Monday, December 29, 2014

Whole 30? Why Not?

Have you heard of Whole 30?
Yes it's an elimination diet! Yes it looks hard! Yes it looks like a lot of Benjamin's $$$! 
Is it completely doable on a tight budget?  Heck Yes!

Starting Monday January 5th I will be kicking a Whole 30!
Why not the 1st, like everyone else?
While I'll admit that starting Jan 1st sounds all nice and pretty, but
it has a few flaws for me.  My husband and children will still be on Christmas break and 
don't you feel like Monday is always the best day to start anything?

I've decided to blog through out the process.
Here's why!
1.  Accountability!!!!!!! 

2.  I'm on a tight budget! Like $100 a week to feed my family of 7.
To make this doable in my budget,
I will be price matching at Walmart. :-(.  Such a pain but so worth it.
I will be making my menu from what I price match.
 I will post the menu and grocery list.

3.  It's always funner to do things with a group!
So who's with me?  I'm giving you a week to gear up.
Megan I'm looking at you!

If you're in, leave a comment, email me, text, call.
Let's just do this!  Cheers to health!
Cheers to acting and not being acted upon! 

P.S.  I started a whole 30 back in June,  I lasted about 14 days and than a vaca to California 
got in the way.  Somethings I learned in those 14 days.  
About day 3 is super hard!  I've never been hung over but I think that it must feel something like day 3.
After that it was great,  my mind was clear and I felt amazing.  I lost about 10 lbs in that time and kept it off for about 4 months after.  It's so doable, come on and do it with me.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Lauren turns 12!

My sweet, responsible, joy of a daughter just turned 12!
I don't why but this was so much harder then Dal turning 16!

With turning 12, Lauren is now in the Young Woman's program at our church.
I love how welcoming her new leaders have been.
Her birthday was right before Young Woman's in Excellence.
It was so nice to be able to go with her and see how the girls are working towards 
their YW medallions.  I loved seeing how much they love the Lord and how the leaders and YW
love each other.  Lauren will be in good company.

Lauren is so talented.  She is kind and giving.
She has a way with little children, they all instantly love her!
One day she'll be an amazing mother and wife.
Sometimes I think it her who is raising all of us.
I'm only kinda kidding with that. ;)

Just like her Grandpa Reynolds, Lauren loves the Pepperidge Farm's Coconut Cake!

For dinner she requested Creamy Tortellini Soup!
Go here for recipe
Evie didn't like the burnt lettuce!.

Lauren asked for a party and I was happy to throw her one!

It was super loud and crazy!
It also was wait for it........A party with BOYS!
Which is one reason it was loud and crazy!
Everyone had so much fun they asked to extended it until 10 pm!
Because it was a Saturday night and we had Church the next day,
we compromised with 9:45 pm but most left around 10 pm anyways.

To keep Milo and Evie upstairs and out of Lauren's hair,
Justin made a bunch of towers with them.
Each one they would name after a Temple and the top cup would be Angle Moroni!
Then they would knock it down, not sure if I should read to much into that?


Friday, November 21, 2014

Dallin's 16!!!

Dallin turned 16 in October!
With everything that was going on with my mom, he really got shafted 
on his sweet 16.
He is an amazing young man!
He is funny, kind and loves his tuba!
He has had to deal with more then most adults ever will this year.
He has done it with courage and honesty.
Asking for help when needed, 
which for his strong will personality can be insanely hard for him.
Watching him this year has been humbling for this mama.
He loves the Lord and puts his trust in him.

He was also ordained a Priest by Justin.
I think my heart was about to burst listening to him bless the Sacrament!

Dallin isn't a fan of cake and so every year he gets a Birthday Pie!

We spent the day as a family and went to Smith and Edwards.
Dallin's happy place! :)

 No trip to S&W is complete without trying on hats.

Or embarrassing your children!

Pretending to be Elsa for Evie.

