Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tender Mercies

This week I've seen the hand of the Lord much more evident in my life and my family. For one, I was so blessed with an amazing experience with my visiting teacher. I've never been consistent with my own visiting teaching, however in August I did make a resolve that I was going to change that. Which I have, I've got it done every month since then and I plan to continue doing it. Her wisdom and willingness strengthened my testimony of visiting teaching. When she came to my house later on that day to drop off my jars of tomatoes, I got teary eyed because it meant so much to me that a woman who's probably 30 years older than me would be willing to teach a young mother how to can. She's only visited me twice so it's not like we're best buds and yet we had such a great time together. It really meant so much and words aren't adequate to describe my gratitude for her and her service.

Later on that day an angel gave us food. Bags and bags and bags full of groceries of all kinds and not just the necessities like bread and eggs. She even gave us a few of my favorite candy bars, chocolate chips for "fun" baking, even baggies and saran wrap. Our freeze was packed full to capacity and I was so humbled and overcome by the generosity of these two individuals. I gave thanks and praise to God and bawled all night long. Oh the tender mercies of the Lord! We have been so blessed and I feel I don't deserve it.

I hope later on in my life I will be at a point where I can be like that. Where I can be an instrument in the hand of the Lord to help young families, to teach my fellow sisters how to can, to buy lots of groceries at random for families in need, to give away some of my own food storage or produce. A few years ago I remember President Monson posed the question, "What have I done for someone today?" Aside from the regular wife and mother duties, not much and it's pathetic. I loved listening to the relief society broadcast last night and the things that I learned and could recap is that we all have a purpose and can all do something good for someone. If everyone were to put all their trials in a big, gigantic pile, I'd probably want mine back. We are so blessed and fortunate and I could do more to help others around me. I'm just so, so thankful for all that I have! Compared to some like the Burmese refugees in our ward, we live like kings. And yet compared to others, we live like we're in poverty. But we have a house and (now) a fridge full of food and clothes and the gospel. We have each other and we've been blessed to have Kimball. What else is there? I deeply thank the Lord for answering my prayers, oh His tender mercies!

President Hinckley said, "There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others. Let us not dwell on the critical or the negative. Let us pray for strength; let us pray for capacity and desire to assist others. Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and all places, that the Spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from us."


This past Tuesday my visiting teacher, Sister Bell, came to visit. We talked about the usual and since her and her husband do quite a bit of gardening in their retired years, I mentioned that I made zucchini bread and how proud of myself I was and that I'd like to raise my own garden next year. We then talked about canning and she said, "Well why don't you come over sometime this week and lets do some canning. I've got a lot of tomatoes that I'd be happy to give you so you can learn to can your own." 

Friday morning I went to her house and we did just that. We blanched, peeled, cut, stuffed, and pressure cooked some italian tomatoes. I did eight jars and this is what they look like.

When we stuffed the last jar full of tomatoes there were about four tomatoes left that were blanched and peeled. I looked at her and asked, "Ok so what do you with the leftover tomatoes when there aren't enough to fill a jar?" She has such a practical way about her and kind of laughed at me and said, "Well I'm going to eat them for lunch!" Oh. Duh! I was into the canning zone and forgot that people actually eat tomatoes plain. I'm an idiot!

She had a lot of zucchini so she grated some up and sent about 12 cups home with me along with a cucumber and buttercup squash. I've never prepared or eaten squash so I made some notes on my phone and I'm going to cook it up for dinner tomorrow. I also asked her how to make homemade bread and sometime next month she's going to come to my house and we'll make up some bread. I've always wanted to learn but listed it on my things to learn as a stay at home mom. Last year for christmas Donna gave me four or five loaf pans so its time to put those to use.

I loved everything about this day, it was such a great learning experience! And I love how I learned it: from my visiting teacher who's retired and was more than happy to teach me to can and share her produce with me. Thank you!!

Old Pictures

Aunt Linda took these pictures at the luncheon after Aunt Kathy's burial in Shoshone.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


In a recent FHE lesson we studied the talk "Let Him Do It With Simplicity" by Elder Perry. I'd like to share an excerpt from it:

"I remember a particular period of my life when I was under unusual stress. There were troubles with my employment, and at the same time, my wife was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. This was one of those times when it felt like the adversary had mounted a frontal assault against me and my family. On days when the stresses and anxieties of our tumultuous life were about to get the best of us, my wife and I found a way to relieve them. We drove to a place just a few miles from our home to get away for a few moments of relief from our troubles, talk, and give emotional comfort to each other. As Elder William R. Bradford taught at this pulpit: 'In righteousness there is great simplicity. In every case that confronts us in life there is either a right way or a wrong way to proceed. If we choose the right way, we are sustained in our actions by the principles of righteousness, in the which there is power from the heavens. If we choose the wrong way and act on that choice, there is no such heavenly promise or power, and we are alone and are destined to fail.' In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives."

