Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The last of my First Haircuts

Day 41-Because my 3 year old baby Emma finally grew enough hair to warrant a trim, and a trim was all we could get too.  Grow hair, grow grow grow!!!

*Side note- Christmas stress got the best of me so no daily smiles were sought out, but they did occur in plenty.  Merry late Christmas friends.

Mommy's little helpers

Day 40- Because making shortbread cookies would not be the same without my littlest ladies "helping " momma.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Secret Santa Surprise

Day 39- For the yummiest looking chocolate Christmas house that was left on our front porch.

Enjoyed his lunch

Day 38- Because Jack likes ketchup almost as much as his daddy. Shirt, face and lots in his timmy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Creative Ghost

Day 37- For the little girl booing in the hallway while her siblings were trying to go to sleep.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oodles of Little Gingerbread Men

Day 36- Because I'm an awesome mom and helped my 14 get extra credit in his German I class. They be yummy little suckers too.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How would you like to come home to this....

Day 34- Grace doing dishes, happily, without threat, suggestion, or coercion. This week she has done at least 5 loads of towels and washed dishes 3 times and she's done it all with a smile.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Family Traditions

Day 33- Because what would the holiday season be without the annual performance of The Nutcracker.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mommy/Julie Makeovers

Day 32- For the fantastic Makeovers my wonderful RS Pres and i had and because i was too chicken to show you the actual end results. Hannah is my energetic gal and Julie is super loving and patient.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Little Marilyn

Day 31 part two- Because this was way to funny to pass up, Hannah standing on an air vent letting the air fly up her skirt.  HA! 

P.S.- one month down 11 more to go and I'm loving this positive attitude jazz!  Even on stinky days finding the smiles really help.

Jackson 5

Day 31- Because "Santa Claus is comin' to town, oooh oh yeah, Santa Claus is comin' to town! " always brightens my soul.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Oboe Gal's Premiere Performance

Day 30- Because in that sea of 7 th graders there is Katie getting ready to play in concert for the first time her oboe. Excitement is an understatement!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It Took Me All Day

Day 29- Because i searched and searched all day trying to find that one thing that made me smile and FINALLY I found it!  My children.  Simple.  Sweet.  All seven of my babies. 

We've been hit with that Mr. Barf Bug once again and it's not pretty.  For some reason puke always happens around 1:30 a.m. in our house and it hit last night in pairs.  I'm tired, cranky, hating barf and ready to go to bed.  I was struggling to find that bit of happiness to journal about.  Oh I was looking.  I looked at my chocolate, nah.  I looked at the laundry accomplished, nah.  Not one thing really was cracking my cranky attitude.

And then I found it.  We had tithing settlement tonight and the middle children and I (for the two oldest and the youngest at the moment are the pukers) met with our Bishop and oh all I could do was inwardly and outwardly giggle at my children (and secretly pray that Hannah didn't make some oddball confession like "mom yells a lot and that's why she can't sing high anymore" which I hate to report, yes she did blurt that out).  Yet despite the 5 year old family secrets divulging, they made me smile.  It was the mix between Bishop almost getting whiplash from moving his head back and forth between conversations and Katie showing him how she goes on point, to Hannah (yes again) saying "your legs are criss cross applesauce!  Why are you sitting criss cross applesauce?" 
They brightened my mucky day and made me glad I have so many goofy kids to call me momma.  Yep, my kids, I love 'em!     

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Major Milestone

Day 28- For the number seen on my scale this morning. I've not smiled so big at 6:30 am.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Feet

Day 27- Because our little nuthead, yes that goofy nuthead ia excited about going up in size for her point shoes. Leave it to Katie!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Happiest Sounds

Day 26-For making me look up while making dinner because the sweet sounds of my babies playing monopoly was music to my ears.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Belated Birthday Present

Day 24- For time spent with Te-te and Uncle Ben, mario kart, pizza, baby Zack all to himself, time well spent.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Date Night

Day 24- Because i swear she's acting like she's never been to " Chick a lay" before. Her eyes just about popped out of her head when she saw the giant cup.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 23-Because everyone should have this Pug sit on their head once and a while, just saying.

Today was kind of an off day.  I woke grouchy, went to work out grouchy, even watched a sappy movie grouchily.  That probably was my #1 mistake for the day, watching a sappy movie which in turn made me a tearful grouchy.  To add to the Oscar syndrome I was cold and a little achy.  While in the midst of my tearfully grouchiness I decided to grab a comfy blanket and curl up on the sofa to maybe help alleviate some of my ailments.  It was just what the doctor ordered, not because of the rest or even warmth of the bundle it was because of this one pictured pug named Lincoln. 

Lincoln's a real pug, 100% doofus.  Some dogs do the butt drag, he does the butt spin.  He releases his anal glands weekly (gross!), eats thanksgiving stuffing right out of the pan before it's had a chance to get put away and he violates our lovable golden retriever Copper on a regular basis.  Despite all his puginess, I LOVE the little guy! 

