Thursday, December 18, 2008


I found this article on a blog that I like to is for all of my wonderful friends who love handmade things...if we don't get involved me may all lose out. Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008


So these are just a couple of quotes from listening while my family plays John Madden Football 1993...

"Good Job Ralphie - no, no run the other way!!!" - Dad

"Oh Dad! You are evil! SO VERY EVIL!" - Jake
(Daddy scored on Jake)

"Look! He went down on his nipples, but now he is back up!!!" - Audry
(Knuckles is what she meant)

"Shoot, shoot, shoot- score!" - Audry
(Did I mention this is football?)

"I win, I win, I win, I beat your dad! I beat your dad!" - Mom
First time ever I might add!
Can you see me doing a victory dance?
I did one all the way to the kitchen!

"Jake, you did a good job...our team just stinks!" - Matilda

"Cha, cha, cha, cha...Ralphie you rock!" - Audry

"Audry be quiet!!!" - Jake
Can you tell who was winning?

Audry and Ralphie were partners and Jake and Matilda were together.

"OK, I am ready for VSMILE" - Ralphie
(9:00pm is about his limit)

"Jake, just go with the flow..." - Matilda

Back when JP and I were first married J picked me up from work one day and very happily declares that he found a Joe Madden Football 1993! Isn't that great??? Apparently he was at a pawn shop and the sight of this game (with the Sega game system included) brought back a rush of memories of days gone past with "the guys" and he just had to buy it!

I guess I should admit at this point that I am TERRIBLE at playing video games...I am the sad little girl who cannot get past the third level of the ORIGIONAL Super Mario Brothers. I mean, when they came out with whatever took that Nintendo's place, I couldn't even get Donkey Kong into the castle. I just had to run around the outside until I got mad and gave up! Anyway, needless to say I was not as tickled but I tried, and tried, and tried and got spanked EVERY TIME!!! Thankfully he had a few highschool buddies that came over and gave me a reprieve...
So... the coolness of it wears out after awhile and it ends up in the attic in a box for something like 9 years...did I miss it? No.
Now to the present time...JP stays home with the kids on Thursday who are sick, while I am at school. By the time I am home, the tv that hasn't worked for something like 2 years is now working again and the kids meet me at the door, "Mom, mom can you go in the attic and get out Daddy's video game? Can you? Daddy said that if you got it down (since you know where it is) then we can play the video games when we get our rooms clean! Can you PLEASE!?"

So, here it is...Friday night and what I would like to call a family game night is JOE MADDEN FOOTBALL 1993. We have had a lot of fun with it...Dad finally gave up and disappeared to the bedroom for some peace and quiet... But not until after I wiped the field with him! Thankfully he didn't remember at the time exactly how to play - so my "just push the buttons until something happens" strategy worked! YEAH ME!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thankful Day 17

So, I was just folding clothes thinking about a conversation that J and I had this morning and it made me realize what I am thankful for today...

Today I am thankful for those little moments in life where we are put at a crossroad and we have two choices to make. Those small choices that are seemingly inconsequential at the time but means so much in the long run. Those type of moments over time slowly define who I am and I am espicially thankful when I listen to the prompting of the Holy Ghost and choose the right path. I am finding as I really try to become a better person, that those defining moments are becoming more frequent and I am profoundly aware that as time goes on, I will experience even more.
So here is to those little moments...each and every one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanksgiving Day ???

Ok , so I know that I have already done him, but today I am really grateful for J again...Do you remember when you first starting dating your other half? The butterfly feelings and moments that you just look at them an let out a faint sigh? That has totally been me for like four months! Anyway, I was sitting next to him during Stake Conference this evening and I just felt like I was just glowing with pride for him. I guess it is great that after 11 years of marriage he can still unconsiously make me giddy! I sure love him!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Yes, I know...what's today's date? I am a few day's behind on my thankful days but I have an excuse - really, I will come up with it...OH, SCHOOL!!! Have you taken college classes and had young children at the same time? Oh, and was self employed with all the joy and involvement that requires? That was me this week. I only go two days a week for two classes and between two classes in two days I had two exams, two quizzes and a 4 page paper about the projection of a job after I finally graduate from college. Needless to say I am a little sleepy. Matilda asked me a little while ago, "Mom, how do they expect you to keep up with all this homework and tests with four kids?" My answer? "Honey, they don't care..."
Anyway, I did take note of what I am thankful for each day - some are more trivial than others but who cares right? It's my blog...At the start of this project I had plans for great story telling and beautiful pictures to cover days but really now I just want to go to bed so...I promise I will up date - tomorrow.
In the meantime I wanted to share with you something I am thankful for today...I am thankful that J has a job and can support us with said job but that is not it (because he was last Saturday). My dearest friend in the world has a wonderful husband that is wonderfully talented and honest and great and ...jobless. They have struggled with this off and on for about three years and they are in that position again today. ANYWAY, she inspires me everytime I talk to her. The average person probably would have thrown up her hands and cried "WHY, WHY, WHY!" and I am certain that the thought does cross her mind but do you know what she said to me? "I am certain that the Lord has a better plan for us...we just have to be patient." She is able to see the blessings in this whole thing and the Lord's hand in each step of her life. I love this woman. She inspires me to be better and do better. She is such in inspiration to me. And I can honestly say that my life is richer because I know her. You rock Tinkerbell! AND because I love her I will not put her picture up on the blog because I know how much she doesn't like her pictures up anywhere...

