Friday, November 22, 2013

Gina's Thanksgiving Missionary Package

Gina is now HALF-WAY through with her mission!

Time flies.  As this is the first, and only, Thanksgiving Gina will spend out in New York; Mom and I put together a "Thanksgiving-dinner-in-a-box" package for her.  We included:

  • Chicken flavored stuffing
  • Sweet Potatoes- in a box
  • Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes
  • Mint M&M's (Gina asked for those)
  • and 2 mini Sparkling Ciders

Contained in the sealed envelope is the following story . . .
(Found in the November 2013 Friend magazine) 

A Helping of Gratitude By Jennifer Maddy
 Liza stared out the window as the rain drizzled against the glass. She felt as glum as the dark clouds outside. She pictured the warm beach near her grandparents’ house and how she and her cousins always went swimming in the ocean on Thanksgiving—it was their tradition. She thought about her aunts’ pies lined up on the kitchen counter, ready to be eaten. She thought about her grandparents’ big smiles when her family pulled into the driveway.
 Liza squeezed her eyes shut tight, trying not to cry. This year there wouldn’t be any of those fun things. Dad had been out of work, and even though he had just started a new job, they couldn’t afford to make the drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s. Liza’s family would be spending Thanksgiving on their own.
 “Time for dinner, everyone!” Mom’s cheerful voice called out.
 Liza turned away from the window and trudged to the dining room. She got there as Dad set a bowl of mashed potatoes on the table. Her brothers, Mike and Justin, slid into their chairs.
 “Smells great!” Mike said.
 “Yeah, those potatoes look awesome!” Justin added.
 The delicious smells of Thanksgiving dinner didn’t tempt Liza’s nose. “I don’t see what they have to be so happy about,” she grumbled to herself.
 “Liza, are you all right?” Mom asked.
 Liza shrugged. “Sure.”
 “Even though we can’t be at Grandma and Grandpa’s this year, I’m grateful we can still be together as a family,” Dad said.
 Everyone smiled—everyone except Liza.
 Dad said a prayer, and they passed the food. Justin and Mike eagerly began eating the turkey, potatoes, and stuffing they had piled onto their plates, but Liza nibbled at her yams and thought about her cousins having fun without her.
 Dad cleared his throat. “I’ve been thinking we should start a new tradition, since it’s just us this year,” he said.
 I bet it’s not as good a tradition as swimming in the ocean, Liza thought.
 “Let’s go around the table and each say something we’re thankful for,” Dad continued.
 Liza couldn’t think of anything she was thankful for right then.
 “I’m thankful I was able to find a new job,” Dad said. “I’m glad I can provide for our family. How about you, Justin?”
 Justin stopped eating his mashed potatoes long enough to say, “I’m thankful for good food!”
 Everyone laughed, and even Liza managed a small smile.
 Mom said, “I’m grateful that we all have healthy bodies and that we are able to do so many things.”
 Liza started to feel a little less gloomy, but she still couldn’t think of anything to say.
 “I’m glad I can go to college next year,” Mike said.
 Now it was Liza’s turn. She squirmed in her chair. “I don’t know. I’ll think about it.”
 During dinner Liza thought about what everyone had said. She was glad that Dad had found a new job and didn’t look worried anymore. She was grateful for the good food Mom cooked for them. She was happy that her body could run and dance and swim. And even though she would miss Mike when he went to college, she was glad he could go. Liza’s heart felt lighter. She missed being with her grandparents and cousins, and she missed the traditions they had together. But maybe new traditions were good too.
 “I’m thankful for all of you,” Liza finally said.
 “We all have wonderful things to be thankful for,” Dad said.
 “Maybe we could go around the table again,” Justin said, spooning up some more mashed potatoes. “We can always have seconds on gratitude!”

We were sure to include this story because we have the same family tradition!  We too, go around the table and say things we are thankful for, and because Gina is serving the people of New York, she will miss our family tradition this year.  We each took the time to write thank you notes, special for Gina's Thanksgiving away from home.  We wrote why we are thankful for Gina, something random we are grateful for, and lastly, why we are glad to have the gospel in our life.

