Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt


Since moving here, we've always had a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. Actually, we started it three Easters ago, then took one year off for Covid, and we were back at it this year.

It's a really sweet and simple event.  We ask each family to bring 12 treat or prize-filled eggs to the park and we let the kids hunt for them in their own baskets.

One of the sweetest things that I'll remember from this year is that there was a family who wasn't able to attend because they had caught covid.  I figured they'd be sad.  This is a really fun family who loves celebrating holidays.  So we collected eggs for them and made an egg hunt in their yard.

They're reaction was very sweet and I know it meant a lot to them.  It was just a simple thing, but it just made my whole day to see the smiles this brought to their little faces.

The simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ and loving others is real and good.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Grateful for His Grace #StartingToday

During the last year, my little children have been my sunshine and the Savior has been like this umbrella, sheltering me from the very worst or at least lightening my load when it felt like the very worst.

I am so grateful for His love and kindness as I've passed through difficult times.  I don't feel put-upon, because I know He has taken-upon Himself all of my worst times and hardest struggles already.  And for that I am most grateful!


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Monday, March 29, 2021

Open Book Test - General Conference Review

As we've done in the past, I threw together a little review or open book test for my family to complete this week in preparation for the upcoming General Conference this Saturday and Sunday.

The girls really dug in last fall and completed their quiz prior to General Conference.  And on Sunday, I let them claim their candy and goodies in exchange for points they received for correct answers on their review.

If you'd like to use ours, you can print it here: General Conference Open Book Test - October 2020

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

General Conference Accordion Book

General Conference is upon us again!  Here is a sweet little General Conference craft we made during Family Home Evening last week that you could easily replicate.

I used this 12 apostles template by Sara J Creations.  You can download and print it for free here or create one yourself by hand.

Sara's accordion book has drawings representing the original 12 apostles from Christ's mortal ministry that children can color in and paste or tape onto the accordion book.

My kids were delighted to do this while listening to this cute song about the names of the original apostles: link here.

When I got my printer working again, I printed off photos of the current apostles and we pasted them to the flip-side of our books.  Because there are currently 15 apostles (12 + 3 who make up the Prophet and 1st Presidency), you will need to cut an additional section to lengthen your accordion book to fit the full fifteen.) 

We played the apostles song (which is set to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me), talked about the apostles then and now, and played a "guess who" game where I would give a clue and the kids would have to find the photo of the correct apostle.

This was a fun activity, but what was even more fun for me was watching my 3-year old carry his 12 Apostles Book around in his back pocket for the next few days.

If you wanted to, you could make it a "face" book of the current Apostles only and allow your children to write the main teachings from each Apostle as they listen to General Conference this weekend.

Looking for more ideas for General Conference-watching with children?  See my Best General Conference Ideas Page.


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Spring Tulips and Flower Show Trips


Spring is here. We have made it!  So, another trip to the Phipps Conservatory was in order!  Here are some pictures from the Spring flower show.  We definitely have to thank the amazing horticulturists of Phipps and of this world who have opened our eyes to these beautiful creations of our Heavenly Father.

We definitely have our seeds and bulbs ready to try and create our own little wonderland in the back yard this year. But until then you have definitely made our hearts soar, our minds wander, and our imaginations fly during the last year.

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Saturday, March 27, 2021

Relief Society Birthday Cupcake Decorating Class


There are actually some super-fun things that the pandemic has brought us that we wouldn't have enjoyed otherwise.  One of them happened Tuesday evening when we joined my Mom's ward's Relief Society Birthday event: a cupcake decorating class...via Zoom.

We learned how to make so many cute cupcakes, and that was made so much easier because of technology.  I think  it was even easier than if we had been in person.

And it was really cool to reconnect with my old ward members I knew as a youth.

Later I shared some photos of the evening on FB and discovered that a non-member friend of mine from high school is friends with the cupcake instructor from the class.  Again, more blessings of the last year...more skills gained and more connections and friendships made.  God definitely has a plan.


