Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Newest Layouts

A couple recent layouts. This one I just made tonight. I've wanted to scrap these pictures for a while (the picture is a month old), but just hadn't decided what I wanted to do with them. Tonight I suddenly had the urge to scrap them.
Credits HERE
Journaling says:
"Periodically the Mesa Fire Department sends a few firefighters to our neighborhood to check the fire hydrant or practice a drill. Anyway, you kids kept wandering over to the park to see what they were doing. Today was special because you finally talked to them & they gave you plastic fire hats and stickers. You all thought that they were so cool, so I walked to the park & asked if I could take a group picture. They were very nice & funny too!"
The boy in the green shirt is our neighbor. Ashley was busy playing and didn't want her picture taken.

This one I made last week for Tangie's Mix 'n' Match Challenge and I WON! YAY!!!
Credits HERE

Afternoon Date

Today Ben & I took Anson to a sitter and went to see "Jumper" starring Hayden Christensen (you know the guy who played Anakin/Darth Vader in the newer Star Wars movies).
This was such a COOL movie! I mean, how awesome would it be if you could go here in the blink of an eye? Or anywhere else?
If you don't know anything about this movie or have never heard of it, here's a very brief synopsis that I got HERE:
"A genetic anomaly allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. He discovers this gift has existed for centuries and finds himself in a war that has been raging for thousands of years between "Jumpers" and those who have sworn to kill them."
You can see the movie trailer HERE.
Apparently the theater didn't open until right before the movie started, so we had to wait a little while. We went to Mesa Riverview, so we had a quick bite to eat at Red Brick Pizza. I think that's what it's called. Pretty good, but we definitely like our pizza with more "bread" for the crust.
When we were done, we went to Tempe Marketplace to walk around a bit (we didn't want our sweet little date to end just yet plus Ben hasn't been there yet). Then we stopped to grab a treat at Cold Stone Creamery. Yummm!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Woman's Week at the GYM

My Mom sent this to me and it's HILARIOUS!! Have a good LAUGH!!

Dear Diary, For my birthday this year, my daughter purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

MONDAY: Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess -- with blonde hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!

TUESDAY: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.

WEDNESDAY: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.
Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the He--!! would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other sh*t too.

THURSDAY: Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent another skinny b*tch to find me.

FRIDAY: I hate that b*tch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the d@mned barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher . Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

SATURDAY: Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

SUNDAY: I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my daughter (the little sh*t) will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

[I enjoy going to the gym, but I have definitely had days/weeks similar to this (and I don't even have a trainer). I'm usually really sore if I try a new class or haven't been in a little while and overdo it the first couple days back.]

Emma Smith: My Story

My Aunt Carol sent this movie preview to me last night. WOW! I totally want to see this movie. Go check it out HERE

It's the story of Emma Smith (when she met Joseph Smith, her courtship and other life challenges) thru her eyes. She was such a strong, righteous, and faithful woman. It comes out in April. Hopefully it will be showing in a local theater. I hadn't heard anything about it and now I'm so excited to see it. The music in the preview is beautiful and I actually got a little teary-eyed. I can't imagine how wonderful the whole movie is going to be!

52 Blessings - Week 8, Women's Conference

(My 52 Weeks of Blessings in No Particular Order)

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend our Stake Relief Society Women's Conference. The theme was "It's About Time" and it was incredible. I was running late trying to get the kids ready. Ben had to work on Saturday (as usual) but they were offering a children's class, so that's why I was able to go to this meeting. Anyway, since we didn't even leave until 9:30am (and it started at 9am), I almost didn't go because I hate being late especially that late. I am SO GLAD that I finally piled the kids in the car and headed to church. Some young women were volunteering to help with the children's class, so that all women age 18 and older could attend.

Here's the list of speakers and their topics:
* Susette Cardon Hiatt "It's about time to balance our lives"
* Chef Brad Petersen "It's about time to find joy in what we are doing" and he also helped us ALL make bread (then the dough was used to make fry bread for Navajo tacos for the luncheon)
* Edwin Lamoreaux "It's about time to lighten up"
* Angela Johnson "It's about time to come unto Christ"

WOW!!! These speakers are all AMAZING people!! And SO TALENTED!! I missed most of the first speaker (Susette) but I received her handout and need to read it.

