30 December 2009


a love a fresh start. a clean sheet of note paper for a list....my favorite thing. starting a brand spanking new year with that blank page waiting to be filled with resolutions, goals, books to read, compassionate service to carry out. what will 2010 hold for me...for you?

for starters:

*a daily dose of prayer and meditation before anything else
*a more healthful lifestyle
*appreciate nature and spending more time in it
*talk less and listen more
*feed my brain and my soul with good books, music, conversation
*be a more patient mother, wife and friend
*find ways to use & develop my personal talents
*show compassion and do service for my fellow man
*learn a foreign language
*master pasta making by hand
*build my self esteem
*increase my value with classsearch.com...be an asset
*go on dates with my boys individually...let them know they are important to me
*keep my journal religiously
*smile and make friends
*increase our organic garden and preserve as much as possible from it
*increase our poultry by adding ducks and more layers
*be a saver and not a spender
*teach my children to Love Another.....leading by example

book lust
:: The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
:: Atlas Shrugged
:: Truman
:: The Wednesday Sisters
:: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
:: The Last of the Mohicans
:: Water for Elephants
:: East to the Dawn
:: Mornings on Horseback
::Jesus the Christ
:: 100 Years of Solitude
:: Einstein: His Life and Universe

i have great hope for this coming year.
what are you hopes, resolutions, reading list..............

07 December 2009

10 right now

::christmas music....especially sung by a sweet 5 year old.

::UT games....Hook Em

::catching up with friends

::lighted christmas parade with family and friends

::anticipating a date for my anniversary.....17 years can you believe it??

::quiet moments with a wonderful book

::snow in southeast texas and the excitement on the faces of my boys

25 November 2009

over river and through the woods

I so very heart Thanksgiving! The turkey, the yummy dressing, and the chocolate pecan tart.

What is better than that?? Family is. We are going to Vinton, La. to Kevin's grandmother's home. That is one fabulous woman. She is the cutest typical cajun mother/grandmother who loves God, her family, and to cook for them. Unfortunately, her cooking days have passed because of macular degeneration. She cannot see well enough to cook. I love that we now get to feed her. That, to me, is one of the truest forms of love. To make something with your hands, full of love, and give to another.

My month of gratitude has come very close to the end. Daily recognizing your blessings can change your life. Thanks for sharing this month with me.

today i am grateful for:

**cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce
**long visits with MawMaw Vincent
**movies with friends
**8 day stretch with my guy at home
**Christmas shopping

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

24 November 2009

a month of gratitude

Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable.

-Joseph B. Wirthlin

....thank you marta for reminding me.....

10 right now

**hot cocoa
**Thanksgiving Break
**The Secret Garden
**movies with my bookish peeps
**Christmas shopping
**quiet chats with the one i adore
**pics of Christmas past
**Harry Connick Jr ....Silver Bells
**growing to grandma's house for Thanksgiving!

what are yours?

22 November 2009

aunt stephanie

tonight the gratitude is beyond words. my sweet brother and his wife are expecting their first baby! it seems like yesterday i was 5 years old anxiously awaiting his arrival. the time would not move fast enough. this little red haired kind child finally came in march. a little boy who loved his mother and never met a stranger. who grew into a giant on the football field and a selfless disciple of Christ.now i wait for his own child. a child that will no doubt have a mischievous grin and fun loving heart. a child that will be taught by his/her father to always choose the right and to love the aggies. what a fabulous father you will make nicholas. i love you!

i am also grateful for

::the memory of finding out the week before thanksgiving that i was expecting my jordan

::a day of christmas scouting with kevin....always making me laugh

::my valient jordan

::my funloving cameron

::my sweet sawyer

::a week with no early morning seminary!

19 November 2009

a month of gratitude

Today my cup runneth over with thanksgiving

::my favorite little pilgrim who stayed on stage at his kindergarten Thanksgiving program to sing songs with his class with a few tears in his eyes because he was trying to be a big boy

::a fair haired student who works terribly hard on his studies

:: a husband that takes care of me & loves going Christmas shopping on black Friday!!

::a brother that has inherited our father's teaching skills. he is a fantastic Sunday School teacher even if Sis. King says he is going to hell for not having regular FHE!