And there you have it- a Thanksgiving package fit for a missionary  Peace and blessings folks!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Green Chile Enchilada Recipe

1 - 14 oz can of Green Enchilada Sauce
2 - 7oz can of chopped green chiles
1 - 8oz package of cream cheese
1 medium onion
Shredded cheese
Tortillas (Package of ten 8" tortillas)

1 - 12.5oz can of chicken breast meat
1 - Boiled, shredded and salted chicken breast

9" X 9" casserole dish
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°

(Optional:  If you plan on using fresh chicken instead of canned chicken; start by boiling the chicken until it is cooked completely, shred it, sprinkle a dash of salt over it and set aside.)

  1. Chop the onion into 1/2 inch square pieces and saute in butter on medium heat til translucent.
  2. Still on medium heat- add the package of cream cheese, stirring occasionally until melted.
  3. Combine the chopped green chiles and shredded chicken to the melted cream cheese.  mix thoroughly and heat all the way through.
  4. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  5. Spray the bottom and sides of the 9" X 9" pan and set on your left.  Gather the tortillas and place them in the middle.  The cheese above the tortillas.  Now place your saute pan on the right and BAM!- you are ready to roll.

  1. Sprinkle the desired amount of cheese horizontally down the middle of one tortilla, scoop some of the cream cheese yumminess and spread it evenly over the cheese.  Now roll up the tortilla and place it in the greased pan.

  1. Sprinkle, spread, roll and repeat until the cream cheese awesome-ness is gone or the 9" X 9" pan is full- which ever comes first.
  2. Once the pan is full pour the whole can of Green Chile sauce over the top.  Use a fork to ensure some sauce makes it's way down all four sides.
  3. Lastly, sprinkle cheese over the top, and throw it in the oven for baby and me!!
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes

(Serve with Spanish rice, refried beans, tortilla chips, lettuce, salsa and a dollop of sour cream.)

*WARNING: Be prepared to fall in love with these enchiladas!*
You will probably never be satisfied with another enchilada in your life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

"My Daddy" drawn by Samuel

October 4, 2013

See this HUGE, circular head with large, wide-spaced eyes . . . a handsome round nose and an off-centered, crooked mouth?  Topped by a squiggly patch of thinning hair on a broad, empty forehead and finished with two minuscule, and leg-less, feet spouting out the chin?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

I hate, hate, hate Halloween . . . but I love, love, LOVE dress ups.  I was not going to make the kids costumes this year- I decided extremely last minute that I would try and throw something together.

I began with Lily's gown, which started out looking like this Elizabeth Swann gown, in my head . . .

Then I decided that looked a little too grown up for my little baby, so I raised the waist line and finished with this little beauty. . .

For Samuel I thought, "Who better to pair with Elizabeth Swann than William Turner himself!", and when I saw this particular picture of Will . . . I was sold.

Honestly, it was the cape that did it, because I knew that Samuel would fall in love with a cape, and I was right.  (He insisted he was a Superman/pirate because Superman has a red cape too.)  And here is our handsome William Turner now . . .

Oh, Will and Elizabeth, you truly were meant to be together!

Look here, the suave and dashing William has found a lovely yellow blossom . . .

Oh!  What a romantic!  He has removed the thorns and is offering it to the graceful and elegant Elizabeth . . .

What a beauty, what a gem, what a lady!  She who posses such rare manners- so delicate and exquisitely polished.  See how daintily and gently she handles the fair bloom . . . 

Oh!  Elizabeth?!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ultrasound tomorrow!!

Do you see that poll?  Over there to the right?  ---------------------------------->

I need YOU to enter what you think.  Is baby Smith #3 a boy?  Or a girl?

Check back on Friday for the results!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Elbow Prayer

Today, during the quietest portion of Sacrament meeting- during the blessing and passing of the sacrament- Samuel accidentally hit the tip of his elbow on the pew.  AJ and I were both prepared to pounce and dash into the foyer, just in case he started screaming out of control.  Instead he started to pray . . .

"Heavenly Father.  You need to help my elbow feel good.  It just needs to feel good.  I just need to feel good. (Repeat the previous three sentences about 5 times each. Then . . .)  Jesus, help my elbow feel better.  Amen."