Chef Brad was funny and really made sense about how we should find JOY in all that we do as women/mothers. He talked while we ALL had ingredients in front of us to make bread dough (well we worked in pairs). He mentioned how we really enjoy serving others and we should find that same JOY in serving our own families as well. Everything we do is a service and we are blessing our families and in turn we are blessed. Like cooking/cleaning is an act of service for our families (or anyone else) and the Lord recognizes it as that. He explained it really well and he was also funny and just overall had some really interesting ideas or points of view. He said it's all in our ATTITUDE! So true!!

"Relief Society Rewind - A Walk through Time" A group of sisters from one of the wards put on an INCREDIBLE 'skit' about women through the decades. It was particularly about women who live(d) here in Arizona and ways that the Relief Society Sisters have blessed their lives.

Edwin Lamoreaux apparently speaks for the youth a lot. I can see why they keep asking him to do that. He is a wonderful speaker (even though most of his talk was kind of singing with his guitar - all clever songs he made up himself). He was really funny and told us that we need to have our "feet firmly planted on the rock." We need to have a firm foundation and hold strong to our values in life. He had us laughing and crying all at the same time. AWESOME!!

Our concluding speaker was Angela Johnson. She has trained as an operatic soprano since she was 13. She sang "Amazing Grace" for us while we looked at a beautiful picture of our Savior on a projector. Oh my goodness! Her voice is so BEAUTIFUL!! She told us that just 12 years ago, she needed a musical "break" and just spontaneously hopped in the car and drove to a craft store and bought a small block of clay and one tool. She came home and sculpted a small figurine. She had no prior training in sculpting. She had just 'unlocked' this amazing talent that she didn't even know she had. As time went on, she eventually was divinely inspired to create a life-size statue of the Savior entitled "Come Unto Me" and it was displayed at the Newport California Temple open house. WOW!! She had several of her sculptures at the church so we could see them, plus she showed us a power-point presentation of some of her other sculptures. She has an AMAZING talent!! She explained the story behind each sculpture and how she created them so that others could look at them and feel our Savior's love and want to 'come unto Him.' She has a large exhibit that will be on display at the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitor's Center in March. You can check out her website HERE to preview some of her works. I can guarantee if you've never seen her work (which I hadn't before) that you will be blown away!! Her sculptures have incredible details and just looking at them, you really feel as though Christ is in the room with you.

OK, onto my Blessing for this week. Can you guess what it is?
The journaling on the mat is the 'Relief Society Declaration' (if you can't read it, click on the picture to get bigger or you can go HERE to read it). The journaling on the bottom reads:

"I am so blessed to be a part of the Relief Society program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Sisterhood is so strong, wonderful, and truly amazing! I love the friendships that I've gained and have learned so much from so many women (and continue to learn). I love each of my 'sisters' and have a special place in my heart for them."

I love everything that the Relief Society stands for and does for women. I am so happy that I went to the Women's Conference this weekend and was able to make some new friends, learn some new things, strengthen our sisterhood, and be spiritually uplifted. When it was over, we had a big luncheon. I ran into someone I had just met on Valentine's Day helping in one of my kids' class parties. She's a mom of one of my kids' friends. We sat together and were able to get to know each other a little better. I love when that happens. She is so sweet and very creative (she planned their whole class party and also does Art Masterpiece for their class on a regular basis). I also had the opportunity on Friday to serve a sister in our ward by babysitting her youngest boy for part of the day while she and some 'sisters' helped get her apartment ready to bring home her brand new baby girl. It always feels so good to be able to serve or help others and know that my 'sisters' are there for me in time of need also.

Ok, this post turned out way longer than I had originally planned. Just so much on my mind from a fantastic weekend!!
Layout Credits HERE

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not Very Bloggy

I didn't realize I hadn't posted since Sunday, and sweet Julie emailed to ask if I was OK. Thanks for thinking of me! Yes, I'm ok, just busy and not very "bloggy" this week.

Spent the afternoon & some evening w/ Ben's family on Monday (picnic at the park) before Heather moved away on Tuesday. Ben took her to the airport that morning (very early) and then we just sort of "chilled" and were lazy that day.

Yesterday I took Anson to the pediatrician for his follow-up visit. His ear infection is totally gone & he's all better!! YAY!! Then I spent some time working on digi-scrap stuff.

