Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Diaper Duty

There is a baby shower for my friends new baby tonight....a i whipped up this diaper bag this is reversible....each picture shows the different sides....but I prefer to keep the pockets (red with paisley strip in the middle) on the inside and have the red with the black ribbon on the outside. Love how easy this pattern is and that I can get fabric according to the friends personality!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

my niece the painter

My brothers 4 year old girl was on the news! They did a piece about her and her autism. Check it out!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shop at Albies!

So Neil and I went to Albertsons after we went to Smiths (see the post before this one)! We did even better at Albertsons. Here is what we got....

5 Kraft BBQ sauce
8 Kraft Ranch
2 Jello Pudding
4 Dannon Yogurt (4 packs)
10 eggo waffles (big 16 pack)
6 bagelful bagels
8 post liv active cereal
24 suave shampoo/conditioner
6 tyson anytizers

Albertsons card 84.31
Store Coupons=20.70
I also got 4 movie ticket vouchers and $10 to spend on my next purchase at Albies! How did it work? I had a ton of coupons...and there were some great deals! So basically instead of 44.70 I spent 44.70-32 (4 movie tickets at $8 each)-$10(money for next purchase) I got it for $2.70! My total savings at Albertson was $160.01. People couldn't believe it and cashiers were coming over from other registers to see my deal!

MaryBeth would be Proud!

So what does $22.69 buy you at Smith's these days? Let me tell you..
9 packages of cottonelle toilet paper (4 packs)
4 boxes nature valley granola bars
1 box gushers
3 boxes fruit by the foot

That was transaction 1
Out of Pocket (oop)= 13.89
MFG (manufacture coupon) $12.05
Smiths card savings 11.00
Total Saved 23.05

Transaction 2:
8 boxes chex cereal
OOP= $0.48
MFG= 16.00
Total Savings= 27.12

Transaction 3:
Same as #2

Transaction 4:
8 boxes chex cereal
Total Savings=26.62

Transaction 5:
8 boxes chex cereal
Total Savings=25.12

Transaction 6:
4 boxes (2 cheerios 2 chex)
4 Fruit by the foot
Total Saved=20.42

Overall we saved $150...not bad for one trip to the grocery store.

Summer School/Activities

My friend Saren is doing summer workshops for kids...thought some of you might be interested. She is one of those gals that just talks with such a sweet voice that kids stop what they are doing to listen to her! Gotta love Saren!

Summer Workshops by The Joy School Company

With a commitment to high-quality instruction and materials and small class sizes, the Joy School Company will offer a series of children's enrichment programs this summer. Workshops will be held from 9:00am – 12:00pm on the dates indicated. Snacks and all materials are included in the cost. All classes are limited to 8 participants. Information on the instructor, Saren Loosli, is included at the end of the workshop descriptions. All workshops will be held at the instructor's home.

Little Chefs' Workshop
For children ages 5-8

Through games, stories and lots of hands-on experience, children will learn about healthy eating and make kid-friendly, delicious and nutritious treats, snacks and meals. On the final day, they'll make something special to bring home to their families. On the last day, each child will receive their own little recipe booklet full of the things they've learned to make.
Cost: $50 (includes all food and materials)
Dates: May 27, 28, 30 (Tu, W, F)

Mad Scientists’ Workshop
For ages 8-11

This fun and interactive program will offer children a chance to learn about the exciting world of science through hands-on activities and experiments. Children will learn about electricity, chemical reactions, the properties of different materials, etc. And they'll just think they're having fun!
Cost: $50 (including materials)
Dates: June 2, 4, 6 (M,W,F)

Fairy Tale Adventures
For ages 4-7

During each session of this workshop, children will listen to stories, dress up and act them out and complete art projects that go with the stories. Children will have a wonderful time letting their imagination run wild as they help make up new stories and take off on adventures with kind princesses, brave knights and dragons. On the last day, there will be a special tea party and ball and children will come dressed up in their finest dress up clothes.
Cost: $45 (including materials)
Dates: June 9, 10, 11 (M, T, W)

