Friday, July 23, 2010


I just ate the most delicious peach I have ever tasted. It was most sweet above all that I have tasted. I had to immediately share with my family. Um, it was so good. It was just ripe that the skin peeled right off (I peel it for the boys) and it wasn't mushy at all. I wish I could have shared it with all of you.

Wow, it was good!

(Boy, am I on a role with this blog.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A toast

Here's to best friends.

And to those of us who are lucky enough to marry them!

Happy 5th, honey.

These flowers were delivered today from Dave. My bouquet for our wedding was calla lilies. I can't stop looking at them. And the pink roses actually smell sooooo good. Sometimes "grocery store" flowers don't have the strongest scent but these are great! (thanks

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Here are a couple of projects I've been working on. These are baby hats I made for props for a friend who is a photographer. (She also took the pictures.)

PIG: Pattern adapted from a bunny pattern found on the back of Bernat Softee Baby yarn.

Monday, July 19, 2010

An experience

I'm sitting eating lunch today with Charlie and Pete. All is quiet, except for the iPod music and chewing. Then, Charlie said to me nonchalantly,

"So, mom, how was Trek?"

Last Thursday until Saturday Dave and I participated in our stake's Pioneer Trek as a Ma and Pa. We dropped Charlie and Pete off at a friend's house Wed. night. We dressed in pioneer clothing, pulled/pushed a handcart (actually as Ma and Pa we weren't aloud to touch the handcart but I did help on the "Woman's Pull"), ate pioneer food, drank lots of water seasoned with dirt, slept under the stars, prayed, cried, laughed, hurt, sang, starved, then ate, were worn out "dead tired" many times, hiked until 1 am, made many new friends whom I love very much, strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ and my husband, missed my two boys, read scriptures, barely slept, danced at a Hoe Down, was wooed by my husband by a slow dance to the live band in the rain, washed my hair in the river, stank like I've never stunk in my life, played my harmonica around the fire, peed in the woods many times, got bit by lots of bugs and spiders, sweat, ......and loved every minute of it. I can't really explain everything because most of it was a very sacred and personal experience. I do, however, share it with those in my assigned family (13) and the other 105 youth and Ma's and Pa's.

Though, it was only 3 days, it felt like a long time that I was "out-of-touch". It felt weird to get inside our car and sit back on that cushion seat and turn on the A/C. It was wonderful to take a shower and brush my teeth twice and climb into my own bed. I have a greater appreciation for all I have, food, clothes, home, everything! I have a greater appreciation for my pioneer heritage and those who made the real Trek West. Especially my grandfather, Thomas Giles, who was a blind harpist. He came from Wales and lost his sight in a coal mining accident. He also lost his wife and two children on the trek West but he endured to the end. I have a greater love for myself. I have a greater love for my husband and my family. I have many new, true friends. I have a stronger testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Would I do it again? Ask me in a couple months and I will probably say yes.

AND the greatest miracle of all: I escaped with 0 ticks!!! A true miracle.

Day 1: Clean, fresh, totally ignorant of what is about to happen.

Day 2: I look better than I feel and that is saying something.

Day 3: In a state of complete euphoria. Overwhelming.

Beautiful, strong pioneer women.

Goofiness happening on the trail home.

Putting together the cart on the first day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Part of growing up

So we've all had this experience:
The huge hill you used to be scared to ride your bike down when you were little, isn't quite as impressive when it is revisited years later. Or the super fun favorite activity of building blanket forts with your brothers on Christmas Eve, somehow isn't so "cool" anymore when you're a teenager. Charlie has, unfortunately, had a similar experience.

Let me back up....a year ago. I was trying to get Charlie to give up the pacifier. We tried everything, a couple of times. We even bought a really cool guitar that one of Charlie's friends had and he wanted really badly. Here is said guitar:

But he couldn't have both. If he wanted the guitar he had to give up the pacifier. In the end, after he couldn't get to sleep and was regressing in the potty training, I gave up. My mother and a friend gave me the advice that, "no boy ever goes off to scout camp with a pacifier." It was ultimately peer pressure and a fear of buck teeth that was making me so anxious about him still using it. So we put the restriction that it was to stay in the bed. And the guitar went up in the closet.

