Monday, January 16, 2017


 Since today was MLK day, Autumn didn't have school. I took her over to Mom & Dad's since they said they could watch her for me while I was at work. I texted Mom around lunchtime to see how Autumn was doing. She sent me this picture back. LOL! Autumn had zonked out on the couch and was taking a much needed nap.

They took her out for her birthday lunch, and she chose to go to Cheddars. She LOVES their honey butter croissants. After that they went over to JC Penny's to see if they could find her any outfits. She's too tall for the kid's section now, so we'll have to look for clothes in the women's section now.

Mom & Dad left in the late afternoon to go see a movie w/ some friends. So, Autumn stayed w/ Savi. When I got over to Mom & Dad's house I had some leftovers from yesterday, and then when Mom & Dad got home from the movie we had FHE. We have been talking about the Articles of Faith to help Savi & Autumn learn them.

I am SO THANKFUL for people like MLK who were incredibly courageous and chose to do the right thing, even though it was the hard thing. It's a good reminder on the day we celebrate all that he did to remember to always "choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong." ~Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Feelin' Fierce & Fabulous

 I was feeling FIERCE & FABULOUS in my outfit today, so I had Autumn snap a pic for me before I left for meetings. I had the spiritual thought in ward council & I talked about how LOVE needs to be our motive. I brought some little heart-shaped candy & chocolate covered pretzels to go along w/ the spiritual thought. Sacrament was excellent (Sis. L spoke) & Sunday School was wonderful (Bro. L taught).

After church we went over to Mom & Dad's house for dinner and to watch the Cowboys game. I'm SO SAD they lost in overtime. Autumn & I had to leave right before overtime to make it to Bishop's house for BYD at 7:00. We talked about the new youth theme for the year. It was a spiritual uplifting Sunday, but I'm not ready to go back to work tomorrow already!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Autumn's Early Birthday Party

 Last week Autumn told me she wanted to have a birthday party. I wasn't planning on one this year, but I texted the Mom's of a few of her friends and asked if they could come to a small party this Saturday. They were available, so I threw something together quick. Everyone got one of these chef hats from the $1 store, and I thought they looked SO CUTE!

 Then I had them split into 2 groups so they had room to work and they each made a batch of Never Fail Sugar Cookies. I love this recipe, b/c you don't have to wait and refrigerate the dough.

 As you can see, things got a little messy but they were having a blast! After we baked the cookies we went to lunch at Costco. What was I thinking to go there on a Saturday afternoon??? We got a HUGE pizza and each girl also got a drink and a churro. We almost got hit by another car as we were leaving but they missed us by an inch!!!

 We went to the $1 Store, and each girl got to pick out 2 items to take home as their "lovely parting gift." They all got candy/treats as if they hadn't had enough sugar already w/ the sugar cookies and churros. LOL!

 We came home and they started decorating their cookies. I had a brilliant idea at the $1 Store of how to send the decorated cookies home w/ them. I bought these baskets & put a paper towel in the bottom of each one. Then they could put their decorated cookies in there and they wouldn't get messed up or spill out onto the floor of the car.

 We stuck 2 candles in one of the sugar cookies and sang happy birthday to Autumn, and then she made a wish and blew out her candles.

 As you can see, the girls had A LOT of fun!!! I'm so thankful that Autumn has such good friends, and I hope and pray that she will continue to have good friends when she hits those rough teenage years! We dropped the girls off at home and then went to the grocery store to get a few things for lunches next week and some treats for my spiritual thought in ward council tomorrow.

After all of that, we came home and put away groceries, cleaned up the mess, ate dinner, and vegged on the couch while watching movies. Mom came over at 7:30 so I could go and chaperone a youth dance from 8:00 - 10:30. I always pick the slot of sitting at the north entrance to the church and making sure no one comes in those doors. It's great b/c it's usually quiet and I take my laptop and just edit pics and update my blog. WHAT.A.DAY!!!

Friday, January 13, 2017

They're Home

 YAY!!! Mom & Dad are home safely from UT. I got off work, filled up my tank w/ gas, went and got Autumn from daycare, and we hurried to the airport. We got there in plenty of time and met them at the luggage carousel. They even brought us Cafe Rio for dinner!!! Sorry for the blurry picture and bad lighting, but we were sitting in the back seat in the parking garage and couldn't wait to dig into it.

We are SO HAPPY to have them home. Things are just right in the world when they're home and Mom's sitting in her "Sheldon spot." They are truly the glue that holds this family together. It's going to be so hard when they leave on their mission in a few months. 

