Tuesday, April 28, 2015

May the 4th Be With You...

Our family loves Star Wars. So a couple of years ago when we heard about "May the 4th" be with you we were pretty excited to celebrate. So much for fun for the whole family. I wanted to share some fun ways to celebrate this fun day.

Baby Girl wasn't even scared of  Darth Maul. Picture by Shari Hanson

Star Wars Pancakes:

Star Wars Pancake Molds, Set of 3 Vehicles: X-Wing Fighter, Vader's Tie Fight...

I heard about these bad boys and had to get them. Our kids love having Star Wars pancakes. And if I am in a real hurry, I just punch out my already made pancake with the molds. I have a different set but I am thinking we might need to get these ones as well.

Star Wars Sandwiches:

Star Wars Limited Edition Tin Lunch Box with Bonus Sandwich Cutters

My friend gave us this for a present. And we use quite a bit. But it's a must to make sandwiches into Tie Fighters on May the 4th. My kids are pretty good at eating the crust first. Jedi's don't waste food in our house.

Star Wars Cookies:

Last year we got together with friends and had dinner. Afterwards we make cookies and decorated them together. I really wish we could get together again this year. I have seen some really cute cookie tutorial videos that I should really try some day. We usually make Star Wars cookies at Christmas too. I love using green sprinkles to decorate Yoda. I am so thankful for my client/friend who got me these for a Christmas present. We use them again and again...

Star Wars Cookbook:

This book is a must for any Star Wars lover. The pictures alone are amazing (click the link and you can see some of them) !!! My kids read this thing for hours. All the recipes are really kid friendly. One of my boys favorite times is when Grady got together with another Dad and his son and they made Star Wars food. Wookie Cookies, Hoth Chocolate, & Han-burgers. Really fun recipes. Perfect for parties or really any occasion.

Star Wars Jell-O Molds:

I just found this at Walmart a couple weeks ago when I was working on Gandalf's Percy Jackson Party. I picked them up. I am hoping my kids have forgotten about it and I can surprise them on the 4th. I will have to make some sugar free ones for Draco. I love when we can have zero carbs treats for him too! You can try Walmart or it's also available on Amazon.

Star Wars ABC Book:

Product DetailsProduct Details

Baby Girl loves Star Wars ABC! When she see Darth Vader she tries to breathe like him. And J for Jedi shows a picture of Mace Windu with his hand up. She always high fives him. This is a great book for teaching Star Wars basics to kids. And I just found the number and color books as well!!! My husband loves reading this book to the kids.

Years ago I made Yoda this Chewbacca Softie. He loved it and slept with it every night. Just recently he stopped having it on his bed. The link above gives a free pattern for your own little Jedi to love. 

And of course this is a perfect day to watch your favorite Star Wars movie. I love watching my kids run around in their Jedi robes and play light sabers. Even baby girl gets in on it. Star Wars is a great movie that encourages family, friendship, and using the Force, or the power of the Light side, to help others. Any way you celebrate May the 4th with your family it will be a fun new tradition.

May the Fourth Be With You....

Some of these items are affiliated links. You are welcomed to buy from anywhere. But I don't mind if you buy them from here. I only share items I really like or use. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Deliver Us Concert Review

This last weekend has been busy and amazing! The long awaited Deliver Us Concert was Friday and Saturday night. I had heard how amazing this concert would be, and it lived up to it's hype. To make the moment even sweeter, it was my youngest son's first concert. He loved performing. And he was so proud to be like his dad and brothers. 

Some of my personal favorites were the opening number Deliver Us, Build An Ark, Dry Bones, When you Believe, and a beautiful arrangement of Come, Come Ye Saints by Brett Stewart. Really every song was wonderfully done. And my favorite favorite was Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah. John Huntington portrayed him in their oratorio. He was the absolute star of the show!!! 

