fiance, student, homeschool retiree, preschool teacher wannabe, Senior Living Coordinator, writer of many things unsaid, blogger, lover of the creative, most cheerful depressed person, devourer of books, crafty wanna be, amateur tech support, internet junkie, facebook stalker, tweeter of tweets, Pagan, friend, sister, daughter, aunt, karaoke super-star

Thanksgiving at My Sisters in Nampa

After the buffet we headed over to my sister's house. She thinks that going to the buffet is not "real" Thanksgiving, so my family always boycotts the buffet. We had Thanksgiving lunch and dinner and I still didn't have to cook or clean. AHH glorious holiday!
Here is a quick smilebox I made with some of the pictures, all are of my family. I have one brother (Raymond) and two sisters (Summer and Amanda). I am the oldest, then Amanda, Summer, and Raymond is the baby.
Click to play Thanksgiving 2008
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Thanksgiving Buffet

This was the second year we have gone to the buffet for Thanksgiving. We usually go with Levi's parents and invite anyone and everyone we know that may not have plans for THanksgiving. The boys LOVE the buffet. It saves me cooking, cleaning, and dishes, so it's a true Mom holiday. This year our friends the Tuttles and the Ericksons were able to join us, along with Levi's parents and his oldest sister.
 

This is Kaleb with his favorite food at the buffet chicken noodle soup, not sure why but he LOVES this stuff. The beauty of the buffet is everyone gets what they like to eat for Thanksgiving.


 

Bryon, Tanya, and Kelsi


 

Us, don't we look full and happy


 

The Ericksons,7 full tummies
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We love reptiles!

Lucky for me- I have a friend named Tanya, who loves all sorts of animals and keeps them at her house as pets. For my kids it's like a mini-petting zoo everytime we visit. And the very best part is all the animals stay at Tanya's house (not mine). Here are Ian, Josef, and her daughter Kelsi holding her BIG snake. Don't worry he is totally harmless...he had already eatten that day.
 

 
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The Artist at Work

 

 
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Knight in Shining Armor

Levi works for a trunking company called Knight Transportation. He had to pick up a huge load of Christmas trees from Mast-Roth Farms, a large Oregon Tree farm. His first deliver for the trees was in New Mexico to The Galloping Grace Youth Ranch's Christmas Corral, where they would be selling them. They were so excited to get their Christmas trees, they took photos and blogged about Levi's delivery of the anxiously awaited trees. Click here to see their blog post featuring photos of Levi and his truck.
Thanks to Galloping Grace and the Wades for all the hard work they do out in New Mexico for their community.

Compost Queen

 

My BEAUTIFUL Compost!
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I have always wanted to compost, it is a great way to recycle and reuse. Not to mention it is great fertilizer for your garden. We finally live somewhere where I can do it easily. This spot is in our backyard, left side of the pump shed (where our water pump and water softener are). I picked that spot because it is about 8 feet from the back deck,near the kitchen door-so it is convenient to take the kitchen scraps out. I used some wire fencing pieces I found around the property to make 3 sides. I left one side open for easy access to the compost. So far it is not steaming like it should, but I keep adding things, so hopefully soon it will start "composting".

Speaking of recycling, we have to take care of all of our own trash!! No handy garbage man to pick it all up for us. It is a real pain to take loads to the dump, SO I have started to recycle everything I can. I take it down to town to the local recycling tent when i run to the grocery store, or to church. Not having waste removal services so convenient has made me more mindful of what I buy, what we actually use,and ways I can reuse things.

At the Car Wash

Today Oliver decided that all his Chevron Cars, needed to be washed. So here he is lining them all up for a scrub. These were gifts to the boys over the years from my Grandpa Teeples. Oliver is the one that has loved them the most though.

 

 
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The Promise


"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
~~Genesis 9:12-17~~


I took this picture from our back deck, after it rained the other day. I went to put the recyling out and noticed the rainbow across the street. I did edit it by making the rainbow focused in color and the rest of the photo black and white.

I am thankful for friends

 


Since it is almost Thanksgiving, I thought I would post about some things I am thankful for.

