Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Year of Lessons in a Nutshell

Hello all my lovelies! 

I tell you what, as soon my classes started up, my extra time and desire to find the time to blog went right out the window!  Sheesh!  Talk about piling up the busy work!  Busy enough that I didn't get my Christmas cards out!  Oh well!  I'll have to post it here on my blog here in the next week for you all to see... that saves me postage anyway!

The thoughts on my mind are all of the things that I have learned in this past year.  It has been a speedy one for sure.  Here is my list of lessons learned, some hard, some great.

Fear God, not man... if you feel confident that God will not be displeased, then you are okay. 1, 2

God and Jesus Christ are always here for me.

I love the Constitution.
A wall hanging in my house.
Relationships are fragile.  They can end abruptly.

Gossip hurts everyone.

Excuses stink, and everyone has them (that one isn't a new realization).

I like to shoot guns!  I want to one day go hunting for real...well, more than once. (hint hint Hoss).

Not everyone sees the world the way I do.

True friends can be counted on one hand (wisdom from my dad... very true dad, thanks).
Needless to say, great friends are hard to come by.
Sorry its blurry.
Never were there better friends!
My friend is in the red dress in the doorway...I didn't have another pic.
Her whole family is represented by this picture. 

Life can't be lived on the computer/phone/ipad/xbox/_______ (insert your own distraction).

I miss family.

Memories are never done being created, so don't stop doing fun things.

I hate coaching soccer....but I loved doing it with my girls.

Losing weight is not an end goal... it is a way of life.

One of the best feelings in the world is to see your child baptized and and confirmed.
Its Bug's turn this August!

I really miss Idaho.
Everywhere I went, I found myself snapping pictures of the
scenery I drove and walked by every day before we moved.

I am ALWAYS right when it comes to politics. :) That is sarcasm in case you missed that.
But while maybe not always... definitely most of the time! Ha! :)

Happiness happens when you make it happen.

I LOVE teaching science!  I hope to delve into physics one day!

I can live anywhere on this green earth and know that my husband is always there for me.
Ten years of marriage down!  I couldn't have found a better man.  God sent him to me.
Hoss posing in front of the neighborhood oil pump.

Missions are amazing!  I hope to one day make my family a full serving family!  My mom and dad are heading out on a mission this March!
Since most of my siblings all live far away from each other, we did a
Google Hangout to watch my parents open their mission call

The events in my life are all at the will of God.

Scripture journals are the best things ever!

I am very VERY imperfect. (also not a new realization).

A sisters' bond can be better than any friend.

Raising a boy is VERY different than raising girls.

I might miss the snow, just a little bit.

Forgiveness is an important part of repentance.  Frankly forgive all men. I am still working on it.

Education or knowledge is not always in a diploma.  Education is living life.

My children fill my heart to the brim with love (again, not new).
I'm so lucky that God has trusted me enough to help them through this life.

Technology is fun and exciting, but it is only momentary.

My right to own a gun is very important to matter the gun.

It is easy to focus on what should have been, but it does no good. Focus on what will be.
I'm still working on that too.

My right to educate my children in the way I see fit is very important to me.

Natural medicine in most cases is best...or I am trying to live by that as much as I can.
I am very interested in learning more about alternative medicine.

Support from my family is important to me, but not mandatory.

I love my scriptures, and my liberty of religion is also very important to me.

I am grateful for those men and women who went to so much trouble,
 sacrifice and war to establish my liberty here.

I am very aware that those liberties are being sold for temporary comfort.

Time flies faster with each year older I get.

I am in love with New Mexico sunsets.  There are none like it.. the silhouettes and colors are amazing!

I know there are a lot more things that I have learned in the past year, 
but there is no way I could name them all!

All in all, the world didn't end on my 10 year anniversary...everything is still ticking.  I am still waiting for my hover car as predicted in the Back to the Future series.  
It has ultimately been a pretty good year, with exciting changes for our family, and we look forward to what awaits us for 2013!

Happy New Year!


Disclaimer: Nothing on this list is meant to cause offense.

As my class starts back up, I will do my best to blog when I can.

Monday, December 3, 2012

But It's Not Mother's Day!

I am the luckiest mom on earth.

