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Eagle Mountain, Utah, United States
My name is Lauren, and I live in the bubble. I am wife to Marshall, the biggest BYU fan in the world; and mother to Carly, our big girl, and Wes, our wild man, and Calvin, our new addition. I graduated BYU with a degree in Social Work, and I went forth to serve at LDS Family Services. I like scrapbooking and going out to eat at nice restaurants. I am fascinated by new cleaning products at the grocery store, so I have to shop in wide circles around the perimeter to avoid the temptation to buy. I love chocolate.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A piranha in a tutu

So the time has come for Carly to start some extracurriculars. We thought dance would be a great place to start. Tuesday was her first day in "Little Stars," a hip hop/jazz/ballet class for 3-5 years olds.

We went that morning to buy dance clothes, and of course Carly only wanted pink. No black or white. So pink it was.

We got there early to meet her teacher, and as the girls filed in she excitedly announced "Hi! I'm Carly! This is my dance!"

Then the warmups started, and it was incredibly cute. She didn't catch on very quickly, but a group of 3-year-olds in tutus doing anything is pretty darn adorable.

Carly is a very verbal learner. The teacher would tell them to point to the front, to the side, back, etc, when doing ballet warmups at the chairs, and Carly kept pointing her fingers. Too cute! And it was moving a little fast for her, so a couple times she came over and told us, "Daddy, I'm not sure about this." She even spent some time hiding under a chair.


Yes, my husband is the best father ever.

Marshall's take on Carly the dancer: "It's a little piranha in a tutu." Fitting.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Frozen adventure

On President's day, we took the family on a trip up the Canyon to Midway, Utah to see the ice castles. Marsh's family is visiting, so we had a big group.

The ice castles were beautiful, and the kids had fun walking through the icy tunnels.

On the way back we stopped at the lake, which is frozen over.

All across the lake there were ice fishers set up in their tents. We thought it'd be fun to walk out on the frozen lake and get some pictures.

Carly had fun making snow angels, and I think it'll be fun to take her back to the lake in the summer and try to convince her that she had walked all the way out to the middle.

It was a fun frozen adventure, and it was nice to defrost with big mugs of hot chocolate once we got home.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Carly was very excited about Valentines Day this year. She insisted that we check the mail every day for her "loves," which were just sure to come. So I sent out the facebook request for loves for my Carly, and the response was fantastic! Carly got loves in the mail every day the week of Valentines Day, and was just so excited. Here she is with her pile of Loves on V-Day.

Special thanks to both sets of grandparents, Kier and Kalen, Russ and Star, Camille, and Rachel.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


So this is the next stop in my "look at my new house" series. Part one was the upstairs bathroom, kitchen, living and dining rooms.

When deciding where to rent while in Provo, we had a few options. I really did my homework and shopped around. Over the course of a month I was probably in 30 homes. The biggest concern we had about the town home we chose was the stairs. We really wanted to be all on one level if possible, because Wes had never dealt with stairs. But this place had 3 bedrooms, the middle floor living area in my last post, and this awesome extra living area downstairs as a bonus. I immediately thought playroom. There are NO toys in the bedrooms! LOVE! And after a week, Wes was completely independent on the stairs.

I've had the playroom put together for a while, but I had one last project I was being too lazy to complete. Those rain gutter bookshelves. But I got them done this week, and I think all in all, the room turned out really cute.

This is the stairway going down. I put the aquadoodle up on the wall, which has worked out well.

A lot of the stuff is items we already had, like the toy box, hanging baskets, and valance. The rest is like Ikea exploded in our house (thank you tax refund), and the little arm chairs are potterybarn and were an awesome craigslist find. All of the riding toys- cars, strollers, shopping carts, skateboards -are in the "garage" (the closet).

The bookshelves are my DIY raingutter bookshelf project.

These shelves are the perfect place to display my favorite kids' books from my own childhood, 'My First Steps to Reading' by Jane Belk Moncure. There is a different book for each letter of the alphabet, and they each start out with the classic "Little a had a box. He wanted to fill his box...." And then the character fills the box with all items that start with his or her letter. Moncure has redone these books, but I don't know much about the newer version. I absolutely adore the original artwork of the version from 1984.

I still want to make an ABC wall art project on the wall by their table, and we need some artwork for the stairwell. But I'm finally put together enough to post some pics.

And yes, that bottom stair and landing are the location of the Great Nail Polish Disaster of 2010. Can you tell?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Book of Mormon stories

Carly has been very excited lately.

At church this year, the theme for Primary is...

..., I should know this, being a primary teacher and all....

Well, it has something to do with reading the scriptures. Probably "I love to read the scriptures." Either way, the Primary Presidency went all out and challenged the kids to read the whole Book of Mormon this year. That's a really long book with lots of strange words.

I didn't actually think we would attempt to accomplish this at our house.

But this Primary Presidency, they're crafty. They made the BOM challenge into a quest with a map.

Now, if you know Carly, you know she's big on maps. In fact, she loooooves maps. And hidden buried treasure. So when she was given her first map of '1st Nephi Island,' and was told that she'd get a treasure chest once she finished reading 1st Nephi, that was her goal.

Everyday she brings me our big family size Book of Mormon and asks to read more. I would just do the kid version, but the map is colored in chapter by chapter. So we have to stay true to the original, to be fair and all. So at first we were reading the chapter, and then summarizing in kid speak. But her eyes would glaze over, and she wouldn't hear a word. So then I started changing some of the harder words as we went.

brethren = brothers
slow to hearken = they didn't listen
wilderness = forest

And she is really getting the stories! Sometimes we do multiple chapters a day because she wants to hear more of the story. Before we go on to the new chapter, I make her summarize what we've heard so far.

She loved the story of Nephi chopping off the mean guy's head to take his scriptures, and the story about Nephi's mean brothers tying him up and Heavenly Father making a big storm on the ocean until they untied him, and how the magic ball didn't work and tell them where to go unless they were being good. She can tell you all about Lehi's dream, and the big building with the bad people and the yummy fruit on the tree, and how we have to hold on to the "rail" so we don't get lost while walking to the tree.

When reading about the Liahona, I pulled up images on Google of compasses. When we read about Nephi's bow, we looked up pictures of bow and arrows.

It's really been a lot of fun!

It's also been fun to see the real life applications in her 3-year-old little world. When reading, I use the word 'whining' instead of 'murmuring.' The other day she was whining, and I asked "what happens when we whine?" The expected answer was "mommy doesn't hear me." But instead she sheepishly replied "Heavenly Father doesn't bless us."

We finished first Nephi in about 2 weeks, and she was so excited to turn in her treasure map. Now on to 2nd Nephi Beach!

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