Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I am so behind with my blogging that I failed to tell about my exciting trip to Hawaii!!! Just before Thanksgiving, Brent and I, my parents, my sister and her husband went to Hawaii. What can I say, it was fun, WARM, and just what I needed to get away from all of the cold and stress of life.

We had some amazing experiences. One day the plan was to take the road to Hana and swim in the Seven Sacred Pools. We spent a good part of the day driving to Hana (stopping along the way to see some beautiful things). When we arrived at the pools, the water was very murky and we were told the pools were closed. Apparently there had been a great deal of rain and the pools were dangerous. So instead, we chose to hike the Pipiwai trail. We were about half way up the trail and a torential downpour began. I was completely unprepared for this as I was wearing leather sandals and didn't have a case for my camera. Anyway, it was so beautiful. We went through a bamboo forest, ate wild passion fruit, and walked through streams (used to be the trail). At the end of it all was the most beautiful waterfall.
We spent the rest of the trip swimming, snorkeling, seeing lovely sites, eating lots of hula pie, and body surfing. Brent and I could not seem to spot a turtle when we snorkeled. The last day of the trip I was really hoping and praying I would see one. I did. The turtle was HUGE! I found myself close enough to touch it. I was trying NOT to touch it but also had to contend with the coral being so close to me that all I could do was lay flat. What a fun experience.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Okay, so I'm a little slow with updating my blog. Life at home is pretty hectic, especially when the kids are all home.
Christmas break has been a lot of fun. We thought there might not be any snow for Christmas, but it turned out that it snowed a ton. The kids have been playing outside as much as they can stand. Somedays have been pretty cold, but that doesn't stop them. The boys each got two new sleds for Christmas and have been nice to share with the girls.
Christmas day was SO nice. Most of the extended family stuff happened before Christmas, so we really had a nice relaxing day. The kids woke up just before 7:00 (okay, they came up to wake us up at that time) and we opened presents. Mckenna had some dolly stuff and that's all she wanted to do was play with that. We relaxed all morning until 11:00 when we went to my moms to eat lunch and open presents. Some of the adults played a game, Heaven and Hell, that my brother had made for us. Most of the cousins went sledding across the street from my mom's house. It was such a nice day.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Catching up

Sometimes life goes faster than I can run! It sure has been like that lately. My 5 year old started kindergarten this year and my oldest, jr. high school. It's amazing to see my kids growing and changing. It's hard for me to see them learn the hard lessons in life but fun to see them have hard earned successes.

Kellie is having a great year. She loves jr. high and the fun that comes with being 13. She and a friend share the same birthday and celebrated it together and with many friends this year. She has had some difficulties - GRADES. Her goal is to be a cheerleader and she has to have a 3.0 for that. School is not easy for her. I homeschool her in math and she has worked really hard to bring her grades up for the rest of her classes. Oh, and she worked really hard to buy her own chihuahua (from my brother). She loves her little Bella.

Connor is having a great year. He seems to have many friends. Connor has a difficult time in reading but is amazing in math. Public schools don't appreciate the differences in each child's brain but I know that eventually his reading will be just fine. Connor received his Bear Award a couple of weeks ago. This past Thursday he had braces put on his teeth.
Jacob is having a pretty good year. Jake suffers from a pretty serious case of anxiety. We are working super hard to help him learn to control this problem so that he can feel more like a regular kid. He is 8 years old but his emotional age is more like 5 or 6. He does really well in school - in every area. His teacher commented last week that he is finally loosening up a bit instead of sitting up perfectly straight and trying to be perfect on everything he does.
Mailaya is so excited to be in kindergarten. She was SO ready. She has a good start on reading and wants to write stuff all of the time. She started with lots of friends and is making many more. I laughed and laughed about her kindergarten testing. You see, Mailaya only does what SHE wants to do. She's quite smart. The teacher was asking her basic questions and she was pretending that she didn't know the answers.

Mckenna is getting so big. She is 19 months old and so full of energy. We don't know when she's going to choose to talk, but she knows everything we are saying. She does say a few things, dad, puppy (pup pup), kitty, ewwww (this one comes with a face), Mailaya (my-yay-ya) and some other things that pop up here and there. She's got the best smile and disposition. She's the only girl in the family that plays with dolls. She LOVES her babies.

Brent and I are doing well. Brent just turned 41!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I LOVE spring! I love working in my yard, weeding, puttering, etc. This year, spring has been slow in coming. I have felt spring fever and have just wanted to GET OUTSIDE!!! Today, the weather is perfect and the lawn has a few spots dry enough to play on. Mailaya spent the afternoon pretending she was on a safari and Mckenna just enjoyed walking on the grass. The other kids aren't home from school yet, but I bet they will play outside until they are forced in for dinner.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My new blog

I didn't think I would ever join the blog craze, but here I am. This is going to be somewhat of an eclectic blog. I'm not sure how personal it will get or exactly what will be discussed. My thoughts so far are mom stuff, photoshop elements fun, products I like or new things I've tried. I've called it One Smile at a Time because that is what my life is like. I never know what is going to happen next, but if I can get through it one smile at a time...

I thought it would be fun to do a short tutorial for Photoshop Elements as an ice breaker (for myself).

Clipping masks are fun and easy to do. What is a clipping mask? Lets say that you want your type layer or a shape to match other elements on the page. Maybe you wish to have them filled with a particular paper/pattern. An easy way to do this is by using a clipping mask.
First, open a new document. Type "happy birthday" or your name on a new layer. It doesn't matter what color the type is. Next add a shape to a new layer. Merge the type and shape layer - shift and click on the two layers (highlights them) and then Ctrl+E (merges highlighted layers).
Now add a patterned paper on a new layer (above your newly merged layer). Holding down the Alt key, position your pointer in between the paper layer and your merged layer (layers palette), you will see two intersecting circles, click. The top layer (patterned paper) should have moved a bit to the right and you should now be able to see the clipping mask.
Did this tutorial make sense? Leave me feedback. If you didn't understand something, let me know and I'll try to clarify!