Santa Baby

One of my best friends from High School and his wonderful wife are visiting.  When I got a text from Lisa on Thursday letting me know they’d be here Friday, it made my day!  We get along so well with Rial and Lisa, and it’s nice to have such an effortless friendship.  No extra planning goes into our time together.

They came bearing gifts, and it feels like Christmas in our home.

All of these gifts are smoking amazing, and I couldn’t even fit the zucchini they gave us in! Zucchini is my favorite garden treat, and my zucchini plant was killed by the wind. I planted another one, and it’s growing nicely. Maybe in a few weeks we’ll have some of our own, but for now… I’m excited about having one on the table!
There’s some Mary Kay Mineral Foundation.
PS: I can’t seem to say, type, write, or hear the words “Mary Kay” without busting out into this song.

“My grandma is awesome.”

There’s some doTerra oils that I’ve had my heart set on forEVER, and now here some are… in my lap… just like that! The joy is too much. TOO MUCH! I keep smelling them and smelling them and smelling them. Wonderful, beautiful! Perfection!

They brought back a fan and some candy from their trip to Japan -isn’t that amazing? Rial served his mission in Japan, and he recently took his wife and parents back to visit with him. That fan is going up on the wall soon, and that candy isn’t going to last past 3 pm today. I can already tell. Also, every time I look at that fan, I’m tempted to do my best June Carter impression, “…behind my Jay-pan fan.”




While they were here, we were able to go see my mom’s newest baby. I’m not talking about my big nephew. I’m talking about a little baby calf. I didn’t snag a picture -that’ll have to come later. My mom is the queen of orphaned calves. She nurses them up, and we all treat them like our family pet. They love us back clear up until Branding Day. Then they see our true colors.
After petting the new calf affectionately named “Didder,” we headed inside where my Mom busted out a bag full of old Santa letters. She saved all the letters we’d written over the years.
Here’s one of my first:
A “TT,” it must be mentioned was what I called Tiny Teddy Bears. My brother had one and I wanted one for myself in the worst possible way. And I got one. Santa always made my dreams come true.
This one was written by my brother, Steve.
A “Trdle.” It’s seeping with cuteness.
This is my oldest brother’s Santa letter. I love it for so many reasons, one of which is that is has both my mother’s and my father’s handwriting.
Also, I love that he asks for a Smurf workhouse and Care Bear playdough AND then he asks for a machine gun. JC’s letters were some of the finest.
JC, it should be mentioned, is the father of my nephew who I haven’t been able to visit on account of my kids having slightly runny noses and I’m afraid of infecting The Big Baby.

Anyway, my mom saved the best Santa letter for last. It’s so angelic -so perfectly angelic.

My sister accused me of aggravated brown nosing.
I asked my mom if he brought me a halo polisher.

Now I’m off to celebrate the 4th in Smalltown, USA. There will be pictures and hot dogs and maybe a few face paintings.
Enjoy your weekend, Patriots!


I go to a monthly Ladies Night Out game night.  Usually we play BUNCO, but occasionally we opt to play “Burn Down the House.”  When we play BUNCO, we all generally bring a gift and a food item.  When we play Burn Down the House, we bring a bag with 3 useful items from around our house and three useless items from around our house.  When it’s time to go home, we all leave with 6 items.  Some we throw away.  Some we keep.

I scored big time last night:
Lotion, lip balm, teensy fire crackers, cute home decor rack that matches my bathroom… lovely!

HOWEVER, there were a few guests we were lucky enough to “win” a cricket in a ziploc, a small tray of chewed gum (gag!), a roll of toilet paper, an empty bottle of hairspray… the list goes on.
Anyone who didn’t win anything nice is always given a nice prize by the hostess.
Anyone who is a niece of the hostess gets to wear a flower bra.
That would be me.
Yes, it was a luau theme.