::a father that instilled in us a love of history and scripture & set the high standard of teaching Sunday School.....people in our ward still tell me that he was the best teacher they ever had.

::a dark haired child that ALWAYS has a mischievous grin and something funny to say

:: my book club girls!

::my sweet neighbors Miss Lou & Jerr who love my children as if they are their own grandchildren

What is better than your big brother getting a package in the mail from your grandfather? One of the hats being too small for him. Even better than that....you are now the proud owner of a cool vintage hat just like the ones your hero wears!

18 November 2009

i am here & still grateful

sorry for the absence. i needed to be quiet for a while. it seems life has been pulling me in every direction but still. so i had to put a few things on pause.

i heard a quote from Winston Churchill yesterday that spoke of looking back to be able to see the future. so true! learning from our past mistakes is key to a successful future. more than that i feel that i learned an abundance from my ancestors and their friends. mother recalled a story from her past every day of her life. thankfully, she shared them with me. to this day, i hang my laundry on the line just as she said her mother insisted hers was to be hung. i see her in my mind's eye each and every time. thanks mom.
this summer, we were blessed to have kevin's grandmother stay with us and his mother. i learned so much from the sweet cajun lady. she shared with me her cooking and home keeping secrets and told me of her childhood and early marriage. i will never forget this summer with her.

so today i am grateful for:

::the summer of lula mae vincent and the wonderful talks we had.

::the love my parents instilled in me of the past.

::the chance we get everyday to learn from what we did wrong, repent, and be forgiven.

::the power of communication in marriage. where would we be if we couldn't tackle a problem, talk it out, and move on happily??

::new days....new beginnings

12 November 2009

a month of gratitude

Work....hard work. It gives you a satisfaction like no other. All of sudden you have purpose, a sense of worth and accomplishment. This work comes in many forms and places. The compensation takes varied forms...cold hard cash, self satisfaction, kisses. We want them all, don't we? Personally, i like the kisses!

Today I am grateful for:

::my new job bursting with opportunities. it has reminded me of my intellectual worth...a wonderful gift

::the keeping of my home and the satisfaction is gives me. another vessel to show my family just how important they are to me

::the miracle of birth...the reward of my 3 boys is immeasurable

::my marriage....a joyful and exciting job. what is better compensation than forever with my sweet Kevin?

::parenthood...the ultimate job with the greatest co worker. i cannot imagine anything more rewarding than watching and helping my boys grow into young men

10 November 2009

a month of gratitude

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

::steak dinner with my family and the conversations that accompany it

::using my mother's baking tools and the memories of her in the kitchen

::this blog and the daily dose of inspiration it is to me...thanks erin

::laura eldredge and the love and support she offers. it is amazing to have your own personal cheerleader...someone who believes in you...thanks laura

::autumn i love love love autumn

::school projects that gift me personal time with my guys

09 November 2009

a month of gratitude

chaos. who would be thankful for a life of chaos? that would be me! i am thinking that life would a sad existence without the excitement and constant state of movement around here. so, tonight's gratitude post is all chaos all the time......

::morning rush when older brothers help younger brother get out the door

::after school when everyone comes home at a different time. that insures undivided focus on conversations and snacks

::homework central when i need to check in with everyone and learn a little myself

::daily chores where i get the opportunity to shape my boys into young men that have the skills to be self sufficient and responsible

::saturdays when we attempt to get prepared for sunday. there is nothing better than all 5 of us working together on a common goal. at the end of the day there is a feeling of accomplishment and hey we are a team....its a beautiful thing!

::sunday morning when the saturday preparations have payed off and we can reverently go to church and the day to just be together.

::all the times shuttling from boy scouts, fall festivals, play practices, cross country practices, grocery shopping, library trips, visits to grand parents, and life that happens in between......i am indeed grateful for it all.


sitting still listening to the hum of the dryer, i realize that it is comforting to me. as is a pantry full of food and a crock pot cooking away. i am comforted by taking care of the ones i love. one more beautiful attribute that my dear mother passed along to me. there was a never ending stream of cakes and soups being prepared by her sweet, arthritic hands and passed along to friends and family. she celebrated your birthday, Christmas, and the birth of your child. she grieved with you when you lost someone dear to you and nursed you when you were ill....as only she could....by cooking with love. for me, it was a cut up by hand and fried chicken with a myriad of vegetables for comfort food
or a "Donna Reed" chocolate cake to celebrate.
how i miss those days.
well, its my turn to carry on the tradition.

so, here is to comforting one another. how do you comfort another?

