FaceBook Flashback....

>> Friday, February 16, 2018

Alayna 6 years ago. She was 5 years old. 

"Alayna was playing a babysitting game on the computer and she says..."I'm never playing that game again. It is too hard. The babies just keep crying! I'm going to have to wait until I'm bigger to try it again." Hahahahaha!!! I won't tell her it never gets easier! :P


Happy Valentine's Day!

>> Thursday, February 15, 2018

I "may" have a chocolate problem! I bought these boxes of chocolates for two weekends in a row! I'm blaming the marketing people for putting them in pretty red heart-shaped packaging. 

Silver lining about my "chocolate problem"...Jared helped Alayna transform the pretty box into her Valentine's mailbox for school!! ❤️❤️

I made our traditional chocolate covered strawberries for the family! You know...cuz I need more chocolate in my life. :P 

Our friend posted on FB that he was acting in a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater and they were offering a special Valentine's Day showing. We didn't have plans yet and it sounded like fun. 

It rained all day which we LOVE but not so great for the hair. :P 

It was fun to see him in his element. :) 

Knowing the cast also has its perks! Jared and I both got to be in the show! :)

It was a fun night. We don't always go out and celebrate Valentine's Day. This year we did something a little different and getting away together made it even sweeter! 

Happy Valentine's Day!


'80's Etiquette Night

>> Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Young Men and Young Women planned an '80's themed night. The boys came up with their outfits and I think they nailed it!!!  

Walker went as a Preppy and Eli went as a Jazzercise lover! LOL! 

The socks, tights, and shorts came from Alayna. I have NO idea how they even fit him! 

They looked awesome!

All the guys...

Eli is really learning "etiquette" as you can see. SMH! 

Walker pointed out that he was wearing all of his "normal" clothes. All he did was put a sweater around his neck. I just told him he has a timeless look. :P

Walker is also crazy strong!!! People are always so surprised with how much he can lift!

 The boys had a good time. Grateful for our ward that works so hard to put on fun activities for our youth!


School Talent Show

>> Saturday, February 10, 2018

Alayna was in her school talent show. She did so awesome! She played a song called, "He's a Pirate!"

We are so incredibly proud of her. It takes a lot of guts to get up and do something like that! She is courageous! She does get nervous but doesn't want her fears to hold her back. She's a huge example to me! 

Way to go Alayna!!!!


Youth Temple Trip

>> Sunday, February 4, 2018

Our Ward has an amazing group of Youth and Leaders. Saturday they went as a combined group to the Gilbert Temple. Of course Eli is front and center looking "super cool"...LOL! Walker worked late the night before and didn't make it. 

Today is Sacrament meeting, several of the Young Women got up and bore their testimonies about their experience that day. 

As a total and utter wonderful surprise Eli got up at the end of the meeting and bore his testimony as well. He was the only one from the Young Men to do so. This was a little out of character for him to share so publicly but his testimony was powerful and the Spirit was so strong! Going to the temple that day opened the door for him to have an experience he wouldn't have been able to have anywhere else. The veil is so thin in the House of the Lord and I'm so incredibly thankful that he was blessed with such a personal and undeniable confirmation of the truthfulness of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. 

When we are doing the Lord's work He pours out His blessings upon us. I'm so happy for Eli! His faith has been added upon for his service. 


The Great Clean-out of 2018!!!

>> Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I'm not quite sure what got into me. Maybe it was being sick for over a month and doing nothing but laying in bed or feeling like the house was full of sickness and I needed to scrub it all out? 

It all started out innocent enough. I just wanted to clean and dust the tops of the kitchen cabinets, the hutch and the entertainment center. That quickly snowballed into much much more!!! LOL!!!

The cleaning bug spread to every square inch of the house, inside and out and top to bottom!!!

Every closet, bedroom, room, nook & cranny! Nothing went untouched!