In this post I just wanted to express how truely thankful I am for friends. There are many types of friends:
Old friends who were once a huge part of your life whom you still love dearly and hold a special place in your heart, but who you have not spoken to in many years.
Those good friends whom no matter how long you have been apart you pick up the relationship like you had never been apart.
Those freinds you can always count on for a good time, to cheer you up and cheer you on.
Those that you know you can always count on for anything.
Those friends who always have a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.
Those friends who know everything about you, all your aweful faults and insecurities - who have seen you at your worst and your best...and still love you anyway.
Those friends that come into your life but for a brief moment but change you so profoundly they are liken to guardian angels.

I am truely grateful for all the amazing people I have been friends with past and present. You have all enriched my life, by loving me, challenging me, and helping me to be a better person. I would not be ME without all of you. Thank you all!

What are you thankful for this year?

Pet Peeve:Playboy Bunny Emblems


Ok, you know what I'm talking about... Those girls and sometimes grown women who have playboy bunny emblems on their belts, purses, cars, clothing, or tatooed on their bodies. Since when is advertising your possible sluttiness a fashion statement? It so bugs me. Do they know how cheap it makes them look? It is really not cute, or attractive in any way-so stop wearing them in public!

National Handwriting Day

Join us in making history this National Handwriting Day, January 23, 2009!
We invite children across the country to submit handwritten letters of advice to their new President, Barack Obama. This is a great opportunity to spark their enthusiasm for written communication and civic participation.
It's easy to get on board. Simply visit our National Handwriting Day (NHD) website and register:

All elementary school children are eligible.
Participation is free.
You can download free activity sheets and double line stationery for children to write their letters.
Your letters will be hand-delivered to the White House on January 23!
Track Progress Across the Country
Be sure to check the NHD site frequently for letter excerpts and progress reports as they come.

November FHE

We had a Thankful FHE, we read the Share Time article in this months Friend magazine, listened to the song they had on the article, and then did some of the activities in this free Interactive Thanksgiving Notebook. And then we made chocolate chip cookies (the refridgerated kind).

 

 
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The View from My Back Yard

This is a picture I took tonight of the sunset in my back yard. I thought it was very peaceful.

Week of 9/9-9/16

These are just some misc. pictures of the boys from this week.


Ian

Ian dresssing his Build-A-Bear

Kaleb dressing his

Boys dressing up their Build-A-Bears

Josef and the kittens

Josef and Scamp
 

Kaleb and Oliver in their room playing with duplos
 

Kaleb and Oliver all ready for bed
 

Josef and his hedgehog toy

Awesome Oliver!

 


Ok!Oliver is so awesome today. He built a duplo model of our dog Shooter and he used the POTTY all by himself today!!! The POTTY thing is a huge breakthrough, he has been the worst to potty train, but I think he is finally getting it. WOHOO!
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We Love Movies

 

Have I told you how much we love watching movies? I think it is in the Mitchell genes, because Levi's Dad has a a particular fascination with Movies (proven by his extremely large video collection, he could open his own rental store...lol). Anyway, here they are in their pj's watching Kung Fu Panda. And of course Josef, is multi-tasking DS and a movie.
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Thanksgiving Memories and Guilt

 


Ok! So I have a confesstion I haven't scrapbooked in a REALLY long time. Last time was when I was on bed rest with Oliver, I scrapbooked all my pregnancy stuff, and then his newborn photos after he was born. That was it-sad, but true. The fact is this busy Mom of four, doesn't have the time or energy to scrapbook. I can no longer keep up with the latest trends in scrapbook creativity, nor do I have the time and money to shop till I drop for the latest and greatest. Don't get me wrong, I love it all, and at one time Scrapbooking was a huge passion in my life. But alas, LIFE happens, and I just doen't have the free time I used and when I do have it, I want to spend it other ways. So that is what this blog is for-a quick photo upload and some commentary and I have my memories recorded. Maybe they are not covered in $5 embelishments, but I got 'em down!