06 November 2009

a month of gratitude

today was the best day! i spent the morning all alone, shopping for groceries and some goodies in the kitchen store. what could be better?? i came home just in time to make over to my friend's home to work on his Julia Child birthday dinner party. we are cooking everything from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. wow is it labor intensive! oh Julia, why so many steps? you think chocolate mousse is easy as pudding, wrong! just the egg yolks alone have 4 different steps. i had the best time but may i say wow again.

i am indeed grateful for

::Chris & Laura Eldredge and their love and support

::Julia Child and the time & dedication she gave to give us the most essential of all french cooking books

::my dear husband Kevin

::chocolate and cashews!

::a mother in law that is fun and dependable...the best example of a strong, hard working woman i can think of

::this quiet evening perfect for thinking of times gone by and looking to the future...dreaming of what is yet to come

05 November 2009

a month of gratitude

**my new job

**coming to smiling faces and cuddles

**the beautiful weather we have been having

**the yummy hot fudge malt and advice that my friend gave me this afternoon

**the text from my sweet brenda.....put a smile on my face!

04 November 2009

a month of gratitude

its the simple things in life that make me happy. as the years pass, i realize what gives me true joy. while trying to make my Christmas wish list, i could not think of one "big" thing. i am grateful for being in that place.

**a sweet husband who cooked a lovely dinner tonight

**listening to Jack Johnson while i perused Baking with Julia

**jordan's infectious smile

**texts from a friend who makes me laugh my sides hurt

**a tender hug from a little guy who loves his mom

**watching cameron run

03 November 2009

a month of gratitude

**dinner with some fab girls tonight

**my new work venture

**the way Sawyer sounds EVERY word out

**my grandmother's wedding ring

**knowing and embracing compassion....the greatest blessing

**baking for my family

02 November 2009

Kindergarten Fall Fest

Thursday was the kindergarten fall fest. I spent all of Wednesday baking, making icing,making lollipops,and baking even more. We needed to bring dozens and dozens of cookies to decorated by the FBC Academy kids and things for trunk or treat & the cake walk at church. I thought I would never finish...but you know I am in heaven in the kitchen so it was fun! Of course it was worth the effort. Sawyer had a great time decorating cookies, taking photos, candy corn tossing, shooting hoops, and

face painting.

We even had an appearance by

Joe Dirt.

What a dad to make us laugh with a mullet....super mullet wig on! Who then went straight to the dentist for a root canal.

a month of gratitude

Webster's defines thankful as:
Pronunciation: \ˈthaŋk-fəl\
Function: adjective
Date: before 12th century

1 : conscious of benefit received
2 : expressive of thanks
3 : well pleased : glad

thank·ful·ness noun

**The Apostle Paul implores us "in everything give thanks: this is the will of God"

**And our sweet prophet, Thomas S. Monson, reminds us that 'There is a simplicity—even a sincerity—when “thank you” is spoken'.

I have been pondering why the world seems so harsh, so ugly. Why is a smile or a thank you is rare? ?There was a time when manners and being happy was the status quo. A time when men held doors for ladies, a judgement was kept to yourself, or a smile was on your face. What happened to us? Are we too stressed, too self absorbed? My feeling is we are forgot to be thankful. I am guilty of it. We live in a time of more....we need more money, more things, more accolades. What we really need is to be comfortable in our own skin and thankful for what we are and have. I intend to do just that. For the next month, my gratitude will be posted here. Join me in the comments section if you like. Lets see what kind of change we can make.

i am grateful for:

**a week with my fun loving husband at home.

**dinner at my bud Laura's house last night. the food was delicious, especially because she included cameron in the preparation.

**brenda's lesson in relief society...the spirit of kindness was strong. sitting next to a new, fab friend was the icing on the cake.

