Blogs of Our Friends

Blogs are a great way to keep up with friends and family. We have been collecting links to blogs and other websites owned by people we'd like to keep in touch with. You can click these links to visit the sites themselves …

… or, read them right here (the ones that provide feeds):

WEDNESDAY // week in the life 2014

Posted on October 31, 2014 at 6:24 AM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

Day 3 of this project. By the time I get to wednesday, all the picture taking of our everyday life starts to feel repetitive. How many times - and from how many different angles - can I take a picture of someone practicing the piano? But this is where I know I have to power through. A peek at our wonderfully ordinary, everyday life. 6:10 AM - Making lunch for school. Which can be a tricky thing for Payton. He doesn't really like traditional sandwiches, so we have to get creative. PB&J on a mini bagel was a slam dunk...

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TUESDAY // week in the life 2014

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 6:02 AM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

Welcome to Tuesday! Here's a small peek at our everyday 6:38 AM - Before school we read a chapter of the Book of Mormon as a family. We go around the circle and everyone takes a turn reading 4 verses until the end of the chapter. 7:50 AM - standing on the asphalt outside Anna's classroom, watching the flurry of activity on the playground & at morning drop-off, ready for my volunteering gig to start.. 1:15 PM - Our pumpkins from Winco. And I think that I subconsciously ignore the need to sweep my front porch because the handful of...

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Funny lines

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 3:54 AM by Inspiration Station RSS feed for Inspiration Station

You know the moment, when you’re at the dinner table and your kids keep repeating the same jokes or stories over and over again.  At our house, most often it is lines from a movie or Studio C episode and it gets old very fast.  I read this today and it made me laugh out […]

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Judge Me By My Name, Do You?

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 4:44 AM by Where is the Laugh Track? RSS feed for Where is the Laugh Track?

I got an unexpected phone call a couple days ago.

The phone rang and it was a local number, so even though I didn't recognize it, I went ahead and answered it.

G:  Hello?
Woman:  Hello, is G*** S*** there?
G: This is.
Woman:  Are you planning on voting come election day?
G: Probably.
Woman: Well, we'd just like to encourage you to get out and vote in this election because there are a lot of Asian-American issues on the ballot.
G: **stunned silence**
G [stalling while she puzzles this out]: Uuhhhh... what are the issues???
Woman: Asians are the fastest growing minority in the Austin area and they are under-represented in local government. Also, election materials are only available in English and Spanish. They are not being translated into Asian languages, so we are pushing to make these materials available in Asian languages so that more people can participate in elections. It's really important that we get out and vote on election day to support these issues.
G: Okay... Um, thank you.
Woman: Thank you. Bye.
G: Bye. [Hangs up phone]

G explodes into hysterical laughter.

----------------------------------------------------------

For the record, I am not Asian.  Not even a little bit.  I'm the whitest European mutt ever.

But it just so happens that when my dad was young, he served a mission for our church in Japan. He returned and studied Japanese in college. When he married my mom and I eventually came along, they gave me a Japanese middle name. And that middle name came in very handy when we ended up living in Japan for 3 years for my dad's work when I was a little girl. I went by my middle name then and I'm very attached to it.  So of course I kept it when I got married.

It was interesting to catch a glimpse of the assumptions that were made about names when compiling that call list of registered voters. I'm not Asian-American, but I didn't really feel the need to disabuse them of that notion. I went along with it in the hopes that maybe someday it will lead to some sort of hilarious situation. M and I entertained fantasies of me being invited to some event, only to show up in all my huge white-person-ness.

(Apparently we're a little desperate for entertainment these days...)

But it's a good reminder:

A lily by any other name would look as white.

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MONDAY // week in the life 2014

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 3:02 AM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

This week I am documenting our everyday lives along with Ali Edwards and her project Week in the Life. This is such a great project. I did it for the first time in 2005 and oh my, our everyday lives are so much different 9 years later! I love this opportunity to focus on our everyday -- our routines, the things we wear, see, do, participate in, the food we eat, what our house looks like, the places we go -- it all makes up one wonderful story. I know that years from now I will look back on this...

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cheesecloth ghosts

Posted on October 26, 2014 at 4:31 PM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

This is my very favorite Halloween crafty project! I make cheesecloth ghosts just about every year. I love the spooky gauzy texture and the faceless form. For me it is my favorite Halloween decor project because it is simple, clean, and not too cutesy. This year I made 10 of these ghosts as table decorations for our ward's Trunk or Treat. I had a lot of people ask me how to make them so I thought I would share the details. I devised my own little system and it works well for me! First, supplies: cheesecloth - this package gave...

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the month of halloween parties

Posted on October 25, 2014 at 5:24 PM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

I don't know what it is, but this October has felt jam-packed full of Halloween parties. And there is more to come! Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween. But when you've had a hand in planning or helping at 4 out of 6 activites, in one month, it can verge on Halloween overkill. Although, getting to see and participate in the creativity that went into each event has definitely made it a fun and we have really enjoyed each one. FATHER-DAUGHTER HALLOWEEN PARTY As part of my calling as 1st counselor in the Primary Presidency I am over the...

