Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Monday, April 25, 2011

Well... I did it.

I finally broke my Lent today. I could have yesterday, but nothing sounded to terribly good... so I decided why force it? Tonight for FHE we had one of my favorites: Brownies with icecream and hot fudge. YUM! Or so I thought. It just didn't taste right.... and now I feel sick. 10 small bites and I was WAY done.

Yeah... I think I will just be picky about my sugar intake from now on... even my favs no longer tempt me.

I think that is a good thing *GRIN*

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Eggs

Le's color us some eggs!!!!!! 


Finished Product 
Then we sorted 5 years worth of plastic eggs LOL
The kids had a great time!!

Ok! Off to bed... the eggs are ready...
time for the Easter Bunny to come be annoying and hide all our eggs!

Ewell Family Easter Party 2011

It was cold and rainy outside, so the adults hid candy and eggs in the basement at Grandma's house and the kids patiently waited for the signal to begin the egg hunt!  
There were eggs everywhere! :) 
The littlest ones got a head start... but not by much 
Cam thinking about his plan of attack... 
Caleb and Embree kept on gatherin' while he thought about it 
Cody is such a good sport... he doesn't love candy... but he still hunted.
Seein' this pic reminds me that just a couple of eye blinks ago they were tiny and excited like the other little ones we watched today! It goes SO fast! 

My Cub is about as cute as they come! *grin*
And my Cameron is too!! 
Grandpa & Grandma are blessed with an ever larger growing posterity... LOL... it got a little traffic jammed at times in that there basement :) 
The kids sorted their candy and had their traditional candy swap...
Then we share in a meal of wonderful potluck salads (as always!) with some hamburgers and hotdogs.
We are so blessed with such great family!
We missed Jes today though! He has had heafty side jobs for almost 2 solid weeks... and we are glad for it... but wish he hadn't had to miss out!
We all had a good time!!
Thanks Grandpa Bill and Grandma Mary!!

For you Aunt Becky!

Here is the robot Caleb built while we were talking on the phone! :)
Pretty Cool huh?

Lent & Easter Eve

Today is the eve of Easter. Tomorrow I am ending my commitment for Lent. This  morning I finished reading Luke and will finish John tonight. My in depth journey to learn more of the Savior for Lent is almost over...

It has been one of the choicest experiences of my life.

The last 40 days I have read the 4 gospels, as well as some other great books. I have tried to ponder more my relationship with the Savior and where "I fit" in His life and plan.

The lives of the apostles have come to life like never before... and I have watched (read) how they themselves learned line upon line and precept upon precept... at the Saviors feet! It has brought to mind my own discipleship and my own testimony. I am utterly grateful that I do not have to know it all RIGHT now! I am so thankful for the atonement to make up for all the many ways I lack in my life.

I also pondered how I would likely never meet one of his living apostles myself because of where I live and how many saints meet together whenever they are near. I sorrowed a little, but was happy to know I could walk where they walk and listen to their voices so readily. And then I was bestowed the bounteous blessing of serving in the Salt Lake Temple and meeting and shaking the hand of one of the apostles face to face while in my Lent!! I am humbled at the answer to a prayer/desire I never uttered out loud to God!! And what indescribable joy that brought to my heart! And how real it made this journey for me!

I have learned the value of real love. Of the kind of love the Savior shows. He loved everyone... even when they hurt him. He was open to everyone if they would allow Him. He was not afraid of anyone because of their ailments or infirmities. He touched, healed, loved, fed, prayed for, taught and blessed. He took time for himself to learn, regroup and pray. Nothing was impossible to Him. His example has soo many faucets!

This whole Lent quest of mine has brought me GREAT joy!! I have learned that when I am sad, I want to eat junk. I knew that about me, but I didn't realize how much. I realize how much better my body functions without the cumbersome weight of processed sugars. I realize that I can enjoy parties and family functions without needing to put sweets in my mouth. I like feeling full of energy... real energy from good foods. And I like that I am in control of myself... not lead by the desire for food I don't need.

I went into my Lent expecting to "sacrifice"... and have come out of it feeling healed and filled both body and spirit! The first 3 days were a sacrifice... sugar addictions are real... but after that... I knew what I wanted! And I found joy in that! I was given strength beyond my own when I prayed and studied.

Nothing I ever do can compare to what our Savior did. Ever. Even when I try to experience something similar He makes up the difference! As long as He is allowed into my life and heart... He will be there. I have learned this like never before!

This Easter eve, when rabbits, eggs, candy and messy fake grass take over, my heart feels full of gratitude for an amazing man who quietly gave Himself to be sacrificed for our sakes. We will live again after we die because He blazed the path. We will be forgiven, no matter what, over and over if need be, until we are strong enough to overcome (with trust in His help) on our own, because He already paid the price for those sins! We are self-suffering if we think we "have" to bear them alone! He rights ALL wrongs.

And I am SOO thankful this day for the knowledge and testimony I have found while practicing a tradition not of my own religion. It has greatly blessed my life!!

