Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Home, My Haven

Last night we went to our ward Trunk or Treat. We combined with the neighboring ward for this activity. There were ... a lot of people. Our ward has about 250-300 active members I think. I would guess the neighboring ward is similar if not slightly bigger. Now not everyone came to this activity but enough did that it felt like craziness to me.

I don't know if I have ever mentioned how I don't do well in crowds. I hate crowds. They make me feel claustrophobic. I didn't feel that way last night only because we were outside and I could find my own personal space. But that many people still is less enjoyable to me than a smaller group. I feel it is easier to meet people and get to know new people in a smaller group.

Last night I was just trying to make sure we kept track of all our kids and didn't hit any kids as we pulled in and out of the parking lot. I am sure we handed out at least 400 pieces of candy to boot. With that amount of "trick or treaters" you hardly have time to admire costumes. Though it was fun to see Noble handing candy out to the many bags raised to our trunk.

Anyway, I came home feeling frazzled. We put kids and ourselves straight to bed. I knelt to say my nightly prayers and I thanked the Lord for my home. When the world frazzles me or upsets me in some way, I am grateful to be able to fall into the soft place of my home and know that in these walls we are all okay. We all love each other even if we have quibbles now and then. We are united as a family and each of us would be there for another if we needed love or support. We aren't perfect and we certainly don't always have peace in our home. But at the end of the day the Love wins out and we are all okay and we can all find peace in that.

I thought back over the years at some really hard things I have gone through. And in almost every case I have found a sanctuary from the storm in the walls of my own home and the arms and hearts of my little family. They make every falling out with a friend or bad day at work feel better and less important. They saved me from constant sorrow when Camille died. They have loved me even when I have screwed up. They are my soft place to fall when life gets rough. And I am just grateful that my home is a haven to my soul. I hope as the years go by, my children will feel this as well as their lives get hormonal and bumpy.

Monday, October 25, 2010


With all the travel time to and from DC I finished a couple of books that I would highly recommend. First up was the sequel to the Maze Runner -- The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. It was as good as the Maze Runner and didn't leave me on some cliff hanger where I am mad not to have the 3rd book yet. The third book comes out next year I think. I am really enjoying this series and I look forward to having my questions answered when I read number three next year. If you liked Hunger Games I am fairly certain you would like this series as well. Check it out.

Second up was the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. If you love beautiful, creative language that will help you see ordinary things in a new way AND a compelling story told from an unusual point of view, you will love this book. It is based in Germany during World War II. So it involves Nazis and Jews and Germans. But it tells its story from a fresh perspective that I had never explored before. Granted I hadn't read many books about this time period but the few I had read focused so much on what the Jews experienced in this terrible time. This book looks at the same story from a poor little German girl's perspective. And the narrator is Death itself - you know, the Grim Reaper.

I loved and I mean LOVED the language in this book. There were so many ways the author described everyday things like weather or feelings or hair color that painted such a vivid image in my mind and helped me see new things in the everyday. I loved the characters with all their complexity and realism.  Zusak was amazing in this work and it has made me ready to go see what else he has written.

These two are worth putting on your "to read" list.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Today I was released from my calling to work with the Young Women in our ward. For those who are not LDS - we are given "callings" or jobs to do to help out at church. These "calls" are issued by the bishop typically and are inspired of the Lord. We work in a calling until the Lord inspires the Bishop that we are needed elsewhere or that someone else needs to have the blessings of doing our job or until our life makes it not possible to continue doing our calling.

Some callings have a typical time frame. Bishops for an example generally serve for 5 years. The woman who leads the women's organization or the Relief Society generally serves for about 3 years. Other callings can be for a year or two or shorter. The time frames are all subject to inspiration and the personal circumstances of the person in the calling.

I had been serving in the Young Women's for almost 3 years. That is a long time to be in Young Women's because it is a busy calling. So I wasn't too surprised when I got home from D.C. and the bishop called me into his office to let me know I would be released today.

Today I taught my last lesson. It was a fun one. The topic was not a super spiritual one - preventing disease. So we played a game of Jeopardy with it. It was nice to have a light hearted lesson when we all had heavy hearts knowing it was our last time together like that. I hate goodbyes. I am no good at them. I don't usually feel them till after they happen. I remember saying goodbye to my best friend when he left on his mission. He was in tears saying goodbye and I was happy and normal. I felt bad that I wasn't more emotional. He left for his mission the next day. The next week I was in tears missing him and not just being able to call him. It always hits me after the fact.