Sunday, November 9, 2008


OK, OK, so it is a day late...but I was so busy enjoying what I was thankful for yesterday that I forgot to tell you what I was thankful for (pretty good save right?).

Yesterday I went to work with my's kind of hard to go work with him because I have a hard time keeping my mind on work when I am with him. He just just so dang sexy while he is working...well, you know. :)

ANYWAY, as I was working yesterday with Jason in VERY COLD midwest weather I realized just how thankful for J and all that he does to support us.

I mean, this past summer I got to help him out some and it was awsome, warm weather, nice days and did I mention the KILLER tan that I got? I don't think J has ever been so tickled to see me in shorts. :)

So remembering how much I enjoyed this summer, I volunteered to help him yesterday and OH MY GOODNESS!!! I think it was about the time that he was LAYING ON THE COLD WET GROUND, STICKING HIS ARM INTO FRIGID WATER IN A WATER METER HOLE TO TURN OFF SOME IRRIGATION that I realized just what he goes thru to support his family and I just wanted to kiss him...after he got up and away from the cold ground and colder water...

I think my friend LC said it best when I told her what I was doing yesterday..."OH, Sunshine! He really loves you!"

I know he does...

So here is to J and A&E Landscaping (that's for you Jenn) and all that you do to take care of your little family. I am so thankful for you!

We love you!

PS - the name of our company isn't really A&E Landscaping but you know how I am with real names! :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Seven

OK, so Hannah is off the adoption list - she is doing much better today so I am thankful for that however, I guess that doesn't count so...

Today I am thankful for the time of 7:10am to 3:43pm each week day...

Why? Do you ask?

Because between those times I get to give and recieve all the attentions of this sweet guy all to my self while his siblings are at school...

Ralphie and Jake are the best of friends. So great is their bond that over the summer I was a bit nervous that perhaps Ralphie would be out of his mind bored with his mother (who in her opinion is chop suy of a playmate when compared to his partner in crime...). "What am I going to do to keep him happy?" I pondered. What will we do?

Three months later....he is still best buddies with Jake. However, he is also my little buddy! I cannot believe the bond that we have now. I do not think that I have had this type of bond with any of my other three children. Not that we do not have really good relationships, but holy cow - he is MY BUDDY...

He has this little thing that he does.. he walks up to me and says, "Mom, I love you.." and I usually respond with something like, "Oh, my goodness! Guess what! I love you too!" and then he smiles his great smile and gives me a 'big pop my head off' kind of hug and a kiss...

Well, the other day when he did this I said, "Thank you!" and he stopped, looked at me and said,"Hey!" So I asked him what was wrong and he told me, "YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO TELL ME YOU LOVE ME TOO!" So I said, "I am sorry, is that why you do that all the time?" To which he responded, "Yep."

Needless to say, I have a daily goal now to beat him to the punch - as often as I can...

Did you know he also insists on holding my hand in the car? We drive a little truck in which he sits next to me and so he always wants to hold my hand (although he won't let me kiss his hand without wiping it off - giggling of course!

What do you expect from my FAVORITE YOUNGEST SON!!! (Who's favorite color is ORANGE)


Love, MOM
PS What do you think of our FIRST EVER self portraits? I think they came out pretty good, considering what we are working with...:)

Pictures as Promised

Aren't Matilda, Audry and Ralphie a hoot?

Ok, FINALLY I have my camera are the promised pictures of our beautiful week of spring weather...

There's nothing like a good old fashioned Teeter Totter!


What great looking boys!!!

