween Parade at school ( Yes, we still get a way with Halloween parties, and Santa even comes to school at Christmas!)
  • Halloween Night
  • Our Halloween Dinner that has become a tradition
  • the 162 cans of wheat, flour, sugar, and oats I canned at home today
  • And Ruthie's very dirty, sticky face from eating the sugar off the table that spilled as I filled the cans

So, to say the least I am disappointed. Maybe Steve can work a miracle for me. He's good at that. Then tonight I sat down to sew napkins to match my table cloth for the Halloween Dinner. (I know what your thinking - napkins?! Why?! But I really needed a creative outlet and decided to attempt sewing napkins) However, my sewing machine is very old and now broken. Abigail's sewing machine (yes, she has her own and yes she is a much better - I ask her for help. ) is missing the pedal and power cord. Can not find it anywhere! We took it to be serviced a few months ago and haven't used it since. It's possible it could be at the repair shop, but I doubt they will have a clue.) I Don't mean to sound like I am whining, but I suppose I am. Do you think I can make napkins with fabric glue?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Okay, before I say anything about my silly cookies you really must see Melissa's cookies for Christian and Stephanie's benefit concert this Saturday. Most of you have probably seen them, but if not take a look. Unbelievable!
Anyway, if you are not quite as talented as Melissa (like myself) in the cookie department - try this. Steve's mom, a cookie master herself, made these with the kids one year. I thought they were so cute. Plus they were so easy. And if something is easy and cute, I am all for it! However, doing anything with a 2 year old really isn't that easy I've decided. My quick, clean, easy project turned into a little more time, mess, and work with the help of my dear, sweet Ruthie. Note the hands in the picture - she attempted to snatch the cookies while I took a picture. The little stinker! You gotta love her. So here it is:
Ghost Cookies
1 package of Almond Bark (could use white chocolate, or white chocolate chips - Almond bark is just cheaper)
1 package of Nutter Butter Cookies
Mini chocolate chips
Melt the Almond Bark according to package directions. Dip the Nutter Butters in the Almond Bark with a slotted spoon. Place on wax paper, parchment paper, or a cookie sheet (whatever you have) Use mini chocolate chips to make eyes and mouth. Allow to set.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What We've Been Up To

So Fall Break officially started Wednesday night. I had promised Amy she could have a "late nighter" with her friends for a loooong time. And Wednesday night she finally did. They decorated sugar cookies, laughed, watched a movie, and laughed some more. . . .
It wasn't long before Abigail and some of her friends joined in the cookie decorating and then Lydia. Abbey and her friends decided to "door bell ditch" some boys in the neighborhood. Shh....don't tell!
Then Friday late morning, Steve called from work and said, "how about we go up to Park City for the night!" I was game. So, I booked a condo, told the kids to pack, and in a couple of hours we were on our way. We went shopping, we ate dinner, spent some time in the jacuzzi, had ice cream and cookies, and watched a movie. The next day we shopped and ate again. Steve said he didn't know our get-a-way was going to turn into a shopping trip. Poor Steve, it is really becoming more and more apparent how out numbered he really is. He was a very good sport!
And then on the way home we stopped in Heber at Granny's for a famous Granny's shake.

Okay, I am a little embarrassed . . . It looks like all did was eat!

PS Sorry for the pictures, I don't know how to work my camera. The color is messed up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I had an interesting experience, one in which I am having a hard time shaking off. Not that anything terrible happened to me, nothing did, but it was a painful reminder that everyone has heartache. Eliza has a friend from fist grade whose parents are going through a divorce. I will call her friend "Jill". Currently, the kids are spending one week with mom and one week with dad. Recently, the mom moved into our neighborhood which means Eliza's friend is now in close proximity every other week. Yesterday, Eliza came bounding through the door and announced, "Mom, Jill is at her mom's this week, can I see if she can play?" After a snack, homework, and a little laundry I agreed to walk down with Eliza to her house and invite Jill over. I don't want to go into all the details, but something wasn't quite right when we arrived. I ended up coming inside and visiting with her for over an hour and all the while trying to understand what was wrong. The mom talked about the burden of being a single mom. Her feelings of inadequacy, the heavy load of providing, missing her children, worrying about them, and the apparent devastation of a failed marriage. I came home with much on my mind. There is more to the story, but its not necessary to elaborate. However, it was a heartrending reminder that we all have heartache and struggles. Its so easy to look at others and pass judgement, to be critical, or even oblivious. Yet life has its difficulties - for everyone. I just hope that I am not so caught up in my own life, my own stress, and my own disappointments that I neglect reaching out to someone else. And I fear I have. I think of the words which Elder Holland spoke , . . In the process of praying for those angels to attend us, may we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves—with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and “the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.” Perhaps then we can be emissaries sent from God.