The girls woke up super early this morning. They wake up early just happened to be before the sunrise (6:30ish). I have had a nasty cold, and frankly I haven't been getting enough sleep (at least it doesn't feel like it). Even Huggles was still asleep...and he has been sick too. So I instructed them to either go back to bed, or to read quietly in the living room. I didn't hear from them until 8 o'clock.

By then, Huggles was awake and jabbering in his crib. Bug came in and got him out, and tried to get him in his high chair to feed him. Then Bunny came in and told me to stay in bed, because her and Bug were making me breakfast in bed! I don't know a mom who would argue with that!

Bunny made my eggs just how I like them...whites cooked, and the yoke left for dipping toast! She has learned well! Bug arranged the tray, and brought it in to me! I about had a stroke, because sliding around on top was a very large and full glass of milk! I am relieved to say that it made it to me without a drop being spilt on the floor!

My kids are top notch! I'm so blessed to have them. To get to spend every day with them. I look forward to all of the future moments I will get to cherish with them!



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Great Balancing Act and Outsourcing

Photo Via
As I walked through my bedroom to get Huggles ready for bed, I sighed.  Here is our dirty little secret... some of you won't be surprised...  The piles of clean clothes are getting larger each day.  The one thing that I have learned the hard way with homeschooling, is that I do not have time to keep up with everything.  There is a choice to be made daily, and with our many obligations, some things have to take a back seat.

I have a hard time fathoming the soccer mom who drives 2-6 kids (or more) to different activities each day, all while checking homework (or teaching daily lessons in homeschool), keeping up with the cleaning, laundry, and fixing breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Maybe those mothers have a maid or a house keeper.  All I know is that staying organized is the key to everything.  I'm still learning that lesson.

I have recently added on a new thing as well.  College for me.  It had been weighing on my mind, and Hoss and I made the decision that it was the right time for me to start back up.

So now, I am finding the balance... balancing the many hats that I have to wear in one day.  In all honesty, I can't think of a better way to keep myself progressing than to keep busy, doing great things.

So, I pray that my family (Hoss and the kids) bear with me as I find my balance in this circus!  The girls will definitely be taking on more chores... laundry, dishes, bathroom cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and even cooking.  These are the life lessons that will help them become wonderful mothers anyway, I do know that!

New Mexico sunsets are the best!
Today we had an extended P.E. day.  We haven't done a whole lot of P.E., but I'm working on coming up with some health lessons for them, and getting out more than we have.  Its easy to stay in the house the whole day getting all the things done we need to.  Anyway, today we tried a new park.  It was so much fun!  There are large trees there, perfect for climbing, large open spaces, with a few different sets of play equipment.  My favorite part of the park was the obstacle course section.  There were bars, and twisty seats, and steps with springs under them that keep you working to stay on them.  I can imagine us burning a lot of energy there!  It was a fun day... a much needed outdoor day.

One of my brothers asked me if he and possibly the rest of my siblings could help teach certain lessons via video chat, skype, or google hangout.  I think it is an amazing idea!  Do any of you have a talent in any areas of the 3 R's (reading, writing, arithmetic?... maybe even science)?  It would be fun to test it out!

We have finished our lessons on The Creation.  However, there are more topics to cover in the hugeness of the subject.  We are beginning the Plan of Salvation, then we will cover the solar system more in depth.  We have already learned a lot of fun things with it, but I know there are more.  We are going to be making a sun dial, and it would be fun to learn how to make a barometer.  If you have any suggestions, or would like to help us in our studies, then please, let me know!  I know the kids would LOVE to see/hear from you!  I'll post more lesson ideas that any of you might like to teach as we move on in our curriculum.


Evelyn Curtis
Morning prayer

Monday, November 26, 2012


I can always tell when my girls' hair needs a trim... maybe you've experienced this too.  It is evident when just brushing it after it has been cleaned and conditioned is a painful experience.  Those darn tangles!  Bug has been asking me when she gets to have a haircut.  I was thinking about taking her to a salon, but when I found out how much they charge, I began to reconsider.  I've become cheap... much to Hoss's pleasant surprise, I'm sure.

