Sunday, December 30, 2012

Come Follow Me - YW Teaching Curriculum

Some of my sweet Young Women in front of the Mesa, AZ temple.

Now that Christmas is officially over, I've FINALLY had some time to dig my feet into learning about the church's new Youth Curriculum.  I must say that when I first heard about this new change, I was a tad bit  nervous. {I'm not a big fan of too much change!}  But now that I've had the chance to start studying about it and watching the videos provided online...I am ECSTATIC and wonder why we haven't been teaching like this ALL ALONG??

I'll be posting my ideas and thoughts more as the year gets started.
{So many fun things to do and learn!}

For now, I thought I would share an email with you that I sent out to my fabulous leaders just last night.  I just BARELY finished up our teaching schedule for the new year and if you'd like to see a copy of it to use as a guideline for your own group, please feel free to comment on here with your email address and I'd be happy to send you that along with some more details!  It's all a tad overwhelming at first but once I sat down and figured things a little more...I became at peace with how it all should happen!

I hope you find this email useful and me with any questions! I'm no pro by ANY  MEANS but the power of social networking with questions and answers has helped me SO MUCH with my calling in the past! Again, my ideas are JUST SUGGESTIONS!


Ladies! Attached is a copy of the 2013 LESSON/TEACHING schedule.  Please look it over as each month is a little different, print it out and put it in your binders.

I have to admit.  I was a little skeptical {okay...nervous!} about the whole new teaching curriculum.  It hasn't been until this past week where I've had the chance to sit down, ponder, and read everything online about it.  I must say....NOW I'M EXCITED about it!  I really am! I would ask each of you to sit down sometime during this next week and go over it all yourselves too.  IT IS ALL ONLINE!  Isn't that fabulous?  To get you started....would you please watch at least a few of these videos found here?

By watching these videos...I really started to grasp onto the concept of 'Teaching like the Savior taught' idea and it all clicked in my a lightbulb went off!! Like...why haven't we been doing this all along?

Now, that said.  It is going to take a lot of preparation spiritually on your end,  when it comes time to teach. I would encourage you to start preparing at least the Sunday BEFORE you are scheduled to praying about the material that you should discuss and by studying the recommended scriptures for the following week.

Each month is given a specific topic to discuss.  As we meet together with ALL of the YW on fast Sundays, someone from the Presidency will start out the month by introducing and teaching that topic.  Now, following that, I have given SUGGESTIONS for the following weeks as what to follow up with.  THIS IS JUST A GUIDELINE with outlines that I have pulled from  You are encouraged to prepare and teach with the sprit.  

Let me give you an example.  For the month of January - there are actually 5 outlines to choose from for the month but there are actually only 3 Sunday's where we'll be meeting together, because of Ward Conference.  So...according to my 'guideline' the two outlines that were left out on the teaching schedule were 'What are the roles of the Holy Ghost' and 'Who am I, and who can I become'.  Both VERY important topics.  So....if you look at the schedule and see that it is SUGGESTED that you teach on 'Why is Jesus Christ important in my life?' feel inspired to teach on "What are the roles of the Holy Ghost'...because that is what you feel your girls need to discuss...THEN PLEASE SWITCH AND TEACH on what you feel prompted to teach on.

Does that make sense?  I made up this lesson schedule JUST as a guideline, to sort of get us going.  It is up to you though to go online.....check out each month....check out ALL OF THE OUTLINES included for that month....and then go from there.  All of that info can be found here:

If you look on the left hand is all organized according to each month and you just click on that month and it all pops up.  You will probably want to BOOKMARK this link as you will be visiting it OFTEN this year! This is where you can also find all of the scriptures to use as well as video and updated materials.

PLEASE let me know if you have any questions at all.  We will discuss this a little further at our BOARD MEETING on Jan. 14th at 9AM at MY HOUSE so PLEASE be sure to attend!

Thanks for all you do ladies.  I am excited about the NEW YEAR and working with our awesome Young Women!!!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Hot Fudge Recipe.