Today, took Nathaniel to the orthodontist to get new wires on his braces and he changed the color of his bands to GREEN!! That way when St. Patrick's Day comes around, no one can pinch him. LOL :) He really loves being able to change the band colors each month! Makes his braces kinda fun, I guess!!

Went to lunch w/ Mom & Christy at our usual Subway today. Definitely lovin' our girl/family time!!

My visiting teachers came over and we had a fun discussion. Mostly about how to get our kids to clean their rooms and the rest of their stuff. Neither one of us could find the right answer to that huge mystery! ha ha Anyone out there have the answer to that Million Dollar Question???

Tonight is Nathaniel's PINEWOOD DERBY for cub scouts! He is so excited!! Ben & Nathaniel were so cute working together to make his car. Nathaniel wanted a camouflage hummer-ish that's what he made! Good Luck to him tonight!!

After that's's GIRLS NIGHT OUT!!! I'll be meeting my friends for a bite to eat then off to see a movie ("Definitely Maybe"). Have you seen it? Heard it's really cute. Can't wait to spend some time w/ the girls!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

52 Blessings - Week 7

(My weeks of blessings in no particular order.)

This week I'd like to show my gratitude for my sweet Sister-in-Law, Heather (Ben's younger sister)! We moved back to Arizona just over 2 years ago (still can't believe it's been that long already) to be closer to family. Ben and I have been married almost 12 years (in March) and Heather and I have been friends since we met, but it's just in the last 2 years that we've gotten a LOT closer! I have grown to love her even more than I already did.
She is so nice, thoughtful, genuine, caring, funny, beautiful, giving, creative, and a wonderful wife & mother. Our sons are like best friends/cousins. She's also a really good cook and loves trying new recipes. Luckily, she shares her recipes with me. We just had a blast playing Karaoke American Idol yesterday for probably about 3 hours straight, singing duets together the whole time until our voices gave out. And we totally ROCKED!!! I really enjoy her company and just hanging out together!

I am so sad that she's moving out of state on Tuesday! We are still going to call each other and email as often as we can. I feel so BLESSED to have her as one of my Sisters! She is such a great friend to me. Thank you for all you do, Heather! I LOVE you TONS and we're going to MISS all of you a LOT!!! Good Luck with your move! Hope you get there safely and everything goes well for your family! You deserve the BEST!!

Credits HERE or HERE

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Week in Pictures

WOW! This week has been a busy one and totally flew by! We've had health issues, celebrated a birthday, had a few parties, etc!!
Sunday & Monday, Nathaniel was battling stomach issues. So, made many bathroom runs during church and even several times Monday morning before school started, so he stayed home on Monday.
Over the weekend, Ben dropped his phone one too many times, so it refused to turn on and work again. So, we decided to get new cell phones. It had been over 3 years with our original phones. We also called it our "Valentine" gifts! My phone was fine, but upgraded anyway and we got the same model (except mine is PINK and his is BLACK). Out with the OLD in with the NEW!!

Monday at bedtime, Ashley was complaining that her ear was hurting. Uh oh, I gave her some ibuprofen for the pain, Ben gave her a Priesthood Blessing (thank goodness for that), but she still had a really hard time sleeping. She kept getting up (like every 5 minutes) complaing of the pain. So, I finally let her sleep with us, I mean, she kept coming in our room anyway. Whoa!! Sleeping with an uncomfortable sick child is like sleeping with a horse trying to swim!! My goodness she was all over the place and kept pushing me practically off the bed. She also would put her arm on me and it felt like she was choking me. She also tried to throw her leg over me, and it felt like one of the dogs had just fell onto me. LOL :) Poor darlin' didn't get much sleep, but then again neither did I. I took her to the doctor Tuesday afternoon. She took one look in her ear and said "WOW she has a Severe Ear Infection" in that ear only. Poor little sweetie!! She put her on antibiotics, so now 2 kiddies are on the antibiotic schedule this week. Anson's almost done with his. So, she has had her ups and downs with her sore ear this week!

