Sometimes life just calls for some silliness.
We all get way too serious.
I hope that when I die
my kids will remember
that their mom liked to have a good time.

I love to remember that about my parents.
No one loves a good water fight better
than my mom and dad.
They are known for even breaking them
out in the middle of dinner.

One time they got so
that my mom ended up
in the emergency room.
She had slipped and fell
and hit her head
on some bricks.
They had a hard
time convincing
the doc
that my dad
wasn’t a wife-beater.

Just a week before
my nephew Braxton
a bunch of us
were at my parent’s house.
Mom did her thing
and bought all kinds of
balls, silly string, hula-hoops,
and fun things
for the kids and adults alike.
I am so glad I have those memories

This photo of LG is pretty awesome.

of Braxton giggling and having fun.

Go to your local dollar store
and buy some silly string.
Store it away where the kids
won’t find it.

Pull it out the next time
life gets tense.
You’ll see why silly
is so vital
in all of our lives.
Your problems will melt away.

These photos were taken on Christmas Day.
Uncle Logan and Aunt Jill
were here too
but they don’t like to be photographed.

Notice the covered bigscreen
and non-covered picture frames.
One minute of silly
is worth 5 minutes of clean-up.

Perhaps though my favorite
time of the day
was right before
the silly string fight commenced.
I found Abigail in her room
all dressed up in camoflauge
ready for the war.
It’s moments like these
that I feel validated

in the fact
that I am teaching
my kids a little good.


Mustache you about those beards

While having cream of wheat in the kitchen Thursday morning, 
here was the conversation.
Caroline (in her alarmed voice): “Mom, we have beards again.”
Me: (referring to the photos on the wall) “Who did that?”
Caroline: “Abigail.”
Me (laughing): “Why would she do that?”
Caroline (in all seriousness): “Because she’s a brat!”

I have loved these photos in our dining room.
They have given us a whole lot of entertainment.
One of my favorite times was when I noticed
that the kids had switched the order of the photos
so that they read
Ice-cream is better than your love.
I guess that would be an honest statement
depending on whether or not
you have an available bowl of ice-cream.
Funniest part is that by the time
this busy mom noticed
the kids swear they had been rearranged for
at least a month.
Maybe ice-cream is better than my love.
Sometimes I am too busy serving my family
that I forgot to stop and make sure they know
that I love them dearly.

New Year

In Utah,
we’ve had some record colds
for the past week.
I’ve loved all the snow.
I don’t think Olive has though.
Check out her water
frozen over.

We’ve all been enjoying our
Christmas gifts.
Caroline is up to her same antics.
But like her shirt says,
she is the best present ever
so it’s o.k. that
she’s spoiled rotten.
Notice that Santa
did bring the girl
all she wanted.
Make-up and nail polish.
Sophia finally got a fijit (she’s wanted it for 2 years
and Santa found it on sale at Target for $15.)
Caroline with her make-up case.
 She has carried it around the house with all her treasures.
Bella with her FurReal Pets.
Abigail with her combat boots. Katniss style.
My favorite gift you ask?
It is a 50/50 toss up between
my pizelle maker
that I asked for on pinterest
the diamond earrings
that LG
picked out
all by myself.
But my favorite of all was this purse.
I’ve been looking for the perfect purse for 3 years.
LG and I spotted this at TJMaxx a week after Christmas
but it was $100 so I put it back.
LG went back to the store
on his own accord and
surprised me with it for no reason at all
on New Year’s Eve.
He said it is my
“the party is over” purse.
That means I’ll have it to enjoy
when I go back to living on a
non-Christmas bonus budget.
It makes me so happy every time I see it.

I love this photo from Christmas.
Abigail thought that Bella’s present was awesome.
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is
taking the girls to the Dollar Tree and letting them shop.
It always proves to be entertaining.
I justify the expense by only letting them shop
for a select few and by
not doing stockings.

Oh yeah, this post was supposed to be about New Year.
Well, we had a great New Year.
We got to be reunited with our good friends
The Varnon Family
from Knoxville TN.
They were bringing Jordan out
for his first semester of college
and stayed with us a few days.
That’s Jordan.
The kid figured out that he can dominate
at Just Dance4 by only moving his arm.

