Category Archives: Holidays

Independence Day 2015

July 4th became my second favorite holiday last year, once I saw how amazing it is in a small town. I love everything about it. I love the history (of course). I love the sense of camaraderie. I love the Red, White, and Blue. I love the food. I love the fireworks. This year there was even more to love!

Thursday after work, we drove out to the Wilkins for a cookout. It was a blast! The food was delicious and Kelly had organized a game of Water Balloon Volleyball. It was so fun! I definitely want to play again as soon as possible!

Friday was a day off for the clinic and hospital staff. It was also the day of the parade! I participated in the Steele Memorial float. I have to say, it was gorgeous! All I did was hand out Otter Pops and necklaces, but it was a blast!

The rest of the day on Friday we crashed.

Saturday, Trey was planning on firing up the grill and cooking up some meat for us to eat for a while. Ellen and Adam and the Adkins ended up joining in on the fun and we just made an impromptu party of it!

Last year, I missed the Demolition Derby. But, not this year! And I’m so happy I went. It was crazy, wild, funny, and about a hundred other emotions!

After the Derby, we came home and got ready for bed. Then we sat on the trampoline and watched the fireworks. It was a perfect day!


Easter 2015

Wow, is this overdue! I finally emptied the pictures off of my phone and had a few minutes to sit down. I can barely even remember Easter, but I know it was super fun this year! Haha! Here are a few of the highlights…

Good Friday (well, Sunday)

The kids love going to Cowboy Church. They don’t have Sunday School. They have Kid’s Coral. Duh! This particular Sunday, we had the cutest visitor EVER. A miniature donkey. If that doesn’t make the Bible come to life, nothing will!

Resurrection Rolls

We started something that will DEFINITELY be an annual tradition from here on out. Resurrection rolls! You take marshmallows and dip them in melted butter and cinnamon sugar. Then you wrap them in a refrigerated biscuit. It represents Jesus going in to the tomb, obviously. We baked them on Sunday morning, and sure enough, the tombs were empty! So exciting. The marshmallows melt and leave behind the empty biscuit.


We went to church Sunday morning, where I took approximately 150 pictures. It was pretty cold still, here in Salmon. Easter was hard this year. I definitely missed my family more than I had the entire time so far, even more than Christmas. For pictures, I missed standing outside with all of the beautiful Georgia azaleas.

Easter Dinner

This year a few of the families that don’t have family around got together and shared a meal. It was so fun. These people have become like family, when our own loved ones are so far away. Plus, the Gebhardts have horses, so yay!


Valentine’s Decor <3

My Valentine’s Decor collection has grown over the years. Discovering Hobby Lobby’s outrageous sales the day after any holiday was really helpful (and fun)! So, last year I stocked up (apparently, I’d honestly forgotten). I also got a couple of things from Zulily this year. If you’ve never done Zulily, you should check it out. Cute things at good prices.

My absolute favorite, though, is a gift that Madeline made for me this year at school! Like, it’s LEGIT pretty… not just I love it because she made it! It’s this beautiful coffee filter wreath.

I love love! Happy Valentine’s Day (belatedly) to you and yours!

The Christmas SEASON

The Christmas Season was a bit of a whirlwind this year. Some of it got away from me a bit (ahem, Advent activities) and some of it we were really able to savor and enjoy. I dreaded working on Christmas Eve but that wasn’t nearly as awful as working the day AFTER Christmas!

Here’s the first gallery:

So, the Advent activities I had planned were kept over from the last few years, and apparently geared to a stay-at-home mom with kids that are mostly not in school yet. Not true for me this year! So, the actual activities got away from me, but we did do some of them. And we read the Scripture every night and the kids got their piece of candy, so it wasn’t a complete failure. I’ve already overhauled the activities for next year and hope they will work better for this working mommy!

Also, in this gallery are some pictures of other things we did in December. We love celebrating Hanukah every year. And we had the most fun progressive dinner Christmas party with our small group! We hosted the appetizers portion. On a side note, I’ve decided I’m kind of like Cher in Mermaids. I could live off of party food. Pastor Mike drove our small group around town in his pick up and it was a BLAST!

We also managed to get out of town for a night to Idaho Falls. Trey found the most amazing hotel with a beautiful indoor pool. The room was a suite, so Trey and I had a room ALL to ourselves!