Tuesday was also my SIL (Heather) Birthday!! So, we had dinner, cake and ice cream at my MIL's house. Heather made us lasagna, which was delicious as usual!!! It was FUN! And it was also kind of a "going away" party because Heather, Tom, and Trevor are moving out of state next week. We LOVE them and will MISS them TONS!!!
Heather and ME

Ben with his sisters, Heather & JoyI had to leave the party a little early because our ward was having our 1st "Tech Tuesday" Enrichment activity and I was in charge of teaching how to set up a family blog. It was fun, our numbers were small but that way we had plenty of individual time. I helped 4 people set up their family blogs. The ladies were great & learned it pretty quick! Thank goodness Blogger is very user friendly. Way to go Ladies!! And their blogs are lookin' good! My friend, Kristy, who asked me to teach, was so SWEET to bake my family an apple pie, a cherry pie and got some ice cream to go with them! They are SO GOOD!!! Thank you!!

Wednesday, I met some of my friends for a little lunch at Barro's. It was some much needed girl time. Thanks for the fun lunch ladies!! You ROCK!!

Here's a pic of Ashley enjoying her cupcake at her Valentine's class party!!

This one's for Julie! This is her cute daughter. Don't know if you can see it clearly, but she had dipped her lips into the hot pink frosting on her cupcake and it looked like lipstick! ha ha. All the kids were doing that and it was funny to see lots of hot pink lips & teeth!!

Ben and ME after our FUN Valentine Lunch at Chili's!!
Here are the CUTE 'spin-art' hearts that I helped Nathaniel's class make. Wasn't my idea, I was just there to help. Aren't they SO CUTE?!!!
Here's Nathaniel's class
Here's my sweet Ashley asleep in the Nurse's office. She seemed to make a quick recovery once we got home and she was checking out her Valentine cards (and all the candy)!!
WHEW!!! I'm tired just looking at these and remembering my busy week. But it was definitely a good FUN week! My Mom also came by last night to bring the whole family little treats and sweet cards. She also gave the kids this movie "Snow Buddies" which they loved watching last night!!! Thank you Mom!!!

GOOD NEWS!!! It's FRIDAY!! And it's a LONG weekend!! Hope everyone has a great day & weekend!!

Having A Bad Day?

You gotta see this:
Bad Day at the Office

My friend, Patsy, sent this to me. It is absolutely hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing! How many of us have ever felt like this?? Have you ever done anything like this or just wanted to? I know that I have definitely wanted to do lots of these things! ha ha ha :)

It's just so funny to see people "act" on their frustrations! Watch it and you'll see what I mean.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Excitement


Today has been full of excitement!!

First, I got the kids out the door for school (on time). Then raced to get cleaned up and left to go help with Ashley's class party. I had to circle back to the house because I forgot my bag of craft stuff. I was in charge of helping the kids make a valentine card to take home to give to their family (or anyone they want). The party was fun and everyone's cards turned out so cute!! All the tables had fun games or crafts! Anson came with me and got to play with cars and enjoy treats with the class. They had big cupcakes with hot pink frosting, which turned everyone's lips and teeth PINK!! LOL :)

Then, Anson and I headed out to meet Ben for lunch at Chili's! That was fun! Love the lunch rendezvous w/ my honey!!

During lunch, I received a call from a parent asking if I could come help with Nathaniel's class party this afternoon. She was at the school dropping off all the goods for the party and Nathaniel asked her to call me to let me know the time of the party. Silly guy. He told her that I could probably help but didn't know what time to come.

After lunch, came home for a short half hour and then right before leaving the house, I received a call from the school nurse saying that Ashley wasn't feeling well & was kind of dazed. I rushed to the nurse's office to check on her, she was tired and her tummy & ear were hurting. The nurse gave her some ibuprofen and said she could lay down & rest while I went to help with Nathaniel's party. I hesitated but she insisted it was ok.

So, off Anson & I went to Nathaniel's class. WOW! They had tons of fun stuff going on. I helped with the 'spin-art' table. The kids wrote a note on a paper-plate heart then on the other side they painted. Well, we put the hearts in a salad spinner and dropped some paint on it, then spin spin spin. Voila!! Beautiful hearts! (BTW - onehm's daughter was the fastest spinner of the day! That's what I told her & I think she liked that title because I heard her telling someone else! tee hee) Anyway, Anson kind of wandered around the room while everyone enjoyed their party doing different games and stuff.

