Friday, June 03, 2022

Saturday, April 09, 2022

A Recap of My 30s

    I am turning the BIG 4-0 reeeally soon!  I can't believe it!  I have lived a blessed life and I'm grateful for all of it.  My life, my family, my friends, a great place to live, for staying curious, for learning new things, for being patient with myself and others... the list could go on and on.  

    I thought it would be fun for me to recap my 30s.   My 30s were awesome!  At 30, I won a photography contest and got to fly to Southern California to attend MeRa Koh's Confidence Workshop.  It was an amazing experience and I loved meeting such fun women and learned how to sharpen my photography skills.  When I was 31, my fourth and final baby was born at the tail end of that summer.  Good thing Julia was an easy-going baby because taking care of 4 little kids is no joke!  When I was still recovering from my C-section, Katie broke her leg on the trampoline!  A couple days later, I learned that I was suffering from a kidney stone!  I had to let others help me lots durning the next 8 days as I was not to push anything or lift anything heavier than my baby.  I had to have someone help me carry Katie to the potty and help get her ready and on the bus for preschool.  While Katie wore a cast, we had to send her off to the bus in an umbrella stroller...haha.  Anyway, as you can tell, this was an exhausting year for me.  Hmmm....what else do I remember?  At 37, I finally earned it... time to myself the kids were in school.  It's been glorious!  I for sure don't like to waste my me time, my free time, my freedom.  I've tried out lots of new things to fill my time while the kids are at school.  Some of my favorite things to do are workout, call my family and friends, go out to lunch, take myself to a midday movie at the theater, practice my photography and handlettering, study about entrepreurship, create and deliver surprise small gifts to friends, bake, etc.  

    I can't remember specific ages of when everything happened, but other things I'll remember about my 30s is that I had a handful of short-lived, part time jobs, subbing at Wee Friends Preschool, being an Preschool Aide for Heidi Tuddenham at Woodruff Elementary.  I've really come to love chalk art and handlettering.  I've had the opportunity to start up my own business, Lisa Kay Studios and teach over 300 students so far.  I'm super proud of myself for being brave last summer and approaching Wil Wood at his Love to Cook store about possibly teaching art classes in their kitchen.  At to my surprise, he said YES!  I taught the first class of their Girls Night Series in February.  I loved every second of teaching that evening.  One thing, that I've been doing for years, is going on dates with my kids, just one at a time.  It's so fun and we've created so many memories over the years.  Quality time is my love language.  I bought each of my kids a journal that they share with me.  We write notes back and forth to each other.  When we're done writing our note, we leave it on the other person's bed to discover.  It's been a fun tradition.  Tyler enjoys writing to me the most.

Welcoming Myself Back

  My youngest brother, Ryan and my dad occassionally tell me that they use to check my blog every single day.  I haven't been consistent at all on posting on this blog for the last several years.  Instagram has been my go-to for taking pictures on my cell phone.  With these phone pictures, I create a short, memorable caption, and post in on Instagram, which also automatically posts in my Chatbooks account.  I have been super dilligent at creating Chatbooks for over 10 years now.  I have quite the collection going... I think I now have 80-something books.  It brings me so much joy to have these Chatbooks that record our family stories over the years.  They are so much fun to look back on and reminise.    

    But I must say that there is something special about the process of typing out your thoughts on a blog.  It's actually kinda theraputic to me.  I don't treat blogging as a school assignment.  I don't stress about perfect grammar.  I find it enjoyable.  So here's to more blogging in my future.   

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Tyler's Sacrament Meeting Talk given in Dec. 2021

 Good Morning Brothers and Sisters,

     My name is Tyler and I have been asked to talk about why Christmas is so important.  Christmastime is a time where you gather with family and even friends to celebrate Jesus Christ's birth.  Christmas is a very busy season covered with Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, decorations, and lots more.  

A wise man once said, "The most amazing thing about Christmas is its relevance."  It is a holiday where you celebrate at home with people of all ages and lifts amazing moods in life.  Christmas is teaching about the Savior and "it is more of a blessing to us to give than to receive gifts." During Christmas morning in the holiday season try focusing your heart on Jesus Christ, Our Savior.  Christmas is just around the corner and it is easy to lose sight of the stable, the star and that sacred, silent night."  

The account of the first Christmas in the Book of Mormon helps us to learn and more fully understand that Jesus Christ is the "light with shineth in darkness" (D&C 10: 57-61).  In every season of our lives: in all of the circumstances we may encounter, and each challenge we may face, Jesus Christ is the light that dispels fear, provides assurance and direction, and endangers enduring peace and joy.  "Many of our most memorable and enduring Christmas traditions may include different kinds of lights, Christmas trees in our homes, candles on our tables, or our favorite treats.  The lights of every holiday season may remind us of Him who is our source of light," says Elder David A. Bednar.  There is no better time than now in this Christmas season to teach or to be taught of Jesus Christ.  It's time to give thanks to our Heavenly Father, our neighbors, ourselves, family, and friends.  

I know the church is true and that Joseph Smith  was a true prophet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am glad that we have a living prophet and apostles that leads and guides us today.  I am grateful for our bishopric and look forward to serving a mission.  Merry Christmas everyone!  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Youth Fireside Talk by Tyler given on 1/24/21

I have been asked to talk about a physical goal of mine.  Running has always been enjoyable for me ever since I was really little.  

Over the last couple of years, I have found that running races makes my daily training worth it.  Sometimes I train so hard that I get injured.  My running coach helps me know what to do specifically to get better.  

Even though I am not able to train in a group like I'd prefer, I am still training alone.  Fortunately, Covid has not prevented me from running races.  As a gift for my 12th birthday, my mom surprised me with a large runners medal display board.  I really like that it is a visual representation of my progress over the years.  Another tool that motivates me is my Garmin watch.  My watch tracks my mileage and many other things.  