Great Artists’ Workshop
For ages 5-8

Through fun stories and activities, children will learn about different styles of art and about some great artists, then try their hand at creating art in different styles. They'll get to try creating sculptures, drawings and paintings and will learn to really notice details in the world around them as they produce their own art.
Cost: $50 (including materials)
Dates: June 16, 18, 20 (M,W,F)

Information on Saren Loosli, the instructor for all workshops:
With a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Saren Eyre Loosli has developed curriculum and taught students and teachers for 10+ years. She ran enrichment programs in schools in Boston and assisted in the development of after school and summer programs for kids in the San Francisco Bay Area. She wrote the manual used by the Corporation for National Service to train educators across the country and conducted conferences for those who run after-school and summer enrichment programs. While teaching a co-op preschool and providing special programs in her own children’s school, she currently runs “The Joy School Company” which develops and provides curriculum for preschools and elementary schools all over the world. She loves helping kids get excited about learning and helping teachers make learning fun and meaningful.
The Joy School Company
*** If a class does not have at least 4 participants sign up, it may be canceled. In this case, money will be refunded. Otherwise, there will be no refunds unless the child is withdrawn at least a week prior to the first day of the class.

Let me know if you need to get in touch with Saren or want more information!

Busy weekend

Had a really busy weekend, but didn't really go anywhere. Friday after dinner we rode our bikes to the elementary school and I did a little jogging (I know, twice in one week is too much for you to believe). Neil thought he was going to jog with me, but he soon learned he could walk as fast as I jog. I figure I am working my way up and don't want to burn myself out. He ended up riding bikes with the kids while I ran (using the term loosely) around the track 4 times. Let me also tell you that this track is not regulation length...normal tracks are 4 times=1 mile...this this track is longer and 3 times=1 mile. Saturday we cleaned the entire house...I mean cleaned. I unscrewed the jets on the bathtub and cleaned each of those individually. I am just hoping the kids let me have a little sanity and keep it clean for at least a day. We moved furniture around in Eastons room and just did lots of house stuff. Then Neil and I went on our weekly date. We try to go every Saturday...but doesn't always happen. We usually end up going to dinner....and then to the grocery store. Romantic huh? It is just so nice not to have anyone with me nagging to get everything they see. So hopefully with a clean house (oh and both freezers organized too) we will have a much less stressful week ahead!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Her little obsession

The other day my friend Missy posted about being obsessed with the polygamists in Texas. I have found that I too am very interested in the case. I went to the library yesterday to get some books about it and they were all check out, so obviously everyone else is also a little obsessed. When you hear on the new "Colorado City" and "Hilldale", those locations are about 45 minutes from us. In fact, St. George is where the polygamists do all their shopping, so seeing them is an everyday occurance! They are very quite, polite and stand-off-ish! We had a group build the neighbors house, and they did it in about 1 month. They framed it in one day! Roof on the next! They are amazing workers, no loud music playing, and each knew their job. I have never seen a job site so amazingly clean! Then I hear stories about terrible abuse, which appear to contridict everything I see. I am very confused. Yes I think that abuse of children is terrible. At the same time I think it is so terrible that the children were taken away from their mothers. Why not remove the men you suspect of abuse and work with the mothers and the children at the home? So to complicate matters, I looked up the FLDS website, which is brand new. They have never talked openly about themselves, and have never used the internet (they are not allowed, it is so worldly). They now have a site for the children being held "captive". On the site, they did a great job of getting my sympathy, they have some videos. Pictures of they children happy and enjoying a normal childhood! I found it very interesting that the music playing with the video is LDS music, I'm trying to be like Jesus. It makes me wonder what else they use that is also LDS. Do they watch our conference? Do they follow our lesson manuels? This music was not even written when they broke off from the church. Hhhmmm...even more for me to ponder. Anyways, I would love to know what everyone thinks...and here is the link in the top right corner is the link to the captive children's site!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


So I was tagged...but I have already done it so I am making up my own!