Then we headed over to another favorite place Pineview.
The kids loved throwing rocks!

And because no trip would be complete without a little sass!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On the Bright Side

Have you ever heard of Power of Mom's?
They're this great website celebrate woman in all of our roles.
I am a member of one of their learning circles.
I love that once a month I get to go and spend time with woman of faith
who are devoted to the calling of mother and wife.
Each month we have a new subject to focus on.
This month was being optimistic! 

I thought I would share some of the things that help keep me looking on the bright side.
Some are my original thoughts and other clicked at our last meeting.

1. Outlook!  
Being a mom is often thankless and the epitome of monotony. 
Everyday consists of dishes, laundry, vacuuming, kids fighting, etc...etc...
Realizing that all those everyday household duties is no small thing, in them we can
show an example of how it is important to care about someones temporal needs.
It is an act of service and love, just like teaching our children to read and pray.

2.  Parent the child you have, not the child you think you have!
This is huge!  We all have the dream of who our child will be and who they will become.
I never thought I would have a child who struggled with faith or one who struggled with mental illness.
I do and it is hard, but how much harder if I kept parenting them like they didn't have these trials in life.
Excepting who your children are not who you want them to be.

3. Speak up!
I was so mad at Justin for a couple of weeks,
 I had put the kids to bed by myself every night and I was tired of doing it.
I finally called him on it and was all like that's nice that you can read or whatever while I fight to get our
kids to bed!  He looked at me and said "I had no idea you were putting them to bed, I would come up and they would be asleep."  I was acting like a victim and was so focus on the injustice of it all that I failed to see
that all I had to do was ask him for help.  He was not ignoring me, because he was in his man room in the basement he had no idea   All it would have taken is me walking my victim butt down the stairs and to ask for help.

4. Optimism in Opposition!
One of my favorite things that Abraham Lincoln every said, 
  "It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!"
We all have bad days, no one can get away from this, but in those bad days knowing that they wont last
forever! well that's a blessing and something to hold onto.  Even in our darkest hours there can be joy.
Look for it and you'll see it, in a silly thing one of your kids say or a friend who is prompted to stop by.
"Men are, that they might have JOY"

5.  Exercise!
Oh man, I have been bad at this. 
I know how much it helps and I have set a goal to get back to the gym.

6. It's Okay!
It's okay if your child doesn't have a 4.0.  It's okay they didn't make the comp team.
It's okay if reading doesn't come naturally. It's okay if everything comes easy for your child.
It's okay if you don't bake and you hate to cook.  It's okay that the dishes are not done.
It's okay that the laundry may have somehow multiplied.
It's okay to say NO!
It's not okay to compare your hard to someones good.
Comparison robs us of optimism!

7. Time Out!
Plan a girls night, go see a show.
Take a hike or a walk.
Do something all pinteresty!
Just do something for you and recharge.
Also realize your kids and husband need to do this also!

8.  Clean!
The Lords house is a house of order.
I struggle with this one and have time periods when my house is spotless and moments
when it looks like we've been robbed by messy robbers!
I can say this, there are few things better than a clean house.
It makes me smile to walk into a kitchen that sparkles.
For me a clean home equals a clear mind.

9. If it's Broke Fix it!
Every so often look at your life and yourself and see what you need to work on.
If you can identify what's making you feel down or overwhelmed, take the steps to change it.
April Perry who wrote this months article wrote about  the steps she takes.
" When I (1) carefully examine my life, (2) identify what’s really wrong, (3) make a specific plan to improve it, and (4) think optimistically as I follow my plan, that is when I feel like dancing in the kitchen. Working 
toward our goals brings just as much satisfaction as achieving them. It’s sometimes painful, 
and it requires hard work, but action enables optimism."