Then, I was helping clean up and Anson disappeared. He had gone right outside the door (which was open to let in some air) to go to the bathroom a couple times and I helped him earlier. I ran to the bathroom, but he wasn't there. Then I ran out to the playground - not there either. I grabbed some boy and asked him to check in the boys' bathroom for me - not there! I ran over to Felicia's classroom (hers is right by Nathaniel's) and asked her to go look for him. She had said she saw him a little while earlier when she had to run to the office. Apparently he had followed her. I guess she didn't find that strange. I saw another parent and she told me that he was in the office. So, I told Felicia to go to Ashley's class and gather her stuff for her. I ran to the office as they were announcing my name over the loud speaker. Great! At least he was safe! Another girl saw him wandering around and took him to the office. I guess they remembered me or that Felicia had just been there. Don't know. Just so happy to find him! The P.E. teacher was in the office and was asking if he was a 'Dickinson' just as I came in. She said he looked just like his brother (everyone else was saying the same thing today).

So, I grabbed Anson and reminded him not to wander off because it scares me so much! Went into the nurse's office to check on Ashley. Poor little darlin' fell asleep. She must have been extra tired and the ibuprofen finally kicked in. She looked so sweet. Yep, I snapped a quick picture before waking her.

Finally found all the kids and left the school. WHEW! What a busy day! I have a few pictures, but need to add more batteries to my camera so I can upload them. I'll post them later.

Hope everyone is having a FUN day too!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine's Day Cards

This year I decided to help the kids make their Valentine cards on the computer. They helped select everything that went onto them. I think they turned out really cute!
Nathaniel wanted his picture on his card. Actually he wanted another style that said "Be Mine" or "Adorable" but I reminded him that some of those aren't as cool to hand out to other boys. His response to me was "But I AM Adorable!" LOL Yes, he is, but we went a different way. He likes them.

{Credits: MandyMystiques "Valentine Grunge" paper & frame}

With Felicia's card, I actually typed individual's names on each one, so all she had to do was cut them out. She's very happy with how they turned out!

{Credits: JenLin "Modern Love" papers, ME "Hot Pink Valentine" lace heart}

Ashley wanted something really simple with pink and a heart & flower. She cut hers out and put each one in a little baggie with some candy hearts. She loved putting them all together by herself.

{Credits: ME "Hot Pink Valentine" paper & Love label; "Berry Fabulous" heart & flower}

Usually we buy the fun character cards from the store and the kids label them on their own. We just wanted to try something different this year. It was fun and they got to be creative! What did you do for kids' cards this year???

Monday, February 11, 2008

Siblings BFF

I actually got some more scrappin' done this weekend. I think this picture turned out so cute and thought it would match perfectly with some of the new kits I just bought & have been dying to use.
Everything is by Carina Gardner at DigiNirvana using some of her wonderful "Italian Soda" Collection in great colors! She's also having a really easy challenge/contest. All you have to do is upload a layout (using some of her products) into the gallery and your name will be put into a drawing for a prize each Friday in February. Awesomely easy huh?! She also has some cute freebies in her shop. Go check it out!!

Credits HERE

Sunday, February 10, 2008

52 Blessings - Week 6

My BOYS are such a JOY in my life. They are so sweet, cute, handsome, funny, energetic, helpful, smart, and cuddly. Nathaniel has always been my "sweet pea" (although I only call him that once in a while) and Anson is my "bubbers" (don't know how we came up with that one). I couldn't imagine our family without these little guys!

When I was having a really bad day recently, Nathaniel told me "Mom, you make me really happy and I LOVE you so much!" He just melts my heart! He has also been a super great helper around the house lately. He is growing so fast and I feel like he's going to be all grown up before I know it. He is becoming a really good reader and enjoys Math (ahh a true follower of my heart). He loves playing video games (esp on xbox360) but also enjoys being outside (exploring and looking for bugs, riding his bike or rollerblades). He loves cub scouts and is getting really excited about our upcoming Pinewood Derby.

Anson is such a sweet little cuddle monster! He is always giving me hugs and kisses and tells me that he loves me! We enjoy our special time together while the other kids are at school. He is my "little/big man of the house" while they're gone and I know he loves it! He makes me laugh all the time. He's just such a cute little critter. He shows me his tummy so I can tickle him and pretends like he doesn't want me to. He is becoming quite the little helper also. He loves carrying groceries in the house with me and checking the mail. Just the other day, he put on his cloth Spider-Man mask and lifted part of it to uncover his lips then told me to kiss him! You know the way they did in the movie! LOL :) I do NOT want this guy getting any bigger. Can't they all just stay this age forever?!

