June 22, 2015

Summer of Instagram . . .

I was just telling my mom yesterday that Instagram is killing blogs. It is a perfect form of micro blogging – one picture with a small captioned story. It’s quick, it’s effective, and it’s spur of the moment, any moment. I fully blame it for at least fifty percent of why I have slacked as a blogger.

So, here are some shots from our Summer so far, via my Instagram feed.

reddog bday

RedDog turned twelve! He is pretty awesome. We celebrated with my parents and he requested my homemade sweet and sour chicken and fried rice for dinner plus “Mema’s Coconut Cake” for dessert.

We took him and Chris to a Yankees/Orioles game for his birthday. Sadly, the Yankees got crushed. But the nachos were good. My teenager likes to act weird on purpose when I take pictures. His kids will appreciate it someday.

chris mug

The Sunday after his birthday, Soren was given the priesthood by his dad. I love these two very much. Right now my boy is at his first Scout camp. He is away from us for an entire week and I miss him SO MUCH!


For Father’s Day I made these. My Hubby was happy! So were my thighs.


We attended a graduation party for a friend’s son this week. I used to teach him at church when he was ten. Now he’s going to college. That seems impossible! I snapped a quick shot of the sun setting that night from her back porch. It took my breath away.

marci sunset

Last night we had dinner with my parents for Father’s Day. I had to laugh because Hannah and both my mom and dad were matching. We had to snap a picture of their color coordination. Really, I just want lots of pictures of my parents because they are moving in a year and I am in denial.


Owlie’s little T-ball team, the SandGnats, was honored at a local Senators baseball game. The Senators is a team made up of college players who play during the Summer. The little guys got to meet the players and run onto the field with them for the national anthem. It was ADORABLE!

ollie senators

So there are a few shots of our Summer thus far. The other fifty percent of why I am slacking as a blogger is because I have spent the past five months preparing for this Thursday, when I will helm the Spiritual Program at our Stake Girls’ Camp. I have led a committee of women in developing an evening for the 250 girls of our church who live in our area that is meant to help strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

To say that this project has been all consuming would be an understatement! Now the time is finally here, and at the current moment there is a 60% chance of rain on the day we are supposed to present our program OUTSIDE. If you read this blog, would you do me a favor? Pray! Pray that the elements will temper themselves on Thursday in the Frederick, Maryland area. Pray that we will be able to do our program for these girls.

I’d be so appreciative! Carry on.

June 15, 2015

Remember That One Day ...

As far as days go, yesterday was big for our family. We started our morning out with Hannah at the home of our Stake Patriarch where she received a beautiful blessing that will guide her throughout her life. It is a very humbling thing for a parent to see a beloved child through God's eyes and realize that He knows more, loves more and has more in store for that child than could possibly be imagined.

In the afternoon, my husband laid his hands on the head of this sweet redheaded boy and ordained him a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. Many tears and tender words were shared. Again, I felt overwhelmed by love and the many possibilities that await this bright and shining spirit.

I can't really go into much more detail. It is too personal and special to share. But I will end by writing down something the patriarch told Hannah as we left. With tears in his eyes he put his hand on her shoulder and said, "There are going to be rough times. You will have hard times in your life. But you can always remember today. Remember that one day when you knew for certain through the Holy Spirit that God loves you."

We have all had days or moments when the love of God was palpable to us. Why do we forget them so quickly? I know that I will remember yesterday. And it will help me to love these children more and to get through hard times.

June 12, 2015

How Can He Be Twelve?

Today my RedDog Soren is twelve years old. I blinked and he's twelve.

I have always marked our time here in Virginia by his age. He was born a month after we moved here. He came into chaos - moving, renovating, two siblings running around screaming - yet he remained calm.

He's still that way today. The most calm of our kids. The most sensitive of our kids. The most introverted of our kids.

He is the one who says to me every night, "Thank you for this delicious dinner, Mom." Even if he choked it down because it contained his nemesis, celery.