I really enjoyed this talk because I think we often forget or overlook the simple pleasures in life that give us the greatest joy. It seems the world has replaced dinner conversations and heart to heart family bonding with tv watching, internet browsing, facebook searching, phone texting, game playing nonsense where no fulfillment can be found. I know I'm guilty of this at times. Lance thought of a challenge that he'd like us both to try sometime, which is to go a week without electronics, namely: tv, internet, and no use of the phone besides making or receiving an actual phone call. We have yet to try it but I think we'll be surprised by how much we would be taught by the Holy Ghost, how closer we will become as spouses, and experience even more joy at watching Kimball grow and develop.

Lance and I have an interesting perspective on life since Lance works everyday with families and individuals who are grieving, upset, and sometimes these families' worlds have been unexpectedly shattered by a death. They don't know where to piece their lives back together or know how to get up in the mornings. Because we have a testimony of the gospel, we can receive comfort in the knowledge that our Savior has atoned for us and knows how to comfort us. Both by his actual suffering and that glorious gift of the resurrection! Since we never know what tomorrow will bring, I urge you all: don't wait until tomorrow to say "I love you" or "I'm sorry." Don't wait to hug and kiss your spouse or children or parents or siblings because the opportunity may not be there tomorrow. We can follow the good example of dear Aunt Kathy, I don't think she ever held back her love or forgiveness.

Lance and I are working on simplifying our lives and hope we grow closer together as a family by doing so. I know the Lord has a hand in our lives and is always mindful of us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012


This past weekend we wanted to do something fun as a family that didn't cost money and didn't require eating out to throw off Lance's diet. It was so nice because Lance wasn't on call and was actually home on a Saturday for once! You know something is wrong with the world when it feels weird that your husband is home on a Saturday during the day. Anyway, we decided to take a walk down at Rock Creek Park in the canyon. First we played with Kimball on the playground but he wasn't too thrilled, he was stone-faced the entire time. I think we'll save that for next year when he's a little older. We let him play in a little meadow area where he ate dirt and sucked on sticks and got incredible dirty. You know, boy stuff. Our walk was nice with incredibly gorgeous weather and scenery. Bottom line: it was SO NICE to have Lance home and enjoy his company and spend time together just taking an autumn stroll and talking about life.

Fountain Of Fun

On Wednesday, Kimball and I took a walk downtown so he could enjoy the fountain. He loved it! Then we walked to Grandma Cox's to say hello and then walked to see Daddy at work. It was supposed to be a surprise but surprise on us, Daddy was on a call instead.

A While Ago

This was at the ward picnic in June or July, I can't remember which. I was never emailed a photo so Lance took a picture with his phone of the display that was on the bulletin board at church. It must've been for pioneer day or something. Either way, he's cute!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I just made my first batch of zucchini bread and I'm proud of myself for learning how. I don't know why but fruits and especially vegetables that are foreign to me are incredibly intimidating. I don't eat zucchini but it's delicious in bread. I don't eat tomatoes but they're delicious in soups and chili. I don't eat onions but they add so much flavor in practically any dinner item. And it was so easy too, I just had to peel and grate the zucchini and add it to the batter. Oh the batter, let me tell you......autumn in a bowl, it was delicious! I probably could have gotten another muffin pan full of zucchini muffins if I didn't eat so much batter. But it was just too good!

I'm debating whether or not to plant a garden next year. It's a debate because of two reasons: #1 I want a garden and I want to learn how to can and freeze foods for the entire year to save money on our grocery bill and be self sufficient. But #2 it will be completely impossible and even unimaginable if I am pregnant.

That's the debate. Do I or don't I? We have the perfect space for it, the side "dog run" is completely fenced in and just the size for a small garden. That being said, we'd have to rip up the grass in that area and rototill it all under and add manure and what not to get the soil ready in the spring. Just talking about it makes me so excited! I love working outside and it'll be neat to see the seeds sprout into recognizable plants and then to eat the produce ourselves and can it for the winter! Genius!! It's like free food! It just takes a little know how but being raised on a farm, it shouldn't be too difficult, right? Growing up I remember we had to weed our garden and orchard (which were gargantuan by the way) and finish up the other chores (feed all the animals, pick rock, move pipe, clean the stalls and pens, weed the flower beds, etc.) all before we were able to play. We worked hard together but of course we played hard together as well, some of my most cherished memories of my childhood.