"Little Boys are Angels Too" I LOVE you guys always!!
This layout is also for Tangie's "Lift Challenge" and credits can be seen HERE.
I scraplifted this from PurdueLiz's "It's Snow Yummy" layout.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Raising Up A Righteous Posterity

Today I went to the Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting (broadcast) and came away feeling totally uplifted and energized! It was based on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". Elder Boyd K. Packer read the Proclamation and discussed it in details.

Then Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder Dallin H. Oaks (both in the Quroum of the Twelve Apostles), Sister Julie B. Beck (General Relief Society President), Sister Susan W. Tanner (General Young Women President), and Sister Cheryl C. Lant (General Primary President) discussed, as a panel, ways we can strengthen our families. It was done in such a loving and respectful way that it was so fantastic to listen and learn.

At the very end, our new Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, President Thomas S. Monson, spoke and gave us three guidelines to establish in our homes for raising a righteous posterity:

1 - A Pattern of Prayer
2 - A Library of Learning
3 - A Legacy of Love

Sister Lant was reminding us that of everything we do for our families, the most important thing we can do is LOVE them!!

I was going to take notes, but got caught up just listening that I didn't even open my notebook that I brought with me. Luckily for me I found someone who obviously took notes or was able to remember so much and put it on her blog. If you didn't have a chance to go to this meeting or didn't take notes, go check out Bobbi's notes. I am always trying to find new or improved ways that I can be a better wife & mom so that I can continue to do my very best. This meeting really inspired me to try even harder to do even better! We can always do better. If you would like to see this broadcast, there will be another one at 6pm (Arizona time) at a Stake Center. I'm not very eloquent when expressing my feelings, so all I can say is that this meeting was truly AMAZING!!

A couple of my favorite quotes from the meeting:

"LOVE is what you go through together." ~ James Therber

"It's not about who's right. It's about what's right." ~ Sister Lant

*Thank you Mom for babysitting, so I could go to this meeting!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


BIG NEWS for all the Twilight (New Moon & Eclipse) FANS!!!
(I got my 'heads-up' from Jamie)
Breaking Dawn will be released Saturday, August 2, 2008!!!!!
Production for the Twilight movie will begin soon (like this month, I think) & scheduled to be released on December 12, 2008.
You can also get some info on Stephenie Meyer's website.
Kristen Stewart is cast as Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. Don't know any of the other characters yet. I snagged this picture from Jamie, don't know where she got it but isn't it cool?! Oh, and Kristen Stewart has an interview posted HERE regarding her role in the movie.

I am SO EXCITED!!! Can't wait for the new book & movie!! I have read the other 3 books and totally LOVE them!!

Have you read the Twilight series? Do you like them?? Are you excited for the next book, Breaking Dawn?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

American Idol

We just got this game tonight:
Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore

It totally ROCKS!! Guess who just got a PERFECT score singing "Heart of Glass" by Blondie? Yep...ME!!! IT's so much FUN!!! Tons of great new songs!!!

WOOHOO!!! We're having FUN tonight!!

DAD is GREAT...he gives us CHOCOLATE cake!

Did you ever see Billy Cosby: Himself (his comedy act)? He's so funny! I remember watching it as a kid and laughing thinking "yah my parents sound like that!" Now thinking about it, "my kids DO that!" ha ha :)

Anyway, he talks about how one day, he let his wife sleep in and he had to feed the kids breakfast. So, he said they could have chocolate cake. The kids were like "are you SURE? Mom doesn't let us have that for breakfast!" So, he let them have it. Then the kids were happy & singing "DAD is GREAT...he give us CHOCOLATE cake!!" Everything was fine & dandy til the Mom woke up and wasn't pleased with his food selection! HA HA HA Sound familiar to anyone? Yah that would be ME.

