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

Scout Sunday

“The boy is not governed by don't ,but is led by do.”
~Sir Badden Powell

Josef age 12

Spiritual Sundays: Door Number 1 or Door Number 2?

Do you remember the old Lets Make a Deal game show? You had to pick a door at random and hope there was a fabulous new car behind it or a dream vacation package and not something ridiculous like a cow in sunglasses.
Well in so many ways life is just like Let's Make A Deal. Life is full of many choices...too many. We try our hardest to pick the right doors in order to find the perverbial 'prize' on the other side.
Are we to blindly just point and choose doors and hope for the best in life?

Thankfully we have a loving Heavenly Father who
#1 gives us the great blessing of agency-the capacity to make our own choices
#2 resources to help us make those tricky decisions

If we follow the commandments and pray about our choices asking for personal revelation and the direction of the Holy Ghost we don't have to pick at random. He does not force our hand or reveal the prizes-he merely offers the freedom to choose and the assurance of peace if we choose Him.

How can you go wrong with guaranteed prize on the other side of that door?

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord
Joshua 24:15

Read More @ Spiritual Sundays

The Bumper Sticker Dilemma

I am a huge bumper sticker fan! I love to see them around town. They make me laugh, cry, think, and just wonder during my drive behind the cars bedecked in them. I wonder most about the people that slapped them on the back of their cars. Bumper stickers tell you an awful lot about the people inside. From how the back of their car is decorate you can tell  what some strangers political, religious, family, dietary, and philosophical ideals are.

This is why I have yet to put one one my plain white mini-van. I talk about getting them. I've browser the bumper sticker stand at the fair. My biggest reason for getting one would be for the ability to distinguish my own plain white minivan from all the others in the parking lot. You have no ideas how many white mini-van there are in Idaho!  

It is so hard to pick a bumper sticker! Like potatoes chips-you can't have just one. There are SO many choices and so many things you can tell the world from the back of your car. What do I want to tell the world from the back of my car? Do I want to tell the world anything from the back of my car?
I hesitate because of how much info I'd be broadcasting to random strangers following me in traffic.

Do I really want the guy with naked lady mud flaps knowing all our names?

Is it fair for me to brag about how smart my kids are when the lady behind me is going to pick up her kid from a 3 month stint in Juvenile hall?

I love the LDS bumper stickers... the ones with the angel Moroni or a temple outline proudly telling us they are a Forever Family. My favorites are the CTR ones. There is nothing quite like being cut off in traffic or having your a parking spot stolen by a fellow Mormon with a CTR bumper sticker.

I once had a bumper sticker back when I only had two kiddos and was a new mom. I'd gotten it from my lactation consultant (breastfeeding cheerleader) and I proudly slapped it on the back of our car. Oh look here's one:

Anyhow...I had a few visitors say they were able to find my house easier because they saw my car with the breastfeeding bumper sticker. Apparently there are not many of these bumper stickers being displayed.  I think Levi (my dear hubby) secretly hated driving the car with that bumper sticker on it because mysteriously it just "fell" off one day. And we all know how sticky bumper stickers are...hmmm.

Well back to my main topic-To bumper sticker or not to bumper sticker?

Although it has been extemely entertaining looking for possible canidates for that prime real-estate on my bumper...

...maybe I'll just get a fun antennae ball.

Owl Moon


with Ian (3rd) and Kaleb (1st).

Here are some of our projects from Owl Moon by Jane Yolen.
Ian loved this book. It has beautiful illustrations and the story is very poetic and descriptive.

 To extend the book a bit we did look up some owl photos and sounds on the internet, but did not take it any further than that. You could do a whole Owl unit branching out from this book. I try not to get carried away sometimes.

We focused on the story elements and the art of the illustrations. This book contains a great deal of simile, which we had a discussion on. My favorite was "...and the snow below it was whiter than the milk in a cereal bowl." The illustrations are amazing, you feel like you  are there in the cold woods with them. My favorite illustration was when the Dad shines the flashlight on the owl they have found.  

 This is the picture Oliver (4) painted while sitting by us. 

These are Kaleb and Ian's Owl Moon style illustrations.

These are their owl drawings. 

Heroine: Temple Grandin

"My life is basically my work".
Temple Grandin

I ran across the story of this incredible woman in O Magazine. She has inspired others and HBO has made a movie about her and it will play on TV in February. Temple Grandin is a person who is autistic. I  believe her success in life and her ability to live a full life is often in-spite of and also because of the unique characteristics of autism. She was able to bring about a great change in the world and make a difference in the field of study she was passionate about. I find her story amazing, touching, and inspiring.

Below are links to a BBC Documentary done on her:

HBO Special Trailer

Did someone say fieldtrip?

I just love a good fieldtrip. Don't you?
I sometimes wish we never had to learn math and reading and writing and instead all we needed to do all day was go to really neat places and have loads of fun. I could get used to that.

Today the two oldest boys and I went on a great field-trip organized and hosted by the homeschool charter school we are part of-IDEA.  It was incredible!

First we visited the Boise Art Museum and got a great art lesson about quilts. We learned about several elements of design, including contrasting color, symmetry, pattern, and texture. We were able to study some beautiful antique American quilts. Quilting is truly an amazing art form.

Then the kids got to make their own quilts, using sticky board and fabric scraps.We were short on time for that activity. I thought the kids did great whipping up quilts so quickly. It was surprising to see after all the talk on symmetry and pattern that a majority of the kids preferred to make crazy quilts.

Crazy Quilts are pretty fun to look at!

Here are Josef and Ian's quilts.