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Friday, March 26, 2021

Adding Memories to Family Search


Our Stake Presidency has declared this weekend a Stake Temple and Family History Weekend.  We have about 6 different family history and temple tasks to complete by this weekend.  Here are instructions of one of them: 

How to add a memory to Family Search:

(from the website)

  1. Sign in to
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click Memories.
  3. In the drop-down menu, click Gallery.
  4. Click the plus sign (+) in the green circle.
  5. Drag and drop content from your computer to the screen, or click Choose Files.
  6. Each photo still has to be tagged individually, but the amount of content you upload at once is up to you.

To upload a memory from the person page:

  1. Click the Memories tab.
  2. Click either Upload Photo or Upload document, and select the file from your computer.
  3. Click Select from Gallery to add an item you have already uploaded. The drag and drop feature is not available to upload memory items on the person's details page.

Using the instructions below, you can upload multiple photos at the same time:

  1. To select a consecutive range of photos, find and click the first photo.
  2. Press down the Shift button on your keyboard.
  3. With the Shift button pressed down, click the last photo in the range of photos that you want to upload.
  4. You should see a list of attachments that are highlighted, ready to be uploaded. Follow the onscreen prompts to finish uploading the photos.
  5. To select nonconsecutive photos from a folder, find and click the first photo.
  6. Press and hold down the Control button (Ctrl).
  7. With the Control button pressed down, click all of the photos that you want to upload. Then follow the onscreen prompts to finish uploading the photos.

Steps (mobile app)

You can upload memories from both the Memories mobile app and the Family Tree mobile app. Here is how you do it from the Memories mobile app:

  1. Tap the plus sign (+) in the circle.
  2. Tap Add Document or Add Photo.
  3. Choose between 2 options:
  • Select a file from your device, and tap Upload.
  • Use the camera feature to capture the content. Edit the photo, and tap Save.

Here's how you do it from the Family Tree mobile app:

  1. Tap on an individual to open the person detail page.
  2. Tap Memories.
  3. Tap the plus sign icon (+).
  4. Tap Add Document or Add Photo.
  5. Choose between 2 different options:
    • Select a file from your device, and tap Upload.
    • Use the camera feature to capture the content. Edit the photo, and tap Save.

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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Young Women Theme Wall

I love how creative my daughters are.  I walked into one of their rooms recently. It was a hot mess in there, let me tell you, but then I looked up and saw this neat wall that Scarlett had created with the YW theme as the center-piece, and I was really impressed.

All she did was taped a bunch of scrapbook paper to the wall with the YW Theme and it just made everything look "tre chic"!  

I thought I'd pass this along as an idea if any of your girls are looking for a room refresh!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Going Home

One of the biggest blessings of our move to Pittsburgh is that I am now so close to my hometown that I can run home to see family at a moment's notice...which is what I did on Friday.

Normally, the first stop is almost always the lake, but on Friday night I had promised to send dinner via DoorDash to my little sister who just came down with COVID and who is quarantining in her home.

We had been talking all week, so I knew that she had been reading a scary novel.  So I decided to do what any good sister would do, and I scared the living daylights out of her.  She didn't know that I had driven up to the area, so I brought her her dinner instead of having it delivered.  I dropped the bag on her porch and texted her that her food had arrived.  When she opened her door, I jumped out at her.  We both screamed so hard, then laughed so hard we couldn't catch our breath for a few minutes. (Don't worry, we were masked and had a screen door between us.)

Earlier that day, I was chatting with her about the simple joys that make us so happy as a child, and how those are sometimes few and far between as an adult.  Well, scaring her was definitely one of those simple joys...well-worth the two-hour drive to experience it.  Not sure if she'd say the same, but it was a sister moment that will not soon be forgotten.

The next stop was to see my parents, which was the main reason for the trip.  They are both getting surgeries in the next week.  My other siblings are coming over Easter and to tend to them, so I figured we'd come when they weren't there.

Here is Honor and my Dad at the opening of the small beach that we frequent near their home whenever we visit.  My Dad is prone to picking up litter to keep the beach clean.  He wanted to climb down this cliff to pick up all of the trash that had been revealed when a bunch of trees were removed.  I talked him out of it, since it was kind of dangerous.  He just doesn't slow down.  Always working.  Always serving.  I love my Dad.

