Month: September 2018

Fall, family history, and a little pear butter

Fall, family history, and a little pear butter

I love that where I live, you can pass a fruit stand on almost any errand this time of year. So if I’m dropping off a child at a lesson, I can grab some fresh watermelon, peaches, tomatoes, cantaloupe, green beans, corn, or pears (depending 

25 year anniversary trip

25 year anniversary trip

Lane and I had a fabulous time on our anniversary trip. It was just what I dreamed of: variety, activity, and beautiful scenery. Paired with simply being with my favorite person/eternal companion, I was in heaven! We did have a few “hiccups” on our trip, 

First day of school

First day of school

We’ve been in school for three weeks now, but I wanted to write a post about how we celebrate the first day of school.

Clothes shopping

When we go school shopping, we give the children a limited budget (a dollar amount) for one outfit. They can spend all their budget amount on one item or several, but they have to stick within their allotment. They typically wear their new outfit on the first day of school.

Clothing storage

We don’t go out and buy a whole wardrobe because it isn’t practical or cost-effective. The weather is still hot, so the clothes they wore in summer are what they will be wearing for another several weeks, at least. Their birthdays are coming, which is a good time to buy more clothing, if needed. And then Christmas comes, which is another time to get more cold weather clothing. So we ease into things. And we always have used hand-me-downs from our clothing storage. So, with the exception of the oldest children, everyone had clothing to dip into when they grew into the next size!

School supplies storage

I do stock up on school supplies when they are at such good prices. After being in school for so many years with a big family, it’s nice to have supplies  in our “dry storage” room so that we don’t always have to run to Wal-Mart for a poster board at 9 pm when a child remembers they have a report due the next day! I try to buy poster board, glue sticks, science fair boards and other supplies that we tend to go through in bulk when they are on sale. (That doesn’t mean that we still don’t run out! “The best laid plans of mice and men….”)

The best night ever

We have back-to-school father’s blessings. This religious tradition is one of the sweetest of the entire year, and our children love it. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the fathers (who are worthy) have the priesthood authority to give blessings to their children when they are sick or in need of comfort or at special times in their lives, such as starting a new school year. This follows the example the Savior set when he was on earth, and the power and authority of the priesthood that each father holds can be traced directly and literally back to Jesus Christ.

These blessings are when the child receiving the blessing sits in a comfortable chair and Lane places his hands upon the head of that child, speaking the inspired words that come to his mind. (It isn’t appropriate to film blessings or share them publically, so I’m doing my best to describe this special event.) Unless you have experienced this for yourself, it is hard to describe how wonderful it is. It takes a whole evening for the whole family to receive their own blessing, since we stop after each blessing and jot down notes from what we remember. I type up these notes for each child to refer to during the year for comfort and guidance. We do this typically on a Sunday night in the few weeks before school begins.

(Sarah on her first day of kindergarten, July 1999. She was so excited about her Queen Amidala backpack, but maybe not as thrilled about the uniform.)

First day photos

On the first day of school, right after breakfast and scriptures/family prayer, we take a photo of each child. The children are anxious to leave, since they took longer getting ready than typical, so they are rushing to get to school on time! Gotta love that first day zeal!

First night dinner

I love our dinner that first night because everyone gets to tell about their teachers, their classes, and how bored or excited they were, how happy they were to get to have lunch with a certain friend, etc. And I have loved having a quiet day to myself again after the busy summer days!

Back in the [routine] again

I love school starting again, because it always helps to have a routine again. At the same time, I really miss the freedom of no schedules and fun summer activities and family vacation. It just gives us something to look forward to again!




Cousin Dinner: Fiesta!

Cousin Dinner: Fiesta!

