Wednesday, July 31, 2013

30 Day BoM Challenge

I am proud to announce I am right on track with reading the Book of Mormon in 30 days! I knew I'd be good at this challenge because I loooove having the end in sight. I am loving this challenge. I have noticed two huge changes between reading the Book of Mormon this time and reading how I usually read it (a chapter or two per day).

1.  I am able to actually remember the events that happened from book to book. I can follow along much better with what concept is being taught. I can actually see how certain things are connected to create a bigger picture in the end. I am only in the middle of Mosiah and I still know exactly what is going on! YAY for reading comprehension!!

2.  I notice themes more often. I usually read with something in mind that I want to look for and remember. This time, I thought reading it in 30 days would be enough, so I just wanted to read it. However, this time around I am noticing many more themes than usual. It is great!

My favorite theme in the Book of Mormon that I've noticed every time I read it is the promise that if we keep the commandments we will prosper. It repeats that theme a lot, especially in the beginning. Such a great promise.

This time around I have noticed the theme of the atonement of Jesus Christ being organized as the way to salvation from the foundation of the world. Finding our salvation through Him has always been, is, and always will be the way to salvation and eternal life. If there is one thing I love, it's rules. I love guidelines and when someone says, "if you do this, this is exactly what will happen." The scriptures do things like this all the time and I cherish those parts because it's like instructions for life and what I can expect later on.

Once again, I am so glad I chose to do this challenge. I'm learning every day and I'm so happy to have this chance to learn and grow.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The time that I ...

This is the story of the time that I got run over by some random teenager on the 4th of July.

I thought since it's still July it would be a good time to share this story. A group of people (I think it was just me, Steve, Steve's sister Mary, and Mary's friend) went to our local high school to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. We got there a few hours before they started because it was still light at the time.

We were minding our own business and playing a card game. Keep in mind that the football field where we were was pretty full. Many people come, bring blankets, games, snacks, and hang out with friends until the fireworks start. Some people bring frisbees or footballs to throw around...and that's fine. Usually the back of the field doesn't fill up until later, so there is plenty of space for that.

But this particular moment in time included two teenage boys who obviously did not understand the concept of space and how it works when throwing a frisbee around. Me and my three friends are sitting in a circle playing a game, and suddenly Mary looks up and starts to say something like, "watch out" when I feel a giant being crumple on top of me from behind. It was one of those teenage boys. Apparently he was running backwards and didn't notice the giant group of nearly 100 people sitting behind him. His foot ran right into the kidney area on my back, which hurt like none other.

The boy simply got up and said a quick "sorry" and ran off to continue playing. Ummmm OW. That hurt a lot. You just ran over me. Not just bumped into me. But you ran over me. And you can only mutter a tiny "sorry"??!! I was super miffed. Now I can laugh at it and imagine how ridiculous it probably looked from someone else's point of view. I had a bruise on my back that was the size of a gourd for a few weeks. And it turned all kinds of fun colors. Ouch.

Journal Writing

About once every 6 months (usually around the time of General Conference) I am reminded of how important it is that we keep journals ... and how little I write in my journal. Uggh. This is one area that I have always wanted to be good at in life, and I have never been able to motivate myself enough to do it regularly. But since I've been pretty good at blogging lately, I've just decided to dive a little deeper and use my blog as a journal.

Obviously I'm not going to be writing all my deepest, most personal feelings. But I want to write more details of our lives and what feelings/experiences are impacting our life right now. We have many things going on - with the house, starting a family, family time, church, school, work, and so many other things. So here's to hoping I can kick-start my journaling process. Bonus: My far-away family will get to hear a little more about my life. :)

I'd like to start the process with mentioning my sweet hubby. I got to hear him sing in a ward yesterday and I love his tenor voice. And I love seeing his testimony shine in his eyes when he sings about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have an amazing partner for this life. And I am so grateful to be celebrating our five year anniversary next week!!! I can't even believe it's been five years!!!

We had a special walk this evening together. We talked about our jobs and how we're a little bit very unsure about things in our near future. It's frustrating. We are frustrated every day. But somehow we've learned to cope with the stress. We are in this together and we've found ways to talk it out and release the stress for a while. I'm so happy that we have a home to be a haven away from the world, and that we can bring the Spirit into our home every day. It's an enormous comfort to help keep us sane.

In Mosiah chapter 4 verse 9, it says:
Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend.