Anyway, so this is my debate for the winter and hopefully by spring I'll have made up my mind. Looking back, I wish we would have at least planted some pumpkins this year because we use a lot of them for our Halloween party. I wasn't exactly thinking about gardens at the time, I was trying to figure out how to be a mother and that took me some time to figure out. Oh well, there's always next year.

"The prophet said to plant a garden, so that’s what we’ll do.
For God has given rich brown soil, the rain and sunshine too.
And if we plant the seeds just right and tend them carefully,
Before we know, good things will grow to feed our family.

We’ll plant the seeds to fill our needs, then plant a few to spare,

And show we love our neighbors with the harvest that we share.
Oh, won’t you plant a garden, too, and share the many joys
A garden brings in health and love to happy girls and boys!"
- LDS Children's Hymnbook

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Boy

  • Is 11 months old this month - when did that happen?!
  • Has two teeth and has been teething the past few weeks but I haven't seen any more cut through yet
  • Loves getting dirty and being outside
  • Loves to bounce in his crib
  • Loves to read with mom or dad
  • Is a teaser and always pulls a serious face followed by a gigantic grin
  • Loves to talk and talk LOUD
  • Loves to dance, especially when Daddy sings
  • Loves being naked
  • Is starting to cuddle when he wakes up which I love

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Does Grandma Cox Teach Her Grandchildren?

To lick cool whip off the plate, of course!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Old McDonald Had A Farm

The Past Few Weeks

have looked something like this. One or both of us laying on the couch and Kimball playing around, fending for himself. Luckily Kimball is starting to feel better. After finding for the first time and taking a dose of "Mucus Relief" (dayquil and mucinex in one pill. Genius! Best decongestant I've ever used) I'm finally starting to feel a wee bit better.

Focus Outside Ourselves

“To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellowmen. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy."
-Thomas S. Monson

Monday, September 17, 2012

Counterproductive Conversation

Last night Lance and I were having a conversation about his diet and that I need to do a better job at packing his lunches for work. He wants more protein and less "camping food" which I guess means peanuts, string cheese, and yogurt. I've been buying small portions of various dried fruits from the bulk section for him to try. He needs some kind of fruit and the dried stuff comes in handy when we don't have fresh produce on hand. Keep in mind, I don't care to try new foods and if it isn't appealing, I won't even try it. I have yet to try any of the dried fruits that I've bought.

Lance: And don't pack any more of those dried fruit thingys.
Me: Why, are they nasty?
Lance: Not if you like monkey nipples!

Seriously, how does he come up with these things?! A short time later we were ready for bed and I was too tired to pack his lunch for the next day so I made him do it.

Lance: Where would I find my lunch box?
Me: In the cupboard where we keep the potatoes.
Lance: And where do we keep the potatoes?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Toy Chest

This is one of the greatest things I ever bought and it took me quite some time to find the one I wanted. I wanted some kind of storage bench for the main floor to keep all of Kimball's toys and various necessities out of view and in one place. I found this one in UT at TJ Maxx and the faux leather goes great with the rest of the furniture. I love that everything he needs is all in one place, from diapers and wipes to lotion and digital thermometer. The best part? He can choose his owns toys and get them all by himself! And of course when not in use, the lids goes on and adds additional seating to the living room.

Loves His Papa

Figuring Out The Fork

Friday, September 14, 2012


  • I think Kimball and I are getting sick.  Hopefully it's not the same thing Lance has but I was up five times with Kimball last night. And then when I did get to sleep, Lance got a call so I was up again at that time. Oh dear. I hope I get a nap today. I'm debating if I should cancel the weekend......craft day in Boise tomorrow and survivor party in the evening with friends. And I was so looking forward to both of them. Also, I need to go to Costco for various things. Hmmmm, maybe I can get mom or someone to go for me. I want to get diapers and wipes while they're on sale.
  • As I've been in the process of trying to accept my post baby body, somehow in the last few weeks I've gained another five pounds. I'm almost up to the peak weight of my pregnancy, yikes! How does that happen? I need a personal trainer, does someone want to help me? For free? I can't afford you but I promise I'll do what you ask as long as it doesn't get in the way of caring for Kimball. I can't lift weights or go running if he needs fed or a diaper change. The weird thing is that although I have indulged in my sprinkled ice cream, I watch how much I eat and have healthy snacks such as almonds or other nuts.........sigh........I just don't know what to do...........advice? Thoughts? I'd love to have the toned body of Kelly Rippa. I think she looks great, I'd kill for her arms. Tawni, what say ye? What's your advice for me?