I didn't even talk to or text Nate & Riannon or Nick & Savi while Mom & Dad were gone. I need to be better about that. Mom was crocheting around the edge of this blanket for "Poof" which is what Nick & Savi are calling their baby right now. This picture brought me such heartwarming JOY.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Finding Family Names

 Tonight for dinner we went over to the L's house. I had asked Shannon if she could show me how to find names of ancestors on that needed to have their temple work done. She made us a delicious meal and then after we ate, we got to work. On my Mom's side of the family it goes waaaaaaay back and we had a hard time finding anyone. So, we tried my Dad's side of the family and were finally able to find someone after 2 hours. We found a woman and were able to add her husband and 5 children!!! I'm so excited to do their temple work for them.

 Since Mom & Dad come home tomorrow, they got together w/ some of Dad's brothers to say goodbye. Stacy, Dad, Todd, & Wes.

This picture of the "Bald Head Club" cracks me up!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Supreme Pizookie

 Tonight for YW, one of the Laurels was going to teach us how to make a dairy free dessert. She is lactose intolerant, and it's always good to know recipes for special dietary restrictions. I was telling the YW you never know if your own kids will have allergies to food. One of the other Laurels was insistent that we get pizookies, but they are too expensive. So, my Laurel adviser was going to show us how to make them at my house b/c it's so much cheaper. Well, my adviser and the lactose intolerant YW both cancelled at the last minute. UGH!!!

So, we ended up going to get pizookies anyways. We ordered their "Supreme" which is MASSIVE! Look at how small that normal sized spoon looks. It was only $21 for this huge thing, which is way cheaper than if we had all gotten our own. I was surprised that we didn't even finish half of it. If I ever order this again, I would ask for ice cream on the side so the leftovers don't get all soggy. This would be so fun to order on a group date.

It was a fun night out, but I was sad that the YW were more interested in being on their phones than they were in talking to me and each other. I tried to engage all of them in conversation several times and it worked for a minute or two but then at least one of them would go back to looking at their phone. It's a super sad commentary on the social skills of our youth today. I told Autumn when we got home that no electronic device should ever take precedence over someone who is there with you in real life. I know it's something I need to work on when we're at home together at night. I asked her to remind me of that if I ever seem to put make my cell phone more important than her.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

MiFit & A Trampoline

For Christmas, Autumn had asked for a Fitbit. But, I refuse to spend over $100 on a fitness tracking device. Karri had told me that they bought a MiFit, and it was only $20 on Amazon. So, I bought one for Autumn & one for myself for Christmas. I tried setting up the app on my phone, but it said I had already created an account when I hadn't. UGH!

Autumn kept asking when we could get them set up and start using them, so I finally got online and figured it out. I got mine set up, and then we had to borrow Mimi's old phone to set up Autumn's. You download an app and it tracks how many steps you take a day, and lets you know if you reached your goal. My favorite feature is that it tells how how many hours of sleep you got, and if it was deep sleep or light sleep!

It's already been WAY worth the $20 it cost. Autumn & I have been making sure we get enough steps in to reach our goals each day. Mine is set at 5,000 (which is not very many at all) and hers is set at 8,000. I also got this mini sized trampoline at WalMart for $24. If we haven't reached our goal when we get home in the evening, we jump on the trampoline to reach our goals. As you can see, the trampoline is not just useful for exercise ... it's also useful to hold a Pocahontas barbie doll while Autumn braids her hair. LOL! I'm glad we're making small changes that help us to be more active.

Liz came over tonight from about 8:30 - 10:30. We haven't seen each other in such a long time, and we needed to catch up. I am kicking myself that we didn't get a picture together. I love her so much and am so thankful for her friendship. It's such a rare & precious thing to find someone that you can be your true self with and have no fear of judgement.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Partyin' In Utah

 Since we had nothing fun & exciting going on, we'll live vicariously through Mom & Dad. They took the train up to the Ogden area to spend some time w/ Jana & her family.

 They got to go and see the school where Rachelle works and say hi to some of her kids. I just LOVE her!

Then they went out to dinner w/ Jana & Keith (LUCKY) before taking the train back home.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Snap Chat Filters

Since church is now at a later time, we had our monthly YW pres meeting before church today. It was nice to not have one in December since we didn't have a lot going on. But it felt good to get "back to business as usual." I'm glad I got all the calendars & schedules & spreadsheets of what's going on and who's doing what updated before the New Year. It's good to start of the new year with plans in place. I LOVE the women I serve with. They're truly incredible and have so much love for the young women in our ward.

