Quote of the Blog

Monday, April 16, 2018

Back in the Race

This is the half marathon that I've been training for after a year and a half break from running. It took a long time and I never lost the weight to be at a safe weight for this distance event. In fact, I gained. So given this fact, I have run intervals at a much slower pace to keep it as safe as I can. This is also the first half I've trained on my own for. I did have my friends, Anjuli and Amanda sign up with me.

It was cold and really windy that morning and that did not change even when the sun came up. I could not feel my fingers or nose the first 2 miles. Mile 8 was all gradual uphill with headwind which was fun to play with and I was glad to see my husband and kids out cheering for me at the end of mile 8 and the finish. They were all wearing shorts, mind you.

I finished way after my friends but Anjuli and her family stayed int eh cold to cheer me in. I was so happy to have them and my own family there at the end. This is the first time Neal was able to join me at a half.

It was a good race. I always give myself a window goal time. My fastest time being 3 hr, 10 min for this race given I was doing 4 min run:1 min walk intervals. The wind was hard but it was also fun and I played with my effort/pace throughout the race. I came in with an official time of 3 hours, 7 minutes, 44 seconds, well under 2 minutes on my best goal time!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

STAAR Testing - Our Nemesis

I hate that teachers feel forced to teach to this test and I am not quiet about my opinions on that. I do not get nasty about it to my kids because it would devalue the hard work they put in every day to get by. 

This is what my kids get:
 This is what I rant on Facebook:
"Because you cannot reduce the awesomeness of human learning and experience to a set of numbers. Because standardized tests do not value the creativity, diversity, and actual abilities of our kids OR their teachers."

Again, what my kids get:
What I rant: 
"Because "standardized tests exist for administrative, political, and financial purposes, not for educational ones....Everyone benefits except the children. For them, standardized testing is worthless..." - Thomas Armstrong"

By the way, I have teachers "liking" these like crazy.

Monday, April 2, 2018


For Easter we wanted to include our fellow friends in a service project as a way for all to feel closer to the Savior. When you do good, you feel good. A local faith based food pantry posted that they were hoping for people to donate their plastic grocery bags so recipients could get their orders to the car easily.  We thought this would be perfect for little ones since the items were easily accessible and free. After 2 weeks, the kids were able to deliver a large black trash bag tightly stuffed with clean, hole-free grocery bags and a box of diapers to meet the pantry's needs.  We were so grateful to all the families that participated. Most often it doesn't take much to show a caring heart and to make someones life better. Thank you!
At home we got our visit from the Easter bunny a week early! It brought day packs stuffed with a camp towel, bathing suits for the upcoming season, a couple summer shirts and shorts and, of course, a chocolate bunny and a salty snack.

Throughout Easter week we discussed the last week of Jesus Christ's life and his teachings. We watched bible videos to go along with it. We also posted pictures on a wall in our dining room to remind us of the importance of Jesus in God's plan.

We also put out a jar to put bunny tails (cotton balls) in whenever they showed kindness within our family--something we are ever working on. If it was filled by Easter, we would have homemade cinnamon rolls during our church's General Conference, which fell on Easter. We barely made it. 

On Thursday, Oma and Opa stopped by to visit and share baskets with the kids. Thank so much!

General Conference was historical and wonderful! We sustained the new prophet, President Nelson, two new apostles, and other church leaders. Changes were announced for priesthood holders and the organization of their groups, as well as, changes to visiting teaching, home teaching, and ministering.   Our prophet also announced several new temples to be built in the future, including the first in Russia.  What a wonderful time in the church and for our world. To see so many blessings and promises being fulfilled is exciting.

One of my favorite quotes from President Nelson was when he counseled, “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost. My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation. Choose to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly.”

Now to do the spiritual work and more consistently.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Unplanned Mud Run

My trail run accidentally turned into a mud run! I was seriously stuck! My faster friend had already passed through (obviously on a more wisely chosen path) so I said a little prayer and not more than a few minutes later she was returning saying the trail ahead wasn't worth it, then realizing my predicament, bwahahaha laughed at me for some time, took pictures of me, and then set to work helping me, tossing small logs to get footing on and a long stick to pull myself upward on

 Although one shoe was sucked off by the mud I did retain all shoes and socks. One sock was not wearable so I did 6 miles without it, stopping often to shake out dirt and clods. All in all, I finished 9 miles of all trail--longest trail run for me ever! Yay! 

A huge thank you to Anjuli Hancock for being God's answer to my prayer and Neal for being the amazing man that washed out my shoes while I got a hot shower!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday, March 2, 2018

Food Holiday: Banana Cream Pie Day

These boys got together to play and make banana cream pies for their families today!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sweet Release

This February, Keri was released as Relief Society president, after serving 2 years, 8 months. Grateful for the learning and blessings and happy for the change.  She is looking forward to putting more time into helping her kids through a rough academic year. Looking forward to seeing what the Lord wants next of her.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Rhys: Mom, Look What I Can Do!

