Monday, October 3, 2011

Toddler Management

When we first moved into our new ward  (congregation) at church I was surprised at the lack of reverence in Sacrament meeting.  Over the last year or two it has improved, but there are still some families I want to shake and say "PLEASE stop sending YOUR toddler to every one else's bench.  Sit with your own child I already have my own to watch!"  or "Please put your buffet lunch away until later!  I'm tired of the crumbs and the noisy wrappers!"  or "The pews are NOT jungle gyms!"  But...I don't want to offend and really its not my place.

When I read this post today over at The Idea Room I wanted to broadcast it to the world ...or at least my ward!
So, if you have toddlers and are getting frustrated at church when you spend more time in the hall than the classroom go over and read "Toddler Management 101" and be inspired!

By the way, I'm not saying that my family is perfectly reverent, we have spent our fair share sitting in empty classrooms or in the hall.  I have broken out the candy when I just could not take another second of whining.  My kids have crawled under benches faster than I can grab their little ankles.  But we are trying and as they get older it gets easier....except for the moody pre-pre-teen.  But that is probably a whole different blog post!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Funeral

My grandmother was a BEAUTIFUL person.  Her funeral was just as it should have been.  I feel like I should write about that day, but to me it felt like such a sacred day that I'll probably save my thoughts for my personal journal.

My mother gave the euology.  It was perfect.  I learned so much about her.  I had no idea that grandma was the family photographer.  Photographing the family for events and yearly pictures.  She turned her bathroom into a dark room and printed copies for all who asked.  I always assumed it was my grandfather's darkroom enlarger that they had given me, but it was my grandmothers.

The other day, Sarah, my 4 year old said to me, "Mom, I wish Grandma never died."
"Me too." I replied.
"I liked her."
"Me too, Sarah, Me too."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday & Tuesday

We left for camp an hour later than we had planned on Monday morning but we arrived safely and we weren't late.  I met the beautiful girls in my cabin and handed out all the extra supplies I was told I wasn't going to need but did.  Two girls (sisters) forgot their entire toiletry bag.  I must have been inspired to pack exactly 2 extra toothbrushes and full size shampoo and conditioner!

We made our camp shirt out of a M&M stamp I made using some craft foam and the bottom of a tape container.  (I'll post a tutorial later if anyone is interested.)

There were fun camp songs, skits and ditties.  By 10pm I was exhausted.  Just as I was falling asleep that night I was startled awake by what I thought was a mountain lion.  Turns out someone in our cabin snores...loudly!

Tuesday morning was spent at the tide pools. Tuesday afternoon I took a short nap and then chatted with my co-cabin mom until the Camp Director came in with her phone and a message to call home.  I knew what the call would be about, and I was right.  I didn't get my 1-2 weeks.  I got two days.  Grandma Vincent had passed away.  While I knew it was coming and it shouldn't have been a shock, it was.  Somehow I knew months in advance that she would pass while I was away at camp.  I think it was the Holy Ghost telling me "don't go to camp or be prepared to leave early."  But I didn't listen.  I went.  I wasn't really prepared to come home early, but I did. 

The women at camp were amazing.  Those who I chose to tell or were near by when I found out, jumped in to replace me in the cabin, help me pack my things and get everything squared away.  I asked them not to tell the girls why I was leaving.  I didn't mind them knowing, but number 1, I didn't want to be a downer on their camp experience, and number 2, I couldn't handle 100 young women and girls hugging me and telling me they were sorry. 

That night, we had a lesson in our cabin about being a virtuous woman.  There was a half carved statue of a woman wearing next to nothing close to the entrance of the camp.  After lights out we gathered up all the extra blankets and sheets available, snuck down there and dressed her! The above picture is the best I have for now.  I talked to the young women about modesty when we came back and about having virtue.  I bore them my testimony that they are LOVED daughters of God.  I told them that they were all born full of virtue and that we were they only ones who could let our virtue go.  It was a very touching moment that I will remember forever.

I didn't sleep too well that night.  And on Wednesday morning after breakfast, I drove the 4 hours home. 

Monday, August 8, 2011


Recently I was called to be the new primary president in our ward.  This was the first week that I would take over the position.  It was a little chaotic.  People who usually are known for the punctuality were 5-10 minutes late.  I didn't know anyone's name and I wasn't quite sure on how long the music portion was suppose to go.  Other women who had been there longer than I filled in when I was at a loss.  Its amazing how perceptive women can be!

