Raining Petals

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A New November

I have lots to catch up on from October. Shortly after my last post I was attacked by a sinus infection that kicked my butt for well over week. So I have fallen behind...again. Am I supposed to blog? It seems the universe battles against me to keep me from doing so. Do I fight it or Give in? I will think on this.

For now...I have decided to delve in November head on and make it a more meaningful month. I usually go through it only focused on the big feast at the end of the month. As a child I was rather bored with November and equally bored with a big dinner and football. So I thought I would try to make November as fun as October and as exciting as December for my kids. I am scouring the interwebs trying to come up with some great ideas. If you have anything that works great in your family please share!

I am just getting started and need to come up with a plan. But for now...I have an entire basket of Thanksgiving themed books checked out from the library and I printed off this coloring sheet.



I am going to have my 10 year old fill the feathers with things he is thankful for. And I will help my toddler write them in. Then just color. I will hang all of our Thanksgiving creations throughout the house to make it festive and hopefully feel some sort of celebration for all of our blessings. So simple but I think a great way to kick off our November.

P.S. I have never decorated for Thanksgiving...so I went to Hobby Lobby and got a banner that I am about to hang and some window clings just to invite the spirit of thankfulness into our home! So if you want to be festive try putting up some Thanksgiving flair and share if you have any genius ideas!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Glow in the Dark Mummy Pumpkin

I first made Marvin the Mummy Pumpkin 4 years ago at a church activity and I absolutely loved him. He popped up yesterday morning in my Facebook memories and I knew it was time to create
 Marvin the II. 
Wrapping a mummy pumpkin is the perfect way to get festive without the mess and time consumption that comes with gutting and carving a pumpkin. It took me 10 minutes from start to finish, so this is the perfect activity for the time crunched peeps. 
Here is how I did it:

Supplies Needed:
*Pumpkin 
(I used one my 3 year old painted and lost interest in)
*Modge Podge or similar adhesive
*Sponge brush 
*Gauze
(I used 2.5 rolls and my gauze was way too high quality. I stopped in at Walgreens to grab some and it was too expensive but I did NOT want to go to another store. But find the cheapest gauze you can and get a couple of rolls...I must say..this high quality stuff really did wrap it well but you get a "creepier" quality with the cheaper stuff. You can even use crepe paper.)
*a pair of googly eye
*glow in the dark pain




Paint the entire pumpkin very generously with your adhesive. 


Now start wrapping the pumpkin with gauze in whatever haphazard way you want. You may need to paint some more adhesive on the pumpkin or gauze itself as you go to get a good stick. 

Once you have a good wrap on it apply the googly eyes. I just dabbed Modge Podge on the backs of the eyes and they stuck on great!

Now cut some single strand of gauze and place on your pumpkin to give it a more textured look. I like to drape some over the eyes so they are a teensy bit covered. 

Voila! A Mummy Pumpkin. Seriously the easiest thing ever. If you are going to put your pumpkin in a high wind area I would suggest also painting over the entire finished product with more adhesive so that is is really glued down. Otherwise, you are finished and can stop here. However, one more step to make this baby glow!
 I dabbed on this little container of glow in the dark pain. I only had enough to do the front. The picture below shows you it works fantastically! (though not a fab picture) So, so fun! My boys love this aspect. 

Now display him properly! Introducing Marvin the II. Proudly taking up residence by our front door! 


 It would be fun to do a family of mummies in different sizes...you can sketch on a stitched mouth or use that gray Halloween netting you see around. Add a spider or mouse sitting on top for a fun piece of flair.
Happy Halloween!



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Wonderful Weekend

It all started on Thursday. Only half day of school for Carter. It is parent teacher conferences. The PTA asked me if I would make a soup for the teachers to eat for lunch and dinner on Thursday and Friday. I said sure because I have a delicious chicken tortilla soup in my arsenal that is so easy and so good! So Thursday morning I threw all the ingredients in the crock pot and salivated the rest of the day as the savory spices wafted through my home. 

As I waited in the hall for our turn to talk to Carter's teacher (Mrs. Copeland), I snapped this picture of Carter's leaf art. Carter had been sick with a chest cold prior to this activity coming due. So, his sweet friend lent Carter a couple of leaves to throw this masterpiece together. I think it is adorable.

Carter's teacher said she thinks he is pretty brilliant, super nice and funny, but doesn't stop talking. I told her that I understood and just the night before wondered who Carter was having a full blown conversation with while in the shower when I knew certainly well that he was all alone in there. It is almost impossible for him to be silent. His teacher seems really great. 

