Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I grew up in the quaint little area called Chester. It is located off the Fall River halfway between St.Anthony and Ashton, Idaho. I lived in the same house for all of my upbringing...attended the same ward...had the same kids in almost all of my school classes...etc. Move-ins into our ward was almost unheard of. I only remember a few familes ever moving into the area or moving out of the area. It isn't like that now. When I went to my old ward I only recognized about half of the people there. A lot of the folks I knew growing up have passed away. Some were still there, it was good to see them again.
Here are a few pictures of around the farm with the kids.

Grandma gave Luke some bubbles for his birthday and it was a big hit! They played with them for hours!!

James and Luke both enjoyed many trips on the four wheeler. They have been talking about riding the four wheeler for months and months. It is one of their favorite things to do up on Grandpa's farm.

Ben was not allowed to drive the four wheeler so he settled for "driving" the lawn mower. Grandpa still had the key thank goodness.

And finally, here is James in the swing. The swing was one of my favorite things growing up. My dad would push us so high in it. It was awesome! Here is a picture of me when I was about James' age being pushed by my dad.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Big Springs

While in Idaho we went to Big Springs. Big Springs is on the way to Yellowstone next to Mack's Inn in Island Park. It is the beginning of the Fall River. It literally comes right out of the mountain. It is really beautiful to see. The water is so clear. When I was young we would go there and feed the fish. The fish would be there by the hundreds. A ton of fish would gather underneath the bridge and we would throw pieces of bread at them. I remember doing this with my Grandma Brown, she would take us there on days that we would go for a drive. I remember we would pretend to be driving to Arizona to visit my cousins and she would take me to different places and Big Springs would be one of them. There aren't as many fish any more. I don't know why..maybe it was to early in the year. But we took the kids and fed the fish...and the seagulls and the muskrat. :-) While there we also donated blood to the mosquito blood drive..apparently they were having one and we were unaware of it until we got there. My Grandma would joke about the mosquito being the Idaho State bird. Good times good times.....

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hansen Home

On our recent jaunt to Idaho we stopped by my Grandma Brown's home that she grew up in. Her name was Neva Juneta Hansen Brown. She grew up in a quaint town called Ashton, just outside of Island Park, Idaho.

Her mother, Anna Katinka Rassmusen, was raised in Denmark and immigrated to the US. She joined the LDS church against her family's wishes when she was a teenager. She left Denmark for her new religon and never saw her family again. They corresponded through letters, but she was never able to be with them again. (Years and years later, my Grandma, Neva, was able to go back to Denmark and meet her family.)

Anna Katinka married Alma Hansen and they settled in Ashton where my Grandma was raised. Sadly, every week that I went to church we passed this little house and I didn't know it was where my Grandma was raised. My older sister remembers going there when we were younger and gathering holly hock starts, but I don't remember it. But, now I know. The house is pretty run down now. I was amazed at how small it was! I have been known to complain about the size of MY house, that house was about the size of my living room. It was one story with a front room with cooking stove (the stove was still there) and a back room. That was it! Anyway, here are some pictures of this quaint little house that is in my family history.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grandpa's farm

We recently returned home from Idaho and visiting my family. The next few posts will show the variety of activities we did. I miss Idaho. Well..except for the mosquitoes.

This was the view from the back porch. Those are the Grand Tetons. They are covered in SO much snow! I have never seen them so white in this late in the year.

Oh the cows....such memories....these cows aren't my Dad's anymore though. He sold his cows and now rents out his land to others. At church on Sunday, the high councilman talked about the different personalities of cows and how they raise their young. I'm not kidding!

Sweet Orissa! She is my niece and such a sweety! She loves posing for pictures. Dad's liliac bushes had just burst open and the smell was intoxicating! I loved it! The lilac bushes in the area are must be a status symball or something. Many of the bushes were taller than the houses they were next to. There were so many of them that when you went outside, the air smelled like lilacs.

This is the shed that we filled with chopped wood for the winter. We would go and gather wood from the forest or Dad would have some delivered. Then we would chop (ok dad would chop--we would have cut our leg off) and we would gather and stack it in rows as tall as we could. Then Dad had to restack it since we could never could quite get it tall and tight.
These are some massive old tractor tires. If you would like to see the rims to one of the them, feel free to come and see my fire pit. :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Filling up the cupboards again!