I know I will miss working in Young Women's. No where else in the ward do you get to watch lives change like that. I love the young women of our ward and I will be sad to not see them as regularly. But in my heart they will always be mine. Love doesn't get "released" when you do. It survives. It survives absence and distance and time. It even survives death.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Date Night

We have come to another weekend. I love weekends. I love my clean house on Fridays. And after a seeming eternity I am finally feeling well enough at night to possibly even enjoy a night out with my hubby. I haven't had a babysitter in so long. 

Yesterday one of my awesome young women stopped by to drop off some cookie dough I bought from her for a school fundraiser. After I closed the door the girls all came downstairs in the PJs from their bed to see who it was. After I told them who it was Lauren said, "Mom, can't you call her back to babysit us? I miss her. We don't ever get to play with babysitters anymore." It was really cute. And it just pointed out to me how long it really has been since my days of weekly date nights. Time to get back at that I think. 

What do you like to do on your date nights? Jon and I love to go out to eat. We just love good food. But sometimes I think it would be fun to do something different for a change. Got any ideas for me? I think maybe we will head to the temple this weekend. We'll see.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I still haven't gotten the photos from Jon's phone of our trip yet but I will post a few of them when I do. For now I just want to list all the things we did in DC and maybe I will take some time to write the details of our adventure little by little.

Wed Oct. 13 - Fly all day. Miss our connecting flight. Make it to DC. Take the Metro to our hotel. Take a taxi to Union Station. Eat southern food there. Show the girls around the building. Walk the 2 miles back to the hotel via the Capitol and Mall. By the end we were all pooped but the girls were troopers.

Thurs Oct. 14 - Raining. Cab to the White House Tour (Sabrina got a tummy ache in line so Jon had to take her back to the hotel.) Meet the white house dog during the tour. Walk to the Smithsonians. Meet up with Jon and a "feeling all better" Sabrina at the Natural History Museum. See fossils, mammals, rocks, gems, the Hope Diamond, hold insects, eat lunch, and under the sea exhibits. Walk to Air and Space Museum. Look at all the cool planes and rockets. Kids play in the How things fly exhibit. Participate in the paper airplane flying contest. Sabrina comes in 2nd place. Walk to the National Gallery. Enjoy the art (well all except Annie who thought that part was boring.) Sit on the steps outside the National Gallery debating where to go get dinner. Decide on Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery. Good call on the food. Great burgers, awesome sweet potato fries and shakes ... don't even get me started on how incredible the shakes were. YUMMM. Cab back to the hotel for journaling and book reading before bed.

Fri Oct. 15 - American History Museum. First Ladies dresses exhibit, transportation exhibit, presidents exhibit, the Star Spangled Banner, Kids play at Invention at play exhibit, lunch there at the museum, Spark lab learning about how much sugar there is in drinks and candy. Capitol tour by Harry Reid Interns. Georgetown Law Center Campus tour. Geez they have certainly added perks in the last 10 years. Wish they had a swimming pool when I was there. Dinner at Art Smith's restaurant Art and Soul. Southern food goes high end. Cab to hotel for journaling, book reading and bed.

Sat Oct. 16 - Rent car. Eastern Market for our best breakfast of the trip. French toast like no other. Miss it  already. Zoo. See Pandas up close eating. See elephants, tiger, lion, orangutans, and lots of reptiles and small mammals. Lauren laughs for 10 minutes at turtles trying to eat each other. National Cathedral. Lebanese food for lunch. Everyone tries baba ganoush. Back to the American History Museum for more play time in the Invention playroom. Picnic on the mall of PB&Honey and fruit for dinner. Sunset at the Lincoln Memorial. Back to hotel for journaling, and reading and bed.

Sun Oct. 17 - Eastern Market Pastries for breakfast, check out of hotel, go to temple visitors center and see temple, go to spanish sacrament meeting next door, picnic PB&H at temple. Arlington National Cemetary, tomb of unknown soldier changing of the guard, Kennedy gravesite. Drive to our friends the Speckarts house to "check in" to the Speckart hotel. Dessert party with them and the Sherinians. Catching up with old friends.

