Where can I turn for PEACE??

Where can I turn for peace? That is the theme of most of my days lately. The things of the world can be so discouraging, so negative, so hopeless. I have found that the ONLY place I can feel total and complete peace is in the house of the Lord. The temple. The holiest of all places. I walk in those beautiful doors and instantly relax. My problems seem lighter, my burdens feel a little less weighty. I commune with my Heavenly Father. I can be close to those on the other side of the veil. I can be still and hear the whisperings of the Spirit. I have made it a goal to go every week. I was on my way to the temple 2 weeks ago talking to my friend on the phone and was informed the temple was closed for cleaning!! I did not know this!!! I was dressed and literally on my way. So, I wasn't able to go for 2 weeks and boy did I feel it!! I have grown to love going every week. I hope I can continue to go every week. I need to go every week. I need to be at peace so I can go on with life. The temple is truly a blessing. Heaven on Earth


I have been in denial...

How did this happen? How could this child of mine be 16 already? I really don't understand where the time went. It seems like it was literally just yesterday I was pregnant with her. My first. My miracle baby. It took almost 8 years to get her here. She was an emergency C-Section, she was the greatest Christmas gift I've ever received. What a life this little girl has had. It is my greatest hope that if asked she would say she has had a great life. There have definitely been some bumps along the way. But there have been WONDERFUL times, too. Just like everyone's life. UPS AND DOWNS. But I hope we have been able to give her a good life. She is so fun. She is so passionate about things that she cares about. She could debate you til you just want to give in. She can make you smile on your worst day. She can make you want to pound your head against the wall, she can make you want to scream at the top of your lungs....BUT she can also make you laugh when you didn't think you could, she could make you cry tears of joy when she performs, she can make you think, she will talk to you for hours---just to talk. She can brighten the room when she walks, runs, or crawls in. She will always help you when you are in need. She will always sit by you in the lunch room. She will always give you a hug. She will always try to be your friend. She will always serve others.
I cannot believe this little girl is 16. I just really cannot believe it. I have been in denial that this day would actually come. But somehow it snuck up on me. I treasure everyday with her. She is such an important part of my life. I adore her. I cherish her. I am in awe that my Father in Heaven loves me so much that He allowed her to be in my life. I love her. Happy Sweet 16, My Sweet Pineapple Princess.

How many marshmellows can you stuff in your mouth? 21 for this girl!!

Hula dancer.....

**notice the mismatched socks in above picture. DRIVES ME CRAZY!

My favorite pose of her....

Being wierd and crazy...



What did he just say?

Seeing the date of the last entry I am reminded just how busy life is. I wish I could blow my whistle & call a time out. WHOA. Where has the time gone? I just wanted to quickly blog this entry before I totally forget.

A few minutes ago I was in the laundry room switching laundry. I heard Kawehi & JAG talking in the kitchen....this is how it went.

Kawehi: "JAG did you eat the taco salad at school today for lunch?"
JAG: "Yes...wasn't it sooooo good?"
Kawehi: "Yes, it was the best lunch EVER!!"
JAG: "We need to get the receipe, so mom can make it!"

This just CRACKED me up. What 7 yr. old BOY talks about getting a receipe? This warmed my heart on a very cold snowy day. Thanks kiddos for constantly warming me up. I LOVE YOU!!


What a weekend....

We were super busy last weekend. But it was FUN busy. I got pictures of some of our fun....I missed out on pictures on some of the events but you will understand after you hear of the craziness!! My older brother, Kevin and nephew Cody came into town on Tuesday. Kevin's son, Derek, was coming home from his mission on Thursday so they were in town for the welcome home celebration. My mom flew in on Thursday. We went to the airport at 11:30 p.m. My kids loved being out so late. It was Derek's b'day that same day so we made "Welcome home" and "Happy B'day" signs for Derek. Our excitement grew as we waited for his arrival. Another Elder in a neighboring ward was in the exact same mission as Derek and they came home together. It was so fun to see them both come thru the doors in their Sambreros (I have no idea how to spell that word). After being at the airport awhile we all came back to my house for cake, ice cream, stories and sleep. Derek was so exhausted!!! It is so good to have him home. However, he quickly went on a road trip to Vegas and Az. He will be settling here....so we are waiting patiently for him to return. But throughout all of this celebrating we also had: football practice, soccer practice, doctor appts., work, shopping, making signs, homework, our sliding door was broken by the landscape guys a week earlier--so it was getting fixed as well. We had friends coming and going, we laughed. I had some good talks with my brother. A lot of smiles. Hugs. Grandma--that is all I have to say...Grandma. I love my mom so much. I miss her everyday. We had football & soccer games. We had food storage shopping deals. We went and got pumpkins with grandma. We drove. We laughed. We loved. I have a plaque hanging on my wall that I love and it is a constant reminder..."The most important thing is Family"...I think the reason why it means so much to me is because, Walt Disney said it. I love it. In all of the craziness of the world we need to remember....the most important thing is FAMILY. I love my family. I am grateful for every second I get to spend with all of them!!! What a weekend. What a glorious time in my life!!

