Author Archives: theblaines

True Charity


Lately, I’ve really been struggling with learning what true charity is.  Usually when I think charity and service, I think of going to other peoples’ homes and helping them in some way.  This last week a lady in my ward has been sick so we went to help clean her house.  It was a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed helping another in need.  When I want to work on charity, I look for people in desperate need of help.  While driving, I stop by most people I see and offer them a ride.  When someone is sick, I try to find a way to make a meal for them.  When friends are in need of financial help because of medical bills, I see how much I can offer to help make ends meet.  I sign up for every service project that passed around in church.

But something has bothered me about this approach.  Why do I have to look for such an extreme case for charity every time I want to help?  Why is it that the only people to serve are outside my home?

Today I have been pondering why it’s been so hard for me to figure out.  Now, I’m not saying these aren’t good things to do and it isn’t charity, but today I realized I can be charitable and serve people every day, in my HOME.  I can do more dishes and stop worrying about who made the mess.  If I’m willing to clean a stranger’s mess, why can’t I clean my own family’s mess too! I can spend more time listening to my husband’s stories, instead of itching to tell my own.  I can stop checking my email and Facebook all the time and play with my son instead.  I can let my little pet peeves go, instead of getting angry about things that don’t really matter.  I can offer to make dinner instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me.  If someone bothers me, I can choose to not talk about them behind their back.  I can choose to be kind and forgiving instead of getting frazzled about every little thing that irritates me.

I guess I can practice having charity every day!  And I can love it.


Diaper Pouch Tutorial


So, when I pregnant, I searched high and low for the perfect diaper bag.  And I found one!!  And it was perfect.  And it was mine.  But….  then I realized how awful it was to carry my purse and my diaper bag and a baby.  When Jensen got older, I didn’t need to bring as much stuff and so all I wanted was to bring diapers, wipes, and maybe a snack?  And that all fits in my purse.  But the diapers get all messed up and get cheerios and crumbs in them.  I was getting frustrated until I saw my friend had this cool velcro bag thing for the diapers and wipes.  It was amazing and answered al my worries.  I never found something so meant to be before.  I borrowed it and tried to make one just like it.  After a few trials, this is the best one I was able to make.  And I LOVE it!!  And I make it for everyone having a baby because it’s just amazing.


So, I thought, hey I can make the world a better place by showing everyone how to make one!

So, first, you need to coordinating fabrics.  If you want to make just one holder, you need 1/4 yard of each.  But I found I can make perfectly two of them with 1/4 of the orange fabric and 1/2 of the giraffe fabric.  (ooooo! I just love giraffes!!!)


Then, you start cutting the fabric by cutting both into strips of 7.5 inches wide.


Then, cut the orange into three pieces.  One that is 15.5 inches long and two that 10.5 inches long.


Then, cut the giraffe into one piece that is 15.5 inches long.

So basically, here is a diagram of the pieces you need.

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 9.33.18 PM

Okay, so now that you have your fabric cut, you need to attach the velcro very first.  I got velcro that was 2 inches thick and about 2 inches long.  So basically it’s a 2×2 in. piece of velcro.

This kind is sticky, but I like to sew it on anyway so that it is more secure.


Now, attach one side to a long piece of the orange and the other side to a short piece of the orange.

About 1 inch from the top and centered.


Now, take the short piece with velcro and sew it to the short piece without velcro.

(I like to sew it again on the outside for a pretty looking seem.)


Now is time for piece the whole thing together.  Start by laying down the long orange piece with velcro, right side up.

Followed by the short orange pieces, velcro up.


Now, lay the giraffe piece on top, wrong side up.


Now sew around the edges,

curving around the corners,


and leaving about 2 inches open.


Okay, trim the corners, like so.


And turn it inside out and ironing it down all pretty and nice.


So sew the hole closed, I like to sew around the top part for pretty looking seem.  It just pulls it all together.


Then, you’re all done!!  That’s it!!

Now, you can throw diapers into your purse in a cute pouch that looks cute and is nice and portable.


Giant Bubbles


Do you ever feel like you’ve just been watching waaaaay too much TV?  Lately, we haven’t had homework, so we don’t always have a lot to do with our free time.  So we’ve been looking for new things to try instead of watching TV.  Like….. making giant bubbles!!!!


Miles came across a blog showing how to do it.  But we did change it a little bit.

Miles made all the equipment.  I just figured out how to form the bubbles.  You have to make sure to close them.



First we tried using just a  giant bottle of bubbles from Walmart.


But they were just really small.


So we tried what the blog said, but they used glycerin, which we couldn’t find, so we just left that out.  And then, the bubbles were giant!!  And they lasted much longer.  So really, you don’t even need the glycerin.  Just water and dish soap.


Here’s Miles making a couple in a row.  Man, he is so cool.

IMG_3895 IMG_3894 IMG_3899

Jensen had so much fun watching.  But when we weren’t looking, he figured out to unbuckle himself!!  And tried climbing out.


This kid is getting way too smart!

IMG_3943 IMG_3946

Miles taught him how to get off the couch by backing up, so he tried to do it on the stroller, not realizing there was a bar in the way.

IMG_3956IMG_3962Yes, those are his PJ’s.  This was a nice change from the watching television before bedtime routine.