The opening song was strong and powerful. I especially loved the orchestra part. Music and text was by Stephen Schwartz and it was arranged my Brett Stewart. I was moved to tears. I don't think I reflect as much as I should on the hardship of being a slave in Egypt. The song was filled with emotion and I was better able to imagine what a trial that might be. I know they were slaves but this piece made it come alive for me. I know our dear Jewish friends spend time during Passover reflecting the four ways this night is different from other nights. I think the people of Moses' day appreciate when we remember them, their sacrifice, and their faith. The solos were touching and sweet. I also thought about the heart ache it must have been to have your new baby killed just to make a people less strong. My heart breaks for those sweet families. I know if my sweet daughter had been born during that time I would have been crushed. I am so thankful for the plan of happiness and the hope it brings.

 The Build An Ark song sounded like a heavenly choir. Gandalf sings in the children's choir and my heart swelled when I saw him. He was up there singing his heart out. He loves the music. And even though it can be hard for him to focus having Asperger's he is thriving in this program. I think they do a great job with being understanding yet firm. He rises to the occasion. I could tell he especially loved singing in the oratorio Elijah. He was watching Professor Stewart and singing his heart out. I love how this program is building his confidence, increasing his testimony, and nurturing his love for good music. 

Yoda and Draco sang Dry Bones. I posted a picture from the Friday concert and had heard from others that there was a 'dry bones dance'. I don't know how I missed that. I made the boys show me Saturday morning. Yoda danced and told me, "Do you see how I am not hitting anyone with my elbows??" He was so proud of himself. 

The dance was SO adorable Saturday night! I couldn't take my eyes off of Yoda! He did so great! Singing, watching Professor Stewart, dancing, and following directions. I am so proud of him!!!
Draco did great too. But I did notice a furrowed brow. Apparently he was looking for me.

I love that my boys could sing in this wonderful concert hall. 

Friday night I dropped the boys off for their call time. Baby girl and I waited to see dad. He left early for work that morning and would be home when she was already asleep. I saw him before she did and snapped some pictures when she saw him coming. She loves him so much.

I had to come back Friday night to give Draco his insulin for dinner so we stayed in the area. Baby girl wanted to see the temple. It was wonderful to spend and hour and a half walking the grounds and visiting the Visitors Center. She loves the statue of Jesus Christ. I love how much she loves temples. This is the temple where her great grandparents were married many years ago. It is dear to our family. 

(Have I mentioned she is getting stronger and standing more. And we are even getting steps in there!!!)

Those of you in California, this concert is a must see!!! You will be blown away with the Oratorio. John Huntington is perfect for this performance!!! Seeing him and hearing this powerful music stirs your soul. It is amazing how music can create such a feeling, an emotion. I'm sure Elijah was happy with his performance. I found out that the same year Felix felt inspired to write this piece was the same year we believe Elijah visited Joseph Smith in the Kirkland Temple and restored the sealing power on the earth fulfilling the prophecy in Malachi, 

 All the soloists were lovely. I love the movement and emotion from the choir. Their portrayal of the children of Israel was powerful. I feel like I can't even explain how amazing this performance was. You will just have to see it for yourself.

Some of our friends in Orange County miss watching my husband. He really gets into it. It's why he's in the front. That, and because he is handsome. (They call them the money beets) He told me some of the sopranos he didn't know had to come tell him how much they enjoy watching him from across the hall. That was so sweet of them. I know I really missed seeing the youth I love so dearly perform. I wish I could be there next Wednesday! And my amazing friend Alex who plays the bassoon! I missed spotting her in the orchestra. But those of you who love watching Grady will forget all about him when you see John perform!

Grady was kind enough to share his favorite part of the concert.

One of the most moving parts for me as a singer, is when Elijah is pleading for God to send us rain again. As he asks God to "look down on us from Heaven... and send us relief." As a choir we echo his prayer and sweetly sing, "open the Heavens and send us relief! Help, help thy servant now, O God!'
I think of our Prophet today, as he prays for us and how we can help us feel the relief the Atonement brings.