**laughing with sawyer

**watching the care jordan takes with his family, making sure to help out when he sees an opportunity....from trick or treating with sawyer with a smile on his face to preparing for the next day.

**fresh eggs from my girls for breakfast

**a good book

what are you thankful for today??

28 October 2009

what has been going on around here

::book club...last night was my book club meeting. as usual, it was the highlight of my month. i am in awe of these special ladies, each one different and all equally fantastic. these amazing women gleaning a different prospective from the reading and sharing it in a unique way. it is amazing how we go from deep insights to rolling on the floor laughing in seconds...i thought poor Brenda Vaughn was going to need oxygen when Laura and I talked about our weekend trip...bathrooms and such!

::halloween...Sawyer could not be more excited about trunk or treat. he wanted to go as gumbo (our rooster) but there wasn't a chicken costume to be had in his size. so he is a dragon and a more enthusiastic dragon there can not be. i love to see these glimpses of life through his 5 year old eyes. always full of wonder and a sense of newness. i love that kid.
Cameron is ready as well. he and cullen (cam's best bud) have planned many different costumes....possibly a Hagrid costume in the making. i can't wait to see what they come up with. those 2 are their own little selves. what a wonderful thing it is to have 3 boys that march to their own beat and are proud of it....i am proud of them!

::dentist...poor Kevin has to have a root canal. he has been battling this tooth for a month. i will be glad for him to feel normal again. i don't know how he has functioned with tooth pain...i would have crawled up in a ball somewhere long ago.

::cross country...Cameron has his district cross country meet today. he has practiced and practiced. he runs after school with his team and then will come home and run some more. that determined boy has worked so very hard...run like the wind my sweet boy!

::drama...jordan has been ecstatic about his theatre arts II class this year. every single day he has the class, he comes home, eyes ablaze with an animated, exciting story to tell. he has been working on a skit for "scary stories", an annual presentation for the town children just before halloween. they performed for the Silsbee Little Theater group on Sunday and will for the town children Thursday night. what a blessing to watch your child to be so happy in his life.

::Julia Child Birthday Celebration...STOKED! i can not wait for my friend Chris Eldredge's birthday bash on Saturday. his fab wife Laura gifted him Mastering the Art of French Cooking and The Way to Cook by Julia Child. they have asked me to come cook some Julia wonderfulness with Chris on Saturday to be served at a dinner party that night. it is going to more of a present for me than Chris i think....what fun!

::baking...i have to bake 8 dozen cookies and icing for Sawyer's Fall Festival tomorrow morning. for tonight's trunk or treat and cake walk, its more cookies and a cake. so i better get back in the kitchen.

our Halloween plans are made and being carried out.....what are yours?

23 October 2009

a wonderful gift

this morning we got a wonderful gift.the girls finally came through. cameron found our very first egg while feeding. we are completely excited. the day is fast approaching when we get all our eggs from our fantastic girls!

seeing this egg in the straw took me back to my childhood. i can see the 9 year old stephanie gathering the days eggs from our chickens. my mother was the original organic gardener and homesteader. she loved her chickens and rabbits and the beautiful dark, rich soil after it had been freshly tilled. i can see her face like it was yesterday when her troy-bilt tiller, and it had to be troy-bilt, came in from her mail order. i will be forever grateful for her teaching me the joys and beauties of this way of life. watching her at her sewing machine, helping her with the canning of our vegetables and fruits, and seeing the tenderness she took with the animals....always thinking of more animals we could add...all the while knowing just how important it was to her to live this way. these are lessons that are in my heart and ever in my mind. just like this morning's egg, they were wonderful gifts. how grateful i am that she was on this earth long enough to teach me the importance of these things.

21 October 2009

10 things

::bluebirdbaby .......i love a daily dose of peace & love

::snuggling under my great grandmother's quilt with a feverish little fellow

::pots of yummy soup simmering on the stove to welcome this Autumn

::trips to the library.....what is better than some quiet time in a good library?

::my jordan's smile and his enthusiasm for life

::anticipating our double i mean triple date this friday to see this movie

::sitting in the grass with & watching my chickens graze in the afternoon

::christmas gift projects

::nighttime rides with cameron and the interesting conversations we have

::this song

what is making you happy?