I talked to one little boy before primary started.  He and his brother are not well known for being reverent.  I asked him if he could do me a BIG favor, if he felt like he could.  I asked him if he could help me out by being a good example today, because some of the other kids weren't being very reverent.  He enthusiastically agreed.  When his older brother overheard or conversation he volunteered to help too!   I have never seen those two boys sit still for so long.  It was amazing.  I was sure to thank them after primary.

Sunday evening my mother called to let me know that my grandmother, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months ago, was not doing well.  The hospice worker estimated that she had 1-2 weeks left.  I cried a little and said a prayer that she was comfortable.

I finished packing all my bags and then stared at the ceiling until midnight.  I love knowing that I have a long day ahead of me and not being able to sleep.

Update since last post

I did run out and did a little bit of shopping before I got a frantic and firm call from my husband telling me to drop everything and come home NOW.  I walked in our front door to what looked like a horror film with blood covering walls, towels and my bed.  My youngest daughter somehow managed to drop a pretty heavy ceramic lamp on her head.  Husband threw daughter in the car and said, "GO!"

So off I drive to the nearest urgent care, which closed 45 minutes earlier.  I drive another 8  minutes to the next urgent care which had closed earlier than the door said it should....dumb door!  Next stop, hospital Emergency Room.

I have driven to this hospital at least 5 times and have driven right past it at least a dozen more.  But this time, I made every wrong turn imaginable.  By the time I got inside, I gave them the wrong daughter's name, the wrong birthday and my mother's telephone number when they asked for mine.    I've decided that all of this information (including a map and operating times of all close emergency centers) needs to be written down and in my purse at all times.  I'll be working on that next week.  They asked me if she had lost consciousness.  I told them I don't think so, but I'm pretty sure my husband did.  Then we sat.

Four hours and $5 in vending machine pop tarts (which I had a case of in my car but couldn't go out and get lest I missed hearing her name) later, they finally called her back, cleaned up her 1 inch head wound and glued it back together.  This whole process took less than 10 minutes and cost us a $50 co pay.  I could complain about that copay, in fact I did, but at least I had insurance.

Overall she was a trooper.  Didn't cry once while they were scrubbing her cut ( I almost did).

She was asleep before her head hit the pillow that night.  My husband had cleaned up all the blood, a giant feat for him, and had it all in the washing machine before I got home.  I had to run out to the grocery store to finish my girls camp shopping, which included food for the week I was gone so my dear sweet husband wouldn't starve to death for 5 days.

And thus concludes night number 1 of 8 of not having any sleep whatsoever.  To be continued.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Girls Camp

For the first time in 14 years I get to go to my church's Girls Camp!  Girls camp is only for girls 12-18.  It usually lasts for a week and consists of both "camp stuff" and "spiritual stuff" (both technical terms).  They asked me to go as a co-cabin mom for one of the 2 year cabins.  I'm so excited that the other cabin mom is a fantastic woman and one of my new good friends.

We are leaving at 8am Monday morning.  Which means, that if I need to go buy anything like soap holders, green nail polish or bug spray I have to do it today (since I don't shop on Sundays).  I was planning on going when my wonderful husband came home from work so I didn't have to drag my beautiful angelic children with me, but he just called and told me he'll be a work until midnight......

.....SCRATCH THAT!!!  He just walked in the door!  I'm so out of here!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I LOVE My Family!

5 Minutes after church.
3 Minutes until guests arrive.
1 tri-pod.
1 Todd, who just came by to drop off some scout papers, got the pleasure of hitting the shutter 45 times.

It all adds up to this beautiful family portrait!

Monday, May 23, 2011

County Writing Festival!

My very beautiful and talented 1st grade daughter won 3rd place in the county writing festival in her grade level! Lissy and all of the other winners were invited to an awards ceremony at the local mall, where she was awarded a beautiful white ribbon.

We are all so proud of her!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I've been pinned!

I know, you're probably not as excited as I am, but its still pretty cool!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Have you found Pinterest yet?

Its an amazing site where you can collect all of the ideas you find online for food, photos, crafts, home design, gifts and a whole bunch more, all in one place.  Any images you find on a website or blog that you want to remember where to find later is stored on one of your "boards" where you can link back to the original page along with any of your comments.  