Pineapple Princess is in the bottom left hand corner, short blond hair. They sang the National Anthem at her high school homecoming. Brings tears to my eyes. I love listening to her choir.
This is red velvet cake from Costco. My mom and I went shopping and they were demo'ing it that day. Oh, my gosh---so YUMMY. I walked away and said to my mom, "I am going to walk away from this cake. I cannot buy it". Ya know, thinking I would gain a million pounds. That little smarty pants turned around and walked back, saying, "Ok, I will get it then!!" So, as you can see we got it. We ate it. I have gained a million pounds. But what a way to do it. You have to get this cake!!! You won't be sorry.

Derek and the gang. Remember, this was probably taken close to midnight. I guess Monkey Boy was tired.

Waiting for Derek. 3 big kids w/Grandma. I guess Monkey Boy was starting to get tired.

I forgot to rotate this before I imported it. But, oh, did I mention we had a bird with us as well? My brother brought his bird, Sidney. My kids loved him. What fun. Now they want one. Thanks, Kevin. Just what we need...a bird to add to the craziness!!!
Our weekend ended with General Conference. It is so humbling to hear from our leaders. My hubby and I especially loved the talk by Larry Lawrence (who names their kids like that) because he spoke to the parents of teenagers!!! Loved it all. How blessed we are to have our leaders speak to us. I had to take my mom to the airport. I cried. I still cry every time I leave her. I love her so much. Just wish we lived closer.
What a weekend. We had a busy last 3 days. The kids are out of school tomorrow and Friday, so we can take a deep breath. And then it will start again. Love it. Have a great weekend.



This is the face of what JOY looks like. I love looking at my kids when they are seeing something that brings JOY to them. This picture almost invokes tears in my eyes....Oh, to be child-like!!

This is what brought such JOY to this little guy.....

We went to the balloon launching at a local park early last Saturday morning. We left our house at 5:45 A.M. Daddy made hot chocolate and we even had to wait for the donut shop to open. It was ton's of fun. We were "right there" watching the operators blow the balloons up and get them ready to launch. It was AMAZING. As evidenced above my kids LOVED it!!


4th of July @ Grandma's....PARTY!!

Four of my kiddos and I went to Las Vegas for a week. We were there over the 4th of July Holiday. Grandma and the Mc Coys know how to party and have fun--no matter what we are doing. My brother Kevin and his fiancee and her kids were there too. We ate. We played games. We did fireworks. We danced. We swam. We hung out. We laughed. We made memories. One of my favorite things to do is just sit around talking and laughing with my mom, my sis, my brothers, my brother in law, my sister in laws, my kiddos, my nieces and nephews. I am not kidding there aren't any others funnier or crazier than these folks.!! SO MUCH FUN. I love making memories with my loved ones.

This is JAG. He literally fell asleep on his hands just like this....he was wiped out every night we were there. Isn't this funny?
Here is JAG, Pineapple Princess, Monkey Boy & Kawehi. Can't remember what was wrong w/little miss Kawehi...but look at that face!!!

Here is my mom. She is the greatest Grandma--EVER. Her favorite song is "Empire State of Mind" by Jay Z and Alicia Keys. Here she is "raising the roof." Most hilarious thing I have ever seen. She is the COOLEST!!! The kids think she is "cool like that". Dat's G, G'ma!!

One of the things we did @ G'ma's....was....I am ashamed to say learn how to play poker and 21. Well, what do you expect...we were in Las Vegas. All the big kids played and had fun. We didn't allow "real" money. But the above picture is of Pineapple winning the "whole pot". Imagine how rich we would be if she was at the 'tables' down on the strip. It was so funny to hear the kids talk "gambling lingo". It was all in good fun.

