Frozen Lake

The lake near our home freezes over early in the season. It’s fun to take the children up there to see. We don’t actually ice fish, but we still enjoy walking around one the ice. It’s a fun and beautiful place to go walking as well.



Joe loves to build snow caves, and with the abundance of snow we got, it was pretty easy.

The kids had been asking to build gingerbread houses. We had a bunch of candy given to us for Christmas, so we made these one day. I used melted gummy bears to put the graham crackers together, which worked better than anything else I’ve tried.

My friend gave me some owl pellets to dissect. It was a rather interesting, but also gladly short-lived activity.


I love having all my boys home, but I must admit they are a little wild! They energize each other and they are so happy.

Merry Christmas

Two days of opening presents, enjoying family, and lots of sugar. And a lot of snow.




The children got legos, art supplies, hot wheels tracks, hot wheels cars, Pokemon cards, and robots.
Curtis said, “I got everything I ordered!” and “I ordered these!” I like his word choice.

Merry Christmas

On that night in Bethlehem there was no room for him in the inn, and this was not the only time during the thirty-three years of his sojourn in mortality that there was no room for him. Herod sent soldiers to Bethlehem to slay the children. There was no room for Jesus in the domain of Herod, so his parents took him to Egypt. During his ministry, there were many who made no room for his teachings—no room for the gospel he taught. There was no room for his miracles, for his blessings, no room for the divine truths he spoke, no room for his love or faith. He said to them, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).

Even in our day, although two thousand years have passed, there are many who say the same thing that was said on that night in Bethlehem. “There is no room, no room” (see Luke 2:7). We make room for the gifts, but sometimes no room is made for the giver. We have room for the commercialism of Christmas and even pleasure-seeking on the Sabbath day, but there are times when there is not room for worship. Our thoughts are filled with other things—there is no room.15

While it will be a beautiful sight to see the lights of Christmas … , it is more important to have human lives illuminated by an acceptance of him who is the light of the world [see Alma 38:9; D&C 10:70]. Truly we should hold him up as our guide and exemplar.

On the eve of his birrth, angels sang, “And on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). If men would follow his example, it would be a world of peace and love toward all men.16

What is our responsibility today as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? It is to see that our individual lives reflect in word and deed the gospel as taught by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All that we do and say should be patterned after the example of the one sinless person to walk the earth, even the Lord Jesus Christ.17 Howard W. Hunter


The peace of Christmas is “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” It is the peace that the Apostle Paul promised would “keep [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” And Paul was right. That peace we seek is only through and because of Jesus Christ. –Henry B. Eyring



It’s been cold without a lot of snow. The kids will still go outside and play sometime.


They also opened a new jump house in our area, so we went there.


Otherwise, it’s been a pretty relaxed week. I update the template of my website. We watch Amazing Race a lot. Yep. Sometimes it’s nice to not be busy.

Around the House

I was in a picture taking mood.

It’s nice to see the bones of the backyard now that most of the plants and weeds are gone. We are letting the chickens free-range the entire backyard, which is working out well.

A better shot of the dead hedge. I love this little project still.

Front door, all decked up for Christmas. We really need to redo the concrete stain. It didn’t bug me that much until we redid the door.

This herb spiral is looking pretty good for December.

This is in the kitchen. We painted it this weekend. It was yellow. I didn’t mind the yellow until I painted over it, and then I realized the yellow really didn’t work. I like this green instead.


For a while now, I feel like one of my biggest challenges is feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. I’ve pondered why I’ve been led to this, and while studying the life of Christ, I wrote these words:

You must have confidence in yourself and lose your self-doubt and feeling of inadequacies. 

You can have confidence and self-worth because you are a daughter of God. God is in your life and He will not fail you! Have confidence in God, that as you strive to obey His commandments, He will be with you. 

Jesus Christ must not have had any self-doubt. If he did, would he be able to serve those around Him to such a degree as He did? He had full confidence in God the Father: He had learned of Him, talked with Him and developed a transcendent relationship. He knew God the Father had a plan, and that He would provide the way for Christ to fulfill the plan. His confidence was not in himself, but of the Divine Father. For Christ could fail, but more importantly, the plan provided a way for Him to succeed. He knew this. He knew if He put all trust in the Father, it would work out. 

Jesus had full confidence. And so He was not worried as the hour of His suffering was soon to come. He was able to fully love and serve those around Him because He knew God was in charge, and there was no reason to doubt. Even in sorrow, pain, God would provide a way to succeed. He provided the power Christ needed to overcome. 

God has and will provide a way for you to succeed! Your power comes through Him, and He is a perfect God who will not fail you. Trust in His promises, His scriptures, obey His commandments, and the way will be open for you. As you lose your self-doubt, you can also lose yourself in the service of others and perform the work you need to do. 


My four year old struggled to write his name. He knew that U doesn’t look quite right. His frustration turned into tears. I stood by offering encouragement. The U is one of the best he’s done. It’s not perfect, but it is good enough. He’s only been writing letters for a few months, after all. He didn’t listen to me encouraging him. He was overcome with how he couldn’t do it right.
I realized I was doing the same thing. I had work to do, and I knew it wasn’t perfect. I was trying my best, but I just wasn’t getting to the level I wanted to be at. When God told me it was good enough, I wasn’t listening.
If I’m trying to do my best, and more importantly relying on the Lord to make up the difference, then my work will be good enough. It might look like the uneven wobbles of a four-year-old just learning to write. But if I keep trying and not get overcome by discouragement, my efforts will improve. I know that they have improved in the past. I can be happy with where I am at now.


This little darling had a birthday! His favorite present was a blanket. (He loves blankets, and this one was pretty cool.) He loved his Spiderman, made by his Grandma and we also got him a tiny little balance bike.


It was a fun day. We had a Christmas party at church, watched Peter at his last day of basketball camp, and then had a birthday party with family. We ate cake, and then went and saw Christmas lights in the pouring rain.