SMILE because...

Your day goes the way the corners of your mouth turn.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Forward

I have been terrible at blogging. Again. So, here's a quick update for our family:

Jopes just got promoted to Head Photo Tech at Walgreens. We are so grateful for this job. It's been wonderful for us. We recently got a new Bishop, which means a whole new Bishopric, which means Jopes got released as 2nd Counselor. It was a bitter-sweet day for us, but he's already been called into something new and we're glad he's being put to work.

I go back to school in a few days. I think my classes will be great, but I do look forward to the days after graduation (still way too far away) when I just get to be mom and wife, not student. :)

Joseph is our big little helper. He loves to be in charge of "making sure Everlit's happy." He acts so grown up and sometimes we're in awe at his ability to think and reason like an adult. He still loves robots, drawing, and movies, but he's really starting to play with his imagination. He loves to fly himself and his toys around the house. He plays really well with Everlit, though sometimes he just wants to play by himself. I can't believe he'll be 3 in just a few months!

Everlit is our social butterfly. She is so smiley and friendly with everyone. She adores her daddy and her big brother. When daddy comes home from work and she hears the door open, she drops whatever she's doing and "runs" out to great him with a great big hug. And any time she gets to play with or do something just like Joseph, she's a very happy girl. She loves shoes and clothes and baby dolls and anything girly. She's getting to be such a big girl and we've noticed that she is much more adventurous than what we're used to. Her first year went by so fast!

With the new year, we've of course made some new goals and some re-newed goals. We loved 2011 but hope to better ourselves a little more with each day of 2012.

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Who likes card games? Our Family Pastime has made it possible for you to easily create something amazing-- A set of cards that is customized to be unique to you (or whomever you make them for), and can be used for SO MANY of your favorite card games!

Not only are they totally a great thing, but there's a contest right now where you can get your deck for FREE! Easy to Enter, 3 Winners, and 3 Ways to Win!

I don't care who you are--you can make a deck that is meaningful and fun for you, a family member, or a friend. You can't not check it out. It's too great a thing! Especially with the holidays just around the corner. So PLEASE check it out and share the idea with everyone you know!

How to enter:

- Sign-up at Create as many "14 Things" decks as you would like.

- Click on the "Enter in contest" button on the deck(s) you want to submit.

Each winner will have their deck setup, printed and shipped to them for free.


The contest ends on Halloween, Oct 31st, 2011.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Joseph & Everlit. A Book Just for Them.

I hope they are always such good friends.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Story. No, A Memory.

Monday was Labor Day. Monday was also the day that I met my husband 8 YEARS AGO. It was seemingly a normal Labor Day at first. Full of yard work and house work (because it's the day of LABOR). But THIS Labor Day soon became unforgettable. Because Sister Brake invited my family over for dinner, and the Frees were there too.

It was 8 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting at the kitchen table, watching Aisling work on an art project. My new bishop, Bishop Free, was sitting next to me too. There were a few others standing around, and we were all just visiting. That's when I found out Bishop Free had 8 kids. I hadn't thought he was that old. He told me his oldest had just started at BYU Provo, and the rest were outside. Then HE walked in. He was wearing a white sport tank top and red swim shorts. Bishop Free said something like, "Oh. See, this is my oldest son, Joseph." He came and sat on a bar stool to visit with the rest of us. I found out he was a swimmer, and a senior.

Then it was time to eat and everyone migrated outside. My brother and I sat next to Joseph on the steps and visited with him and Michael, who was sitting across from us on the porch. I learned that Mike was a runner. I remember Joseph tapping rhythms with his toes on the steps-same as he does to this day. The youngest, Adam, was only 2 at the time, and started making faces and playing games with us through the glass on the back doors behind us. Then we went inside to play with him. Joseph played some little game with him hiding under the pillows on the couches. After a little bit, Adam left to play with others and Joseph sat on the couch across from the fireplace hearth, where I was sitting. By the way, I was wearing some rust colored capris, a tan button-up shirt, and tall wedge sandals. The two of us just sat there and talked the rest of the time. I remember finding out that he didn't know much about cars, and that we had a lot of other things in common.

Toward the end of the evening, my mom came over and sat on the couch to visit with us. She asked him how old he was (17), what grade he was in (senior), if he was going to the homecoming dance (he didn't know, probably not). At that, my mom shared that she always told her boys it was their priesthood duty to make sure the girls got asked. And I remember hoping for an instant that that conversation would spark the idea in him to ask ME. He didn't.

As my family left that night, I remember thinking that I wanted to get to know him better. And that's how my CrAzY cRuSh began. I can hardly believe that was 8 years ago, and yet at the same time, it feels like I've known Jopes my whole life.