So I have been a big time slacker and not doing the sales and coupons like I did for so long. I know I'm suck a slacker! But I was a little burned out with cutting and shopping with four boys trotting after me. It really was wearing me out. Then the other day Cory exclaimed that our house was looking a little sparse on the groceries. The cupboards weren't bare, but they would be soon! He asked if I had been spending less on groceries, and no I haven't. I have been using the same budget but just buying what I needed when I needed it. I really didn't think it would make that much of a difference, but it looks like it did. So, yesterday I prepped and then I took James with me at the crack of dawn to go exploring in the grocery stores. James was great! He carried all my groceries while I ran around.
Here are a few of the savings.....
7 packages of pamper diaper wipes .57 each
10 goldfish packages $1 each
6 packages-24 rolls of toilet paper in each $3 each
12 bottles of barbecue sauce at .60 each
12 packages of denteen gum .27 each
4 boxes of planter granola bars $1.25 each

lots of cereal
lots of crackers
lots of chips
I didn't purchase any perishables since I love getting my Bountiful Basket and that provides almost all the fresh I need. This was a stock the pantry shopping trip! Which it did nicely. :-)

Before sales and coupons: $500
Amount of sales and coupon discounts: $336.95
Total out of pocket: $162

Sadly, in all of James's exuberance, he lost our ziplock bag full of misc. coupons. So if anyone finds it, treat them nicely. There were some nice coupons in it that deserve to be treated nicely!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Weekend away

For Memorial Day we were suppose to have a blast at my sister's house with her kids. The guys were going to take the boys hiking while Katy and I went to a mom's retreat.

Well, Luke came down with strep throat just before we were suppose to go. So...I just went! It was really odd to travel that far by myself. But with a little help from Michael Buble and Glenn Beck, my Itouch and I took off and arrived at Sundance just fine! Oh and Happy Birthday Katy!! hee hee hee...

my fabulous sister Katy! Happy birthday Katy!

Katy and I went to a TJed retreat for moms. TJed are the principles that I use to base our home around. You can read about it here. Or you can read this book.

The retreat was amazing. Although it was geared towards homechooling moms, it was really things that every mom would benefit from. I had some great "Ah-ha" moments and some big "saygobedo's" that I am pursuing. Woo!

One thing that I LOVED reading was this: Parenting Pyramid from the Arbiger Institute. It has some profound insights to parenting. I have read it before, but this time I learned new things from it. I recommend it to everyone!! :-)

A few more notes...
*Help things go right.
*Our first job as a mom is to heal, build and nourish relationships.
*Kids won't learn from you if they don't like you!

(I am not a very good self portrait taker...Jenn I need some lessons!!)

*Effective teaching depends on the quality of the relationship.--without a good relationshiop, you cannot teach effectively.
*Quality of the relationships in the family is largley dependant on the relationship with our spouse.
*Our personal way of "being' directly effects the rest of the family.
*It is not enough to do your best, you have to learn what to do and THEN do your best.
*Look beautiful as often as you can--men (including husbands) are very visual.
*don't expect your husband to fullfill all of your conversational needs (I am laughing that I wrote that down!! Pretty obvious I
***The ONLY mortal that I will make covenants with is my husband.--I liked that one! :-)
*Read to teach, write to learn.
*Are you happy with the feeling in your home?-Focus on the feeling of your home. The feeling of the moment.

view from the front was lovely!

**Don't let ANYTHING bug you! It is a choice! (as I type this my 4 year old is having a royal fit over going to I'm not bugged...really...not yet....well maybe a second while I get this kid to bed!!!! AAHHH!!!)
*The children in your home is sacred.
*I need to host a southern Utah TJed retreat. joke...I am trying to find a place to host a one night getaway for about 40 moms in late September....any one have any ideas?????? (And yes I am crazy thank you very much!!)

Anyway, I have many more notes and personal insights. One of my favorite speakers was there. You might remember me posting about a family that took in some troubled teenagers for a week for a BBC program. That family was Nicholeen Peck's family. She has given me some transformational knowledge that has truly helped my family. She has given me vision and goals for my family and I will forever be greatful to her. She has a book out now too!! So everyone who is struggling with your kids...this is the book for you!!! She also has a blog HERE and an email letter that sends out great information as well.

--this is in day two with Nicholeen...I was not looking so bouncy as day

And since she will probably never see this, I'll divulge this For those of you who know me, you know that I love to do handwriting analysis--I can read quite a few things from a signature. Well, I asked to see Nicholeen's signature (not an autograph..autographs are different!). Her signature was so in line with what she taught. She didn't have any temper ticks, she thinks a lot before she speaks, her husband is the leader in her home and she if very humble. I dare say that she has a better relationship with her family (her parents etc.) than her husbands. (But don't we I could say more, but I don't want to bore you...if you're still reading THAT in itself if a miracle!! Love you Nicholeen!! :-)

I had such a wonderful time with my sister. I MISS my family and it was so nice to spend a couple of days with her. I love you Katy!!! :-)
I came home really refreshed for my family. I haven't really been in a happy place lately and this really jump started my batteries. I am so blessed to have a husband who will support me to go to this retreat! He had a blast with the kids and the house was even CLEAN when I came home!! Cory you are the BEST! I love you!!

It was a great weekend. Now to read the dozen books I bought!