Sunday, October 7, 2018

Women's Conference

This session of general conference has been filled by uplifting messages and revelatory announcements.  Pres. Nelson informed the members of a new in-home learning curriculum that would begin on January 1, 2019. In conjunction with the new instruction, Sunday meetings would be reduced from three hours to two in order to allow families the time they need to study together.

I have looked over the content for the first couple of weeks in January. They are set up like a Sunday school lesson would. I am glad to have the next couple of months to figure out how our family will implement the new assignment.

To make the Women's Conference special, I hosted a dinner and invited women that are special to the girls in our family. I enjoyed it so much, I think it may become a new annual tradition.

We had a fancy meal, with fancy place setting, and fancy food. Everyone enjoyed each other's company immensely.

Each person got a notebook and smelly gel pen to use for taking notes during the session.

Then we headed down to our theater to listen to the admonitions and instructions shared with us by the First Presidency and General Women leaders of the church.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Face Painting

My kids have been face-painting models for a neighbor several times over the past year. My neighbor attends most local fairs and it has been fun to see their face on the display boards whenever we attend a community event.

On Thursday the three oldest once again had their faces painted for the Halloween board. The face paintings are always masterful, but these were extremely beautiful. The photo does not do them justice.

Emilia particularly loved her Sugar Skull face and asked that I take a picture of it and include it in the blog.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Fall family photo

After church we decided to take some family photos with the fall foliage. We have had mixed results whenever we head out to the mountains. It takes a long time to get everyone looking nice, and then even longer to drive up the canyon, so we just drove to the Jordan River Parkway and selected an area we liked.

Another lesson we learned over the years is not to spend too much time taking photos. Kids just don't have the patience for it. The first few shots are usually the most natural and the best ones. So, once the camera was set up in the right spot, we only spent a few minutes taking pictures. The kids were happy and so were we.

We decided to drive to Gardener Village to see if they had a better place for us to take pictures. Unfortunately, Andrew fell asleep along the way so we simply parked the car and had the three oldest pose in a spot next to the parking lot.

Andrew is very crossed if he is awaken, so there was no point in trying to get him up for photos. We just have to be satisfied with the ones we have already taken of him.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Geocaching Merit Badge

During the month of September I have been helping my local scout troupe attain their Geocaching Scout Merit Badge. During my first lesson, I only had three boys show up. Then the word started spreading and by the last week we had all six boys in attendance.

I enjoy geocaching, but I have to admit, I am a novice at it. Sister Pat Nell, who is also in our ward has more experience with geocaching. She also has several handheld GPS units that she uses with her family whenever the go geo-hunting.  So, when I agreed to help, I enlisted her assistance.

On Saturday, September 30th the boys who had attended all of the preparatory lessons, where ready for this last requirement. We took them out to the Jordan River Parkway geocaching. We all had a blast. Later that same weekend, our family went to the same spot for family pictures and our kids were able to find some of the same caches with me.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Arches National Park

Our friends the Pacini's invited us to join them for a weekend camping trip to Arches National Park. We stayed at the Juniper group campsite, together with five other families. The site was a kids' playground. We were surrounded by rock formation that were the perfect size for the kids to climb and explore.

We arrived on Friday evening and had to set up camp in the dark. On Saturday morning, after breakfast we headed down to Delicate Arch. The hike was a bit challenging for Andrew, who wished to be carried during the most steep parts of the trail. On the way back though, he skipped and ran all the way down.

After a reprieve from the exertion and the heat of the hike, we decided to venture to Landscape Arch. Another iconic sight at the park. While watching the arch we spotted several deer grazing under it.

There is a sand hill tucked into a narrow, at the beginning of the hike. The kids had a blast running up the hill and racing down.
After the hike we headed back to camp for dinner and games. By that point, Andrew was exhausted, so I laid down with him in the tent and called it a night, while the rest of the group played games and roasted s'mores.

The next morning we packed up and drove back to Salt Lake City.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Caramel Apples

Fall is in the air, and to celebrate my favorite season I helped the kids make delicious caramel apples.

I have learned a few tricks over the past couple of years, such as sanding the apples so that the caramel has a surface to stick to. I also chilled the apples so that the caramel will harden quickly. These extra steps have made the process a lot easier for the kids.  In the end, we made six apples with a variety of toppings.

Traditionally making caramel apples is something I only do once a year, but I think they make great neighbor gifts, so I might have to do another batch.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Bathroom makover

Since moving into our home, we have done many things to renovate it and improve upon it. A neglected area of the house has been the downstairs apartment. Little by little we have reclaimed that space. First we converted the bedroom into a theater room. Then we updated the kitchen, and this week we decided to tackle the bathroom.

I didn't want to spend a fortune in a bathroom that doesn't ever get used. In fact, we kept it locked for a long time so that we didn't have to maintain it and no one ever missed it.

I decided to use a farmhouse theme for the small space. We applied white shiplap wallpaper, stained the cabinet gray and updated the mirror and faucet.  It took me a while to come up with a look that blended all of the various existing colors and elements. The tile in the floor has a pink hue, the counter top is cream and the tile in the shower are is white. All in all, I was please with the way it turned out.