Sunday, April 6, 2014

Young Women New Beginning Night 2014 | Progress Boards

Young Women New Beginning Night 2014 | Progress Boards

I have been so far behind, it's just overwhelming to figure out where to start.  So, I'll start with our Young Women New Beginning program - it turned out AWESOME!  I didn't get a chance to take pictures, but the girls did great!  We have 3 new Beehives coming into the program this year, so that should help with our Beehive drought -except that we have a few Laurels leaving us this year as well.

We had a small presentation from the girls and the leaders, and they did GREAT!  We talked about goals, values, purpose of the YW program, had a video presentation, and kept the program simple.  I feel like sometimes we get so caught up on trying to make these recognition nights so perfect, we loose sight of the purpose -to highlight the YW.  I'm SO proud of these young ladies whom I serve.  They have such a spirit about them, each and every one. They make me want to do better everyday and I'm so grateful and humbled. We have about 10-12 girls that attend regularly, so we're a small but mighty group.  I'm also grateful that even though they are each unique in their interests and qualities, for the most part, they're inclusive with one another and that helps keep the drama down.

Something that I've been very excited about is our new Progress Boards, or magnet boards for our new bottltecap magnet recognition.  I thought it would be a fun way to add simple recognition and a visual of their time in YW's.  They won't get a magnet for EVERYTHING, but for the bigger accomplishments - Girls Camp, Seminary, Value Experiences, reading scriptures, church basketball, EFY, the yearly YW theme, and maybe a few spontaneous ones for Sunday lessons.  I had a friend from our ward cut out boards (he's a very good handy man!), made out of pressed board.  Then I found a local place that will cut sheet metal for cheap, and had them cut 20 12x12 sheets of mid-range gauge metal.  I painted the boards black and my 2nd counselor has a vinyl machine, so she did the girls names.  I made bottle cap magnets - hundreds of them during Christmas break this last year.  The initial investment took quite a bit of our budget from last year, but since we had so much left to use when I was called in October, it worked out great. They're excited about the idea of being recognized in such a simple way.  We also included this year's YW CD, "Come Unto Christ", as well as a calendar from the dollar store with some goal setting.

For our dessert table, we enjoyed fruits and various items in the value colors to dip in Velata Chocolate (awesome fondue).  Velata now offers big family size warmers that are perfect for large gatherings - we had 2 of them going and it was plenty.  The girls and their parents really seemed to enjoy dipping. Clean up was super easy and we didn't have to wash out a fondue fountain.  Some of our favorite items that we dipped in Velata: blueberries, strawberries, pineapple (the acid can make the chocolate clump up a bit though), marshmallows, blackberries, cherries, lemon cake, potato chips, and popcorn.  We used the caramel chocolate - OH YUM!  The table was decked out with balloons in various colors, along with little tissue paper puff balls.

Overall, the night was a HUGE success and the girl's are excited about what's to come for this year.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Junior GCT Ovarian Cancer - Maddie's Story

I've had it on my heart to write about Maddie's story from her diagnosis of stage 1C ovarian cancer (junior GCT), and while I've had lots of time to reflect about this last year, I haven't written here because I've been pretty busy.  During Maddie's chemo treatments we had a FaceBook page where I would write updates on how things were going, and basically the process.  I found I would write on her designated page, on my wall, and on a few other private pages.  Basically, Maddie's journal of this whole experience was all over the place.

In February, after her last treatment of chemo, I decided to compile everything.  It's been quite the process of gathering all the information posted on Facebook, journals, hospital papers, get well cards, and photos.  There was a lot of scanning, motivational sayings I would collect off Pinterest, and additional journaling that needed to be done.  I wasn't able to work on it everyday, but throughout the last few months, I have really been focused on getting it done.  Then about a month ago, we were working on an annual program at church, our Young Women in Excellence.  This is a program where the young women, ages 12-18, can show what they've been working on as they move forward in their goals from 8 different areas of achievement.  The pressure was on to finish Maddie's book.