  • I finished painting the trim in the kitchen and it looks so much better! The first day I worked on it, Lance knew I was painting and didn't want my efforts to go unnoticed so when he got home from work he paused to look around for a second in the kitchen. Then he walked to bathroom and looked around and said, "Wow, this room looks great, you can tell a big difference!" Thanks Lance and thanks for trying your best to support my work but I finished painting the bathroom months ago, you're in the wrong room, lol. It was funny. Now, onto the living rooms and office on the main floor.
  • The main floor bathroom that I painted a few weeks ago had paint all over the floor. I didn't how to get it off and I had been putting it off for months. That is, until yesterday I finally got it done, yay!
  • With the fall season beginning, it's time for Lance and I throw our annual halloween party. We are starting to plan everything out and we can't wait for the holiday! What, you don't mock the dead? Come on out to our house on October 27 in full costume, it will be a blast and we're excited to use our full house. Various people have come to our house to see it for the first time and one of the first things they say is, "Your stairs are like a haunted house, it's creepy!" Haha, we are going to fully utilize the stairs and have a spook alley upstairs. It'll be great, mark your calendars and we'll see you in costume!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Formal Plea

Dear NBC,

Will you please cover up Christina Aguilera's cleavage?! I refuse to watch The Voice because you refuse to cover up that grossness. That kind of cleavage is yucky. Gross. Nasty. Repulsive. Repulsive I tell you! I'm not quite sure how a person can go through so much scrutiny with hair, make up, and wardrobe before going on national tv and not say something about covering it up. How can she do one last look at herself in the mirror and think that looks good? It doesn't. At all. It looks horrid!

Trust me.

Love, me

Cute Little Teething Guy

Monday, September 10, 2012


  • This week I've had lots of really bad headaches and haven't seen a whole lot of relief yet. They've definitely subsided quite a bit pain-wise but they're still there. Last night Lance said he was starting to get a head cold and woke up with the same really bad headache I had. But mine wasn't a head cold, I'm not sure what it was. At least right now they're bearable and are nearly gone. I think Lance has just been too busy. This weekend he has been on call working four services on Saturday and got two more calls. I wonder if he just got too worn out that his body made him take a break.
  • I finally started to paint the trim in the house. The main floor bathroom was completely repainted a few months ago so I've started on the kitchen. I got the trim nearly finished, I'll hopefully check that room off my list tomorrow. I'm still amazed at what a fresh coat of paint does to a room, it completely transforms it.
  • I can definitely tell a new season is upon us. The nights are getting darker earlier, the evenings are cooling down, we're able to give our window units a little break, the mornings are fresh and crisp, and school is back in. I'm reluctant for fall to arrive because that means my preemie baby is ONE YEAR OLD!!! That can't be, he's growing up too fast!! 
  • I love that Kimball is starting to like cuddling, I love cuddling him after he wakes up from a nap. All that warm, soft baby skin who for just a small moment will hold still for his mama. He never, ever holds still any more. Although he also now loves reading books with us and will sit still through about four of them. I love this time and wonder what his imagination is dreaming of as he looks at the pages and feels the pictures.
  • More often Kimball gets that Pettingill look. I sort of captured it in this picture because he wasn't very thrilled that I put him in his high chair while I painted. A toolbox is just too much fun for him but since I was painting instead of watching him at every second, I didn't want him to poke an eye out with a screw driver or cut himself with the utility knife or stick a drill bit in his mouth. So I gave him a roll of teflon tape and this uber awesome glass door knob that I found at a yard sale for $5.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day

Grandpa invited us to the cabin for some four wheeling on Labor Day weekend. We just went up Monday morning and made a day of it with Grandpa, Mom, and Dad. We first went out on the Razor as a family. I gooped up Kimball with lots of sun screen and buckled us both in.

Kimball was just about asleep from the loud motor and bumpy ride up the short trail behind the cabin. But he was all smiles when we parked.

Then Dad took Lance and I out for a bit. Lance wanted to drive the Razor which was fine by me because it's like driving a car, I'd much rather drive the four wheelers, they're a little more exciting. Mom watched Kimball while we went on our 36 mile jaunt. Dad took us to see where Grandpa went to elementary school and showed us where Ewert and Margaret live. Then we went up to the trail head of Independence Lake. Lance and I were covered with dirt since we trailed Dad but it was so awesome! When we got back the five of us went to the Almo Outpost for some delicious steak. It was a pretty great day!!

How Many Faces Can You Pull While Wearing Shorts On Your Head?

This is all probably stupid to most, but it was hilarious to Lance and I. We must be the oogling parents. I still can't believe how much of Haylee I see in him and for some reason I see it more when he's got shorts on his head. He's such a funny boy.