Yeah, our family room is not made for 13 people,
but cozy is how we prefer to do things around here.
I suck at dancing.
But man I’m looking fit,
even with that layered looking
hanging all out.
Isn’t Caroline the cutest?
She’s a great dancer.
So are all these girls.

Of course we took the obligatory outoftowners
sightseeing trip to
Temple Square.
Here are two of my favorite photos.
I wish I had more time to play with  my camera.

Here are the Varnon’s
in front of the historical
Salt Lake Temple.
And here they are
in the Conference Center.

We stopped in at the church’s
Historical Museum.
They have a pretty great kids’ wing.
LG was pretty sick that day.
What a trooper.

I’m always amazed at how
some of my favorite pictures
are the spontaneous ones.
I sure love these kids.
Oh yeah,
we have rung in the New Year
 with the Varnon’s
every year but 2011 for about 10 years.
We missed our other
partners in crime
The Ryan family.
I am pretty certain
this year was the best.
The photo says it all.

We did some other fun stuff
while the Varnon’s were here.
We went up to see
Bridal Veil Falls.
We saw a funny movie.
(Highly recommend Here Comes the Boom).
We went to BYU.
We checked out Deseret Industries.
And last but certainly not least,
we went sledding.

If you made it this far in the post,
you are our true friends
and you are invited
to come and crash at our house
past the 3 day
fish and family stink
any time.
Happy New Year y’all.
We love you Varnon family.
Hope you still love us
after spending that much time at our house.

Your love is better than ice-cream

I am so excited to present my original idea.
It’s gonna put me in a higher realm
with my oh so crafty friends.
Trust me when I say you don’t want
to miss out on hitting the read more button.

My mom brought me these great frames from the thriftstore.
They are black with red matting.
They match my kitchen-aid.
Remember this post about me and red.
There was one problem with the frames,
they had safari animal prints.
They hung with the original prints
for the past 4 months
until I got sick of explaining my
fake love for Africa.
I took some photos a while back,
that I intended to use.
And I finally found the time
to edit them and put them to good use.
I present the best dining area framed photos
of all time.
I know you are all going to copy me.
Can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Lay off the ice-cream shots.
They are mine.
All mine.
As is LG’s favorite song.
Your love is better than ice-cream.

I love how the added text
combines the love LG and I have for each other
with the love we also have for and from our kids.

I would show you the photo of how cute they are on the wall, 
but I am too lazy to get my camera back out. 
I guess you’ll just have to come over and see it for yourself. 
Definitely do come over.
 It’s just too bad you weren’t here the first time Caroline 
discovered the photos on the my wall 
and bubbily exclaimed, 
“Look mom, it’s my Caroline.” 
Sometimes two year olds are too cute.
I am pretty sure God intended it to be that way,
so we don’t kill them when they go and sling dog poop
And LG, your love is better than ice-cream,
and chocolate molten cakes,
and Olive garden,
and Cafe Rio,
and rootbeer floats,
and chocolate covered strawberries

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Funny Beiber

Remember this old Justin Beiber post?

We love Justin Beiber around here.
Sophia especially loves it when we tease her about him.
I am not really in a writing mood,
so I am sharing with you things I find interesting on youtube.
This female version of Justin Beiber rocks house.
I believe her original song is only funny when she performs it.

I overheard another funny conversation at our house the other day.
It has nothing to do with Justin Beiber.
Unless showcasing that my kids are so beyond celebrity worship counts?

I was recently asked to work with the Cub Scout at church.
Yes, the Lord and the church as a whole both have a great sense of humor.
The mother of 4 girls is, of course, the perfect choice to be a Cub Scout Den Leader.
Needless to say, I’ve been trying to psych myself up about it.

Abigail turned to me at church when they announced my newest calling and said,
“Mom, it looks like you are finally going to get your boys.”

So, later that day, I hear this:

Abigail to Bella: Bella, you are gonna have an in with the boys your age now.
Bella: Yeah, I know. Sweet.
Sophia: It’s too bad mom doesn’t get to work with the boys your age
Abigail: No, I don’t want mom to work with the boys my age,
            I want her to work with the Eagle Scouts.
Sophia: Why?
Abigail: Those older boys are cuter. 14 and 15 year olds are just
Sophia: But the Eagles Scouts are older than that.
Abigail: Even better.