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Night Owl Party // favors and food

Posted on October 23, 2014 at 4:24 AM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

It is time for part 2 of Anna's Night Owl Party. Last time I shared all about the invitations and decorations. Today I want to talk about the favors and food! Favors are one of my very favorite things about a throwing a party. Pulling together a few small items around a theme is always a fun, creative challenge. When I have guests over for a party I want to make sure they go away with a small token that lets them know I truly appreciated them for coming. I also want the favors to be as meaningful and useful...

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city view hike

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 1:24 AM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

This has been a great weekend. Between a Saturday morning hike, Saturday chores (not necessarily fun but the results make me happy), and a date to a food festival I definitely feel like I got the recharge that I talked about in my last post. I had been planning this Saturday morning hike all week and I mentioned it to the kids as an invitation rather than a demand, and they were all on board. The hike is really close by so I figured that we could just roll out of bed, put on some clothes and shoes, and make...

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into cheeriness

Posted on October 18, 2014 at 5:39 AM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

A couple days a week I go for a walk/jog and right now the weather is perfect for it. Not too hot. Not too chilly. While jogging on the path today I had to stop for a moment to take a picture. What a beautiful day! I listen to Power of Moms podcasts while I wa-og and today there was an interesting quote that I wanted to jot down. By Richard Paul Evans: "Out of the dreariness, and into it's cheeriness, come we into weariness home." This podcast was titled Plain and Simple Fun this Fall and it made me...

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Monthly Memories

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 1:40 AM by Inspiration Station RSS feed for Inspiration Station

This homeschool year, instead of trying to post every 2 weeks,  I’ve decided to share what we’ve been up to just once a month. I’ll call it our “Monthly Memories.” HOMESCHOOL: We’ve enjoyed the themes D. has been learning in Kindergarten.  A favorite this month was apples–we made homemade applesauce from our own apple tree […]

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Night Owl Party // invitations and decorations

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 10:07 PM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

To celebrate Anna's 9th birthday we had a Night Owl party for a handful of her friends at our house. September had been a busy month and I finally had a moment to think about it, oh just about 2 1/2 weeks before the actual party. Ack!! Anna and I scoured Pinterest for theme ideas and she quickly latched onto the Night Owl theme. It is almost the same idea we used for her 6th birthday party - Pajama Glam. There were still pajamas and even feathers, but this time there was a little less Glam and a little more...

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fall memory // apple cider press

Posted on October 14, 2014 at 9:15 PM by Life in General RSS feed for Life in General

This is a post that I intended to share years ago, but it slipped through the cracks of my to-do list. It is a great fall memory and tradition so I thought I would dust off the photos and share today. Our ward in Oregon had a tradition each fall of making homemade apple cider. It always began with a Wednesday night youth activity to pick apples at a member's orchard. Scott seemed to go every year because he always had a calling in Young Men's or Scouts. Then a few days later we would meet as a ward --...

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Cross Country

Posted on October 13, 2014 at 12:43 AM by Mark and Karen Ray RSS feed for Mark and Karen Ray

The only sport they have for 6th grade girls is cross country and track.  We kind of pushed Carley into doing cross country this year.  She had fun and really enjoyed the games during practices and the social part of it, but if you ask her, she'll say she doesn't like to run at all.  We were proud that she saw the whole thing through...even through 1 1/2 weeks where she was sick.  She improved quite a bit from the beginning to the end.  She always finish in the middle of the pack, which I thought was amazing since she had never run long distance before.  They run 1 1/2 miles for the meets.








   Way to go Carley!!!

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Visitors!

Posted on October 13, 2014 at 12:32 AM by Mark and Karen Ray RSS feed for Mark and Karen Ray

The Ray family had visitors. Grandpa and Grandma Ray are going on another mission.  They came for a quick visit first. We also had Aunt Jen (Jennifer) and baby Benson (9 mo.) come!  This was the first time we got to meet him.  Boy is he a cutie!!!



Some of the fun things we did while they were here were, go to Powell's books, Big Al's (Aunt Jen took just the kids), ate at Pine State Biscuits.  We also ate at Philly Bilmo's where Lauren became a sandwich!


We celebrated Carley's birthday too! Gotta love Grandma's birthday bag!!!



And since Grandpa and Grandpa were going to be gone during Lauren's birthday, she got a birthday bag as well.


It was so fun to have a baby in the house again.  Bensen was VERY entertaining.  Lauren couldn't get enough of him.  Well, we all couldn't, but she was beyond excited to help take care of the little man.









It was hard to see them leave but, we couldn't be too sad because we had an exciting day ahead of us...the first day of school! Kenny started 9th grade at the big High School. Carley also started at a new school...middle school, as a 6th grader.  And Lauren started her last year of Elementary School. 









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