So far, one of the best parts is being able to browse through other people's boards and see what interests both or you.  Go ahead, check out my page HERE

(My husband won't admit it, but he's obsessed with it too.  He says I spend too much time on there, but every time he sees me looking at it, he runs over to peak over my shoulder and "suggests" certain images to click on.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Favorite Things Swap

My swap partner, Lori is AMAZING!!  My package arrived right in the middle of a very hectic day and it killed me when the post man delivered it and it had to sit there for 4 hours before I could excape from my life and lock myself in my room to open all of the very adorable bright blue packages.

She must be my long lost twin since she picked out some of my favorite things!

Pretzel M&M's - A first for me, but totally a favorite now
Orange Photo Albums - How did she know I could have a use for those?!
Fun Post-it Pads and Note Cards
Tide to go pen
Orange Trident Gum - yum!
Food Magazine
and three cute presents for my three cute kids.

Thanks Again Lori!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Engagement Portraits

Heather and Michael are getting married in June.
I met Heather in December and she was/is delightful.
I met Michael yesterday and, he too, was/is delightful.
I spent over 2 hours with them yesterday and I don't think I've ever met a more perfect couple!

I've always wanted to shoot a composite shot like this one....
 but hadn't found the perfect spot until yesterday!

I can't wait to photograph them again in June.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I WON!!!!

I can't believe it!  I never win anything...well I did win $5 once in Jr. High School because I was the only one at the assembly who remembered the speaker's last name.  It was Mr. Green.....
I take that back... I won the game Taboo from Our Dandelion Wishes last I guess I win stuff occasionally.  But I'm still excited!

I stumbled across The Arthur Clan blog and signed up to win a $50 gift certificate The Vintage Pearl, and guess who won!  ME!  Thats right, me!

I've always loved their jewelry, especially this piece

and this piece

and this piece

which one would you choose?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm SO Excited!!!!


I get to participate in Mamarazi's Favorite Things Swap
(even though I'm considered a slacker blogger ---its ok, its true)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who Feels Like Being My Best Friend?

My Cousin-In-Law Ashleigh just posted the most dangerous post ever!  Its dangerous because, up until now, the only place I could get a cream puff was at a wedding reception or by buying a whole tub at Costco.  And since I'm not at a wedding or Costco everyday it was pretty unlikely that I could eat a dozen cream puffs daily. 

But NOW....I can make them everyday!!!  OR even better, YOU can make them for me everyday!

You're Welcome!

My New Favorite Etsy Shops

The Young Women in my ward at church are having a Silent Auction Fundraiser to earn money for camp.  All of the girls are collecting items from family and friends and I thought I'd do my party by soliciting total strangers!

I went to one of my favorite places to shop, ETSY and searched for vendors who were also LDS and would have products that would sell well.  All of the wonderful shops I have listed below said "YES" immediately!  I am so grateful for their generosity.   Please take a moment to visit their all these wonderful shops!

And feel free to come to our Silent Auction.  There will be free dinner and entertainment!
Visit for more information

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bucket-O-Fun ~ A New Chore "Chart"

This is not my idea.  Sugardoodle posted a picture of a magazine on facebook that had this idea submitted.  I don't remember the name of the magazine and I can't find the post to share.  The general idea is to use ping pong balls to write out individual chores for your children and place in a beautiful container to keep on display.  Knowing that a display of ping pong balls in my house would quickly become a disaster, and knowing my history of putting off projects until I had everything exactly perfect I decided to do it my way...

The Bucket-O-Fun!

1.  I ordered a gross of ping pong balls from Amazon.  I found it was much cheaper to buy 144 balls than a dozen here in town.  

2.I used my wonderful new set of colorful Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers, 24 Assorted Markers and started to come up with every possible chore I could think of.  Each ball had one chore or task.  Some tasks took very little time and some took up to 20 minutes.  I even threw some non chores in there to keep it fun, like sing your favorite song, dance for 30 seconds, read a book for 5 minutes, take a 2 minute break or trade chores with someone else.

3.  I used the fanciest empty ice cream bucket we owned and tossed all the balls in.  It was important that my container have a lid so I would be less likely to spill it. 

