Sunday, July 26, 2009

Family Fun Day!

Yesterday we decided to get out of town and spend the day together as a family. This is a place we have been wanting to visit for a while now. It is so worth it! Go, especially if you have a science/space maniac in your family like we do!Check out the pictures and see if you can figure out who our "spaceperson" is!

in Oakland, CA (right near here)

With the admission price you get to watch two specialized movies! The planetarium is so cool. You lay back in a comfy chair and watch the movie like that! There is also an IMAX theater there too.

There are fun exhibits for the kids and adults. Here is D in a space craft...dreams do come true!

One of the hands-on exhibits was making a LEGO space cruiser that is solar powered. He spent at least 20 minutes here!

Have you ever seen such happiness?

One of the three major telescopes that operate at is FREE to go in and look through the telescopes at night! They also do activities where you can bring your sleeping bags and watch a movie under the stars, have food and look through the telescopes...soooo fun!

Yes, the tween girl was there too! And she actually liked it! Here she is looking through a filtered lense at the SUN! We actually could see the flares spouting off the sun! Amazing!

D trying to work as an astronaut! He took this exhibit very, very seriously!

So, when you are in Oakland and you want to eat...where do you go?

Fenton's Creamery!
My favorite restaurant in the world...and this is why!

A day cannot get any better than this!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Picture Links! Check them out!

To see pics of a fabulous CHOCOLATE party I co-hosted, click here!
To see pics of my experience at YW Camp, click here!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It was "out of this world"!

I am back from Young Women's Camp!
I did not take my own pictures, I followed directions and did not bring my own camera...totally regretting it!! I had always heard about camp but never had experienced it before since I am a convert to my church.
This camp is for girls ages 12-18 in the mountains near Strawberry, CA. We camped for 6 days (mon-sat). The goals were:
Draw closer to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ
Feel the influence of the Spirit.
Serve others.
Build friendships and unity
Learn skills.
Appreciate God's creations.
Have fun!
I had been thrilled when I was called to be a counselor over the 12 year old girls. It would be their first year at camp and my daughter will be in that group next year. Camp really is an experience that you will never truly understand until you go for yourself. I would like to record some thoughts and truths, so please enjoy and bare with me!
I named this post "out of this world" because after the first two days I really felt as if the world was far, far away. I suspect that is what it feels like in Heaven. We will remember our life here on earth, but it will not be our guiding source. By Wednesday I could only remember my family and friends, not my day-to-day responsibilities. I am so grateful for that experience.
I had a tough time on Monday and Tuesday. It was such a different life than I lead and I really expected pure spirituality from the first moment I arrived. I realized it took those two days to purge all worldly distractions so that I could get to the spiritual point I yearned for. I was without ANY contact with the outside world. I was worried before I went, but what an incredible blessing it turned out to be!
By Wednesday I was really enjoying the 8 remarkable 12 year olds that I had in my group! And I was thrilled to not only survive the hike, but actually enjoyed it!!! Unfortunately, Wednesday night I got really, really ill. At 11:00pm I woke up with a bad headache. As everyone in the camp was asleep I prayed and tried to go back to sleep. After lying awake until 2:30am the Spirit told me very clearly to wake up my co-counselor (LOVE HER!) and GO TO THE NURSE! I did not hesitate because I was getting worse and worse. I felt bad about waking K and the nurses up, but I felt horrible. By the time I got to the nurses shack I began throwing up and did not stop until after 6:00am. You know the type...where you are whining and moaning between each session????Awful! But by 6:30am I fell asleep in the nurses shack and slept all day long. By 7:00pm I was able to take a shower and was fine after that. I lost an entire day at camp!!! I really missed my girls! They each wrote me a get well note and the chipped in to spend their tickets on a bracelet for me...this is when I began to LOVE camp!
There were things up there that created an environment of pure spirituality. Some of the things that I felt attributed to this were:
  • NO worldly distractions. I even tried hard NOT to talk about Twilight!
  • EVERYTHING we did fell into two categories. 1) Knowledge we could use in this life and the next and 2) Serving others. It made me think that many things I do (although they may not be bad) do not fall into these two categories.
  • Morning scripture study scheduled everyday. I learned I need to schedule these times so that they do not slip away.
  • Being surrounded by worthy young women who love their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Some of my very favorite moments of camp were:

  • Meeting and getting to know the amazing girls I was with. I felt a deep love for each of them by the end of the week. I will continue to pray for each of them and hope to see them back next year.
  • The young bride and groom who came to speak to all the young women!
  • The Liahona ceremony, I really want to be a part of it someday!
  • Values night.
  • Singing in the outdoor chapel.
  • Chatting with an unbelievable girl from my ward on the hike!
  • Every single conversation I had was inspired. While lying in the nurses shack all day, a few girls came in for different reasons. I was able to chat with each of them. What a huge blessing that was!
  • I feel bonded with all the women up there, especially my co-counselor and the women from my ward.