It is SO nice to meet with the ladies from our town once a month. We have so many great women in these parts, and I enjoy every minute with them. They’re hilarious and refreshing and nicer than nice.
Usually my husband keeps the kids while I play, but he was called into work in the middle of our game. Since we were playing in my Grandma’s backyard, I told him to just drop the kids off and they could play around the yard where I could see them.
He left them (and our car) in such a hurry that he closed part of a tree in the driver’s side door.
Which made me laugh.

And this also made me laugh:
He thought it looked great with his new haircut, which he’s been telling everyone about.
Thanks, Ladies, for yet another wonderful night!
Thanks, Great JuJu, for hosting and feeding us the most DELICIOUS FOOD EVER!
Thanks, Cat, for being born so we could celebrate you!

Yesterday, Bulleted

*I love living in a small town for many reasons.  One of those reasons is that I can take the 30 minute drive to Wal-Mart and end up seeing about 10 people from my little town.  We always greet each other like old friends we haven’t seen in ages.

*I submit that the only thing better than Sonic itself is HAPPY HOUR at Sonic. Because their slushy machine was slow yesterday, not only did I get my drinks for 1/2 price, but I got
which I wasted no time in using. Yum.

*It rained ever-so-slightly for about 1 whole minute yesterday. The parched earth soaked it in a matter of about 30 seconds.

*I love summer. It’s my favorite season on account of the warmth and the LONG days. And the lemonade. And the flip-flops. And the shade.

And the 4th of July!

And monsoon season and the flowers and the greenness that is so precious to Arizona. Ahhhhhh… summer is what gets me through winter.

*Someone knocked on my door while I was in the middle of straightening my hair. Let me paint a picture: while I’m straightening my hair, I thrown half of it up in a terrible pony tail on top of my head and work with the other half. I ignore my children and they, in turn, ignore all of the house rules. When the knock came at the door, I answered it hoping it would be my sister. or my dad.
It was a neighbor from down the road that I have never before met. And there I stood with my cock-eyed hair and my crazy yelling kids (one of which was dressed in a Christmas shirt and the bottom half of a tiger costume)… he pointed to a horse trotting down the road.
“Does that belong to you?”
“Oh, I think that’s my Daddy’s horse, Junior.”

Daddy’s? What am I? 5? I haven’t said “Daddy” in over 20 years! But things like that slip out when I’m embarrassed.

*Even in summer, my brother’s chili is a welcome dinner.

*While shopping, I bought two hair products. I don’t usually buy hair products beyond gel, hairspray, shampoo, and conditioner. But yesterday I did. Want to know why? They smell good. When my hair smells good, I’m roughly 50% happier. Will someone please invent hair perfume?

*I love women. I love talking with them and bonding with them and pulling strength from them which is why I’m spades of excited about the paperwork placed in my hands yesterday.

My “Mommy” (hey, if Dad is Daddy…) and I are soon to be on our way to a retreat for women! Held here:

And we’re going to be getting our hair and make-up professionally done. I’m so excited! I’ve been growing my hair out for nine months! It’s so nasty and it won’t curl at all. To be honest, I’m getting impatient for the make-up/hair thing.
Thank goodness for TAAZ.

This is me before.  I left myself unspeakably naked where cosmetics are concerned.  I applied some foundation and mascara, but you can’t really tell.

This is me as Selena Gomez. I think it’s my favorite so far.

This is me as some other celebrity I’ve never, ever heard of in my life.

And, just for fun… here I am as CLEOPATRA!!

The thought of greeting my husband like that when he walks through the door tonight made me laugh so hard I cried.
“Well, hello…”

I’ve always wondered what I’d look like if I was blonde. I’ve also always wanted to wear bright red lipstick, but I can’t. At least, not in real life. But TAAZ isn’t real life at all! Wheeeeee!

I even changed my eye color. Snicker.

One of the great things about TAAZ is that they tell you where you can buy products that match the colors you use. Even the eye color! If you change it, they’ll recommend a contact brand and color to you. Pretty sweet!
I started playing with TAAZ years ago -before I evah evah had kids. They’ve come a long way since then, and they’re a BALL to play with.
Click here: TAAZ
Upload a picture of yourself and have some fun.