I know, I know...I put 'Best Ever' in front of A LOT of my recipes.
But I mean it.
I truly do.
I honestly ONLY post recipes on here that are tried and true and are the
  BEST of the BEST!

So you should know......
this Hot Fudge is irresistable.

As I'm sharing the recipe with you.

I quadrupled the recipe and made up some for my Neighbor Gifts this year.
They were a huge hit.

Homemade Hot Fudge

1 - 12 oz. bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips
2 sticks butter
2 cans of evaporated milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter and chocolate chips on low heat.  Add sugar and milk.  Blend well.  Boil then cook 8 minutes, continually stirring.

Add 1 tsp. vanilla after removing from heat.

It thickens as it sits.

WARNING:  You can't have 'just one' taste with a spoon.  One becomes two and two becomes three and so on. Which is why I'm glad I gave all of my jars away. WAY too tempting!

Coombs Christmas Part 3.

Christmas Day.

Before Christmas morning even started...I was exhausted.
Why does that always seem to happen?

The kids started coming into our room around 5:30 and we made it down the stairs at 7:00.
{Anything before 7:00 am is just out of the question in this household!}

Santa had arrived...much to Grant's surprise, as he thought FOR SURE he'd be getting coal.
The kids were pleased as punch with their presents and we spent the rest of the morning playing, putting things together and eating a big Christmas breakfast.

We headed back over to Grandma and Grandpa Lamoreaux's in the afternoon for.....

...even more present opening.

The boys got cold hard cash {in the form of a MONEY BOX of course!} and it's already burnt a hole through their pockets and been put to good use at Target.

We were able to skype with my newphew Ryan on his mission...

SO FUN! He is doing such great things and we were all SO excited to see his face and hear his voice!

We carried on our family tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas day and the whole fam went to see 

Super cute.  Super clean.  Super fun.
It was a GREAT family flick!

Still having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that Christmas is over.
A tad depressing, no?


Also to be noted:  Joe and I went and saw Les Miserables the day AFTER Christmas and
oh. my. gosh.

It is an aboslutey breathtaking, stunning, amazing movie.
VERY well done.  If Hugh Jackman doesn't win an Oscar for his performance....I will be shocked.

Go and see it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Coombs Christmas Part 2.

Christmas Eve.

My kids anticipated Christmas Eve ALMOST as much as they did the actual day of Christmas.
{I myself remember the butterflies of excitement I'd get on Christmas Eve day.}

The day started off with a family bike ride.
The weather was PERFECT.  Cool and crisp out but not cold enough to have to wear a jacket.

And yes...we go for bike rides in our jammies.
It's just how we roll.

We came home and carried on our tradition of making 
Gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve.

And by 'making'...I mean....really...just decorating.  Because we don't actually make the gingerbread. 
{Does anyone still do that?}
We buy the Wilton box of premade houses.
Greatest. Holiday Invention. Ever.

Our gingerbread houses NEVER turn out exquisite. And they will never be featured on the cover of a magazine. BUT...the laughs and giggles heard while the kids load on the frosting to candies that don't really quite priceless.  I seem to let my OCD slide when it comes time to decorate gingerbread houses and I'm glad that I do...because it's not really about the actual gingerbread's about the memories and feelings inside of us
 that are made and felt that day.

We celebrated the evening with my side of the family at my parent's house.
My parents have always been the perfect definition of HOSTING with GRACE.

Growing up, my parents would ALWAYS invite other families who didn't have anywhere else to spend the holidays, to eat dinner with us.  We'd sometimes have 40 people packed into our home in Virginia and the feeling of love during those something that I always hope to resonate in my own home.

We dined on homemade lasagna made by my brother.
It. Was. Amazing.
The recipe was a Barefoot Contessa one and I will definitely be sharing it once I get my hands on it.
Garlic bread, salad and a slew of appetizers were served as well.

The kids each got their own piece of chocolate at their place settings and you'd have thought they'd died and gone to heaven! 

After dinner, the kids kept their eyes on Santa via the internet.... fun to watch their eyes get big as they see his sleigh head closer and closer to the U.S.

There were plenty of teases, tickeles and giggles....

