raise your hand if you like FREE stuff!

So, many of you may have already read about the GIVEAWAYS over on my photoblog, but just in case you haven't, I thought I'd post about it here as well.  :)

You see, I am celebrating 3 years in business this week!  So, go check it out, and enter to win a fabulous prize while you're at it!  :)

Click HERE to see what it's all about!



A good, wait scratch that, EXCELLENT reminder...

Who You Are by Hilary Weeks

I know you wonder if you'll ever have a day
when the kids stay calm, the laundry's done, and the dishes are put away.

And sometimes you feel like your days are spent and gone
and the question running through your mind is what have I gotten done?

And when you finally have a moment to slow down at the end of your day...

I know Father would say:

Believe in what you're doing
Believe in who you are
Hold tight to the truth that you're a daughter of God
Believe in who you're becoming
Believe in who you are

It may seem simple - all the little things you do
But the lives you touch matter so much.
And there's no one else like you.
And Father needs you to stand tall and faithful to be all you can be.
Oh, if you could see what he sees.
When it's hard to believe in yourself and you feel like you're beginning to doubt

He believes in what you're doing
He believes in who you are
Don't lose sight of the truth that you're a daughter of God
That He believes in who you're becoming
He believes in who you are.


mr. man baby "sprinkle"

I truly have been blessed with wonderful and thoughtful friends!  They through me a baby "sprinkle" (aka baby shower but for my 4th baby a "sprinkle" was more appropriate!) with a Mr. Man theme -- mustaches and all!  It was so much fun...I absolutely loved all the cute details and decorations they made!  It was so nice to sit and eat a yummy lunch while chatting with friends!  Thank you girls!!!!!!

Kristie made those adorable onesies...can't wait for my baby to fit into them!

I requested name suggestions...Kristie is so funny.  Sept. 19th is "Talk Like A Pirate Day" -- so, if baby comes on that day, then we must name him "Jack Sparrow Hanson."  HA!

My friend Julie's baby girl joined us...and even allowed us to torture her with a big, black, fuzzy mustache!  So adorable!

The party planners:  Kristie, Edie and Jaclyn

Kristie reading off the "Wishes For Baby" cards that everyone filled out.  Some were really funny!  But most were very sweet...  It will be fun to share them with him when he's older!

My little men ...patiently waiting to eat their chocoate mustaches...

The party was so fun...I really feel lucky to have such great friends...and I know that this little baby boy will be loved by all!  Thanks everyone!

Say Something Nice

(Please scroll down and pause my playlist before watching this so you can hear what they are saying!)

This is from an awesome blog called Color Me Katie -- I've been following her for a few years...she ALWAYS has something on her blog that makes me smile. I love this idea of getting people to "Say Something Nice" -- it seems like we hear so much negativity and criticism all the time, it's wonderful to hear nice words!


cousin fun

We had lots of family visiting over the last few weeks, and unfortunately I just haven't been in the photo mood -- so I haven't taken many photos.  However, here are 2 that I thought were super cute of Joshy, Drew and their cousin Luke from Texas.  :)  (click to enlarge)

Add caption

These boys are getting so big! 


play time for mama

So...I admit, I occasionally (ha!) procrastinate and play on the computer instead of accomplishing more important tasks.

I love looking at word art/posters/quotes online, and finally decided to make a few of my own that I will frame and hang in my stairway so my kids (and Brad and I) will see them every day.

I can't take 100% of the credit for these because I've seen similar ones like them online and just played around until I came up with a look that I liked...  If you like them too, and are interested in having a copy of your own, let me know!  They are all sized to print out as 8x10s.

Here are my creations:

What do you think?  I promise to post a pic once they are framed and up on the wall!




As a child/teenager, I dreaded "Family Calendar Sessions" because #1, it took FOREVER! and #2, I have never liked to plan ahead...I like to live spontaneously!


Now that I am a parent, I can see the HUGE benefits of having a Family Calendar - especially as my memory gets weaker and weaker! So...

I've been semi-obsessing over getting a good calendaring system in order before baby arrives...and was looking through some old documents/ideas that I've saved over the year. I came across this list from LDS Living from a couple years ago, and after re-reading it, I wondered if maybe some of my friends/family might have some additional tips that they use in their homes? 

Here is the original text from LDS Living:

One of the best ways to organize your family is through the tried-and-true wall calendar. Setting aside some time during a family home evening to determine schedules and responsibilities will help you get your family's act together. Here are some keys to organizing and staying focused on your goal.

1. Each Monday at the beginning of family home evening have each member of your family list the activities in which they will be involved during the week and which activities are coming up that month. Have children look through school assignments, extra-curricular activity schedules, and church activity schedules so that nothing is forgotten.

2. Also list upcoming extended family dinners, ward activities, work trips, family vacations, etc., on your calendar. Don’t forget to block out Monday evenings for family night.

3. Next, create a list of chores and determine how frequently these chores need to be done for your family. Assign each member of the family a week or a day for a specific chore (e.g., Week 1: Jessica empties dishwasher; Week 2: Trevor vacuums on Tuesday and dusts on Thursday). List each family member’s household responsibilities on your calendar.

4. Place your family calendar in a central location where everyone will be able to have easy access to it. Encourage your children to check the calendar often to be reminded of what is on the roster and to update it when necessary.

5. Learn to just say no when activities start mounting up. Creating a family schedule will help you manage your time, but if you simply don’t have the time, learn that sometimes “no” must be the answer.

6. Consider blocking out specific days for each family member during the month. This is a special day to do something fun with Mom and/or Dad.

So I ask you, what kind of calendar system works for you?  Any tips or tricks you can offer would be greatly appreciated!  Do you use a computer calendar (like google calendar) or perhaps a calender app in your phone?