Monday, July 29, 2013

Laundry Day

Nathan's favorite day of the week? Laundry day.


Friday, July 26, 2013

At the Park With Daddy

     Sam had the day off on Wednesday (Pioneer Day - gotta love working for the Church!) so we decided to go to the park in the afternoon.

Most of the time she preferred to sit on the bench and drink water.

Dad is cool, and he lets her go on the rings. 

Clearly, she enjoyed herself.

And he is content to hang out in the stroller and play with the straps.

     I can't believe it's already almost August. Park days are quickly coming to an end, so we better take advantage of them!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

There Is Not One Perfect Way

     There is something that has been on my mind a lot lately, and I came across a quote today that said it perfectly.

     "There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family."
- M. Russell Ballard, Daughters of God

(Read the entire talk here.)

     I often hear women talking negatively about choices they see other moms making. Being a mom is already hard, and nobody wants to hear criticism on the way they choose to do it. Just assume all moms are doing their best. They may do some things differently than you do, but that's ok - their children are different than yours, and maybe that is the best thing for them.

     Moms need encouragement, rather than criticism. Be the one to tell a mom you know that she is doing a great job. I'm sure it will make her day.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

8 Months Old

     This handsome little boy is 8 months old today. I can't believe how big he is getting! He pulls himself up to stand on everything he can get his hands on, he babbles like crazy, and he LOVES to eat! He dances whenever he hears music, and he loves to follow his big sister around. He's the happiest baby ever. 

I'm so glad he's mine.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Pictures From This Weekend

Nathan fell asleep on the walk home from a friend's house. He has been teething like crazy for the past week - notice the ridiculous amount of drool on his shirt?

Ellie put this comb in her hair and left it like that all day. Silly girl!

Fun at the park. This little boy pulls himself up on everything!

He enjoyed his first time in the swing. He couldn't stop laughing and smiling! Well, until we wanted to take a picture, of course. Isn't that always the case?

This is Ellie's reaction when I told her to smile for a picture...

     Have I mentioned how much I love summer in Rexburg?


Friday, July 19, 2013

4th of July

     Let it be known that we did, indeed, celebrate Independence Day around here. This is the only picture I took. Lame, I know. But it's a good thing other people take pictures of my children for me... Otherwise they may not have photographic evidence of some of their childhood.

In the morning our friends came over with their two cute kiddos for breakfast. Yep, these four are adorable.

Then we went to the parade. Of course. What is the 4th of July in Rexburg without the parade?

 Nathan enjoyed eating playing with the confetti.

It was really hot! Good thing Sam was willing to haul Ellie around on his shoulders.

Waving at one of the floats.

Ellie and Sam each year at the parade. It's crazy how much she has changed! His brother took the 2012 and 2013 pictures. Like I said, good thing other people take pictures of my children.

After the parade we were all tired. We took naps, and when we woke up we hung out in the basement where it was cool. That evening we decided to walk to the nature park. On the way there Sam's brother called and decided to meet us there. We fed the ducks and let the kids play. We were planning on putting the kids to bed early since they were so tired, but then family decided spur-of-the-moment to do fireworks at our house. You can't have the 4th of July without fireworks, right?

They were in awe. And surprisingly, nobody cried even though they were so loud and it was late.

And of course there were sparklers. I'm kind of a weirdo about sparklers. I don't know why, but they've always scared me a little bit. I guess I just don't like getting that close to burning metal? But hey, they make for cute pictures.

     I love Independence Day in Rexburg because it's the one holiday where it's warm enough to be outside all day long. Sunburn is a given, but it means summer is here!

     I'm so grateful for those who sacrificed their lives so that we could enjoy all the silly things we enjoy on the 4th of July.

Until next year,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mormon Temples

     I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Some people call us "Mormons" after The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, a book of scripture unique to our religion. The Book of Mormon is a record of ancient times in the Americas. Learn more about The Book of Mormon here. You can request a free copy here, or read it online here.

     Chances are if you have heard of the "Mormons," you have heard of our temples. There are 141 operating temples throughout the world. This is a picture of the Rexburg, Idaho Temple that is a few miles from my house.

Picture found here.
     Many people wonder what goes on in these temples. Today I found a video online that explains our Sunday worship, what goes on in Mormon temples, and why temples are important to us.

     This video is an interview with Elder William R. Walker, a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that oversees temples worldwide. It takes you through a virtual tour of a few temples, and describes what goes on in each area.

      If you want to learn even more about temples, visit this website

      I am so grateful that I live close to a temple, and that I have received the blessings that are offered there. Because my husband and I were married by the sealing power discussed in the video, we can be together forever - as a couple and with our children. I know that the Spirit of the Lord dwells in these holy temples.

    If you want to know more about what Mormons believe, request a time to speak with your local missionaries - wherever you are - here.

     If you have any other questions, don't be afraid to ask me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Girl and Her Dad

My family came into town last week, and one of the evenings we went to my uncle's house. All of the older kids were playing capture the flag, but Ellie was satisfied to play in the sand. Sam went over to her and they just talked.

I had to take a picture.

I love watching them interact.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Walks

     I love Rexburg in the summer. I think it's because it reminds me of summer 2009, when I first came up to college, and learned to love BYU-Idaho.  Summer takes me back to when Sam and I met, when we went on our first date, when we were together almost all day every day, and when we fell in love. That is a story for another day, though. Maybe tomorrow.