So, finally, after our last fight with the hair brush, I determined to make the haircut official.  I got out the scissors, clips, sheets, combs, and spray bottle, sat Bug on a tall stool, and began the process.  Now, if you know me, you know that I'm no professional.  No no, I'm a close one eye and hope for the best kind of gal.  Ha ha ha.. just ask Huggles about his last haircut (in my defense, he was so squirmy, that it was hard to get it just right).

So my two dear friends Sariah and Sandi, please don't look too closely at these pictures.  I'm sure you will find much to snicker about.  

I'll tell you though, I did some homework before I began.  I watched the following video tutorial on cutting curly hair.  I found it very informative, and helpful!  I followed the lady's directions as best as a novice can, and I honestly feel like Bug's haircut turned out pretty cute!... and just the length I was looking for!  

So if you need some help doing a haircut with layers... go ahead and watch this tutorial.  It helps.  Trust me!  I am thinking about cutting Bunny's hair again in the next few months... with this new information under my belt!

Oh the things we can learn...if we just try!

Here are Bug's before and after pictures!

Before: She was excited!

She's cute!
Not perfectly even, but I think it is cute!
Bunny had to get in there!  She's beautiful too!


Evelyn Curtis

Saturday, November 24, 2012


The bird was so tender and juicy!
I used the Citrus Rubbed Turkey I blogged about.
No bags this year!  Straight roasting and basting!

 I really wanted to post yesterday saying a Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  I just was so busy trying get dinner ready that I just didn't have time!  Then afterward, that turkey kicked in, and I was falling asleep!

Our dinner turned out delicious!  Beautiful turkey, potatoes, stuffing, veggies, cranberry sauce, and brown sugar muffins!  It was quite the spread for our little family of 5!  We definitely have leftovers!... I don't complain about that, because we have meals made for a day or 2 more!  Ha!

Some of our Thanksgiving traditions are getting a newspaper to look through ads (I never get up with the crazies... I like my sleep too much!).  Then we take a family picture somewhere with hopes of using it in a Christmas card that year.  They we usually end the day with watching a movie.  Whether that is in the theater or at home.

Our table is so tiny that we had to put a fold up next to it to double the size.

This year we planned on watching A Christmas Story here at home.  We ate dinner at about 7pm.  So like I mentioned above, after that turkey kicked in, and we were pretty much done cleaning up, we sat down to watch the movie, and Hoss and I were both out.  We ended up turning it off early and heading for bed.  We didn't even have pie we were so stuffed!  It made a pretty decent breakfast though!

My best apple pie yet! 

We certainly had a wonderful day though!

Things I am thankful for:
My God and Jesus Christ
My family (extended and my own)
Christmas music
A house that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter (our last house didn't do well with that)
My calling in church (the service I've been asked to do)
Good friends
No car payment
Crisp cool air (at least it is today)
My dog
Refrigerator to keep things cold and help preserve food
The ease of life we have with technology
Grass (I miss grass)
Mountains (I really Really miss mountains)
Dirt roads
Smell of pine trees in the forest

And so many more.

Here's one family pic!  We'll be sending out Christmas cards this year!
Yesterday morning, after we got ready for the day, I took the kids to Home Depot where we bought our very first-brand-new-fake-pre-lit-Christmas-tree!  We have always had a hand me down...its nice to have a new one.. and we only paid $40!  Not so bad I think... especially for only going to one store!  First try... I'm thankful for that!

What are you thankful for?  How did you celebrate this year?  What is your favorite part of the meal?  Did you head out to catch any sales?


Evelyn Curtis

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gangnam/Mormon/or whatever your Style

I think I should have blogged about this a long time ago!  Here is something that makes me laugh no matter how many times I see it!

Gangnam Style is a song performed by Korean rapper PSY.  From my research, he is classically a comedic favorite kind, since I generally don't enjoy rap music.  If I have shared this particular video with you before, the please forgive me for sharing it again... but the second video might be new to it was new to me today!

photo via
 I personally believe you can't go wrong with watching this video.  Its hilarious, and my whole family loves it.  Bunny and Bug have perfected the dance (if you haven't seen it, watch to understand).  Huggles tries to do the dance, and Hoss can be found randomly trotting to the silent beat in his head down the isles of Albertson's.  Which is pretty hilarious in its own right... not because he is doing a goofy dance, but because he does it for all to see.  Last week, one lady gave him quite the look.  It was a priceless moment.  One that I wish I could have captured on camera!  Seriously!  Ah, but its fun...especially since grocery shopping can be so hard on a child....or their daddy for that matter.  Sometimes they need a little entertainment/distracting in order for me to get it done quickly!

