***I'm determined to catch up on cataloging our family's events this year. Be ready for outdated posts galore!


Chin in Black

our youth conference video. 
i thought it was pretty funny.


Where To Start

we're moved in and settled enough to feel like we can finally tackle projects in our house such as painting. do you know how many shades of tan there are? way too many.  i'm hoping that having my walls look like this will be motivation for us to get started. you'll have to wait and see which color we chose.

here are a few projects on my list:

**i'd love this butterfly wall art in my girl's room. (yes, we have a four bedroom house and they are still sharing a room. i think it's good for them. :)

**what about this post card wall in our entry way? (full tutorial here) maybe i'd put it downstairs. kind of fun and bright and we could keep it current by switching out recent snap shots of the girls and postcards of places we visit.  i'd have to borrow tools from someone ...

**photos of our girls from rachel button photography (more on that later plus a lot more cute pics), enlarged and printed on canvas for our bedroom or living room.

** make curtains, a memo board, and throw pillows for the girls' bed using this fabric line - minus the bright pink. we're hoping to put in a chair rail and repaint the girls room.  the red is to dark and bold so we're going to lighten it up a little. finding a cheap twin trundle bed would be awesome as well.

**i'm currently searching craigslist for a cheap console table to refinish.

** and i love, love, love these "i am a child of God" prints from etsy. i can't decide between this one, this one, and this one.

this little sampling of what we'd like to do is already intimidating. i'm not artsy or creative or even a visual thinker so it's hard to picture what the house might look like when finished. and then trying to figure out how to do all (or some) of this on a tight budget won't be easy.  but i'm really excited about it nonetheless. hopefully we'll be done decorating the house in time to try and resell it a few years from now. :)

if you have any good ideas or favorite design blogs, pass them my way.
i can use all the help i can get!
keep you posted.


Posing in the Garden

i 'm not sure which is more surprising - 
that madison wanted a ponytail or that she finally has enough hair for one. 
either way, my little girl is becoming all grown up.


Oh, Just a Little Announcement

 shane mccormick is the lucky guy. 
he absolutely adores porter, and porter loves him right back.
 we really couldn't be happier for them.

the good news does feel bittersweet though as i think about dallin and how much he looked forward to raising a family with kamber, how excited he was to be a dad, and how all of this came to be.  but i know he is happy for kamber and shane. very, very happy. and now little porter is going to have a dad here on this earth, to play with him and teach him and guide him as dallin would have.  

never in a million years would i have guessed that my family would consist of a step father or that my mom would have other grandchildren besides her own or that i would see my sister in-law marry someone else.  yet it's a testimony to me that life goes on and that Heavenly Father's plan for each of us is not always the plan we had in mind for ourselves. and that no matter what our plan holds, we can be happy. He wants us to be happy.  

i'm grateful kamber and shane found each other.
and the same goes for my mom and mark.
tender mercies keep happening.
we are grateful.

**and remember this favorite shot from mexico? (scroll to the bottem) shane is on the far right. we loved the chance to get to know him better and are glad that kamber's in-laws didn't scare him off!! :)


Puppy Love

meet sadie.
an 11 week old cockapoo
and newest member of the skinner family.
we're in love.


Snail Mail

there's nothing quite like getting a package in the mail.  
the girls received their first one since moving and enjoyed painting their nails and eating fruit stickers while we left them for the first time with a babysitter out here. 
today they opened their bubbles and played outside while i weeded the flower bed.
after sucking off more soap than she was blowing for awhile, grace figured it out and can do it on her own. 

grandma and grandpa skinner,
i loved it.
thank you.
miss you. 
from us to missouri.

{madison's exact words}


A River Runs Through It

word on the street is that the farmer's market in our town is pretty awesome. apparently you can buy cheap starters for your garden which is perfecet since we're nearing the end of planting season and want to try out our green thumbs. we watched how the sun hit our backyard and chose the best place for our first little garden. unfortunately we didn't make it to the market last sat and had to push our plans back a week.

thank goodness!

after our first big rainstorm we discovered that our "perfect" little plot of ground was not as perfect as we thought {note the arrows above}. turns out we get a river back there when ever it rains.

i guess we'll be moving our garden plans to higher ground.

what are YOUR favorite things to grow in a garden?


My Lawn Boy

doctor by day, lawn boy by night evening.
i might ask dan to let me do it from now on though.
it would give him a break and i'd like to think of it as my new weight loss plan - an hour and half of lawn care per week, in the humidity.
i'm sure i'd sweat off at least a few pounds a week, right?
i'll let you know how it goes. :)


A Diaper, Cinderella Jammies, and the Rain

FHE happened to be in the middle of a downpour tonight.
so we opened the garage and sat in the back of the van with the door open.
the girls were in awe of the rain.
conveniently it kept them still for 3 minutes - long enough to have a lesson about testimonies.
{thank you aunt diana for the kits with gloves and pictures. the girls loved them.}
then we sang two closing songs.
families can be together forever - madison's choice.
and i love to see the temple - grace's favorite.
madison knows both by heart and grace sings the last word of every phrase.
it was a tender moment to feel the Spirit so strongly as we joined our little girls in singing with the rain pouring down around us.

it was an experience i hope i'll always remember.
so here's to being more diligent about fhe!!
what a difference it makes.


Happy 4th {2010}

our weekend: 

soccer. both inside {world cup} and out.

swinging. probably not enough, according to grace.

bbq-ing in our very own backyard.

patriotic dessert and visit with long lost friends.
{jen and ray... it was great. see you in dallas next time?}

watching fireworks from the car - staked out in a parking lot over looking Mizzou.

we made it to missouri. 
safe and sound. 
we're loving it and feel blessed to be living our very own American dream.

God Bless America.