AJ and I were giggling with pride at our sweet little boy.  I am so glad he knows he can take ANY problem to God.  Even a hurt elbow.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The rains came down, and the floods came up. . .

And the kids played in the mud- hip hooray!


My mother shared this song with me, and it really touched my soul.  It is a beautiful reminder that our hardest trials in life can also be our greatest moments.  One of the lines that touched me most was, "What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near."  I am indeed grateful for the thousand sleepless nights I have experienced with my children because they have opened the opportunity for me to feel my Saviors arms around me.  Those nights were mercies in disguise.

2 Nephi 2:2  "... thou knowest the greatness of God;
and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain."

"What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life,
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy."  -Laura Story

Don't think I am always immediately thankful though. ;)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Silly facts about me . . .

Did you know?
  • I suffer from severe phone phobia, the thought of calling someone gives me anxiety.
  • One of my greatest wishes is to be a surrogate mother for someone I love, friend or family.
  • I have really big feet; which my Dad lovingly nicknamed "water skis"
  • I sleep with 3 pillows- always.  One under my head, one in between my legs and one to cuddle.
  • I hate spaghetti . . . and Halloween.
  • I never fold socks, like, ever.
  • I despise washing silverware.
  • I believe in the 30 second rule, within reason.
  • I dip peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in milk, and add milk to applesauce.
  • One of my ultimate desires is to have twins, one boy and one girl.
  • I don't really enjoy cutting men's hair.
  • My drink of preference is water, and I cannot stand soda.
  • I love, love, love the Disney Classic movies- Beauty and the Beast is the best.
  • I have been driving the same car since high school.  (Her name is Betsy and she is 11,000 miles from 200k.)
  • I am starting to wonder if Arizona and I are really meant to be together.
  • One of my absolute favorite things are wedding pictures.  I just adore them.
  • I have never broken a bone.
  • The thing that frightened me most about marriage was cooking for my husband.
  • I don't like to wear shorts and I can't stand to wear long sleeves.
  • I would rather be sick all day than throw up once.
  • My legs are so sensitive, I can only shave twice a month, tis true.  Pity, isn't it.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

To my sweetest Samuel

August 31, 2013

Today is a special day.  This particular day has already come and gone twice since the day you were born, and here it is again for the third time- your birthday.  You have been with us for three years, or you could say 1095 days or 65,700 hours or even 3,942,000 minutes.  However long it's been, whether measured in days or hours, it hasn't been long enough.  We still have many more days and years ahead of us.

I remember when I first felt your small movements inside my womb—it was a magical moment.  It was a surreal moment.  I couldn't have been more excited or more nervous.

was going to have a baby. . . I was going to have you.

I remember how completely positive I was that you were going to be a little girl.  Imagine my surprise when Uncle Dave announced you were actually a little boy!  I was truly shocked, and I had no idea what to expect.  I felt inadequate- I know nothing about little boys.

When you were born you were so tiny!  And yet so big, at the same time-- over nine pounds of pure chunky adorableness.

It was so good to finally hold you in our arms.

Little did I know then the adventure you were soon to bring into my life.  I am not going to lie, we had a few long hard nights, but even more days full of delight and laughter.  Just you and me.  Although, sometimes we let Daddy in on our fun.

How quickly you have grown from newborn to toddler!  You can talk, walk, run.  You have favorites, for goodness sake.  You have so many opinions and even more questions.  I love it!  Just tonight, Daddy and I were asking you questions about yourself.  I asked you, if you could have any pet, what would you choose.  Your first answer was a fish, which quickly changed to a pig, til finally you settled on a doggie.  (But the pig was a close second.)  Then Daddy asked you what your favorite color was.  This question confused you slightly at first because there are "colors" and then there is "coloring"- two definitions of one word.  Daddy cleared it up by saying his favorite color was green and within seconds you piped up. . . your favorite color is ORANGE!  Orange, orange, orange.  My second question for you was, "When you get big like Daddy, what do you want to do?"  Your immediate response was, "I want to play with Daddy."  Not exactly what I was looking for but that is okay.  You have plenty of time.  Stay that way for a while longer.  Mommy still needs you to be her baby.