Meanwhile, he turned 3 then 3 1/2 and is still using the pacifier. Mom's not worried. But we would gently remind him that as soon as this pacifier "died" there wouldn't be another one. "What?!!" you say, "this kid is STILL using a pacifier?" Don't try to peer-pressure me into anything here. I was letting him do it on is own time.

Recently, a friend of Dave's lent us his PlayStation along with the full set of Rock Band and Guitar Hero equipment, which we have been playing quite a bit. We're talking the real stuff, here man:

Then, all of the sudden, last night during dinner, Charlie announced that he is done with his pacifier. I could read the look in his eyes. He wanted that coveted guitar back. We made a new deal that he needed to go to bed, stay in bed and sleep without the pacifier and the next morning he would get the guitar. This morning he came into my room just 'a beaming from ear to ear. He couldn't even wait to get dressed to get downstairs and have me climb up on a chair and get it out of the closet. I dusted it off and handed it to him. But, wait, there was a hesitation...a look of disappointment swept across his face.

"No, mom! Not that guitar. That one is....too small! That's not the right one!" Something had gone terribly wrong. Tears began to well up. Could it be possible that mom actually shrunk this guitar??

I tried my best to explain that this is the same exact guitar he had before and HE was the one that grew bigger. Yet, he refused to touch it and was convinced that it used to be bigger. After moping and sulking for a good portion of the morning, I finally got him to eat some cereal and diverted his attention. Maybe half way through the day, after many demonstrations of just how "cool" this guitar really is (mom basically making a fool of herself), Charlie decides that maybe it is the same guitar and is worthy of his playtime.

At lunch time he said to me, "Mom, that guitar isn't as cool as those other guitars." Well, maybe that is true but I did catch him "rocking out" with it.

And we are pacifier-free for night #2.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Well, Grandma has come and gone. (Were you getting sick of that last post!!?)

I can tell you that a lot has happened since I last posted and I don't really know where to start. It is a bit daunting to think of all the things I have to say. I guess I'll just tuck them away for another post, another day.

I will, however, give you one reason why such things as posting on my blog have moved to the back burner.

I have become a full-time couponer.

It has sprouted little shoots that have grabbed onto all my time and it will literally take all the time that I allow it to take. I've subscribed to two different newspapers to get the inserts and ads. I belong to a group of awesome ladies and we basically just keep each other in "the know". We share coupons, alert each other of the deals, communicate if some cashier lady is being nazi-ish about a certain coupon and to steer clear of her, ya know, that sort of thing. I also have my mail-lady giving me the extra Friday mailers so every Friday I get a postal box on my doorstep with 40+ mailers, which I then divvy out to my girlfriends. My more daring friends dumpster dive and collect old papers from the library and such.

I must tell you, though, that there is something about getting a darn good deal that is exhilarating and somewhat addictive. I'm told that the same parts of the brain that are affected with addiction to drugs and alcohol are affected when you experience a "good deal" buzz. I can imagine the same goes for gambling too. AND it has fostered a little bit of superstition in me. I seem to have great couponing experiences when I park in a certain spot at CVS versus another parking spot.

I even have Charlie hooked on couponing. He goes through his magazine (which I got for him for free in the mail!) and gives me the coupons for some portrait sitting. He tells me that if I don't want to use it, he will give it to someone else. I tried to throw it away one day and he found it in the trash. (oops!!) He gave me the really hurt look and I had to lie and say, "How did THAT get in there?? I'm sorry, I don't know how that happened."

There may be a skeptic out there saying, "Well, don't you just end up spending more because you have to buy the brand name stuff?" I am proud to say that for two months now I am way under grocery budget and this last month I cut it by 50%!!! My pantry is stocked, my freezer is packed full, the cupboards in my bathroom are overflowing, I have toilet paper, razors, laundry soap, body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, gum, lippy stuff, diapers, wipes, and free samples to last us until the sun burns out.

I have a friend that has a separate bank account set up just for all the rebate checks she gets and has enough to pay for Christmas already! I'm doing the same.

A few websites I follow:,,,, and others. Couponing is totally the thing to do in this economy and there are lots of people out there that are making money from blogging about all the deals. I make them do the work and then reap the rewards. Seriously, how can I afford NOT to coupon?