While at the conference my mom sent me text letting me know that she, my dad, and Halle were outside of my house and needed the code to get in. I moaned a little bit because I had every intention of cleaning before they got there. I hate inviting people into a messy house, so I usually don't. I watched a movie that afternoon instead of following through with my every intention. But I most certainly couldn't turn them away. When I got home they had unloaded and loaded my dishwasher and had cleared a bit from my counters. What a nice thing to come home to! Visits from my family are  my most favorite thing and this one was quick and short and didn't disappoint! 
My parents treated us all to dinner at MayMoes. A newish southern, cajun cuisine. It was pretty delicious. Afterwards we went to the clubhouse connected to Josh's office and hung out for a bit, working on a puzzle that the residents had going. 
My mom and I then decided to take the kids to the mall (at their urging). The mall is almost across the street, so easy to run to without much of a hassle. We went into Herberger's because my mom wanted to check out some of their shirts. We let the kids kind of wander around and Cannon was so cute leading the way. He ended up picking out a shirt that Grandma purchased for him. And I found a Melissa and Doug pirate costume on major clearance for him...only 8.00!! They are usually $30.00...so I was thrilled and that is what we plan to have him wear for Halloween. My mom found some shirts and then we wondered around the mall a bit. She purchased Carter a new XBOX 360 game at GameStop and then let Halle pick out a few things at Claire's and get a cute little box of chocolates. 
Carter actually was still feeling crummy from his chest cold, so we called it quits and headed home. 
We met back up with Josh and my dad and visited a little bit more. My Dad offered to give Josh a blessing as he would be having a root canal in the morning. Josh accepted. Then they both gave a blessing to Carter and one to Halle for the new school year. It was very sweet. Then they took off and headed to Tremonton, where they were staying the night. But we got to keep Halle! 


Friday was kind of a sick day for Carter. He didn't feel up to much which just isn't like him. So he and Halle lounged around the house and watched TV and Vine videos basically all day. I ran some errands and then took Cannon and Halle to pick out a pumpkin since Carter already had one. Halle requested Breakfast Burritos for dinner and I obliged...she even made the eggs! Good job Hal! Nate arrived at our house at about 8:30 that evening and he and I talked while I carved a pumpkin. Cannon had fun painting a rock. We all just spent the evening talking and hanging out until bedtime. 

On Saturday morning we had breakfast at the the Waffle Iron. It was good. Then we headed up to Layton, UT for a quick stop at the mall before heading to a birthday party at Boondocks in Kaysville. At the mall I wandered into a bath bombs store and got suckered in at all the colorful, wonderfully fragrant bombs...I ended up buying a tube of them and felt perfectly spoiled...I also got a Snitch key chain from Harry Potter and I love it. 

I sure love this girl!!!

Cannon being very silly at breakfast!

We met up with the Ivys for Ethan's birthday party. It was a lot of fun. They had a party table at Boondocks and the host of the party was wonderful. She made the kids balloon toys while we waited for guests to arrive. We ate some yummy food and visited. It is so awesome that the Ivys live in Utah now! When we moved from Mississippi I thought we were pretty much saying goodbye for good and then a year later they ended up moving as well. They live in South Jordan...so about 2 hours away from us so we don't see them all the time but more than we normally would and it is awesome!! Carter and Ethan have been best friends since they were 2. 

After being at Boondocks for several hours we made a quick stop into say hi to Aaron and Calene and family since they live so close to Boondocks. Then we headed back to Logan. We went straight to Takara Sushi where Nate had a table waiting for us. We met up with our second cousin, Rachelle Miller, and her husband. It was so much fun to sit and talk with them and indulge in some awesome sushi rolls. It always feels so good to get some adult conversation in and some good laughs. I left feeling refreshed. We said out goodbyes and promises of getting together again and hung out at home again until bedtime. It is really fun having Nate and Halle stay at our place. Halle and Carter get along so, so well. They also act like teenagers when they are together...a bit scary for the future. 

Sunday morning we took it easy and just hung out...ate donuts and watched "Twister". Nate and Halle took off around 11:30. We can't wait for them to come back again! Then my boys and I got ready for church...which isn't until 1:00. I know most people groan about 1:00 church but I absolutely love it!! I love being able to sleep in, snuggle in bed for a while. There is plenty of time for everyone to shower and even run a load of laundry when Carter find his church pants all crumbled in the bottom of his closet. We can eat breakfast and then even eat lunch before church. I usually have time to make cookies or dinner rolls and Josh has time to plan his lesson. I will be so sad when we switch back to 9:00 church at the new year. I want 1:00 forever!!! 

