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

~ Mother Teresa

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

*Squeal* I SOOO don't mean to brag... but I am in shock! My first full time semester... and an Algebra class that was complete torture... and DRUM ROLL PLEASE...

I earned two A's and two A-'s!! WOOT WOOT!!
All that discipline and really hard work DOES pay off!!
:) It's a wonderful day!! :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

1st Piano Recital 2012

Cameron and Emma started piano lessons this fall with our good friend Annie Mead as their teacher. She has been a fantastic teacher.
(And she's one of the sweetest people we know.)
For the kids first recital she organized it at the local Retirement Home.
All the kids learned two Christmas songs to play for the cute old grandmas and grandpas.
Cameron played
"O Little Town of Bethlehem" &
"We Wish You A Merry Christmas"
They sang along with the kids and clapped and smiled...
It was a really sweet experience.
Em waiting her turn...
Emma played
"Silent Night"
& then she got to perform a song she wrote herself (by ear)
She named it "Wanted"
I tried really hard to upload the video of her playing it, but it won't work.
We are excited for her to learn notes so she can write it down. :)
After the kids all performed their songs, they sang a few songs for the sweet people and shared cookies with them.
We are so proud of the both of them.
They both practice daily (sometimes multiple times a day)
and both really have a talent for it.
And we feel so blessed for them to have such a fantastic teacher!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Fun - Legos Style

I was awoken from a
December Sunday Afternoon Nap
by the sound of the boys Lego's tote being  dumped out in my bedroom....
When I went to investigate, I found my oldest "boy" was knee deep in the adventures
Jestin pulled out his Lego trucks from his own teenage/childhood years to show his boys and the quest to improve them began! 
Oh how his boys love their super cool Dad and his toys! 
Happy Sunday Afternoon!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

5th Grade Economics Fair

Cam had to come up with a craft to sell at the Economics Fair last week.
Thanks to Pintrest we found one he really liked! 
Emma & Caleb joined in the assembly line... 
We "antiqued" the edges 

And used green apple Tic Tacs 
Super fun Cam! 
Emmy giving advice :) 
The finished product... 
He sold his whole basket of 24 and had a great time! 
Here's the link to the template if you want to make some yourself ;)

Friday, December 14, 2012

After what happened today...

:'( I just want to go check my babies out of school today and hold them as close as I can... My heart is just breaking :'(

(an Elementary School back east had an entire classroom of 1st graders gunned down by a mentally ill male)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thought for Today

"Occasionally we hold back some of our grief, bitterness, sorrow, or complaint, because we don't want to appear ungrateful or to accuse, or bother the Lord. In the midst of these thoughts, if we listen carefully, we may hear the voice of the spirit whisper, "The Lord already knows what is in your heart. You do not need to try and conceal it. Lay it at His feet." The Spirit will help us make the distinction between pouring out our souls to the Lord and murmuring or complaining to Him."
~~ S. Michael Wilcox, from his "Daughters of God" book

Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 Gratitude Tree

This year we used my Great Grandma's Mirror as the background for our Gratitude Tree.
This is one of the kids favorite Thanksgiving Traditons.
Some of the things they are thankful for are truly priceless! :) 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Month of Gratitude 2012

I have been great about posting my gratitude on Facebook, but there is no way of really journaling off of Facebook, so I am superimposing my little daily posts here.

Here are the days I have missed so far:

Month of Gratitude Day #14 - I am thankful for best friends... from my first (Corinne) to my Jr High ones (Jennifer & Jayne) to my High School (Tracy) to my sweetheart (Jestin) to my cousins (Nikki & Kathy) to my newlywed-years ones (Jill & Lisa) to ones that have moved away (Amy) plus my baby sister, my Ma, my baby girl and all the people I hold dear in my heart and cherish everyday. As I have grown I have many many "best" friends... because you are all the best! My life would not be the same without each one of you! ♥ And I am thankful for your influences in my life...
(I couldn't tag anymore or my list would have included a few more people... like Dave, Phillip, Jenny, Suzie, Emmalee, William Cody, Aunt Becky, and more!)
** This is a tough one to leave "out there" for fear that someone whom I adore will feel left out... but truly I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life to help shape who I am and how I value friendship and love. I have learned, made mistakes, hurt my friends, reconciled with my friends, and each up and down have created who I want to be as a friend. {{loves}} and gratitude for the good peeps in my life!
Month of Gratitude Day #13 - Today I am thankful for answers to prayers, new adventures, leaps of faith, and happiness laced into it all :D
Month of Gratitude Day #12 - My heart is full - I am thankful to be a daughter of God, and to have the knowledge of it. I am thankful for the power of prayer.
Month of Gratitude Day #11 - I am feeling very thankful for both my Grandfathers who served, my Daddy (yes... proud Navy-Brat I am), and countless friends and loved ones... Happy Vetrans Day ya'll.
Never take their sacrifice of time, family and life for granted! ;)
Month of Gratitude Day #10 - always belongs to my sweet baby girl!! Happy Birthday to my Emmalee Anne - Thank you for being one of my very best friends, a strength and blessing to me, and one of the most beautiful young women around! I love you very much! Enjoy your day today! ;) No guilt allowed! MUAH!
Month of Gratitude Day #9 - SNOW! My little Caleb could hardly contain his excitement going to bed last night knowing that it was in the forecast for today, and was really bummed when it was just rain this morning... I am smiling from ear to ear as I imagine the wiggles of joy my little guy must be enduring as he looks out his classroom window right now... *GRIN*
Month of Gratitude Day #8 - Today I am thankful for Grandparents, both Jes' and my own. They have done so much to make life good for our parents, and our family from sacrifices and traditions to love and legacy. "We are who we are, because they were who they were". We only have a few of our grandparents left here on earth and it is so comforting to know those who have gone on are watching over us and loving us still... :) LOVE YOU GRANDMA's & GRANDPA's ((HUG))
Month of Gratitude Day #7 - I am thankful for a beautiful warmer than normal fall day :) Wishin' I had spent more of it outside... but OH! It was gorgeous! (bring on the snow... ;P)
Month of Gratitude Day #6 - I love Jestin William Olsen Dorius!! I am thankful that he is mine, and I am his! :)
Month of Gratitude Day #5 - Today my heart is thankful that I get the opportunity to go to college. It is a LOT of hard work, but it is not something many of Heavenly Father's children get to do! I am growing in SO many ways and just plain feel humbled and thankful for the chance! :)
Month of Gratitude Day #4 - Today I am grateful for a wonderful weekend with my family! Nikki & Ben's little one blessed, seeing my Uncle Robert and Aunt Christine (whom I adore!) and all my cousins too (Rick, Kathy, Becky, & Jeff) I just love you guys!! Thanks for inviting us to stay over and play... and for the hours of cuddling that sweet little mite! :D SUCH a sweet baby boy!
Am also thankful for my testimony, which felt like it was bursting out of my chest today! I am so grateful for the power of prayer, examples, and love!
Month of Gratitude Day #3 - Today I am grateful for an item checked off my bucket list! Jestin talked me through changing the oil in my car! I did it all by myself! SO COOL! 

 Month of Gratitude Day #2 - Today I am feeling thankful for my soft warm bed and warm dry home. My heart just breaks for those who were caught in the Frankenstorm's path... continued prayers on their behalf...
Month of Gratitude Day #1 - Today I am thankful for a wonderful time last night at our Halloween Tradition of chili & scones in the garage! Lots of neighbors and friends and family... LOVED all the costumes and the love we could share and feel in return. It was a blast! (and extra thankful for the help cleaning up so that today I can barely tell it was a shin dig! (thank you MaryJo Dorius & Jeannine Harding!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Heather's Famous Homemade Rolls

These are a FAVORITE-please-make-at-least-once-a-week tradition
1 c. really warm water
1 egg
2 T. butter
3 1/4 c. bread flour (can use all-purpose - they just aren't quite as fluffy)
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. active dry yeast

Dump all ingredients in order listed (do not dissolve the yeast first *wink*) into your mixer bowl. Mix on low for 1 minute, than take it up a notch and "knead" for 3-4 minutes. Cover and leave in bowl to rise until double. (*see below) Grease jellyroll pan (I just use Pam) and shaped dough into balls (by floding into itself to make a smooth topped ball) Place on pan a little less than 2 inches apart. Let rise again (^ see below). Preheat oven to 375. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Rub with butter while still hot! Enjoy!!