About 24 hours later we were back home again.  It was quality time with my Mom and Dad.  I pray everything goes well with their surgeries.  And I'm glad I followed the prompting to rush home and see them.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Easter Bread Recipe


I've just been feeling to great about getting to get my vaccine last week.  But to top the week off I also got to dye eggs and make Easter bread with my kids.  We made these a few years ago when we first moved to Pittsburgh, but I haven't really found time to make it since.  Here's the recipe:

Italian Easter Bread


  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter , at room temperature
  • 2 eggs , lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups flour
  • egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water)
  • 6 dyed , uncooked, Easter eggs (will cook in the oven)
  • Sprinkles

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, milk, salt, butter, eggs, sugar and some flour.
  2. On low speed, add the rest of the flour until a dough forms.
  3. Knead until dough is smooth.  Add more flour as needed, until tacky.
  4. Transfer to oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into 14-inch ropes.
  6. Twist ropes to form a "braid" then join ends to form a wreath.  Place on lined baking sheet.
  7. Cover with towel and let rise 1 more hour.
  8. Brush with egg wash.  Decorate with sprinkles.
  9. Place egg in center of each nest.
  10. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

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Monday, March 22, 2021

I Got My Vaccine!


St. Patrick's Day 2021 was a great "come and get it day" for me--a day when the sun is shining, and it feels like angels are guiding my every step.  And the best step of all was getting my first covid vaccine!

It's basically been exactly one year since our schools closed down for quarantine, so this just felt right.  

I'm feeling lucky, grateful, and blessed to even be able to get the vaccine, since it's not open to many people yet in my state.  I realize how blessed I am to be able to receive this vaccine, and I just want to publicly thank my Heavenly Father for watching over me and my family during the last year especially.

The whole experience was amazing for me.

It's been a long road for us in many ways, but I still trust and know that God is in charge and guiding us through all things.

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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Welcome Spring!


It's Spring!  Things are going to start coming alive again.  Spring is so joyful to me...with General Conference, Easter, and the chance to celebrate my son Val's arrival in the world.

But before the buds emerge I wanted to share this photo of Lake Erie that I took in February.

It doesn't matter what time of year I visit home (which is right on the shores of Lake Erie outside of Cleveland, Ohio), the Lake is always beautiful.  Stormy or calm, day or night, Summer or Winter, the Lake is all of my family's favorite place to seek solace.  The rhythmic sound of the waves alone is so soothing.  It's a great place to think...and it's right across the street from my parent's home.

It is also one of God's creations that is always there...a constant, but it is never the same place twice.

I am so grateful for the Lake and other spots that God created that feels so personal to me.

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Friday, March 19, 2021

Rejoice, the Lord is King!


It was a rough start to church last Sunday with my three-year old Coy refusing to enter the chapel (without wailing!), but it all got brighter when they announced that we're allowed to sing again as a congregation!

It's been so long, any hope of hitting high notes is lost for me, but it felt great to sing these words:

"Rejoice, the Lord is King!...His kingdom cannot fail;...Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!"

There is hope and the future is in the hands of a Heavenly Father who loves us all. And at the 1-year anniversary of this pandemic, that brings me comfort.

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

God Keeps His Promises FHE


Here is a quick FHE that we did the other week...thanks to this little free printable about Noah's Ark (found here).

First we did a little letter/word guessing game (not hang-man) to discover the secret phrase: "God keeps His promises".

We retold the story of Noah's Ark and how long Noah had to wait on God's promises, but because He kept his promises to Noah, we know he will keep him promises to us.

The kids had fun coloring and assembling these Noah's Ark spinners, which was great for us because sometimes it's difficult to do something that appeals to both young and old.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

As far as I can tell, I have no direct Irish ancestors.  I am very, very British though.  But, like most people, I'm game for some St. Patrick's Day fun.

Here is the "No Pinch Zone" sign that my husband found at Goodwill, and the 12-foot tall Leprechaun that has resided in my neighbor's yard for the last few weeks.  Unfortunately, this big guy knocked back a few too many, because he has been lying on the ground every time I see him....appropriate.

Here are some cupcakes we tried out earlier this month in honor of St. Patty's Day.  You made cupcakes, then core out the middle with an apple corer.  Fill with sprinkles and return the core before frosting the cupcakes.

You can fill it with gold, green, or like we did, rainbow sprinkles.  Just a fun quick idea we saw in Better Housekeeping if you need a last-minute St. Patty's Day magic-maker for the family to enjoy tonight!

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