So back to my day.  I was softly sobbing on the sofa(I'm fine now)when Lincoln decided to check out what all the hub bub was about.  First thing to change my frown up side down was his little pug nose rapidly sniffing my eyes.  Can dogs smell tears?  Do tears smell?  Things that make you go hmmmm....His sniffing is very intrusive since he really doesn't have a protruding nose so his whole pug face was in mine.  Cuteness, it was, but that wasn't what made me all out laugh.  The next thing I know I have a pug butt sitting on my head and all I could say was "oh PLEASE don't release your stink juice on my head Lincoln!".  So he sat and sat and sat on my head for a good minute or two and as quickly as my tears came they were replaced with laughter. Oh and it felt sooo good to laugh.

That's exactly what my year long goal is all about, finding the little joy and laughter especially when I'm down.  Having a pug butt on my head made my day!  Everyone should get a Lincoln, I'm so glad I have a Lincoln, stinky butt juice and all.    

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Afternoon Date

Day 22-For going to the movies with my baby and enjoying all the giggles, popcorn and mom and daughter time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shhhh..... It's a Secret!

Day 21- For conversations held in the car on the way home from scouts, secret conversations, ones about a girl, a girl he likes. These conversations make me smile.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just keep telling yourself

Day 29- Because with each squeak I keep telling myself "scholarship scholarship scholarship " over and over and over....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Molly's Lights

Day 19- She worked so hard, strung all the lights she could reach, even shed a few tears of frustration and joy and yet she still wants more lights. That's her daddy's little girl.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Sneakery

Day 18- For rearranging Grammy's Noel decoration every year to recognize the little guy in the manger right next-door.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In Her Daddy's Footsteps

Day 17-Because Molly wants to do this for her daddy so she's putting up the house Christmas lights and doesn't want any help.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Day 16-Thanksgiving, the day to be truly thankful for all we have, for all we love, for all we've sacrificed and lost. This day i am thankful.

Each year my father starts the Thanksgiving dinner with the humble reminder of the very first Thanksgiving feast. The first harsh winter after the pilgrims settled in the new world seeking the freedoms to worship their God, they lost a little over half the settlements souls to illness and desolate conditions. The food supply was so scarce that some days only 3 kernels of corn were rationed for the days food. With the knowledge from the Native Americans teaching them about this new land they survived and lived to create and flourish in their new land. Giving thanks to God for all they had, the food, the shelter, for the new world to worship him, for the lose of their loved ones now living with him, they gathered together and prayed thanks to Him for the abundance that laid before them. Today I am especially grateful for the hardships those first settlers of this great land went through. I give thanks for them, for their endurance and hard work to settle this great nation. So as I look at those three little kernels of corn I remember that it is worth the struggle, the hardships, that through adversity greatness always awaits. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scenes from a movie

Day 15-Because just the mere sight of cooking your favorite Thanksgiving dish would send us into a reenactment of A Christmas Story, except eating uncooked stuffing won't give you worms.

I'm a foody, I love to cook it, smell it, think of it and of course eat it. Thanksgiving food in particular makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Duane on the other hand was not a foody. He loved my cooking, ate many a meals happily, but he did not drool, oogle, or even ramble on and on about food. EXCEPT.....for a few exceptions and my Thanksgiving stuffing is one of those exceptions. He would be in the kitchen snatching little tidbits here and there as I would be cooking the stuffing and to tell the truth the entire meal. A little slap of the hand was very much the norm every year. He couldn't keep his hands off the food.

I have quite enjoyed my new quest to find the joyful thoughts of Duane through out the year. I'm amazed at how frequently such little things make me think of him and all the things I know would bring a smile to his face, because they sure do bring a smile to mine. Gratitude is way more warm fuzzy than Thanksgiving stuffing. I'm so grateful for all the smiles my children bring to my face, for the dear family and friends that love me and for my Father in Heaven. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Little Pilgrim

Day 14- For teaching about being thankful and the hardships the Pilgrims went through that first year in the new world.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Because Emma was at Miss Kendyle's and the usual place and time was chucked aside for something a little more tasty. Best Friends are da bomb :)!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fall Flavors

Day 12-Because nothing tastes better on a crisp fall Sunday morning than pumpkin and cinnamon (and maybe a little honey butter too! )

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vy am I dripping vith goo?

Day 11-Because I have two of your favorite things on my brain, Ghostbusters and coconut. Homemade German chocolate frosting you would've given up your first born for, sorry Molly.

Now why would one who has now seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows TWICE have Ghostbusters on the brain you might ask? Follow along if you can.

Last week I made Homemade German Chocolate Cake for my Grandpa's 89 birthday. It was divine, it was scrumdiddliumptious, it is still haunting me a week later. I had leftover frosting sitting in my fridge and my mom had a BRILLIANT idea to make them into German Chocolate Truffles, which now currently reside in my freezer. I love coconut but I also love Harry Potter which coincidentally have no relation what so ever, but thinking of ones loves leads to another love and just like the "If you give a Pig a Pancake" book Harry Potter will most definitely always end in coconut :). But where does Ghostbusters come into play? Well, look at the picture, does it not resemble goo? And when the word goo pops into my warped brain automatically I hear the line from Ghostbusters II when Janosz says "Why am I dripping with goo" but in his Eastern European accent. And there you have it why now Ghostbusters and coconut are on my brain and it's all because a mom went to see Harry Potter.

