Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dear Amazon

I have issues with the US Postal Service. On December 12th we attempted to mail a package from Harrogate, TN to Amazon in Lexington, KY. This shouldn't take long. In fact, according to Google it should only take 15 hours to ride my bike from my house to Amazon's Lexington offices. I could leave and get home in less than two days if I had the stamina.

Unfortunately the USPS decided to ship to Memphis, then Cincinnati, and currently I have no idea where it is going. All I know is it left Cincinnati on December 20th and has not made it to Lexington yet. This seems like poor planning on the postal service.

 All they needed to do was follow that red line. It would have taken about 3 hours... maybe less, but now we are sitting on 15 days. Oh Amazon, I hope you get my package soon.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monster Pancakes

We had a deliciously fun and Halloweeny breakfast this morning.

The girls loved creating their own monsters.

To read more about our monster day (and see pics of the kids), check out Because Babies Grow Up!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Studying General Conference

Elder Richard G. Scott
Brent and I started our official review/catch up/study of General Conference. He missed the Saturday morning session and one of the talks that inspired me to action was Elder Scott's talk in that session. I loved his powerful testimony of the scriptures and their value as friends in our lives.

When I was studying at the University of Utah I took Teachings of the Latter-day Prophets. In it our instructor had us watch different conference talks from the general authorities. He consolidated the talk onto one page and gave it to us to use while we watched the talk. I really liked marking up the written text while feeling the Spirit through listening to the general authorities teach the gospel.

I decided to do the same thing to study conference. It really helps me stay awake! As we watched Elder Scott's talk tonight I was reminded of the power of the scriptures. I loved his analogy that the scriptures "can become stalwart friends." Here are my favorite quotes:

"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high."

"To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship."

"A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time."

"Jeanene (his wife) confirmed early in her life that those who consistently read the Book of Mormon are blessed with an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a greater resolve to obey His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the divinity of the Son of God."

My plan of action for this talk is to memorize the 8 verses Elder Scott quoted in his talk and then to re-memorize the scripture mastery scriptures from seminary.

If you want the one-page version of Elder Scott's talk, you can download it here.

The next talk I want to study is Elder Ian Ardern's talk, A Time to Prepare. Here's the one-page version of his talk, as well.

What talks inspired you to action?

Saturday, September 3, 2011


We had a great first month of homeschooling. We learned about the ocean and finished up with a field trip to the aquarium in Gatlinburg. That could be a post all in its own so I think I'll save that for later. This post is about a must do at the beginning of the school year: self-portraits!

I had thought about it and meant to do it, but hadn't done it at all. Then we started doing art with another homeschool family following their curriculum and lesson two was about portraits and self-portraits with the assignment to do one.

I wasn't sure what we were going to get. Sammi has been drawing lots and lots lately, but I didn't know if she'd be that interested in a self-portrait. Boy was I wrong! The lesson was great because it talked about emotion, clothing and setting for the picture and Sammi made very conscious choices about each in her picture. Here it is:

Elli is always along for the ride on the more formal instruction lessons and I wasn't sure what to expect out of her. But I am very impressed with how she filled the page. And I love her orange hands!

Sammi was having such a blast that she created two more pictures. I love the story she wrote to go with the second one. She did it all on her own, no help from me! She's getting pretty good at sounding out words, if English wasn't so tricky, she'd have it mastered!
Bedroom at Night

Eating Breakfast
Here's the transcription, in case you need help. No cheating, though, this is only AFTER you've read her story! I am sitting at the table. Eating at the table and I am having breakfast.
Here's the deal, she still says breafkast which I think is adorable. I say it correctly as does everyone else, but I haven't specifically told her she's not saying it correctly. I love how her spelling reflects her pronunciation: brefgist.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mud Daubers

We found something similar to the picture below on the back of the jogging stroller and the bike trailer:
When we peeled it off and broke it open, we found something inside I wish I had never seen! I hate spiders. And there were too many spiders. But these spiders were all dried up. They were grown up spiders, red, and shriveled. Looking something like this:

My toes curled at the sight and my whole body cringed thinking of what could possibly have created that fate for those spiders. I told Brent it would forever be a mystery because there was NO way I was researching that on the internet! Imagine the pictures I would find. Yuck! But as a twisted luck would have it, a friend knew what they were and filled me in.

Wasps. Specifically organ pipe mud daubers. They make the mud tunnels as nests for their larvae. Then they sting the spiders and cram them up the tunnels so that when the larvae hatch, they have a meal waiting for them. My toes are still curling thinking about all this awfulness that happened in our very own carport.