Monkey Rock


This Sunday we tried to find somewhere nice to go to as a family.  Did you know there are so many secret little spots near Rexburg??  Like, here, Monkey Rock.  It’s just a canal that turns into a cool waterfall and swimming area, in the middle of nowhere,  just past Sugar City.  Here’s a map.



Jensen had fun playing in the water.  He loves swinging his feet and walking around.



And Jensen loved getting dad time.



I am sure LOVING my Keens.



We thought to look around, and Miles took pretty pictures of flowers, and butterflies with broken wings.

IMG_3027IMG_3018 IMG_3017

Monkey Rock was really fun to play in.  We found out there’s places to go underneath the waterfall and swim out.   There are also a couple places to jump off the rocks into the canal.   The water is pretty deep and nice to swim in.  It’s great for kids, but probably older kids because the current can be a little strong.


This is just from our drive home.  Oh, how I’m starting to really enjoy Idaho.


Jensen’s Dinosaur Blanket


I feel like I just can’t make enough blankets for Jensen.  Every time I go to Porter’s, I can’t help but pick out cute baby fabrics to make another blanket.

And this last week, Porter’s had a SALE!!  I had to.  So, I did!!

Luckily, the minky was sale and it’s the really nice kind.  THe really soft and fuzzy kind that doesn’t get weird and flat when you wash it.

But I will say that minky is  waaaaay harder to work with than I thought.  It slipped around a lot.  So, take it slow and use a lot of pins!  Over pin it all you can.  It will make a difference.

Here it is!


And the back:


Look close at the back.  It’s the cool new Chevron pattern, but it’s etched into the minky.


I love this green!!  And I love Dinosaurs!!!


Thanks to Miles for helping me take the pictures.


My Graduation!!!


Welp!  It’s that time of year…. well kind of.  I guess here in Rexburg, Idaho it is!  What’s important is that I GRADUATED!!!

Class of 2013


I am officailly a college grad, complete with a Bachelor’s degree, and wearing a snazzy black gown and cap.

Man, I look gooooood!!



There were definately times that I just wanted to quit.  And times I didn’t think I was giong to make it.  But somehow I did!  It think it helped when I just took it one day at a time and realized that it was totally possible.  But I could not have done it on my own!

Thank you to my sweet husband for all his support.


And to my family for all their support and for driving alllllll the way here!


Isn’t the temple gorgeous??  We went there to take cool pictures.

Jensen really liked exploring.


And throwing his arm in the air all the time.

IMG_3373 IMG_3344

And getting thrown in the air by his dad.


And getting snuggle and play time with Grandma Liz.

IMG_3301 IMG_3303

And exploring some more.  (Just look at those eyes!!)


But overall, it was an exciting day!  Just that fact that I was able to graduate after having a baby makes me really proud of myself.  And did I tell you that I just got a job?  More will come about that in a later blog.

 But other exciting news is that I got to speak at my convocation.  Eeeeekkk!!!!!!  I was so nervous I was going to pass out.  On Sunday in church, a girl passed out while giving her talk and the idea freaked me out the whole time before I spoke.  Luckily I took deep breaths and unlocked me knees.  And it actually went really well!  I tried to just be myself, but formal of course. 🙂

Here I am:


Here’s me shaking everyone’s hand when they called our names and gave us the diploma cases.  We even got to have President Clark (the president of the school) there, and Elder Gay (of the seventy).

IMG_3712 IMG_3715

When we came out, there was a sick sunset.  I think it was God telling me He was so proud of me.  🙂  Just check it out!


And me and my diploma cover, and the people I love.  (Doesn’t the background look like fire??  It reminds me of the fires of Mordor hehe)



Jensen sure loves my kisses haha.


I knew it would be cool to graduate and walk, but it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!  I loved feeling like a completed something so big.  I knew it’d be cool, but man, it was indescribable.  All those years of late nights and literally a million assignments, I feel like everything I did was totally worth it.  If you ever think maybe it’s a waste of time, or you can’t do it, just know that you’re wrong!  Just take it a day at a time, and know that it is the most amazing feeling to finish and know that you gave it everything you had.

I know it will forever bless my family 🙂


Fourth of July Hike up Donut Falls


It turned out we were able to have a four day weekend for the holiday so we headed down to Utah to hang out with the Blaines and the Nelsons.  It was a big family reunion!  But for the actually day, we went on a hike in the morning up Donut Falls near Salt Lake City.

Jensen has super fair skin… and well he’s also bald, so applying sunscreen is always a party in itself.  And of course the hat.


I took the pack first because I wanted look like a cool mom.  Well, I already do, but this helps  🙂

It was probably the easiest hike I’ve ever been on.  But hey, it was fun to finally use our cool hiking pack!  I felt very adventurous.


When we got to the top, I dropped Jensen off with Grandma, and we climbed up the waterfall to the donut part.  I thought it was a weird name until I saw the donut.

IMG_2562 IMG_2564

You could go in a cave and see where the water was falling.


Look how much water it is compared to Jared.


We were refreshed from the heat because of the mist everywhere.


Then, we joined the family and took a water break.




Jensen sure loves his Grandpa Blaine!


It’s always a family event to try to help Jensen keep his hat on.


And he just takes it off anyways.


Uh oh… someone’s starting to crash. Just watch….





This hiking pack is awesome for babies to fall asleep in.

Of course we had to finish the night off with exploding things at the house.


Miles and his brothers made this shot for me.  What a day!!