Just in time I might add because the next day it was 65degrees and today if feels like 40 - 50 degrees...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thanksgiving Day SIX


So, today was REALLY, REALLY long and mostly really really hard...I got a great new haircut - shorter for winter... you know. Was really feeling good by the time we got home from the Salon (Ralphie and I) and then I got home to a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY sick dog...Thankfully, she was in the garage when she got sick but all I can say is...


I couldn't imagine life without those things - OH, and a small carpet cleaner for when she doesn't make it to a hard surface where I can use the above said items...AGAIN I SAY - UGH!

Anyone interested in a really cute (oh, and sick) Miniature Dachshund? You can have her - cheap! HA, HA (I think)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Five

Today I am grateful for two things...
One - the elections are over - no more robocalls! (Did you know that I got one five minutes before the polls CLOSED?! I just wanted to yell -this was the third call that day- "I VOTED THIS MORNING - LEAVE ME ALONE!) Although the election did not end as I hoped, they ended as I subconsiously expected...Onward and upward I say...Let's see what good we can do together as a Nation. We can pray often (DAILY) that our new leaders will take this country in a direction that the Lord wants it to go. Whether we voted for President Elect Obama or not, we are in a democracy by choice and he is our President...ONE NATION INDIVISIBLE - right?

Two - I am so grateful for the 75 degree weather that we are having in NOVEMBER!!! I have some pictures of our great day today, but alas my camera's battery is gone so I will try to add pictures later...but HOLY COW! 75 degrees for the past week! I am in heaven (and no, I am not is AZ). We got to ride our bikes, walk at the park and climb a really cool rock - how is that for "winter." All I have to say is YIPEE!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Day FOUR...



Today I am thankful that I live in a country that allows me to speak my mind, vote my values and worship my God in any way that I choose...

I am thankful that the Lord dedicated this country to all that is good and righteous and I Pray Fervently that we as a country will realize what path we seem to be on and will correct it...

I am thankful that even if I disagree with someone else's political views we can still be friends...

I am thankful for our beautiful flag and all that it represents - life, liberty, peace...

I am thankful for the rousing music and anthems that we have that represent what our Founding Fathers experienced and wanted for us...

I am thankful that I live in the United States of America!!!

So here is to today...GO VOTE, no wait...Pray for direction - then go vote and then pray for all of us as Americans that we can be guided by the Spirit to make our country what our Heavenly Father and our Founding Fathers had in mind for us...

Monday, November 3, 2008

ThANKsGivinG DaY ThrEE

Today, I am thankful for THIS KID...

This, my first born...

My FAVORITE OLDEST DAUGHTER...(whose favorite color is Green)


Did you know that this crazy kid stayed up with her mom until MIDNIGHT to help her clean the house because I didn't want to wake up to a messy house? Without mom asking I might add...


Then on Sunday, she loaded the dishwasher when I just couldn't bring myself to do it without me asking her to do it? And then begged me to let her finish when I tried to tell her not to worry about it...


She volunteers to read to her brothers for me when I am busy and can be a really great big sister when she wants to be...


She loves to help others and loves to read - she just got hooked on Nancy Drew because she loves mysteries...


She joined her schools choir this year and really loves to sing - and she is really, really good...


She is growing everyday into the wonderful Daughter of God that Heavenly Father wants her to be and loves discovering what her potential is....

So today is dedicated to Matilda, what a great kid!!!

I love you so much - my sweet, sweet Matilda...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Two

OK, so today I am really thankful for two things...I know pace myself but they both fit! :)
First, I am really thankful for Daylight Savings Time. Anytime I can get an extra hour of sleep is a bonus for me! Although the down side is this evening I had a planned on taking the kids for a walk after dinner and all of a sudden (?) it was getting dark. The thought actually occured to me - "Man, it seems like it got darker alot earlier over night!"
(Didn't I say I need more sleep?)

Second, I am thankful for the Sabbath day... Last month (October) I was sick, out sick with children or enjoying General Conference - three out of four Sundays. That ment three weeks of not taking the Sacrament...that was really tough for me. Sundays are my mini breaks. I am extremely busy all week long with school, children, children's school, work, callings, etc and being able to sit in church and partake of the Spirit is better than an hour long massage for me. So today, I was in heaven sitting down, listing to other's testimony of our Saviour Jesus Christ and partaking of the holy sacrament...
So here is to Sunday - the absolute best day of the week for a harried mom.
And Daylight Savings Time for the sleepy mom.

