Celebrate Easter Part 5, Final

April 19th, 2014 in About Me

Christ’s Resurrection

“No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when, on the first day of the week, they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord. Spoke the angel: ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.’ ”

—Thomas S. Monson

He Is Risen!” Apr. 2010 General Conference

Scripture here: Luke 24John 20Luke 24:2–3Mark 16

Carl Bloch
Carl Bloch
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Greg Olsen
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The Appearance to the Apostles by Duccio di Buoninsegna 1308-11
Duccio di Buoninsegna
Heinrich Hofmann
Heinrich Hofmann

Video here:

Celebrate Easter Part 4

April 18th, 2014 in About Me

Jesus is Condemned, Crucified, and Laid to Rest

The utter loneliness and excruciating pain of the Atonement begun in Gethsemane reached its zenith when, after unspeakable abuse at the hands of Roman soldiers and others, Christ cried from the cross, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”20In the depths of that anguish, even nature itself convulsed. “There was a darkness over all the earth. … And the sun was darkened.”21 “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent,”22 causing many to exclaim, “The God of nature suffers.”23 Finally, even the seemingly unbearable had been borne, and Jesus said, “It is finished.”24 “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”25Someday, somewhere, every human tongue will be called upon to confess as did a Roman centurion who witnessed all of this, “Truly this was the Son of God.”26

(above from a talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland)

Read scripture here: Matt. 26 and Matt. 27Luke 23,  Mark 15 and  Mark 16,  Luke 23 and  Luke 24)

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Carl Heinrich Bloch

Carl Heinrich Bloch


J. Kirk Richards

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Annie Henrie



Celebrate Easter Part 3

April 17th, 2014 in About Me

During Holy Week, Holy Thursday they honor..

Jesus washing the feet of his disciples

Read scripture here: John 13: 1-7


by J. Kirk Richards

Then after this is when I focus on Jesus in Gethsemane quite a bit with my girls. This is the beautiful and heart wrenching part. Which I know my steps are a little out of order. So sometimes I have to go back and put things in, smooth things out, explain them. But kids are forgiving, they just love hearing the story. It is important for them to hear in detail.

Jesus in Gethsemane

Read scripture here: Matt. 26:36, 39Mark 14:32John 18:1Alma 21:9D&C 19:15–19

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H. Siddons Mowbray
1858 – 1928
Gethsemane 1915 – 25
Annie Henrie – Savior In Gethsemane Christ
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Carl Bloch

Video here:

Celebrate Easter Part 2

April 17th, 2014 in About Me

I love the way the Catholics celebrate Easter. So for the week leading up to Easter I copy them. I just really find Holy Week fascinating, can stay in a Catholic church for hours, and find their artwork so interesting. Don’t worry I turn back to a Mormon on actual Easter day. But if you are looking to put more meaning into your Easter, looking up Holy week isn’t a bad idea.

So the week before Easter on Sunday is Palm Sunday, which I posted about yesterday. On Holy Monday they give honor to Mary anointed Jesus at Bethany. I’m sad to say I could not find the name of any of these artists.

Jesus at Bethany

Read scripture here: John 12:3–8

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On Holy Tuesday they give honor to Last Supper, of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial of Jesus. Then on Wednesday they remember more of Judas’ betrayal.

Last Supper

Read scripture here: Matt. 26:26–29; ( Mark 14:22–25Luke 22:7–20; )


by Leonardo

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by Liz Lemon Swindle


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The Last Supper of Jesus – Andre Derain, 1911, Cubism Art Institue of Chicago, IL USA

Judas’ Betrayal

Read scripture here: John 13:21–26; ( Matt. 26:20–25; )


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Judas’ betrayal kiss to Christ sculpted by Josep Maria Subirachs on the Passion Facade of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

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The Kiss of Judas (El Beso de Judas), Francisco Salzillo, 1754

Peter’s Denial 

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Robert Leinweber’s Peter’s Denial (date unknown)

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Caravaggio’s The Denial of St. Peter

Read scripture here:  Matthew26:33-35, Mark 14:29-31, Luke 22:33-34 and John 13:36-38



Where my Mormon religion comes in is tomorrow, more of how he suffered for us in Gethsemane. That is what I think needs to be honored and paid a lot of attention to. Stay tuned!

Celebrate Easter Part 1

April 16th, 2014 in About Me

Last year leading up to Easter I shared some artwork of Christ during Holy Week. I will do the same this week but with new choices of art. If you want to see the pieces from last year they are here, here, here, and here.