     Anyway, since the weather is finally summer-y, we have been taking lots of walks as a family in the evenings. It is so fun to walk around town and to see everyone outside with their families. Rexburg is such a great place.

Nathan loves to ride in his carrier, but sometimes taking everything in gets tiring! 

We walked to Main street and got snow cones. Ellie was in heaven with her very own snow cone. Thank goodness for coconut flavor... it doesn't stain! 

Ever since pointing out a tractor to Ellie for the first time, she has been obsessed. Anything big that looks even remotely like a tractor is a tractor in her eyes, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to stop and touch the wheel of this "tractor." Apparently it is impossible to get a good picture of these three, though.

Good thing I love them anyway.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Poor Little Nathan

     Have you ever heard about how the first child is protected, their parents never let them play in the dirt, they save them from everything, take a million pictures, and as more kids come along those things seem to drop out of the picture? Yeah, I'd say that's happening in our family. Sometimes Nathan gets short-changed. Not on purpose, of course, but it's happening.

His shirt was too big, (it was laundry day. we don't judge what the kids are wearing on laundry day.) and then I let him play outside on the porch with Ellie. This is what he looked like when he came in: grubby and looking like an orphan, but happy.

He always gets the bottom seat in the stroller. Good thing he doesn't mind staring at the back of Ellie's seat.

A few days ago he learned to pull himself up to stand, but he still doesn't quite know how to get down. Being the mean mom I am, I took a picture before helping him. He was not too happy with me, and I can't say I blame him.

Poor Nathan gets to use all the girl baby stuff: pink bowl, purple spoon, bib with flowers. Sorry, dude. At least he doesn't seem to mind... yet. I'm sure he will, though, when he sees all these pictures in a few years. "Mom! How embarrassing!"

This one? Let's just say he definitely "minded."

Words of advice for my future children: Good luck. I hope you survive.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Easy Messenger Bags

     I am a Beehive leader in our ward, (to learn more about the Young Women organization in our church, click here. Beehives are the girls that are 12-13 years old) and Girl's Camp is coming up. The girls that haven't been to camp before needed bags for their camp scriptures - a paperback copy of the Book of Mormon - and I volunteered to make 8 of them. You know, since I'm such an... *ahem* ... amazing seamstress. Anyway, I volunteered to make them.

     I put this up here because I'm bound to lose the instructions I was given, and I'm sure I will want to make another bag like this one day. They are really easy! And they don't take very long (well, if you are only making one...) They are the perfect size to put books in, but they are also a great "purse" size.

     I want to clarify that I did not come up with this pattern. I'm not sure exactly who did, but it was given to me. I also want to clarify that I'm not very good at explaining things, so I apologize!


This is what the finished bag should look like. Please excuse my dark/blurry/overall very terrible photography throughout the post. It may be bad, but it gets the job done! 

Start by cutting out the fabric. The fabric that I was given was strong upholstery-like fabric, which I thought was great, but I'm sure you could use whatever kind you like. Cut a 27in x 10in rectangle, then cut triangles into the rectangle that measure about 2.5in into the fabric by 4 inches tall, like the picture above (Yes, the pattern is crinkled. My 7-month-old got ahold of it. Whoops!). The top of the triangle should start around 2 inches below the top of the fabric. For the strap, cut a rectangle 3 inches wide by 45-54 inches long, depending on how long you want it to be.

Next, iron down about 1/4-inch on both sides of the strap, then fold it in half, (hot dog style... like from elementary school. :) ) and press it.

It should look like this. Then run a seam down the whole strap, over the 1/4-inch folds.

Then iron down the top and bottom 1/4 inch of the bag part of the fabric, making sure to fold wrong side to wrong side. Sew along both of those.

After those are sewn down, fold and pin the flap part of the bag (right side to right side) like in the picture above. Bring the bottom of the fabric up to meet it, and pin.

It should look like this. Sew around the sides of the flap, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. (BE CAREFUL NOT TO SEW AROUND THE BOTTOM OF THE FLAP YET! You still have to turn it right side out.) Then sew down each side of the body of the bag. Make sure to backstitch a few times on the top because that will be the opening of the bag.

After you have done that, sew a little triangle (about an inch from the seam to the point) into each of the bottom corners of the bag. Make sure you backstitch here too.

Here is another picture of that step.

Cut the corners off, leaving about 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Then turn the bag right side out. This is what the corners should look like on the outside.

Then turn the flap right side out. Use your finger or the end of a pen to poke the corners out. Sew around all of the edges, including the bottom this time.

What that should look like from the back.

Now it's time to attach the strap. Fold each end of the strap about 1/2-inch, and pin about 1/2 to 3/4-inch below the seam on the flap. Then sew back and forth a million times over the straps, and you're good to go!

You can also attach velcro or a snap to the flap and body of the bag to keep it closed, but I didn't. I think the flap is heavy enough to stay down without it.

Here are the finished bags.

     There are certain aspects of this project that we won't mention. Like how neglected my children were while I worked on it, the state of my craft room when I finished, or how much cereal was spilled by a certain 2-year-old who was trying to help. 

Ellie dumped some Golden Puffs into the playpen, because apparently Nathan needed a snack. This picture is blurry, but he was quite happy about it! They are much yummier than Cheerios, you know.

Notice the cereal stuck in her hair and the lack of pants? Hey, at least she was wearing underwear. Yeah, it was one of those days.

    If you cute little Beehives ever question whether or not somebody loves you, just remember that Sister Brubaker spent an entire day neglecting her children to make scripture bags for you. And she's not sorry.


Images by Freepik