Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2fer Tuesday.

2 Patriotic Tablescapes for BBQs:

I really do love this time of year - - even though it's supposed to get up to 117 degrees by Thursday. {HeLp!!!}

In years past, we've hosted a BBQ at our home for my family on Memorial Day. We kicked it easy style this year and went swimming + pizza. {A lot less stressful!}

  Here are 2 of my favorite set-ups and I especially LOVE them because they involve: paper products + a cheap tablecloth.


Details HERE

I love anything PATRIOTIC because it can be used ALL.  Summer.  LONG. 

2 Patriotic Drinks for Kids:

It's never too early to start thinking about 4th of July festivities! We have a countdown going on at our house because we are taking our annual trip to Southern Utah for the 4th and we can hardly wait!

I really think I'm going to make these up for my kiddos this year at the cabin.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

This Weekend:

* Friday morning started out with Visiting Teaching.
Nothing like leaving it til the last few days of the month, right?

* The boys played with friends pretty much the rest of the day while London had her cute little cousin over.

A tea party was mandatory as was sharing a drink and some nuggs at the Chick-Fila.

We stopped by the puppy store....

....for London to ooh and aah. 
{T minus 9 months until we have to get one. If you know me, you know I really don't want one BUT....I'm currently thinking cocker spaniel if we must.}

* Meanwhile...the boys had a Coombs Cousins sleepover at Joe's parents house on Friday night.

Just like their dad's! LoL.

I died laughing when my mother-in-law sent me a picture of her 'veggie' tray that she had prepared for the boys....

My kind of veggies!

We ended the evening at The Fractured Prune...

....with hot from the oven donuts that you just can't resist.
{The O.C. is a MUST! if you ever go}.

* Saturday morning we lounged around.
For once - - we had absolutely NOTHING on our calendar and it was bliss.

I busted out my summertime/patriotic decor.

London and I ran errands which included a stop at the new Sprouts right by house.  

Fun Fact: Did you know that they have a 'Build your own Salad Bar' there?? 

And did you know that it has EVERYTHING I love to put on a salad?

Spinach + egg+ onion + chicken + bacon + sunflower seeds + cheese - - - - - - - the jackpot!

* More kids over to play on Saturday afternoon so I busted out my Grandma's Applesauce Oatmeal cookies.
{I may have had like 5 fresh from the oven}.

* Churchey-church on Sunday.

* Fort building Sunday night.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.
Summer is HERE!!!!!!
That's right - - it's going to hit 110 degrees here this week!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fun Finds Friday.

* I pretty much NEED this donut raft to get me thru the summer {from Target}.

And finally! FINALLY! Target has freshened up their $ bins with some fun new patriotic decor.

These cute wooden trays would be cute on a coffee table or carrying lemonade glasses.

LOVE this canvas tote bag!

You know I'm a sucker for burlap bunting, right?

Fill these jars up with ANY type of candy and you have yourself the perfect little summertime treat to handout.

Over at Wal-mart....

Donut plates.
{If I had a plate for everytime I ate a donut....}

Pizza plates.
Perfect for your next pizza party!

LOVE these burlap looking paper plates too! Only $2.47.

Over at Costco I spotted...

...the perfect little patriotic girls tutu!

And this sign is pretty much my life.
{Not sure where I spotted it though}.

Happy Weekend-ing!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

2fer Tuesday {on Thursday}.

2 Inspirational Books to Read:

I cannot even begin to explain to you how much I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! Everything the author talked about in this book is everything I hope for my home to be. I'm ready to read it again and highlight and underline my very favorite parts {which is pretty much the entire book}. 

P.S You don't have to be Mormon to read it.  
It's really and truly good for ALL faiths, I promise!

P.S.S. I know this is a long shot BUT....
does anyone know this author?????

I NEED her to come and speak to my stake Relief Society.

Find book HERE.

This one is geared more towards those of the LDS faith.
I read it up fast! {It's really not that long}.

Elder Russel M. Nelson's wife wrote it.

I cried and then smiled the whole way through it.

Find book HERE.

2 Random Bits from My Brain:


I know I am like SO super late to this ballgame but seriously...how am I just now discovering these guys?

THIS song from Les Mis {their version} popped up on my Pandora station and I've been hooked ever since.


Let's talk about the commercials on the FreeForm tv channel. 

{It used to be ABC Family.}

Their commercials are highly inappropriate for kids and at times - even scary!

My kids watch that channel for their movies like: 101 Dalmations, Finding Nemo, etc.  

KIDS movies!

Their commercials are definitely NOT kids commercials.

What the heck happened to this channel?!?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Family Home Evening Lesson: SERVICE

I've felt VERY strongly this last little while, that we need to be doing more service TOGETHER as a family.

It's been weighing on my mind actually, so I researched some different places in our community, where we could spend our time each week, doing good for others. 

I decided to kick off my grandiose idea with a SERVICE themed Family Home Evening last week and my kids were super on board and super excited about our plans.   

{If you've been following along, you know that my FHE ideas are two things: Easy and Short.} 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

To start, I laid out a fork, a knife and a spoon for the kids to see.   I told them we were going to be talking about SILVERWARE for a minute.  Here's what I said:

Did you ever compare yourselves to silverware? 
All silverware is made to serve, but the different pieces serve in different ways.  Let me show you how....

{Hold up fork} - Forks stab! "This is mine," they say. Bits of meat, carrots, pickles. "This, this and this are mine," says the fork. "Everything for me, me, me." And soon ever last morsel on the plate has been pinned by the spear of the selfish fork.

{Hold up knife} - "Too big" says the knife. Slice. Cut. Chop. Dice. Everything must change it's shape to satisfy the whim of the knife. Nothing is right as it is. Everything needs paring down, carving or separating.