1. Current church calling: I have two....I interpret at the deaf branch and I am the ward enrichment leader.
2. Favorite calling: nursery leader...loved coming up with fun activities to do
3. worst calling: we were brand new in a ward/town and I was put in as the visiting teaching supervisor. I had to call and see if everyone did their visiting teaching. Everyone hated me calling and they didn't even know who I was!
4. most time consuming calling: young womens Pres.
5. calling learned the most from: again young womens pres.
6. husbands calling: 2nd counselor in young mens, varsity scout coach, and young mens sports guy (don't know what they call it)
7. favorite scripture story: 3 Nephi when Christ shows the people the prints in his hands!
8. What row do you sit in: (I know everyone has their "assigned" seats) we sit in the third row, left center. The hutchings sit behind us and the Labrums next to us
9. Best teacher you ever had at church: toughie....but I would say that right now I am loving a gal that teaches in Relief Society in the ward I am in now. She always makes me think! Sandy Holliday
10. Where were you sealed (if applicable) Portland Oregon
11. Where were you endowed (if applicable) Oakland CA
12. Favorite temple: ummmm love Portland, but have learned the most in the St. George
13. Great church memory: Lost a tooth at church when I was a kid
14. Who baptized you, any good story with it? My dad, the kids in the gym were playing basketball and my mom had to make them stop because every time they bounced the ball we could hear it! there you have it. Can you think of any other fun questions? Consider yourself tagged...if you are LDS!

Everybody dance now!

So every once in a while my boys just burst into song. Yes they got this trait from me (although Neil does it quite often, but he changes the words) So the other day I was taking Easton and Addison to have lunch with Neil at his office and from the back of the car, complete with the high pitch whiny voice, I hear "Everybody Dance Now!" Boy can Easton make us smile at our house! So you heard him, stand up and dance for a minute!


We went with Camden's class to the farm across the street from his school and had a great time!

Miracles never cease

So today I went and bought my first pair of real running shoes. And I ran a mile and 1/2! What's that I hear? Oh is that the sound of Val cheering....oh and the sound of lots of jaws hitting the ground? I even think I could have jogged longer, but the guy at the running store said to take it easy the first few times! Don't want an injury. So I wanted super cute shoes, but ended up with OK cute shoes that actually feel fantastic and help my arches! I begin my quest to actually become healthy. I had to get a size 10 shoe. Can you believe it? You have to get bigger then your normal shoe size so that you don't lose your toe nails. EWE! This is suppose to be fun? So hopefully all this hard work will pay off and I will be able to run a 5k this fall with my friends. Anyone interested? Come join us!

My perfectionist

So yesterday and the end of Brooke practicing her violin, which she hates to do because it cuts into her friend time, this is our conversation
Me:good job, sounds good
Brooke:do you just say that
Me: what do you mean
Brooke: Like are you just saying that, cause I think I sound awful
Me: You mean, am I lying to you? Of course I mean it
Brooke: well I don't think so
Me: Well I don't think that you could sit down and play any song in the world, but I think that for what you have learned so far and for how long you have been taking lessons you sound great. The difference is, you want to be perfect now! I still think you sound great!

So do you think our kids really think we just tell them good job even if they don't need it, or do they just need that extra reassurance once in a while. Brooke wants to be perfect at everything. Drives her nuts if she misses a note! I still think she sounds great and as soon as I figure out how to put sound on my blog videos I will post her playing the violin!

On a side note, a few weeks ago for family night we played softball. We went with two other families and the two girls that play softball worked with Brooke on her technique. I have no athletic ability and Brooke has now signed up to play softball for the first time. Well two days ago Brooke made the top two for her class for the softball distance throw. Today is the entire 4th grade competition, and the top two from each class are in it. So we will see. The practicing must have really paid off!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Been swimming with the kids a lot friend Ashley sent this email to me and I thought it was very appropriate for this time of year!