I sure love you, Joseph Jamison Free! Thanks for 8 fun years of knowing each other and the infinity more that we have together!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Things to Blog About

I'm behind. Again. But I still don't have time right now to fully blog about all the things I want to tell you about, so here's a list of all those things I'd tell you about if I could right now.

* Family Pictures - we got professional family pictures taken for the first time.
* Everlit's Birthday - she's 1 now! I can't believe it.
* Joseph's Potty Training Attempts - enough said.
* Our Surprise Find - so unexpected and just at the right time!
* Family Update - kids are growing, life is great!

Hope you're looking forward to the full stories.... :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Last 30 Days

I was looking at pictures we've taken recently, and realized I haven't shared any in a while. So, here ya go. Pictures from the last 30 days... May 20th-June 20th. :)

Oh, and a couple things I'd like to add, though I don't yet have pictures:
1) Joseph loves the carousel at the park. We've been riding it lots. He tells us almost every day that he wants to ride the horses. And then he tells us which color horse he wants, and while he's riding he says things like, "Woohoo!," "Giddyup!," and "Yeehaw!"
2) Everlit loves the splash park just as much as Joseph does. Even if it's cold! Today for example, I was holding her hands to help her walk, and she walked right over to the little baby spouts, right up to her favorite one, and plopped herself down to play in it. She tries to grab the water over and over again and just loves getting wet.
3) We got a go-ped for Jopes to ride to work, frisbee, etc. Our poor car has been getting bad gas mileage lately, and we were spending more than usual on gas. So, now he gets 100 miles to the gallon, and I am no longer stranded at home without the car. Oh. And, apparently he really wanted a go-ped when he was a little boy, so now he's finally got one. And let me tell you, the look on his face when he first rode it around was great. Dream come true.

And that's about all folks! Oh well, if you haven't seen our garden updates and you'd like to, you should look here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Date Ideas, Anyone??

For my class Wednesday night, I'm supposed to come with 4 great date ideas.
2 for before marriage,
and 2 for after marriage.

Any suggestions??

What have some of your favorite dates been?


Monday, May 23, 2011


All I'm going to say is:

1) it's about time! AND 2) I am SUCH a proud mommy!

A delicious victory and important milestone!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Weekend Away, Now Back to Reality

But first, an extreme overload of pictures:


Happy Easter!

So glad these two get along so well.

Joseph likes to play in the sink and do his own hair. Actually, he's been trying to do a lot of things all by himself lately. Socks and shoes, clothes, etc.

A family picture from Melinda's wedding this last weekend. My kids look so excited about this picture.

Lots of pictures of my kids, 'cause I just can't get enough of them.

The beautiful bride and groom, Melinda and Jeff Smith!

We got to see Jess for the first time since she's been home from her mission. LOVE HER! Can't wait to see her again.

Now. For those of you who are still here, a quick update:
School is going fine. Work is too. Jopes has asked to only work 4 days a week so he can have a day for homework. We never see him for more than 40 minutes in a day. And in that time, he's usually snarfing down some food and getting dressed to leave again. But we are proud of him and all his hard work. We love him. A couple times now, we've taken dinner down to eat with him at work. It's about the only way we get to have a meal with him. Still, we feel very blessed in so many ways. We know Heavenly Father is watching out for our little family. Joseph is growing up so much! He still loves puzzles, electronics, drawing, and movies. He talks in sentences a lot, and is such a smart little guy. And a cute one, too! We love him lots. Everlit is getting so big! She's 9 months old now, which I can't believe. She's beautiful. And strong. And smart! She knows exactly what she wants and she'll tell you all about it! She has no interest in crawling, but at the same time wants to be mobile like her big brother. She's a funny girl, and we can't get enough of her.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Back in School?!

Spring is FINALLY here and so is a new semester. Only the thing about this semester is that we weren't planning on BOTH of us being in school. I was told when I first got put on academic suspension (yes, suspension) that I wouldn't be able to return to classes until Fall 2011. So we were shocked when I checked my email on Saturday the 16th, down in Arizona, and read that I was now on academic probation and had to register for Spring 2011 or reapply to BYU-Idaho. Spring 2011 started on Tuesday, the 19th. SURPRISE!!

Don't get me wrong, it was good news to be back in school. But at the same time, we weren't quite ready for me to be back in school. Jopes' schedule was already super booked. Like, school full time, working full time, coaching competitive frisbee, being in charge of the club frisbee team, and being in the bishopric kind of booked. Talk about never getting to see him! And now I was to register for classes too. Oh boy.

So we got back from our lovely little trip on Monday and worked on "how are we going to do this??" We found out that one of Jopes' classes had been cancelled and the students registered for that class had been sifted into the other sections of the class. Well that meant his class conflicted with what work had already scheduled him for. Drop that class, add another. Okay. Now on to finding classes for me to take. Only my online student status is still set as "former student" so I can't get to the registration system. And it's after hours so I can't call anyone. Terrific.