Madisen and I were talking about what she wanted to share, and she said so much was focused about getting back into school, and engaging back into the here and now.  Life pretty much stands still when you are going through big health obstacles.  From our experience, it's a tricky balancing act when re-engaging and transitioning back from long periods in the hospital. Talking about me personally, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be in the present as quickly as possible, but still having to play "catch-up" from a 6-month hiatus.  Anyway, what I'm getting to is that Madisen didn't feel like she worked on any projects or goals during this past year.  SAY WHAY?!?  She finished her chemo treatments like a BOSS!  She recovered, then finished a whole year's worth of school online in 4 months.  During each round of chemo, she helped make blankets with friends for the other children on the oncology floor.  We did a big Scentsy Buddy drive, also for the children on the oncology floor.  She was a Youth Counselor  for girl's camp over the summer, and she has put in hours for National Jr. Honor's Society.  So in looking back at this last year, she has done plenty to reach towards her projected goals.  I finished her book in time to have it shipped and used in the display table.

I'm most excited about Maddie's book because everything is now in one place.  I've been storing so many details in my head, and now I can finally let it go.  Madisen is healthy, and I am free to move on and think about other things. It's also a great reminder of how strong she is in so many areas of her life. We are so blessed and grateful!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Family Night - Savor the Moments

Family Night - Savor the Moments

Today was an awesome day!  Maddie decided to make dinner, so she found a great recipe on Pinterest, and she was off to the store.  I got some work done - trying to gear up for a very busy fall selling season with my Scentsy business.  When I went in the kitchen this afternoon, dinner was in the crockpot, Maddie made some chicken/brown sugar concoction, and a tomato/balsamic vinegar chutney to put on toasted french bread - man, it was GREAT!  Scott came home from work and we enjoyed our dinner together.  Thank you Madisen!

After dinner had time to settle (and we took a snooze for a few minutes), we went outside to play 4-square in the driveway.  I haven't played that in a LONG time!  The rule was, if you were out and the ball rolled down the hill, then the person who was out had to get the ball.  I'm pretty sure Dalton and I were the ones to get the ball the most.  Dalton got tired of running down the hill, so he grabbed the scooter (which he is a little big for), and scootered himself over to the ball.

It was a fun hour of family time.  We went back in the house and grabbed a drumstick ice cream cone, then watched a rerun of Duck Dynasty.  I also made some zucchini bread muffins. - YUM!  The best part of the evening:

Every once in a while if I'm sitting on the couch, Maddie will come lay down with her head on my lap. Tonight she grabbed my hand and held on to it for a while.  It was so sweet, and I really do cherish these moments because they don't happen often, and they won't happen for much longer.  In two more years, this girl will go off to college.  It's weird that we are heading into that empty nester stage very soon and I'm really not liking that idea very much.  It will take some major getting used to.  I'm so very blessed.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Officially NOT boring!

It's interesting that I wrote about how boring we were. I can honestly say since I last wrote, we have had excitement, emotion, craziness, and more emotion.  I'll be posting about the happenings of the last few months in a more detail soon, but here are some of the crazy highlights from 2012:

May: Makenah graduated from HS
June: Scott & I earned and took another FREE Scentsy trip to Punta Cana, DR
July: Scentsy Convention in Las Vegas
August: Maddie and Dalton started school
September: Makenah and I left for a cruise (an eventful one I might add), took Makenah to college, went to Meridian Idaho for Scentsy meetings. I was away from home for a total of 22 days. Taxes, Marching Band competitions, was home for 10 days playing "catch-up" when Maddie said she had a side ache - we spent the night in the ER.
October: Makenah comes home for a short visit, Maddie has major surgery, Maddie diagnosed with ovarian cancer
November: Maddie starts her first of 4 rounds of chemo, Thanksgiving
December: Makenah comes home for winter break, more chemo, Christmas
January: More chemo, taxes, catching up! Lots of catching up!