If you would like more information on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - click here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Happy November 1st! I was thinking today (no comments from the peanut gallery) that with this being the month of Thanksgiving that perhaps I will try to find something (just one?) each day that I am thankful for...So today, I am thankful for my dad...Grandpa B..

Why do you ask?

Well, this morning I woke up at 6:15 am to change the oil in our three trucks because I really feel that those who do this for a living charge too much to do it ($42.00 for an S10 that takes 4 qts of oil.) I save about $100.00 month doing it myself since we change the oil EVERY MONTH with our business...WHERE DO YOU ASK DID I LEARN THAT??? MY DAD.

Then I walked into my bathroom and remembered that the children's toilet was still not working right and that I had bought the thingy to replace the leaky thingy in the tank about a week ago and my cute guy STILL hasn't gotten around to it - SELF EMPLOYED - Do I need to say more?

(SIDEBAR... I looked at his work calendar and did you know that he has worked EVERY DAY for the entire month of October except for the 4th? Oh, and Sundays but J is in the bishopric and we know that that means that Sunday is not a day off - meetings and such...)

Anyway, I thought to my should go ahead and get it done for him since he just doesn't have enough time in the I did (see later blog on THAT). And not only did I fix the kids toilet, the seat on mine was moving because a plastic screw that held it in place broke in two...WHERE DID I LEARN TO DO THAT? My Dad (and the instructions for the new fangled thingys)

He also taught me how to strip and stain furniture, change the shocks in a BRONCO (which came in handy when my little bro needed to do his...), use power tools, remodel the basement so that I could have my own room, work a rototiller, use a hammer as well as an ax, change a tire, jump a battery. The list goes on and on.

Were we always close? NOOOO. But I know that he loves me. And I love him.

Thanks Dad for all that you have taught me! I LOVE YOU!

Happy November 1st!

ps - the only downfall to having this knowledge? Now that my husband knows I CAN do it, he tends to LET ME do it... ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Are you a parent of a "tween"? I am...

Have you ever heard of...HSM3?


Last Friday this much anticipated movie "arrived." My Audry was invited by a friend to go see it on Saturday (the day after)...This is how my morning went...
7am...I am sleeping in...

Audry: MOM! What time is she coming to get me?

Sleepy Mom: Not until 10am...please don't ask me all morning - love you...

Audry: How long is that?

Sleepy Mom: Three hours.

Audry: OK

Sleepy Mom hears for the next THREE HOURS...

HSM1 and HSM2 soundtracks blaring from Audry's room.


DO I MIND? Not at often does she get this excited...


This is what I see at the back door...
She then moves to her bedroom window because she realized that her friend is going to pull into the driveway to pick her up...Imagine that!

5pm: Audry arrives home

Mom: How was the movie?

Audry: It was FABULOUS!

Does the story end there?


Tuesday - Matilda and I have a daughter/mom outing to see the movie. We liked it (I think number two was better but I digress...). I tell Matilda that we should stay thru the credits to see if there is anything more to the show...AND THERE WAS!

After the theater was "empty" and the music was still going some teenage(?) girls stood up in aisle and started dancing...REALLY DANCING...then they make their way to the front of the theater where they continue to dance and do CARTWHEELS in front of the screen! It was awsome!!! I was laughing (quietly) to myself. (I kept trying to take pictures with my phone but it was too dark). Finally, another girl that was with them noticed me and Matilda watching them and she says "I hope you know that this was all getting recorded! (she must have seen my phone sticking up in their direction)...They just stopped and dropped behind some seats - I think they were a little embarrassed....

They were kind enough afterward to pose for a picture in the lobby...grainy picture but those girls were AWSOME!!!

Matilda's take on the three amigos?

"I thought they were pretty cool...oh, and I loved the movie..."


OH! And this is Dad's idea of "getting the kids to bed early..."

Aren't they the most awsome group ever?!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Audry before the visit to Aunt Flo's salon...

Audry has been begging to get her hair cut recently and we found out that she could donate 8" to some foundation to help with wigs for those who need them so we did it! She is really excited about sharing her great hair with others. She even let them cut a little extra off to meet the requirements. That's my girl...

Audry after her cut...Isn't she cute?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Update on Lessons Learned

OK, so Matilda read the posting on Audry's mishap and said - "MY DANGEROUS GAME?! The origional name was....."RUN" aptly named, perhaps it should have been -

RUN, FAST... ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lesson Learned From A Game

*Jake and Matilda were kind enough to reinact
the great new game on Monday

The new name of their game?
"Matilda's Dangerous Game"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Handbag Giveaway!

