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Thoughts and Announcement Fun

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Personal | 0 comments

Having a newborn has definitely made me realize that there are times when I want to be creative and do things on my own, and then there are times when I really need to rely on others.

I have four children. This isn’t my first trip around the block. I know how recovery and things go, and generally know what to expect.

This time around, however, has been rough. I am exhausted. I am overwhelmed. My husband is working two jobs and returned back to work the day after we got back from the hospital – which meant I have been on my own from 8 am every morning until around midnight every night. Oh, and the same day Jim returned back to work? We moved in to our new home. (Yes, you read that right. Moving with a newborn? I would never recommend it. I have literally unpacked 4 boxes in a month. It’s horrible.)

Any free time I have revolves around trying to get dishes done and getting a shower in. I know it won’t be forever, but that is my life now.

Which is why I love that even though I am a photographer and a graphic designer, and I know I could have designed a baby announcement or done my own newborn pictures, I haven’t had to.

I have no qualms at all about outsourcing and taking advantage of other people’s talents and skills.

For me, that was using my friend Jenni at Apple Green Photography. Jenni kind of took me under her wing when I moved to Nebraska, and she is talented to boot. It was so nice to let someone else work with Ann and get some great shots in the process.

I also took advantage of Tiny Prints to print up her announcements. I have used tiny prints in the past and liked their quality, and have wanted to use them for announcements for a while now. So I reached out to them to see if they would be interested in hooking me up with some baby announcements, and they did not disappoint.

Check out these beauties!

i'm here front front entire front back another princess entire back

I thought they turned out perfect! Good quality, nice texture, clear images. I received so many compliments on the cute design and pictures and I couldn’t be happier.


My one complaint about the announcements, however, would be the size of the envelopes. They were almost the same size as the announcements, which made it hard to place the announcements in the envelopes to mail. I was still able to do it, but I wish they would have just been a tad bit bigger so it would have been easier to get them filled and ready to mail.

Final review? Cute announcement and good quality. I would order from them again.

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She’s Here…

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Personal | 0 comments

It’s a girl! Meet our newest little addition to our family.

new babe

She’s finally here and we are drinking in every second of her newness. Can you believe feet can ever be that small? It’s still hard to believe that I am a mother of 4. I just can’t get enough of her.


Please bare with me some more while I adjust to no sleep and the constant neediness of newborn life. Someday I will get back on my feet and start to blog again. Promise.


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My Blogging Disappearance

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Personal | 0 comments

Well, I’ve never been good at being a consistent blogger, but the last few months have been a bit of a blur for me and I’ve been worse then normal, I apologize. We have spent the last few months packing, job hunting, moving, job hunting, unpacking, job hunting more, finally finding a job, and moving again – this time far, far, far, far away from family.

And yes, this last move pretty much broke my heart, to be honest. *sniff, sniff*

But enough about that – on to the FUN reason why I really have been neglecting this blog:


Yes, you read that correctly. Our family is getting a new addition in March… Isn’t Maxwell adorable in that picture?!! (We sent that picture to my family who were not living nearby to tell in person.)

We are really excited for baby to come, but morning sickness definitely was pretty rough this go around. So in between watching kids, shuffling Jackson off to school, and trying to get my church calling (service position) done, I just didn’t have enough energy or creativity to blog. Period.


Needless to say, time seems to be racing forward, and little babe is due next month.



I have so many fun things I’d love to share (cute baby crafts, maternity items I’ve tried, etc.), but life still feels a little chaotic and out of sync and I am still adjusting to life in the mid-west.

So if I don’t get around to sharing anything else, you can look forward to cute pictures of our little one coming next month. 

Again, crazy.

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Free Halloween Printables

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments



Happy October, friends! Can you believe Halloween is just around the corner?

My husband has a special fondness for Halloween. He loves the parties, dressing up, the spooky decor, taking our kids out trick-or-treating, stealing their candy, making creepy food items to eat. Needless to say, Halloween is a big deal at our house.

In honor of my husband’s favorite holiday, I am posting some FREE HALLOWEEN PRINTABLES for you to enjoy and use this Halloween. I plan on using them for a fun family dinner with the kids before we go Trick-or-Treating, but they would also work great for a fun Halloween party as well.

Free Printables Include:





Just click on the links below to get to the file, then right click to save.

