Monday, December 23, 2013

On the 11th day of Christmas ...

On the 11th day of Christmas ... Share your creativity! 

Love this quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

On the 9th day of Christmas ...

Love this quote ... so true! Great things never came from comfort zones.
This new year, try something new, face a fear and enjoy the new doors that will open.

Friday, December 20, 2013

On the 8th day of Christmas ...

Flat Top Park - West Richland, WA
Can you see the beauty in this little community park?
Me too.
I had to stop this morning a snap a photo of the winter wonderland

Look and see. There is beauty everywhere.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

The 12 Gifts of Christmas - Day 1

On the first day of Christmas – Share your smile.

A smile lifts, it edifies and it gives hope.
A smile saves lives. A smile is simple and it goes a long way …

Let yours shine this holiday season.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

He took a day off to spend time in the kitchen (with me) ...

Can you blame a gal who gets excited about a man in an apron holding a bag of chocolate and a spatula?
I love surprises. Always have. But this one really (excuse the pun) - takes the cake!

My husband took a day off so he could spend the day in the kitchen with me ...

We made all sorts of Christmas treats and decided it will be an annual tradition.

Sugar cookies, fudge, pumpkin bars, & toffee
Homemade with love ... :)

Thanks for a fun day. You wear that apron oh so well!
We might have to open a bake shop together one day - by the ocean.
On the menu: Lots of lemon and pumpkin and chocolate.
A girl can dream right?

Saturday, December 07, 2013

You can't get too much winter in the winter. ~ Robert Frost

Enjoy it's magic.

Photo moments: 2008.

Hot chocolate for Two ...

Saturday night date idea:

Hot chocolate at Starbucks... sip them slow, drink in the chocolate and savor the moment.
Share the love...Oh la la la la.


With my daughter, the rock n' roll Santa -

We had a really great time this week watching my daughter shine on stage. She was cast as the rock n' roll Santa Claus in her school play called: "December in Our Town". It was a wonderful night and the kids did a great job with their lines, their singing and had a fun time performing for a crowd.

In addition to acting, she also won first place for her literature piece as part of the PTA Reflections contest. Way to go sweet, smart, funny daughter of mine!

And that's not all, she plays in the marimba group as well. I loved hearing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".
So proud of you! Thanks for being you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The power of a smile ...

This is an old family photo from 2003. We recently moved into a new home and this move facilitated a major de-junking party as the space in our garage could not handle all the stuff we had accumulated over the years.

As we were making our way through the boxes, I happened upon a stash of old photos. This put a stop to the sorting and throwing away as I had to immediately sit down and enjoy the memories contained with each photo!

The above family shot was taken by my sister, Jennie, on a very sunny Saturday afternoon at the park. It was freezing outside and I remember just hoping we could get one shot of all of us smiling.

We did.

To this day, this photo remains one of my all-time favorites. We are now in the middle of the teenage years and on especially challenging days, this photo reminds me that we can smile and when we do, it makes all the difference!

This holiday season, turn your smile on - let it shine BIG and BRIGHT. The outcome will amaze you...

Family Home Evening idea:
Gather family or individual photos of each member sharing a smile. Hand them out and talk about the memories each photo contains. Enjoy the spirit that comes from remembering happy family times! Share what you appreciate about each member of the family and why their smile makes a difference. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Gratitude Box

"Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also 
unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love." ~ Thomas S. Monson

Each Monday night, we have family home evening. As part of the night, we usually sing a song or two, have a lesson, play a game together and wrap it all up with dessert. Often, we find ourselves at Dairy Queen for Blizzards! That's a topic for another day...

Today, I'll focus on the lesson given by our 11 year old daughter this past Monday night. On her own, she prepared a very inspirational message about gratitude and how it matters. She encouraged us to be grateful and express our gratitude often.

She also created a gratitude box (pictured above). She cut little slips of paper and encouraged us to fill the box by Thanksgiving with little notes saying what we are thankful for! 

It's a big box. And we only have 8 days to fill it ... Can we do it? 
We will TRY!

Thanks Lauren for the inspiration. I love you and am so thankful to have you in my life!- Mom

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Amazing how inspiring ONE word can be. Even more powerful is the action!

Simple. True. Just Try.
Miracles happen when we do ...

{Image Source}

Friday, September 20, 2013

Little 'happiness' reminder ...

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.” - Denis Waitley

It takes time ...

What to write about? I keep looking at this blog thinking … “I need to post something”
And nothing comes to mind so I decided to write about nothing. Just free write. Whatever flows out is what I’ll share. Fair enough?

First, I really don’t like unpacking boxes. We recently moved and finding a new place for everything zaps my energy and enthusiasm. It’s not something I naturally excel at. If you enjoy moving and packing and unpacking – please share your tips.

Second, I am really enjoying this beautiful fall weather.

Third, my father-in-law’s headstone is now at his graveside. I stopped by this morning to see it and pay respects. He died in June. Tonight is the first home football game for the high school. I used to always sit with him at the games. I just could not go without him tonight. 

Fourth, I know that stuff takes time. It takes time to pack and unpack. It takes time for the spring and summer to turn to fall. And it takes time to let someone go and move on.

