Grandpa Kenney

Today Grandpa Kenney is here.  If Grandpa Kenney is at the Miller Manor on a Saturday, this means some sort of new construction is happening and it is exciting all around.

Today Mr. Miller and Grandpa Kenney are constructing a new playhouse for the backyard, which will be a surprise for Stella’s upcoming birthday.  I am so excited I can barely contain myself!  The girls think Grandpa Kenney is building a shed, they will be so excited to find out I’ve been lying to them all day (I hope).

Mr. Miller and I dreamed about this day for a long time.  Having a little playhouse in our big backyard.  We have been dreaming of our kids having picnics, playing house, running away to this little piece of our property.  They will love it and I can’t wait.

While Grandpa Kenney builds away, I will be preparing my talk for the young women tomorrow, then I will prepare dinner – bean burritos with sauteéd bell peppers and onions, and vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches from Papa’s trees and blackberries for desert.  Yum!

I imagine many of you mothers are having a very similar Saturday.  Things to do, people to see, meals to prepare.  I hope you are all enjoying every ounce of it today.



sugar and spice

A bit of sugar to kick off our weekend…

A little of this:

A lot of this:

 Have a happy weekend!


moments like these

This week these topics have been lying heavy on my heart: making choices, simplifying, and spirituality.  During our travels, we see bits of the outside world and feel the pressure to do more, be different, be less peculiar.  Coming home, we made a straight priority list.

God first, our marriage, our children and home.  If those things are in a good place, everything else falls where it will.

I get feeling restless about everything that needs to be done.  Never ending laundry, meals on a non stop clean-up-start-over cycle, tending to the children.  Not to mention errand running, catching up with friends and having a life outside the home.  That is what gets me every time.  I know I have mentioned it a lot on this blog, but my favorite conference talk of the October 2014 session was by Elder Richard G. Scott.  He said this

“Do not let employment demands, sports, extracurricular activities, homework, or anything else become more important than that time you spend together at home with your family.”

I took that seriously.  It was exactly what I needed to hear at that time, and it has forever changed my perspective.  He went onto say,

“Peace will not come from the outside world, it will come from within your home.”

I have made that a personal mantra in my days as I line up my priorities and to-do lists.  I am finding that the more time I spend at home, the happier my little home is.  The happier my children are, the more fulfilled my heart is, the more put together and serene my house feels, the more welcomed Mr. Miller feels as he walks through our door just in time for supper.  Those days at home don’t come around very often – lists pile up.  But I need to prioritize these kinds of days.  I am trying to be more intentional about my errands and visits that require us to pack up and leave to disrupt our day.  When my oldest two girls were babies, just 1 and 2 years old, I almost never left the house.  It took a certain type of priority to take two toddlers out by myself.  I look back to those years being my happiest.  I loved that the highlight of our day is when Mr. Miller walked through our door, after a long day at home nesting, crafting, and learning to cook (ie: watching racheal ray on repeat in hopes our dinner that night would be edible!).  As our family has grown, the community and friends around us has grown, and the lists of things to take us outside of our home has also grown.  I cannot simply wait for quiet days at home to come – I must prioritize them.

I want to be the type of mother that is home when my children return from school.  I want to be the type of mother that keeps clean clothes folded in drawers (Oh Lord, please help me with that one!).  I want to be the type of mother that cooks meals and takes pride in a beautiful, cozy, and peaceful home.  This is not the kind of mother that is idolized in today’s world, but I believe it is the kind of mother that God hoped I would be when he sent me my precious children.

I must remove myself from the world’s expectations, and focus more solely on Heavenly expectations.  When I am making choices I have to justify, I feel icky, frustrated, and off balance.  But when I am making choices that I know are in-line with the way we want to live and raise our children, I feel peace and contentment in the deepest parts of myself.

Yesterday, dinner wasn’t quite ready when Mr. Miller arrived home from work.  As I worked on the finishing touches, I heard squeals and giggles coming from the living room.  I walked into all of my girls hurdled around the family’s breadwinner, dazed by his tricks and gadgets.  A sweet moment to my mothering soul that would not have been so if we had been rushing off to do this or that around town.


 As the school year is about to start (already??), I am making it my personal goal to be much more intentional about the things that take us away from home.  I want to have more of these moments, and less rushed, shuffled and scheduled moments.  Because “peace will not come from the outside world, it will come from within the home.”


world’s best meatloaf

Okay, I haven’t tested it on the whole world, but this meatloaf, my meatloaf, has been tested and proved to be satisfying to even the meatloaf loathers of my life.  It is the perfect mix of sweet and savory, moist and juicy.  It is a family pleaser from the daddy down to the baby.  It is quite possibly the only meal that no one in my family complains about.

I am going to try to share more of our family favorites.  Mostly because I want them documented here, but also so you can try them too and tell me if you love them. 😉 My meatloaf recipe I get asked for all the time from friends, so it was time for me to get it on here.

The best part about this recipe is that it is simple- I can always remember it off the top of my head- and I keep all of the ingredients on hand.

World’s Best Meatloaf:

1 lb ground beef
1 egg – beaten
1 small onion, chopped fine (or frozen chopped onion in a pinch!)
1 packet lipton onion soup mix
3/4 c. plain bread crumbs (I used progresso or panko)
3/4 c. cheese
3/4 c. milk
a little drizzle of Worcestershire

equal parts:
ketchup or BBQ sauce

Knead all ingredients together and form a loaf
Place loaf on greased baking sheet
Smother loaf with the glaze

 Bake at 350 for 1 hour

Once it’s done, slice it up and serve!

 Tonight I served it with our favorite steamed carrots.  A little sprinkle of dill is my trick.  My girls love them.


 Ta-da! An easy and delicious week-day meal.