He is the one who goes on long walks around our neighborhood with me, not embarrassed to grab my hand and hold it every so often. We talk about school, friends, joys and fears. Recently I learned he was afraid of the testing for the swimming merit badge at Scout Camp because he'll have to jump in wearing clothes and remove his shirt and pants to make a flotation device. I assured him he'd do fine and we could go practice at a friend's pool. His worry wasn't about making the flotation device - it was about swimming in his underwear in front of everyone. Oh, we laughed hard after I told him he'll be wearing a swimsuit under the clothes, not his underwear! 

My RedDog loves playing trumpet, Harry Potter, the games MineCraft and Terraria, his cousins, his best friend Chris Meck, riding his bike, scooter, and roller blading. He is fun, funny, can make crazy faces, can burp the alphabet, dances like no one's watching and is a joy in my life.

He loves Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He wants to make the right choices. He wants to help others and tries his best to be a good brother, son, and friend.

He has been a light in our lives for twelve whole years!

June 8, 2015

Why Is Tiny So Cute?

Last week we had our final Queen's Dish of the season and the theme was All American Barbeque. I thought about calling my father-in-law to get his baked bean recipe. It is legend around here. But I knew his measurements and ingredients weren't exact and that he tastes as he goes, which wouldn't really work for my purposes.

Instead I decided I should make tiny apple pies! Because tiny is so cute, and who doesn't want to say they ate an entire pie by themselves?

I'd seen pies that resembled a Hostess style hand pie, somewhat folded over, but when I came across these little pies shaped like a regular sized pie on Pinterest, I was so excited! The secret is to cook the pies in the lids of mason jars. The lid acts like an individual sized pie tin. Isn't that genius?

 The recipe itself was fairly easy. I used Pilsbury ready made piecrust because I'm a cheater like that. I'm not a big apple pie fan, but this was just enough to satisfy me. I think next time I will make some tiny jumbleberry pies - my mom's favorite.

I had to take a few pictures because really these pies were just pretty.  I will definitely be making variations of this recipe this summer. Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream . . . what's more All American than that?

June 5, 2015

Little Man ...

This was Owlie yesterday. Working so hard on his Legos whilst donning seriously handsome hair.

He makes the funniest faces. I'm pretty sure he doesn't even know he's doing it.

He's a sweet boy in the calm moments. Eyelashes and freckles for days.

This was Owlie today. Walking across the stage at Preschool graduation like he owned the place. So dapper in is little plaid shirt which remained tucked in the entire time (it's a miracle).

I bought him gold balloons because gold is his favorite color. He ran around with his friends and got all sweaty, stopping just long enough to snap a quick cheeser picture with me on a day when it seems like you can actually see the humidity in the air.

He told me this morning that he is excited for Kindergarten. A huge step for him! I love this little fellow so much. Congratulations, buddy.

June 4, 2015

This Is How We Do ...

 Time is a beast right now with the end of school and two major projects I've had to spend most of my days working on. I'm determined to keep recording our beach traditions as I know we won't have this tradition forever. 

I love this picture of Chris I caught while he was laying in the sun sleeping. Most of what we love about the beach has to do with relaxing and decompressing from the stresses of our regular life. This picture captures that for me.

The guys always fit in some healthy competition. This year it was in the form of sand darts and cornhole. Here the Hubby and our friend Karl are having a serious conversation here about the location and point totals of the darts. It is serious, people. I mean it.

I was so glad my parents came to the beach again with us. When my brother moved last year (sniff, sniff) I wondered if my parents would still come. We love having them there. Look at my Daddy. He's a hero. And he looks mighty cool in aviators. He's been wearing them for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think he made them cool.

My momma believes in proper covereage from the sun and kept herself shaded in in a cute floppy straw hat. She's showing you the other thing we do at the beach, which is sit around and talk about anything and everything.

Little Owlie is the perfect age for the beach. He is the resident wave jumper now. I feel like it was just Hannah yesterday. This picture of him makes me feel really happy. And now I will stare at it for awhile because today it is raining and cold.