I created this blog when my sweet little girl, Kristen, was diagnosed with cancer, for the third time. After fighting for almost 3 years Kristen was called home to that same God who gave her life. I've contemplated on many occasions rather I should quit this blog or not. Each time I am inspired that I should not. One of my favorite quotes comes from Neal A. Maxwell- "Those who "plow in hope" not only understand the law of the harvest but they also understand what growing seasons are all about. True, those with genuine hope may see their proximate circumstances shaken like a kaleidoscope at times, yet with the "Eye of faith" they still see divine design." Kristen blessed lives and continues to do so. Her light continues to shine. As for me, I continue to "plow in hope" knowing well that Kristen is mine for eternity. Families can be together forever! This I know. Our family continues to live and to love and this is our story...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Festival of Trees

I love the Festival of Trees!
I have been planning and preparing for the festival since it ended last year.
We have 4 trees this year.
The first one my committee helped with.
It is decorated after the Disney movie "Brave"
It is dedicated to Kristen and fits well as she is one of the bravest 
girls I know. The tree is much more beautiful in person.

The second tree is dedicated to the nurses and staff in the cancer unit
at Primary Children's Hospital.
It is decorated with vintage Santas and is named
"White Christmas"

Kamie decorated a tree for my dad.
It is named "Christmas at Grandpa's"
It is darling.

Kamie also decorated a tree for Kristen.
It is called "Our Sweet Angel"
It is a beautiful tree.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

more Thanksgiving

We were able to spend Thanksgiving with my mom today.
Luckily it was all of my children's turn to eat with us this year as well.
We will never get used to the fact that my dad and Kristen
are not here to share these special days with.
We do know that they are close and watching over us.
We are thankful that we have so many memories of the two of them.
We also find comfort knowing that they are together.
We have been very blessed and we have so very much to be thankful for.
Our lives are full of peace and joy. 
We tried to snap a picture while we were all together.
My mom was the photographer and she was making all of us laugh.
The pictures are not great, but at least we are all together.
While we hold our past memories close to our hearts,
we will continue as a family to make more because 
family is what matters most.
Tonight I am thankful for my blessings both here on earth
and my blessings in heaven.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

I found this verse in a Thanksgiving card. 
It's pretty fitting for my girl.

At Thanksgiving, (and each and every day), 
you are fondly remembered, in the special 
ways you have touched so many lives. 
Your smile is the brightness of the warm 
sunrise, your laughter finds me in the 
autumn breeze, and the warmth of your love 
will always bring joy to my soul. 
Although we are apart in this life, your 
memory is alive in my heart! We will always 
be together in love, and in spirit.
Happy Thanksgiving in Heaven!

Kristen's last 3 Thanksgivings on this earth
Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2008
(Nice Picture Ryan)

Thanksgiving 2009

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."~ Churchill

Several of us have been working for the past several months on projects
for the Festival of Trees.
Last night we gathered together to package gifts for the gift shop 
and treats for the sweet shop.
What would have taken me hours to complete was completed in
less that an hour. Of course I forgot to take pictures while everyone
was here, but I did get pictures of the finished products.
We filled crowns and snowmen with candy, we packaged 
gumballs, cinnamon santas and gumdrops.
Many dropped of their gifts that they have been working on for months.
Thanks again to all of those who helped!

Peggy made this precious item,
It is a little doll cradle... 

that turns into a little purse!

Pam has been embroidering these
dish towells

Janalyn made this cute pillow

Peggy also make a few of these aprons

Nicole made these fabulous necklaces

Katy has been making her famous
bows and headbands

Traci made these cute little things that turn into
a little race track

Several helpers have been making pillow cases

I had a lot more items turned in a few weeks ago.
I turned them in before I got pictures. 
Everyone's items have been fabulous!
If you live in the area, you'll want to get to the Festival 
early so you can buy some of these cute items.

A quick side note...
One of Kristen's favorite things is hitting shelves 
at you local store...
You are going to want to buy some  and think
of Kristen as you enjoy it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Butter Mints

Aunt Peggy is known for her butter mints.
They are the kind of fabulous that melts in your mouth. 
Whenever someone in the family is planning a wedding, 
Peggy always shows up with bowl full of mints.
Last night she taught several of us how to make these delicious treats.

Pulled Butter Mints
1 Cup Water
1 Cube Butter
3 Cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Flavoring
Coloring if desired

Use a heavy pan!
You will need a high quality candy thermometer.
Melt together water and butter. 
Carefully add sugar (being careful not to splash sugar on the sides of pan)
Cover with lid until steam forms.
Remove lid and cook to 248 Degrees F
Pour onto buttered marble slab, DO NOT scrape pan.
The edges will cool quickly so gently turn outer edges towards center.
Continue to cool until center feel comfortable but still hot to fingertip.
Add Flavoring.
Carefully fold edges to center and pull as you would taffy.
Add Coloring.
Continue pulling until candy gets a dull shine (satin)
It works best if you have several helpers and everyone gets a piece to pull.
Once it looses shine, quickly roll into a rope,
clip with scissors into desired size. 
Leave in air for several hours then put in an airtight container.
Mints will cream within 12 hours.

The green ones are mint flavored and the cream ones are almond flavored.
Both are delicious!

After our candy making experience I had this great idea that I wanted to find 
'Butter' flavoring and make a pale yellow butter mint.
Kim and I headed to our favorite baking supply store in search of butter flavoring.
We found it!
But we also found a 10 pound block of chocolate that we will surely
 need in the coming weeks.
Kim is already talking about making fondant, peanut clusters and dipping some strawberries.
The holiday baking begins now!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2 week photo shoot with Nora

the pictures say it all...

If you are in the area and need photos check out my friend Becky
she owns Camera Shy which is located in Lehi.
They did a great job!