Well this is certainly long enough. But I absolutely had such a wonderful weekend that I wanted to write it down. Now...if I can figure out why all my pictures wouldn't post we will be golden!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

As soon as I stated my goal to blog more frequently, all of my resolve flew out the window. Like, super flew, very fast...and slammed the window on the way out. I had such good intentions. Sigh.

Lately, I have just really enjoyed my little family. I love being a mom to my two boys. I love seeing army men all set up in a battle in Carter's room. I love the intense snuggles that Cannon offers multiple times a day. I enjoy seeing Carter playing with his buddies and having big, long conversations about games and movies. I am enthralled watching Cannon changing right before my eyes from a baby to a little boy. His vocabulary is growing leaps and bounds and he knows how to do simple chores and he can sing songs and ask lots of questions. He just thrills me.

Tonight, we picked Josh up from the office and went to $5.00 movie day at our local theater. We watched Kung Fu Panda 3.

It was a cute show. Cannon got restless towards the end and I had to walk with him but I went in knowing that would happen. He isn't old enough yet to sit through an entire movie. However, it was fun just being together as a family and treating ourselves. I feel very fortunate that we are able to have such luxuries and the means to do fun things. 

I just want it to be known how grateful I am for my calm, simple life right now. Knock on wood right? I need it to be known I am not taking it for granted...I am grateful and aware of how blessed we are...I don't need any reminders or eye openers or tests. :) Pretty please?

 How sweet is that little face? Cannon and I went on a little date together to a local place called "Wiggle Worms". They have a room where you can paint and Cannon and I enjoyed it. He was so proud of his picture. 

Cannon is the biggest snuggler I have ever met. He loves to be cuddled into me as much as possible. 
He prefers to fall asleep on me when I will let him. I don't know that I have ever felt so much love from one little person...this kid just makes me feel sooooo loved. 

Carter doing his homework while listening to his favorite band, 21 Pilots. He is doing well in school and has made several new friends. He is a very social being and he thrives best when he has friends to play with. We usually have a boy over at our house several times a week to play and I don't mind a bit.
Carter hopes to go to a 21 Pilots concert this summer. I told him if he works hard in school and gets good grades then I would love for him to go...so we will see!

 Josh and I tried to take a selfie...this is the best we got. I like it. Josh is my rock and as crazy as I get in life and as complicated as I can make things...he hangs in there beside me and loves me. I hope someday I can be his equal match. I adore him. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Yipppeee!! It is a new year! I always get excited to have a whole year spread out before me. The possibilities seem endless. I am still pondering what I want to accomplish this year...but getting back to this blog is one of my desires. I also want to learn to play the Ukulele...not sure how serious about that I am yet.

A lot has happened since my last blog post. The biggest change was that we packed up and moved across the country. We said goodbye to our wonderful Hernando and made out way to Cache Valley, Utah. It all happened very quickly. Josh flew to Salt Lake City in May to attend his brother, Nate's, wedding. While he was there our sister in law encouraged Josh to drop off just one resume anywhere. So he did. He left a copy with Cornerstone Residential in Bountiful. A week or so later we were vacationing in the Smoky Mountains when Josh got a call. The owners wanted to fly Josh back to Utah to talk about him taking over the property management for the Cache Valley region. So back he flew. They offered him the job. We talked about it. They wanted him to start in 3 weeks. So we hurried and trained new people to take over our property management in Hernando, packed up a big U-haul, said goodbye to some wonderful, dear friends, and on to our new adventure!

I loved out life in Hernando. I had some great friends, Carter had some amazing friends, we had a great ward family, and our work and family schedule was one to be envied. We were always together and could go and do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. We had immense freedom in our employment. It was wonderful. But I always had a sense of longing and even a little guilt that my kids were so far away from their grandparents and cousins. Seeing them maybe once a year just wasn't good enough. So, the opportunity to move back and be closer to them felt right.

Josh's company gave us a 3 bedroom/2 bath condo to live in for free. They also pay all the utilities. Free rent is nice...but when you add in ZERO utility payments!!...I don't know if I can ever go back to paying for electricity! The condo is a little bit of tight fit...short on living space...but the bedrooms and bathrooms have ample space. We have made ourselves right at home and I don't have many complaints. We keep saying we will look for a house to buy...but for now FREE is nice.

