Thursday, July 19, 2012


Healthy Chocolate Chip Blondies

Monday, July 16, 2012

Trek 2012

We just got done with going on a trek to Martin's Cove with the youth and I wanted to share some of the highlights from this incredible experience.

Here we are ready to go at 4am!!!

Do I look the part?

We rode on a bus for 7 hours to get there!

The Noble Steeds! We were Ma & Pa to 5 girls and 5 boys ages 14-18.

Our awesome family flag.

Our sons were awesome. They pulled and pushed the handcart about 90% of the time.

This tiny little cloud was the biggest tender mercy as we were hiking in the HOT sun. It provided some much needed relief.

Our gang trekking on into camp.

Ready for day 2 and more adventures

A lot of handcarts at the bottom of Martin's Cove

And we did!

Two of our lovely daughters. They were so much fun.

One of our sons walked part of the trek bare foot! Oh to be young!

Some cute pioneer ladies.

The Statues were made to honor the young men who Brigham Young sent to rescue The Martin Handcart company. They were teenagers and crossed the river 30 times to get the people across. Then they died. Brigham Young said that act alone guaranteed them a seat in The Highest of Heaven. -It really impressed me how many of the stories shared were of the teenagers doing so much of the work that needed to be done. There truly is and always has been, power in the youth of the church.

Just playing around as we were waiting our turn to cross the river. I think we're pretty skilled.

We got to cross the same river as the pioneers did.

It was 100 degrees out with NO SHADE and the river felt so good. I walked as slowly as I could.

The woman's pull. To help show that were times when the women were left alone while the men went to fight in war or had passed away, they the women pull the handcart up a steep and sandy hill without the men. It was really a wonderful experience. I must admit, I got teary eyed watching the men walk up the hill without us knowing we would have to do this without them. But we can do hard things!

The ladies so proud of our accomplishment!

This is how we got our water. And that is the man of my dreams. I LOVED the time I got to spend with him.

Those rocks are where the actual Martin's Cove is. I didn't realize it was actually a small area where they went to gain relief from the wind and elements.

Last day, homeward bound!

Taking a little rest

The Noble Steeds! We managed to pick up 2 new son-in-laws along the way. They were good at pushing the cart and were welcomed with open arms.

Our fearless Bishopric. Such great men. I'm glad one of them is mine ;)
Some things that really stood out to me:

President Ferrin commented about the senior missionaries serving at Martin's Cove, "These senior missionaries are physically and financially healthy so they can serve The Lord". It made me so excited and committed to do what we need to do so I can serve a mission someday with Marc!

President Ferrin also said, "These leaders (speaking about the adults that came on the trek) are all here not because they love the outdoors but because they have been through the temple and they have covenanted to give all that they have to build the kingdom of God."It really struck me that is exactly why I do all that I do and I knew in that moment God was pleased with my efforts.

A testimony was shared by one of our sweet Laurels and she said very genuinely, "I know that no matter what I have done, God still loves me." It was so tender and reminded me that I do not need to get down on myself and that God does truly recognize my efforts.

Helpful tips: Bring an umbrella (there is little to no shade), chapstick, a coat (the nights and mornings were cold), a bonnet (those pioneer ladies knew what they were doing and that bonnet helped a lot!), a hand fan (it is hot!)

Funny: A senior missionary asked why the pioneers decided to move to Utah and an answer from the crowd was, "To avoid prostitution." The missionary said, "Um, okay, anyone else?" and a sweet lady said, "And to avoid persecution" Hehe

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Potty training a boy

Before the official day of potty training began, we had read lots of books about it, bought big boy briefs, watched Elmo's Potty Time and observed as our friends used the potty. I also made sure we started at a time we could easily stay home for 3 days so potty training could be the focus. The day before, I took a shower (this is important), and got the reinforces (M&M's, Skittles and Fruit Snacks) ready in Ziploc bags.
 We ate a good breakfast, I had arranged for Lucy to go play at a friend's house (I should have had someone take the baby) and then I showed David his big boy underwear. We put them on and went and sat on the toilet. Nothing happened and then he came out and peed on the rug-we persevered. I also didn't put any more underwear on him, we'll try wearing those tomorrow.
I gave him LOTS to drink. I literally had the sippy cups lined-up on the counter; as soon as he finished one, I gave him another. The theory behind this is to help him have LOTS of opportunities to see how the whole going potty on the toilet works.  
I wore a timer that went off every 12 minutes (I tried 15 minutes, but quickly learned it needed to be a bit closer than that). When the timer went off, I would say, "Let's go sit on the potty and you can pick your treat". Then he would sit on the potty, select his treat and I would immediately begin to read a book to him to keep him sitting there. Because he was drinking so many liquids, he nearly always went to the bathroom before I got done reading the book to him.I gave him an additional treat if he actually "went".

If he didn't go, I tried to keep him on the potty for at least 5 minutes. I would read books, sing songs to him, do magic tricks and let him play with the iphone. Once he was really begging to get off, I would let him get off, but I would have him try again in 5 minutes.
This seat is CRITICAL for little boys. I had a seat I used with Lucy that was padded all around and it really got in the way of his "anatomy". Do you see how this seat pokes up a bit at the front? It is a MUST for little boys. It catches the urine and keeps it going down. Yep, that was something I had not thought of until we were in the midst of everything. Thankfully a neighbor let me borrow her's.

I wore this apron ("The Apron of Reinforcement") that held my reinforces in it. I would highly recommend it! 

My sweet husband took over when he got home from work. Isn't he darling!

By the end of the day we were 2 to 1 of times going in the potty to accidents. I'll take it! Tomorrow, Marc is taking over the reigns and I will take the girls to my parents so he can devote all of his attention to David. We will pull way back on the liquids and have him try to go every 20 minutes.
A few important notes:
- I put him straight into underwear. We only use pull-ups for nap time and bed time. I think it would be too easy to not try as a hard if I had a "back-up".
-In order to keep on top of what was going on, I spent the day playing with him. We tried going outside to play, but it was too hard to convince him to come back in to try to go potty. I found it was best, to just play with him. Watching TV was tricky. Just traditional playing worked best.
-I should not have talked on the phone with anyone. This seemed to be the times accidents were a given.
-I should have stocked up on treats for ME. I think I could have used a good Sweet Tooth Fairy cakebite at lunch time. I also wished I would have bought a Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner the day before so I would not have had to worry about dinner that day.
-If he had an accident, we used over correction: I would say, "We don't put our pee-pee on the floor," while I pointed to his accident and then I would walk him to the toilet and say, "We put our pee-pee in the toilet". I would do this about 5 times in a row.
-We are currently on day 4 and we are having more successes than failures (about 2 accidents a day). I plan to stay close to home for the rest of the week and keep the focus on potty training. I take him to go potty about every 30 minutes.
-Be patient. I did not want the idea of going to the potty be a traumatic thing for him. I had to takes lots of deep breaths and I prayed a lot for the strength to do this well for my little boy.