I have had the opportunity to attend several local high school cross country meets this fall.  It is fun for me to cheer on my older friends in their races.  I can't wait to join them once I am in high school.  I am planning on training with a high school team this summer, since I'll finally be old enough.  

Having a physical goal makes me grateful for the health and strength that I have been blessed with.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

Monday, December 07, 2020


First of all I have to thank CodyPaige Photography for the great family picture! I just love the fall colors. Anyway, this year has certainly brought forth many challenges. We have increased our faith, our diligence, and our trust in our Savior. His plan is the best plan.

Tender mercies have brought us closer as a family this year. We're grateful for the opportunity we had to take a family trip to Southern Utah at the end of the summer. We had a blast and went on lots of adventures at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Good times!
Brian (15) is a sophomore and can't wait until his 16th birthday
to get his official driver's license. Just a 2.5 month wait!

Tyler will turn 13 at the end of December. He has had quite the growth spurt
this year and is now taller than me! This 7th grader's passion is
training and running local 5k races.

Katie (10) is in her last year of elementary school.
This 5th grader is still obsessed with elephants
and is working on growing her elephant collection.

Julia loved ringing in her 7th birthday with a parade just
for her outside of our front door. She loves to create art and
play an online math game called Prodigy.

Sam turned the big 4-0 in May. To celebrate, two of Sam's sisters came to visit.
We all went to Bear Lake and enjoyed the water and the yummy raspberry milkshakes.
Sam has been very fortunate to be able to go into work as usual
and continues to take good care of us. And as for me,
I worked as a preschool teacher's aide for a few months.
I no longer work outside my home, which is fine with me.
I have freedom to do whatever I'd like while the kids are at school. Life is good.

We wish all of you the best holiday season. We are so glad to have people like you that bless our lives. We'd love to hear back from as many of you as possible. Take care!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays 2017

December 2017

Dear Family & Friends -

We hope this holiday greeting finds you well.  The joy and magic of this season is very much alive
in our household.  It’s so fun to decorate the house, make treats for neighbors,
watch Christmas shows, and just enjoy each other’s company.  
We are well aware that the Lord has blessed us immensely this year.  
We are grateful for this wonderful life.

SAM - Husband, Father, 9th year with Juniper Systems as a Repair Technician, #1 Mr. Fix It Guy,
Loves to Netflix & Chill, has a Sweet Tooth, enjoys being Uncle Sam

LISA - Wife, Mother, 1st Counselor in Primary, Professional Photographer, Indecisive Home Decorator,
Early Afternoon Napper, Kettlebell Queen, Modern Calligrapher in Training   

BRIAN (12): Straight A 7th grader, Percussion Master, Mom’s Wednesday Morning Baker,
Resourceful Researcher, Engineer in Training, Ordained a Deacon at church

TYLER (9): Super Social 4th grader, Multiplication Facts Master, Creative Drawer,
Competitive Soccer Star, 1st Place 1 Mile Wildcat Runner for his grade (every year since kindergarten)  

KATIE (7): Best Writer in 2nd grade class, Thoughtful GIft Giver, Super Swimmer,
Biggest Fan of TMNT, Batman, & Wonder Woman, Quality Time and Snuggling are her favorite

JULIA (4): Youngest Student in Preschool Class, Starting to Read, Collects PEZ dispensers,
Colorful Artist, Cosmic Kid Yoga Girl, Aaron Richards is her best buddy

Thank you for all the love and support you show our family.  Take care!        Love, The Wards

Friday, December 01, 2017


 These four girls are great friends.
 These two pretty girls are sisters who live on our street.
Friends are fun!  
Check out all of the colorful details of their outfits 
they picked for themselves, right down to Julia's mismatched socks!  

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Katie use to love MIKEY the TMNT most.  
Mikey got loved to death (seriously, his leg fell off).  
 Katie spotted DONNIE, the pillow pet, in ShopKo this spring, and just had to have him.  
 Katie and DONNIE became fast friends.
 Katie takes Donnie with her whenever she can.
 This particular day, it was an extra special treat.
 One Saturday, I told Katie she could take Donnie to school for a BFF photo shoot.
 These two are inseparable.  
 Katie has told me on several occasions, "I want to MARRY DONNIE in the Logan Temple!"
 A stuffed animal as loved as Donnie would be so lucky.
 Too bad this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle can't provide everything for his biggest fan.
 I guess these two will just have to stick with being best buds!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Our Girls Love to Dance

 Last summer, Katie was super lucky to get to take ballet lessons for the first time.  
She sure loved getting all dressed up in her ballet clothes and attending class with a few other girls.  
Although Julia didn't take an official dance class, she was paying close attention to her big sister. 
 I'm sure Julia can't wait for her turn!

Olson Cousins

Last summer in July, our little family drove across Wyoming and down to Colorado to visit Jenny & Seth and their family as well as Aaron & Sarah and their family.  
I took several pictures with my phone, but the only time I whipped out my nice camera was right before we drove back home early one morning.  
 Sarah (6), Katie (6), Emma (4)
 Brian (11), Ben (8), Tyler (8)

Summer 2016

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Brian is 12!!!

Brian turned 12 back in February! He is such a helpful, obedient, smart, kind, handsome young man. 
We love him! These pictures are right before his first time entering the Logan Temple 
(and before he got his braces put on).

Katie's 7th Birthday!!!

Katie had a super fun 7th birthday party! 
They had a pizza party, made easy beaded bracelets, and played in our fun backyard. 
Thank you to all who came and for the great gifts!!!  Katie is still a big TMNT fan!