And so shall we, and all those that we love and have lost!!
May the Lord bless you all this weekend with a stronger sense of the why and the how - He did it for YOU!! :) Of this I KNOW!! :) :) :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011


you just have nothing to say that is worth posting.
Or you do, but it is so complicated to explain it becomes silly to try.

Today I just need some joy in the journey.... so a gratitude list is in order I think!
I am thankful/grateful for:

  • A husband who is my very best friend
  • Children who make me laugh & call me Mom
  • Completed projects
  • An Aunt who loves me no matter what
  • A little Sister that has become one my best friends
  • My Ma... & my Dad
  • Jes' new job
  • Jes' side jobs
  • A clean house
  • Spaghetti & meatballs dinner, made by my sweet Emmalee Anne
  • Good friends whom I can trust, who understand me & know who I really am
  • A wicked thunderstorm complete with some good stirring of the elements
  • My study of the Savior the last 40 days... my lent has been amazing for my soul
  • painting that makes me cry every time I look at it
  • Tylenol for a strange pain I have been having - so glad I can pretend it doesn't hurt because of said Tylenol & live my life;)
  • My hair color & cut... my friend Michelle did an AMAZING job for me & I don't feel so old & decrepit LOL
  • My brother who calls me in an instant to help walk me through merit badge placement for my boys scout shirts... I may be starting to like this program after all (LOL)
  • Easter this weekend & being able to see family, watch my kids play & just enjoy it all, and eat me a Milky Way bunny, & some chocolate/caramel covered macadamia nut clusters I gotsed for my birthday 2 weeks ago! *grin*
  • My vacuum that works well & makes everything look/be clean again
  • My sewing basket that was my grandma's... so I can sew on patches for my boys :)
  • My little brother Tyler... he had a birthday this week & I can't help but think about how much I love that boy man! How much I appreciate his love & support & just his smile when we see him! (& I love how he loves my kids! They adore him!)
  • My sister in laws... I am blessed with such good family! In-laws seems like such a funny word when they feel more like actual sisters! Excited to add one more! Love you Melissa!
  • My early morning temple trips with my friend Nicole... we really ARE crazy I know! But its always so fulfilling to me...especially since we are working on her family names! SO COOL!
  • My wreath on the front door... I am SO not crafty... but I really like how it turned out! THANK YOU NICOLE!
  • For my scriptures & how the more I read them... the more I understand & the more I want to.
  • For prayers at night with my kids... they keep things in perspective :)
I feel a little better already!
Gratitude really does work wonders! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cam got his Wolf!

Ok... I must admit... I had been feeling TERRIBLY guilty since my stroke in December. Cameron had just a requirement or three left at Thanksgiving in order to receive his Wolf badge before his birthday in Jan. We had planned to work on them during the month of December. As you can imagine, it got back-burnered in a big big way.
And he had a birthday in Jan.
I assumed he could not longer earn it, that we missed the deadline :(
I talked to my sis Nicole about my concerns and she talked to her scout office that very day when she went for me. They informed her that the official scout deadline was the end of his school year!
Cam and I buckled down this week and wrapped up his last requirements.
We also did a bunch of his electives that he had started and not finished
Tonight was Pack Night:
They taught us about honesty and we played the game 2 truths and a lie. It was a lot of fun! 
Each den taught us about what they have been working on. Cam's new den (Bears) had been learning about honesty, and for an example they volunteered me! I got to sit in the chair and the boys asked me questions. I was suppose to come up with dishonest answers (per the whisper in my ear from their leader). Each lie added another wrap around... 
They explained that the more lies you tell, the harder it is to remember them and keep them up and the tighter the web you weave for yourself! 
I couldn't move! And none of them believed me that I had 12 children, all named Fred!
Nor that my husband was an alien!
Cam's old den (Wolfs) had been learning about Feats of Skill. 
They handed out awards... and Cam got to pin his Wolf badge on me 
Then his den leader, Sis Breckenridge, announced how proud she was of him! He had earned a gold arrow and 4 more silver arrows! The most she has ever awarded at once!
He had 54 electives that he had completed!
I am so glad that Nicole asked about the deadline for me!
I am so glad that our den leader allowed us to still let him receive them!
He was just GLOWING!! :) :) :)
It was awesome!
He really does attend with a bunch of great kids and leaders!
We are so blessed!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tater Tots for dinner?

My friend Suzie told me about a super simple recipe (which really... ALL her recipes are super simple and DELISH) I really wanted to try. We called it Tater Casserole...

1 bag Tater tots
2 cans chili
1 cup sour cream (approx - I eyeballed it)
2 cups shredded cheese, divided (again - eyeballed)

Mix all but 1/2 cup of cheese together and spread into 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 until bubbly - about 40 minutes.
EVERYONE here ate it up!

Probably not the best for you... hee hee...
so we rounded it out with steamed broccoli and wheat rolls !
Thanks Suz for a new favorite... as always! *wink*

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A new favorite side dish!

While Brent and Nicole were here they introduced us to this awesome new side dish! My nephew is avoiding wheat, as they think he has an allergy, and they have been experimenting with alternates.