.....which is pretty much a given when my brother and sister get ahold of the kids.

We exchanged our cousin presents and had yet another talent show.
{Each year on Thanksgiving, the kids draw a name of one of their cousins and then we take them to Target or somewhere else and give them $20 to purchase something for them.  They LOVE it!} 

We headed home....sprinkled reindeer food on the grass, left out our magical key for Santa on our door knob {we don't have chimney's in AZ} and left out cookies and milk for the big man.

Once the kidlets were tucked into bed, Joe and I carried on our own tradition of exchanging OUR presents and watching "A Christmas Story"
{It's become one of my VERY favorite things about Christmas eve}.

We were even in bed and asleep by midnight.  Not too shabby!!

Up Next: Coombs Christmas Part 3.
Christmas Day festivities.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Coombs Christmas Part 1.

I don't know about you but I always feel a tinge of depression the day after Christmas.
So much fun is always's a slight bit sad to realize that it's all actually over.

We had SUCH FUN over the Christmas holiday this year.
I felt a tad bit like we were on a whirlwind as we started the festivities out on 
Saturday with Grant's birthday and baptism.
 {An event which requires it's OWN post..coming soon}.

We carried on with the festivities on Sunday with Joe's side of the family at the annual 
Coombs Family Christmas party.

The tables were set to perfection and we dined on the traditional ham and potatoes dinner.
{My favorite! Can never get enough!!}

We bantered with a White Elephant Gift Exchange.
Joe and I scored a gift card to Red Robin however.... the REAL winner of the game might've just been whomever received our Power Rangers t-shirt and gnome salt and pepper shakers.
You're welcome for that one Coombs fam.

Scott and Marilyn read the Nativity out of Luke 2 while the kids read along with their very own books made by Grandma.
 The kids sang, danced and played the piano in our annual Talent Show.
 Always a hoot!

And per tradition..the evening ended with a DANCE PARTY.
Because if DANCING doesn't SCREAM being MERRY...I don't know what does!

So. Much. Fun.
Thank you Scott and Marilyn for going ALL OUT for your kids and grandchildren.
We will ALWAYS remember these gatherings.

Up next: Coombs Christmas Part 2.
Christmas EVE festivities and the Lamoreaux celebration.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Coombs family!

Christmas Card 2012
Designed by Dean Works

So many fun things to share with you! 
Will be back in a couple of days with all of the details of what we've been up to.

Spending time with my family and trying to relish every second.
Family is what it's all about!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Days 11 & 12 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

My sister teaches 6th grade and I have learned {through her} that teachers LOVE LOVE LOVE getting gift cards.  It's something they can actually USE! 

{Unlike the items in my sister's hutch full to the brim of random candles and other doo-dads students have given her in years past}.

At the beginning of the school year, I send in a little form for the teacher's to fill out  with their very FAVORITE, restaurants, shopping places, etc.  

This way....I always know where to grab a gift card from!

Cute Toilet Paper Christmas Gift idea.

My cute friend Carrie gave this to me the other day and it was TOO CUTE not to share!
The poem attached to it killed me!
Very clever.

Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

A bag full of Cuties!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Parties...Coombs style.

Last weekend our house was full of love, laughter and some of our very dearest friends.
We held parties on both Friday and Saturday night and I decorated the same for each evening.
{Do you blame me?}

Here's a peek at some of the details....

I originally spied this cute place setting idea on Pinterest and then later found that it was from my friend's sister who has oodles of ideas on her new website HERE.

Super can find the grapevine wreaths for 99 cents at Michaels.

These porcelain napkin rings are some of my greatest treasures when it comes to entertaining.
In the past, I've filled them with fresh gerber daisies, red roses, and now....
pinecones and berries. 
 Very versatille yes they are!

Paper plates purchased at Hobby Lobby.
Gingham napkins purchased at Ikea.

We LOVE entertaining fun friends in our home.
This past weekend was no exception either. 
I always pray that our home will be a place that others enjoy gathering.

There were definitely some good laughs shared with the white elephant gift exchanges...

Attached with this tag were two pink deflated balloons.
So. Funny.

