Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunshine for the Soul...Sunday!

Saturday August 29th was a great night...
it was PayDay this week and so we took the kids to town and did our monthly shopping. This is a good and bad thing. When you take the kids shopping they always want to add things to the cart that I don't want to get, but Tracy is SO nice he always lets them add 1 or 2 things to the cart. Tonight it was "house brand" Chocolate Graham Crackers.

Jade asked me when we were driving home how I liked our treat....
I replied: "They taste like cardboard".
Ethan then replied: "Yeah, they do taste like cardboard... REALLY yummy cardboard!"

Ethan's comment reminded me of 2 years ago when I was driving in the car one day with him and they were telling how the weather was going to be.
I said: “Oh darn it looks like today is going to be windy and rainy”
Ethan said: “That’s cool mom, we get to have 2 kinds of weather today”!

Oh, to have the optimism of little kids….
they love whatever comes their way!!

Last Sunday,
I had to help my neighbor make these handouts for Relief Society and it was the following quote:
I loved this Conference Talk where this quote was given.
(here is a link to the talk)
"Come What May and Love it"!!
It makes me laugh every time and I am SO grateful to have a hubby who always makes sure we laugh in our home everyday and who always softens the stresses of life with a little bit of humor and laughter!!

Tracy enjoys FaceBook and I enjoy Blogging----last weekend one of his friends gave a link about this girl and her husband who were in a plane crash a year ago and severely burned and they just hiked to the top of "Y" mountain in Provo as a celebration of one year since their tragic accident.

Tracy and I
came home from a Ward Party Friday night (August 21st) around 9:30, tucked the kids in bed and then went to the following Blog: and stayed up until 1:35 in the morning reading. We started reading posts in January 2008 until the most recent post and we laughed and cried and we couldn't stop reading!!

I connected with her as I read about
the LOVE she had for her husband,
all of the fun events of life that she commented on with her kids,
I loved her silhouettes she made of her family above her mantle,
the joy she found in being a mom
and the way she celebrated the everyday moments of life, she was just SO funny and had such a knack for writing.
It truly inspired me!
(these photos were taken with Tracy's iPhone, which doesn't take the best photos, but I was just celebrating the moment, Being in Barnes and Noble reading books and talking with Tracy when he took these photos)

Anywho, I bought a cute skirt the first part of July and I have been just dying to wear it, however, several times this summer my legs have been bruised or cut badly and I just feel like my legs look plain awful and I sure don't want to show off my ugly legs wearing my cute skirt. (actually, I haven't worn shorts for a month because of my legs)
LIFE CHANGE happened to me last weekend after reading through those Blog Posts with Tracy from
"Nienie dialogues"
(Saturday August 22nd) I decided that I can't change what my legs look like right now and so I just need to celebrate TODAY and ENJOY what I have at the moment bruised legs and all.
So, I got all gussied up and put on my skirt and went on a HOT date with "Mr. Smith".
I was just feeling grateful that I have a working body, even though it's not perfect and I confidently enjoyed wearing my skirt and had a Wonderful Evening with the Love of my Life..."Mr. Smith"!
(I love this quote hanging in my home)
It's amazing how many times we find "Inspiration from Stangers" here in Blogland and how much I connect with you, whether we have similar interests or have had similar experiences, or you have hobbies that I would like to try out, or you have a strength that is my weakness that I want to improve, or a yummy recipe, or the HUMOR you give to me on a day when I was having a bad day.

It is a daily source of inspiration
to read about other peoples lives and I always go away feeling like a better person and more yet, feeling grateful for what I have!

Sometimes life gets a little hectic and stressful and we can either choose to be happy or choose to be sad...
I think
if we do what Elder Wirthlin said and "Laugh" instead of "Groan" when the bumps of Life come along and if we choose to always
"Find Joy in the Journey"
"Look on the Bright Side of Life"
we will always be able to find peace and comfort.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

fun, Fun, FUN!!

"I'm taking a ride with my best friend..."

Tuesday August 25th
was a perfect day and I can honestly say I have never had more fun in my life!!