Plugging Back In

Remember that one time I blogged and then dropped off the face of the Internet? Because really. I do. It all started on Wednesday morning. My phone rang. It was my mother-in-law. The first words out of her mouth were, “I have news.”

Something Austen inside me wanted to take on a British accent and start saying things like, “Such news! Most vital news indeed!” But I didn’t. I held my absurdities and just listened.

“Dusty’s coming home tomorrow.”
“What the HECK?!” I said, which I think sounded MUCH more smooth that anything Austenish. Agree?

Dusty, my brother-in-law, has been on a mission for the last two years. He was scheduled to come home in a couple of weeks but due to some missionary mixing ups, he was sent home a couple weeks early. The airport he was flying into was roughly 4 hours away, and my husband had just been called to work an emergency graveyard shift. He was devastated. Having served a mission himself some years ago (ten), he was really looking forward to meeting his brother at the airport. That’s when something Divine intervened, and my husband was able to get off work.
It must here be mentioned that by Wednesday, my husband had already worked his 40 hours for the week. He’s my little worker ant.

We woke up early Thursday morning and drove to the airport.
Blogging, dears, was far from my mind. Whilst pulling into the airport, I got on the phone with a nearby resort and made us some reservations. The entire family was spending the weekend at a resort, and I’d been calling the resort for a couple of days trying to eek in a suite, but they were entirely booked.
Again something Diving intervened, and we were given a King-sized suite.

And then we were given our brother back.
I hardly took any pictures this weekend. I really was unplugged. It cost $12 a day to use the internet at the resort, so I opted out. Instead, I went on the lazy river 8 times. Not consecutively.
But while it seems the rest of the state is on fire, the resort can almost make you forget.
Fire? What fire? Drought? What Drought?
At the end of the first day, my son completely crashed.
My daughter, on the other hand, did not. She stayed up until midnight. And then she woke up at 5. And then she woke me up.
“Mom, I just need a movie!”
“Mom, I just need a cookie!”
“Mom, here’s Santa’s cookies and a letter so may know what to give me.”

Finally, after falling back asleep about 5 times and being woken up six… I got up. I went into the room where the kids were sleeping to find my daughter fast asleep.
I cursed my luck and ate an Oatmeal Cream Pie. For breakfast. Yahoo for vacation!
I tried to sneak a picture of my husband in:
He caught me.
“You better not be takin’ a picture of me,” he said.
I told him I wasn’t. I told him that I already HAD. And then I told him I couldn’t help but take pictures of something so lovely.
Anyway, I HAD to take pictures of him whenever he was nearby. For the better part of the vacation weekend, he wasn’t nearby at all!
“Where’s Danny?” was the question of the weekend.
“It’s my single mom vacation,” I’d say.

Truth: Danny was busy visiting with his family.
And that was as it should have been.
(I’m pretty sure she shouldn’t have been putting her feet in that fountain…)

One night, after my sister-in-law had helped me out with the kids (we went on the lazy river twice), we thought we might stop off at the restaurant overlooking the pools and see if they were still open.
It was 9:30 PM, so my hopes weren’t high, but since I’d had such amazing luck all weekend… they were open!
We ordered up some s’more making goodness and indulged.
The kids were thrilled. Fire!
And MMmmmmmm…
My daughter was bothered that Daddy wasn’t there. She’s such a good girl. I love my husband just as much as the next girl, but when they plopped all of that s’more goodness in front of me the LAST thing on my mind was sharing!
“Daddy needs one!” My daughter said, “I will make one for him.”
And so… she did.
It was cute. And messy.
And he loved it. I should have thought of it, you know. But I was too busy cramming graham crackers together.

Okay now. Okay. Now I have some confessing to do.