11 October 2009


::historical homes tour with my pal
::talks with cameron
::church with my sweet family
::crisp autumn mornings & cool breezes
::surprise package of pjs from arkansas
::yummy couscous salad
::gumbo & meat pies
::blue cardigan love

happy october

30 September 2009

book love

last night was our book club. it is the most anticipated night of the month for me.

*great books

* fabulous friends

* yummy treats

i love all the women in our book club. each one brings a special attribute to our discussions. it never fails that i learn something every time. i am thankful to have their examples, their sweet spirits, and most of all their friendship.

23 September 2009

what's next?

"Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt

i read that quote this morning and felt the sting of reality and possibly a bit of guilt. that is who i want to be. to some extent that is who i am. i have been working with a friend who is launching a new business. it has been exciting and fun...i am even going to be the first employee. however, that is her dream. what about mine?? i have a dream....to be a librarian. what is standing in my way you ask? FEAR. fear of going back to school. the voice in my head says it is too late for me, that i am far too behind. the math, oh the math! how will i ever get through it? how silly. anticipation is always my downfall. it is time for me to put on my big girl pants as my grandmother geraldine would say. as a treasured friend of mine reminded me, it takes work to grasp the prize. i think i am ready to find out what's next for me.

21 September 2009

simple woman's daybook

outside my window:: hummingbirds and rain

i am thinking:: that i need to step up my exercise...a lot!

i am thankful for:: good friends, sweet boys, and quiet mornings

we are learning:: the letter Hh, algebra (I&II), and how to turn the other cheek

from the kitchen:: homemade pizzas

i am wearing:: tee & jeans

i am creating:: more space for food storage & napkins for Sawyer's lunchkit

i am going:: hopefully nowhere

i am reading:: Anna Karenina

i am praying:: for my cousin and his parents while he slowly dies in the ICU, for my children, and for strength and energy

i am hearing:: hammering....sawyer is creating

around the house:: too much to do but it will get done

some of my favorite things:: Robert Plant/Allison Kraus cd, hanging out with my boys and their friends, lunch dates, and FHE

a few plans for the rest of the week:: to stay home as much as possible

here is the picture thought i am sharing:: i think i need to move to Vermont!

20 September 2009

oh i so need these lovelies

i am dreaming day & night of this necklace.
Lisa Leonard is most awesome.
it is a gotta have.


i have been on the hunt for a classic tote.
my current one looks like it was used as a mailbag
for the pony express...it is so very ragged.
finally i found my bag! courtesy of J.Jill.


oh how i loved Jackie O!
aren't these perfect?
now if i can convince kevin that these are definitely needs
and not wants!

14 September 2009

Simple Woman's Day Book

outside my window:: a crisp blue backdrop for a bright shining sun

i am thinking:: of living in the now for a future full of promise

i am thankful for:: my sweet family

we are learning:: to write (letters for a small guy & thoughts, narratives for the rest of us), the letter Gg, how to cook, our Savior's love & how to live by that example, and about George Washington

from the kitchen:: Roast Chicken, roasted vegetables, cucumber salad, a fresh baked loaf of bread

i am wearing:: knit top & skirt

i am creating:: revamping a shower curtain, a shirt, and a book of my thoughts

i am going:: to lunch with one of favorite gals!!, on nature walks with my small fry, and the Art Museum

i am reading:: The Great Gatsby and The Price We Paid

i am praying:: for serenity

i am hearing:: quiet and solitude

around the house:: pastels & sketchbooks, bucket of dye, a notebook that is calling my name, and dust bunnies

some of my favorite things:: my new flip flops (mother wouldn't believe that i am in love with turquoise shoes!), The Lovely List.com, AmbrosiaGirl.com, Tiffany Blue walls

a few plans for the rest of the week:: lunch with Janet, early morning seminary, picnic with Sawyer, Breast Cancer meeting, and making myself a better me

here is the picture thought i am sharing:: more than 25 years ago, i got on a plane with my family and our sweet Owen Vaughn headed to the St. George temple. We were sealed as a family for time and all eternity. A piece of heaven here with us on earth.

13 September 2009

hopes, dreams, prayers......