Next year I will:

  • Bring my OWN camera!
  • Bring shorts for the car ride home.
  • Make sure my husband has the address and FORCE him to write to me before I leave! I really missed him and really wanted to hear from him!
  • Try really hard not to get sick!

I found myself missing of course my family, but many of my friends too. I pictured many of you up there with me and thought about what a great example you would be to the girls. When you find something you love you want to share it with those you love! That is why I can't wait to go back to camp again next year...if they'll have me!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

♥♥Best Friends Forever♥♥

Disclaimer: This may be a post that is full of bragging! BEWARE!
I just had to make a post about the little joys in my life that
I am writing this post as a reminder of how blessed I am & to inspire us all to think about others before we think of ourselves!
On a daily basis I have friends who I talk to, see and share life with! Sometimes, quite often for me, my friends knock my socks off for no reason at all! Here are some examples:
  • A friend dropped off high end cleaning supplies and fancy rubber gloves just because!
  • This Valentine's Day I got a package in the mail. Totally surprised!
  • I got myself into a little public email pickle. For 3 days straight I had texts, phone calls and emails checking to see how I was doing.
  • A friend knew I was nervous about not having a blow dryer at camp so she made me hand-made headbands (with really cute fabric) and wrapped them pretty.
  • A friend heard I had a sick child and she brought me a book bag filled with chick-lit!
  • I hurt my back and my phone rang off the hook with well wishers!
  • A friend brought me a birthday present in June when my birthday is in October. She saw it and thought of me and couldn't wait.
  • A friend knew it was my first year ever going to camp. She just dropped off a stack of note cards for me to open each day while I am at camp.
  • Little pop-ups on my FB just telling me how much I mean to them!
  • There are so many more I could go on and on and on...

I feel so LOVED!

It doesn't matter what you do, just telling someone you are thinking of them is all that matters!

Thank you to all of my friends who take care of me!

Monday, July 6, 2009

*Camp * Here I come!

Not too long ago I was asked to be camp counselor at Young Women Camp for our church. In just one short week I will be up in the mountains, away from the world...and I can't wait!!!!
I will be completely unplugged (without cell phone, ipod and BLOWDRYER!) for 6 days! I CAN DO IT!
Actually, I have served in many different areas and loved them all. But ever since I have been asked to attend camp I have been on cloud 9! I am a young woman at ♥ so I feel just as excited as they are! Also, because I converted to my faith when I was 21 I did not have the opportunity to attend when I was a young woman.
There will be girls from 12 -18 there and I will serve with the 12 & 13 year olds. Do I have worries? You bet! I am scared I will talk and walk in my sleep (common for me). I am worried I will be uncomfortable ( I would NEVER go on Survivor). I am nervous about hiking.
But I know that those 6 days I will be closer to the Holy Ghost. I know I will grow spiritually from the example of these young women. I know I will have a great time! Next year my own daughter will be going and I can't wait to experience it with her!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Chore Schedule Idea

I was inspired by a blog (and forgive me that I cannot find it again!) to start this system for summer. I envisioned E on the computer from morn until nigh and D whining I'm bored! So I implemented this system...And so far, it works like a charm!
Each of my children have a ribbon tied set of "chore cards".
Each 4x6 card has a chore on it ~5 cards, one chore per day~
An "extra" card has a list that they could do after they do their one chore. Why? See below.
11 year old girl chores
  • fold and put away all families clothes
  • sweep/vacuum and dust downstairs
  • clean bathroom
  • clean room and closet
  • unload and load dishwasher

7 year old boy chores

  • clean bathroom
  • do 3o min. yardwork
  • vacuum and dust upstairs
  • fold and put away all families clothes
  • clean room and closets


  • clean out car
  • dust buster and spray mop stairs
  • 30 more min of yardwork
  • make all 3 beds after washing
  • clean mom and dad's bathroom
  • organize kitchen cabinets
  • cook dinner


  • the set chores are non-negotiable
  • you can choose whichever chore you'd like to do on what day
  • chore MUST be done before play, tv or computer
  • all 5 chores MUST be done by Friday morning
  • you can do as many "extras" as you'd like to do
  • you get credit if it is done as you were trained
  • I put a tally on the back of the card when I check it. Different color tally for each week.


I firmly believe that children should have responsibilites that they do not get paid for! I firmly believe that each person in the family should have responsibilities simply because we are a united family. BUT what I have found is...what I firmly believe leads to a lot of arguing, complaining and nagging!

So...they get $5 a week for doing their "chore cards" and $1 for every extra.

Notes to Self

  • D LOVES responsibilites! He does 1-2 "extras" a day. ($ motivated)
  • E is not arguing
  • Because this system is only for summer, they know there is a light at the end of the tunnel
  • They are appreciating what I usually do without them
  • They talk about paying tithing daily and saving for bigger items
  • Less begging at the store
  • Honestly, I see my children happier because they are feeling productive!
  • They have suggested more "extras" that they'd like to do (i.e. cleaning out car)
  • I am more flexible with their free time because they have done something to help me first.

Hope this helps inspire you like someone else's blog inspired me!