Category Archives: Friends

BFF stage

Emma has this little friend that lives down the street from us.  They ride the bus home together and since her house is on the way to ours from the gate they walk home together too.  She’s been over three times in just the last week, every time choosing to come over to our house.  Her mother and father are divorced and her dad described the mother as a Disney mom, absent from the picture.  Her dad is very involved and came over to meet us and see who her daughter has been spending so much time with.

Emma has had other little friends but nothing quite like the little friendship she has with Taylor.  They are such girly girls playing dress up and doing each other’s makeup.  They love when I paint their nails and helping me in the kitchen.  They helped make Thanksgiving rolls the other day and were excited to see what they made.

Taylor came over the other day with this adorable Best Friends necklace and asked me to help her put it on.  They went back and forth over who would get what color.  I think I might have been a little more excited about the necklace than either of the girls 🙂 .  It just signified so much to me that my daughter is getting older.  She gets baptized in 6 months time and I can’t believe how big she’s getting.  I still remember her being this tiny little dark-haired thing when she was 5 days old at Megan and Mike’s wedding.  She has changed so much, although she’s still a little wisp of a thing 🙂 .

I’m so excited to be stepping into this phase of life with my daughter.  She’s so much like me in that she loves to read, do crafty things, and is perfectly content with solitude but also so much unlike me that it will be such an adventure!  She loves to talk on the phone, something I hardly ever did as a child which is exactly how my dad knew something was up when I would talk to Jared for hours on the phone 🙂 .  Oh, I just love being a mom and watching my children grow but also celebrate the now!


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Filed under Emma, Friends

Twilight Finale

I spent the morning trying to get tickets for a group of 25 people to see the new Breaking Dawn movie.  It’s the final Twilight movie and with it comes a great sense of finality.  This is something that me and a group of men and women in my ward have done religiously for the last 4 years.  The fun thing is that we’ll just transfer that energy into the new Hunger Games movies 🙂 .

It’s been super fun to do this with everyone, but this time will be even a little more special because Jared planned for me to go to the marathon that whole day!  I’m nervous and quite excited about it.  I’ll send the kids off to school and then Jared will take over at lunch time while I go and watch 5 movies in a row!  It’s going to be a little overwhelming and I don’t know if I can sit there for that long without getting a little antsy but I’m sure going to try to enjoy myself.  I’ll just have to make sure that I’ve planned for everything and anything and even if something comes up I’ll only be 10 minutes away.

So almost 30 minutes after walking up to the ticket counter at RAVE I walked away with a stack of 25 tickets and a whole lot of evil looks from people in line behind me.  Oh, well.  I know the group I’ll be with will enjoy themselves.

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Filed under Brianna, Friends

20th Birthday Cake

I spent the bulk of last night finishing this cake!  I think it turned out spectacular especially since there are so many personal aspects to it for the young lady who it was for.

She is an avid mountain biker and had a great trip with her mom right before her birthday.  I had heard the story in great detail and portrayed it through the fondant and frosting work.

My kids were so thrilled to look at all the details that I had pipped on there and asked about them.  I was really pleased with the way it turned out! 🙂

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Filed under Brithdays, Cakes, Friends



Tonight was the last night of our Halloween extravaganza.  Jared got home from work a little early so we could all go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.  We got Kami all set up with the projector on the garage door before we all left as a Star Wars family.  Jared had a hard time seeing through the mask so as the sun set he mask came off.

This year was so much fun because the kids knew what to do.  We assigned them partners who they had to stay with the whole night.  Our neighborhood has a nice little circuit that took us about an hour to finish but loaded us with plenty of candy!  The kids were excited to get back home and dig into their treasures while watching Monsters vs. Aliens.  Such a great movie and even better to watch with neighbors and other trick-or-treaters.  I had made a huge thing of brownies for one of the class parties that I didn’t end up using and I most certainly didn’t want to eat them all by myself so we brought those out for the adults.  It was a truly wonderful time!

Shortly after this picture was taken I had spent $20 and bought back all four bags of the kids’ candy.  This is the third time they have collected candy (Fall Festival, trunk-or-treating, and tonight) and each time I allowed them to pick out 5 pieces that they could eat that night.  Tonight was the same thing but then after they ate their five pieces I gave them the option of continuing to eat as much of the candy as they could tonight but at the end of the evening we would be throwing it all away OR they could sell it to me for $5, each! The three younger kids jumped on the $5 while Benjamin sat there and weighed the offer very heavily.  His response was, “How about I eat as much as I can AND THEN sell you the rest for $5!”  I had to laugh at his way of thinking but I told him it was all or nothing.  He took the $5 and handed over his candy which we proceeded to pass out to trick-or-treaters.

An amazing Halloween without the added chaos that the leftover candy brings!!!

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I had very little time to get the kids dressed today for the trunk-or-treat but I did a better job of it than I did the other day for the Fall Festival.  I had time to do the make-up better on all the kids and I just felt more prepared.  So, with the kids getting home at 4:00 and needing to be to the church at 5:3o I was surprised when we had extra time.  I used that time to take some pictures in the front yard because who knows when they’ll all look this good again!!!