4. Then I introduced this "fun new game" to the children.  I am not even exagerating when I tell you that they LOVED it!  The next day I found them playing "the game" on their own!

5. Each child has a container with their name on it to keep their completed task balls.  In our case, we used 1 gallon zip lock bags tacked to our bulletin board.

6.  The rules to the Bucket-O-Fun game are simple.  
-You must do the chore or task on the ball you draw, no peaking.
-Mom has veto power if she feels a child drew a ball that was above their capibilities or wasn't a good chore at the moment.
-Who ever gets the most balls at the end of a designated time period or when the balls are all gone is the winner and gets to have the grand prize.  The grand prize is usually just some silly toy or treat I have in my silly toy and treat drawer.
-All balls can be traded in for rewards when all are done.  Usually its one ball = one m&m or 2 balls = 1 hershey kiss....or whatever leftover candy is in the freezer.

I don't have the kids play this game every day or they would quickly get bored of it and it wouldn't be as effective.  I pull it out every week or so and the kids still love it.

I have MANY balls left over.  I keep a few and a sharpie within easy reach so I can add a chore anytime one pops in my head.
Good Luck!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Make that Four

That stupid dog just got another brand new shoe.
The shoe I just replaced the last pair with.
Only worn one time.


(you don't even have to have a good home, you just need to not like shoes.)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Its been way to long...

Quick Random Recaps
(or caps, since I never told you in the first place) of the last few months

-Aaron likes his new job.  He's gone a lot and when he's home, he's tired.
-Work sent him to Georgia for 3 weeks for training.  It was a long 3 weeks.  Hard to not have back up, but also easier since I had one less person's laundry to wash and lunches to make.

-He came home on Saturday evening and had to report back to work on Sunday at 6am.  I wasn't too pleased with the scheduler.  He's on my bad list.

-I photographed a local Jr.College Graduation class this weekend.  Its always fun.  All the ladies had really cute shoes.  It made me want to go back and finish my BS (the graduation, not the shoes).  I looked at CSU Stanislaus' website today.  The deadline to apply for fall is tomorrow.  I don't think I'll make it.

-Both girls had birthdays.  Lissy turned 7.  Sarah turned 4 ...again.

-I have 3 sessions to edit right not, but I have 3 weeks of TV I need to catch up on.  Its a tough decision Aaron took the laptop with him and my computer doesn't have any speakers.

-Someone needs to do dishes.  By someone I don't mean me, but it will probably end up being me.

-I bought a dishwasher on craigslist a few months ago.  Its still in the garage.  No one loves me enough to install it for me.

-Sarah keeps feeding the dog gum.

-The dog has chewed up 3 shoes.  All Sarah's.  All different pairs.

-I decided that if I ever have another baby girl, her name will be "Jane Marie Michelle Princess Conzuela Banana Hammock Conn"

-If I have a boy, his name will be "Xaiver Conn"  so if he ever goes and works with his dad his uniform will say "X. Conn" on the name tag.

-I like peaches.  I can't wait for fresh peach season.

-When Aaron was hired he got a nice sign on bonus.  We used some of that money to buy new gutters and paint for the house.  Then it started raining.

-We sold our big work truck.  We used the money we made to buy new windows for the house.  Then Aaron left for Georgia.

-I have a pile of paint, gutters, windows and a dishwasher in my garage.  My house will be pretty one day....soon.

-The day after Aaron left for Georgia, Lissy broke one of her bedroom windows.  Of course it is one of the 3 windows we didn't buy replacements for.  It is currently being held together with tape and cardboard.  It makes the front of my house look really "classy".

-I read my cousin Linda's blog the other day, I know exactly how she feels.

-I'm having a print sale on my photography blog.  It ends today.

-I'm making a really pretty present for my SIL Randi.  I want to keep it.

-I'm planning a trip to visit Utah in the spring.

-I'm making a 7 layer bean dip for dinner tonight.

-I like to make Jello in 1 quart mason jars.  I don't have to measure anything.  Just fill it with about 1 cup hot water and jello.  Put the lid on and shake.  Fill the rest up with cold water.  Put the lid on and shake.  Put it in the fridge for tomorrow.  Plus it looks kind of cool.

-I've also been thinking about hiring a landscape designer and professional organizer (or not professionals, just someone who is good at it) because I'm not.

-....I think I ran out of random things.