I love the simplicity of this verse. Simply believe in God and all His power. He knows things I don't know, and He is the one that makes sure I have the experiences I need to have. I learn from these experiences and gain new perspectives on life and what I am doing here. I'm grateful to know that someone is in control of our situation and our future. And thank goodness, it's the most wonderful person I could ask to be in charge of our life.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scout Camp

Steve got to go to Scout Camp with our ward's scout troop this year. Double whammy considering we just went on Trek a few weeks ago!! He really enjoyed himself and they camped in a beautiful area. He said it was up above Yellowstone, so it was in the 70s-ish the whole week. Well, that's nice, while I was roasting in our 90 degree weather. 

Steve's lovely view from the campground

The troop needed to do a service project while they were there. They decided to improve the camp's axe yard. Here is the before:

They made a nice little kindling pile-area, and put up the poles and strings for drying lines, and left a little door to enter. It was a major improvement. Here is the after:

Well, even though I had to sleep alone all week (which is rough!!) I'm glad he went. He had quite a few of these lovely pictures to show me. I love clouds. Looking at the wonders of our world really reminds me of what our Father in Heaven has given us to enjoy.

Take a moment today to count your blessings. :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

30 Days

Well, I kiiiind of feel like a failure. A little bit. At the beginning of the year, our stake presidency challenged us to read the Book of Mormon by July 1st. I think we got to about 2 Nephi ... chapter 2. A couple of people (that are cool and actually completed the challenge) spoke about it in our ward today. I really enjoyed their testimonies about hearing how reading the word of God blessed their lives.

I know that I made a mistake and I can't fix it because it's in the past. But I do strive to read scriptures/Ensigns often. A week or so ago I found a blog that had talked about a missionary blog they found with a challenge and cute little card to try and read the Book of Mormon in 30 days. (Here is the blog where I saw it: Right here and she actually linked to the original blog where she found it.)

After seeing that and then hearing people talk about that challenge today in church, I decided I was going to give it a try. I figured it would kind of feel like a way to make up all that I didn't gain. And on the plus side, I like having a schedule to follow and being able to see the end. So I think 30 days will be great.

I am going to follow the timeline on the card except for one day. We are taking a 3 day vacation soon, so I am going to read one day's worth in that 3 days. We are going to be suuuper busy during that va-cay. So really I guess I'll be doing this challenge in 33 days. Still - I think it's way manageable.

So I'm off to grab my scriptures and start reading like a maniac!! I am excited and think it will be a good experience. I am hoping I can make Steve buy into trying it with me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Menu Board

I made this a very long time ago - probably over a year ago. But I realized I never posted anything about it. Along with many other crafts I found in my picture folder...  So maybe I'll post them soon.

Now, Steve and I can cook, but we are not great cooks. We follow recipes and hope it comes out alright enough to eat. We are also not great at variety (mainly because of my picky eating). So one day I got tired of asking "what do you want for dinner tonight?" and getting the answer, "I don't know, what sounds good to you?" Steve and I both got very tired of this conversation every night.

So my friends at work and I decided to try something like this pin. I am all for simplicity, so I went for a very similar design. I've seen those ideas for people that plan meals for months or a year at a time, but that was waaaay too overwhelming for me.

Here was my particular inspiration:

So I got my cheap frame from the dollar store. Then I picked some paper I liked. The picture frame was not a square so I needed a second piece of paper to fill it. I also wanted a spot to put a general shopping list for the recipes we were making that week.

I typed up the day abbreviations, put some red paper behind them, and glued them on. Then I used stickers for the word menu on top of the glass.

TA-DA!!! I love it. It is one of the few things I've made that I have actually used. So we have used this for over and year and it's still been working for us.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Let there be light!

And Steve said, "Let there be light!" ... in the dining room!!!

When we moved into the house a little more than a year ago, there was no light in the living room. That's pretty average for most homes. But there was also no light in the dining area that is just off the living room. There was a ceiling fan, but no light. What? Am I supposed to eat dinner in the dark?? It always irked me -- even though it's really not that big of a deal.

When we painted the living area, we went out and picked up a light to attach to the ceiling fan from Lowe's. We fiiinally got around to attaching it. We Steve were a little unsure about it because we are not very handy in our household. We try really hard. And it turns out good probably about 60% of the time. So we were nervous about our first encounter with electrical DIYing.

But here is my handsome handyman:

And it worked!!! Steve was very excited that it worked and was so uneventful. (Read: we didn't burn the house down.)

