Summer Reading Lists for Grade Schoolers


Summer is just a month away for my children and believe me, they are counting down! But their hiatus from a school classroom doesn’t mean they are free from all learning. Summer is a great time to get your kids reading. Most local libraries promote reading with summer reading programs. These really help to keep kids motivated but finding the right book to read can be a bit tricky. Today I would like to share a few of my kid’s favorite books. My oldest son is finishing up 4th grade and is a reading machine. He likes books that get the action happening quickly and keep you on your toes as you progress through […]

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Why I’m Happy Wednesday


When I was in college, Wednesdays were always my longest days. I was often on campus in class, at work, or studying for more than 12 hours. Somehow it ended up this way almost every single semester! That gave me a bit of a bad taste for Wednesdays. Even now that I’ve been out of school for several years, I sometimes struggle with Wednesdays. I don’t mind Mondays because, to me, they’re a fresh start. I still have a bit of that momentum on Tuesdays. By Wednesday, though, the new beginning has worn off, and the weekend can feel far away! To give us all a bit of a midweek pick-me-up, I wanted […]

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On My Mind Monday: Foster Sibling Love

fostering sibling relationships

I have been thinking a lot about family relationships lately; particularly sibling relationships. I am the middle child of three kids. My sister is three years older and my brother is 5 years younger. I’m sure we did not get along all the time, but for some reason I can only remember always loving being with my siblings. My sister was my idol. I wanted to do everything she did and she was nice enough to let me tag along a lot of the time. Perhaps it was her example of a good big sister that created a desire in me to be a good big sister myself to my little brother. I […]

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Looking Forward to Summer

Chalk art

One reason we moved back to Arizona after being in Utah for five years was that I had a really hard time handling the snow and cold temperatures. You certainly don’t find much of those in Phoenix. A self-imposed condition of our move was that I vowed to never complain about the heat to my husband since I was so thrilled to be escaping the snow. As a native Arizonan and a true desert lover, I often feel the need to defend my home state. Whenever anyone complains about the heat, I am quick to speak up about its perks. This week has been a bit warmer than usual for this time of […]

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Family Fun in the Valley of the Sun

Valley of the Sun

Do you ever just want to pack up your family and leave behind all obligations for fun adventures and quality time together? I almost didn’t make it to our spring break but it finally came and it was exactly the escape I needed! No school, games, practices, meetings, scouts, etc! Our family headed back to our native land of Arizona for spring break. I had big plans for this trip to Az. My husband, Matt, usually only gets to join us on trips to Arizona when we go for holidays or family events. But this trip was our’s to plan and he was coming, so I wanted to pack in as much fun as possible. Although it […]

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On My Mind Monday: Inspiring Creativity


When I think of someone who is creative, I think of someone who sews, crafts, paints, or draws. I am not one of those people. My sewing skills are limited to button replacements, my enjoyment of most crafts is minimal, and my artistic skills peaked in 2nd grade when I had my painting displayed in a local mall. My creativity comes in other ways like writing and dancing and singing. That being said, I have recently felt creatively stagnant. I’ve been lacking inspiration in the areas where I am normally most creative. As I’ve been thinking about ways to be more inspired, I’ve noticed a few main things that have been hindering my creativity. Routines: I am […]

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General Conference Meatloaf

As I mentioned on Monday, I was asked to give a talk in a stake conference for my church last Sunday. As crazy as it sounds, I started my talk by talking about meatloaf! Haha! I promise though, I had a point, and if you are interested read how it applied, I have put my talk in this post below the recipe. But whether or not you want the full story about this meatloaf, you should definitely make it! Pair it with some mashed potatoes and cooked veggies for a delicious dinner. Make sure you make enough for leftovers the next day 😉       Several years ago I came across a new […]

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On My Mind Monday: My Richter Scale


Something many people may not know about me is that I have tremors. They are called Essential Tremors to be exact, although I feel like they are far from “essential.”;) It is not really a life threatening disease, just more of a nuisance. My tremors are mostly in my hands and sometimes my voice and they effect me when I am making deliberate movement. Activities such as playing the piano, putting on make-up, writing on a whiteboard, and singing or talking in public can sometimes be difficult when my tremors are really bad. Like most people, my emotions and physical well-being play a big role in my shakes. If I am nervous, over-tired, sick, upset, […]

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First Chapter Books for Young Readers

young readers

My daughter caught the reading bug when she was really young. She is not even five and a half and has already been reading for over two years. I love how much she loves to read, even if it means she stays up way past her bedtime reading a couple of chapters of her most recent book. (It’s currently 9 PM and she just came down asking to please read one more chapter…Maybe I should be more strict about this.) Right around her fourth birthday, she started reading chapter books – the kind that are about 40 pages long and have three or four chapters with several pictures.  I did a lot of […]

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Do You Let your Child Win?

candy land

The other day my daughter and I sat down to play a few rounds of Candy Land. Because she just turned four, I have been trying to limit interfering in our games. As we started the game, our first few turns of drawing cards were pretty even. Then she drew a lolly pop and said “Oh, you’ll never catch me now!” Playing a good sport I said, “Oh you lucky girl! Good job!” I of course then drew a cupcake. We both laughed and I said “Oh man! At least I get to eat a cupcake!” As the game continued, the cards kept going in her favor. She grew more and more confident with her lead […]

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