Mon Oct. 18 - Take Jon to Dulles for day trip to Boston on business. Drive to Mt. Vernon. Do kids treausure map tour and learn about George Washington. Play in the kids learning center. The girls dress up as colonial kids, do puzzles, have a tea party and learn about GW. Dinner in the Mt. Vernon restaurant featuring authentic colonial time food. Everyone tries peanut/chestnut soup. Lauren feels not well so we leave. She feels better 20 mins. later after a small nap in the car. National Harbor, play and photos at the Awakening Statue. See a wedding happen there. Ben and Jerry's ice cream and Cake Love cupcakes. Back to Speckarts for dinner and playing on the tree swing in the back yard. Jon comes back from Boston. Talking to friends and packing up to be ready for early morning flight home.

Tues Oct. 19 - Up at 5:45 for 8 a.m. flight. Return rental car and fly home.

It was a jam packed adventure. The kids were troopers with all the walking involved. I was surprised at how well they handled it. I think they were like the dogs in the Movie Up. Everytime we saw a squirrel Lauren would yell "SQUIRREL!" and they would all start chasing till the squirrel found a tree or bush. We got some sweet video of that. In all there is just too much to do in DC in such a short time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We're Back!

We just got back from our SO fun vacation to D.C. So much to tell. I'll be posting about that soon. The girls all got better by the morning we had to fly out and no one got sick on our trip! Yeah!!! What a blessing. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.

Another bonus was that I didn't feel sick our whole trip. Perfect timing for the nausea to go away. We ate some great food that has totally popped my belly out. I feel like I am looking more pregnant than fat now. I'll post photos soon.

We were all most excited to see Noble the whole way home. It was rather anticlimactic for me as Sabrina and Lauren saw him first and he gave them hugs as Sabrina picked him up. Then they turned around so he could see me and ... nothing. He wouldn't even come to me but just wanted to stay with Sabrina. I finally pulled him into my arms and he just whined to go back to Saby. I guess I am glad he likes Sabrina so much. Maybe he was mad at me for leaving him for so long. Who knows. He warmed up to give me kisses after a few minutes.

Jon got a MUCH better reaction with laughs and giggles and cries of "Dada!!!" He has been following Jon around ever since. He snuggled Annie's head as she laid it in him lap on the ride home. He looks so big and so darn BLOND to me. I am so excited to be with him again.

I feel relaxed and refreshed and happy. And now I am excited to go to Mutual tonight and do my Clue game. It is going to be fun! Can't wait.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A night of prayer

Well the rest of yesterday was a VAST improvement from the morning. We got things turned around and peace restored in the home. I have to say nothing tempers the temper for me better than so really good music and my Mormon Tabernacle choir was performing miracles in my heart yesterday.

I worked hard all day and was just beat by 8:30 when I finally sat down. The two younger girls were just getting out of the bath and Sabrina had just finished the last of her homework. Then Lauren came down still wrapped in her towel... and threw up all over the floor. Luckily she was on tile. I am usually pretty good about throw up but my sensitive nose was having a hard time so I called in Jon. Apparently it was just that my nose was sensitive because we just about had a family throw up party right there.

Between the two of us tag teaming we got Lauren and the floor cleaned up. The older girls had to put themselves to bed as we nursed Lauren. At around 9:30 Jon went to bed. Lauren continued to throw up every 30 minutes or so till 4 a.m. Then Noble was awake and jumping in his bed till 4:30 and then Annie came in to tell me she had to go to the bathroom at 5:17.

Lauren seems to be feeling a bit better since 4 a.m. She has kept a bit of water down. I think I prayed the whole night that she would get better quickly and no one else would get sick. I don't know how we could do our trip to DC (which we leave for tomorrow) with the stomach flu.

Hopefully Lauren will feel well today so I can finish prepping for our trip today. And hopefully sometime today I will manage to fit in a solid nap.

Ann Marie started trowing up at 8 a.m. Luckily she still had a relatively empty stomach and she hasn't thrown up again. Both Lauren and Annie are already feeling lots better (a little weak but no longer nauseous.) Now we are all just praying like mad that it doesn't hit any of the rest of us.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Today Satan hit hard and he won. I lost my temper and had my own childish meltdown at my kids. Now they are in school and I am trying to regroup and change (repent) enough to be able to make peace once more in my home when they come home.

The worst part about all of this is that I know better - so much better. It kills me that I can let this happen after knowing and learning all I did from the Spirit about home and how a home can and SHOULD feel.