After the Boise Art Museum we headed over to the Idaho State Historical Museum. There we got a very entertaining talk on the story artifacts tell us about history and human progress. The kids participated in an activity were they had to try to identify the use of unknown artifacts. This was fun! Some of the interesting ones were

an atalatal, 

old pot scrubber, 

an ox lead,
(which went in their nose and looked like a clamp with a leather strap attached-OUCH!)

a laundry scrubber ,

and some pressed tea bricks


Overall, it was a day well spent learning new things.

The bonus was we received free tickets to come back the Art Museum as a family. Maybe when Levi is back in town we will go again. They are setting up a new exhibit-Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon. Who doesn't LOVE robots?!


Sometimes those automatic toilets flush when you are still sitting on them.

Sometimes you put on all your make-up and then forget mascara. (which we all know it is essential)

Sometimes you put your underwear on backwards and don't realize it until that evening.

Sometimes you walk into the Men's room in your hurry to relieve your bladder and you have to stay in the stall until your sure the bathroom is empty. 

Sometimes you are talking animatedly to a group of people and a bird flies by and poops on your head. (True story!)

Sometimes you say things out loud-when maybe you should have kept them to yourself.

Sometimes your kids are really honest-TOO honest and they like repeating things to strangers, when you have told them a million times DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS especially about what mommy said to daddy.

Sometimes you hear the music to Grease and you start doing the hand jive and your best friend asks you to "Please- Stop."  in a tone of voice that tells you they are mortified.

Sometimes you laugh out loud and then have to stop, because you realize your the ONLY one who thought it was funny.

Sometimes your 12 yr old son says "Your just a minivan kind of person!" like a minivan is the only car you would EVER want to drive and you drive one by choice.

Sometimes it dawns on you that you've lost your coolness somewhere between giving birth, buying a minivan, and belting out Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brother tunes aloud in said minivan. 

Sometimes life is funny and embarrassing and you can't believe all this is happening to you. 

"Have you ever gotten the feeling that you aren't completely embarrassed yet, but you glimpse tomorrow's embarrassment? "
-Tom Cruise ( who  knows a WHOLE lot about embarrassment) 

 Sometimes, Tom. Sometimes...

Organization: Flatware Organizers in the Bathroom

In my search to bring order to the chaos that is my life, I bring to you my little tips to inspire.

You know those little divided trays you use in the kitchen drawer
to keep the forks and spoons from mingling.

Well, they can be used in the bathroom too! 

Birthday Ice Cream @ Baskin Robbins

I had no idea we had a Baskin Robbins by our house, see how unobservant I am!

It is very important to know where the nearest Basking Robbins is. You never know when you will need some ice cream. I am partial to the Rocky Road and the Bubblegum.

Lucky for me I have well informed in-laws, who took me and the boys to our nearby Basking Robbins for my birthday ice cream.  If you don't know where your local Baskin Robbins is you can find out here. Ours is really cute and they always have fresh cut flowers on the tables, not those yucky dust fake ones you see so much these days, but beautiful fresh bouquets of flowers. Very impressive.

I got a Banna Split but it's more like a Sundae with bananas as I get it with all vanilla ice cream, and only fudge topping. 
Josef and Grandma and Grandpa Mitchell got scooped Ice cream cones.
Ian got a Snickers Sundae.
The younger boys got clown icecream cones. 
Aren't they cute, we had to photograph them fast before they were eaten.

Kaleb's was almost gone by the time he got his picture taken.


Grandpa and Oliver.

Did you notice the fresh bouquet of flowers in the above picture?

Thank you for the birthday ice cream Grandma and Grandpa Mitchell!
It was very yummy!

Vocabulary: Words I meant to use

So...for some reason I always want to start every blog post out with the word 'so'. I think it aloud and almost type it and then always change it so that I am not using 'so' to begin each and every blog post. More than anything it is simply the word to tell my brain, ok brain we are going to write now. I often talk that way too, saying 'so' first as a way to let people know I'm veering off the straight and narrow within conversation and going my own way. As in, "So! I have this really cool idea if I could only get you to go along with it too we will both have loads of fun."

I am rambling on now and what I really meant to write about was words. I often find myself with a lack of truly awesome words to use in my writing and daily conversations with adult type people.  I used to be SO (oh! I also use SO to make what I'm saying much grander and urgent than it really is) incredibly good at using the just the right words to convey my meaning exactly but in a non-confrontational way. Vocabulary has power. Don't ya know? I often blurt things out, brilliant ideas even, and they just sound crude because they lacked the right words.

This is a dangerously embarrassing confession, but in Middle School I would read the dictionary on the way home on the school bus. Yes, I was a complete dork, but a smart dork. I loved finding new words to just throw into every day conversations. For example once I said casually to my best friend. "Wow! Look how beatific you are today. " To which she replied with a look that said, Your a total dork. And she was right.

Well, I've been thinking lately. (Scary thought I know!) With Mommy Brain, having had 4 kiddos and talking to little persons all day, my brain cells are pretty much fried. I've gotten really lazy with my vocabulary. Especially since those little persons are all guys and therefore long lengthy speeches full of eloquent words are not necessary. Their preferred methods of communication involves one word commands and various grunt and nod sequences. I'm not saying this is bad, just the facts about the level to which my vocabulary has fallen. 

To perk up my lacking vocabulary skills. I've got a list going. (bear with me I'm type A) I've been writing down any completely cool words I come across and I'm going to try to use them in my everyday life.
For today my 3 newly loved words were:




 Aren't they grand?  I've already used them today in comments on other blogs or in phone conversations. 
Maybe it will also make a difference in my writing and my dangerous addiction to my Thesaurus.

If you've got any truly marvelous words or just ones that are fun to say send them my way.

A Wordless Happy Birthday to Me!