We cooked it according to the directions on the back, but substituted chicken broth for the water. It cooks similar to rice.
It was different, but VERY good! Has a yummy grain taste to it!
Can't wait to add some chopped veggies to it!
They also have a Qinoa (keen-wa) pasta that we added pesto to and it was fantastic!
You couldn't tell it wasn't a wheat pasta!
My brother says it's the "Nephite" grain... LOL...though I can't remember how he knows that.
It is a great protein and I wish our local grocery store would keep it in stock!
(It's on the top shelf at Macey's/Fresh Market in the pasta section if you want to try it!)
Two thumbs up!!

In a nutshell...

Things have been very busy lately! Very busy! I can't believe how much we have accomplished in the last few weeks! We got the house chores back under control from houseguests, we cleaned out the camp trailer and Jes' work truck, and found homes for all that stuff that these vehicles contained... and turned them back over to the bank (*sob*). We enjoyed Spring Break, with kids home all week... playing with friends, playing their DS's, and helping mom rotate summer/winter clothes and enjoying the sunshine. I went on an early morning temple trip. We cleaned off the back patio and cleaned up the back yard. We cleaned out the chicken coop. We cleaned out the front fower beds. We cleaned out the storage closet in my bathroom, and gave away 3 large black garbage bags AND 3 big boxes of unnecesary STUFF. LOL We have created our kids personal 72 hour kits and helped them get to know what is in their packs. We have cleaned out the "coat cave" and put away all the winter wear. Jes has worked hard all day at his new job, and spent evenings working on side jobs as well as all this previously mentioned stuff. We cleaned up "G'pa & G'ma" (next door)'s yard up, trimmed their roses and edged and mowed their lawn. We have replaced the gear box in the '88 Ford and got it all ready to be registered this week. We also gave away our chickens (rotten brats were eatin' our eggs...) and got new chicks. We exchanged a hamster for one that doesn't bite. We took Caleb birthday present exchange shopping (his monster truck would not turn left! :( ) We have made meals, washed laundry, ironed clothes, changed bedding, bathed kids, planned menus, grocery shopped, birthday parties, a date night with my sweetheart.... go go go go go!

And I have to totally admit.... I HAVE FREAKIN' LOVED IT!!!

I am so so so thankful to have the strength and capacity to do all this!!!
We have had a WONDERFULLY busy, normal life the last two weeks!!
WAHOO!! *GRIN* Love it!

Bring on next week! ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011


Cleaning out a closet this week, Caleb and I found Daddy's old belt from when he was a kid. Caleb HAD to wear it!
And he has barely taken it off!!
Even the boy who refuses to tuck in his church shirts because "it feels funky" is now tucking in the front of ALL his shirts so he can show off his bling!
He is SUCH a mini Jes!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Caleb's Family Birthday Party

He had to don his birthday vest and hat again! *grin*
Love new toys!
Sweet! His first sets of bionicles!

Cam bought these for Caleb at the aquarium. :)
Happy Birthday!
Cute baby Jaysen
Woohoo! I got a transformer!
And my own MONSTER TRUCK!!!
(thanks Mom and Dad!)
He was so excited about blowing out the candles he blew wax all over the cake! LOL
Gram made us the cake!
Thanks Gram!
And Happy Birthday to my littlest man and me!

Friday, April 8, 2011

3rd Grade Field Trip!

Who would have thought it possible just 4 months ago??

Cam begged and begged...
and I prayed and prayed...
And I was blessed to feel well enough to go on the field trip with Cameron to the local aquarium!
Holy snarkies... a bus full of 9 year olds is loud, sweaty and just plain over stimulating!
And I DID it!!
My cute Cam on the bus 
The people on the bus go up and down... 
Sea turtles!! 
This is my group of little men to keep track of.
Aren't they so cute? 
"can you believe all these toothy lookin' kids? what a show we are getting today!" 
A poison blue dart frog...
Cam wants one! LOL 
This little gal was kissing the catfish!
Sting ray!
There was a large tank with sting rays you could pet! Cam was SOO nervous and did NOT want to try it! He stood off a little from the tank. The sting rays swim by and you reach your two fingers out and pet them as they pass. Cam was leaning in and this sting ray came right up the edge of the tank and splashed water at Cam and I with his sides! He reached out and touched it and was he ever PUMPED! He could not wait to get home and tell Emma that he was not affraid to touch the sting ray!! LOL
Not that the cute little beast gave him a choice! 
Another fav was the electric eel! They had this board where you can touch two metal spots and feel how the shock feels... the boys LOVED it!
I passed.
Been heart shocked.
That's enough electro for me thank you very much!
(hee hee) 
The other fav was the piranhas! 
My cute Cam! 
This little fish was COOL! From the top of the water he looks like a tiny gator... really! but it's a fish... neat! 
Cam got to pet a star fish 
And a pencil urchin 
Can't for the life of me remember what this fish is... but wow! funky! 
Star fish 
Boy! Wouldn't Cam have loved to bring this baby home! LOL 
Thanks little guys for being relatively well behaved!
My first big outting was a success...
and Cam had SUCH a good time!
And I did too!

All the hard physical therapy and exercising was worth every minute to be able to be a normal mom for a day! :) So happy....