Here is a close-up:

What? You noticed that the two brass finishes don't match? Actually you can't tell that much in this picture. But the brass on the fan part and brass on the light part are different. We knew we wouldn't get an exact match. So we were glad we had painted the fan blades. Now it's just a quirky little fan that we can replace whenever we have a little extra cash. (Read: Whenever we have a little extra cash -- in many, many years.)

I cannot tell you how happy I am to have light somewhere in our living area! Now I can actually read my music when I play piano. (Major plus!) I love the light, no matter how funky our fan looks.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The hang up

I'm getting closer to getting my living room to be more like a home than a sterile room that we sit in.

I debated quite a bit what I wanted to do on this wall in my living room. Originally I wanted to paint this entire wall (that goes from living area into the dining area) an accent color or something bold. After finally figuring the color for the entire living area (which took many hours days) I was sooo tired of deciding on paint colors. So I just decided I would paint it like the rest of the room and do it a different color some other time if I really wanted to. 

Then I decided I could just paint right above the fireplace -- to make it look like a chimney and make it have something bold on that wall. I even got some paint for it. Then I painted the mantel brown and loved it so much that I didn't want to mess it up with anything else. Oh well. I'll have some pretty paint for something else. Perhaps for that end table I got from my mom-in-law....

Here is a before the of gross tan mantel: (with suuuper awesome lighting)
Here is the after of the brown color: (luurrve it sooo much!)

The day after painting the mantel brown, I had gotten a couple glass vases from DI for flowers. I decided to make the mantel area about family/faith. So I got some old pictures of family to use (I still have a couple more to add.)

I used frog tape to measure my pictures and put it on the wall to get a sense of what I wanted. I was going to try and go for the asymmetrical/perfectly imperfect gallery type of look. I just centered the biggest picture and randomly arranged the rest around it. It stayed like this for a month:

I told Steve I didn't want to start anymore new projects until I had at least hung up the pictures above the mantel. (We still have all the pictures in the hallway and at the top of the entry/stairs.) But at least this part makes me feel more homey. Here is the possibly-temporary look:

I've already changed it in the last 24 hours since putting it up. And I know that I'll change all the things actually sitting on the mantel many times before I'm totally satisfied. I'm not 100% on board with this asymmetrical look, but right now, I'm loving it. It's taking all my courage to leave it this way. But when I come up the stairs and see it, I smile. So I think it's good for now.

I love the antiques and old pictures I got for this. Especially love this picture of my grandpa and my uncle. We are a John Deere family. Also loved finding those books to help me add some height and horizontal interest on the mantel.

And I super duper love this antique hummel of my grandma's that my mom brought out for me to keep. So sweet looking!

So we'll see how long this whole asymmetrical thing lasts. Right now, I'm digging it even though it makes me a little uncomfortable. But maybe that is a good thing!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The time that I ...

This is the story about the time that I threw my sister-in-law's keys into the dumpster.

It was early Fall of 2012. My sister-in-law (Kristin) was on bedrest, being pregnant with her 3rd child. I tried to work my schedule so I could help out with her other two kids at least once a week. So I went to her house and decided I'd be nice and take out her trash for her before we went anywhere. Or maybe it was when we got back from where I took the kids. I can't remember. But it is important to remember that these were not my keys -- they were Kristin's.

So I have the keys hooked onto my finger so I won't drop them. I pulled the garbage bag out of the garbage can and started tying up the top. As I made a knot, the keys fell off my fingers and straight to the bottom of the garbage bag. Really??

Now - you may be asking, "Lynnette, why didn't you just put the keys in your pocket while you did this?" Well, yes, that seems logical. But I remember being in a hurry. And I have a slight paranoia that I am going to lose keys. Since these were not my keys, I wanted to keep them in my hand so I wouldn't lose them or lock them in the car. (I was using Kristin's car since it had the two carseats in it).

Back to the keys in the bottom of the garbage bag. They had hit something slimy on the way down, and I was super grossed out. Not having kids yet, I am not used to touching slimy things and being okay with it. But, being in a hurry, I mustered up my courage. I rolled up my sleeve and reached in the bag, using all my maneuvering capabilities to not touch other garbage in the bag. My arm came out of the bag untouched, but my hand had grossness on it. I quickly washed my hands and used a rag to wash the keys. I also put a teensy bit of soap on the rag so I could feel like I was washing the actual germs off the keys.