Disappointed in my kids and even way more disappointed in myself -- the 35 year old who had a temper tantrum today. Thankfully the Savior has made repentance possible. I owe Him .... everything.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Exciting News!

We took a little trip to the 4D Ultrasound store down the street. 

Some of us couldn't wait till next month to find out if Snickerdoodle 

is a Boy or a Girl.

And we found out...

That Noble is getting...


We are thrilled beyond words for Noble to have a little buddy to play trucks and cars and ball with. He keeps patting me as if to tell me, "Good job Mama!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

LuLu's On the Move

Remember my pastry chef friend Chris??? You know the guy who has created such amazing desserts for us as the "Waite"less root beer float or pomegranate souffle? Well he is starting a new venture teamed up with the guys from the amazing Metro Pizza. They are rolling out a Food Truck that will travel to the different Metro Pizza Locations with a breakfast menu that will have you drooling.

Kick off day is tomorrow 10-10-10 at the Henderson Metro Pizza Location at Stephanie and Horizon Ridge. On the menu??? Sourdough Waffles, Muffin Tops, Coffee Cake, Beignets (LOVE THOSE), Hot Chocolate and Coffee.

I am so excited for Chris to start this new adventure and to become a regular LuLu's Stalker. :)

To find out about all that is going on with LuLu and where LuLu is headed to next see her twitter page HERE.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Never Far

Today I got some photos I ordered for a school project for Lauren from Costco. This picture was in the bunch. Jon handed it to me and said, "That's my girl." I took it and looked at it. I still want to just jump back into that picture and grab her and hug her. 

It has been 2 years and almost 4 months. The world, and life has moved forward. I am fairly certain that Camille is not the first thing people think about now when they see me. I am happy for that. And my life is progressing. I don't cry about Camille every day or every week or even every month. Perhaps part of that is because I just don't talk about her (and especially about her passing) as often anymore. That is bitter sweet. I wish I had stories to tell about her and could include her in telling people the fun things my kids are doing. But I don't miss all the crying and I still can't talk much about her passing without crying. 

But the reality is that she is never far away. I think about her everyday - several times a day- and not usually in a sad and weepy sort of way. I just think of her. I wonder what she is doing. I wonder what she looks like as an angel. I wonder what it would be like to see her. I hold Noble and love his little body twice over for her. I insist on double kisses from him. I wonder if he still remembers her. And every night as I lay in my bed waiting to fall asleep I think of her again, and I try to avoid thinking of the fateful day she left our home. 

I write this because I want this to be a true record of where I am on this journey. Time has dulled the sharp intensity of the pain and longing for me. But it has not erased the desire and she is still in my heart and in my mind every single day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Feeding the Missionaries

Yesterday I was scheduled to feed the missionaries (as well as my regular dinner group families). So I had a big beefy crock pot dinner planned. The night before I reminded myself around 8 p.m. to put the beef in the crock pot before bed so it would have all night to cook for the next day.

At 10 p.m. I went to bed. I didn't think about the beef any time after 8. I took a Unisom to help with the nausea and help me sleep. And in my sleep I began to dream - vivid pregnant dreams. At 1:30 I woke up with a start from a dream that I forgot to get my beef into the crock pot and didn't have time to cook it.

Sometimes we just get little miracles. And I really appreciated this one. I got up and went downstairs and put my beef in the crock pot and started it cooking. It was perfectly done for dinner last night. French dip sandwiches are one of my favorite meals and last night they hit the spot. I am excited for leftovers for lunch today. I made caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms to go on top. All on fresh Great Buns French rolls made that morning. Yummy. Maybe I won't wait till lunch. Maybe I will have one for breakfast.

Then I made these for dessert. They are officially called "Better than Crack Brownies." Now Jonathan says that that is not a good name because really ANYTHING is better than Crack. Have you ever seen someone on Crack? Who wants that??? He has a valid point.

But how can you go wrong with so much peanut butter and chocolate goodness in one dish? My mind was loving these last night. My tummy was wondering where a nice juicy apple was. You should know that these are incredibly rich though. Just saying...
Yes those are Reese's Peanut Butter cups in the middle. 
The recipe can be found HERE.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Favorite

Which was your favorite talk during conference? Any favorite points made?