In the spirit of bare minimum memory recording, I came up with the above Thanksgiving book. I keep thinking every holiday, "Oh! I wish I had a scrapbook for each holiday.Wouldn't that be cute?" And then that whole time thing comes into play, and lets not forget the perfectionist mentality (Its not worth doing unless it is super cute) Well I through this baby together in 5 minutes and although not fancy...it is extremely functional. I have already added some stuff of the kids that was at the bottom of the Thanksgiving decoration container.(You know the infamous Turkey handprints). Anyway...It is just a large 3 ring binder, I got at the office store with plastic page protectors in it. I've added the kids Thanksgiving past art projects and things. I am also going to add some photos,although they will not be bedazzled. I wanted to just get all this stuff in one spot, so we could look at it year after year, and so when "one day" comes, I may turn it all into a masterpiece. For now, it is functional and the kids love looking through it. :)
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Family Home Evening

This is a Family Home Evening Talk I gave a few years ago. Please fell free to use it if you would like.

Family Home Evening Talk 2004

Hi! My name is April Mitchell, My husbands name is Levi and we have three little boys. We moved here from Boise, ID, 6 months ago, for my husband’s job. I’m a convert and have been a member for 5 years. I didn’t grow up with FHE, but I wish I had. I feel so blessed to be able to have FHE in our little family, our boys will get to have that strong foundation throughout their lives. In preparing my talk I have learned so many things about FHE.

A 1915 First Presidency Statement introduced the FHE Program to the Church.

“Dear Brethren and Sisters:
We counsel the Latter-day Saints to observe more closely the commandment of the Lord given in the 68th section of the Doctrine and Covenants:

“And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents;
“For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized;
“And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of hands,
“And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord”

The children of Zion should also observe more fully the commandment of the Lord given to ancient Israel and reiterated to the Latter-day Saints: “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” [see Ex. 20:12].
These revelations apply with great force to the Latter-day Saints, and it is required of fathers and mothers in this Church that these commandments shall be taught and applied in their homes.
To this end we advise and urge the inauguration of a “home evening” throughout the Church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home and teach them the word of the Lord.”

They ended with a promise:

“If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them.”

President Hinckley commented on Family Home Evening:
“We have a family home evening program once a week across the Church in which parents sit down with their children. They study the scriptures. They talk about family problems. They plan family activities and things of that kind. I don’t hesitate to say if every family in the world practiced that one thing, you’d see a very great difference in the solidarity of the families of the world”

FHE is inspired by God. His Prophets and Apostles have spoken of it for the last 89 years. FHE has a purpose, it was created to fulfilling a great need amongst the saints and it continues to be needed today.

Holding FHE can help build a strong foundation for our families.
All over the world Monday evening has been set aside by the First Presidency as family night. A night of participation, involvement, and wholesome fun. The importance of the family unit cannot be overemphasized. Every home in the Church has been instructed to build a solid foundation for sound citizenship and active church participation. David B. Haight
The 1974 First Presidency has said of FHE:
“No Church organization can supplant the parents in discharging this obligation. The best the Church can do is to give every aid possible so that the parents will be left without excuse in discharging this most sacred and vital work of building a solid foundation in the home”
President Kimball said, “The nation is built upon the foundation of its homes and the home upon its families.”

In the Gospel of Matthew, The Savior warned mankind of what could happen to our homes if we failed to heed his counsel.
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.
“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Not only will FHE help to build a strong foundation for our families, it can help create unity in our homes.

In a First Presidency Message by James E. Faust he says:
President J. Reuben Clark (1871-1961) plead time after time that there be unity in the Church. He would quote frequently the message of the Lord: “I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27). Unity in the Church will always be a reflection of the unity in our homes. One of the most important ways to foster unity in the home is holding family home evening regularly. Whether we are young or old, single or married, whether we have children at home or have become empty nesters, family home evening can increase unity and love in our homes. Family home evening is for everyone.

With that unity will come a desire to turn our hearts to our family and children.