Everything was perfect about the day except the drive from Ogden to West Valley City...the crazy traffic had me pretty much stressed out (I don't really enjoy 4 lanes of traffic on the freeway with all kinds sudden stops and people passing you in both lanes beside you). Where I come from 2 lanes of freeway traffic is enough and most of our driving is done on 2 lane country roads!
Anywho, we arrived in plenty of time and really enjoyed just relaxing, talking and for dinner enjoyed a smothered burrito at a restaurant just kiddie-corner from the E-Center. We also had LOTS of fun "People watching". It was fun watching all of the different "get ups" that people were wearing. You can definitely tell people who are from the 80's generation. Lots of original DM Concert t-shirts being worn and then as you would expect lots of CRAZY concert attire.

The opening act was AWFUL and the sound was horrible and Tracy and I kind of had a sad feeling like "what if this isn't good and we spent this money and it is a waste".
(the 2 men we sat by were SO nice...they were brothers and the one in the grey shirt came all the way from Michigan to see this concert).
Well, all I can say, is it was worth the wait and WOW we were STUNNED by the performance!! It more than exceeded our expectations! Seeing Martin, Dave and Andrew in REAL LIFE performing some of our favorite songs...
Pure BLISS!!
That awesome deep bass voice of Dave,
tenor voice/guitar and synthesizers of Martin
and watching Andrew on the synthesizers as well I was mesmerized and I'm changed forever! (in a good way)

This truly was one of the most fun and amazing things I have experienced!!
(oh wait, I usually say that about everything don't I)
We were going to be feeling pretty happy if we heard 3 or 4 songs from our beloved albums (since it was a concert promoting their new album "Tour of the Universe"), but they played way more OLDIES than new stuff and the concert ended in 4 encores!!
camera angles
and performance by all of them
I have never seen anyting like it! They definitely earned their money.

I am hoarse and have such a bad sore throat from screaming and squealing all night and I danced so hard I was sopping wet!!

We were so sad when the concert had come to an end and so as soon as got back to the car we pulled out Tracy's iPhone and went through our DEPECHE MODE music and tried to write down all of the songs we remembered them playing while it was fresh on our minds. (this is rough list of what we remembered).
TOUR of the Universe 2009
--"In Chains" (opening song)
(songs from their new album)
--"In Sympathy"
--"Miles away/The truth is"
--"Little Soul"
2 solos by Martin
--"A questions of Lust"
--"Shake the Disease"
--"A Question of Time"
--"Policy of Truth"
--"Black Celebration"
--"It's No Good"
--"World in my Eyes"
--"Fly on the Windscreen"
--"Come Back"
--"Enjoy the Silence"
--"The Love Thieves"
--"Barrel of a Gun"
--"Never Let Me Down Again"
FINAL 2 songs of the last encore:
--"Personal Jesus"
--"Waiting for the Night"
The first 45 minutes of our drive home were great because we still had so much adrenaline from the excitement of the concert, however, it soon sunk it that it was past midnight and the 4 hour drive home was grueling trying to stay awake. Needless to say, we made it safely home at a whopping 4:22 in the morning and fell asleep the moment our heads hit the pillow and then were rudely awakened by the sound of the alarm clock going off at 6:30 to get the kids up and ready for school!!
Tired and all it was SO much fun to send the kids off to school. Since I leave for work at 6:30 every morning I am gone before they are awake and so I never get to send my kids out the door (Tracy does that, so that I can be home with the kids when they get off the bus after school).
Anyway, I always take the first and last day of school off work so I can enjoy the FUN of sending them out the door with LOVE and kisses!
I can't believe my Ethan is in 2nd grade and
Jade is in 9th grade.
Time just flies by too quickly!!

Tracy and I had good intentions of going back to bed as soon as the kids were on the bus, but we just had all of the favorite DM ("Da-Peachy") songs going through our heads we kept on listening to music and reading about our favorite stars online that all of a sudden we realized it was 11:30 and we still hadn't had breakfast yet.