Monday, April 21, 2008

reflections of Christ

My dad sent me this great even includes my favorite hymn. Hope it helps you enjoy your day a little more!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What's your color?

Take this test!
You're yellow, the color of joy and energy — two things you definitely bring to everyone around you. It's hard for anyone to be sad or lonely in your presence; your sunny disposition and cheery outlook just won't allow it. The warmth of your personality shines through in the kindness you show friends and family (and strangers, too). Always ready with a lighthearted joke or heartfelt compliment, you know how to make people feel good about themselves, so they can't get enough of you. Yellow is a warm and inviting color for a warm and inviting person — you!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another great coupon deal

Went to rite-aid and got a great deal:

1 colgate total-2.49 (get 2.49 in rebate) had 1.50 coupon = I make 1.50
1 extreme clean aquafresh toothpaste 2.49 (get 2.49 back) = free
hormel chili .99 each got two, had coupon for .55 =.71 each
duracell batteries: on sale for 6.49, had coupon for 1.00=5.49
sunsilk shampoo: 2/$6, had two coupons one was a bogo, other was 1.50=.75 each
finesse: 2.50 each, get that back in rebate, but had a coupon so made $2.00

total paid 22.96, but get back 10 in rebate, so will have paid 12.96


I'm beginning to look a lot like MB

No I haven't gotten shorter, just my couponing skills are increasing! I can't get my pictures to upload, but I will.

Here are today's shopping deals....

Walgreens:Dawn dish soap on sale for .99, also had two coupons for .50 = .50 each
7 up: 4/$5, but had two buy one get one (bogo) coupons=.62 each (we don't buy soda, but are going to a family reunion this summer so we will provide soda for cheap)
Kraft mac and cheese: on sale for for .59 (didn't have a coupon, but good price for first 4)
hunts tomato sauce (8oz) first 4 are .29, but had a coupon for .40 =.19 each
ban deodorant: on sale for 1.99, had two coupons =1.40 each
trident gum: bogo and had a coupon for .75= .22 each

Grand totals:11.01 in Walgreen coupons
.56 in walgreen advertised savings
5.80 in manufacturer coupons
Total savings 17.37
paid 10.53

Saturday, April 12, 2008

California here I come (soon)

We just booked our girls getaway to Sunny (and cooler then us) California. Brooke, her friend Breanna, sister Lexie, mom Charmaine and I are going to Disneyland for two days and to the American Girl Place. The girls are so excited to go and eat lunch at the American Girl Cafe. We don't go until May, but the girls are already spending all their recess time planning every detail of the trip. I can't wait to have a girls trip! The boys (with Addison) will stay home and perhaps go to laser mania (without Addison)! Woo hoo!

Dancin with the stars

I want to start this post saying we do not watch a lot of reality t.v. We occasionally see dancing with the stars and American Idol....but I guess it has struck a cord with my kids. I found a piece of paper downstairs that said the following:

Dance Off
4. John S.
2. Justice B.
3. Keat S.
1. Devin S.

(Side note....Camden's name when they are pretending is always Keat and Easton always uses Devin...I guess their friends like to use their own names since both John and Justice were here that day...also I left off their full last name and just wrote their initial, but on the paper was written their last names)

1st Justice
2nd John
3rd Devon

Deven-Cool floor work, keep working on that cartwheel!
Justice-Work on the cartwheel but you kept me happy through it all
Keat-It was a little messy. It was pretty cool
John-a little jerky and stiff good foot work

(this is word for word what was written...and apparently they couldn't decide how to spell Devin since it is spelled 3 different ways. My favorite part is "you kept me happy through it all" Doesn't that just sound like one of those judges? I love when my kids are creative and having fun together)

Feeling Overwhelmed

For those of us who are feeling overwhelmed....I received this email and thought everyone would relate and understand....Thanks Jalyn.