There will be other games with popcorn and lights.

I think I’ll find another box to unpack, pull out my favorite pink blanket from college days and make a mug of hot chocolate.

Cheers to Friday night games in the fall and sharing popcorn with someone you love! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A summer to remember ...

 We explored the Oregon Coast and enjoyed the beauty of the earth ...
 We ate the foods of the sea ...
 We found exciting creatures ...
We picked peaches and made jam, smoothies and cobblers ...

 We moved into our new home ...
We learned how to say goodbye ...

School can start tomorrow. We are ready - we lived and loved, cried and laughed  ...we are different people because of the things we saw, experienced and felt.

Thanks summertime - we'll see you next year :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

They gave him 5 minutes ... it was all he needed.

 So inspiring ...!

"We are all who we are – until that moment when we strive for something greater."
~ Brad Meltzer

I always enjoy stumbling upon a good book! My latest ‘stumble’ book is “Heroes for my Son” by Brad Meltzer. I happened upon this book at my daughter’s book fair. I volunteered to help and during a lull in the kid book rush – I found this book. It was the only copy left and it caught my eye.

This book is extremely inspiring and I love his story telling style!  Meltzer starts the book off with a stellar introduction (I’m a sucker for a good intro) and his is one is one of my favorites!

The book then goes on to illustrate real life heroes - a few of them are: The Wright Brothers, John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Jim Henson, Mother Teresa and Pele.

I have to admit that a few of the little write-ups made me cry. I love reading about real-life people who overcome challenges and go on to live a life of purpose and passion.That to me, is what makes a person a hero! 

One such hero is Jim Henson. Apparently, at 17, after being rejected for a job in TV - he noticed a sign on a bulletin board (at the TV station) advertising for a puppeteer. He went to the library, checked out a book on puppetry, built a few puppets, and returned to the station.

He told them he was now a puppeteer and asked them to hire him.

They gave him five minutes.

It was all he needed.

Can you imagine a world without Kermit the Frog or Big Bird?

That one little hero story really inspired me. And reminded me that our dreams matter! And what we choose to do with our ‘five minutes’ makes all the difference.

Thanks Brad for compiling and writing such a GREAT book. I’m so glad I happened upon it at the elementary school book fair.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Dear Summer,

I love your vibrant colors, your beautiful flowers, your warmth and your energy. Please stay.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Believe in good things to come ...

Love this -

“God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future–to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities. God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.”

~ Jeffery R. Holland

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I bumped into this online today and laughed out loud! Stress is real. Stress is part of life ... learning to deal with stress takes time, energy and effort.

Don't worry - we've all had major stressful days, weeks and even years. The trick is to recognize when stress is sneaking in, adding up and maybe even taking over.

As funny as the above activity is, I don't recommend banging your head! I recommend you slow down, call a friend, take a walk, grab some ice cream, read a calming book, say a prayer or take a nap. Take a break from the norm and give yourself permission to enjoy doing something you LOVE.

PS: All of us have times when stress is overwhelming. Realize that you are not alone. Be patient with yourself and  remember that better days are ahead.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

You'll never get a busy signal ...

I drive by this church every day and am often inspired by the message on their reader board. This one made me smile and think ... (2 things I like to do).

As I was driving my daughter home from school yesterday, I asked her what she thought the message meant.
She said: "That God isn't too busy for us." I told her she was right and then said: "I think He hopes we are not too busy for Him."

Thanks Apostolic Christian Church for always posting up inspiring thoughts for our daily commute.
I like being reminded that God has time for me - no matter what. He is never too busy to listen, lift, guide and inspire.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

A lesson in Watercolor ...

 My attempt at watercolor painting ...

 roses with a hint of glitter ...
 Jeff (the fish) by Kaleb
 Puffy friends by Lauren
A still night ...

Every Monday night, we get together as a family for Family Home Evening. Sometimes we watch a movie, sometimes we play games and sometimes we have a lesson. I always look forward to this special time together and the gift it is to belong to a family.

Last night our oldest son, Kade, gave us a lesson on watercolor and the various techniques used with this type of painting. It was very fun and all of us had a good time learning how to get creative with water, paint, a brush and a piece of paper. One technique even uses salt ...

As my husband and I were cleaning up the watercolor mess last night ... I smiled and was so thankful (again) for the wonderful gift it is to be a MOM! I learn something new every day from our children.

Thanks Kade for the painting lesson. You inspire me to reach and try and to enjoy the beauty that is ever present in my life! :)

~ Mom

Monday, April 08, 2013

Happy birthday big brother!

My brother, Travis, second from the left ... 

We are all given two dates ... a beginning and an end. And there is a dash in between.

It's what we do with the dash that matters!

April 8, 1971 - July 7, 1988

Thanks big brother for making your dash count ... I love you and miss you.
Happy Birthday!

~ Wendy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A tree in winter ...

Trees are so vulnerable in the winter ... bare. exposed. real.
As I walked along the Columbia River last weekend, I couldn't help but see and appreciate the beauty of this little tree.

Don't we all have days when we feel vulnerable? - Like this little tree.
Thank heavens for moments when we can slow down and see each other for what we really are -