President Lee once counseled us:

“Now keep in mind this; that when the full measure of Elijah’s mission is understood, that the hearts of the children will be turned to the fathers, and the fathers to the children. It applies just as much on this side of the veil as it does on the other side of the veil. If we neglect our families here in having family home night and we fail in our responsibility here, how would it look if we lost some of those through our own neglect? Heaven would not be heaven until we have done everything we can to save those whom the Lord has sent through our lineage”

Then he continued:
“So, the hearts of you fathers and mothers must be turned to your children right now, if you have the true spirit of Elijah, and not think that it applies merely to those who are beyond the veil. Let your hearts be turned to your children, and teach your children; but you must do it when they are young enough to be properly schooled. And if you are neglecting your family home evening, you are neglecting the beginning of the mission of Elijah just as certainly as if you were neglecting your research work of genealogy”

One of the most important reasons to hold family home evening is to prepare our families to face the world. The world is a harsh place and some times the only haven we have is the home and our family.

President James E. Faust stated in the June 2003 Ensign: "I wonder if having unplanned and infrequent family home evenings will be enough to fortify ourselves and our children with sufficient moral strength to meet the complexities of our day. Infrequent family scripture study may be inadequate to arm ourselves and our children with the virtue necessary to withstand the moral decay of the environment in which we live. Where in the world will we learn chastity, integrity, honesty, and basic human decency if not at home? These values will, of course, be reinforced at church, but teaching them in family home evening can be particularly consistent and effective. To combat the world's evil influences, we need the strength that comes from family home evening."
We have a responsibility to teach our children what we know about the gospel, we have been counseled over and over to teach them the gospel in our homes.

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ ……..… that our children may know to what source they look.” (2 Ne. 25:26.)

In Deuteronomy we are commanded ; “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

The change we want in the world begins in the home.
We need unity in our families.
We need to prepare them to face the world.
We are commanded to teach our families the gospel.
Because we want to have eternal families one day we must hold regular FHEs.

In 1999 The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles lovingly stated: “We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform”

In the Nov. 1999 Ensign, Neil L. Andersen says:
“ We all know the struggle necessary to retain family home evening. There are thieves among us who would steal our Monday nights. But the promises of the Lord made to families who hold family home evening, that were spoken by the Prophets, have never been revoked and are there for us:
“If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influence and temptations which beset them”

Who within the sound of my voice would be willing to sell these promises to those who would confiscate our Monday nights? Not one of us.”

FHE is a special opportunity for us to teach, train, prepare and unify our families, if we follow this commandment we will be blessed.

President Joseph F. Smith gave us an answer and a promise when he said, “If you will gather your children around you once a week and instruct them in the gospel, they will not go astray.”

President David O. McKay added that the youth would gain power “to choose righteousness and peace, and be assured an eternal place in the family circle of our Father.”

During the 1999 Oct. General Conference, Elder Pinegar tells us: “ As we faithfully hold quality family home evenings, we "will gain strength to withstand the temptations of the world and will receive many blessings which will help qualify [us] to enjoy [our] families through eternity in the Celestial Kingdom" If the prophet bid us do some great thing for so great a blessing, would we do it? Holding regular family home evening is such a small thing we can do to obtain these great blessings.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “Feed my Lambs” “Feed my Sheep”

Are we feeding the Sheep in our own homes through FHE?

Our Pets

Scamp the best Hamster EVER! Never bites or anything.


 

Chubs our 4 year old Tabby Cat-he loves to sleep anywhere he can get some peace and quiet.

 

 

Chloe and Onyx our new kittens. In teh first picture Onyx is sticking out her tongue-that pretty much sums up her attitude. She is a champion mouser and is sweet enough to always share what she catches with her sister Chloe. Gross, but sweet.

 
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This is Shooter our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, he loves to go down to the river behind our house and swim.

Levi is 30 today!

Today is Levi's 30th birthday.He was home so we had a quick party for him. Each oth the kids got a piece of cake with a cherry on it-We made sure to buy one with enough cherries to go around. He even licked his candles after,proving you can never get too old to lick your birthday cake candles.

 

 

 

 
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