Friday, November 18, 2022

Courage Rising

Last June, Christian and I, along with
fellow burn survivors, a beloved burn surgeon, and some hospital
staff at the Arizona Burn Center climbed the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro
in Africa.  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life
 physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
A film trailer was just released, and the 
 full-length documentary will come out Spring of 2023.
It's going to be so amazing, SO amazing!
I am so excited, so honored, so humbled, and so grateful!
(Oh, my heart!)

Monday, October 10, 2022

First and Last Homecoming 2022

 Ollie and Gigs attended Homecoming last weekend
(the kids say "HoCo" these days).
Both boys in different groups at different times 
stopped by Stillestead before the festivities for mocktails, 
and so I could take photos of them with their dates,
(Gigs calls me BEV).

Nicholas and his date, an adorable exchange student from France
with the best accent (Better Off Dead, anyone?)
both enjoyed their FIRST dates together.
Ollie and his date stopped by for a drink too.
They didn't stay long, and sadly I only got one good
 photo of the cute couple.
This is Ollie's LAST high school dance since he'll be
graduating in January.
Where does the time go?  
Someone tell me WHERE!!

Saturday, October 08, 2022

I'm going to miss you so much!

 Today I came home from running a few Saturday errands
to Oliver riding his dirt bike in the fields at Stillestead.
Boy, he's cute!
When I saw him, he stopped and rode up to me with
Angus trailing behind and said,
"Oh man, I'm going to miss this bike."
He's selling it to go on his mission in a few months.
My heart melted.
Is SUCH a good boy, and I am going to miss him so so 

Friday, October 07, 2022

The Last Fun Run in The Books 2022

Today I watched Lottie run her guts out at her last fun run
of her elementary career.
This is her 4th run doing this fantastic tradition;
1st grade, 2nd grade, Covid, 4th grade, and now 5th grade,
and every year gets better and better.
Good job, Lod!  So proud of you, girl!
(I still can't believe you'll be in middle school next year!!!).

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Sweet 16 Gigs!

 Happy birthday to my SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD
Last night Christian hung up the "16" balloons in the kitchen
 just like we always do for our Nies on the eve of their birthdays.
For the past few birthdays, we've reenacted a photo together, and
 this year I picked the picture of us on his blessing day in 
Mesa, Arizona, when he was three months old.
He was such a chubby little tike, 
and I was a young 25-year-old mom.  
He spent the day at the state fair
 showing the prized turkey he raised from a little poult.
What a fun way to spend a 16th birthday!
(I'm kind of kidding.  He was NOT happy about it,
but at least he got checked out of school!).
He got 7th place, a ribbon, 
and even sold the poult for money after!
Way to go, Gigs!  My little (tall) FFA champion!
For dinner, we went to get sandwiches (his request),
then came home to a store-bought ice cream cake 
because that's what he wanted.
Sadly to report, it was disgusting.
But the edible confetti candles were fantastic!
Happy birthday to my darling boy, Gigs!
I love you so much!

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Jack on my porch

I'm so proud of my giant tacky light-up Jack-O-Lanterns on my front porch!  
They make me so happy!  Of course, they don't replace the real thing
 (we carve our pumpkins a few nights before the big night),
 they are bright and happy the whole month, both day and night.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022


 When we moved into Stillestead, the fireplace was one 
of the first things I wanted to change and upgrade.
 I painted the yellow stucco a bright white, making
 it look simple, modern, and clean.  
Christian got to work right away designing a new 
fireplace cover to match its unique look.  
Tonight, he got his welder out on the front lawn
 and made his fantastic fireplace cover creation
adding earth magnets on the sides for easy access.
I love that guy!

The boys are going to cut up a cedar tree that fell down 
on the property from hurricane Julia.
It's going to smell so lovely, and even better, 
it's going to make such good popping noises when it burns.

FYI: I love Christian.

Monday, October 03, 2022

Spring Bulbs

 I've been in the garden preparing for the Spring flora, 
the upcoming winter, and the long garden sleep ahead.
I planted over 250 daffodil bulbs in my front yard
 in pinks, whites, yellows, and oranges.
Conveniently the nursery is across the street from the boy's high school,
so I texted them and asked them to pick up 60 more bulbs
to finish the job.  Of course, they took eight years to respond,
but they agreed IF I would buy them a treat at the gas station.
When I say "treat," you have to understand a treat to them is like three things each.
I was prepared to tack on $20 bucks to the request.
They are candy fanatics!
They totally get that from Christian.

Just kidding.  They TOTALLY get it from me.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

October Conefrence 2022

October conference weekend is one of our favorites.
Stillestead was so cozy and comfortable especially since hurricane Julia was 
blazing outside. The trees around the house were rocking back and forth
and blowing like crazy I was concerned one would fall on the house.
While many trees fell down around the house, one never fell onto the house.
And it rained all day.
Later in the evening on Saturday, I made cinnamon rolls alongside Lottie
who made mini cinnamon rolls in her doll kitchen.
They were most delicious and terribly addictive.
About three minutes after I pulled them from the oven, the power went out
and stayed off for three days. 
Lucky for us, our generator kicked on!
I lit candles, and we played games 
(a new one, this one!  We LOVE Icabod!)

Favorite quotes from conference:
"Through a rigorous effort to look to and for Jesus Christ in my
 every thought and deed, my eyes were enlightened, and my 
understanding quickened to recognize that Jesus Christ
 was calling for me to "come unto" Him.

"His grace is sufficient for me. His grace is sufficient for you. 
His grace is sufficient for all who "labour and are heavy laden.""

"To live in such a way that you give beauty for the ashes 
of your life is an act of faith that follows the Savior."

"...the doctrine of belonging comes down to this—each one of us can affirm:
 Jesus Christ died for me; He thought me worthy of His blood. 
He loves me and can make all the difference in my life. As I repent, 
His grace will transform me. I am one with Him in the gospel covenant;
 I belong in His Church and kingdom; and I belong in
 His cause to bring redemption to all of God's children."

"To be a follower of Jesus Christ, one must sometimes
 carry a burden and go where sacrifice is required and suffering is inevitable."
"Each of us should evaluate our temporal and spiritual 
priorities sincerely and prayerfully to identify the things 
in our lives that may impede the bounteous blessings that 
Heavenly Father and the Savior are willing to bestow upon us. 
And surely the Holy Ghost will help us see ourselves as we are."

No matter how difficult or confusing the challenges may be, 
you can always remember that the answer is simple: it is always Jesus.

When I stumble, I will keep getting up, relying on the grace
 and enabling power of Jesus Christ. I will stay in my covenant 
with Him and work through my questions by study of God's word, 
by faith, and with the help of the Holy Ghost, whose guidance I trust. 
I will seek His Spirit every day by doing the small and simple things.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Oops! I Did It Again...

Today, I bought several
 decorative pumpkins for my front porch at the store.
I mean, it IS OCTOBER 1ST and officially legal.
People can complain, but secretly I know they love it!

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