* Can speed up rising by placing bowl in shallow sink of hot water.
^ Can speed up rising by turning oven on to 200 then turn off and place rolls into oven to rise. I have also not let them rise completely, but put them in the oven while it pre-heated to rise more - this works, but the bottoms do become a little more crunchy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sister "Missionaries"

Our church ward does a fantastic youth activity!
They "call" the youth on missions
and send them to different "places" (aka member's homes).
We fed the "missionaries" a meal from our "country" (or state) and they in turn share a missionary message with us.
We had two delightful Sister "Missionaries" come to our house!
They were "called" to Hawaii.
Ma & Dad came down to join us, and we all dressed in Hawaiian attire for the occasion
(kicking myself I didn't pictures of us all!) 
We ate Hawaiian Haystacks
And I made my "Famous Homemade Rolls" 
And we topped it off with Pineapple Up-side down cake and ice cream. 
The girls did a GREAT job! Even when Jes pretended he didn't understand how Joseph Smith could see Jesus Christ if Jesus was dead!
(their cute startled faces were quickly recovered as they explained it to him)
It was delighful and fun!
We chatted missionary stuff all evening.
THANKS to our youth leaders for putting this on!
Cody was "called" to go to Egypt & then "re-assigned" to Italy.
Emmalee was "called to "Italy", but family was sick, so she was "transferred" to New England.

My Art Class

For my Art credit, I decided to take Intro to Drawing this semester.
I figured - heck! I just learned how to write again... maybe this "stick figures only" girl might pick up a tip or two that would be helpful.
It has been H.A.R.D.
Good deep brain stretching hard.
Learning how to walk again or do math again hard.
But it is stretching.
And it is coming...
And here are a few of the drawings I don't shudder to allow others to see...
(Oh! And did I mention it is fun?)
Our fireplace
(Done in pencil) 
My purse
(creative of me huh? LOL) 
(pen & ink)
A Happy Fall Scene
(pen & ink)
Barbara Streisand Characture 
(pen & ink)
(Charcoal - my first item beyond basic shapes) 
(pen & ink with water color)
It's been a fun adventure!
I look forward to being done and going back to graphite though... so far it is the medium I like best ;D

Monday, October 22, 2012

Deep thoughts

I am sitting here tonight, everyone is in bed asleep, and I should be re-taking my math test to better my score, but instead I feel like sharing some thoughts...

I have been thinking about the power of prayer and the difference I know it can make in one's life. The deep thought I am having is in the communication of it.

I was taught to use "thee" and "thou" when speaking to Heavenly Father. And I often do. But I realized something. I have some of my best heart to heart talks with Him when I lay aside the pomp and circumstance and *speak* with the Lord. Does that mean I am going against what I am "suppose" to? Or does that simply mean that once I speak as I am, my communications become more intimate, and my respect for Him is not lessened in the least?

I also have been thinking about the part of prayer"asking" for what we stand in need of. Often it feels like a checklist in prayer. But there are things that we genuinely need and want in life. So to avoid sounding like a checklist, often our requests are slightly vague. So is it right to be vague and let Heavenly Father search the desires of our hearts to figure it out? For example... a prayer said here in our home recently was worded something like: "Please bless us with the right opportunity." Jes is looking for a permanent employ, and that was the question being asked by this phrase. Tonight as I chatted with Emma at bedtime (*so* love those bedtime chats! :) ) we were talking about prayer and this topic came up. I suddenly realized... if Emma (or any of my kids) came to me and said, "Mom, please bless me with the right opportunity." I would likely smile and say... the dishwasher needs emptied, or you are welcome to rotate the laundry... not even close to what she was looking for. It was kind of an Epiphany of the importance of following the guide in the scriptures of laying it out in your mind, making a specific plan, or goal, and *then* asking if you are on the right track. Does that mean my laundry list of things to ask for should change? I still want my family to be kept safe and healthy, and my local & general leaders to be blessed for their service... so I still wonder about the repetition in asking... hmmmm.

I also want to know how come when paychecks become tight, case lot sales happen, shoes wear out and meds need refilled? LOL Not earth shattering quandaries by any means... but I swear! I put money away for things like that and we don't need it... the minute it is spent on making up short hours (for job interviews that didn't work out (*dern*)) everything comes up. LOL Ahh... the JOY of riding this ride called life eh?

Better get back to my homework.... G'nite

Sunday, October 21, 2012


    If you're reading this, you've been tagged!