Then as the song gets more distressing, we sorrow even more and mourn, "help, send thy servant help, O God!" As I read of the illness and medical needs of Elder Perry and Elder Scott, I could not help but say that same prayer in earnest for their welfare and well being. Singing in "Deliver Us" has helped be better understand and better love the Prophets and Apostles in their divine mission.

This is a concert you don't want to miss!! Go see it this Wednesday

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Leave No Trace

I absolutely LOVE scouting! The scouting program teaches boys how to become men. How to serve others and learn new skills. And it teaches them to in return help younger boys.

One special award you can receive is the Leave No Trace badge. I know cub scouting is coming up on some exciting changes, but I wanted to share this great principal because it can bless us all. In order to earn your award you have to learn the principals and practice them, along with fulfilling requirements for your age.

Leave No Trace Basic Principals

Plan Ahead and Prepare:

Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you visit. Information is key. Bring a map and compass if possible. Prepare for weather conditions and emergencies. 

Travel & Camp on Durable surfaces:

Durable surfaces include establish trails, campsites, rock, & gravel. Earlier this month we visited Sedona. They had a great sign explaining why we shouldn't step on the "crust". It had great visual aids. My boys already know and practice this principal, but I loved the information. It's crucial we stick to the trails so we don't ruin habitats for bugs and animals. Killing vegetation has impact on everything from bugs, birds, small animals which also impacts larger animals. I did let them explore rocks and climb around, but other than that we stuck to the trails. 

Dispose of Waste Properly

"Pack it in, pack it out" When preparing for a hike or camping consider how you are going to dispose of trash. I love packing an extra trash bag. Help teach your kids to be mindful of sandwich bags and water bottle lids. If you need to dispose of human waste do so properly, in a hole dug 6- 8 inches deep at least 200 feet away from water, trails, & camp.

Leave What you Found:

This is a great one to teach if you don't want treasures to come home with you. But it's also important to teach our kids why we don't bring home rocks, shells, or plants. Preserve the past. Examine, but don't touch cultural or historic structures. Teaching them early is so important. I love how this principal helps us think of others and the future.

Minimize Campfire Impact:

Where fires are allowed use established fire rings. Keep fires small. And burn all wood and coals down to ash. Completely put out fire and scatter cooled ashes. When possible use light weight stove for cooking and lantern for light.

Respect Wildlife:

Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other danger. Store your food securely.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors:

"Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience." Be courteous and yield to others on the trail. I have learned those going up have the right of way. Avoid loud voices and noises including music. 

Wishing you a Happy Earth Day. Plant some flowers, pick up trash, or enjoy nature. I hope these principals of Leave No Trace bless your family. I am so thankful for teaching opportunities.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cutest Little Demi god Ever....

Isn't she the cutest little demi god ever???

Our family is loving the Percy Jackson series we started reading to get ready for our oldest boy's birthday party. We are almost done listening to the 4th book. If you haven't read the series you really should. It's funny and action packed. Another thing I love about it is their strong girl character Annabeth. 

Annabeth is the daughter of Athena so she's pretty smart. She is up for adventure, tough, and is a great loyal friend. I know baby girl is going to really like her when we read this series again when she is older. Who doesn't love it when the girl saves the day? (Though I have heard she is a little more damsel is distress in the movie)

I made each of my boys a "Camp Half Blood" shirt along with this cutie girl. You can find the image here. I just love having a Silhouette!!! Baby half blood shirts are hard to come by. Annabeth has blonde hair and wears it in a side braid. We did the best we can with that. She also has a New York Yankees cap, a gift from her mother. You can order one from the link  up above or you can make one. Perfect when you are making it the night before and don't have time for amazon's amazing 2 day shipping.

I found a blue hat at Walmart. It had a small orange horse on it. I have no idea what that stands for. Using my Silhouette I made the New York image and cut it on white fabric with interfacing ironed on to it. Use your Fray Check on the edges and glue that bad boy on. I made sure it was thick enough to cover the small horse.