Phew, I'm exhausted from this mental whirlwind. I think I'll go nibble on a little German Chocolate Truffles now.

German Chocolate Frosting

1 c sugar

4 egg yolks

1 c evaporated milk

1/2 c butter

1 t vanilla extract

10 oz coconut

1 1/2 c finely chopped pecans

Combine sugar, egg yolks and evaporated milk in the top of a double boiler. Stir with a wire whisk until the yolks are fully incorporated. Add the butter. Place over the bottom part filled with simmering water and bring mixture to a boil. Simmer 12-15 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add the vanilla, coconut and nuts. Cool. Frost. Eat. Savor. Drool. Enjoy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Katie caught a bug

Day 10-Because the little girl who hated to read has finally found a book she talks on and on and on about.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My little warbler

Day 9-Because when "pissmas" music comes on the radio miss Emma starts singing along oh so adorably

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wishful Thinking

Day 7- For sincerely wanting to eat this every day of my life and not tiring of its deliciousness.

May I introduce you to my new love. Move over chocolate, vamoose peanut butter, there's a new food in town and it's name is Plantain Soup. Yes dear reader those rotten looking banana thingies that you have no idea how to cook. Fried, yummy yes they are but a little to much oil for this girlish figure (Ha!) try made into a traditional Cuban soup. After watching an episode of Ingrid Hoffmann's Simply Delicioso I knew I had to give this soup a whirl. (Did you know I loved soup? Oh yes, maybe a close third to peanut butter.) With cilantro, a hint of lime, what's not to like. Give it a try, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Plantain Soup

2 t olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

6 or 7 c chicken broth

3 plantains, sliced

1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

2 bay leaves

1 t cumin

salt and pepper to taste

lime slices

Saute onion, carrots, celery and garlic in the olive oil until tender about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth, plantains, bay leaves and cilantro. Add cumin and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes or until plantains are very tender.

Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Add back to the soup and stir. Take a lime slice and squeeze juice over soup and garnish with cilantro if you want.

Oh so yummy, enjoy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Name that child

Day 5-Because in 6 weeks sleeping in on Sunday morning will be sorely missed.

I miss those days of just sleeping, simply stated, just sleeping. No reason to wake up, no bones that ache or child that has elbowed you 20+ times throughout the night and you just can't handle one more poke! No looking at the clock and reading 8:03 then instantly feeling that pain of guilt because you've slept too long and so much needs to be done. Oh those days, teenagedom.....ICK!!! Never mind give me the creaking joints, grey hair, elbows in ribs, guilt from sleeping in. I like my 30's, now 40 that's going to be another issue(Jessie ) =)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feeding the masses or otherwise known as Dinner

Day 3-For Friday night traditions started so many years ago.

Pizza and a movie is just as much a Summers Household staple as peanut butter and jelly. The week just wouldn't feel complete without a Friday night movie and picnic style in the living room pizza dinner. Some things just can't be tinkered with, enough said.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 2...Emma's Hair

Because you wouldn't believe how funky lucky number sevens hair can get and DANG it can get funky! Little miss curly or "turly" as Emma calls them sure does get a good head of cotton candy hair worked up when she sleeps. Curly Shirley always makes me smile.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Day in The Life. ... 365 days for dad

Because you meant the world to us.


Needing to find joy, the positive side, the stinkin' silver lining, I've decided to find EACH day some snippet of sunshine Duane would enjoy. Today is Day 1 also November 10, 2010, two years since he physically left us to start his new assignment by our Heavenly Father. I earnestly want to fulfill this personal assignment, daily remembering to be grateful, finding those things that make me smile. I might completely fall flat on my patookie and go something like 80 days without posting but that is the task and I'm up to the challenge. Wish me luck and enjoy 365 days filled with the quirks of the Summers household; all seven nut heads, all three puppies, the weird food, the antics and of course me, the ringleader of all the chaos.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cloudy With a Chance of Sneakers

I love my large family, but occasionally shoe accumulation occurs. Now if only those could be meatballs, that would be a yummy site!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sometimes He Lets it Rain

Tonight I was given a simple, quick reminder. Molly called me outside to watch a summer thunderstorm roll in, the clouds, the lightening, the deep yellowy orange, it was such beauty.

The storm only took around 20 minutes from start to finish, short and sweet and to the point. I watched the rain start, the wind pick up and the girls giggle with excitement as they danced in the rain getting soaked to the bone.

But it wasn't until the clouds parted and I thought of this classic quote about weathering storms, "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass......

...... It's about learning to dance in the rain.", that I truely got the simple lessons from my Father in Heaven.

1. Don't wait, live your life now.

2.Enjoy each and every moment.

3.Get wet in the rain, chilled to the bone.

4.Wrap up in a blanket and cuddle with your kids.

5.At the end of the storm beauty is waiting, peace is waiting.

6.The storm ALWAYS does pass.

I love simplicity. Sometimes He just has to let it rain to remind me of all the simple things in life.

Each day to live....

Finding the little things in the day that make me smile.

Duane's last Dance

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