As each day begins....

i hope that it is going to be a good day

i dream of blue skies, cool breezes, and a neat & cozy home

i pray to be on time and calm while getting there.

As the day progresses....

i hope that this country will heal itself

i dream of a time when we can love each other as our Savior does

i pray for my heart to be full, my compassion to be great and to be an example for my husband and children, and that my life becomes an encouragement to others.

Small or large, what is your hope, dream, or prayer today?

09 September 2009


As I sat alone in church two Sundays ago (Kevin was on nights & the boys were sick), I thought how incredibly alone I felt. There were all these people I have known since I was nine years old, yet I had the terrible ache of a stranger. During the next week I found myself thinking a great deal about that experience and how that must be an everyday life for so many. What agony that must be. I think of my mother and how she must have felt coming home to an empty house night after night. She had no one to sit with Sundays. The terrible existence she must have had and others like her. Do we ignore those poor lonely souls? Not on purpose, but do we nevertheless?

Molly at A Foothill Home Companion also had this in her thoughts this week. I agree with her and hope others do as well. We should take the time to talk to our fellow man. It may be the only conversation they get that day.

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40. That is my earnest goal. I am going to start by simply saying "Hello...How are you?"

08 September 2009

simple women's daybook

outside my window:: the chickens are scratching

i am thinking:: of the boys at school and how much i miss them

i am thankful for:: afterschool snacks and the conversation that accompanies them

we are learning:: the letter o, how to cook, George Washington, and about the Holy Ghost

from the kitchen:: chicken paillard, spinach salad, glazed carrots

i am wearing:: black tee & yoga pants

i am creating:: recreating a shower curtain, and some

i am going:: to early morning seminary, schools, and to my favorite reading spot

i am reading:: Recovering Charles, The Price We Paid

i am praying:: for patience and soft spokeness, to be more frugal

i am hearing:: the swish of the washing machine

around the house:: homework, beetles in jars, and floors to be mopped

some of my favorite things:: homemade pizzas, walks before the sun rises, quiet conversations under covers

a few plans for the rest of the week:: early morning seminary, golf with my guy, solitude

here is the picture thought i am sharing:: the first day of Kindergarten

01 September 2009

10 right now

::quiet time to reflect as i walk in the darkness each morning

::conversations with Sawyer as we wait for his brothers @ early morning seminary

::Julie & Julia.....the best movie i have seen in a great while

::my dear mother's pearls and the memory of my father taking me to the Metro in Jackson, Mississippi to help him choose a strand for her Christmas gift

::laughing out loud at/with Kevin

::homemade pizzas

::my hens aka the chooks


::the ritual of making school/work lunches......there is something soul satisfying about sending your guys off into this cruel world with a little bit of home with them

::reading Hemmingway

10 things that make me smile. What are yours?

19 July 2009

A Glimpse of Summer

We have been so busy that I haven't had the time to put a proper post out....or 2 or 3. So here is a glimpse into what we have been doing. More to follow this week, I hope!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I will see you tomorrow!

13 July 2009

simple women's daybook

outside my window:: lots of sunshine and heat!

i am thinking:: of friends of my childhood.....stake dances, youth conferences, and EFY

i am thankful for:: connecting with some of those friends

we are learning:: about times gone by....making butter, growing your own food, and what it was like in pioneer times

from the kitchen:: roasted chicken, asparagus, fresh corn, and some green tomato relish .

i am wearing:: Life is Good tee, khaki shorts, flip flops

i am creating:: some photographs

i am going:: to swim lessons all this week, to see Harry Potter with Nick & Erin, and to the post office to send off "good mail"

i am reading:: the book of Ruth, All Creatures Great and Small, and Wondertime mag

i am praying:: for my heart to soften, for patience and charity, and health and safety for my family

i am hearing:: Sawyer calling to see the castle he built " It will change your mind mom! It will change your mind!!"

around the house:: castles, science experiments, books, and laughter

some of my favorite things:: reading in a cozy corner, playing board games with the boys, dinner parties, and air conditioning

a few plans for the rest of the week:: swim lessons, bike riding, lots of golf, and Harry Potter!!

here is the picture thought i am sharing::