Sunday, January 24, 2016

Preparing food ahead

My word for this year is "PREPARE". I want to be more prepared in every aspect of life.  After having my groceries delivered (I shop online and they are delivered for free-  amazing!) I spent one hour preparing food so that I am more prepared for every meal this week.  Rather than just putting the food away I did a few simple things to prepare it.  I chopped vegetables, boiled eggs for quick breakfasts, baked potatoes to have on hand for lunch, cooked turkey sausage for breakfast, cooked ground beef for a recipe later in the week, put chicken vegetable soup in the crockpot, cooked pasta and added frozen meatballs, and put some whole wheat bread in the pan to rise (thank you Rhodes for the dough). I am happy to be running ahead and not running behind! �� #prepare

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Gluten Free Life

During the last few months our oldest son has been on a gluten free diet.  I just wanted to report that it hasn't been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be!  It has caused us to eat healthier whole foods, eat out less, and think more!   For the most part I use all the same recipes that I always have.  I use gluten free flour and it generally turns out just fine.  Today we made Puffy Oven Pancakes from my usual recipe and they were delicious. 


tablespoons butter or margarine
cup flour
cup milk
teaspoon salt
cups assorted fresh berries 
Powdered sugar, if desired


  • 1 Heat oven to 400°F. In 9-inch glass pie plate, melt butter in oven; brush butter over bottom and side of pie plate.
  • 2 In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly with wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in flour, milk and salt just until mixed (do not overbeat). Pour into pie plate.
  • 3 Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until puffy and deep golden brown. Serve pancake immediately topped with berries. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


We have lived in our house for over four years.  That is a really long time for our family.  ��. We have decided that after four years we really need to do a big clean out and we needed to replace a few things that are worn out.  

One of the things that needed replacing was our family room couch and love seat.  In October I found the perfect custom sofa in the clearance center of a furniture store in town.  I really appreciate quality furniture and was trying to figure out how I could afford a custom sofa that would look great and be durable.  When I found this sofa for a great deal we bought it and ordered some chairs to match.  They finally came this week!  I have been rearranging the room and trying out different options!  It isn't completely settled yet, but here it is so far!  

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Bright New Year--- Hooray for 2016!

There is one post that I wrote in 2013 based on a talk given by Sister Beck that I just re-read.  I could have titled the post "Advice I need to hear again and again,"  because as life gets busy I need to stop and read the advice I wrote in that post!  Sister Beck teaches that as women we can't overwork ourselves, we need balance!  Read the post here.    Life has been joyously busy lately and rather than increase in speed, I am choosing to deliberately and carefully proceed into this new year with thought and purpose!

In November our ward boundaries were re-aligned and not only did we get an entirely new ward, my husband was called to serve as the Bishop! (The Bishop serves as a leader of a congregation in addition to their regular career).   It is such a blessing on so many levels and I am learning even more about how to prioritize my time (as if 8 children wasn't enough :)

I am so excited for a new year!  2015 was a difficult year for our family.  The first few months of the year I was miserable with morning sickness.  I barely scraped by and accomplished the bare minimum for the survival of our family.  Hyrum's health issues consumed many many days and hours.  During the summer I tried to smile and love life, but lets face it, I was getting really tired of being pregnant!  We were overjoyed to have Lydia join our family in August and I haven't slept through the night since!

2016 is a bright new year and I am looking forward to thriving, not just surviving!  Hyrum seems to be feeling better.  I feel great and continue to get more sleep each night.  All the kids enjoy school are doing well.  We love all our new friends in our new ward!  So I thought long and hard about what I need to focus on this year. I like to pick a word and try to study my scriptures about that topic and listen to General Conference talks on the subject and read books that will help me.  My word for this year is "Prepared."

I am sick of being the mom that rushes to pick her kids up from school. . . late.

I don't want to be scrambling to throw their cold lunches together just before we walk out the door for school --with me in my cheetah print pajamas.