So watch the video to get the full visual... its quite entertaining!

Second, Hoss played me this video early this morning.  I had to laugh. Its a spin off/spoof of the original video.

Mormon Daddy Style!

Ah, good times, and great references toward the Mormon culture!

I hope you have had a fabulous day!


Evelyn Curtis

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bug and the Tooth Fairy

We have breaking news here in Hobbs, NM!  Bug has had a very very loose tooth for quite a while.  She had already lost 3 teeth, and frankly those were traumatic experiences for her.  So last night, I told her to show me her tooth, which I promptly said, "We need to pull it.  Its ready."

Bug absolutely refused to let Hoss or I pull it.  She was insistent about pulling it herself.  I think it took her nearly an hour to get it done... 

in fact, at one point as I was heading out the door to check the mail and take some trash to the dumpster, I said,  "Bug... if you don't have that pulled by the time I get back, daddy is holding you down, and I'm going to pull it myself!"

The color drained from her face... she has a sincere fear of having her teeth pulled.  I remember pulling all of my teeth on my own... I pulled most of Bunny's teeth.  I was ready and up to the was Hoss, should she choose to let him try.

Anyway, I went and came back, and Hoss told me that when I drove up, she started kind of panicking. Then right as I opened the door, she popped it out!  I think she was relieved!

The tooth fairy usually gives our kids $1 per tooth... but on Bug's little baggy, she wrote, "Pulled your own tooth!"  Inside was $2!  I guess it pays to be brave and pull it on your own!

What's more...I was about to take a picture of Bug sleeping, so I could blog about her pulling her own tooth (My post was going to be about how she was sleeping and waiting for the tooth fairy to come), when I saw something out of the corner of my eye.  I snapped the picture, and went to bed myself.

What I didn't know was that I caught a glimpse of the tooth fairy in the picture!  It is a bit blurry, due to the fact that I think I surprised her, and she was in the process of slipping away.

Here!  Have a look!

Bug and Bunny are so excited that there is actual proof of the tooth fairy!


Evelyn Curtis

PS  I'm excited that Bug now gets to sing the song, 

"All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Menu

Approximately 5 or 6 years ago, I cooked Thanksgiving all by myself.  This was in Idaho, and Hoss and I thought that we needed to do it and invite a few friends who we knew didn't have anyone to have Thanksgiving dinner with.  So, I embarked on my very first turkey, my very first...everything on my own!  I had made pies before (thanks to Mrs. Hogan in homec)!

Back then--and ever since, I have used one of those roasting bags to roast the turkey, along with a disposable roasting pan.  Its an easy way to never have to baste the bird, and it has always come out juicy and delicious.  In my opinion, its a fail safe way to make a successful turkey.

I believe I should be able to get it at Kmart!
This year, we were invited to a family's house in our ward here in Hobbs.  After discussing it, Hoss and I decided that we would remain in our own house, and do our own Thanksgiving dinner.  I think I'm so into the spirit of the season, that I'm going to make it formal and make everyone dress up!  Shhh!  Don't tell Hoss... he might not like it at first!... but the girls will love it!

Since it will just be my own family, I thought it would be a great time to experiment on roasting the bird for real!  No bags!  I'm even going to get a nice roasting pan with a wrack in order to be successful!  Want to see the one I'm going to get?