Well, back to what made me think of this...we went to the store last night and bought a box of donuts from the bakery (half off because it was late)! But it was too late for the kids to have one as a treat. SO, Ben said the kids could have one for breakfast! You should have heard them last night. "BUT we want one tonight!" "NOPE! Go to bed!" And being the nice parents that we are, we snuck a donut when they went to bed. tee hee :)

So, as soon as they woke up this morning - the only thing that really made them leap out of bed was knowing they were getting donuts for breakfast!! Chocolate frosted w/ sprinkles! (**We hardly ever let them have something like that for breakfast, so they are majorly excited when it's a fun treat like that!)

DAD is GREAT...he gives us CHOCOLATE donuts!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Voting & Taxes

Did YOU vote? We DID. It took like 5 minutes to get checked in, then about 2 seconds to cast my ballot! Woohoo!! Felt good! Plus it was fun to see several familiar faces when we were there (it was at our kids' school).

Thank goodness for this AWESOME website - TurboTax!! I have been using their online service for our taxes for several years now! Totally LOVE it! Plus it's so easy & e-filing is so fast! I am finally done with our taxes tonight & e-filed!! YAY!!! I always enjoy doing our taxes and even doing a little pre-tax projections a couple months before the year is over to get an idea of where we're at. I know it may sound boring & icky to some of you (ok most of you) but I love it! Althought this year I was dreading just a little because it seems like each year I have more forms to fill out, so it gets a little harder each time. One of the forms we received didn't quite have all the info I needed, so Ben had to print out some reports for me (we sold some of his company stocks earlier in the year so we could finish remodeling our family room) so I could get all the info I needed to complete our taxes. Whew! I've been trying for a few days to make sure I had those reports figured out and all the info matched up. Gotta luv those crazy reports & charts! But now it's DONE!! I just have to wait 24 hours for our Federal & State returns to be accepted, then wait for our refunds (the best part)!

Have you even thought about your taxes yet??? Do you enjoy doing them?? Do you have someone do them for you or do you do them yourself??

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Weekend & A Giveaway

Saturday, February 2nd was GROUNDHOG DAY! Hope y'all had a good one. To celebrate, my Dad has started an Annual Groundhog Day BBQ. So, this weekend was our 2nd one. We went to my parents' house for a BBQ. My dad cooked hot dogs & hamburgers and my Mom made guacamole, salsa (hers is the BEST) and bean dip with lots of chips and fruit! Everything was so GOOD! Then we watched one of our favorite funny movies - Groundhog Day (the new Special 15th Anniversary Edition)! We had a great time! Thanks for the fun evening MOM & DAD!!

Sunday we went to church. Trying to get Anson dressed to go was difficult, he was still tired and kept crawling back into bed. ha ha. His crying was making him cough, so Ben was going to stay home with him. But telling Anson it was ok to go back to bed really upset him. Silly guy! He kept saying that he wanted to go to church, the new church. Which I think means his new class. LOL. So, he finally kept his clothes on and off we went. After church, a couple people told us that when Anson was in Primary, they let him pick his favorite song to sing. You'll never guess what song he chose . . . . umm Spider-Man! ha ha ha So, they tried to compromise and sing Itsy Bitsy Spider. He kept saying, "NO! That's not the Spider-Man song!" LOL tee hee :) He is just too funny!

On to the exciting news ~ my friend,
crazymamaof6, is having a giveaway contest! All you have to do is leave her a comment, or 2 or 3, as many as you'd like. Then she'll pick 3 random winners to receive a gift from her! The fun part - it's a Pay-it-Forward, so then the winners can hold the same contest on their blogs too! So, go leave her some comments!! Good Luck!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

52 Blessings - Week 5

I am so grateful for my daughters - Felicia & Ashley! They are so sweet, smart, beautiful, fun and dramatic! Definitely Sugar and Spice - LOL! They can be such great helpers or the ones causing the chaos, but at the end of the day, I get so many hugs & kisses that it's all worth it! Felicia & Ashley I LOVE YOU oodles & gobs!

I made this layout using my Berry Fabulous freebie kit and DigiNirvana's "Pink Jewel" Alpha (recolored).

Berry Fabulous FREEBIE

Thank you all so much for the nice comments on my Hot Pink Valentine kit. And thanks for sharing what you've made. I really appreciate it!