My favorite talk was the first one. Elder Holland almost always has one of my favorites. This time it seemed his talk was just one big THANK YOU. I guess just the way I have been feeling lately, it fed me. I wiped silent tears from my face throughout his entire talk. I loved the quote where he said, "I am trying to be voice for the very angels of heaven, in thanking you for every good thing you have ever done, for every kind word you've ever said, for every sacrifice you've ever made, in extending to someone, to anyone, the beauty and blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

His talk just made me want to try that much harder and be that much better at home, at church in my calling, and personally. I loved that he spoke thanking the members and that the prophet spoke on how we need to be grateful. I found there to be so much balance like that in this conference. Like the talk on living a consecrated life and using our time and agency wisely. That one made me feel like I better be doing more and better things with my time. It was followed by President Uckdorf reminding us to keep these simple and stick to the basics - that the fundamentals are what really matter. I felt the two talks back to back tempered each other and gave us a fairly complete idea of how we ought to spend our time.

I loved the talk by Elder Jensen (I stand corrected. It was Elder Larry Lawrence and his WHOLE talk was AMAZING. Elder Jensen's was also good and I will be using it in a lesson I am preparing for my young women.) where me mentioned that sleepovers can be dangerous. It is the first time I have heard that over the pulpit but that has been a rule I have established for our family. I used to go to sleepovers as a kid. But my mother in law who raised 9 children once told me that if she could go back and do one thing different she would not have allowed sleepovers either at her house or others. She didn't expound but I took her statement seriously and have followed her advice. When my kids have been asked to sleepover I tell them (or their very insistent friends) what their grandmother told me and they I just say, "I don't know exactly why Grandma said it but she raised lots of kids and I trust she knew what she was talking about so we are going to follow her advice." Hearing Elder Jensen talk about all the sins he had heard happened at sleepovers when he was a bishop just solidified my mother in laws advice for me.

I thought the talk to the parents was wonderful. I think living the standards we set for our youth in the For the Strength of the Youth pamphlet as parents in critical. How can we ask our youth to keep modest standards of dress, clean music and wholesome media enjoyment, and clean language usage when we are not doing the same?

My kids really grasped onto the analogy of the fishing lure and how Satan would like to catch us with his lures of sin. We had a great talk about that Elder Ballard talk afterward.

I love conference. I feel I have been richly nourished and wisely instructed. Let me know what your favorite parts were.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Answer to Prayer

Today I had a wonderful experience that made me just feel so ... known, heard, and loved.

As you can probably tell from some of my posts lately, I have been stressing about all that I have to do with YW lately. It has really been weighing on me. So the other night I was praying about all of it and really trying to have a good attitude but also trying to be somewhat realistic. I have had times where church callings have stressed me out before. Planning major events tends to stress me out. And somehow the Lord has always helped me out and been my partner when I turn to Him. So that is exactly what I did.

"Father, I can't do all this. It is simply more than I can do. I need help. This is Your work and I know you want the best for these girls. So I am turning this over to You. You find me the help I need to make this happen and I will work my best to do all I can. I am turning it over to You."

I felt confident that somehow, in someway, the Lord would provide. I got into bed that night and ideas started to come to me about some aspects of our YW in excellence program that would really be special and wonderful for the girls. I thought, "well this is good help, but if He is giving me inspiration as help I guess I am going to have to carry out the leg work."

We are planning to do a skit for this program and the date was up in the air as I am scheduled to be out of town for the night we had it penciled down. I was waiting on my advisor to let me know if she could run it without me or if we would have to move it to an alternate date when I would be in town but she would be gone.

The next day I worked on Clue and banged that out. YW in Excellence was still weighing on me, but I was too tired to work on it. I heard back from my advisor that she thought she could run it the week I would be gone (which was a better week anyway) and although I will be really sad to miss the night, I was glad we could do it on this better date and that she would bear the burden of making it happen that night.

Still I had the skit to worry about and all the other assignments to make. I really wanted someone who was going to be there that night do the skit just in case something went wrong or needed help that night. But I was uncertain I could burden my advisor with any more than I already was. But somehow the Lord would help us get it done. Of that I was confident.

Today I took my materials over to watch conference at our Personal Progress Leader's house with several of the young women. After the morning session I was going over the PP Leader's responsibilities for that night with her. The young women were milling around. I asked our PP leader to let me know where the girls were in their progress. She told me one of the young women who was sitting a few feet from us was just one project shy of earning her medallion. I told her she HAD to be done by that night so we could present her with her award then.