Have you ever spent an entire day sleeping? or watching movies? or eating junk? You know how those days make you feel? Grimy, cruddy, loathsome…
Well, I learned over the weekend that you can effectively over indulge in vanity and end up feeling incredibly grimy. And foolish.
Vanity has always been a fault of mine that I’ve fought for years. I hate it, and keeping it in check has been a personal war.
As lucky as I was this weekend, I wasn’t lucky enough to remember to pack something to GO OVER my bathing suit on account of our packing up in such a rush.
I don’t have a fit body.
I don’t have a tan body.
I have rolls on my belly -ever present reminders of the babies I birthed (as if the children themselves weren’t enough).

Anyway, I had to swim in a bathing suit.

Do you know how disconcerting that can be?! Do you?!
I stood in front of a full-length mirror and sighed heavily before walking over to the water park. I felt a lot like Anne Hathaway in the beginning of “The Princess Diaries.”
“As always, this is as good as it’s gonna get.”

And then I mentally slapped myself for caring so much. Because, really. Does it matter? Is anyone looking? Does anyone care?! What’s the worst that could happen? Someone might look at me and think, “She really should cover-up more.”
Well, shoot. I think I can take that.
My inner voice swelled within me as I continued to pep talk myself out the door.

And then I spent the weekend facing my fears. Like the man afraid of heights at the edge of the Empire State Building, so I walked around a water park in my bathing suit.

(Lacy took that picture, and I can tell you that just before the shutter went off, I felt my husband suck in.  Hee, hee.)

And you know what? I lived. I’m sitting here, typing, and telling you all about it.

As we drove home yesterday, I told my husband about how I’d spent the weekend worrying too much about how I looked.
He misunderstood what I was saying and ended up saying, “Don’t look at other women and feel bad about what you don’t have. Just look at them and use them as motivation… like that’s your goal.”
Umm, shut up.

That’s NOT what I was saying. At all. Stop.

When I explained myself a little better, he understood a little better and I made sure to explain to him that I wasn’t worried about what OTHER women looked like. Just me.
Because I’m vain.

And as I discussed it with him and reminded myself that vain thinking is unhealthy thinking and that I’ll never fully enjoy my life until I get over my unhealthy thinking… I reached under my slightly burned leg (we ran out of sunscreen on the last day) and found an entire PATCH of long, black leg hair.

My entire speech flew out the car window.
“HONEY!!!” I said, “DID YOU SEE THIS!?!?!”
“Oh, yeah,” he said, “I saw it yesterday. I was going to say something, but I didn’t want to embarrass you. Then I forgot.”

Well, yuck.
And can someone please explain to my why it is impossible to ever completely shave your legs? I always miss patches. And my legs are white and my hair is black.
And I burn and don’t tan.

Diddle-diddle dumpling.
(She wouldn’t smile. Minutes before, she had been teasing her brother. I got after her, and then had the AUDACITY to ask her to smile. “No,” she said. I snapped the picture just as she said, “I’m just in trouvle.”)

Today I’ll work harder to have better thoughts.  I’ll do my make-up and then forget about it.  I won’t spend the rest of the day wondering if my eye liner smudged or if my hair fell out of place.  I’ll abandon those adolescent thoughts for better, higher thoughts.
I’ll do whatever I can to keep myself from shaving my head and wearing a flour sack for clothes since that’s what I felt like doing after this weekend.
And most of all, I’ll keep this t-shirt in mind. My brother-in-law brought it back from his mission in Alabama for my husband:
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a brand new nephew to meet.
Don’t worry, you’ll meet him too. Probably tomorrow. Same time, same place.

I Wanna Be A…

I once had a professor tell me that if I was interested in a wide variety of subjects, that I should be a geologist. He was right, I suppose, and I might have taken him up on it EXCEPT that while my interests include a ridiculously WIDE variety, science is not included. Can’t you see it, pouting in the sidelines? Like the last kid picked for teams?

I don’t hate science. I just hate getting tested on it. I don’t mind sitting in class and learning about it, just please don’t ask me to answer questions and then GRADE me on them. Ouch.

That said: I love everything. I have a long list of dreams. Ready?