Okay! Back on track!! I tie up the bag and take it out to the mostly-full dumpster. I hooked those trusty keys on my fingers again, thinking they wouldn't fall off. (You would think I would've learned by now, right?) I toss the bag up and over the ledge, and in falls the trash bag and IN fly the keys! REALLY?? This was not happening. This is one of those movie moments that I think never happen in real life. And it just happened. I simply stood there on tip-toe, trying to peer in the dumpster, praying they had just landed right on top of something and I could simply reach over and pull them out.

Not the case.

I could not see them anywhere. Luckily, I'm part-ninja. I climbed up the side of the dumpster and looked in. I could see the keys!!! They were sitting right on top of a piece of cardboard, that was teetering on top of two skeewompy-placed trash bags. Also, they were right in the middle of the dumpster. They couldn't be near a side - no. Smack in the middle - teetering - ever so near to falling to the abyss at the bottom of the dumpster.

This is when the true panic set in. There was no way I was going to be able to get the keys on my own.

Many options went flew through my head:
1. Stand on the side of the dumpster and dangle my niece/nephew by the leg so they can grab the keys. (Yes, this was the first thing I thought of.)
2. Just ask for the second pair of keys -- I wasn't sure if there was a second set.
3. Find a rope and use it as leverage so I can just kind of lower myself in to get the keys - but how would I get back out?
4. Just jump in and hope for the best.
5. Call Steven (the hubby) and see if he can help me ...

Well, I went with option 5. It's obviously the most rational option. But I remember he was doing something so I wasn't sure if he would be available. Luckily he was. And I know that he probably laughed at me the entire way over to help of the ridiculous-ness of the situation. (Please keep in mind that my 4 year old niece heard me telling Steve over the phone what happened, and she immediately ran upstairs to tell her mom. There was no chance of keeping the embarrassment to myself...Thank goodness Kristin has a sense of humor!)

Well, after looking at the keys and dumpster together, we came up with a way to step on certain trash bags/piles so that we wouldn't make the keys totter off their little ledge. It took some serious Indiana Jones skills - I felt like I was in the cave with him finding the holy grail, making sure I step on the right letters...trash.We eventually got them out and all goodness was restored to life!

I'm so thankful for my husband that will make fun of my silliness for a second, but then help me get out of what I got myself into. He's a real catch!!!

I'm hoping to make this "The time that I..." a regular thing. I just realized there are way too many ridiculous situations that need to be recorded. And maybe my friends/family will join in. I think it will be fun to look back and laugh!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I ain't lion about these crocheted cuties

Are you kidding me with how stinkin' cute this guy is? No, I ain't lion. :) I feel so clever that I thought of that right when I finished this. 

Sorry for the bad quality pictures - these are all from my phone because I have temporarily misplaced my real camera in all the Trek unpacking mess. Whoops.

We have appropriately named our new friend Aslan.
Got this awesome, free pattern from Amigurumi To Go, in the Little Bigfoot patterns.
It was designed by Sharon Ojala and Melissa Trenado.

Here is a darker version (not racist ;)) of the elephant. This was for my friend who will be visiting a niece soon. I added that cute little bow to make it look a little girlie-er. I call her Ellie.
Once again, I got this free pattern from

Now, here is the story of this next yarn. My cousins recently had a baby girl. They are fans of the Chicago Bears. So when I saw this Bears-colored yarn, I had to get it to try and make something for their new little one. I thought a hat would be really cute for game nights and stuff. So I tried to make this one baby hat that I have made many times before. But with each round, it wasn't looking like a hat ... just a big flat circle. I don't know what is up with that yarn, but it didn't stretch right and it wasn't shaping right.
So I thought maybe a blanket would be cute. Oh wait, I already made a blanket for them. Then I thought about a scarf - but I wanted it to be for the baby. I don't think I've ever seen an infant wearing a scarf.

So that yarn sat in my stash for a long time - hoping I would suddenly see something online or in a store that I could use that yarn for. Well that day finally came! I was looking through one of my favorite crocheting blogs ( and found a cute little bib. She had seen the free bib pattern from another blog ( I followed that pattern and it turned out quite lovely. And the two-colored yarn kind of made its own stripes - which was faaaantastic!!!

So here is my Bears-colored bib. Super cute. I just need to add my button and I can send it away to my cousins' new baby girl.
Seen originally on

I love crocheting. It's relaxing, but I can see quick results. Perfect for my down-time, but my need to have a quick project with good end results. Shaweeeeet!!!