I think one of my favorite parts of the entire season was the kids’ Christmas play at the Tendoy School. It was just like what you see in the old movies, with the curtains pulling back and the spotlight on the stage, and there are the little kids in cardboard Christmas tree cutouts! It was precious!

Madeline may have stolen the show that night! I was so proud of how into she was! She did the redneck voice, she wasn’t nervous, she memorized a million lines. She was HILARIOUS! And Sean was amazing too! It was just a great night.

And here’s the last Christmas gallery. Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I prayed like a little kid in Georgia for a white Christmas. It was my one consolation that I wouldn’t be with family. And Christmas Eve around noon it started coming down. And it was a BEAUTIFUL snow. I worked until 2:00 on Christmas Eve. That was kind of fun, actually. Madeline and I went out and bought a few last minute gifts and then we all got ready and went to LRCC for the Christmas Eve service. It was really beautiful and the drive was amazing… snowy!

Later that night, several of our friends (including our pastor) delivered the kids’ swing set. In the snow. On Christmas Eve. It is very humbling to have friends like that.

Christmas Day we spent around the house. We opened gifts (sheesh did we open gifts!), we ate, and we played. That afternoon we drove out to Heather’s parents’ house for Christmas dinner. They have basically adopted my kids as their own grandkids and we affectionately refer to them as Nanny Dawn and Papa. They live in the most beautiful place, right on the creek! The kids (and dads) went sledding and the old ladies (me, Charli, Heather, and Jorja) stayed inside where it was warm. I didn’t get many pictures there, because I just wanted to soak it all up and enjoy it. The kids, who had been so sad we weren’t with family, left saying “this was the best day ever!”

So, it was an amazing Christmas. It was different, for sure. But, it was good! We are blessed in deed.

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas!

Well, this Christmas season is off with a BANG! We’ve been doing all of the traditional things and it’s been so fun.

First, there were the decorations!

I was so glad my parents were able to help with putting up the tree.

Here are some other decorations around the house:

Secondly, there’s Advent!

This particular tradition was started by Trey’s mom. For years, every Sunday leading up to Christmas we light a candle, read Scripture, and receive a gift. We also do a Scripture reading, activity, and piece of candy each night in our home. That’s what the bags are for. I love the first Advent Sunday, because Trey’s parents give us money to pick out gifts from the Samaritan’s Purse catalogue. These gifts go to support missionaries, projects, and the less fortunate all over the world. Each kid picks out a specific gift. It’s so fun! And Big Mommy didn’t miss a beat! We received a package in the mail the other day with all four of our Advent Sunday gifts/activities.

Third, is the weather!

It’s snowed several times already and that’s been fun. It just makes everything look so beautiful. It’s also been cool. Honestly, 35 here feels about like 50 in Georgia, so it’s been really comfortable. What I’ve really enjoyed has been the clouds, fog, and frost. I wish these pictures did the frost justice. It’s so pretty! Every morning lately when we wake up, everything is kind of gray and silver and sparkly. All of the tree limbs, the grass, everything! IMG_3239 IMG_3240

I love this picture I took driving down Main St. the other day! The cute little town, the trees on the hill, the cloud, and then the snow on the mountain.


Fourth, the parties!

We’ve already got a couple of Christmas parties under our belts.

The hospital and clinic host a party for all of the employees’ kids. I took the older three on Thursday night, and they had a blast!

Celyn planned a Christmas party at SVBC that was amazing! It was called An Evening in Bethlehem and she hit it out of the park! I’ve never seen the Fellowship Hall look so pretty. There was a ton of yummy food, pretty music, and a great speaker. It was so fun and just a great kick-off to the Christmas season!

So, we are in full-on Christmas mode here in Salmon! I am so thankful for my kids this time of year. They make the whole thing so magical. Hope you are all having a merry and bright season as well!



So, my parents’ trip and Thanksgiving did not go quite the way we’d planned. And by “not quite,” I mean not even a little bit… not even in the same realm… not at all! And, not even in a way that’s like, “oh, this wasn’t what was planned, but didn’t it turn out fun?” Nope.

In fact, we hadn’t planned much. After all, it’s November in the Idaho mountains. It’s not like we could go driving all over the country like we usually do with visitors. We really just planned a simple couple of weeks. Reading, watching movies, puzzles and games with the kids, good food. There’s a parade that we wanted to see on Main Street, and the Festival of Trees, but that was really the extent of it. Mostly, we just wanted to be together.