Next time someone says I'm boring, I'll simply say "Thank you", then give thanks and pray that it stays that way.  Sometimes boring can be a blessing.  More to come - Stay tuned.


Survival Skills

For Christmas this last year, Scott got Dalton lots of new gear for Scout Camp trips.  On Friday night, Dalton had the opportunity to finally use his new backpack.  This thing is LOADED with pockets and it was fun to watch as Dalton loaded it up - with EVERYTHING he thought he might need for 1 night of camping - including 7 pairs of socks.  I think he learned his lesson from last time when his socks got wet and he didn't have another pair.

The scouts stayed the night at Camp Friedlander and worked on their fire building skills.  They slept in a meg-shift cabin structure, so no real door, but at least it wasn't a tent.  It was quite windy, but not as cold as it has been the last few nights.  I'm thankful he has an awesome Scout leader, and that he was able to go with the troop.

Scott helped get the backpack adjustments made.

He looks ready!

It was the warmest night of the week - Check out what Monday night looks like!  All I can say is I'm glad I was home in my nice warm bed.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

We are boring...

It's true!  I'll be the first to admit, we live a very busy, non-exciting life.  You know what, I'm good with that.  While I would rather spend time taking great family vacations, going to the movies, out to eat in fun restaurants, sitting in the car for hours on end on a family road trip (which I really do enjoy!), camping, and enjoying a nearby lake or park, these times are few and far between.  As the kids have gotten older, they are busy with their own activities, and we are busy with ours.  I would say that most of our one-on-one time is spent driving them to and from activities.

Since Makenah has had dibs on the family car (or as Scott likes to call it, his "other" car) for the last 2 years, we have seen less and less of her.  Our family dynamics are changing and it's something I am keenly aware of and have reluctantly accepted at this point in our lives.  Now that she's graduated with a job and will be going off to college soon, she wants to spend as much time with friends as possible. I understand that.  So the other day she said something about how boring our family is and how we don't spend enough time together. I thought that was an interesting perspective on her part.  I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that our family togetherness has become like the majority of todays population.  We all sit together in the family room, the TV on - right now, watching the Olympics.  Scott and Dalton play on their iPhones, the girls are texting friends, and I'm on my laptop.  I'm sure this is not unique to our family.  It's is kind of sad to me though and I'm glad Makenah brought this up - we did need more family time - something other than cards.  It made me stop and think.  So, Scott and I talked and came up with a few ideas.  We decided on a much needed family day this last Saturday. It was hot, it was humid, and it was gross outside.  We grabbed a few loaves of bread and ventured out anyway.

We went to the store, picked up some frisbees, and headed to the nearby park for a game of frisbee golf.  We had frisbees land in the creek, the bushes, the trees, one that hit me in the back of the head, and then into the metal baskets.  Makenah complained that it was too hot, and we were all sweaty and thirsty.  While it was fun to have some family time, and I'm sure we'll play again, I don't think frisbee golf is our new family sport.  After a round of frisbee golf, we stopped for some drinks at the gas station, then we went to another nearby park became rebels for "feeding the water fowl".

It was a great afternoon to get out in the heat of the day for some much needed family time.  . When we got home, we congregated to the kitchen for lunch.  Before I knew it, Makenah was in the family room on the couch with her feet up, computer in her lap, TV on, and everyone else followed - I guess we're boring, but boring is all right by me.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Braces X 2

Braces X2:

It was time!  Maddie went back and forth on whether or not she wanted braces, but she finally decided it was in her best interest to get it done.  She was a good sport letting me take a picture.

Dalton has needed them for a while now.  He had so many big spaces between his teeth and a horrible overbite.  He too was a good sport during the process.