So, we made up tuna sandwiches on fresh baked bread filled up glasses with iced water and sat on the porch like a couple of newlyweds and enjoyed lunch together! Halfway through lunch Tracy looked over and saw me crying (which is unusual because I never let my emotions show too much). He asked me why I was crying and I told him "I just miss my kids". I am going to miss my afternoons with them...Jade is my helper in the yard with keeping everything watered and the lawn mowed and he never has to be reminded...he's such a hardworker and I LOVE spending my afternoons with Ethan sitting in our bean bag all snuggled up reading books. They're my buddies and I miss them."

Isn't it ironic how life is...sometimes it's like Spock says:
"Sometimes wanting is better than having".
(Enjoying each stage of LIFE to the fullest and not wishing life away.)
(I was also crying, because I had SO much love in my heart for Tracy...getting to spend time with him in the middle of the's a treasure to me and I was just savoring it, holding on to every moment of it and hoping it would never end!)
At this time
it was 1:00 and we were about to fall asleep on the porch and so we decided we would sleep for 2 hours until Ethan got home. It felt good to get some sleep! I LOVED hearing about Ethan's was so cute having him describe his teacher and their class rules and the excitement as he saw his FRIENDS again and the fun he had at lunchtime and recess. I treasured this moment of "one on one"!
Tonight we had our "Back to school dinner" and made homemade pizza and the kids got to make their own and choose their own toppings. We also had watermelon. It was fun. We had homemade Cherry Pie and ice cream for Dessert!

Our night ended with Tracy giving the kids a blessing of comfort and guidance for the new school year! It brought tears to my eyes and the kids Cherished the words of guidance that Tracy gave to them.
It was precious!
2 perfect days in a just doesn't get any better than this!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Energy and excitement at my house today!

It's been a high energy morning.

It started off with an awesome walk with my Tracy enjoying the morning twilight and cool morning air.

Next , came haircuts for the kids before breakfast so they could be all ready for school to start tomorrow.

The biggest amount of energy came as Tracy pulled up
nfo on our computer and we saw the following:
(Tour of the Universe
The next show...Tonight... Salt Lake City, Utah)

T-minus 4 hours until we blast off to SLC to enjoy
"Tour of the Universe 2009"!

21 years after high school graduation I feel like a high school girl again and my kids don't quite know what to think about their mom as she keeps on "squealing" and dancing around with excitement.
Feeling lucky that a few years ago I found these black platform boots at DI ($5.00) and this is the first time (0ther than Halloween) that I have worn them. I'm excited!

Now I'm heading to help my kiddies get their backpacks and school clothes all set out as they are spending the day with Tracy's parents and then get ready to head to Utah.

And I must add that the breakfast pancakes and eggs that my sweet hubby made were DELICIOUS!

8 hours of driving time and a concert with the Love of my Life Tracy..what could be better!

Looking forward to being home tomorrow morning safe and sound from our concert and sending my kiddies off to school with breakfast and kisses!
Life is Good!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where has all the summer gone?!?

"There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing"!

How did it get to be August 18th?
It just seems like yesterday, we were starting
Summer Vacation and now it is coming to an end.
August 26th my kiddies start back to school and it makes me sad.

We've had ALOT of fun together as a family this summer and I have LOVED all of the time I have got to spend with them in the afternoons!

It also makes me sad because a week ago today I had to head back to work after 3 wonderful days of backpacking with my family.
I have wanted to post about our adventures, but life is not permitting me to have the time I need to truly do our trip justice and so
until my kids get back in school
and I deal with all of our garden produce that we have an abundance of right now, it doesn't leave me much time in my life to do much of anything else.
September, will bring many posts of
our HIKE into Alaska Basin

fun summer events
we have done together as a family

and also RECIPES!!

I hope you are all enjoying
the last few moments of summer vacation with your families

and YES...
I will be back shortly!!
Have a wonderful and enjoyable day!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"There is Beauty All Around"...

"I went looking for Beauty
and I found it all around"!!

(I LOVE this quote...

this is on my 2009 Karen H. Good
"Life is your dance" calendar
that I have hanging in my kitchen)

Anyone who knows me know that I am very much a NATURE lover and that if I had my choice of any place I could be it would be in the mountains! The wildflowers up there are so amazingly beautiful and since we don't get there as much as I'd like to, I have tried to create my own little "flower haven" in my own yard to remind me of the beautiful flowers that I so much enjoy.

