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You DO NOT need to request permission to view files.

2. If you are clicking on a link that directs you to the website and an error is occurring it means that the website has moved their files. I can only suggest trying to do a search on their site.

Guest Blogger Recipe Book!


Hey friends! I'm a Guest Blogger over at today!

They are putting together a Christmas Cookbook as a gift to you, all of their (and my) readers. Each day you will be able to view and download a favorite recipe from one of their guest bloggers. At the end of the 24 days, they will combine them all into a PDF booklet with a cover and make them available in full book form to download as well.

I am first up and I am sharing my recipe for Southwest Stuffed Peppers. Our entire family loves these, even my kids...although one of them just eats the filling out of the middle and completely rejects the pepper exterior.  On "Talk Like a Pirate Day" I put a paper sail into them to make them pirate ships!

Be sure to stop by each day in December to score a much-loved family recipe from different LDS bloggers!

The Story of Baby Cinco


Have you been wondering where I have been lately? Okay, maybe not. You mostly come here for the FHE lessons, right?  Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.

You may remember last October when we welcome our fourth and FINAL baby into our family.

After we had little Jude our family felt complete. I felt a calm come over me and also an invigoration - we got all of the kids here safely, now it was time to move forward and make our lives great. I wanted to embrace this finality and bring more order to our lives through my own hard work and effort. We were confident in our decision that our family was complete. 4 kids was what God intended for us. 4 kids is a LOT. 4 kids is all I can handle.

My husband and I had this discussion...

Me: If God himself appeared to us, in a daylight vision, and told us we needed to have a fifth baby...would you do it?
Matt: No.
Me: Me neither.

Can you see the foreshadowing already?

When our little Jude was 3 months old we found out we were pregnant again. I sobbed and sobbed, then felt guilty for sobbing. Our babies would be 11 months apart. As always I was sick as a dog.

Soon we had our first appt. Every other time we have had that very first ultrasound with a new baby I have stared at the tiny lima-bean on the screen and my heart melted. There's our baby! I would think as I stared at a tiny blob on the screen. I was certain that would happen again and it would magically melt away my doubts about surprise baby. I saw the baby. I felt nothing. Then, the customary guilt. I should be happy. So many of my close friends have fertility problems. They would give anything for a baby. But the fact remained, I didn't want a baby.

When we told our kids about Baby No. 5 they were super excited, but Ella was shocked. Knowing how all of this baby business works, and knowing that we said we were DONE after Jude, she was totally speechless. The other two girls commenced playing and stopped paying attention.

The conversation continued....

Ella: So...will Jude and the new baby be twins?
Me: No. Babies have to be in their Mom's tummy at the same time to be twins. But sometimes people call babies born less than one year apart "Irish Twins".
Ella: Oh. That's cool.

An hour later our Home Teacher, Joseph, dropped by. Bianca (our 3 year old) ran straight up to him and said,

Bianca: Mommy has another baby in her tummy! Jude is going to have an EVIL twin!!!

We died laughing!  Let's hope it is NOT an EVIL twin.

Soon it was gender reveal time.  We already had three girls and then our boy.  It would have been REALLY CONVENIENT to have another boy since we had given away our girl clothes when we decided we were done with our family. Ha!

It's a GIRL!!

At the end of September it was time for Baby Cinco to arrive. I was filled with fear. People were very sweet and most often, others would say, "As soon as you hold that baby in your arms you will fall in love". I hoped that was true but my deepest fears were that it wouldn't come true.

When I was finally got to really hold her and look at her for the first time I was flooded and completely overwhelmed with these feelings...

You belong with us.
We needed you.
I am so glad you're here.
I love you so much.

And then I sobbed, not realizing just how afraid I had been that I wouldn't have those feelings. But I do. And, for the first time since we found out we were pregnant, I knew it was going to be okay. It's going to be difficult for this first year, but it's also going to be wonderful. We didn't even know it, but GOD knew it. We needed her. Please welcome...

Help for Mothers


“You know the myths--that mothers are always patient and serene, that they always know exactly the right thing to say when those teaching moments come, that they can create homes that are such peaceful refuges from the world that their children will grow up always in tune with the Spirit. These concepts are beautiful ideals that we should cherish and strive for, but they are not accurate pictures of the realities we live in. The belief that we are the only ones in our wards who aren't living the ideals already is what makes these myths dangerous... 

To a woman who is struggling with being a Tuesday make-the-lunches-do-the-laundry-dish-out-spaghetti-and-hugs-and-drive-to-Little-League mother, hearing a lofty sermon on the eternal joys of motherhood is neither very helpful nor comforting. Mothers deserve help--real help--with all of this physical work.”

- Chieko Okazaki
Shared Motherhood, pp. 4-5, 10
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