"No need to frown...just get rid of the brown."

Who doesn't need an OH MY DOG calendar for the year?
{Oh wait...ME!}

And Joe scored BIG time with his 52 ounce insulated QT mug.
RIGHT up his alley. And mine! {Might have to steal it when he's not looking!}

As for the party favors...

Rolls of wrapping paper with a tag I made that says:
"WRAP yourself up in the holiday spirit!"

Here's a little tip.  
After Christmas, wrapping paper goes on sale for like 75-90% off.
Keep your eye on it and pick some up for the following year.

They make great favors, hostess gifts, etc.

Now...onto Grant's baptism/birthday on Saturday.
Such a busy time of year but I wouldn't have it any other way.
We are blessed!

Day 9 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Grant and Carson's teachers {might}love soda as much as I do.
Reason # 1,098,287 that I LOVE them!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Who couldn't use a little extra festive wrapping paper with only 8 {gulp!} days left til Christmas!?!

This Weekend:

* Started out on a somber note as the news of Sandy Hook elementary school unfolded.
I found out WHILE I was in Carson's class, helping the kids make snow globes.
There are no words really.
Praying, praying, praying for those families affected.
So. So. Sad.

* We hosted party #1 of 2 parties this past weekend on Friday night.
We had all of my young women leaders and their spouses over for dinner, games and a white elephant gift exchange.

{Pictures to follow soon with all of the party details!}

We noshed on authentic mexican food ala my sweet and adorable cleaning lady Isabelle.
To die for: tamales, burritos, beans, rice, and then salads, homemade beef tauqitos, peppermint brownies and peppermint chocoalte trifle.

* The kids had the time of their lives that same night with a Christmas party and sleep-over at Grandma Marilyn's and Grandpa Scott's house.
They were treated to gingerbread houses, treats galore and PRESENTS! 
How lucky are THEY?
And how lucky were Joe and I to actually get a FULL NIGHT'S SLEEP with no interruptions in the middle of the night?!?

It. Was. Bliss.

* Saturday we prepped for party #2.
That party, we were joined with some of our very dearest friends...also known as our Recipe Club-ers.

We served Christmas breakfast for dinner and everyone came in their jammies.  
Games were played, white elephant gifts were exchanged and we laughed and laughed and laughed.  

I know I say it all the time but...we have been SO blessed with such great friends.  
Near and far.

* Churchey-church on Sunday.

* My sis and nephew came over for dinner {leftover tamales..Mmmmm} and chocolate chip cookies.

Needless to say...the kids were so exhausted from ALL of their fun this past weekend, they went RIGHT down to bed at 7:00 on Sundy night. 

And Joe and I weren't far behind.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 Christmas Neighbor Gifts.

Awhile back I made up a batch of my friend Molly's recipe for HOT FUDGE.
Oh. My.

I instantly knew that that recipe was worthy of being doubled, tripled and quadrupled to share with some of my favorite people this holiday season.
{I'll be sharing the actual recipe later this week. It's so good you could just eat it with a spoon.  Who needs ice-cream anyways? Ok....I do.  Peppermint Dreyer's ice-cream to be exact.}

And who DOESN'T think of the movie "A Christmas Story" 
when they hear the word F-U-D-G-E?!?

Instantly my little idea came to life. 

I ordered the Triple Dog Dare You tags from my friend Michelle HERE.
{You may remember her awesome-ness with my cookie dough tags last year HERE.}

I ordered the round OH FUDGE TAGS HERE.

They are made and delivered and I am a happy little elf!

Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

...because who doesn't LOVE a cold one from Sonic?!?

Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Have you tried these Peppermint Pretzels?!?
They're pretty much Ah-MaZiNg!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Today the teacher's got one of my very favorite gifts.....

{I mean, who DOESN'T like going to the movies, right?}

Day 3 HERE.
Day 2 HERE.
Day 1 HERE.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas.

{Warning:  My rhymes get cheesier by the day!}

LOVING the holiday wall flowers from Bath and Body Works.
So festive!

Day 2 HERE.
Day 1 HERE.