10. Higher Purpose!
Probable the most important thing to stay optimistic in motherhood is to rely on the Lord!
He cares about every part of you life and wants to help.
If we open the windows of heaven in our life through scripture study, prayer, church attendance and 
enjoying the blessings of the temple, I know that our minds will be clear to receive revelation that will guide us and help us to see or own role and purpose.
Purpose equals optimism.

Like wise Satan is a big fat jerk and wants to wear us down, he wants to see us question are role as woman.
He wants to take away our optimism and joy, he wants us to doubt our role as mothers and see only
the hard everyday crap.  Rely on what you know is truth. 

"THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed."
The Family: A proclamation to the world

To read the entire proclamation click here
To find out more about Power of Mom's Learning Circles click here
If you want to come and see what a Learning Circles looks like email or message me, 
we would love to have you.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Silly Girls

Tonight I listened as Lauren taught Evie about pray and how it can help her life.
She talked to her about how if someone was being mean to her that she could pray and ask for help,
that she didn't need to fold her arms, she could just say it in her head.
Lauren told her how Heavenly Father would hear her and help her.

I love eavesdropping on their bedtime conversations.
I love seeing their sisterly bond.
I love that the 7 year age difference hasn't dampened their connection.
Lauren who has always been so mature and nurturing verse Evie's wild free spirit.
I am amazed at how they care and love each other.
You will hear Evie say almost daily that Lauren is her BFF,
I'm sure that once she gets a little more hip it'll change to Bae, you know like all the other 4 year old.

Lauren is so very patient with her little counterpart. 
She has her moments but when I remind her of how young Evie really is
and how would she handle the situation if Evie was someone she babysat and not her little sister,
she can get Evie to do things that no one else could.

I am so grateful to have my little ladies.
It's going to be fun to see them grow and help one another through life.

Side note of their different personalities.
Lauren and Evie both were whining to me.
I mimicked their behavior back at them.
Lauren stomped to her room and told me I was so rude,
and later apologizes.
Evie laughed, kissed me and told me how funny I was.
That could just be the difference between 4 and 11!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dropped a Stitched or Two

One day you decide to make a hot pad to save a few dollars
 because somehow all of yours have disappeared!
You spend 3 evenings working on it while you watch Christmas movies on Netflix.
For which your children mock you because it's not even Thanksgiving.
At this moment you keep to yourself that you honestly would watch cheesy Christmas movies 
any time, any day.  You console yourself with the knowledge that you still wouldn't make
your kids watch the shows at amusement parks like all the other mom's out there.
Yup you can hang onto that amount of coolness and no one need ever know
that a little part of you wouldn't mind watching one.

As you're watching said Christmas shows you figure counting stitches really isn't important.
You notice that somehow your hot pad looks more like a trapezoid and less like a square.
You think not a big deal after all a trapezoid is Milo's favorite shape.
You think I'll just start adding a stitch and it will all be fine because no way your going to 
unwind it and start over, I mean you're already 11/2 Christmas movies in.
You finally finish, text a picture to your sister who is crocheting amazing hats for all your kids.
Laugh with your husband on your awesome talent and start crocheting another hot pad.
Yes you could have just gone to Dollar Tree but what's the fun in that.

I'm super glad that I learned how to make hot pads with my mom.
I am sure she is laughing at my epic fail, along with us.
Relationships go on, even if the person has passed on.
My silly hot pad was a nice reminder.
Love you always mom!
Even if you would make us stop and watch the amusement park shows! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Great Pixie Update! Month 4!

Holy Cow! 4 months already!
For a little while I moved to Mulletown.  
I had a nice little home next to Billy Ray and John Stamos.
I never did get to meet Macgyver which broke my achy breaky heart.
(Sorry about that, I could restrain myself)

It was a bright sunny day when I left, hopefully never to return!

The trick to growing out a pixie is keeping out of Mulletown!
You can't just let it go because the hair in the back grows faster than the front.
You hair needs to be reshaped every so often to keep it fresh and healthy.

 My hair dresser Tracy chopped off the mullet and rounded everything up nicely!