Trey had planned to catch a ride to Idaho Falls last Thursday so that he could ride back to Salmon with them. Wednesday night we could tell that Sean was getting sick and Thursday morning it was very clear that Trey would have to stay home with him. Also by that time, Trey had started to feel sick. Thursday afternoon, Sean was seen by the doctor. Trey was much worse. By the time I got home from work, they were both comatose in the bed. We decided my parents should stay at the motel in town, so they wouldn’t catch the sickness. We saw them briefly Thursday night for dinner. Friday, Charli and Madeline were showing symptoms. Trey and Sean were starting to be on the mend after medications. My parents spent some time at the house on Friday, but not really around the sick people.

Saturday morning I woke up and knew I had it. By Sunday, mom started showing symptoms. She has spent one night here since they arrived. The rest of the time they’ve been at the motel. This past week has been a bit of a blur. I missed work on Monday. Mom ended up in the ER today and I was seen at the clinic. The ER doc said that hers is completely unrelated to what we’ve all had, which made me feel a little less guilty at least.

We won’t be going back to Georgia for Christmas, so this visit was really supposed to scratch that itch to be with family. But, we haven’t really been able to be together. I find myself like an insomniac… you know how it goes, “if I fall asleep RIGHT now I’ll still get 4 hours of sleep.” Except, I’ve been like, “it’s okay! If everyone is all better tomorrow we still get 5 days with them.” Ugh, it’s just depressing.

I’ve definitely gone through the grieving process though (wow, that sounds dramatic!). The first few days were denial: I’m not that sick, we’re all going to be fine, Mom and Dad won’t get it. Then I moved on to anger: why me?! Why is this even happening? I give up! Then bargaining (honestly, I’m still here a little): maybe we can convince them to stay a little longer or to come for a month in the spring! There has to be some way to redeem this! Yesterday I hit depression. We ended up at the church (I love that SVBC hosts Thanksgiving meals to anyone who needs a meal or a place to go!). But, it was just a sad reminder that we weren’t with my parents. I came home and tore down all of the Fall and Thanksgiving decorations and put up Christmas, declaring to the kids that this, “is the worst Thanksgiving ever!” And today was acceptance. Seeing mom in the ER and just wanting so bad for her to be healthy and happy and if that place is her own home in Georgia, then I understand. I’m just ready for the whole thing to be over.

Here are some pictures from yesterday.

Going through the line. It was such a yummy meal and meant so much to us to have a place to go! And Trey was in minister-heaven as he got to talk to some people who really needed someone to talk to!



The Sapplings!


Good bye, Fall and Thanksgiving!


Last night, after getting rid of Fall, I was feeling pretty good. And we had a thawed 21-lb turkey that needed to be eaten, so I set to work cooking for us to eat on Friday. I made my mom’s famous sweet potato and green bean casseroles and my Grandma Spornberger’s dressing.

IMG_3043 IMG_3044

This is the streusel topping for the sweet potatoes. Everyone’s lucky it made it to the table. So yummy!


I brined the turkey, which was new to me, but definitely made the turkey extra-yummy! The kids and I ate here and Trey took dinner to my parents motel for them. It just wasn’t the way I’d pictured our Thanksgiving meal, but I’ve accepted that. Like Marisa Tomei says in my favorite movie, Only You, “Life’s not like it is in the movies, is it?”

Forgive the whiny post. I really am grateful for so much. I’m especially thankful that I have a family to mourn loss of time with.

Life in My iPhone

Just a few pictures I just deleted from my phone…

Buttercup gave us quite the scare the weekend of Celyn’s shower. She had kept us up for three nights in a row to go outside. It was awful! Like having a newborn. By Friday morning I was getting scared. She had started to vomit and poo blood. I was scared for Butters and selfishly, scared of a vet bill.

I texted Heather and she gave me the name of her vet. Her name is Andy and she is amazing. She put up with me calling her several times that morning and we were able to get her seen during my lunch break. She ran some tests and kept her overnight on IV fluids. It was pancreatitis! Who even knew a dog could get pancreatitis?

So, here are some pictures of Buttercup, probably because I was feeling anxious about her, so I took more than normal recently!

The first cold spell seemed to come on suddenly (weather has a tendency to do that here in the valley). We were prepared! The first morning it got in the single digits, we pulled everything out of the closet and made piles for each of the kids; each pile was complete with coat, gloves, and hat. The kids could barely move once they were geared up!

