Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sub-for-Santa Refugee Family

I just love this holiday season. It gives us time to reflect upon our many blessings and to serve others around us.

This year for Christmas we are involved in a Sub-for-Santa project for a refugee family from Somalia. The family has a 104 year old Grandma and a 9 year old boy (and all ages in between). The family has given us a Wish List which includes: big cooking pots, plates, cups, bowls, utensils, warm quilts or blankets, sweaters, socks, jackets, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, queen mattresses (4), a bunk bed, sugar, rice and flour. We have been busy putting things together to take to the family (we deliver everything on Saturday, December 17). We are hoping to fulfill the majority of their list, however we have been asked to stay within a limited budget. If you have any gently used items around your house that you would like to donate, please let me know. I would be happy to come pick them up. We are really excited to help this family out as they really just need the basic things. It really put our Christmas wishlist into perspective after reading what they desire.

I am including clothes/shoe sizes too for those interested in more details. 

Merry Christmas!

GenderAgePant sizeShirt sizeShoe size

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Just yesterday I started hearing about a campaign running on to #LIGHTtheWORLD by serving in 25 ways for 25 days this December.  I am just starting to dive into everything, but there are some fabulous resources - with lots of SIMPLE ways! - to serve every day this month.  Let's bring more light to this holiday season, our family, and those we love by serving this season.

Go to and watch their beautifully made video - touched my heart.

There you can also find a pdf with ideas for each day.

LOVE this.  Hope it sparks some ideas for you!

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tiny Teagan- Baby Model Extraordinaire! ;)

There is a girl in my ward who has been doing professional photography for like 12 years now. She is AMAZING. We were going to have her shoot Teagan when he was born but she is insanely expensive. She travels all over the world (literally!), doing photoshoots for people.

A couple weeks ago I got a text from her asking if we would be interested in letting Teagan be a baby model for a product she was going to shoot for. AHHH! YES YES YESSSS! We got free professional pictures, and we got the hats for free- sweet deal. We drove down to Ogden today so he could model HushHats- Baby earmuffs. These are a couple of the pictures he took. They aren't edited at all- she just pulled them right off her camera and sent them over to us. So great!! It was so much fun! He was a champ. And, he's adorable.

Enjoy some of these darling pics :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cafe rio Pork

i had a couple people ask about the pork from Sunday- so here's the recipe I used.

Thanks again for coming, everyone!

Just a note- in the last step it says you can mix or blend ingredients- I would recommend blending them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Zealand - A Few Quick Pictures

Hamilton temple

Lake Taupo - just outside our condo.  This region has lots of geothermal activity, with hot water being marked by signs that say things like "CAUTION: scalding hot water."  You can see the steam as it flows into the lake.

Huka Falls.  You don't get a great grasp of scale here, but it was massive and beautiful.

That should provide scale.  In the middle towards the top you can see people standing on the other side of the falls - that should help with size.

About an hour in on our 6 hour hike.  That's a volcano.  Mt. Ng.... (not sure the rest of it).  Note the scenery - looks like we were on Mars.  Felt that way for about 4.5 hours of the hike.  We've never seen anything like it.

Same volcano - look how much we've ascended.  (Our FitBits showed that we went did 373 flights of stairs on the hike.  This picture is shortly after the devil's staircase which did, indeed, feel like Hades.  Today - day after - does too.)

After even more of an ascent.  This was crazy windy and cold.  They added "arctic" to the hike name, and this section of the hike is why.  Cool views but crazy desolate.

Emerald pools.  Their colors were striking.  They are sulphur pools so smelled terrible.

Just before doing the descent, where we held hands with a nice lady named Jo from the UK that was shaking with fear.  It was a long ways down.

Our car is parked WAY at the bottom of this.  Loved the view of trees and lakes after so much brown, red, black and empty.

And then - surprise - the last 90 minutes was through a jungle.  My cheeks are rosy: the sun had come out and I was down to only 3 layers at this point.  :)

More of the jungle on our hike.  Huge difference in setting.

Our breakfast this morning!  TJ made strawberry jam using the sugar packets for the coffee.  :)  We had french toast and scrambled eggs, made in that tiny kitchen in the background.

New Zealand is gorgeous.  This is Lake Taupo - our condo is on the other side of the lake.

We've been trying to figure these forests out.  We've come to the conclusion that they are planted for lumber.  We call them "The Forbidden Forest" because they are incredibly dense and dark.

Just an idea of how stunning New Zealand is.  We thought this looked a lot like Toon Town.  :)  Rolling green like we've never seen.  I've never enjoyed driving so much.  We truly went from our lake front property to complete jungle within 12 minutes yesterday.

Redwood Forest today - this is my favorite thing we've done so far.  Walked for about an hour.  It was so peaceful.  I absolutely loved it.

Can you see T?

We were trying hard to show how BIG these trees are.

Holy gorgeous.

Rode a gondola up to the top of the mountain to ride the luge.  That view was great.  The water was super blue.  Loved it.

TJ riding up the chairlift after taking the "Advanced" luge track down.  He caught air, which delighted him.  :)  I, of course, was reading in the sunshine while he went.  Perfect for both of us.

Before we rode the luge together.  I screamed with delight on the way down.  :)

The luge -

:) Well, we had a few minutes to burn.  Where would you choose?

The Rotorua Library is now TJ's favorite library ever.

TJ looked for a great restaurant in Rotorua and we went here for lunch.  I fell so deeply in love that we also went here for dinner.  And two desserts.  It was fabulous.

Can't get over that treeline.  The cows make it pretty picturesque too.

Sunset on Lake Taupo, just as we arrived home for the day.  Note the black goose in the foreground - they are everywhere.  We still haven't gotten over all the beautiful bird sounds.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Elliana is pretty much being loved to death!  The kids can't get enough of her.  One day she was very uncomfortable with a tummy ache.  I had tried feeding her, bouncing her, walking her but nothing was helping.  I laid her down to change her diaper and started massaging her legs.  All of the other five kids surrounded her on the floor.  Lexi started rubbing her tummy, Tanner started massaging her right arm and Anna had her left.  My instinct was to shoo them all out and let Elliana have a little peace and quiet but I looked around at each of them as they were all singing her primary songs and massaging even just a limb that they were all trying so hard to help little Elliana in whatever way they could.  I realized that this was a moment that I didn't want to ever end.  Our little home has been overflowing with love this summer.