Free Treat Bag Labels 

Free Halloween Bunting Banner Set: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7

Free Cupcake Toppers

Hope you enjoy the free printables! And for those who are hosting a fun Halloween party, I do offer a coordinating customized Halloween party invitation that coordinates with the free printables. You can find it at my etsy store. I wish I could offer a free blank fill-in-the-blank invitation to go with the other free party items, but due to the dark background it wouldn’t work. Sorry! I do take customized requests, so if you would like any personalized party items for these printables or other requests just send me a message at my etsy shop.



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Family Tradition: Back-to-School Family Dinner

Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in Holidays & Traditions | 0 comments


I wanted to do something fun with the family this month to celebrate Jack finally getting to go to kindergarten. (He’s a November birthday so he’s been ready for kindergarten for a while now.) I wanted to do something small that wouldn’t be overwhelming, but still something that would be fun and out-of-the-ordinary.

I saw THIS cute idea on dating divas of a back-to-school-night dinner, and you know what, it was perfect for what I wanted to do. It was low-key, easy, and not a ton of planning required. :) I picked up most of the stuff the day of, and it turned out very cute.


The kids had to find their names on the name place cards, and then sit down at their assigned seats. They were very excited at this point. Then I pointed out that they both had special cards waiting for them.


I ordered some cute lunch box notes from tiny prints to use for lunches and times when I am away from them (ie-sister’s weekend), and used them at dinner to make the dinner a little more special. So I asked the kids to find their special card from mom & they could read them before dinner.

card on tray



lane card

opening card

I was really happy with the quality. The pictures turned out clear, and the kids really liked opening the cards up and seeing their own pictures. They took them to bed with them & have been showing everyone who came over, so I think they were a hit.

jack card table lane card table

Around this point Gma & Gpa showed up & we ate the yummy dinner. Then we rushed off to the Outlet mall to get Jack some good deals on school clothes before the school closed. I didn’t have a printer, but we tried to talk to the kids and get their opinions on the clothes, which was kind of new for me since I normally just choose what I like.

That night I meant to have the kids go on a fun scavenger hunt around the house to find a fun present I got them (a personalized notebook) to start the new school year, but we ended up just opening the presents on the first day of school instead because we got home so late that night from shopping. :)

Today was Jack’s first day of kindergarten! He picked out the outfit he wanted to wear, and had to wait patiently until school started to wear his new clothes. It was sure cute when the time finally came!

first day

I had Lane & Jack sit on the steps & open their school present.

opening present

opening present 2

A cute personalized notebook (again from tiny prints) & it was a big hit! I’m hoping they can use them on some of our exploring adventures, or for morning school and things too. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for them to go and ‘grab their notebooks’.

present jack

lane and jack

Not too long afterwards we walked Jack to school, dropped him off with his teacher, and I had the fun job of walking a very mopey, sad Lanie home. (She thought she was going to school with Jack, and didn’t think ‘school with mom’ was a very exciting prospect. hehe).

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Day 8 – Easter Sunday

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in Holidays & Traditions | 0 comments

Well, I thought I had published this a while ago. Guess its better late than never, right?!


I had planned some great things for the last day of our Easter Week, but in true fashion it didn’t go according to plan. Our kids were pretty tired after church, I had things to do for my church calling, and then we had to rush off to dinner. BUT I will still include my outline here for future reference. Maybe next year will go better. If you are looking for the original post that has the entire list of the week’s outline, you can find it HERE. Thanks for your patience while I got this all typed up!

Sunday, Day 8 – Easter Sunday

Song: He Is Risen, hymn 199


1. Easter Baskets & Egg Hunt

I had planned on doing a whole symbolism speil about how we are giving them gifts because Christ gave us the greatest gift – His life, the atonement, and the fact that he lives again. (We didn’t get them new clothes this Easter, but in doing research that Easter tradition also came about in part of the symbolism of re-birth and getting something NEW). BUT in reality, I briefly mentioned it and didn’t read any scriptures or thoughts like I had written down, and quickly went on to the next activity because my toddler were pretty cranky. Our kids are too young to be grumpy about not getting sweets, so we kept it simple by putting in their toy gma & gpa gave them, and then adding water cups for the car, some crackers, and a small book. Simple, special, and fun.