Friday, October 10, 2008

More of My Girls

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Note

Last night I went to bed feeling discouraged. I suppose I was feeling sorry for myself because I was exhausted from lack of sleep. I had a mountainload of laundry waiting to be folded, my husband had been working late all week, and my teenage daughters were acting like teenagers. I went to bed wishing I could just "get a break". Yet, I realized that even if I had a break, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. In other words, I was having my very own pity party. Then today, Amy came home from school and handed me a folded up piece of paper. I teased her and said, "Oh, is this a love note?!" Fully expecting it to be something from her teacher. It turns out it was a love note - from her. This is what she wrote:

Dear Mom,

you are a great mom. I know you try really hard every day. You are a great example. I hope you know how much I apreciate you and your hard work. Thank you so much for showing me your love to me. thank you for helping me with my homework.


It made me wonder, why did I have a pity party in the first place?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Good Advice

Today was 5th grade Maturation. After "the speech" and cookies, each girl was given a "goodie bag" filled with essential items. Later that day Amy, Abigail, and myself were returning home from having our haircut when Amy began to examine the contents of her "goodie bag". She pulled out the "Kuku Coco Butter"deodorant smelled it, examined it, and commented on its fragrance. It was then that Abbey offered this advice: "Amy," she said. "Only use deodorant under your arms." to which Amy replied, "Why?" With that, Abigail proceeded to tell Amy that when she was in 5th grade she realized that sometimes she was sweaty behind her knees. And sometimes during PE she was sweaty on her back . And sometimes during recess her arms were sweaty . So because deodorant "helps you stop sweating", Abigail came to this conclusion: she would put deodorant all over her body. The result: an itchy rash and an important lesson learned: "only use deodorant under your arms!"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Something That Made Me Happy Today

My sweet neighbor Brother Nelson (who is now in his 90's) brought me these beautiful Dahlia's today. They are from his flower garden. Flowers make me happy!

Monday, October 6, 2008


A glimpse of the Estes' family this morning . . . I am sure Ruthie is getting a lot out of scripture study.

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Going to be a Great Weekend

I am really looking forward to this weekend for many reasons. It means my husband will finally be home from his business trip (he had to delay his return an extra day). It also means that I will get a break from teaching eleven 10 year olds ( half of which are very rumbuctious boys, who I think are funny, but make me tired) in primary. And it is Conference weekend!
Unfortunately, Steve's aunt passed away Thursday and his parents will be traveling to Northern California to attend the funeral. This means that we will not be able to get together as a family and Grandma (Mom Estes) will not be making her decadent cinnamon rolls. (an Estes family tradition on Conference weekend). I know the college grand kids are very disappointed. So, I did invite them to our house and told them I will bake cinnamon rolls, and try my best to make them as good as Grandma's, but there are no guarantees. I figure if I have a lot of icing anything will taste good.
But I think that it will be a great weekend even if the cinnamon rolls are a flop, just because we get to listen to the prophet and apostles. I look forward to hearing their counsel and attempting to better myself and strengthen my own testimony. I look forward to being reminded that we have a divine purpose and there is an eternal plan. I look forward to hearing testimonies that we have a Savior who atoned for our sins and a Heavenly Father who loves us. It will be a great weekend!

This One's for Mom

Here you go Mom. Serving it with the cole slaw is a southern style bbq sandwich, if its not your thing just leave it off. I used a pork loin roast (from Costco), not a shoulder pork roast. And thank you Paula Deen
BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Ingredients Dry rub: 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons black pepper 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons paprika 1/2 tablespoon cayenne 4 pound shoulder pork roast 2 cup apple juice 1 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons Worcestershire 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder 6 soft hamburger buns with seeds Bbq sauce Cole slaw
Directions Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix the dry rub ingredients in small bowl. Sprinkle dry rub all over the pork roast, pressing into the pork. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Combine liquid ingredients and the garlic powder in a medium bowl and pour into a large Dutch oven. Place pork in the oven and tightly cover with aluminum foil then lid. Roast for 4 hours or until fork tender and shreds easily. Brush the roast with cooking liquid every hour. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred the pork with a fork or tongs into bite size pieces. Serve on hamburger buns topped with bbq sauce and cole slaw.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Is it Possible?

Today Eliza got a letter in the mail. It was in a long blue envelope, with a return address I didn't recognize. I thought, " Who could be sending her a letter and why?" Then we opened it up. Eliza was being invited to a Stake Bapism Fireside for all children turning eight years old by December 2009. For a split second I thought that they had made a mistake. Eliza is not turning eight years old! Then my stomach dropped and my heart ached a bit. Yes, she is turning eight, on July 10th!I felt my throat tighten up. Eliza is growing up. Eliza who was my "baby" for almost five years. My sweet, chubby, lovable baby, who would snuggle on command. My baby who didn't fight me when it was time to sleep, but instead would lay her head on my shoulder. I loved every second of it! I had always longed for a really snuggly baby and I got one with Eliza. I am not one to get emotional when my kids go to preschool or kindergarten. They are always so excited to go, so how can I not be excited for them? But thinking of Eliza turning 8 tugged at my heartstrings today. It won't be long before she doesn't need me to hold her. It won't be long before she realizes her mom doesn't know everything. And it won't be long before she's gone. Everyone use to tell me to, "enjoy it while it lasts". I think I get it now.