These are 2 of my favorite wildflowers
and the first photo in my post (the one that says "My Inspiration for my yard") has a field of Lupine flowers that are my other favorite!!

(the progress of my yard this summer)
It's a reality
that in Idaho we only have about 2 months of gorgeous blooming flowers in our yards and then things die off and we have to wait until next year to enjoy them again. That is why when my own yard stops blooming I have some really great neighbors who have planted different things than me that provide color and beauty even into the middle of fall and we can go and enjoy the beauty of their yards!

After my tulips stopped blooming
my Lilac bush came into full bloom with its white/lavender flowers.
The smell that it put off was amazing and you could smell it clear from my front porch each time there was a breeze.
I LOVE this lilac bush because of its name...
it is a "Miss Kim Lilac bush"
(how could I not plant something in my yard that has the same name as me!)

All of the lilies in my yard were exceptionally beautiful this year, which I have to attribute to all of the rain that we received in the month of June. I have 6 different types of lilies growing and the Day Lilies that are the 2 bottom photos on the right hand side of the photo are still blooming even as this post is written!

Another view
showing how pretty the lilies look in bloom and I LOVE the purple Salvia in the background of the bottom photo.

My love for the "Purple Fringe" wildflower
is what inspired me to plant this lovely "Liatris Spicata" flower.
It is such a unique flower and it makes me smile
every time I go out to water my flowers.

Purple SALVIA is what is shown here...
the top photo is when it first started blooming and then the bottom photo shows what a pretty backdrop is provides behind my daisies.

I have always LOVED Hosta plants.
They are another unique plant and they shoot up the most delicate flowers towards the end of summer. These remind me of something that grows in the tropics.

I am a LOVER of butterflies and my sweet kids and mother/father in-law bought this unique copper butterfly for me while they were on a summer trip. It goes perfect nestled in with my Violets and Emerald Gaity Euonymus plants!

No garden would be complete without daisies!
I have 2 different kinds of daisy plants in my garden.
These are "Fringed Daisies"
I love the"lacy looking" edge of the flowers.

Simple and elegant "Shasta Daisies".
There is just something about daisies and sunflowers... you can't look at them without getting a smile on your face!

Somehow I got lucky with these photos I took of our LAVENDER!
They were perfectly clear and really showed off the leaves well. The fragrant smell that the lavender put off was incredible and I couldn't get enough of it!

This is a photo showing the cool rocks with the lavender.
I have a whole corner of my yard that is full of lavender.

These "Blue Clips" and "Platycodon"
are still blooming right now and they add a great splash of vibrant color, because most of my flowering bushes are no longer blooming and so I am SO happy to still have a little color in my yard!

I LOVE my Delphinium!!
So elegant and graceful and they are the prettiest color of blue that look gorgeous next to my Daisies and Salvia.

Here are 2 cute little blooming flowers...
the yellow ones are "Coreopsis"
and the little lavender ones are "Asters"
Both of them are SO similar to flowers that we see in the high country.
They are another flower that makes me happy!

On many a summer night
you would find Tracy and I sitting in these 2 chairs shown in the top photo enjoying the beauty out in our yard and many gorgeous sunsets.
Next to my porch, this is my favorite spot to be in my yard!

As you can tell our "Spring Snow Crab" tree (in the top photo)
is SO big that when you are sitting on my front porch you can't see anything but that tree and so I am SO glad that we have a place to sit and enjoy these gorgeous blooming flowers.
The flowers shown in the photos with my chairs and in the bottom two photos shown above are called "Penstemon...Rondo Mix" and these remind me the most of the flowers we see in the high country and they bloom non-stop the month of June and July.
They are an AWESOME flower and they are all over my yard!! (they like to multiply and so when I see one starting to grow I let it grow because I love it so much!

This gorgeous beauty is my Mother's Day Plant
and I am amazed it survived. We got a frost shortly after planting it and it wilted and I thought for sure it wouldn't make it. I am sold on the concept of NURTURING because I faithfully watered it weekly and it must have made the difference because somehow it survived and we have had 5 gorgeous red flowers to enjoy.