The PP leader told her she would have to find a different project for her Faith value because there would not be time to grow flowers between now and then. She looked over some of the options and there was one about writing a skit or play. The PP Leader asked me if this highly responsible laurel could take over the skit portion of our YW in Excellence night and do that as her project. The laurel was SO excited and totally wanted to do it. I giddily handed over my materials and gave her instructions and told her to make it her baby. I told her she was literally an answer to my prayers for help.

I have felt so much better since I handed that over to her. I know she will do a great job with it. It will help her finish her Personal Progress and it means so much less burden for me and my advisor. I am just so thankful tonight for a Father who knows me and loves me and truly does answer my prayers for help even beyond what I expected. I feel to shout Hallelujah!


Clue Explanation

I have emailed the Clue documents to many of you. I thought I should give a bit more explanation.

We will play very much like the board game but the kids will be the game pieces. So in the beginning of the activity I will divide the group into 6 teams (they may or may not be called by the names of the Characters of the Book of Mormon.) Each team will be assigned a leader.

I will pick randomly one card (one of the documents is the cards that need to be cut out) from each of the categories. These three cards will be the answer of who where and with what. All 6 leaders will get to see and know the answers so they will be able to answer to their teams accusations. I will then deal the remaining cards out to the 6 teams. They will each get 3 cards. This will just help move the game along a bit faster.

I will have classrooms assigned to each Book of Mormon Place with a sign on the door (one of the document is signs for the doors that need to be cut in half. Each team's leader will have a copy of the trivia questions and the page with their directions on how to be the leader and the two lists of possible people weapons and places (with classrooms filled in). There are two lists in case there is time to play twice. They are meant to be able to cross out ones they know are wrong as they find those out.

We will start in the gym and each team will have to there answer a trivia question before they can go to their first place to make their accusation. Once in the room they make their accusation and their leader reveals one of the wrong aspects as noted in the leaders directions. The team MUST move to a different room to make a new accusation. If they want to return to that room they must first go to another room, make an accusation and then come back. They must answer a trivia question to move to a new room.

Okay hope that all makes sense. I only have 33 trivia questions because I think they will spend about 3 minutes per accusation and question and all that and we only have 50 minutes to play. I hope that will be plenty of questions for the time alloted.

Hope that all makes sense to you everyone. If anyone wants to post it to Sugardoodle or idea door they are welcome to do so. I am not sure how to do that but I am fine with sharing. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Clue and Block Party

I just finished setting up everything for our giant game of Book of Mormon CLUE at the church for our Oct. Young Men and Young Women's combined activity. I hope it will be as fun as I think it can be.

We will play it much like the board game. I have made cards with Book of Mormon People, Weapons and Places. I came up with trivia questions about the Book of Mormon to use as a means of moving from room to room instead of having to roll dice and move spaces. I wish I could upload all my documents here to share with everyone. I mean I have been working on this literally ALL DAY and I would love to have others benefit from my work. But Blogger doesn't allow that I guess.

If you are in Young Women's or Young Men's and want copies, feel free to email me and I will send you all the documents to do this activity in your ward.

As for the Block Party (some have asked for details on our party plans) -- We get two bounce houses (one that has a slide) and we charge $20 per family or $10 per couple to cover the cost. We have those up all day in a central location. We have food. We have done pot luck sides or dessert with a central main dish (burritos one year, pizza, sub sandwiches...) We also provide water or lemonade in big coolers. We will do pizza this time with neighbors either bringing a side dish to share or volunteering to host a carnival booth. Last year we had a Haunted House, a Cupcake walk, a fishing for treasure booth, and many others. I hope we will have some people volunteer to do booths again this year because it was really fun. We decorate treat bags with the little kids and have someone do face painting. I think we may have a cotton candy machine this year. Kids often come in costumes and we get to see everyone. It is a fun day. I organize but everyone who comes helps out and it makes putting the event on pretty easy.

Hope that gives some of you some ideas. Now I get to turn my attention to YW in Excellence. Well, maybe next week I will work on that. This weekend I am looking forward to soaking up as much of General Conference as possible. If you want to check it out you can go HERE. Hope you can catch some of it. Have a great weekend and hopefully you will be able to recharge your batteries like I plan to.