    Rules to follow:
    • you must post the rules
    • answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post
    • create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged
    • let them know you tagged them
    • No tag-backs
1.) If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
Ouch! I would already almost be to my life span! LOL! I am sure I wouldn't have done too much differently thus far, but maybe from here on out I would focus more on a few things...
I would be more involved in the lives and happenings of those I love. I wouldn't let the excuse of "not enough time" get in the way.
I would take my kids to Disneyland with our tax return next year instead of planning on other "needs".
I would be more diligent in teaching my kids about the gospel and how much their Father in Heaven loves them.
 2.) You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
If I respect and admire them, I would assume they would feel the same way about me, and I would have no problem speaking up and correcting their "viewpoints". I would expect them to do the same for me if I happen to be distasteful and disrespectful. ;)
3.) What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I look at the world with perpetual hope and faith in a loving Heavenly Father who guides my life and loves me.
I am married (quite happily) to my high school sweetheart - we've been together 20 years this spring *GRIN*
I have to do things in a certain order in shower, at bedtime, and in the morning or my day feels all messed up! LOL
I have found a love of my duties as the mom and wife and I love taking care of my home and family. I know many women who begrudge the work allotted them as homemakers, and once did so myself, but it really has become a labor of love. 
I hate shoes. Really. Really. If it's cold... give me socks. Fun cute colorful socks! Skip shoes - they are tight constricting and uncomfortable blech! LOL
4.) What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
I want to fly an airplane. In fact, I want to be a pilot.
What's holding me back? My responsibilities to these cute people we created, plus the cost is kind of a deterrent... and I don't have a plane... so it would be torture to get my license and never use it! LOL
5.) Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
No... and nope
6.) Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
Loosing touch with a good friend who lives near me. I have experienced it and it is confusing and sad. It's hard to see them and know things aren't the same, and I feel unsure how to repair it.
7.) Has your greatest fear ever come true?
No. I still have my sweetheart here on earth with me and all my children to raise.
8.) Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
Ha ha... yes... and no... it really doesn't.
9.) If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
Nope. Being a mommy is awesome! And I would continue school too! Though I would be pleased to have my sweetheart quit his job and start his business venture sooner! :)
10.) When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
When we had no choice but walk away from our home and business. It was one of the hardest and darkest times of our lives, but it has brought us greater maturity and understanding than we ever could have gained otherwise.
11.) What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Hmmm... this is a hard one! (Thanks Corinne! LOL) I don't really fear the judgement of others much... but I do worry about offending others with my testimony... so I guess I would love to be able to be *me* and share my beliefs and life lessons without others feelings judged, guilty or picked on. That would be awesome! here are your questions to answer :) Have fun!! And comment here so I know to go and read your responses too! :)

1.) What’s the one name you really wish you could have used for a child, but never had the chance.

2.) ROAD TRIP! Okay, what popped into your head as a destination? Can I go with you? I love road trips.

3.) If you could go back in time and have a do-over for your life (all or just part), would you?

4.) When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? Explain...

5.) If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

6.) Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

7.) What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?

8.) If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

9.) Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

10.) When you are given a compliment do you usually acknowledge it or suggest that you really do not deserve it? Why?

11.) What is something your parents said to you as a child that you swore you would never say... and now you catch yourself saying it often?

12 Mile Hike to Santaquinn Peak

Cody went on a scout camp up Mt Nebo Loop this weekend...
The next morning they took off on a 12-mile hike to the top of Santaquinn Peak
Taking a "short cut" 
Lots of climbing hills! 
Time for a rest 
The log they just sat on broke! LOL
Lead butts! 
What a beautiful place! 
WHEW! Made it to the top! 
We did it!! 
What an AMAZING view!! 
These boys are just plain awesome!
We have the best scout troop ever!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's been getting colder...

And this little girl, with her tiny little feet and body, freezes!
She LOVES the sunshine and can be found anywhere a sliver of sun can be found. 
Funny enough...
It is cold enough for someone else to want to join her!
Cody and Sophia
p.s. HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to my baby girl...
Sophie is 6 years old today!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Randomness by me

It's been a while.
I mean a long while.
I have every excuse in the book to list why I am not posting and keeping up on this blog of ours... but none really do it justice. I truly have just let other things take precedence.
And that is ok too I suppose. :)

Here are some quick highlights from our household... and hopefully I will get the past posts with pictures up asap ;)