Just what a kid ought to be doing! Good for him!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


He sure knows how to speak my love language! He looks for opportunities to serve and help. Here he is filling my gas tank for me in super cold weather. I make sure the kids see it for what it is. I say things like, "Did you see how daddy installed all the new smoke detectors? Isn't that romantic!", without an ounce of sarcasm. I love him!

Friday, December 29, 2017


December 27th, Rhys gets his expander placed and a list of items to avoid eating.

December 28th, we make an urgent visit to the orthodontist to have a Lego removed from said expander.  Sigh.

That was a first for the orthodontist. I suggested they add Legos and non-edibles, in general, to the list.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Enjoyed a Christmas Eve visit from Opa and Oma. I made candies this year instead of cookies. My aunt, Sandy, would make the yummiest buckeyes that I'd want to monopolize when we visited at Grandma (Lena's) house on Christmas day. This is the first time I made them. Also, maple walnut, Martha Washington's (cherry, coconut, and pecan), and peanut clouds with marshmallows.

We made pie (frozen, thank you very much) and Rhys prepped the carrots for our reindeer friends.

In the morning, after yelling at the kids to get back to bed at 3:57 am (beating their old 2015 record of 3:59 am, heaven help us!), we enjoyed cinnamon rolls, open presents, and played. I finished my new Christmas puzzle.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Peter Pan

Sophie was not thrilled that she got a lesser part in the fall school play, this year. She was chosen to play a pirate, one with a few lines. Once again, despite not feeling overly special, she still did great on stage. She really shines in drama. Friends played fairies, mermaids, and lost boys.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Kicking off Chistmas

Christmas Tree Lighting
Ran into so many friends. Kids didn't care if we saw Santa this year and I don't think it will be long before Rhys has it all figured out about the man in red. Got to see Sadie, not pictured below, sing at the event with the Story choir.

Rudolf Run
We didn't run but Neal did course monitoring as the city called on CERT to assist and the kids and I cheered on all the 5K participants to the very last one. So great to see so many friends, neighbors, and acquaintances from work and our community.

 We also got a chance to enjoy the nativity exhibit later that day, and Neal again served as ambassador to welcome visitors and slap hands that crossed the ropes. However, he said a friendly reminder did the trick.

Activity Days for Girls and Sidekick Rhys got to sing Christmas carols at a few senior living centers. Our awesome sister missionaries accompanied them with the guitar.

A much anticipated date with Neal - Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Made the scarf for the occasion. Meanwhile, mom had delivered the scarf I made for Jolene, my sister, a fan of the grinch.
We also attended the Polar Express themed ward Christmas party which was a real hit. Rhys said he wanted to see Santa, but really only for the candy cane.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Grandma and Thanksgiving

Since I started subbing for a speech therapist who went on maternity leave a couple days a week, Mom came to visit during Thanksgiving so my work wouldn't interfere with our time together.

Made sweet potato pie for the first thing though I've been living in the south for over 10 years now. This one was chocolate marbled.


Helping kids sew their teachers Christmas gifts - an infinity scarf.  They did good and had fun!
The real excitement was the day before Thanksgiving when Neal was climbing down from the attic and the ladder gave way and he fell to the ground.  He is mostly okay, just sore in some places. He was thankful that is didn't go worse, that we were there to pick him up, and that we are in a place financially where we can take care of replacing the attic ladder and door without issue.

The real miracle is that Rudy and Neal got it fixed less than a week later! Thanks, guys!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Everyday Life

Kids and I cheered on a friend, Anjuli, for her first half without being pregnant!


Loose tooth.
But she never committed. Lost her nerve.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


On Saturday the 28th, we attended our church's Trunk or Treat and Chili Cook-off. Neal got to be one of the judges for the chili while our kids did who knows what and I ran around here and there because the Relief Society was leading the activity. I won't miss that part when I am no longer in the RS presidency.

On Halloween, Sophie dressed as Tem, some character from so video or video game that I don't "get" so basically she looks like a cat but isn't one. Whatever. I made a tail and she seems happy so I guess I got something right. Rhys was Lloyd, pronounced "la-loyd", the green ninja from the Lego Ninjago Movie and sets. I actually do know what that one is.  Thank you Dollar Tree for the cheap mask and vest. We had a good group go trick or treating this year.

We split our candy loot between us, Neal's work, and donations for bishop's candy jar in his office, pillaged by youngsters every Sunday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

It's Fall Y'all

Always glad for General Conference to hear our church leaders, spend low-key time together as a family, and have an excuse to make obscenely large cinnamon rolls.

 Halloween decor is up both inside and outside. This past Sunday night we lit some Halloween lanterns and candles and watched The Nightmare Before Christmas as a family for the first time.

Also, this means hockey season has started for our minor league hockey team and we are often happy to receive tickets from Neal's work as they sponsor the Allen Americans. We were at the opening home game this past Saturday.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Plumbing Problems

Thanks to Opa for his help with a leak with a precarious pipe. Thanks to Wall-E for supervising.