Tuesday, while Jopes was at work and school, I was at home making phone calls. I finally talked to the right person who said it would be a half hour for my status to be changed. After that half hour, I registered for some classes. And then I dropped and added different ones all day if felt like. And then Jopes called and said that work needed to know my schedule ASAP. So I switched things around some more, and called him back at work. I gave him two options, and he chose the second. 4 classes, 3 credits each. 2 of them online, the other two one night a week from 7-10PM. Thank goodness we have Becca and Anna up here, and that they are willing to watch the kids when needed! We had to use Becca both of those first nights, since Jopes had bishopric meeting the first night and work already scheduled the second night.

All that being said, our first week went okay. I really like the teachers of my night classes. And the subject material is fun for me. As for the online classes, the first one seems very do-able. I don't think I'll mind it. The other, I'm not sure if I can do. It's got tons of stuff due twice a week every week, on top of tons of reading and discussion boards, etc.. I will probably be dropping that one and try to fill the slot with a better one. Jopes thinks he's going to like his classes this semester. Except one. He's not thrilled with the teacher's philosophy on grading. But he likes his other teachers and classes.

All in all, we're doing great. Busier than we've ever been in our 3+ years of marriage, but great. Our kids are the cutest, sweetest little ones in the world, and they convince us of that more and more each day. We love them. We love our little family and we feel so very very blessed.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Too Warm Arizona

It's official. I'm a Rexburg girl. A small-town girl. A prefers bundling up to sweating in my elbows girl. A slower speed limit and fewer cars girl. Crazy, huh?

We went to Arizona for a week. It was wonderful, minus the hot weather that no one seemed to notice except us, and my mom having to work the whole time we were there. That was too bad. But! She is bringing Anna up for school this weekend, so we will get to spend some time with her here.

We really had a nice week. We got to see family (including my grandparents), old friends, the Easter Pageant, the Phoenix Zoo, and we got to swim one day! Oh. And, we got to fly there and back. It was so quick and so very wonderful. Everlit wouldn't let anyone hold her but me and Jopes. Joseph however, loved all his aunts and uncles. Especially Uncle Samuel on my side, and Uncle Andrew on the Free side. Any time we went to one house or the other, he'd cry about leaving someone at whichever house we were leaving.

Sunday, my brother Seth, who was in town just between flights snuck in and got Everlit out of our bed to play with her. She, being the only morning person in our little family, thought he was much more fun than sleeping mom and dad, so she actually let him and Stacie hold her all morning! It was great. And also a bummer that we didn't learn the "trick" until the last day we were there. Now we'll know for future reference that if you want to hold and play with Everlit, you've got to get up early with her. That's how you get on her good side.

A lot of our trip is on the video camera because I kinda misplaced our digital camera the day we got there. So, you don't get to see it. Sorry. I really need to learn how to get video from the video camera to the computer, but Jopes is never home to show me when I'm doing this. Oh well. Here are a few pictures from the digital camera after we found it:

My dad loves to rock babies. Everlit protested, but Grandpa won in the end and the two had a nice little nap together.

Joseph and his souvenir from the Phoenix Zoo. Thanks, Grandma Hord!

My brother, Steven, lives in Phoenix now, so Joseph got to play with his cousins Elliott and Patrick while we were there.

Everlit's never had so much sun in her life!

Joseph and his cousins played in the sprinklers. It was awesome! We do miss that part of living in AZ. Cooling off in swimming pools, sprinklers, etc on those hot summer days.

On the airplane headed home!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gas Tips

I got this in a forward email. I don't know who it is that wrote it, but his tips seem like good ones, so I thought I'd share since every penny counts these days.

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline... but here in California we are paying up to 3.75 to 4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose, CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

1.) Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening... your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.
A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

2.) When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

3.) One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

4.) And last tip, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Survey

I know it's been a while since I posted on Super Moms, but I finally got Amilee's survey up there and it's amazing. She's got great stuff in each of her answers.

So, if you're interested and haven't been over to see it yet, please do!

Here's the link: Moms Being Super


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's Happened...

Marker on the wall. Orange PERMANENT marker. On the wall.

The culprit? Guess who:

BUT!! With a little phone call for advice and the use of these:

My wall once again looks like this:

I guess you could say we have officially begun the adventures of the terrible twos.
But I gotta say, I still love this little boy like crazy:

Not only that, but we have also begun the adventure of teething. Again.
Only with this little one this time:
isn't she so cute??

I love these two, and I love that they are best friends.

~ ~ ~

And on another happy note, Jopes and I hit 3 YEARS yesterday!
And let me tell you, BEST 3 YEARS OF MY LIFE! Not that the others were bad...
Here's to eternity!