This is Pineapple on the first night of Poker 101. She looked totally confused. But I think it is her Poker face.....cuz she cleaned house eventually. I think she made everyone think she didn't know what she was doin'....they let their guard down and she came in and swooped up the whole pot. Way to go, Pineapple!!
Good times. We always have so much fun at Grandma's. She spoils us. She is the most amazing person. I love my mom so very much. I miss her everyday. My sister and her family are so fun to hang with. She has kids the same as mine so, we always love hanging out. The day of TCIG's accident my brother-in-law rearranged his schedule and drove us all the way back to Boise so I wasn't by myself. We got to the hospital at 2:30 a.m. and then he drove my kids home so Kalani and I could stay at the hospital. Then Brandon was at the airport by 1:00 p.m. to fly back to Las Vegas. I can't thank him enough for all that he did for us. And my mom. And my sister. As I get older the definition of family becomes clearer to me. They are simply people who are always there for you NO MATTER what. They are people who will do anything to help. They are people who love you UNCONDITIONALLY!!!


R.I.P. Kitchen Aid Mixer.....

This is my Kitchen Aide Mixer. Or at least it was. I have a great love for this mixer. I know some of you will not understand my great love and admiration for this piece of equipment. But let me explain. I have had this mixer for close to 17 (yes I said 17) years!!! It took me FOREVER to save up the $$$ needed to buy my mixer. You can't imagine the joy I felt when I went to the store and put all my money on the counter that long ago day. It was like I was a little kid with all my pennies to buy a toy. I had that mixer before I had kids. I used it almost DAILY. It went to Hawaii and back with me. I still have stuff in storage in Hawaii but not my mixer...it flew on the plane with me. I used it, then cleaned it---it almost looked brand new. (except for this picture--because it is in the garage graveyard--it isn't as clean) I baked yummies for my family, my friends, my visiting teaching ladies. Every holiday season we had many days together. Like my hubby takes the kids out of the house so I can bake all day...just me & the mixer kind of days. But it is no more. The Sunday before I left for girls camp I was mixing up my last batch of cookies and then IT happened.....(you might need tissue after this story--heehee) So this is how it went: I was stressed. too much to do not enough time. I had had a very stressful couple of months of leading to this point. It was hot. I was sweaty. I was trying to get everything ready for camp. The kids were kind of cranky. Hubby stressed with homework. etc. etc. Anyway, JAG my youngest son had left the chocolate milk powder out on the table. I asked him to put it away. (the HUGE container from Costco) He put the lid on and the then stepped back to put it into the pantry. Well.....he stepped without looking and tripped on a bag of trash someone had put there..he dropped the chocolate milk powder..which we quickly realized he didn't tighten the lid enough...so brown powder FLEW everywhere in my kitchen, he is yelling my name as he was falling backwards onto the trash bag. I turned. In a quick second I had to decide.....Help my son or help my mixer. I didn't have time to turn it off. My mixer lost. I will always help my kids...(heehee or at least hope I will). Well in THAT exact moment I lept to help JAG the big silver knob on my mixer fell off, into the cookie mixture and tripped up the beater causing it to jam the motor. There you have it. The end of my mixer!! I know...the tears. I actually did shed tears. I was so stressed..this massacre put me over the edge. I realized our days of baking were over. I am not even kidding. I lost it. This mixer was my saving grace. When I couldn't afford to buy treats for my kids I made them. We made so many brownies, rolls, cookies, cakes, holiday treats for friends and the ward members. It was with me thru a divorce, single mommy days, deaths of loved ones, summers, depression...everything!!! I loved my mixer sitting clean and shiny on my counter. My mixer was the first thing set on every counter of every house we lived in. Now it is gone. When my kids saw me crying they thought something was "really" wrong. They ran and got dad..."Dad, come quick something is wrong with mom...she is crying". When Pineapple Princess found out why I was crying she couldn't beleive it was over my mixer. I tried to explain that it was the straw that broke the camels back....but she sees it as "mom is crying over her broken mixer". WHATEVER. It kinda is. But it was just the final thing. So, my mom has let me borrow her mixer. I just haven't had the heart to use it yet. I feel like I am cheating. But life goes on...right? I won't be getting a new mixer anytime soon. Now I have kids....I NEVER have extra money. It is not on the priority list. So...there you have it. {R.I.P. sweet mixer. I love you. I will remember you ALWAYS..} Thanks for the memories.