And I thought for a minute that Abigail was just vying for the more driven boys.
She could care less about Eagle Scout status.
She just wants those older boys.

I love eavesdropping on them.
I am predicting a day in the near future
that I will remind Abigail that she only wants an Eagle Scout.
Gotta keep that conversation at the top of my trick bag.
It may be very handy when LG and I don’t approve a certain somebody.

Back to the original story.
I am happy to now understand more fully
why exactly Justin Beiber is irrelevant at our house.
Apparently my girls only want the Eagle Scouts.

I guess that’s why I have to work in Cub Scouts.
Somebody has to start these boys on the right path.
They have to earn the Eagle to be worthy of my girls.
Or be 4 years older.
Precisely why Justin Beiber would never stand a chance.
How old is that kid? 8?

On the Move

My brother recently sent me the pictures he took with his smart phone on the day we arrived in Utah.
Even though it’s blurry, I loved this top one. It so typifies who I am. I am always on the move. I am always talking. I am a sentimental fool. I am wearing the necklace that Rita gave me before we left Tennessee. It says Trust in God. Or something along those lines. I love it. I am also just a tad bit crazy, as you can tell from my favorite bold printed dress and hair. I had slept in this outfit the night before. It wears well for 48 hours, don’t you think?
Here is Abigail writing her last farewell to our beloved  TN.
I find it rather ironic that she left out the 2 in bye,
considering that my husband was raised in TN
and spelling wasn’t his strongest suit either.

LG’s car got trashed riding behind the moving truck through all the snow throughout the Vale, CO region.

Here are our new neighbors the Johnsons. They came over in their p.j.’s to say hello. Their oldest girls are the same ages as Sophia and Bella.

 I am not afraid to do a man’s job. Even in a dress. That’s why leggings were invented.

I thought twice about just getting one thing from the truck. We waited until the next day, as there was no telling what would be falling down on me when the door was lifted. We had a few casualties, but nothing major. Thanks to Scott Cruze and John McCombs who did a packing job that my dad was proud of. They followed my taunting and made that treadmill fit. I have no idea if it was damaged on the road. I haven’t even tried to plug it in yet. It’s as if the under-stairs closet was made just for treadmill storage. Who would ever run on a treadmill when they are surrounded by such beautiful mountains?

After three days on the road, the baby couldn’t wait to get to her daddy. Who am I kidding? She always wants her daddy. It doesn’t take three days on the road for her to act like this. Look at cousin Sierra in the background. She and Sophia resemble each other so much.

Boy was I happy to arrive. And to have not only my husband by my side again, but to have my dad there too. These two men, together, could accomplish anything…including making me smile after a very long road trip.

Jam Making

A few weeks back our family studied
This was a timely declaration made by our living prophet.
It is filled with wisdom and truth.
We discussed with the kids this line:
Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
We came up with the best ways our family could work on living these principles.
This is what the kids came up with:

Faith – Read scriptures daily.
Prayer – Everyone pray more often.
Repentence – Admitting when were wrong and saying sorry.
Forgiveness – Not being upset, loving in return.
Respect – Listening /Put ups instead of Put Downs
Love –  I cannot hurt /Breathe/Support Each Other
Compassion – Include Everyone
Work – Everyone Pitch In
Wholesome Recreational Activities – Activity Jar
As I pondered how to implement these things into our home I felt inspired that I needed to take the lead. I have personally been wanting to work on being actively engaged with the kids. I want to lead by example. I want to be more kind. I want to be more respectful and quiet. I want to work hand in hand.
I found some strawberries on sale last week.
99 cents for 2 quarts. 
That’s a steal.
The fruit was bought and so was the Sure-Jel.
It was time for some jam making.
I felt a feeling that instead of making jam alone that I should include the whole family.
I decided that we would forgo our typical sit down Family Home Evening lesson
and work together.
This turned out to be one of the best evenings we’ve spent together as a family.
We worked on the jam, each taking turns with the different jobs.
When we got through the kids burst out into a impromptu jam session.
We never work without music around here.
There was such a feeling of love and cooperation and industry.
I was so happy. 
We had Strawberry Cake for dessert and sat down to
sing, pray, and read from the scriptures about work.
The girls made up a great song.
I am so grateful to a God who listens to my prayers
and answers them.
He answers when I take time to talk to Him honestly
and to listen to Him when he talks back to me
through the Holy Spirit.
I love my family.
They are the best.
I am so glad God has given us tools to learn together and grow closer.
And now, every member of my family knows how to make jam,
but I doubt they will ever want to do it without someone with who they can jam at the same time.
What a sweet evening.
Oh and inquiring minds want to know, I am sure.
The homemade freezer jam recipe is a piece of cake.