When we first arrived I had a really hard time. I was actually surprised by my feelings. We have moved so many times that I did not expect to have too much adjustment. Boy was I thrown for a loop. Instead of working with Josh everyday, I was now saying goodbye to him in the morning and not seeing him again until around 6:30 every night. We did not know anyone and did not have any friends to play with. I was with my kids from sun up to sun down without any other adult around and without Josh to team parent with. We went out everyday together and explored all the parks and found the libraries and fun places. I enjoyed my kids but it was still very hard. I actually hated my new life at the moment. I missed Josh terribly. I missed our freedom. Normally moving to a new place meant we were out exploring as a family, but now, without Josh I was having a hard time enjoying it. I knew I did not want to go back to our old job...but couldn't we have our cake and eat it too? The answer is no. But time does heal. Eventually I worked through my emotions and found a schedule that worked for us. I found a great preschool for Cannon so that he could get out and learn and play and I could have some hours to not feel like I was drowning. Carter started 4th grade. I was able to get into a good Mom groove. My mood lifted. I stopped getting mad at Josh for not being home immediately when I expected him to be. I have found enjoyment in my new life. I no longer have to work so I have all the time I need and can still do whatever I want. I just have to do it by myself or with my kids. I still miss Josh and always will. But now we treasure the weekends and the evenings. I know someday Josh and I can work together again if we choose to.

In October I decided to pull Carter out of public school and teach him at home. Coming from Mississippi to Utah, we found he was behind in math. He was struggling with math homework for hours every night. I hated it, he hated it. So I put an end to it. It has been great having him home. I don't think I am a great teacher though...or just not in the right season of life to be. So I am working on getting him signed up with the Utah Virtual Academy where he will have a teacher online.

We just spent Christmas with all my family at my parent's house for the first time in at least 8 years. It was wonderful to be all together. My siblings are just my favorite people. They are just so great. We have lots of laughs when we are together.

Last night was New Year's Eve...all of my boys were snoring by 10 pm. I stayed up til 2:00 just enjoying the peace and quiet and watching Netflix:) I didn't even see the ball drop. I think I need to go find a video of it online now because it just doesn't feel quite the same not watching the countdown.

My goal for the blog this year is to find some writing prompts online to use for posts, to post about my kids, maybe do some reviews of Usborne books and other products, and just record the memories that make up our lives. It is fun to look back over the years and read about things that I forgot about or see how events lead up to where we are today. I hope we all stay healthy and happy and just enjoy our season! Here is to being a better mom,  a better wife, a better friend, and a better citizen in my community. Here is to doing a little good in the world. Here is to 2016!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter was just nice and low key. Easter Sunday and our church conference fell at the same time so it was so nice to stay home and listen to the Prophet and other leaders of the church speak. 

 Cannon's Easter Haul. He loved it! 

Carter's Easter Morning surprise...he loved it too! 

On Friday of that weekend we went to see the Easter Bunny at Wolf Chase mall. Last year I got such a cute picture of Cannon...but this year was...well....traumatizing. He wasn't having none of it and sobbed for several moments after this encounter. We made it better by getting Mrs. Field's cookies and leaving to head to the zoo.

It was a pretty overcast day and pretty cool...which for me is a perfect day!! We had fun at the zoo. We renewed our yearly membership and just leisurely walked around and enjoyed our time together. We only looked at about 1/3 of the zoo...that is what makes a membership nice. You can just take your time and come back a different day. 

 This is how babies are made! They hatch from eggs! 

 Stopping to rock in the chairs...Josh is weird. But we all knew that. 

 This profile pic cracks me up and melts my hearts. His soft little baby features win me over big time. 

THIS Face. 


On Saturday we went to two Egg Hunt in our little town. I love our little town. They were both fun. Then we headed to Southaven (the larger town about 10 miles up the road from us) to run some errands. Then we had a little picnic in the Snowden Grove Park. 



He thought he found the prize golden egg but he was tricked! This is the first year he didn't get a prize egg...oh well. 






Loving on his incredibly soft bunny he found in his basket. 

What a wonderful weekend we had!! 

It's a Love Story: Adult Valentine Party

I was asked to host our church adult Valentine Party...ok well actually the Elder's Quorum (the men's organization in our church) was tasked with doing it. Josh is the Elder's Quorum President...so it was basically the same thing as tasking me (the wife) to do it. I had told Josh I wasn't going to help and he and the guys just needed to do it. He said that was fine and they were just going to have a potluck dinner at the church. Wa, wa, waaa. Ugh Josh, no. Just no. We already have a potluck every 5th Sunday. I am so potlucked out that I would have no interest in even attending had that been the plan. So of course I took over.