IMG_2936 IMG_2948

Ready for Thanksgiving!

Took down all of the Halloween decorations the day after Halloween, and pulled out a few Thanksgiving items. I love Thanksgiving, but it’s not always easy to find cute Thanksgiving decor. I ordered some more tea towels from that lady on Etsy and I love them!



The boys’ hockey season started this past Monday. It’s so different from anything that we’ve ever done with the children. The biggest difference is the gear. There is a LOT of it! Trey was such a huge trooper getting them geared up and taking them to practice. It was cold and he was definitely out of his comfort zone. But, they survived and seem very determined to learn the sport (including learning to skate, period).

My parents are in town now! And I hope to have lots of happy, exciting pictures soon. Unfortunately, all of us are SICK! So, they’ve been running around town getting popsicles, Sudafed, and food for us while we try and get everyone healthy again. Poor David’s birthday party got postponed until next weekend. Good thing he’s easy to please and has requested cinnamon rolls for his birthday breakfast! Hopefully, there will be a fun Lego birthday party post in the not-so-distant future. Oh, and Thanksgiving!


*With guest photographer, Heather Yeazle!


So, this has been one of my favorite Halloweens ever! It hasn’t always been my favorite “holiday,” but as I’ve gotten older (ironically) it’s grown on me. I love Fall now, which hasn’t always been true. I love the excitement in the air as the kids look forward to candy and dreaming up their costumes. I love the Gothic decor. I love the music they play on the radio (Thriller, Monster Mash, etc). And this year, I loved being in Salmon!

Thursday night the hospital and clinic had a 10 year anniversary celebration of the hospital. We did a bon fire and cookout in the parking lot and it was just so much fun! The kids had a party at school that day, so they were already in costume. Madeline got to go trick-or-treating with Paisley and her family (thanks Celyn) down town. That was really cool! It’s called the Merchant Trick or Treat and all the shops on Main St open up and everyone (everyone) goes and gets candy. I had a front row seat, even though I was working, as the windows in the switchboard face Main St. It was so fun seeing all the kiddos (and some grownups) dressed up and having fun!

After work, I ran and got the kids from Trey (who was having to work late) and we went right back to the clinic for the bon fire.

So much was out of my control this year. The kids carved their own pumpkins at school. And as much as I would’ve loved a “family night” doing that together, it was so nice not to have to worry about it! They turned out really cute anyway! And their costumes! Talk about out of my control. Just from working full time and not having the time, and them having their own minds anyway… it was interesting to say the least. Sean has been threatening for years to go as HIMSELF. I never let him, because as much as I admire that confidence… no. But, this year he got the idea that he would wear David’s clothes and David would wear his. That was cheap and easy and they were both excited. So, that’s what they did on Thursday (I’ll get to Friday in a minute). Madeline was a beautiful Indian princess and Charli wasn’t having it at all. So that was Thursday.

Here’s Sean’s jack-o-lantern:


Friday was a work day (much to the kids’ chagrin… they figured it was a national holiday). But, the whole clinic dressed up in camo, so that was fun. Trey was in full-on Harvestfest mode and since I was working, Heather took ALL of the kids for the day. Huge help! She fed the kids, decorated cupcakes, fixed hair, the whole nine! Amazing!

So, Sean was a bandit, Madeline was Batgirl (complete with a mask her Daddy made), Charli was Elsa, and this time David refused to dress up. Good thing I was too busy and tired to have an opinion! Haha!

Last night we all met up at SVBC’s Harvestfest, organized by none other than Trey! It was such a great event, if I do say so myself. Tons of people came out, the candy was flowing, the games were fun, the costumes were amazing. Just a great time! The Women’s Ministry outdid themselves with chili and baked goods they handed out for FREE! The great thing about this event for this Big City Girl, was being able to relax. In Marietta, I couldn’t let the kids out of my sight for a second for fear they’d be snatched. Here, they could pretty much roam free, checking in with me now and then. They could also do the games over and over and over. Every event like this we’ve ever done they would get to do each game maybe one time because you had to wait in line forever! Small town perks.

It was a great weekend! I will cherish these memories for a long time. Thanks to my hubby for all of his hard work, thanks to our church family for volunteering some long and hard hours to make it awesome, and thanks to Heather for giving my kids a GREAT day! Love you all!

And now…


Happy November!