Buy a box of sure-jel, a couple quarts of strawberries, and a lot of sugar, and you are good to go.
Make sure you have a freezer safe container.
And did I mention A LOT of sugar.
There is NO better jam in the world.
So yummy.
I’m going to have some now.
All the sudden I am starving.

Home Sweet Home

Here is the long awaited post.
I have had so many people ask me about the house that I posting before I even attempt to return e-mails.
Our new house is a lucky number. I am not saying it on here, but everyone got a good laugh at church on Sunday when I told them our new address and the we are The Gold’s and we live in a gold house.
We try to make ourselves easy to find.
They thought it even funnier when I told them that we have a thing for picking great houses.
I am not sure if they believed me when I explained that we used to be The Gold and the end of  The Rainbow, but most of you know that to be true.

Caroline loves our front window.
She smiles and blows kisses to everyone who passes.

Obviously my mom doesn’t read the blog.
This is what she brought me for the porch.
I’ve only lived in Utah for two weeks and I’m already a hypocrite.

Our front room.
I can’t believe that I live in a house that I love.
Thanks so much to my mom for her generosity in the decorating and furnishing department.
She thought it was about time that I love my space.
And she was right.

I absolutely went gaga over this portrait of the Salt Lake Temple.
This photo does not do it justice.

It looks like the girls have made themselves at home.
We already have Uno cards all over the downstairs family room floor.
Do you see those couches? They have your kids names on them.

And this is Abigail’s room adjacent to the family room.
It’s pretty much a Five Star hotel.
It doubles as the guest room.
Come visit soon, ya hear?
You can’t see the beautiful photo of the dogwoods.
You will have to see for yourself if it does Tennessee justice.
I think it can only do so much when it’s just in black and white.
Abigail and I fraught over who got this portrait for a whole 24 hours.
Her decor won out. Boo hoo.

Our office is in a little alcove off the family room.
It’s perfect. We were able to put in a table next to the desk for homework/laptop space.

The table is to the right.
You can’t see it but straight ahead is the downstairs bathroom.
We put in one of those extra roomy shower curtains just for you.

Here is half the backyard.
I can’t wait to plant some stuff in the flower bed.
LG loves the shed. It’s an extra bonus. And doubles as the kids clubhouse.
I think today he is really happy that it only takes him a half hour to mow.
We are gonna save ourselves some serious yard-work time.

The other half. The girls love the swing.
LG and I have been too busy to take advantage so far.
The photo is taken from the garage door entrance. You have to go through the garage to get to backyard.
Olive and KittyBear use the doggy door.

Back inside.
Going down the hall.

Our room.

Our half bath.
I told the owner of the house that having our own sink and toilet is an upgrade for us.

We still have to share the shower in the bathroom down the hall with the kids.
LG wanted to keep the extra powerful showerhead,
but I told him it would have to be toned down so that I could actually stand to shower.
LG loves the shampoo dispenser.
I love the glass doors that keep the kids from splashing water all over the place.

Sophia and Bella are so proud of their new room.
They even make their beds every other day.

Thanks to my mom and dad for the new bedding and dressers.
It is awesome having their own special space for all their things.
They even shut their dresser drawers every other day.

Last but certainly not least, Caroline’s room.
I picked out the shabby chic cherry blossom bedspread.
The green leaves match the antique dresser  perfectly.

The old vanity/desk is painted white and ready to be moved in also, but I haven’t done it yet.
One thing at a time.
Next project is painting all my old frames brown to make a collage downstairs.
I’ll keep you posted.
You know I will.