Monday, September 24, 2007

He made it!

I am very EXCITED to announce that Jeff took his Physical Test for entrance into the Police Academy & passed. He then had his Oral Test & did great on that as well. He is now getting all his paperwork ready & hopes to have it ready ASAP. If all goes well, he should be in the Police Academy within 3-4 months. We'll keep you updated on the progress.

If I can get him to sit down for a few minutes, I'd love to interview him & take his picture. He's lost 27 lbs through this whole ordeal & actually looks pretty dang good.

More to come!

Friday, August 31, 2007

A picture says 1,000 words!

Here are my JOYS!! These are the people I love being around & live my life for. :) This picture is a good one because it tells so much about us & who we are.

First of all, everyone is in their Sunday Clothes. Kinda funny that we had time to actually stop & take a picture before we went to church! This never happens!! We're usually running out the door & barely making it on time. That's why this picture is a treasure! We were all completely ready this Sunday with 5 min. to spare. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!!!!

I'm sure you've noticed Cameron's eyes. Yes, this is a typical look for our 9 yr. old boy. He calls himself the "Class Clown". He is always doing something funny & trying to get a laugh. You'll also notice that his shirt is a little short on the arms. I bought that shirt only 2 months ago & he has already grown out of it!! I can't keep up!

Brianna is sitting in her Daddy's lap which is her favorite place to be. She is also snuggled in her favorite blankie that she got from Grandma. She HAS to have this blankie when she sleeps. She is playing with her fingers which is a trait that she got from her mother (ME) & I got from my mother! We are always counting on our fingers & moving them around when we sit. (Do we need therapy?!?!?)

McKenna is standing in back & overseeing the family. She is the 2nd Mom in our house. She loves to be in charge & take control. Most of the time she does pretty good except when her 9 yr. old brother doesn't want to listen. She also is growing up & has become so tall. She's not a little girl anymore. This picture is where I see a young women starting to bloom & it scares me a little bit! I don't know how to parent a teenager. (I think I need to get some books!! Or maybe some counseling?)

Jeff & his trademark smile are what first intrigued me by him. Isn't he cute? The sweater he has on is one that I bought him for Christmas. I'm not sure he really likes it but he wears it because I gave it to him. That's the kind of guy he his - he tries to do anything to please me. And, he does a pretty good job of that - sometimes. :) (Hey, you can't be perfect all the time!)

And then we have the lovely background of this picture. This is our office & it looks very messy. It always looks messy! I clean it up once a week & within 5 min. it's a mess again. (I would hate to see what it would like if I didn't clean it up once a week?!?!??) But, the fact that you get to see us for who we are is priceless!! This is the Shephard family & my treasures.

Ah, the life of a Mother!

I love being a Mother. I really do! However, being a Mother has its moments...

So, yesterday morning I am woken up to a 9 yr. old boy practicing the piano at 6:30 a.m. (He is an early riser & practicing early in the morning was his choice.) Normally, this is a good thing. I love to hear my kids practice the piano. But, today he decides to pound as loud as he possibly can and he is playing the same song over & over!!! I get out of bed, go into the piano room & in a quiet voice say - "Can you play a little softer please?" His VERY LOUD reply was - "I thought you liked me to play the piano. I thought you wanted me to practice! I hate piano. I hate this song. I hate practicing." I walked out of the room & decided to go back to bed & hoped he would to so that he could possibly wake up on the "other" side of the bed this time & be in a better mood.

The entire family continued to endure the loud pounding of the piano music until McKenna, the controlling older sister who likes to sleep in, has had enough. She yells from her room in an extremely irritated voice - "STOP IT CAMERON!" And the war begins. It's 6:35 a.m.

After putting out the fight, I proceed to go into the kitchen to start breakfast. It's now 6:45 a.m. I am thinking in my head about the yummy fresh peaches I got from my mother-in-law & how good they would taste on a bowl of Millet. (Yes, we do eat Millet & love it. Okay, not all of us love it. I would say MOST of us love it. The rest of us like to sit & complain for 20 min. & then eat the whole bowl.) As I start to get out a pot to boil some water, I here my 9 yr old walk into the kitchen. (He's the complain for 20 min. kinda kid!) He asks - "What's for breakfast Mom?" I reply - "Millet with fresh peaches! Doesn't that sound good? Would you like to help me set the table?" And the whining starts & goes something like this - " Why can't we have pancakes? I love pancakes! We NEVER have pancakes! You ALWAYS make healthy stuff. I'm so tired of healthy stuff!! My friends eat pop tarts for breakfast. Why can't we have pop tarts for breakfast?" (Just have to clarify here that I make pancakes about every other day.) After listening to the whining for a good 5 min. I proceed to finish the Millet breakfast & the whining boys sits down & complains some more & eats his whole bowl. My 3 yr old smears her cereal on the table, in her hair & then proceeds to "accidentally" drop it on the floor. I clean it up as the 11 yr. old, who is running late, continues to say - "Can we hurry with scriptures & prayers? I have to fix my hair! I need to finish my room. You're reading too slow!!" The 9 yr old then starts to tease the 3 yr old & make her scream & puts up a fit when asked to move to another chair. We finish breakfast, read scriptures & say family prayers. (Of course the 3 yr. old HAS to say the blessing on the food & the family prayer to day!) It's 7:30 a.m.