We had a college cousin dinner at the end of August, welcoming the cousins back to school. I’d like to remember what we do for cousin dinners so that in the future we can have menu ideas for other large family gatherings! When Anna and 

I Can Only Imagine

I Can Only Imagine

Lane and I watched a very good movie this week on our date night: “I Can Only Imagine.” It’s the true story behind Mercy Me’s hit song, “I Can Only Imagine.” And I’m a big fan of true stories. Bart Millard grows up with an 

Bucket List update

Bucket List update

(Photos from our trip to England, May 2017)

Ever since Lane gave me a back-to-school blessing after giving the children theirs, I’ve been searching to know what the one new thing is I should learn this year and become expert in.

Revisiting the bucket list

I’ve been pondering a lot of possibilities. Lane suggested I go over my bucket list (the one I wrote when I was 16, I think, and that he framed for me years ago).

Raising a pig?

I noticed on that list that there are a few things I really am no longer set on accomplishing in this lifetime: being valedictorian, doing a back walkover, doing the splits, parasailing, or raising a pig! LOL

In this post, I’m going to list the things I haven’t done yet and those I have either worked on or completed. (I’m not worried about accomplishing all of the things on my bucket list, since I do have eternity, after all, to learn everything!)

✅ = Completed (at least sufficiently for my desires)

🤪 = I can wait until eternity to learn this one

  1. Be a valedictorian 🤪
  2. Study in France or Switzerland
  3. Learn how to needlepoint ✅
  4. Learn how to tap dance
  5. Learn how to decorate cakes ✅
  6. Sew a prom dress [formal] ✅
  7. Learn how to speak French fluently ≈ ✅
  8. Learn a sport (tennis, gymnastics) ✅
  9. Read all of Book of Mormon, Bible OT/NT, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants ✅
  10. Get on pointe 🤪
  11. Read all of booklist books
  12. Finish all 10 Suzuki Violin books 🤪 [I finished 6 of them and learned songs from books 7, 8 and 10]
  13. Learn to make gourmet foods ✅
  14. Go on a mission ✅
  15. Marry in the temple ✅
  16. Learn German
  17. Learn Spanish
  18. Go to China
  19. Learn to fly
  20. Learn to sing properly ≈ ✅
  21. Learn to play piano ≈ ✅
  22. Learn sign language
  23. Learn to do a back walkover 🤪
  24. Do the splits 🤪
  25. Do geneology (complete four generations)
  26. Write a book ✅
  27. Climb a volcano
  28. Have 7 or 8 children or more ✅
  29. Be an excellent seamstress ≈ ✅
  30. Run a marathon
  31. Learn about child psychology
  32. Learn to arrange flowers ✅
  33. Own a boutique
  34. Go to Japan
  35. Design a dress ✅
  36. Have a shop called “Elizabeth M’s” (or have a shop)
  37. Stay in shape ≈ ✅
  38. Write a song ✅
  39. Learn to grow flowers [plant and care for] ✅
  40. Be a study abroad student
  41. Write a children’s book and do the illustrations, too
  42. Take art classes
  43. Make a quilt ✅
  44. Learn to grow many foods ≈ ✅
  45. Learn to cook well ≈ ✅
  46. Go to Egypt
  47. Go to Israel
  48. Study at Stanford and BYU (←✅)
  49. Learn to ski well and safely (black diamonds)
  50. Visit Tutankhamen’s tomb/the pyramids
  51. Raise a pig 🤪
  52. Raise chickens ≈ ✅
  53. Learn about law
  54. Marry a very good man (who may be able to a stake president or bishop or fun loving and righteous enough to be one) ✅
  55. Have an ice cream parlor in my home ≈ ✅
  56. Go parasailing 🤪
  57. Learn to single waterski ≈ ✅
  58. Learn to write calligraphy ✅
  59. Be morally clean ✅
  60. Learn to embroider ✅
  61. Learn to silk screen ✅
  62. Learn to paint (oil and acrylic)
  63. Run a nursery school and have uniforms (design the uniforms) ≈ ✅ (=Family Power Preschool)
  64. Pay tithing on every single penny I earn
  65. Teach a class in something ✅
  66. Travel to Denmark
  67. Travel to Sweden
  68. Travel to England ✅
  69. Travel to Ireland