I signed up to win a really cute bag and I thought, who wouldn't love a free bag! So if you would like you can follow this link: and check them out! :) Happy looking!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


So, my midterm grades are in and (drum roll please....) I have a 97% in Anatomy and a 94% in Chemistry. YEAH ME!!! If you knew what my grades were the first time I took them fifteen years ago, YOU TOO, would be celebrating for me. Again I say - YEAH ME!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Little Bits of Fun

So Ralphie and I were on our way home from a friend's house today and he says -

"MOM, I forgot to tell Howie I will see him tomorrow!"

Mom- "That's ok, you aren't going to see him until Tuesday"

Ralphie - "I could see him on Sixday can't I?"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Audry is SO COOL!

I always knew that Audry beats to a different drum. I got some of her math work today and where the teacher marked it wrong I wanted to celebrate her awsomeness!

Question: Maple Leaf Park is shaped like a rectangle. It has a perimeter of 26 miles.

A. Could two of the sides be 13 miles and 2 miles?

Answer: NO

B. Why do you think so?

Answer: Because I listen to my brain.

Look at her, she even sleeps cool!


Personal epiphany...

I stumbled onto a blog site through a friend of mine's. It is the stories of a mother in AZ. It is called NieNie Dialogues. I have really enjoyed reading reposts of her blog and just enjoying with her everyday life. Anyway, her and her husband were in a terrible accident and the response to the accident and the families need for help afterward have been so overwhelming that the NY Times (I think that was the name of the mag) did a story on the whole blogosphere's response. The point is there is a quote in there "Ms. Kendrick said. “Her relationship with her husband wasn’t perfect. But she chose to focus on the beauty." “And the more she focused on it, the more she had.” Isn't that what it is about? Shouldn't we focus on the beauty of it all? I was joking with a friend about how we should all be "Polyanna's" (Disney movie - 1960's?). But think about it, shouldn't we look for the good in everything? We have so much to celebrate! We are children of a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of each of our needs and the trials that we are going through are things that will make us -or someone touched by us - stronger and better. There may be dark clouds but lets look for the beauty in the skies. I want to challange YOU, where ever you are - who ever you are...spend one day, week, whatever looking for the beauty around you! Do not focus on the negative, too many people already do that. Find the beauty and celebrate it! See how much better life gets when we focus on the beautiful. Happy hunting!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nantucket Weekend GIVEAWAY!!!!

Nantucket Weekend GIVEAWAY!!!!

Just for Laughs

Check ups at the Dr. Office!!!

Tomato Garden
An old man lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard.
His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.

Dear Vincent,
I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot.
I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.

A few days later he received a letter from his son:

Dear Pop,
Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.
That same day the old man received another letter from his son:

Dear Pop,
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love you, Vinnie

:) Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


We wanted to roast smores on our own campfire. Now if you know where we live you know that in the middle of town they do not smile upon "non permited" fires but we were hoping that they would not mind. :) Why a fire did you ask? Well we were given this really cool book from our Aunt in Cali where it teaches the girls how to build fires and alot of other cool things. We will start taking pictures as we do the activities just so our cool Aunt in Cali to see our success...ANYWHO! Thankfully we weren't ticketed and enjoyed some really good smores. We even invited a little boy that we knew over to enjoy our sweet desserts. Oh, and if you were wondering - the name of the book is "THE POCKETED BOOK FOR DARING GIRLS: THINGS TO DO". The back of the book says "Rediscover old favorites and set out on new adventures. The perfect pocket book for every girl with an independant spirit and a nose for trouble." Does that sound like my girls? :)

Friday, August 8, 2008


J has a friend from his mission that married a guy from a nearby town. Once a year they come to our neck of the woods and we get together for lunch or breakfast...this year we went to IHOP. Our family has never been there and let's just give a shout out for IHOP. It was dang good! This is the first year that I remembered to bring my camera though. It was Lyon's 5th birthday today so IHOP even sang to us for breakfast! GO IHOP!
L to R: Lily, Matilda, Jake, Ralph and Audry

L to R: Lily, Jane, Tulip, Dick and Lyon Butkus (Lyon didn't want to be in pictures today)

The Reason Why...

I love to watch my boys play in the mud. This is the reason why we named the site 'My Mud Pies'. I love watching mud pies be made. There is something cleansing about running your fingers thru mud and feeling it squish between your fingers and toes. Why do we ever feel like we get to old to get our fingers dirty? Doesn't it always wash off with the hose? I wish you all a lifetime of mud pies and childhood...

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