If this is any comfort, Wikipedia says, "Organ pipe mud daubers are also an exceedingly docile species of wasp, and generally pleasant to have around, as they serve to keep spider populations down. Stings to humans are very rare, bordering on non-existent, although if squeezed, they will sting in self-defense." Lovely.

Brent has decided against hugging them, even though we are grateful they keep the spider population under control.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Using Our Family Photos

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

You can get up to 5 free cards for Father's Day right now at Shutterfly! I just paid a buck for shipping and tax for this cute card for Brent.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Family Photos 2011

It was time to do family photos again. The last time we did this, Elli was barely older than Scott is now. Hard to believe it was that long ago! These ones were done by a fabulous friend here in Tennessee. We love how they turned out.

The best part, they are already hanging on my wall. It feels great to have all the empty frames filled. Our family picture was is Elli's favorite wall in our house. She loves naming everyone and gets SO excited when she sees all the people she loves.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


At church today Elli acknowledged the end of the sacrament prayer not with her typical "amen," but rather with the second half of the ABC song. I'm guessing she sang the first half in her head during the prayer. I can't explain why, but I got a lot of joy out of that moment.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pre-Spring Break

We got to go to Colorado again this year for Brent's convocation for OMT. I look forward to this trip to see my dad, Kim, brothers and nephew and niece. Not to mention my fave friends from my high school days. We had so much fun! Here are some pictures to show just how great the trip was.
All the cousins.
It was such a fun dinner seeing them all interact together.

I love sleeping pictures! This is Elli when we arrived at Julie's house.

I went to bed with this beautiful sight.
I had to turn on the light just to get the picture. So glad they didn't wake up!
It's always so hard to get a good family picture. This one epitomizes the trial of parents to get everyone looking at the camera with a pretty smile.
Sammi's first kite-flying experience. She loved it! I love that I got to share it with her. Thanks Julie for having awesome kites and thanks to the Colorado plains for all the wind.

Isn't he the cutest? I needed a place to set him down while I took off my jacket and shoes. It struck me as so comical that I just had to take the picture. They were kind enough to stop the conveyor belt and let me get a good picture.

We had a fun but very exhausting trip. I didn't realize how adjusted we are to the humidity of Tennessee nor how much drier the climate in Colorado is. Poor Scott was stuffy the whole week. But from the moment we left the airport in Louisville, he has been clear and gunk-free. It's good to be "home!"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Two Months, Too Fast

Scott joined our family two months ago. It seems like he's been a part of our family forever and also that those two months have gone by way too fast. He no longer looks like a newborn. His little cheeks are filling out. His cry is changing to a "waaaa" or "maaaa" when he's hungry or his diaper is wet. He sleeps about eight hours at night waking only once sometime between 2 and 4 and then sleeping till 7. He's been a little colicky, but I still feel really blessed to have such an agreeable baby (again!)

We've had a lot of fun moments over the last two months.
The girls loved this dinosaur outfit. Elli commandeered the short-sleeved shirt that came with the set.
Brent and the girls built snowmen. Sammi took this photo.
Sammi holding baby Scott.
Elli holding baby Scott.
We took Uncle Will and Aunt Sara to the Pinnacle to show off the beautiful area where we live. There are remnants from the Civil War spread around Cumberland Gap National Park. The walk up to this canon is one of my favorites.
I love this boy's smile. He is always ready to brighten my day with this happy face.
I woke up to this beautiful sight this morning. We spent the night in Johnson City at my friend's parents' house. The three of us snuggled in bed after Scott woke up about 6:30 and were able to sleep until 8. I love that they are sleeping in exactly the same position.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Brent has Another Blog

I recently started plying around with another blog. You can find it at brent.passey.me It has a little bit about me and some of my drawings and things that I make on my computer. I don't know how often I will update it, probably once or twice a month.
If any of you want to do your own blog, or website, with your name I (or Amber) can set that up easily. Just let us know.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fun at the Hospital

Yesterday baby Scott came. The girls were very excited to meet him. As you can see here, Sammi was ecstatic.

Here is another shot of Scott. He likes to sleep... that's my kind of boy!

Sammi and Elli gave Scott these stuffed animals. They have been waiting forever to give them to him. I think they bought these almost 2 months before he was born. Sammi gave the giraffe and Elli gave the monkey.

Amber has a wonderful mom that was happy to give here a good foot massage after Scott came.

After getting to see and hold her little brother Elli decided that sitting down and playing a game on my phone was a good way to relax.

Overall, it was a pretty great day. The girls were pretty tired at the end (so were mommy and daddy).

Saturday, January 1, 2011