 Floors and carpets were also cleaned like never before! I bought a carpet shampooer and it was the best $200 I ever spent! We've lived in this house for 16.5 years and we've only had the carpets shampooed once. Gross I know. The one time we hired Stanley Steamer to come in and they did such a terrible job I didn't think we'd ever get the carpets cleaned if the so called "pros" couldn't do it. 

Well let me tell you.....the little shampooer we bought from Walmart did the job and did it SO WELL!!! Jared was astonished and shocked! He didn't think it was going to work as well as it did! 

Before: bottom pic...After: top pic

It's a little disgusting and satisfying to see all that dirt and grime come out in the tank! LOL!

Our bedroom was the worst. Years of walking over the same area got it pretty black and we thought for sure was ruined forever. It took 3 tries but the final result on the bottom right speaks volumes! So happy!!! 

 The linen closet has always been a booby trap. I wish I would have gotten a before pic of this. You couldn't even see inside.. there was a bookshelf piled high with board games, blankets, pillows, sheets, and sleeping bags were smashed in there waiting to attack the next victim who opened the door. It was a mess! 

We sorted out the games and got them organized and stored in different cabinets. We donated the ones the kids didn't like to play anymore as well as the sheets, comforters, etc we didn't use. The bookshelf was donated to a friend and now I open the door and it looks so pretty! I love it! 

These couches have been with us for over 12 years. They are sagging, ripping, and the ottoman is broken. They still are usable but they were in need of a deep cleaning and some TLC. 

I needed a change. I wanted something clean and fresh and I felt it was time. We don't buy new things very often. We are a use it up and wear it out family. 

We donated the couches to 2 families we know. They split the set up and they love them! The carpet was also given to a older woman in our ward. It felt good to help others out! 

I found a REALLY nice inexpensive rug at Walmart of all places. I'd looked online for over a week and I found this one and fell in love with it! 

Just ignore the couch marks on the wall...LOL! 

The new couches arrived and they are beautiful!!! We got them at Mega Furniture. They are custom made by a local LDS owned family business. 

 They are so much more firm than the old ones were which is good for my old back/hips! Alayna loves them and so does Sammy!

He was a little leery at first. The old couch cushions were attached and he perched himself up there like a watch dog. It took him a few days to not be scared he'd fall in the crack of the pillows! 

After we went through the entire house it was time to tackle the garage! Oh the enormity of that project!!!!!

Again, I regret not taking a before pic. You wouldn't have believed it! We sorted and organized and hung tools and purged like nobody's business! Cleaning became my full time job! Every day I tackled something! LOL!

Isn't it awesome!?! 

 We filled up our recycle and black garbage bins for over a month. We couldn't get the trash picked up as fast as we were filling it! We also took 3 van loads FULL to the brim to Goodwill for donation. 

 I gave away the couches, living room rug, my old flute, a giant doll house, tons of toys, a bookshelf, a TV with a built in DVD player, and Alayna's white bed along with a bunch of other random things to people in the ward. Which is really nice feeling knowing the people personally you are helping. 

My friend asked me if I was pregnant and nesting? I told her to wash her mouth out with soap! Hahaha!!!!!

When I told Walker about it he said he thinks I'm "empty nesting". Haha! He just might be right! He's not going to be with us too much longer! 

Our front porch has a wooden and iron bench that I've decided is in desperate need of sanding and refinishing. Jared took it apart before I got a pic of that too...darn it! :P So I decided to gamble with some poor unsuspecting flowers and planted them and put them in it's place for now. I tend to kill all plants. But they sure look pretty for now! :D I hope they last at least a couple of weeks. Haha! Poor things! 

I can't even put into words how satisfied and free I feel having my house deep cleaned, organized, and clutter free! I feel like I've moved into a brand new home! Typical Americans move every 5-10 years or so. We are plant your roots kind of family and haven't had the opportunity to go through our home and really purge and clean like you do when you move. 

 I'm pretty good about going through our things about twice a year but I've never taken the cleaning to this level before. It was truly The Great Clean-out!!!! It's been a lot of hard work but the fruits of our labor are so sweet!!!! <3 


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