Read along with us: Matthew 21:1-11Mark 11:1-11Luke 19:28-44John 12:12-19


Procession through Jerusalem,” date unknown, Justin McCarthy (1892–1977)


Giotto, “Entrance Into Jerusalem,” (c. 1305)

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The Triumphal Entry, by J. Kirk Richards


Video to watch:

Baptism Day is Here!

April 11th, 2014 in About Me

The sweet girl of ours is getting baptized tomorrow morning. Had to show off these beautiful pictures of her by Kim Orlandini.

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dinner magic

April 9th, 2014 in cooking

I do not have dinner magic. I am trying to create it. Because for the past 20 months it has included a lot of shrill screaming and frustration. I am not going to say it has been scream free but I have found some things that have helped!

Special Touches: Why do flowers and cute plates help with the mood of dinner? I have no idea, but it does. I let the girls be in charge of decorating the table some nights. One night they will be fairies covering the table, the next night stuffed dogs. Also a fancy drink, but I don’t want to give them a sugar drink. So we have fun creating flavored waters.


See that pink ladle? That leads me to my next tip…

Games: Games that get people talking. So on days where I have no time or energy or creativity to do anything, I grab the ladle. I think of two questions and we pass it around the dinner table answering the questions. If you could be any animal for a day, what would it be? If you could be a character in any book, which one would you be? Another thing I do when I have no energy is my Would You Rather? App. Only mommy gets to read the app because there sometimes are grown up questions on there. Or weird political questions. But it gives a lot of fun ideas. Sometimes I will put a knock knock joke book in the middle of the table. But most of all when I can think ahead and be creative with the questions, it works the best. I try to think of questions that make the members of my family think about the other members of the family. Things like…I have noticed Abby has really been into _____lately. Three things that make me love Cameron are _____. Things like that are good for our family to talk about.

Cooking with the Kids: This doesn’t happen as much as I would like. My girls really like to cook. When I don’t have a 2 and 1 year old fighting for my attention, I really like to cook with them too. One day we will go back to cooking together more, I miss it.

You Chose Options: Lately I have been trying to have more “bar” type or “create your own” type meals. Most of the time they can’t cook with me. But they feel like they are cooking when they put together their own meal. I get more veggies in them when I do this. Let me show you some ideas and tell you the rules I have when doing these meals…

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Peanut Noodles: Whole grain pasta or quinoa pasta tossed in a peanut sauce. Just google some recipes for the peanut sauce. I use sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, a bit of sugar, and peanut butter in mine. Topping ideas are carrots, red peppers, cilantro, edamame, peanuts, mushrooms, sprouts, and broccoli. Rule at my house when we eat this is, you have to try two new vegetables in your noodle bowl.

Pizzas: My favorite pizza dough recipe is here but this day I just bought a bag at the store. Get some extra veggies in the sauce by blending up some vegetables and adding them in there. The rule we have with pizza is you must have at least two veggies on your pizza. Topping ideas are meat, corn, spinach, peppers, tomato, broccoli, olives, tomato.

Sweet Potato or Yam Bar: Sweet potatoes are the go to dinner at my house when there is nothing to eat. I saute up some dark greens (usually I use collard greens) and those are a MUST to put on your potato, you have to eat those. Then you can pick whatever you want as the other toppings.

Panini Bar: Create your own sandwich that you then get to smush with a pan and grill like a Panini! Options could be sun dried tomatoes, olives, pesto, spinach, tomatoes, etc.

Let me know if you have any other ideas for create your own meals or bar type meals. Other than tacos, this is all I could think of!

Things I’ve Loved this past little while…

April 8th, 2014 in About Me, Beauty in Everyday

Braids. I wish I could do them on myself and for the girls. I can do pigtail braids and that is about it. But they are so perfectly pretty.


Shae went to her first real “friend party” and she was so excited. Can you tell in the picture? I bet she was really quiet when she went. But she was talking about it all day long when she got back home. Man I love her.


Poor dogs, they are tempted all day every day. I bet in Honey and Rocco’s dreams they fantasize about just breaking all rules and attacking all food that people tease them with. Also, everyone in my house loves that Pirate Booty stuff. I have never liked it. But ever since one of them threw it up, the smell of it makes me gak.


We stood in a very long line for a very long time to meet the author of Fablehaven. I told the girls on the way there that their daddy had trained his dog. Daddy scored quite a few cool points in their mind that day. Brandon Mull is also a pretty nice guy.