You fill my heart with joy, Samuel.  I hope you always know your Mommy loves you to the farthest star and back again.  I am so proud to call you my son.

Lots of love- always and forever,


Friday, August 23, 2013

Beautifully, Messy Motherhood

Let's be honest, no one likes to talk about hard things- especially mothers concerning motherhood.  It is simply easier to talk about the things we enjoy, and hide the difficulties as far from us, or our friends, as possible.  But motherhood, real motherhood, is messy, and wonderful, at the same time.  I had one of those days this week, I can really only describe it as “messy”; I questioned if I was cut out for motherhood.  I curled up into a ball on my toddler’s bed, and hummed hymns to myself, while my children streaked by in their birthday suits, throwing toys, screaming at the top of their lungs.  (True story.)  Does that sound familiar, ladies?

I felt like a failure that day.  My exhaustion, housework, dinner . . . my children, were all pulling me different directions. I am sure I am not the only one who feels ashamed, to admit it out loud, but being a mother is really hard sometimes.

Sometimes, I speak harsh words.
Sometimes, I shout.
And other times I even . . . Y-E-double hockey sticks.
Monday, I fed my children Oreos for lunch.
Thursday, I forgot dinner entirely.
And Friday I fed Lily food that had fallen to the floor.
I might have even drove from here to Walmart without noticing Samuel wasn't strapped into his car seat, for the zillienth time.

Motherhood is really hard.  At times I wonder if I am ever going to get it right.  Or am I doomed to fall short of being a “prefect mother”?

But what is "right", and what is "failure" in motherhood?
"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million to be a good one." -Jill Churchill

Motherhood is every woman's own journey.  So cheers to figuring it out, and enjoying the beauty of motherhood, ladies!

"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

Monday, August 19, 2013

Samuel says the darnedest things . . . (continued)

"Excuse me?  You need to come in my room.  I have toys."  Said to our quests, on multiple occasions. 7/5/13.

"You are Mommy.  This is Lily.  I am ... Alligator."  After Samuel's first dentist appointment, where the assistant told him to, "open his mouth like an alligator," Samuel has dubbed himself the mighty Alligator!  Like, that is what he wants me to call him sometimes, "Alligator."  7/10/13

"I wanna be married." Random statement said on our way to church.  7/28/13

Samuel: "Hey, hey, Daddy!  You wanna see my diaper?!  Daddy, you wanna see my diaper?"
Daddy: "Samuel, why would I want to see your diaper??"
Samuel: "Cause, cause ... it's about trucks!"
Daddy: "Oh, okay, lets see it."
Samuel: (zips down PJs) "SEE!"  Trucks on Pull- ups are just that awesome. 8/4/13

"She's poopy.  She's poopy!  Hey everybody!  SHE'S POOPY!!"  During scripture study at Grandma and Grandpa's house about Lily's poopy diaper.  8/15/13

Samuel: "How you get this rock?  How."
Uncle Brent: "That's a pretty awesome rock, huh?"
Samuel: "No.  It needs go outside."
Uncle Brent: "Why does it need to go outside?"
Samuel: "Cause it's a rock.  I take it outside."  There was a rock casually sitting on Uncle Brent's leg, and the rock police, Samuel, came in for the questioning.  8/18/13

If you happened to miss it, here is the first Samuel says the darnedest things. . .

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Public again!!

I have created two separate versions of Little Mormon Mommy, one for the public and one for all my peeps.

I just re-sent invitations for the new private version of my blog, to all the email addresses I received previously.  If there is anyone who would like an invite and hasn't received one please feel free to ask. :D  I don't want to exclude anyone.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Photo Booth

Sometimes AJ and I go on really fun dates.  Like Saturday when we crashed a wedding and took advantage of their little photo booth.
(I just wish their cake had been better.)

Ok.  Ok.  Ok.  So we didn't actually "crash" the wedding.  The bride was one of my Mom's young women, like, 16 years ago, and AJ happened to know the groom.  So we were semi-not-really-invited.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Impact Photography Contest

Lately there has been a lot of this. . .