She LOVES her hat. She wants to wear it all the time. Which I really don't mind considering how cute she looks. Also, she loves matching her brothers with this shirt. She didn't want to take her shirt off even when it was covered in yogurt. I had to distract her and then hide it real quick.

I love reading with this girl. I can't wait to read chapter books with her.

Happy Reading!!!

Check out more fun Percy Jackson Posts...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Thrift Store Find Makeover

I found this great Thrift store in the East Valley area. It's called 360 Thrift. I really needed a little play table for baby girl. It would be perfect therapy for her to stand and play at a table to help strengthen her legs. Not only did I find one for only $1.99 I also found this gem...

Isn't it perfect!!! I have been driving around on Mondays looking for something just like this on my treasure drives. I recently came across this post from the Crafting Chicks. (I love their site) It has a link to kitchen plans from the amazing Ana White. She has so many great building plans to make pretty much anything. I love the homemade kitchen. And a darling kitchen set for $127 was a pretty fair price. But honestly that's not really in my budget right now. But I was totally inspired by her designs and I thought I could save some money by making my own.

And then I was lucky enough to find this gem at the thrift store.


Nightstand (Or whatever else you can modify)
scrap wood
Stove knobs
Oven drawer pull

First step was to paint this awesome piece I found. I almost went with a teal for a retro kind of feel, but this yellow makes me happy. I used Deco Art American Chalk Paint in Delicate.

Deco Art Americana Chalky Finish Paint, 8-Ounce, Delicate
I got it at Hobby Lobby. Next I measured what size I wanted my oven door. The bottom area of the night stand has a lip. It made the hinge part kind of tricky. I decided to get hinge that closed into itself, not just your basic hinge. I also needed to install a magnet to help hold it closed. There was another hinge option that would have helped the oven open fully but I wasn't sure my 1 year old would be strong enough to open that one. I had to add a piece of wood to help the hinge lay flat. I also didn't use the screws that came with the hinge. I used smaller ones for the door. And larger ones to secure it to the base of the night stand.

You can see here my hinge and magnet placement. Add you drawer pull to your oven door. I had to drill holes in first before I was able to get my screws in the wood.

Using my Silhouette I made a stencil for painting on burners. It was quick and easy. I wanted to leave some of the top for a prep area. Ikea has some really cute felt food and dishes. I think she will like having some room to "slice" fruits and veggies.

Lastly I added some adorable knobs from Hobby Lobby. The pink knobs are too cute. And I am thinking I want to make some pink/yellow dish towels for her new kitchen. I might even add some hooks on the side. I just LOVE how it turned out....

The drawer is perfect for storing pots and pans. I pulled out these dishes I had bought for my boys long ago. Even Draco and Yoda loved pretending to cook dinner. I love seeing my kids play together and use their imaginations. Wish I would have made one of these for my sons years ago.

You can paint this project any color and have it fit your budget. I love how sturdy and darling it looks. Now I am on the hunt for another piece I can make into a sink. 

Total Price:

Night Stand $3.99
Paint $8.99
Knobs (4) $3.99 each
Drawer pull $4
Hinge: $2.20
Double Magnetic catch: $2.50
Oven door: Free. Thanks to our Monday treasure hunts

Total about $32 with coupons 

Best part is seeing our baby girl cook, stir, and having fun while working on standing. And now we can work on getting her to walk from her new table to her new stove.

Other fun project where I have used free wood I have found on the side of the road.

Linked up Here  Check out other fun finds!!

Some of these items are affiliated links. You are welcomed to buy from anywhere. But I don't mind if you buy them from here. I only share items I really like or use. Thanks for your support!

Simple Little Coat Rack Tutorial

I bought a coat rack years ago at TJ Max. I really love that store. And I liked the coat rack I got. Hooks are so much easier and a must for kids. But it was made from pressed wood and the back hardware fell off after a couple of weeks. I tried several times to fix it or nail in new hardware, but nothing was working.