If you, or someone you know has ever felt overwhelmed by all they feelthey need to do, Vickie Gunther of Redlands , California , wrote a hilarious poem, Dr. Seuss style, about how much LDS women try to take on. David B. Marsh used it at Women's Conference, and Vickie has given permission to share it.The Girl in a Whirl by 'Dr. Sue' (a.k. A.. Vickie Gunther)

Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
You could do what I do if you only knew how.
I study the scriptures one hour each day;
I bake, I upholster, I scrub, and I pray.

I always keep all the commandments completely;
I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.

I help in their classrooms! I sew all they wear!
I drive them to practice! I cut all their hair!

I memorize names of the General Authorities;
I focus on things to be done by priorities.

I play the piano! I bless with my talents!
My toilets all sparkle! My checkbooks all balance!

Each week every child gets a one-on-one date;
I attend all my meetings (on time! Never late!)

I'm taking a class on the teachings of Paul,
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,

I track my bad habits 'til each is abolished;
Our t-shirts are ironed! My toenails are polished!

Our family home evenings are always delightful;
The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.

I do genealogy faithfully, too.
It's easy to do all the things that I do!

I rise each day early, refreshed and awake;
I know all the names of each youth in my stake!

I read to my children! I help all my neighbors!
I bless the community, too, with my labors.

I exercise and I cook menus gourmet;
My visiting teaching is done the first day!

(I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
It's the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters.)

I chart resolutions and check off each goal;
I seek each "lost lamb" on my Primary roll.

I can home-grown produce each summer and fall.
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,

I write in my journal! I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write "thank you's" to those I admire.

My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
My kids get straight A's! And their bedrooms are clean!

I have a home business to help make some money;
I always look beautifully groomed for my honey.

I go to the temple at least once a week;
I change the car's tires! I fix the sink's leak!

I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread;
I have all our meals planned out six months ahead.

I make sure I rotate our two-years' supply;
My shopping for Christmas is done by July!

These things are not hard; 'tis good if you do them;
You can if you try! Just set goals and pursue them!

It's easy to do all the things that I do!
If you plan and work smart, you can do them all, too!

It's easy!" she said
AND then she dropped dead.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I scream, U scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!

I turned the corner into the kitchen and this is what I find....She immediately signs to me "ice cream" (one of her favorite signs, along with candy)
As if signing it will help her out. If she signs it then maybe mommy won't take it away from her. And as soon as she signs it, she immediately sticks her hand back in the ice cream for some more.Oh the perks of having an older brother to get the ice cream out of the freezer for you. An older brother who then walks away and leaves the ice cream, without telling mom what a big helper he has been!Here she is, once again signing ice cream for mommy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hurry Hurry Hurry Firetruck

So two weeks ago, I know I am slow to post, Easton had a field trip for preschool. So I loaded up all three kids and we went down the street to the firehouse. We had a great time. We saw where they sleep, eat and train. We also got to see how they get ready (dressed) for a fire. The highlight was going inside the ambulance and fire trucks. Here are my 3 junior fire fighters!

Easton and Addison inside the ambulance.

Addison in the ambulance while Camden checks out all the gloves and the front of the ambulance.

Camden inside the fire truck. They even flashed the lights for us. They didn't do the sirens because there were already twins from the morning class that were bawling. The poor teacher, who is 8 months preggo, was trying to carry both of these 4 year olds while they clung to her for dear life. We had a great time!

Monday, April 7, 2008


We have been very busy at our house watching soccer games. Last week we ONLY had 4, with only 2 kids playing. But it has been so much fun to see the improvement they have made in such a short time. I can only imagine how much better they would be if their teams actually held practice! Yep, they don't have practice, so no one has told them what to do to improve or what the actual rules are.

Brooke is excited to be playing on the same team as our neighbor Samantha. Brooke played goalie for 1/2 of one game and did a great job. No one scored on her!