After church, I had BYC and Autumn was an ANGEL! She just sat out in the lobby and waited for an hour while we had our meeting. She didn't mind, b/c she got to play games on my phone. She's such a trooper to deal with all that is required of me in this calling. 

After church we came home, changed into jammies, had dinner, and then relaxed. We also had fun playing around w/ this cool filter on Snap Chat.

This picture makes her look too grown up & gorgeous. I'm in BIG trouble when she's older and can start dating. I'm so blessed that she's mine and that I'm hers. She tells me all the time not to lose more weight (I still am) b/c she likes how "fluffy" and comfortable I am when we snuggle on the couch. LOL!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Movie, Jewelry, & Family

It was SO NICE to sleep in this morning. I'm still getting over that wretched lingering couch & sore throat. Autumn & I got up, got ready, and went to lunch at Wendy's. Then we went and saw "Hidden Figures." It's about Katharine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, & Mary Jackson working at NASA back in the 1960's. It's a little bit slow, but is definitely worth watching. There were some funny moments, some infuriating moments, and some powerful tear-jerking moments. It sparked a great discussion between me and Autumn when we got out to the car. She had a lot of questions and we were able to talk through them. It was eye opening for her to realize that if she had lived back then she would have been discriminated against since she's half American Indian and half white. I explained to her that her Dad & I most likely wouldn't have even met or gotten married if we had lived back then b/c it wasn't acceptable. I'm so thankful that times and attitudes and prejudices have changed. We also talked about how there is still racism, sexism, etc and what we can do to help change that.

 We stopped by the $1 Jewelry Store and I found all these Type 3 treasures for just $1 each!!! SCORE! Then we went to Winco to get a few groceries. We just LOVE that store b/c of their bulk item section. Then we came home, put groceries away, cleaned up some leaves in the yard, and spent the rest of the night relaxing and watching movies.

 Mom's sisters and their spouses got together today. I'm so glad that they're taking pictures and sending them to me. They went out to lunch and then went back to Aunt Jill's house to play games and have fun together.

Of course they had to do a puzzle as well. I'm jealous that I don't get to be there and hang out w/ everyone. But, I'm so happy for them. They get major brownie points for taking pics and texting them to me.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Let It Snow!

 We actually got some snow in Texas today! At first it was just little flurries, but then it started to accumulate and stick to the cars and to the ground. It's nothing like what Utah gets, but it was enough that my boss let me leave early.
 I'm glad I got to leave early, b/c there were some icy roads on the overpasses & bridges. On my drive home at 2:30 there were already 3 accidents on the freeway! I can't imagine how bad it's going to be at 5:00 during rush hour. I stopped at WalMart to grab a few groceries, and then Autumn & I hurried home. It was fun to see the snow accumulating on rooftops & on the grass.

 I made a big pot of taco soup for dinner, we got in our jammies, and spent the rest of the night watching Little Women and then Pride & Prejudice. I even posted on Facebook that if anyone that was local wanted to come join us they were welcome to. I included this pic that warned them that our living room was a hot mess w/ rainbow looms all over the floor. LOL!

Dad texted me this pic, and it made me happy but also super jealous. I LOVE Rumbi Island Grill and their sweet potato fries. I'm glad he's getting to spend so much time w/ his Dad.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Johnson Men

 Mom texted me this picture of all the beautiful white snow they have in Utah. I also LOVE seeing a little bit of the mountains in the background. Utah will always have a piece of my heart since I lived there for so many years.

 Dad got to spend the day w/ his Dad & some of his brothers. Pictures like this mean the world to me. I love Uncle Stacy, Grandpa, (of course Dad), and Uncle Todd so much. They are "salt of the earth" type of guys.

I'm also loving this Snapchat filter. Too bad my eyelashes aren't that long in real life!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

 For some reason they changed the time for Activity Days from 4:30 to 4:00. UGH! That meant that I couldn't take Autumn, b/c I can't leave work that early. So, one of the other Moms is going to pick Autumn up at daycare and drop her off when she takes her girls. Then I get to pick them up b/c I'm off by then. Today they talked about how to have healthy bodies. I'm in denial that this is Autumn's last week w/ the young group. By the next time they have Activity Days she'll be 10 and will go to the older girl's group!!!

 We came home and had dinner, and Abbey's Mom stopped by to pick up Autumn's Barbie house. Autumn said she's outgrown it (she got it for Christmas 2012) and wanted it to go to Abbey since she knows Abbey will take good care of it. I'm trying hard not to be all emotional that by Baby Girl is growing up so fast!!!