  • HUGE milestone on the stroke recovery front: Number processing is back! I was sitting in my Math 1010 Chapter 3 Test and was about 4 questions in, when WHAM-O! There is was!! The pathway in my brain was blazed!! I whipped out that test in 30 minutes... and got a 100%!!!!!! I sobbed all the way home! I *knew* I knew how to DO the math... that wasn't it... it was just like trying to keep a speeding-freight-train-on-its-track to hold more than 3-4 numbers at a time in my head! And then, poof! Just like that... it was there! A-mazing!! I still am just SOOO utterly thankful!
  • The next day I did my math homework... Prior to the pathway healing, I was taking anywhere from 3-4 hours (once in a while up to 5 hours) just to accomplish 10-12 homework problems. (I know... it sounds like I am kidding huh?  Really, I am not... it was rough!) That next morning... I did a set of 12 problems in 30 minutes and another set of 12 problems in 40 minutes! I really just can't believe the difference! And the joy I feel! YEA!!!!!!!!
  • And ya know... I thought I might be a little insane to take 13 credits this semester... but now that math homework isn't taking me a full day, 3 days a week, the rest is cake! As long as I manage my time and balance housework with homework I am good! :) It is a lot of fun and I love my classes!
  • Emmalee was in a play at school. It was called "The Curious Savage". She did great and it was super cute! Will post pics soon!
  • Caleb has started a "book group" with my friend, Laurie, in our ward, and it really makes him feel important to go... which in turn is increasing his desire to read. He is getting better every day and I am so very proud of him! We are also almost half way through the Book of Mormon for him... he gets baptized in just 6 months!
  • Cameron and Emmalee started piano lessons this school year. Our good friend Annie Mead teaches them. They are both loving it and practice a ton! BTW - we are babysitting Laurie's piano and that really helps! We love it! Guess I better start saving my pennies huh? LOL
  • Jestin has finally slowed down at his job. He started with this company in April... and worked 60-70 hours a week with only Sunday's off clear up until Labor Day weekend. He is trashed, burned out, just plain bone tired. They did give him 2 days off when Brent and family were here in July (pictures to come), and I made him take Labor Day Weekend off to go camping with his family (pictures to come). He is looking for another job. They have started laying people off, and he wants to get a job before he looses his job. This job has been HUGELY beneficial to our financial recovery from the last few years and we are very thankful! We are just ready for that long-term job he can settle into for years to come. (Oh! I can't wait!!)
  • Oh! And speaking of settling in... his desire for a new job SOON intensified after Conference weekend! (And I need to hit the books hard and finish my schooling ASAP) Both Em and Cody were excited to learn that they can go missions sooner than planned... and I spent most of the weekend feeling very blessed and kind of sad with non-stop tear trickles (it AWESOME!)... they both can leave just months apart if they want... in a quick 4 1/2 years!! I will "loose" half my little brood in less than 5 years! That really has put Jes and I in planning mode. There is much we want to accomplish and DO with them before they start leaving home... time to get some goals on and some plans going! And we both will probably have to work to support them through their missions so we need to get that squared away as well :) It is nice to have a solid family plan ahead of us :) and I am so stinkin' proud of these two and the lives they are leading! How did I get such fantastic kiddos??
Well... I better get to bed. I have class all day tomorrow and don't want to more tired than usual! Have a great night all!

Caleb's Kindness

The other day Emma came home from Young Women's and found this...
her bed was "made" for her!
And a cute little piece of cut up cereal box revealed the helper... 
"Caleb did this"
He is such a sweet boy!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just had the BEST day in a looong time! :) I just took my 3rd math test... and....

((drum poll please))

I got a 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have offically created the final "new" brain pathway from my stroke loss! I can process numbers again!!!!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!! I sobbed with joy all the way home.
I am *ME* again... ALL of ME again!
♥ ♥ ♥ And life is good!! :D Oh SO good! ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Days of School 2012

Cameron - Age 10
5th Grade

Caleb - Age 7
2nd Grade

Cody (aka William at school) - Age 13
8th Grade

Emmalee - Age 14
9th Grade
(gasp! HIGH SCHOOL!!)

Off they go!
We sure love our Charter School!!

This is their 3rd week. They are loving it! Cam and Caleb both got fantastic teachers, and Em and Cody are taking almost all the classes they wanted to.
Em even signed up for early morning Seminary, which she absolutely LOVES!
There are less than 10 kids in there and she said it is amazing!
Cody is knee deep in the drama dept, taking both Drama and Theater Tech.
They are happy.
And we have endured our first cold already.
Let the school year begin!



Mom - Age "It doesn't really matter"
3rd Semester Freshman UVU

Tee hee hee