Camden is playing on the same team as this boy, Justice. I swap tending with his mom each week so that I can go to Brooke's class to teach sign.

Camden is the superstar on his team this year. Last year he was the young kid who didn't know any of the rules. This year he is the oldest and scores on average 2 goals per game. This is a picture right after one of those goals, where he is walking away trying not to look too proud! Man am I though! I love when my kids have somthing they can feel proud about. You can just see their little spirits lifting and realizing just how amazing they really are!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Co Co

Last night I got to have a girl's night out. We have been planning this night since before Christmas. As soon as I saw the Colbie Callait (sp) would be coming to Tuacahan to perform, I knew I had to get tickets. I ended up getting 4 tickets for me and 3 friends. We had amazing seats, fourth row! We went out to dinner at Durango's (yummy burrito) then went to the concert. We had such a great time! We laughed and laughed like you wouldn't believe (through the intermission) Then as soon as the intermission ended the man behind us (old man who was not there for fun, but was there because he had season tickets) said we ruined the entire first half of the show and would we not ruin the second half. We were shocked. This was a concert. Not the opera, not a play. We were there to have fun and listen to great music. We knew all the words and were singing along. I don't know what he wanted us to do, but apparently he wanted us to just sit and nod our head. Luckily he left early, you know to beat the traffic. What a party pooper. If we were honestly noisy it would have been one thing, but we were just enjoying the music. Yeah we were loud during the intermission, but come on. They were by far the oldest people there, cause everyone else was in their teens, twenties, and thirties. That's ok. We still had a great time, singing along to "realize" and "bubbly" and all her other great songs. Our only disappointment? She didn't sing "Capri" We all commented on how great she sounded, just like her CD. You know some people you see in concert sound nothing like their CD because they have it so "fixed" to make it sound good. But not Colbie! She was amazing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

one of those days...or weeks

It has been one of those weeks, the kind that you wish you could have skipped. The kind where you hardly have time to sit alone, even for a minute. The kind of week that makes you either want to go outside and scream at the top of your lungs or else lie in your bed and have a good cry or perhaps do both. It's one of those weeks where you want to buy a cake, light the candles, blow them out and eat it all by yourself. Why? Because you are having a pity party. Yet it the midst of all the yuck you find little rays of sunshine. A 6 year old so pleased to have scored a goal, a 10 year old that signed her little heart out in the fourth grade talent show, parents that come take care of you (and fill your freezer full of yummy dinners so that you don't have another week like this one) a four year old that melts your heart with this long lashes and dimple in his chin, and an adorable baby that snuggles in your lap when she wakes up from her nap a little early. So what do we do, do we pass up these horrible weeks? Do we ask for them not to happen? If they don't happen, do we still get to experience the little glimpses of heaven? I want to say I don't mind having these kind of weeks. I wish I were one of those amazing people that say how blessed they are and thankful they are to have the trials they have had. But maybe those people are just like me, struggling to get through them, and then once they have passed through those dark times and come out on the other end, maybe that is when they say they are blessed and thankful. Maybe I just need to get to the other end of the tunnel. Maybe I need to be a little bit more like my Savior. Maybe I need a big, long nap. Or better yet, maybe I need a vacation. How much does that cost, I would like to buy a vacation from my troubles! Just for a day or two so I can recouperate. I need a breather so that I can be a fighter again, getting knocked down time after time can get tiring. So now that I have been as depressing as I can possibly be I am off to find solace. Rock a baby to sleep, and devour my time alone with my scriptures. Hopefully that will buy me a day! Have any good one's that you turn to? Send them, and your prayers. I will in turn pray that I am the only one that is having one of those weeks.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Was that you?

Got this joke from my friend...all the deafies and their friends will totally understand this.

During the church service an old woman leaned over to her husband and said, i just let out a silent fart what should I do? Husband leaned over to her and said "put batteries into your hearing aids!"

Enjoy your day and don't forget to replace your batteries!