For YW tonight we were combined, and the Laurels were in charge. I had texted the Laurel class presidency last week asking them what they wanted to do, but never heard back from any of them. So, I decided it would be fun to play some "getting to know you" games. I told them to come prepared w/ some games. They didn't have any getting to know you games, but they brought cards, Uno, and Apples To Apples. I am NOT going to run the activities for them. That's actually really hard for me to let go of the reins and let them be in charge. But, it's the only way they'll learn and grow. It ended up turning out OK, but I don't feel like I got to know anyone better than I already knew them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

We LOVE you, Papa & Mimi

Mom & Dad stopped by after we had dinner tonight to say good bye. They are leaving to go to Utah for a few days to spend time with their families up there and for Dad to go skiing. We LOVE them so much and are beyond grateful for ALL that they do for us!!! We're so blessed to have them in our lives. It means so much to me that Autumn gets to have such a close relationship w/ them.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hola World!!!

I am SO GLAD I didn't have to work today, b/c we got A LOT done. We slept in until 9:00, which was SO NICE. We got dressed and then went outside and took down all the Christmas lights and decorations. It had rained last night, so we got a little bit wet and muddy but nothing too bad. Then we came in the house and took down the tree, ornaments, and all the Christmas decor.

After that, we loaded a bunch of clothes and toys and items we wanted to donate to charity and took them to the local donation site. We came home to have some lunch and rest for a little bit. Then at 2:00 we went to Autumn's appointment to have her eyebrows waxed.

 We went over to Mom & Dad's house and Nick & Savi said they had a gift for them. They sat on the couch and handed them a bag w/ a note. The note said, "There will soon be 5 people living in this house instead of just 4 people!" They're PREGNANT!!! We were so happy & so excited for them. This onesie is just the cutest b/c it represents Savi (Hola ... Spanish) & Nick (World ... English).

After the initial surprise and joy sunk in, Mom was sad b/c she realized she won't be here for the birth of the baby. They'll be out on their mission, and brand new babies are one of her very favorite things in the world.

 We spent the rest of the day at Mom & Dad's and just relaxed, watched TV, and made dinner. Nate & Riannon were going to come over and do The Forgotten Carols, but cancelled at the last minute. As you can see, they drove Mom to drink. LOL! Just kidding ... that's just sparkling apple cider. It was a delicious meal of Tilapia filets, green beans, and Oriental rice.

I'm not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, and Autumn is definitely not looking forward to going back to school tomorrow. It's been a WONDERFUL holiday break and we've made a lot of good memories. I'm thankful for this time of year!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

One Little Word 2017

I was scrolling through Facebook a few weeks ago and this ad stopped me in my tracks. I hadn't even started thinking about my One Little Word (OLW) for 2017. But as soon as I saw this hand painted sign, I just KNEW that this was my word for 2017. It's funny how this process goes each year. Some years I have to really do some soul searching to find my OLW, and other years the word finds me.

There are A LOT of great quotes about my OLW. A few of my favorites are:

I'm excited to delve into this word, it's significance in my life this year, and what beginnings are in store for me. Let's BEGIN!

"Ring In The Valiant Men"

 Our church time moved to a later time this year, so Autumn & I were able to sleep in. Christy wanted to come over for brunch, but I had ward council. So, she came over a little early and I made crepes for her & Autumn. Then she stayed w/ Autumn & brought her to church at the right time while I went to ward council. We sang this hymn at the close of sacrament meeting today, and I usually don't like it at all b/c it sounds like a funeral dirge. But today the first line of the 3rd verse stood out to me and all of a sudden I changed my attitude about the song ... "ring in the valiant men." I'm ALL for that!!! LOL.

Young Women's today was really good. We were all combined & Sis. Hall taught. We talked about the 3 members of the Godhead. She had us pair up and read some scriptures about each member of the Godhead & write down what we learned. One thing that really stood out to me that I had never noticed before was in 1 Corinthians 2:10. It says "for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." I clicked on the link to see what the footnote for searcheth was. It said "explores or investigates." I found that so fascinating, b/c I had never thought of the Spirit having to search for truth. But it makes complete sense, b/c how else can He testify to us of the truthfulness of all things if He doesn't know all truth? Some deep & insightful thoughts and something I'll need to research and look into more.

Christy came over after church, so I hurried and threw together a taco salad for lunch. She stayed until 8:00 and did rainbow looms w/ Autumn. We also watched Hairspray Live! that we had recorded on TV. It was fun spending the day w/ her and I'm so glad she feels comfortable being around us.