All fires put out, messes cleaned up, I start making lunches. I see the kids getting ready for school & ask Cameron - "Did you brush you teeth?" His reply - "YES!" I look at his teeth & it is very apparent that he has NOT brushed his teeth. I said - "Did you REALLY brush them?" He says - "Oh, you mean TODAY?"

As I get dressed in my workout clothes, (positive thinking here!! If I actually put the workout clothes on, the chances of working out increases!) I notice that our 3-yr. old potty-training girl is standing still, looking down at the little puddle that has dripped down around her feet. She looks up & says to me - "Mommy, I need to go potty!" I clean up another mess...........happily.

I glance into McKennas room who is now on her bed reading a book without her hair fixed & her room is a BIG mess. (Remember the rant she made at the breakfast table about being late & not having enough time to get ready?) I look at the time & realize we need to be in the car NOW to be on time for the carpool. I holler out to the kids to get into the car. McKenna comes running into the room without her hair fixed & says - "Hold on! I'm not ready!" Cameron then starts in with - "Then why were you reading a book?" And another war begins.

We barely pick up the 4 other carpool kids on time & make it to school as I kiss the kids goodbye & tell them all - "Have a good day! I LOVE YOU!!" It's 8:30 a.m.

So....................., today is a new day. I wake up to a happy boy playing a great rendition of "The Hall of the Mountain King" on the piano. He asks me whats for breakfast. I turn on the wheat grinder & say - "Pancakes!" He grins and continues practicing.

It's going to be a good day. :)

I won a Scout Award!

This past week Cameron was supposed to make & decorate a dessert for a merit badge in scouts. The dessert had to reflect the 100 yr. celebration of Cub Scouting!! Here he is with his creation! He made cookie dough rolled it out into a big circle on a baking stone. Then he frosted it with the boy scout colors & did the entire design all by himself. He's a pretty good artist. (The center design is the picture on the side of his cub scout book.) He won an award for the most unique because his was the only one that was a big cookie!

Cameron is eagerly working on all his scouting requirments so he can earn his Bear before his birthday in October. He & his dad have been working together & he's on top of it all. Isn't he a cute little cub scout?!?

Anyone for homemade bread?

There's a new cook in town!! For the past month I've been making homemade Whole Wheat bread. It's the only bread we eat! McKenna, my 11 yr. old has been right beside me everytime & helping me put it together. One day she said - "Mom, can I make some bread?" I was busy at the moment & told her I wasn't able to help her. She said - "No, I want to make it all by myself." (Okay, now remember - she's 11 yrs old!!) I figured it would be a good experience for her & told her to "clean up her mess!!" :) :) :) :) :)

Without me ever stepping in the kitchen or giving any pointers, she went to work completely on her own. Pretty soon I was smelling fresh homeade bread cooking in the oven! When the bread came out, it was aboslutely PERFECT!! As a matter of fact - IT WAS BETTER THEN MINE!! I told her she was hired as my new bread maker. I haven't made a loaf of bread ever since. :)

When grandma came over, she tasted the bread & decided she wanted to hire McKenna to make homemade bread for her twice a month. She sells her bread for $5/loaf. Did I mention that she's 11 yrs old!! (Don't you just love her pose? She's 11, going on 18!!)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Time to get with the program!

I haven't posted on here for awhile & figured I needed to get with it!!!

Our family life has been a little "stressful" lately & it's just been hard to find something fun & happy to post!! But, I realize that everyone has these times in their life & it's OKAY!! We always survive & come out better in the end. I have always said that there's something to learn from every situation & I figure by the time these challenges are over, we'll be ready for anything!

So, I've decided I'm going to post all the WONDERFUL things that I have in my life. Are you ready for this?

1. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ & feel this is one of the biggest blessings in my life!! I can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't know the truths that I know!
2. I KNOW that God loves me & my family & is watching over us. He is in charge!
3. I have a big, loving family who are all great examples for me.
4. I have 3 healthy, happy kids who are smart & have testimonies. Yesterday at breakfast we were reading the scriptures & the conversation came up about having to be killed or denying our testimonies. Both McKenna & Cameron said they'd die before they ever denied their testimonies. I had no idea they even understood what that meant. When I asked why they felt that way, they said because if they die they knew they'd be going back to Heaven to live with God & that wasn't scary.
5. I have a nice house & 2 running cars!!
6. I have a healthy body.
7. I have 35 great piano students & love to teach them & see them learn & get excited!!
8. I have a 3 yr. old who loves to snuggle & tell you she loves you several times a day. :)
9. I like (hate) working out on my treadmill. (I hoping that trying to stay positive about this will make me actually like it!!! ha!)
10. I have a husband who is determined & never gives up!

So, there you have it!! My TOP TEN LIST!! Just writing this has made me feel happy! :) So, next time you feel a little down, try making your happy list & see how you feel!

I'm doing the HAPPY DANCE!!!!

I absolutely LOVE Spaghetti!

We recently attended a Ward Spaghetti Dinner. Brianna was more then thrilled! She was the first in line. We were laughing when we saw her plate filled with noodles ONLY! No salad, no bread, no sauce, no drinks! NOTHING BUT NOODLES!! Then, she proceeded to climb up to the table & chow down on the entire plate. She was enjoying her spaghetti so much that we had to take a picture.
Believe it or not, she ate the entire plate!!!!
(Isn't she just so dang cute?!?! Look at those closed eyes and how wide she opens her mouth. And can I just mention how much I love little girls in pig-tails? Oh, am I bragging?!?!?!?)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Look where I went last week!!

I did it!! I attended a Women's Health Retreat this weekend & it was FABULOUS!! I reccomend something like this to anyone & everyone!! Pictured above is our little group minus 2 who had to leave early or was taking the picture. :) I am in the red on the left. Our wonderful leader is the tiny one on the right. Anyone want to guess how old she is?! If you guess 25 which is how old she looks, you are wrong. Think HIGHER!! Much HIGHER!! She is an amazing person & I learned a great deal about myself & how my food choices are making me not so healthy. At this retreat we cooked our own food at every meal which I LOVED!! Hands on works best for me. We worked out every morning & we had great classes on all kinds of things realating to our health. I made some wonderful friends & am looking forward to keeping in contact with all of them for life!!

If you'd like more information about this retreat, you can visit

Update on Jeff's testing!

No picture for this one. :) Just wanted to update everyone on Jeff's testing to enroll in the Police Academy. He went in for the 1 1/2 mile run & passed easily. He did the push-ups without any problems & for some reason was not able to do all the 28 sit-ups that were required. He had practiced at home & did 28 without any problems. But, when he got there, he was very disappointed that he missed passing the physical portion by 3 sit-ups. However, he passed the written test!!! YEAH!! (He will find out his score in the mail.)

The next step from here is for Jeff to try out again next month. He has to do the entire run & push-ups again along with the sit-ups. We're crossing our fingers that he makes it this time.

Say a few prayers for him.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

My husband - the Police Officer?!?

It's official! Jeff got the invitation in the mail. After filling out the application and having it screened, the DPS has invited Jeff to come try out for being a Police Officer. He will go in for his evaluation on June 12th at 6 a.m!! BRIGHT & EARLY!! He will run a mile & a 1/2, a 300m dash, the obstacle course, a vertical jump, do timed sit-ups, push-ups & then go through all kinds of tests & evaluations.

How do I feel??! Good question!! I've never had a Police Officer for a husband, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. I DO know that Jeff has been wanting to do this for over 9 yrs. I thought that perhaps the idea of being a Police Officer would go away, but it only became stronger. So, I decided this must REALLY be something he wants. And, I'm excited for him!! I told him to follow his dreams. We'll keep you posted on how it goes. :)

Before & After

I've had lots of requests of people who wanted to see these pictures - so I'm going to post them here for everyone!! The first picture was taken in July of 2005. The second was 1 yr. later. (My daughter took the picture & told me to pose & I did!!) I lost a total of 75 lbs. And since then I gained 4, lost 5, gained 3 & lost 4 & then gained 5 again. But who's counting anyway?!?! I'm feeling good & have kept the majority off for a whole year. YEAH!! I'd like to lose another 25, but I'd be fine if I stayed right here for the rest of my life.
I still love chocolate & eat junk now & then. I love to have fun & am always up for a good meal. But, those are on rare occasions - like when I'm around all of you. So, if you see me chowing me & want to know where I hold it all, just know it must be a very special occasion!! NO, REALLY!!


Okay, so my birthday is next month. :) I'll be OLD!! (Closer to 40 then 30!!!) I've been trying to decide what I want for dinner that night. (You know it's all about the food, right?) Now you may be asking yourself - "What does your birthday have to do with the nasty picture on the right?"
This picture is actually a cake!!!! HA!! Don't you just love it?!? It's a chocolate cake made with crumbled cookies & rolled Tootsie rolls on top. Wouldn't it be a hoot if I made this & served it to my kids for dessert?! They'd think I need to check myself in to the nearest Looney Bin! Anyone want the recipe?!?!?