Then I thought I just need to make one. Really it's not that hard. On one of my Monday treasure hunts I scored this free piece of wood. (The first Monday of the month where I live people set out things they don't want) I cut the wood to fit the space I had for it. Originally I was going to paint it but I love the way the wood looks.

I was at Home Depot for one of their Kids Workshops. I had met my cub scouts there so we could passed off Achievement 5e. I was able to pick up these hooks for around $10. I had all the other supplies on hand. I love when I don’t have to spend much on a project.


  • Piece of wood
  • Stain or paint
  • vinyl stencil or decal (optional)
  • Hooks
  • Drill
  • Ruler
  • Hard ware for the back to hang it up

  • Cut your wood and sand as needed. Stain or Paint your wood. Then measure out where you want to screw in your hardware. I had to use a drill bit to make a small hole so my screws could go in easier. Careful not to make your holes so big that the screws won't actually screw in. I’m not an expert in using a drill. And one of my hooks isn’t quite perfect but I’m okay with it. And I remind my sometimes OCD brain that when I see it.

    This rack is next to our garage door and it is where we leave every morning. It's perfect for my purse, the kid’s backpacks, and jackets. One thing that we need to be better at is morning prayers. We are pretty good at praying in the evening and before dinner. But our mornings are really crazy. My kids never can seem to find their shoes or clothes. Really they just wanna play and read and not get ready for school let alone church. All that extra clothing like belt and ties makes life that much harder.

    Family prayer is essential. I want to have a chance to pray as a family before I send my children off in the world. They need that protection. That's why I added a small little saying "Did you think to Pray?" (I love that song) That way when I grab my purse or the boys grab their backpacks we can have a reminder that we need to have a family prayer.

    Really you could skip a saying. Or add your family name or a saying like "Be Kind" or any other message you want your kids to see. I like that it isn't flashy, but just a small reminder.

    Originally I had the saying higher but my sweetheart thought it would look better lower and I quite agree. I was blessed to get a Cameo Silhouette and was able to make my stencil. Then I used leftover paint from my dresser. If you don't have a silhouette and need a place to get vinyl there is a great etsy shop Little Mrs Crafty. She does a great job and can get you what you need. She makes toilet targets for little boys. They are too cute.

    When I was finished I sealed it with wax and hung it up. I am happy with how it turned out. I love how solid and secure the wood is. Going weeks with the back packs on the ground was driving me crazy. And I am hoping it helps us remember our family prayers in the morning.

    Thanks for reading! Hope I can help make your home a little more organized.

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    Our Family’s Favorite Crepes

    Our family loves eating dessert crepes. Especially on Shrove Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, and some times random Sundays. Sometimes we even make savory crepes and have them for dinner. We each have our favorite kind. One of my favorite things about making crepes is that everyone can build their own. This dinner is also perfect for when you have leftover ingredients.
    If you are in Orange County check out Rockin’ Crepes. They are fresh, really big, and packed with yummy ingredients. Our family loves to eat there. But now that we live in Arizona it’s nice to make them at home as well.
    Start with your basic crepe recipe here
    Then you can add your favorite toppings. I like to make them and then put them in the oven after the toppings to get the cheese nice and melted. First I will share my favorite….
    Top with:
    • Chicken
    • Sliced tomato
    • Sliced onion
    • Provolone cheese
    • Pesto Sauce
    The Pizza Crepe is Yoda and Draco’s favorite.
    Top with:
    • Pasta sauce
    • pepperoni
    • Mozzarella cheese
    Gandalf and Baby girl love this one.
    Top with:
    • Scrambled eggs
    • Cheese
    And if we don’t have fresh strawberries we will add Nutella and crushed Oreo’s. Pretty much staples in our home.

    Pretty simple, but makes for a yummy quick dinner.