 Not wanting to lose any length in the front she just trimmed the every edges to help freshen everything up.

This is a long process and I can't wait to have my hair long again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Power Muffins

I thought I would share this muffin recipe I found on Pinterest!
I am on a hunt to eat more whole foodie, more word of wisdomie and to get some great recipes to replace
the box mixes I've been using for years.
This on is a winner!  My family loved it and I loved what went in it!
It has oats and greek yogurt!

I also Love that the batter is pretty versatile!  I am 99% sure you could easily
change the blueberry's for banana, zucchini, chocolate chip or whatever your fav muffin is!

These work great as an after school snack, or even as a sandwich replacement for school lunch.
Head over to for the recipe!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Highlight: Parents: The Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children

I have been listening to different talks while I clean.
Today I listened to this talk by Tad R Callister!
I love when you listen or read a spiritual message and 
it teaches by the Holy Spirit!

This video is just highlights of the talk.
I highly recommend listening or reading the whole talk.
To make it even easier for you, just click here!
I got cha back! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lessons in losing

It has been 19 days since my mom took her last breath and 2 weeks since the funeral.
I know what I am feeling, I have felt it all before.
After suffering 3 miscarriages, I know something about the pain of loss.
Some may think I am being dramatic and how can losing someone 
I never really met compare with losing my mother? 
People don't realize that when you loss a baby, even early on, you morn for that baby.
For the mother you might have been, for the life you could have held.
It is a death even if no one else feels it.

Here are a few things I have learned from my experience.
  • I will have good days, okay days, wonderful days and horrible days. Sometimes all in one day.
  • I will want to talk about it and then in the same breath want to be alone.
  • First will be the hardest.  The holidays are upon us and we will have to find our way through them.  Hold onto traditions and maybe find some new ones.
  • I will have anxiety and depression.
  • Nights are the hardest.  I yelled at my kids tonight while we read scriptures and growled through family prayer. Also threatened their very existence if they didn't go straight to bed. A mom win!
  • I will dodge your calls and maybe even you.  I might hide in my house.  
  • I also am not a great homebody so I will need to get out, asap!  
  • I will struggle, the pain is real.  It feels like you may just be crushed by it, but hour after hour and day after day life will go on. So shall I.

How shall I go on?
There is only one way I know how, one that I have tested and found true.
  • To kneel in prayer!  Ask for strength and guidance. To thank the Lord for all I have.
  • Daily scripture study.  
  • Temple attendance is an amazing part.  I have set a goal to go weekly!  After we lost Levi, I questioned my faith and feel into a pretty deep depression.  I found my way back out after to long of a time.  I didn't make the Temple a priority and hardly ever went.  Lesson learned!
  • Partaking of the Sacrament.
  • Remembering that I have 5 kids and a husband who need me.  If all I can do is have them lay down for bed and know that I love them, that is enough!  You know kinda like yelling at them to go to bed.
Basically the only way through is to rely on our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ!
They are the light and the truth, they're is no other way.  
I can not handle all that life has thrown at me on my own, but through the Atonement of our Savior
I can do and handle all things.

My life lesson's have taught me that there is no other way!
The Lord is there for you and all you have to do is ask and then act.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


The other day Evie came and crawled into bed with me.
Put her sweet little arms around my neck and snuggled in, and whisperer
"My mom's a baby do-do, my whole family is a baby do-do"
Than she laughed and laughed and I joined in.

She also found a praying mantis at Justin's work.

She was in little girl heaven and in love with this bug.

Love this sassy little girl.
Even if she thinks I'm a baby do-do and feels that no one else can do anything for her but mom!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Photo Dump

One of my kids kindly reset my old phone and deleted all my old photos.
I thought they were lost forever but I kindly found them still linked to my blog.
So I decided to dump the ones I didn't want to loss right here.
So feel free to ignore this post.

JustKemistry, our Family, Life and Love