I really love this theme that we have this year!  We hardly spent any money on the costumes.  With Yoda we spend $1 for the green face paint, $1 for the green hair spray, and then used my sweater and his clothes.  I spent a little extra time cutting out some green felt and gluing them to one of Emma’s old headbands that she never uses.  For Luke I had luckily raided Jared’s closet and gotten rid of some of his old shirts.  I cut it apart to make the tunic and then used a dollar store light saber.  Leia was a little more in-depth.  I used some yarn similar to Emma’s hair color and another old headband to make the double buns.  I’m sure if I had made it more of a priority I could have made a white dress out of a sheet or something but I ran out of time so I bought an angel costume that happened to be on sale at Party City so that was a whopping $7 and a little makeup to finish it off.  Darth Maul was all about the makeup.  $1 for the red and $1 for the black.  I had a bunch of leftover black material from years ago when I did a production of The Woman at the Well that I shredded and draped to get the effect I wanted.  With all that done I found a pair of black gloves in clearance at Target for $2 and just used some black electrical tape to tape two $1 light sabers together.  I love when you can be creative and use the things you have lying around to create something special and unique!

The kids were great!  Everything was so enjoyable and fun!  We’ve been entering a different stage over the past few months of independence and self-sufficiency that makes me able to enjoy my children even more.  I loved when I was so inherently needed when they were little ones but I can now immerse myself in their personalities and really get to know and enjoy my children.  I’ll always miss some of those little baby and toddler times but I enjoyed them fully and so have no regrets in that department which really helps when moving onto the next stage.

We saw so many friends tonight since our ward and the newly established Windmill ward met together.  There was a bunch of great food and funny enough all my kids camped out right next to the food tables.  It was funny to watch little Miss Leia (Emma) keep up with her brothers and go back for thirds.  It’s things like that to help me to know that they’re starting a growth spurt and I need to watch what they’re eating and to be patient with them because for the next couple weeks they’ll be asking for food non-stop.

After eating it was time for some trunk-or-treating.  Such fun trunks and such amazing people here tonight.  I got a good laugh when I watched Luke (Joseph) fight Batman for a piece of candy.  That Batman is such a character I’m pretty sure he was asking for it 😉 .

Benjamin met up with two of his best friends at the church and I couldn’t help but snap a picture of the three of them.  Chaz was the Hulk, Willie was Cap’n Jack, and Benjamin was Darth Maul.  It was fun to watch these three very different boys, not just in their choice of costume, talk and laugh together.  It’s friendships like this that span ward splits and the years to come.

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Filed under Church Stuff, Craft Projects, Family, Friends, Holidays, Missionaries

Fall Festival

Tonight was the school’s Fall Festival.  This year I entered our car to be used for the trunk-or-treating.  One of the fun things about using your car is decorating it.  This year we went really simple.  One of my young women needed some service hours for NHS and so I said she could come and man our car.  My kids love Michaela and so it was really special to have her there with us at a family event.  I had her dress in some of Jared’s clothes which were too big, and sit propped up in a lawn chair with the candy in her lap.  The material was thin enough that she could see through and grab a kids’ hand or offer candy when needed.  It made for a very basic decoration but it got right to the point of handing out candy and I don’t have a lot of Halloween decorations anyway.

I was completely surprised and baffled at the kids’, and even parents’ in some cases, response to our trunk.  The kids were very apprehensive about approaching our car.  Some parents wouldn’t even let their kids come up to it.  Meanwhile, we had a trunk on one side of us with decapitated wolves (+gore), shrunken heads, and a huge bloody scythe in the trunk.  On the other side there were zombies and tombstones and creepy pictures in frames.  I couldn’t believe it when one mother actually yelled at ME because her daughter got scarred!  I’d rather have a little scare from a harmless scarecrow than have nightmares because of the crazy stuff I saw next to me.  Plus… it’s HALLOWEEN!!!  Some people?!?!

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Filed under Family, Friends, Holidays, Kids, School

Return to Book Club

Tonight was the Book Club meeting where we all bring suggestions of books that we read over the summer or just books that we’d like to suggest to read during the next year.  I love book club but this is always my favorite meeting because you get so many ideas of things to read.  This was the list of suggestions of which 12 we picked for the next 12 months (*).

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnarvon
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
The World of Downton by Jessica Fellowes
*Tres Leches by Josi Kilpack
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
*And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
*Seeking Persephone by Sarah Eden
Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah Eden
Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah Eden
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
*The Is My Words by Nancy Turner
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
*The Uses of Adversity by Carlfred Broderick
*Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Sold by Patricia McCormick
*The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly
The Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
*A Heart So Broken by Christene Houston
Delivering Happiness Tony Hsieh
Black Heel and Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Snow White and the Huntsman by Lily Blake
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans
The Letter by Richard Paul Evans
Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
Seven Miracles that Saved America by Chris Stewart
Return to Virtue by Elaine Dalton
*Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
*Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth
After Hello by Lisa Mangum
*The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

I’m so excited to read these books!  It will be super fun to read my friend Christene Houston’s new book for November.  I don’t think I know anyone that has written a book and so this will be a fun experience.  I was also asked to take pictures at her book launch so that will be a fun adventure as well 🙂 .

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Filed under Brianna, Brianna's Reading List, Friends