Saturday, February 28, 2009

Draper Temple openhouse

We went to the Draper Temple openhouse the other night.

The temple is beautiful! I loved being able to take my kids to the temple, and letting them experience a little bit of the peace and calm you feel inside the temple.

And they really loved the cookies at the end!

Friday, February 27, 2009


What do you all think of the Snuggie?

To me it looks like something that belongs on a Jedi Knight!

Or a monk!

The Invisible Mother

I just saw this and loved it, I hope you like it too!

Invisible Mother

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?'

I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England.

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.

It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave theirwhole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.'

And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction.

But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder.

As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home.

And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM! Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know. The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you. The Invisible Mother.

It's the things we achieve through God that gives us our joys in life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Much better!

Let me preface this post by saying that my kids' rooms did not always look like this. They have acumulated a lot of junk treasures over the years, and it was high time to purge and organize.

This is way past the point where I keep telling them to clean their rooms, and they keep ignoring me. Hopefully now it will be a bit easier to keep them clean!

Ethan's room before last Saturday:

And after:

Julia's room before last Saturday:

And after:

Ahhhh, much better! More pictures to come, we've been re-organizing the basement too!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day... a bit late!

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day, we did!

Our Valentine's celebration started with Julia's class party. I was in charge of the party and Derek came with me to help. We did 3 centers again, and rotated.

Our first three centers were games:

Fishing for hearts

Valentine beanbag toss

Don't Eat Cupid (like the game Don't Eat Pete--we used popcorn instead of candy)

Julia fishing for hearts

The beanbag toss

These are the beanbags they used, I made them from felt-- so easy!

We then did 3 stations for crafts/treat and rotated:

Valentine bookmarks

A little mouse valentine craft

Decorating sugar cookies

Making Valentine bookmarks

Making the Valentine mouse craft

Decorating cookies

I was really worried about planning this party, but everything went smoothly and the kids had fun.

(We didn't get any pictures of Ethan, but we really do love him too. :) We just weren't there for his party.)

On Saturday we had lunch at Ikea and bought the Expedit shelves to go in the kids' rooms. The rest of the day was spent putting the shelves together and organizing. I'll post some before and after pictures soon.

Something new is coming to Draper!

Did you all hear?

In-N-Out is coming to Draper!

It says so right here.

We can't wait!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Family Game Night and some Valentine cookies

On Mondays for Family Home Evening we frequently have a game night. The kids especially love playing Sorry and Monopoly.

Ethan decided to show us his tonsils in this picture, he's nice like that...
Julia was our winner, she seems to win a lot on these game nights.
Poor Ethan seems to have bad luck during Family Game Night.

The kids weren't sure they wanted to make these Valentine cookies, but I wanted to do something relating to Valentine's Day since it is this week...

We made Candy Cane cookies, but shaped them into hearts instead.

Julia's sweet little hands helping me roll them out

Ready for the oven

And ready to eat!

The pool in February?

Last week we went to the Lehi Aquatic Center with Devin and Emily (and Josh, Claire, and Andrew). The kids were out of school and we thought it would be a perfect day to spend some time with cousins!

The kids were so excited!

I'd never been there before and I was really impressed by the size of the pool, and all of the amenities too.

You can barely see Julia, Claire, and Ethan

Julia and Claire

Julia and Ethan

Ethan and Josh enjoyed going down this water slide a few dozen times. Luckily it doesn't open outside even though the tube is outside in the freezing cold.
We are going to really miss having cousins in town!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mindy Gledhill Concert

The Silent Auction looked like it was a huge success!

Derek and I don't make it to very many concerts these days, so going to see Mindy Gledhill and the Thrillionaires was a special treat for us!

This sweet love song was one of my favorites of the night.

Claire and Jane were so cute up there singing with Mindy!

Julia and I love this song! (Golden Slumbers)

It was a wonderful night, and I hope it helped to raise some money for the Nielsons as well!

Far World

Last week Ethan came home with a flier from school-- not an uncommon experience. This time it was a flier about a new book called Far World by J. Scott Savage. The author was going to be at Deseret Book that night and the kids could get a free poster, and the book was also half off. I hadn't heard anything about the book but Ethan's teacher had told him he would like it, and he was determined to go. I finally gave in and we drove to the mall to see the author.

Ethan started reading it the next day.

He told me he liked it more than Harry Potter- HUGE praise from this boy!

He finished the book in 3 days and can't wait for the next one to come out. Unfortunately the next book doesn't come out until September. My poor little bookworm just can't wait!

Make your own font!

Recently on DesignMom I saw a website where you can make your own font-- from your own handwriting! I have been meaning to try it for weeks now and I finally did it.

It is so fun seeing my handwriting when I type! If only I could figure out how to use it in blogger!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Genius Bar

It's been so long since I've posted, and I do have lots to post about-- I just need to hurry up and download everything from my camera. I'll do a real post sometime soon, but in the meantime...

have you all seen the Genius bar in Itunes?

I love it!

You enter a song you like and it gives you a playlist of other songs that are similar. Genuis? It just might be!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cheesecake Kisses?

Look what I found the other day...

They are so yummy!