I want to write books.
I want to open up a library.
I want to open a family restaurant.
I want to go into reflexology.
I want to learn how to cut hair.
I want to learn how to build things out of wood.
I want to learn how to reupholster furniture.
I want to be a motivation speaker (think John Bytheway and NOT Chris Farley) for youth.
I want to manage a small farm.
I want to get the point where I can sew all of my own clothes and have them be unique and stylish.
I want to have 5 kids and spend all my time with them.
I want to become the Queen of Organization.
I want to maser photoshop. Right after I buy it. And a new camera.
I want to foster my love of family and history and channel it into family history.
I want to act in local theatricals.
I want to be a teacher.
Okay, okay. OKAY. I’ll stop.

Let me just make one thing clear: I don’t want to DO it all. I simply want to LEARN it all.
I was thinking about this a couple days ago as I was doing the dishes, and it’s downright unsettling and yards of frustrating to be thinking about EVERYTHING you WANT to do while all you can do… really… is the dishes.

As I thought about everything I wanted to learn/accomplish, I thought of my professor. I still didn’t really have a hankering for science, but something else dawned on me.

I have two kids, right? Some days I want five. But some days I just want two.
No matter the number, THEY fulfill all of my dreams.

They sit at my feet and listen to my stories, written or unwritten. They’re my audience, always captive. They are my restaurant patrons who eat for free, my children in my home library. They’re my reflexology patients and the messes who fuel my hunger for organization. They make for models who sport my homemade clothing. They are my indoor farm, and at any given moment I can have chickens, geese, horses, puppies, rabbits, cows! All I have to do is ask and my children… transform! I teach all the time, constantly. I answer the “why’s” and “how comes.” I spend my time motivating them with my words and actions. Yes, friends, they are exactly what I want.
They are my dreams.

So to answer the unanswered questions that float around stay-at-home mothers, what do I do all day?

I fulfill my dreams full-time and then some. Am I paid? Not monetarily, but you can’t put a price on happiness. Besides, the truly rich don’t need money. They are not wanting.
I speak from experience.

Does This Freak Anyone Else Out?


He sleeps like this all the time, and I’m constantly poking and prodding him to make sure he’s still among the living.
I really love it when he crosses his legs like that. I also really love it when he sleeps with his eyes fully closed.

I also love that he sometimes refuses to stay asleep unless I’m right there next to him. I did, in very fact, spend all of last night with a 2 year old little boy snuggled next to me. And when he woke me up this morning, I asked him “Who got out of bed and came to sleep with me last night?”
And he answered, “Lacy did it.”

That’s his default answer for a lot of things these days.
They’re great friends, most of the time. I don’t know why he tries to pin everything on her.

Only a few days ago, he came running into me with tears streaming down his face.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” I asked him.
“LACY HIT BE BACK!” He wailed. (“be” means “me” in this case)
Well, good for her.

We live by a golden rule all our own in this house: an eye for an eye.
It doesn’t exactly breed harmony…
And please forgive me for reposting the above picture. I can’t get enough of it. Also: we are actually pretty nice to each other. And we do abide by the real golden rule most of the time. when we’re not hitting back, that is.

Parenting Changes Things

I wrote this post Monday morning and it refused to publish, so here it is too-day.  Hoo-ray.


How’ve you been? I fell off the face of the earth for a few days.
Short excuse: I got sick.
Long excuse: I went out of town for a baby shower and had the time of my life eating and eating and eating and then I went OUT to eat with family and then I woke up at 4 am the next day feeling like death and I remained plastered to my mother in law’s futon until we got home and once I got home and got some rest I was fine but I had to get outta the house ASAP to pick up Red Cross donations and drop them off with Audree… and then I HAD to stay at Jewel’s house and visit and then I HAD to clean my house and then I HAD to have Julianne over to watch a movie which we didn’t make it all the way through because Netflix quit working properly.

And now. Here I am.