I hosted a neighborhood girls game night. Just a really easy one. I made some flavored waters and flavored popcorn. I think it was 8 years ago that I watched the Michael Chiarello neighborhood movie night episode. He made three different flavored popcorns to serve. I have had that in the back of my TO TRY file in my head for 9 years! I finally did it and I love how it turned out. That with some fruit and vegetables made for a pretty healthy girls night out! Here are the links to his recipes:

Basil-Parmesan Flavored Popcorn Recipe 

Chocolate-Orange Brown Butter Flavored Popcorn

Brown Butter, Rosemary, and Lemon Popcorn Recipe


Lastly…I love how easy it has become to take pictures of my children!! So easy, can’t you see?





April 8th, 2014 in Children Product Reviews

There is a reason that I sent my girls to science, engineering, computer, and culture camps. There is a reason I have a room set up in my house where we learn Native American basket games and put together Chinese rangrams. Where all the illustrations from the portfolio edition of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick are tacked to the wall to spark their imaginations.

There is a reason I buy my girls Goldieblox. I want strong girls and smart girls. Girls that know they can be and are smart at math, putting gadgets together, and engineering. Smart girls that aren’t stuck in the always princess mode. That sure maybe they can be in their favorite princess dress up but also are doing science experiments, rocking it at math at school, and building creations at home.

Have you heard of Goldieblox? There is this parenting facebook page called Mighty Girl that I adore. They promote different things on how to raise strong girls. From great book lists to products they recommend to empowering articles. One day they posted a link to Goldieblox. They are a toy company that are all about giving girls more choices with toys other than princesses, dolls, kitchen items, laundry items, etc.  And their toys really promote girls becoming interested in engineering. Do you remember their Superbowl commercial?

Anyways, the girls love their kits. You can actually build more than one thing with the kit, they come with a storybook, and have great theme. My girls loved the dunktank one. Let me show you a little bit:

goldiebloxreviews goldiebloxreview goldieblox

I love it as a mama. Sure my girls like cupcakes, and hair salons, and all that jazz. But I’m so tired of all the girl line toys only giving them that option. Goldieblox themes are just FUN and don’t put any gender stereotypes into their head. We are huge Goldieblox supporters! The price is fair, the quality is high, and the toys gets used over and over again at my house. You can find them at the Goldieblox website or Toys r us or Target.


I just want to see more toys, more kits, more products from them! We can’t wait!


Next time I’ll buy all four of them a kit, the little ones were pretty mad. Whoopsies.


Disclaimer: This is not a review post. We found these on our own, bought these with our own mula, and will continue to do so.

Abby’s…gulp…8th birthday!

March 27th, 2014 in About Me

I did a bridal shower for my cousins a few months back. For the decor one of the things I did was hang pictures on a clothesline documenting their lives. From their baby photo all the way to their engagement photo. I noticed something after their baptism photo on both lines—time started zooming by. I could see how they turned 8, their parents blinked, and then they were grown women.

Oh manny, I knew this 8 year old birthday was not going to be one of my favorites. Just LOOK at how old she looks:


I got an email earlier that week asking if I wanted to go on the news, show off some crafts, and talk about living in Costa Rica. I asked if I could bring my two oldest, then asked Abby if she wanted to do that on her birthday. She said yes and helped me pick out the activities. We went with showing how to do a Native American Basket game and also Chinese Tangrams. They girls did not get nervous, they got a little quiet when they were actually on though. Such cute girlies. Here is the link to the little segment, click here.


Then we decided to go to the Tumbleweeds Kids Film Festival for her birthday. It was nice to just take the two older girls somewhere. Abby helped pick out the films. We will not miss another year! It was such fun. They had films from all around the world, some subtitled, some didn’t have words. Some of them were all in English. There were films that my two year old would sit through all the way up to some that would interest teens. In the building they had all these free stations set up. My girls got to make their own personalized press passes, tried out new gaming systems, and make flip cartoon books. We stopped for yummy treats, soups, and sandwiches during the day. Abby’s favorite meal is just that; soup, sandwich, and a fancy treat.


For her gifts we of course followed the something pretty, something to wear, something to play with, and something to read tradition. Abby loves to sew and she adores Paris. So the locket, Tshirt, and bracelet were her favorites. Tied with the sewing machine she says.


That night we met up with the rest of the family for dinner. Abby stayed up with us to watch Home Improvement. And also eat cookies and milk out of our traditional breakfast birthday tray.

Such a fun grown up girl day, she loved it. So did I!