Memorial Day adventures

We had a wonderful Memorial Day. We didn’t make it to the Golden Gate National Cemetery like we usually do. Brandon went on Saturday and decorated the graves with flags with the Boy Scouts.


So we held a cousins’ piano recital at the Westerlind’s house. It is amazing to see these kids progress and the work and time of practice and lessons.


Then after the piano recital we had a book club with the cousins and adults. We read this book by Lois Lowry. Maren chose this book and resonated with the strong 10 year old girl who was the main character.

IMG_1959IMG_1960 IMG_1961 IMG_1964

We were invited to attend a barbecue for incoming BYU freshman from our stake. What a great group of kids!



The house had a pool. We didn’t bring swimming suits, but that didn’t stop Robin, Maren and Camille from having a grand old time.

IMG_1966IMG_1972 IMG_1980 IMG_1979 IMG_1978 IMG_1975 IMG_1974 IMG_1973


Shining stars

We had the chance to have an overview of Maren’s 4th grade year today. She was very confident as she shared her love of all the California history projects. She loved the gold rush study and mission report. Here she is in her element.

IMG_1929 IMG_1930 IMG_1931 IMG_1932 IMG_1933IMG_1936 IMG_1937 IMG_1938

Then we had the chance to go hear Camille’s 6th grade choir and the other choirs in the middle school sing. I have to say the quality of the singing was fantastic. It was some pop music and group and solo pieces. It was a fun evening.




Mother’s Day 2013

Every year that passes deepens my love for my children. It was a simple and sweet mother’s day. The greatest gift was having Erik home more, fewer meetings at church. He brought me breakfast in bed. We both had singing and piano assignments that took us to church early. He sang in a beautiful barbershop quartet version of Love at Home in Relief Society. I accompanied the young women singing He Sent His Son in sacrament meeting with a beautiful flute and violin accompaniment.

IMG_1854After church we took a few photos in the back yard.

DSC_5629 DSC_5652 DSC_5646 DSC_5640 DSC_5638 DSC_5636 DSC_5632

Then we headed over to Jammie and Grandpa’s house for dinner and sharing of how our mothers have influenced us. I found these fun photos of my mom and Erik’s mom from our wedding reception in Salt Lake after we were married.


I enjoyed seeing this artichoke, newly picked. I also loved Robin and her cousins frolicking in the backyard.

IMG_1864IMG_1865IMG_1866I felt the love of my husband and my kids. I enjoyed the unity and fun of this relaxing Mother’s Day.


Book Fair and School visits

We have been finding some new books at the book fair. It has been fun for everyone, even Brandon, to find some new books. Robin has been my sidekick most of the week when school is out. And Maren has found some new books that she has been reading.


We went over tonight to the middle school for Camille’s portfolio night. We saw her work in science, math, English, and social studies. They have done lots of work this year.

I loved this sign (created by Camille) that I saw in the window of her social studies class. Good words to live by.


Pet sitting

Many people travel during spring break. We didn’t this year, and we have had the chance to watch over two dogs, two cats, and a rabbit. It has been a great experience of taking responsibility for Camille especially. She has had to go three times a day to play with a couple of dogs, feed them, make sure they have water, and go on walks at least once a day. She has usually had eager companions go with her to help out. This is good preparation for getting a dog ourselves. Cats are definitely easier to care for. They don’t require the personal attention, but they are fun also. We will be feeding a rabbit next. It has been a great experience to have animals to watch over, and it feels good to help people out while they are out of town. Since we don’t have any animals right now, it gives the kids some animal time. Just another benefit of saving money for our Europe trip.

4 out of 7 drink green

So I am still recovering from feeling sick the other day, and I felt like having a green smoothie. So I got some fresh strawberries, mint, parsley, spinach, celery, squeezed some orange juice, and added frozen mango and whipped one up. The strawberry actually makes the green less bright and instead more brown. It is not as pretty, but the taste was fabulous. Camille and Nicole, as well as Erik and me, really like drinking green smoothies. Maybe this is catching on and can spread to the whole family. Time will tell.



Stake Musical

In honor of Dr. Seuss and the youth theme of the year, the teenagers in our stake put on a fun musical. The narrators were characters from Dr. Seuss’ books, the Cat in the Hat, Sam-I-Am, Thing 1, 2, 3, fish, Horton, and more. It was entitled Oh, the Places you will Stand, stand in holy places. I love how these youth stand for honesty, integrity, modesty, righteousness. I learn from them each day.IMG_1471Camille and MadelineIMG_1472 Having funIMG_1473Cute girlsIMG_1474The Three MusketeersIMG_1475Sinclaire, Miko and NicoleIMG_1476CousinsIMG_1477More cousinsIMG_1478Kyra and Robin, more cousinsIMG_1481Jeslyn and meIMG_1447 Sinclaire, Lena and Nicole narratingIMG_1451 Hannah and AubreyIMG_1459Brandon waiting to go on stage for StompIMG_1463 StompIMG_1466 CamilleIMG_1467Brandon and all the boysIMG_1482Time for fun afterwards

A show is a great way to bond and unite in a different way than just at school or church. I am glad they had the time to Stand together.




Stand in Holy Places

The theme of New Beginnings last night was “Stand Ye in Holy Places”. When I am with these young women who are striving for excellence in their lives, I feel like I am on holy ground. Nicole conducted the meeting. Here she is with Sinclaire — they have known each other their whole lives. They are beautiful in all ways. They shared their leadership and creativity tonight with all the girls.

IMG_1328They are so grown up and getting ready to spread their wings. I love them for their goodness and desire to shine brightly.

The girls each brought things to spotlight their interests. Here is Nicole and Camille’s section, highlighting a love of photography (Nicole) and creating movies (Camille).


Camille is one of the newest girls in the Young Women program. I had the chance to talk about things I love about her. I talked about how much love she brought into our lives when she was born. I mentioned her independent nature and her creativity, creating worlds of fun with her neighborhood friends and siblings. I shared how she loves books and is nurturing. She is a joy and has a wonderful sense of humor, and it comes out in this picture with some of her buddies.

IMG_1329Here is a more traditional photo.

IMG_1330And the playful side.

IMG_1331I love all these girls.

I came home to Brandon, who had made some sugar cookies with all the young men. What a sweet plate of cookies for me.

IMG_1332We gobbled those down.

I love to see my children surrounded by good things, good friends and leaders, and to see their hearts full of love. That is indeed the definition of holy.







Friendship Bracelets

I am not naturally drawn to crafts. But yesterday, Robin came and found me when I was alone and feeling kind of down. She wanted help getting started on a friendship bracelet. It took a bit of studying the instructions and even watching a demonstration video to understand the mechanics of putting the bracelets together. But ever since that first bracelet, we have all been spending time working with our hands and making friendship bracelets.

This is all that is needed, some string, scissors, and the frame.


Here is the wheel with the embroidery floss to get started.


The threads go across the wheel, and you weave them back and forth in a pattern.


The bracelet is starting to form.


Robin was so excited about it, she brought her buddy from next door over to teach her how to make one.


Robin is becoming a good teacher.


Camille made this beautiful one while she was home sick today.


Maren joined in the fun last night and made this one with a diamond pattern and wore it on her ankle.


It was therapeutic to work with my hands yesterday and help Robin get started. It also helped me to have a focus and project to take my mind off my worries. Now the bracelets are becoming a project to work on with sisters and friends — learning new skills and creating something beautiful. Creating with my hands can help heal a hurting heart.