{Hold up spoon} - Cereal, soup, peas - all the impossiblg foods can be handled comfortably from the smooth bowl of the spoon. Spoons say, "Here let me HELP you. We can manage together".

We all need to BE THE SPOON in life!!! What are some ways that we can help others? 

My mom always raised me with the the quote:
"Service never comes at a convenient time."

What do you think this means?
{We talked about it and my husband and I gave personal experiences of times we were asked to serve, when we really didn't want to, or didn't have the time...but our lives were blessed beyond measure because we chose to do so}.

Then I introduced them to our family the 'SERVICE SPOON'.

Our 'SERVICE SPOON' = a regular 'ole big spoon from our kitchen drawer with a ribbon tied around it to spot easily.

I gave it first to my middle son.

I challenged him in the upcoming week, to do an act of service for someone in our family.  It could be...doing their chore, making their bed, picking up their clothes...ANYTHING that would help them out.  Then...he had to leave the 'spoon' in that location where the service took place. If he wanted, he could leave a note with it so the person in fact, knew it was for them.  THEN....the person who the act of service was intended for....had to reciprocate and do an act of service for ANOTHER family member.  And it just snowballed from there.

We did it all week long and my kids LOVED it!

It was so fun seeing their faces light up when they discovered that the spoon had been left for them! And it was SO fun watching them choose different acts of service for each other.

Lastly - - we watched THIS short video clip and it ended the evening perfectly.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

See other FHE ideas HERE and HERE.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ya Never Know...

I've been having one of those days.

Alright, if I'm being honest {which I try to be on this blog} - I've been having one of those MONTHS!

Ever feel like that?

Like 'Wo, is me!? What else could go wrong?'

Some days are better than others, that is for sure.

Tonight I opened up my emails to find an email from a blog reader in Beaver, Utah who said this:

Hey Marci -

I was sitting at the Utah State Track Meet (at BYU and 5 rows down from me 
was a lady cutting out your cute handouts... I got a kick out of it because I recognized them.   Got my giggles on and thought - yuppers a YW leader never stops.

You guys!

My heart wanted to explode!!!

And then I was checking my blog comments and came across this gem from a blog reader in New Zealand:

DEAREST SISTER MARCI THANkYOU FOR YOUR TIME LOVE INSPIRATION AND n>r>g SUCH AMAZING THOUGHTs AND CREATIONS, bless YOU FOR HELPING ME TO BLESS OUR visiting and visited SISTERS HERE IN Hastings NEW zEALAND Flaxmere Stake of zion... lol people like you help to forward the work of the Lord and his kingdom. God bless you. Sister Kireka oxox 

Now please know...I'm not posting these to gloat by any means.
I'm posting these because - - - -


You just don't!

When I create my handouts and write on my blog - - I honestly still think in my brain that my mom is the ONLY one who is reading this and the ONLY one who will print out my handouts. LoL. She's always been my number #1 fan. 

To know that people are actually INSPIRED by the stuff that 'silly ole me' posts - - - really warms my heart.

So THANK YOU sweet blog readers. 

On a night like tonight - this was just the pick me up I needed.  

Oh  - and so was THIS video that we watched for Family Home Evening tonight.  LOVE!

{Fun new FHE idea coming atcha tomorrow!}

Sunday, May 22, 2016

This Weekend:

* Started out up at the school with Grant's 5th grade State Fair. Each student researched a state and then had to come up with a display and a treat/snack to share that hails from that particular state.

Grant got his first pick - UTAH!
And yes - Utah just so happens to be the JELL-O capital of the world, in case you didn't know :) 

The rest of the day/afternoon was spent at home.
Joe was sick.
Grant was sick.


* London spent the night at my parents house on Friday night and so on Saturday morning the boys and I went over for pancakes and to pick her up. I'm not sure why but - my mom's pancakes always taste way better than mine.

Oh, and London got her hula hoop on....

She's becoming freakishly good.

* Carson went off to a birthday party for the afternoon while the rest of us lounged around home. 
{Joe still sick. Grant a little better}. 

* I made a SUPER yummy new white chicken chile soup for dinner {sharing recipe soon!} and caught up on my 20/20 and Dateline. {Aren't I exciting?}

* Sunday morning was spent preparing 25 sack lunches for the homeless. We made up PB&J sandwiches to stick in the fridge..... 

..and the kids decorated each bag with messages and pictures. 

* Churchey-church afterwards and then we attended 2 different graduation parties. 

This cute girl was our very first babysitter {with her older sister}. We first met her when she was London's age now!!! And NOW...she's graduating!!! We are so proud of her.  My kids just adore her. 

Our second party was a western round-up and every last detail was awesome. The kids had a 'hay'-day - pun intended.

On tap for this week:

* Fingers crossed, Joe starts feeling better.

* The kiddos perform {all 3!} in their school talent show. 
They're not nervous one bit. I am. 

* Last day of school for the 2015-16 year!!!!!!!!
How is this even possible?
I feel like we just STARTED! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Summer Recipes to Try.

Today was one of those days where we {as a family} went non-stop.  It's that time of the year {end of the school year} where we pack about 2 million things into one day.  

Not having a schedule over the summertime is sounding pretty good right about now.

Today was my last and final Teacher Appreciation luncheon.
I'm 'retiring' for now - LoL.

I'll probably do it again in a few years but with my new calling at church + our family's decision to do weekly service with the homeless....a break was needed.

Anyhoozle - - - it's already hit 100 degrees here in AZ. It actually 'cooled down' to the 90s this week but regardless, summer is here to stay. Til October.

These recipes are on my 'Must Try' list as soon as the kiddos get out of school:

And doesn't this look like the most brilliant way EVER to cut a watermelon?

{Original link no longer working}.