IMG_1594 small IMG_1597 small

We recycled Gma & Gpa’s baskets & returned ours to the store (because we’re thrifty like that), and the kids were still happy with it. Again, it just shows me that kids are pretty easy going and happy with anything new or out-of-the-ordinary-routine. :)


And here’s our grumpy one. We started the egg hunt upstairs and made our way down, and as you can see he was less than thrilled about having to do any of it. HAHA.

grumpy max

Usually we keep the fun Easter hunts and parties on Saturday so we can relax on Sunday, but we missed the Easter Hunt on Saturday and ended up doing it on Sunday anyways. We just did it along the inside of our home before putting kids down for naps. I think we’ll have to figure out a better time next year if we have kids still taking naps so they might be a little happier.

max egg hunt IMG_1618 small'

2. Easter Resurrection Roll Activity & Discussion:

ressurection rolls

My sister Wendy likes to do this tradition with her kids, so I thought I would try it out this year. We got too busy to do it this year because we had a bit of traveling to do for Easter dinner, but if we have afternoon church I think this would make a great Breakfast/Brunch idea.

In reality, I did this when I was babysitting my nieces and nephews later that week, which is why all these things are so helpful. If you can’t get to an activity that week, you’re prepared to do it for FHE or morning scriptures or something later on.

I started off this activity by watching this video (hit refresh if it has a hard time loading on your browser the first time). We ended up stopping at about the 1 minute mark to read a few scriptures: Matthew 27:57-60

Then I put out a baking sheet, some marshmallows, a can of refrigerated crescent rolls, a bowl of melted butter, and some sugar & cinnamon mixed together in another bowl. (If you want the precise recipe, you could find something like it here).

Then we made little tombs for Jesus’ body. We prepared the body (aka marshmallow) by dipping it in butter & sugar, and then wrapping it in its tomb (the crescent roll). Everyone took turns making their own resurrection roll, even the little guys. Make sure you squeeze all the sides of the rolls together nice and tight so nothing leaks out.

making rolls pan big cuz n lane max helping

Then I threw it in the oven. (Preheat/bake rolls per baking instructions on the can of refrigerated crescent rolls).

Then while it was in the oven we re-watched the original video above, followed by Jesus is Resurrected.

Then we read John 20: 3 – 18 and talked about Christ rising from the tomb.

When the rolls were done, we let them sit for a few minutes and then I dished them all up for the kids. And they were so surprised when they opened them and the marshmallows were gone.

ressurection rolls

We finished by talking about how when Christ was resurrected he left his tomb and lived again, and how He still lives. I ended with my testimony, and then we finished by eating the yummy rolls. (You can see little cousins nibbling them in the background already.)

The kids loved this activity and I think it will be a keeper for next year too!

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Day 7 – The Jewish Sabbath {Christ Centered Easter Week}

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Holidays & Traditions | 0 comments


{If you would like the main post to this series with all the activities for the week in one location, be sure to check it out HERE.}

Saturday, Day 7 – The Jewish Sabbath

Song: I Believe in Christ, no 134


Matthew 27:62-66

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Luke 23: 56 – And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.


1. Talk about how in Mark 2:27-28 Jesus taught that “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” Why did Christ have to clarify that? {Some Jewish leaders were overzealous in keeping the 4th commandment to keep the sabbath day holy by making unnecessary rules about the Sabbath. They decided how far people could walk, what kind of knots they could tie, etc. This was one of the main reasons why the Jewish leaders were mad with Christ – that he healed sick people on the Sabbath, to which Christ reminded them that the Sabbath day was made for the benefit of man.}

The Lord has given us a direct commandment in these days that we too should honor Sunday, the Lord’s day, as our Sabbath (see D&C 59:12). How can the remembrance of the Resurrection influence our worship on the Sabbath?

2. Christ died and after 3 days rose from the grave. Read D&C 138:36-37 to find out what Christ did in between His death and His resurrection.


1. Family Easter Egg Hunt or Easter Party


Have a fun Easter Egg hunt, and bring up the symbolism of Easter Eggs from Day 4.

2. Carnation Object Lesson

{Preparation: Right before this, I dumped out the red food coloring out of the vase and replaced it with clear, clean water.}


Scripture: 1 John 1: 7  – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Show the children the red carnation that had soaked up all the red food coloring into its petals. These petals are a symbol of the atonement. Because of Christ’s atonement, and because of His blood, He was able to cleanse us from sin. Jesus was perfect, and because of that He was literally able to take upon him all of our sins and give us a way to return back to Heavenly Father. I pointed out how the water was now clear, because the flower (or Jesus) took all the sins (red colored water) upon himself. I ended with my testimony of the atonement.

atonement lesson

Closing Song: Beautiful Savior, Children’s Songbook, page 62

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