. . . And this . . .

. . . Filling up my Facebook.

Because I am determined to win a FREE family photo session for my parents.

This is the family picture currently hung on their wall . . .

Notice that Samuel is, like, FOUR months old.

I think it is fair to say my parents could really use some updated pictures.  You know, pictures that actually have Lily and my new brother-in-law, Steve, in them.  That would be good.  Our family has changed a lot since December 2010.

BUT FRIENDS!!  You need to enter the contest too.

Go to Impact Photography's blog and enter to win a FREE session (of your choice, excluding weddings) plus a 20" by 30" print of your favorite photo to hang on your wall.

It is so easy and you don't want to miss this!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Public to Private...

As all of you know, my blog is no longer public.  Which I am really disappointed about, but a random man made three strange comments on pictures of my little boy in less than two hours.  (All of my peeps who love me don't even do that.)  So Little Mormon Mommy went private for the safety of my family.

But I wanted all of you to see the comments "Lazar Mihai" made about Samuel and a tell me what you think.  Were they innocent comments or creepy comments?  Did I act rashly when I made my blog private over a couple short comments?

The first comment he made was on my "Speaking of Toilets ..." blog post.  I was a little wary of his comment because really ... the pictures are HORRIBLE, poor quality bad lighting.  Defiantly not "beautiful.  Samuel completely adorable though.

His second comment was on "Lily's Cardiologist Appointment".  And I certainly noticed that he commented on two posts were my children weren't fully dressed, which really bothered me.

This was the last comment I allowed him to make before I made my blog private.  On "A man in overalls".  Elegant.  Really?  Why are you comment on yet another post were my son's chest is visible? 

Yet ... at the same time, I think my pictures are beautiful despite their lack of quality because they are pictures of my children.  I also like the stickers because I remember Samuel's excited reaction to them.  And I love the pictures of Samuel in his overalls because he was so proud he put them on all by him self.

I guess, I am just saddened that comments which would have made me happy from friends, terrify me from a stranger.
What has our world come to?
Am I having too little faith in the goodness of others?

P.S.  Keep your eyes open for comments from this guy because I have a lot of your blogs links on my blog.  (Because I just love to read all your blogs.)  I pray you don't have the same thing happen with any of your kids.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Independence Day 2013

For the Fourth of July, we went to Roosevelt Lake with Grandma and Grandpa!  (Me, being the airhead that I am, forgot to take pictures, until we were pulling out.)  We were all sun burnt, and too exhausted for fireworks by the end of the day.

Lily fell asleep the moment we put her in her car seat.

 Samuel, on the other hand, he put up a real fight.

Before he finally succumbed to the beckoning of Dreamland.

And check out these mile markers, those are for you Manj!

Can you see the "Jesus Saves" sign in the background?  Ba ha ha!!  Love it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Arizona Renaissance Festival

Once upon a time, we went to the Renaissance Festival with some friends and their kids.

We watched Adam 'Crack' Winrich crack whips.  He holds 9 different Guinness records for whip cracking- one of them being "The Longest Whip Ever Cracked", it was 216 feet long, excluding the handle.  He had an amazing performance!  (You need to check him out at your nearest Renaissance Festival.)

Photo by Brian Clark.  Found on Adam 'Crack' Winrich's Facebook page.
Found on Adam 'Crack' Winrich's Facebook page

And we watched jousting!  This was our gypsy, Marja.  She.  Was.  HILARIOUS!!
I want to go again next year just so I can hear the funny things she says.

Both images of Marja were found on the Arizona Renaissance Festival's Facebook page.

And this was our knight, Sir Maximilian.  Apparently he was the "bad" guy, but whatever.

Arizona Renaissance Festival's Facebook page.

Arizona Renaissance Festival's Facebook page

Arizona Renaissance Festival's Facebook page.

Arizona Renaissance Festival's Facebook Page

 And we also met the Woodland Fairy. . .

Arizona Renaissance Festival's Facebook page.

(That was the most awesome-est part of the WHOLE thing.)

I have no idea why I didn't post this like 2 months ago.
Don't judge!