I planned what I thought was a super fun party. However, my heart was kind of broken at the total lack of support and the fact that the day of the party I had 3-4 people cancel on me that were supposed to be bringing stuff and helping me set-up. I cried. I admit it. I sat in the passenger seat while my hubby drove and I cried. I also vowed I would never, ever host or plan another ward party. So far I have stuck to my guns...but then they got clever and called me as Cubmaster...so now I am planning activities all month long.

Anyhow...back to the Valentine Day party...it was FUN! It would have been a lot more fun had more than a handful of couples showed up, but I digress.

Here was the itinerary for the night: It was called "It's a Love Story" I had asked several different ladies before the party to pick a famous couple/love story through out time and create a centerpiece for it. The couple could be real or fiction, cartoon or not, ...anything really!! So we ended up 6 tables with super cute centerpieces.

1. Each couple was asked to come with a meal prepared for 2 in some sort of container so that you could not see what it was and so the other guest did not know who it was from. They were also asked to bring dessert for 2 in separate containers. Upon Arrival I took the meals and set them all on a table up front.

2. After all the couples were there it was time to DOUBLE DATE! Had more couple been there I would have had everyone draw names...but we had just 7 couples (plus one single who joined up with my table) So I just started with one of the couples and asked them to go up to the table and pick up a meal. After they chose, the couple that brought that meal stood up and then got the meal that the couple who chose theirs brought. Does that make sense? So now those two couples were on a double date and sat at the same table and basically exchanged meals. It was fun to see what the other couple brought and exchange meals. Let it be known that 3 couple brought Popeye's chicken haha!!

3. During our Double Dates I asked the couple to tell each other their love stories and each couple was to draw out/illustrate the other couple's love story. I supplied each couple with an extra large sheet of paper and colored pencils. This was a lot of fun! It was fun to hear the other love stories and see how they were illustrated. When the couples were done with their drawings we hung them up on a clothesline for all to see.

(note:this portion took at least an hour if not longer...a lot longer than I anticipated. So you could skip right to switching up couples and going into the dessert double dates and end there ...having a perfectly great evening)

4. Next we got in a circle and played "Never Have I Ever" Each couple got a cup of dry beans as playing tokens. We went around the circle and each couple had to say something they have never done but thought the other couple in the room had. If the other couple had done it they had to give up a bean. We went around the circle twice (but you can play this as long or as short as you want). We had the couples count their beans...the 3 couples with the most beans now earned a spot up on "stage" to play the Newlywed Game (I did not tell them before hand that is what the winners would get so some were kind of surprised but they all went up. In hindsight, with the small number of couples we had there it would have been fun to just have us all play).

5.. Next we played "The Newlywed Game". I had asked an awesome couple about a month before the party if they would be the hosts of the game and I am so glad they accepted! They were great! The winning couple got a perfect red rose and a box of chocolates...I also gave the other two couples a box of chocolates for playing as well.

6. By this time the party had run way longer than anticipated. This is where we were going to double date for dessert and then have dancing...but it ended up that some couples started leaving and cleaning up...so everyone just picked a dessert to take home. The lady there to the dance portion still played a couple of songs and a couple of us got a couple of slow dances in with out spouses and the kids from the nursery joined in. The dancing would have been so fun had we had more time and more couples but it was so nice seeing some couples dance.

**I also had a photo booth set up with some props and a selfie stick. We also had a nursery for those needing child care.

Despite wanting to cancel the whole thing and being frustrated I am glad I stuck it out. One of the husbands came up to me after with tears in his eyes and thanked me and said that they needed this date more than I would ever know. So I was humbled a bit and realized it was not about me at all and that maybe my expectations were not met but that someone's life was touched and helped by me following through.

Below are some of the Love Story Illustrations and table pics! I did a "You've Got Mail Table" and somehow didn't get a pic!




 The "Hinckley" Table...pictures and quotes from Gordon and Marjorie Hinckley

 The "I Love Lucy" table...by Brenda..the lovely lady on the left.


The "Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head" table. Which I loved! Designed by Cathy...the lovely lady in the glasses and our singleton for the night after her husband came down with the flu.

The "Teddy Bear" table by Nancy. 

Not pictured: The "Titanic: Jack and Rose" table and the "You've Got Mail" table. 
It was a really fun time! I would actually love to repeat this activity with more people in attendance.