Mom, I'm tired!

A picture tells 1,000 words! While eating lunch, Briannas head kept falling over & she seemed to be moving real slowly. I asked if she was tired & her firm response was - "NO!" So, I turned around to get her a drink. It took me all of 15 seconds. When I turned back around with a glass of milk, this is what I found!!

I guess NO must mean YES!!

And they said I couldn't sew!

So, this is a bag. I really cute bag - don't you think? I didn't buy it at Target. It isn't something you can get at the Clearance Section in Macy's. This is a very RARE bag. It's worth more then I can even tell you. That's because this bag is something I MADE!!! (Okay, get back up off the floor & snap your jaw shut!) I really did make this. REALLY!! ..........No, I'm serious here.
I've never been known for my sewing skills. I have lots of talents & sewing just doesn't happen to be on the list. :) However, I took Home Ec in High School & passed with an A+!!! I still couldn't tell you exactly how I made the shorts, dress, shirt & blanket that I brought home from the class. The teacher just kinda liked me so she pretty much helped me with everything by telling me what to do!! I obeyed & the clothes turned out BEAUTIFUL!!
My very, very wonderful cousin Sara Bennion helped me make this. )And, she will probably never help me again after this. HA!) I think she realized that night that when I said I don't know how to sew - I WAS SERIOUS!! However, Sara was very patient & the purse actually turned out pretty dang good. I think I may even use it. IMAGINE THAT!! Thanks Sara!

The Price is Right!

Here we are!! 2 weeks ago my mother, 8 sisters & I all traveled together in a big 15 passenger van to go to The Price is Right!! This picture was taken immediately after we left the show. We're not bad lookin' for having to get up at 3:30 am that morning & getting zero sleep after hanging out on the street corner. (YES, we actually did that!!) Our shirts say - "My Mom Loves Bob!" And of course, my mother couldn't have the same shirt, so hers said - "I'm the Mom that Loves Bob!" We had a blast. We got to sing for Bob Barker & he even introduced us on TV as a very special family. We got to stand up & wave!! It aired on May 25th. My mom got an autographed picture of Bob Barker that she hung on the wall right next to a picture of Dad. (Oh, just joking!!) We are STARS!! Any of us will be happy to sign autographs if you want one. :)

I couldn't post this picture & tell you about our Price is Right experience without telling you a funny story. (Yes, you know me - always got a story to tell!) As we were walking into the waiting area for the Price is Right one of the workers was reading all of our shirts as we passed by & counting how many of us there were. My Mom was the last to enter & he leaned over to her & said - "Are all these girls yours?!?" My very prim & proper Mother answered - "Yes, they are." Then she paused & said - "I guess I never got spayed or neutered!" HA!!!! HA!!!! For those who don't know, Bob Barker announces at the end of every show to help control the Pet Population by spay or neutering your pets. So, there you have it. This will go down in my Mom's history right along with her Michael Jackson dance she performed at the Family Reunion.

Can I just tell you how much I LOVE my sisters!! This pictures tells more then just cute t-shirts & tired grins. It shows a family of girls who will do any for each other. It's tells of a mother who sacrificed more then we even know for the sake of her family! When I see all of us together, I think of what it will be like it Heaven. Complete JOY!! The only thing missing is our cute brother.

Welcome to our on-line Family Journal!

It's new! It's exciting!! It's my on-line Family Journal!! (And the crowd cheers!!)

Okay, so maybe you're not as excited about this new journal as much as I am. :) But, this will benefit you as much as it will ME!! This on-line journal will help me keep in contact with all my friends & family. And, as most you all know - this Shephard Family isn't very good at keeping in contact with friends & family. Those who live close to us see us regularly & know our happenings, but if you live quite a ways a way - you probably forgot what we looked like!!! Well, you're in luck because I added our most recent family picture. Just to jog some of your memories - I am the woman on the left. My name is Diane. (yep, that's me!) Jeff is the handsome guy on the right holding a cute curly haired Brianna. (Who just turned 3 yrs. old last week) McKenna is our 11 yr. old in the middle & Cameron is the happy 9 yr. old boy with the big grin in front. Are we starting to look familiar to you now?!?!?!

As interesting things happen in our lives, I will post it on here & send it out to all of you! Sounds pretty cool - doesn't it? I will attach pictures, tell stories, & post happening of the children & generally anything I feel like posting that happens to our family! Just a little warning - some of it may be a little crazy! Are you up for it?!?!?
Diane & the Silly Shephards