Anyway, I’ve got a few things to write about, but right now I’ll only go so far as to tell you about our drive to my in law’s house.
**side note: my in laws are all amazing. I struck in law GOLD on all accounts.**

Because we were driving to a baby shower, I remarked to my husband that having a child just changes everything.
“You dress differently -you have to! First of all, you don’t fit into the clothes you used to fit into because, even if you do happen to lose ALL of the weight, your bone structure changes. And then you have to wear really practical clothes because you learn really quick that your baby will barf on whatever you’re wearing whether it’s silk or cotton.”
And then we got into the deeper part of the conversation.
“And isn’t it amazing how just having a child changes your perception of mortality? Not to mention how it makes you feel about true love… You have all of these ideas about what kind of parent you’re going to be, and then the child is placed in your arms and you realize it’s not up to you at all.  The best part is how easy it is to let go of any preconceived notions and become a completely loyal and willing servant.”

And then we reveled in the silence of our thoughts.

…until the girl puked everywhere.

Yeah. Parenting.
In other parenting ponderings, how did pioneers parent without TV sets?

Summertime, As it Should Be

Rinse off:

Dry off:

Cool off with shaved ice:
And again and again and again!


It’s so easy to go about your daily life and forget you used to not be able to reach the bathroom sink or tie your own shoes. It reminds me in a small way of Ms. Trunchbull, “They’re all mistakes, children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one.”

Yet there are moments -swift, fleeting moments -when your body is ripped through by the sensation of childhood. You feel alive, energized… and roughly 8 years old. Strictly speaking, you’re positively trampled by nostalgia. It’s invigorating, really. And even when the sensation is gone, it leaves you feeling changed.

This has happened to me many, many times -usually when I’m reading one of my journals from grade school days. But last Saturday it happened again, and the feeling was about 1,000 times sharper than normal. For the first time ever, I longed to be little again, if only to tap into my little unworried, imaginative brain.

It all happened here:
The school playground.

I took my kids and my little cousin there to play. My sister met us there with a few kids she was babysitting, and we all just ran around until we were tired and wanted Mr. G’s ice cream more than the slides.
And as I watched my kids running rampant on the exact same equipment I used to run rampant on, I was struck. It seemed to overtake me, and I could almost ALMOST see my best friend hanging from the monkey bars, skipping two as she went (I was so impressed). I could see us with our skinny, long legs hanging from the bridges and our hair standing on end after we came out of the tube slide. I remember my friends huddling close to me and holding me while I cried during recess one day because I had spent months preparing to go to the Junior High All-State Band Festival… only to be told the day I was supposed to leave that I wouldn’t be going on account of unforseen, unavoidable circumstances.
I remember playing Follow the Leader.
I remember being told on Halloween that my princess dress was all wrong -princesses never wear brown dresses, apparently. I went home feeling rather dejected only to have my level of excitement brought back full-force by my expert of a mother.
I thought of the library inside the school -it was my favorite place in the entire building. I used to get lost in the books there, and I couldn’t get enough. The library fed my imagination a constant diet of adventure. I jumped time zones, countries, races, spaces! It was more gratifying than the tire swing (which has been taken down, probably for the best).

I stood rooted to the playground dirt while my inner-child pulled herself from the depths of my soul and slapped me across the face.
Then I walked away the better for it.
(The monkey bars my friend would skip two on. SOMETIMES even three. So cool, I know.)
(Seth building houses in the dirt. I didn’t want to tell him they looked exactly like wigwams.)

When I start to forget that I used to be a child -and I will, we all do -I’ll always have my kids around to remind me. I’ll always have their big, trusting eyes staring into my soul wondering if I approve of them… if they’re doing things right. And I’ll always have their smiling faces.
See that? His face is like a tonic for the soul. One look at this picture, and all seems right with the world. All you need is a little time with a swing (and Aunt JuJu, naturally).