I don't want to have to move a large pile of laundry off of my bed so that I can go to sleep at night.

I don't want to wonder if their is anything important in the large stack of papers on the kitchen counter.

I don't want to run out of dish washer detergent.

I don't want to just read my scriptures to check a box and say it is done.

I don't want to miss minutes I could spend with my family because I am wasting time on the internet.

This year I want to be prepared!  

I am so excited to be more organized, deliberate, faithful, focused, and most of all PREPARED this year!   

Monday, December 28, 2015

“How to Add a 'Spoonful of Sugar' to Get the Daily Tasks Done"

Do you have dishes to do?  Laundry to fold?  Toys to pick up?   So do I!  I have learned that I can't do it all!  There is no way that I can keep my house clean without help from my family.  On the Power of Mom's website today is one of my favorite articles that I have written about how to get your kids to help with daily cleaning tasks.

While we are talking about houses I wanted to mention that I am so excited with some of the current projects happening at our house!  Before Christmas we always have a "Pre- Christmas Clean Out."  It is a major deep clean where we try to get rid of as many things as we can to make room for all the new toys that we will get.  I wrote our clean out plan on our chalkboard (all the ideas are from "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.")


 Our oldest girls got new beds and bedding for Christmas!  We are having fun re-decorating!  

For Christmas I got a new shower curtain and rugs for the upstairs bathroom!

 We are enjoying our cleaned out rooms!  

My girls are organization experts :)  

Friday, December 25, 2015

Free E-Book

Merry Christmas!  My husband is playing a game with the kids so it left me with a few minutes to sit at the computer and write.  Life is great.  We have had such a magical Christmas.  Christmas is so fun with kids and it is super exciting with EIGHT kids!

Power of Moms recently created an awesome new E-book, it is called, "A Deliberate Mother's Guide to Holidays, Vacations, and Quality Family Time."  It is an excellent resource for how to make the most of family time, while still keeping life simple and reasonable.  I have used many of the ideas from this book over the last few years, and it is a great resource to have all the ideas combined in one E-book.  One of my articles is in the book so they have offered me 10 free copies to give away.  If you are interested send me an email ( or leave a comment with your email and I will send you a link to get your free copy of the book.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Design Process

This is an old post I wrote last year, but decided to publish.

This is a before picture of our family room.
We use this room for four main purposes:  practice the piano, read, and we gather as a family for family home evening and scripture study,  this is also the room we are in when people come over.

When we moved into the house I put the TV in this room.  It didn't take long at all for me to realize that I made a BIG mistake.  It was loud and the TV was the focus.  We moved the TV downstairs and brought the small bookshelf with kids books upstairs.  It worked like magic.  The kids would be waiting for dinner or have a few extra minutes and they would grab a book rather than turn on the TV.  The same is true with our piano.  If they have a few extra minutes they sit down and practice because it is conveniently right there.

There were many things about this room that worked, but I was tired of all the brown.  I decided to lighten and brighten this room.  I started pinning things on Pinterest that were the general "feel" of what I wanted for our family room.  Overall, this is what I took with me shopping and the "feel" that I wanted to acheive:

I wanted the final room to be described as "Clean, Bright, and Light."  

I wanted to keep the couches, would you believe we have had those couches for over 10 year, they have lived in 6 states, and we have 7 kids, but they still look fabulous thanks to two rules:

-We take our shoes off in the house.
-We only eat food in the kitchen.

Anyway, I would like to keep the couches for a couple more years so I was looking for new pillows to brighten the space.  I also planned to paint the walls a lighter shade of what they already were and paint the fireplace white.  

My first stop was TJ Maxx (Homegoods) and Marshall's. 

Shopping at Homegoods and Marshall's is usually a jackpot.  Here are some of the amazing things that saw:

When I went to Marshall's I found exactly what  I was looking for quality down filled pillows with zip closure made from beautiful thick designer fabric. . . on clearance! I pick up a cute pouf for a foot rest and some other accessories.

After Pictures

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