There is also one tool that I really REALLY want to get... so I'm hoping I can find one (I don't think we'll be able to order it in time after payday.  But I make gravy enough, that I'm sure it will be very useful!  Have you ever used a fat separator?  It lets you drain the meat drippings from the bottom of the container, leaving the fat on top.  Its amazing, seeing it in action.  You can see one in the video linked below.  This is the one I have my eyes on.  Nice, right?
Here is my tentative menu:

Turkey (of course)
Mashed potatoes and turkey gravy
Romain salad
My sister-in-law's very delicious recipe for sweet potatoes (I'll eat no other)
Asado:Photo via
Asado, a Mexican dish of pork cooked in a spicy red chile sauce.  Most people who have amazing family recipes will not share every ingredient.  They'll usually leave something out.  (If we can find the coveted recipe--The Mexicans around here don't share their recipes)!  This is what it can look like.  You eat it with tortillas, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and tomato... or you can just put it on your plate or in a bowl on the side.  It is delicious, and Hoss really wants to add it to our traditional Thanksgiving!

Veggie tray for an appetizer and to keep the kids from withering in hunger

Dessert will consist of pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pumpkin cake.  Its a lot... but we love leftovers here!  especially after slaving away for so long to make an amazing meal!

I also plan on making a little snack of roasted cinnamon almonds!  Yum!  I've never made them, and face it... some things we find on pinterest just don't work out.  This one... I'm hoping does!

This is the method of cooking the turkey that I plan on using!  It looks so delicious!  I can't wait!

I am hoping to start a new Thanksgiving tradition.... what exactly... I don't know yet.  That will have to be another post I think!

What is your tentative Thanksgiving menu?

I'm so Thankful for my little family!  I so thankful for my extended family!  I am so blessed!

What is on your Thanksgiving menu?



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FHE: Surprise Party!

Last week, I read this blog post.  I loved the idea of throwing my family a surprise party with a meaning or theme behind it.  And for this particular topic, I thought the timing was impecible!  The topic being, "See What God Hath Done." Its a surprise party about recognizing all of the blessings in your life.  Totally timely, since Thanksgiving is only 1 week and 2 days away!  Seriously, see the post for details.  It is an amazing idea for a family night!

Our banner and Gratitude lists

So, after I read the blog post, I told Hoss that I was doing the lesson for Family Home Evening.  He said... "Okay."  Exciting right?  He was thrilled... I'm sure!

I followed all of the steps mentioned.  I printed off the banner, and strung it on some pretty white ribbon.  Its still hanging there... above my head right now!  I cheated though, instead of using up all of my printer ink for this project, I decided to go to Staples and have it printed off!  I love staples!  I hadn't been to one in around 3 years.... there is not an Office Max here, and that was kind of my "go-to."  But Staples is awesome, ssshh, I don't even miss Office Max!  Man... Staples should give me a free computer for this wonderful review!

Back on task...
equal parts white grape
juice and fresca
with frozen fruit

The Bunny and Bug knew nothing about it.. I mean, what is a surprise party without the surprise?  I purchased some ingredients to make this delicious punch!  ----------------------------------------------------->
I also purchased ingredients to make cinnamon rolls.... Easiest rolls I've ever made!  I just peeled the paper, broke the roll, and place them in my pan!

I made our most favorite meal... beans and rice de la Republica Dominicana (Dominican Republic).  {You can see my recipe here.}  I chose this meal, not just because it is one of our favorites, but because it is one meal that I am very grateful for.  Beans and rice are a fairly humble meal.  Its one that got us through some times where money was very scarce.  I'm so glad that I had all of the ingredients well stocked in our food storage.  What a blessing!

Once Hoss got home from work, I told him to quickly get cleaned up and dressed up for our party.  We all dressed up... for us, dressing up is pretty simple.

I even set the table in a pretty formal matter!  I never use a table cloth and napkins.  But yesterday, I even used hand stamped napkins, and set the table with all of the utensils.  Be impressed!

We sat down and ate our meal, all the while, Bunny and Bug asking why we were celebrating Thanksgiving now.  :)  I promise our Thanksgiving meals are fancier than beans and least, I try to have them be!

After dinner, we migrated to the couch and we proceeded with our FHE meeting, (which I followed the suggested party plan as listed in the blog post.  It was great!  And I think the family really enjoyed it!  It is a fairly easy idea, and it wasn't too hard for me to put it together.

We enjoyed our cinnamon rolls, and since Hoss got home kind of late, it was way past bedtime.  All the kids were shuffled off to bed to get their beauty sleep!

I hope you consider throwing a surprise party of your own, since Thanksgiving in just around the bend!


Evelyn Curtis