Ok, so it's a new month and new challenges at DSO. So, here's my contribution to KimB's February Color Challenge - BERRY FABULOUS Freebie Kit! I got a little carried away again, so it's quite large. I was just having so much fun with these fabulous colors!
There are 22 Papers (5 Plain Solid, 5 Crumpled Solid & 12 Patterned). There are 40 Elements (11 Flowers, 4 Frames, 3 Ribbon Tied Frames, 1 Double Laced Frame, 1 Triple Tied Frame, 5 Shiny Hearts, 5 Chipboard Hearts, 1 Silver Heart, 3 Heart Splatter Brushes, 1 Flower-Heart Brush, 3 Ribbons & 2 Laced Ribbons).

Download Papers1
Download Papers2
Download Elements1
Download Elements2
Thanks for looking! If you download, please leave a comment (I love to read them all). Also, if you create anything using my kit, I would love to see it.

The Hinckley Challenge

Honoring our beloved prophet and remembering his teachings - Read the Book of Mormon in 97 days.

I just found out about this HERE and I think it's a wonderful idea!!

"President Hinckley often stressed our making the Book of Mormon part of our lives. He was 97 when he passed away, and we would like to celebrate his life and teachings by reading the Book of Mormon in 97 days."

All you have to do is go HERE and click the "Join me" button to create a username, so that you can keep track of your progress. You also have the option of adding your graph to your blog! Pretty cool, huh?!!

So, it starts today Sunday, February 3, 2008 and Ends Sunday, May 11, 2008. All you have to do is read 5.42 pages per day. Kind of an odd fraction, but I guess you could read 5 pages one day and 6 the next. Or just read 6 pages each day, then you'll be a little ahead. Whatever it breaks down to, I think it's awesome and totally worth it!!

One more way to show our love and respect for President Gordon B. Hinckley. Anyone else want to join in??

Friday, February 1, 2008

Hugs 'n' Kisses

Look what I just found! It's called Hugs 'n' Kisses Brownie! Doesn't it look divine?! Now that's what I call a Valentine's Day Treat!
You can find the recipe from Taste of Home.

Girls Night Out

We had our girls night out last night, which was very much needed for me. I haven't seen much of them for a while. Things just get so crazy busy during the holidays. So, Allison planned a nice relaxing spa evening! It was a smaller group last night (Allison, Sharlesa, Nani, Amy, Janan & Me), which is fine, and we chatted for a while w/ a few snacks. Then sweet Allison gave us pediures!! We relaxed our tired feet in foot baths, then she massaged lotion on our feet and then spoiled us with a nice hot parafin wax 'Hawaiian' treatment. I admit that I have never had a pedicure (by anyone other than me) before but this felt SO GOOD!! She was awesome! Thank you ALLISON!! Then we all chatted til about 4:30am. I love how we can talk about anything!

Yep, I got home just in time to wake up my sweetie for work this morning. I was still wide awake, so I played on the computer a little bit & chatted on the phone w/ my hubby while he drove to work. Then I took about a 15 minute nap before waking the kids for school. Got them out the door, barely on time. Whew! That meant that I didn't have to throw on my robe and flip-flops and drive them to school. LOL :) YAY! So, I laid down again for about an hour until Anson woke me up handing me his cough syrup because he was coughing again this morning. Poor guy! So, needless to say, I AM VERY TIRED, but I'm not complaining because I had a great time last night! I needed to have some 'girl time' and just relax, so it was perfect! Although, we did miss our die-hard regulars Julie, Janie & Alicia!!

Homemade Water Slide

Holy Hanna! These guys are CRAZY!! But Funny!! Yah, I know we couldn't leave our kids home alone because they would probably come up with something like this! LOL :) It actually looks FUN, but someone would probably get hurt!

Hot Pink Valentine - FREEBIE

YAY! It's February!!! The month of Friendship & Love!! Here's what y'all have been waiting for.

I hope you like PINK because there's LOTS of it!
This is a Freebie, so anyone can download it, if you want it.
It's a simple kit and I had a lot of fun creating it.
It has 22 Papers!
And 36 Elements!
This is only my 3rd time designing something, and I think it turned out pretty good. So, if you like it, go ahead and download it. If you do, please leave a comment. Also, if you create anything with my designs, I would LOVE to see them (leave a comment and a link to your blog or gallery or you can email it to me - andreadickinson @ yahoo dot com). Thanks!

Download PAPERS Here
Download ELEMENTS Here

Special Thanks to Atomic Cupcake and Obsidian Dawn for their actions and brushes.