And the last flowers to bloom are my PHLOX plants!
They have stunning beauty and it's so fun to pull up to my driveway and see bunches of purple color in my yard to greet me!

I feel SO blessed for the abundance of beauty that is all around me and I hope that I can always be in tune to notice beauty everywhere I go!!

I also have to mention that "Nurturing" is the one of the greatest things we can give to others...especially our family members!
Just as a garden needs to be watered, weeded and fed, so our children and spouses need to be nurtured as well with LOTS of kind words, encouragement, and most of all unconditional love!

"There is Beauty All Around,
when there's Love at Home"!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When life hands you Brown Bananas!!

Ahh, Bananas...
the wonderful fruit that always gets devoured at my house by my kids as fast as I buy them.
That is,
until we leave for a weekend getaway in the summer when it's hot and forget we had bananas in the pantry and we come home and they are all browned.

What does that mean...BANANA BREAD!!
What a yummy treat we were able to make up
when we came home and discovered this pleasant surprise this summer!
(this hardly ever happens and so it is something we savor very much)

I LOVE this helpful tip
that I learned over 7 years ago with using snack size applesauce containers/oil in making my sweet bread recipes!
It makes the moistest bread everytime!!
Banana Bread
3 eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ cup oil
½ cup applesauce
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 cups mashed banana (or however much banana you have)

Mix together 6 ingredients above

In Separate bowl mix together:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Grease two loaf tins.
Pour mix into tins.
Bake at 370* for 45 minutes. (or until toothpick inserted in comes out clean)

(THIS bread freezes well and is great to pull out of the freezer and slice up, add in an apple, string cheese or boiled egg and some carrot sticks and you have a yummy lunch)

ENJOY the moment
when "Life hands you Brown bananas"!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunshine for the Soul...Sunday!

"In the midst of our lives,
we need to find the magic
that makes our souls soar!"

(my photos are clickable)
North Fork Cascade Canyon 2007

This was another one of those photos that when I uploaded it I noticed that a bird had flown into the photo as I was taking it.
the pink wildflowers
that we see on our backpacking trips and the day I took this photo it was SO gorgeous with the Tetons in the background that I had to capture the beauty.
(once we hike out the only thing we have to remember our wonderful adventures are our photos--my photos are my priceless treasures).

I'm grateful for a blogging friend

CHERIE (from Bakow Babble)
who has given some wonderful Blogging tutorials,
because I am actually off on our yearly backpacking trip
and was able to "delay post" this in the middle of the week
to post on Sunday. I LOVE this option. Thanks!

(Paintbrush Divide 2007
these photos are hiking up Paintbrush Divide and the photo from my quote is the view that we saw as we were hiking down the other side of the mountain.)

Anyway, today I am doing what this quote says....
"The magic that makes my soul soar",
backpacking with my family in the Grand Teton/Jedidiah Smith Wilderness area and enjoying the most breathtaking scenery and knowing that we got here by putting "one foot in front of the other" and that we have everything on our backs (shelter, food, preparedness) to spend 3 wonderful days enjoying the peace and solitiude that only being in the high country can bring.
Somehow, over 7 years ago we started our backpacking adventures and it has gotten into my blood and I just LOVE it...
I can't get enough of it and
I treasure every moment we get to do this,
which isn't enough.

(This photo was also taken the same day
that the photo from my quote was taken...

We are up enjoying the "Art of God"
in all of it's magnanimous beauty...from the rugged mountains that are the background for our hike, to the rocky cliffs, desert terrain, lush forests, babbling creeks, waterfalls, wild flowers, wildlife, perfect starry nights and most of all PEACE and STILLNESS and a break from the noise of everyday life.
I'm enjoying
getting my "batteries re-charged" by being up in the mountains with the most beautiful and wonderful views!!

(Paintbrush Divide 2007)
If you don't climb the mountain...
you can't see the view!!

I hope we can all find our true passion in life
and really take time to...
"find the
MAGIC that makes our souls soar"!

(whatever that may be!)