It's  been nice having them both done at the same time because now I just make 2 shakes or smoothies instead of one.  I remember with Makenah, she had such a hard time the first couple of weeks.  These two seem to be adjusting quickly, so I've been rather impressed.  I just feel like the "smoothie queen" right now, but it's all good.  I can't wait to see their teeth and smiles in a few years.  For now, we'll just enjoy their shiny metal smiles and better reception on the radio. :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

She's Moving On - ...and we're ready

Here's to the next phase of your life - you are an amazing gift and I'm excited to see what's next.  Remember who you are:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Free photo slideshow created with Smilebox

Grace Adele - New Scentsy Brand!

I had so much fun at our Scentsy Convention 2012 last week in Las Vegas.  While I don't particularly care for Las Vegas all that much, it was a great time to connect with my team, my friends, and my business peers to collaborate.  We have some great products coming out in the new Scentsy Fall Winter  2012 Catalog (visit my website to check it out: on September 1st.  In the meantime, another Scentsy Family brand was introduced - Grace Adele bags and accessories!  I'm not a bag/purse kind of person.  When I buy a new purse, I keep it and use it until it's falling apart.  I am REALLY liking this product and brand - A LOT!!  I got home late from convention on Saturday night and Maddie had to look the whole catalog over for a good hour, finally deciding that she needed everything in the Grace Adele Catalog.  Have you ever been in to a Charming Charlie's store?   The layout is all colored coordinated, making it easy to find just the right accessories.  That's how our GA catalog is set up.  I love that the bags are a fun system - Visit my website: .  Check out this fun video:

To view the Scentsy Grace Adele Catalog, click on the link below:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Flap those wings girl!

I'm not sure how parents do this, how they prepare for such a natural stage in life.  I have been an emotional wreck for about 6 months now (I think I'm doing much better and we are moving towards the excitement of the next phase) as I have been mourning the loss of her childhood - her growing up.  The reality has set in and the dynamics of our family will change as we say good-bye and enter into a new chapter.  She hardly notices as she goes off to work, out with friends, and is trying to get every last bit of socializing in while she can before she leaves for college.

It's interesting - I was out with our little dog Lucy last Monday morning taking her potty.  We have a good size magnolia tree by our entry way, and in-between some branches, fairly high up, sits a small nest.  I've been watching a Momma bird coming in and out over the last few weeks, wondering how big her little birds are.  Well, on Monday morning the little birds were sitting up looking out of the nest facing in opposite directions, and big enough that it looked like they might be ready to leave that nest.  One of the little birds stuck it's little behind out and wriggled it's little back side, fluffing it's feathers while taking care of business out the side of the nest.  I brought Lucy back in and went about my daily tasks.  Later that evening, I went outside with Lucy again - about 6:30 ish.  I noticed one of the baby birds was out on the grass and Momma bird was out there on the grass chirping away, trying to get that baby bird to fly.  I'm sure Lucy was not helping as she kept trying to inch her way closer to get a better look - I held her back.  The baby bird would flap it's wings and rise up a bit, then fall to the ground.  Momma would chirp and fly to the low branch on another smaller tree in the yard, trying to get the baby to follow.  This went on for some time and that Momma bird was sure worried.  It got me thinking.  In the grand scheme of a birds life, it was VERY important that the little bird learn how to fly before nightfall - before all the predators come out.  There was only a small window of opportunity for that bird to fly, and yet it really didn't seem like it was too concerned as it hopped along the driveway, and over to the flower bed, then onto the brick, and finally back on to the grass - the whole while Momma bird was chirping louder and louder because she knew what could happen if her little bird didn't fly.

I'm kind of feeling like that Momma bird.  These months between High School and College have been a challenge.  Without going into detail, I just feel like I am chirping louder and louder to make sure she reaches her goals and nothing gets in her way of that.  It's hard when I don't see the same focus from her.  I'm thankful that we had a great lesson in church the other day.  "Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves"was a perfect reminder.  I'm not going to lie when I say that college will be a good thing for both of us.  I will miss her like something fierce, but she needs to start flapping those wings.