Country Girls

I LOVE my girls. They are all amazing in their own way, and I can’t even begin to express to you what it feels like to be surrounded by so many genuinely GOOD youth. All of the youth 14 and up from our stake (and 4 other surrounding stakes) got invited to a Dance Festival. My Beehives are all 12 and 13, so they weren’t able to go. They mentioned a few times how they wanted to go and have fun like the other kids, so I promised them we’d do something on our own. And it would be AMAZING.
But I had NO IDEA what it would be. I didn’t tell them that, though.
The Country Girl Party came together nicely, and all the girls seemed to really enjoy it. I’m no good with fancy decorations, so I just went with hay bales and a little burlap.
I didn’t put the pump up for the party. It was there when we moved in. It’s exclusively for decoration, and I’m glad we were able to center the party around it.
I tried putting the girls’ aprons on a hay bale, but the wind picked up and kept blowing them all over the place. My daughter could stand it, and she tried to do everything in her power to KEEP the aprons down.
This, by the way, is my favorite picture from the party. She was wearing my shoes and a pirate costume. And SITTING on those blasted aprons.
I finally grabbed some nails and NAILED those bad boys to a tree.
(she thought I was taking a picture of her, so she made one of her crazy faces she likes to make.)
I set their brownies on a hay bale next to a bowl full of lentils.
I poked their forks into the lentils.

I lined up IBC Rootbeer behind their lunches:
Their lunch consisted of PB&J (not fancy, I know. But I was worried about serving them anything with mayo and having them go home with food poisoning of some kind), an apple, chocolate covered strawberries, a brownie, and a Rootbeer.
The full set up, minus the few bales off to the side where the girls sat:
We started with an opening prayer and then I told the girls what we’d be doing (making butter, freezer jam, and bread) and told them to pick an apron off the tree. My neighbor down the road graciously volunteered a TON of fresh cream from their milk cow so we could make butter. I filled mason jars 1/3 of the way full of cream and added a little salt. Then I let the girls shake the jars until a lump formed in the middle.
Here are some of them shaking their butter:
After a lump formed (took about 30ish minutes), I drained the liquid off. The liquid is buttermilk and if you don’t get it all off the butter, the butter will turn sour really fast. After draining the buttermilk off, I added some water to the jar with the lump of soft butter and let them shake some more. Then we rinsed the water off and viola!
I gotta tell you: that butter ROCKED. It was SO good! After the girls finished their brownie that I baked in their jar, I washed their jar out, filled it with the butter they made and let them take it home to share with their families. After the butter was done, we pulled out a bunch of strawberries and made freezer jam.
They all helped cut the strawberries up and then they took turns mashing the berries.
They couldn’t believe how easy the jam was to make, and it tasted delicious. Photobucket
After the jam-making, we went back outside to eat lunch.
The girls had a great time chatting and relaxing.
At one point, I lost sight of my little guy only to find him in his element:
My son LOVES girls. My girls are his favorites.
He also loves apples and Rootbeer.
And his boots.
After lunch we went back inside and made bread as fast as we could. We had to hurry because most of the girls had a softball game they had to be at. Because we had to hurry so fast and my hands were caked in bread dough, I didn’t get any more pictures! I didn’t realize it until after the girls left. I baked the bread after they left and delivered it to the men in charge of the sacrament bread.
The next day at church, everyone got a little taste of the Beehives’ bread as the sacrament was passed. They were absolutely THRILLED and so proud of themselves. And they should be! I joked to one of the mothers that came to help that watching the girls standing around my table in aprons, kneading bread was like watching my very own personal sweat shop at work.
They did great and the bread tasted OH so GOOD! I had some bread baked before hand so they could eat a few slices before going home, and it was so cute to watch them slather their bread with their butter and jam.

Did I mention I love my girls?! I’ve never loved a calling as much as I love this one.
(I have picture-by-picture instructions on how I make FREEZER JAM. In the past I’ve done a picture-by-picture post on making bread, but I’ve lost it. I’ll dig it up and post it soon.)

Later that evening, I took the kids to the school playground and my little she-pirate hung from the monkey bars:
I loved it.
I woke up early Sunday morning and went outside long enough to snap a picture of the sun. It appears to be almost red in color because of the smoke from the fire by Alpine.