Welcome to our blog. Thank you for taking the time to come learn more about us. I hope you can get a feeling for who we are.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Did you know my Instagram account is an open account? Find and follow me @luckypandamama to see quick updates to our days and see how Panda and I spend our time. I’ll still post here, but I feel like the more the better, right?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


A couple weekends ago I spent Friday evening and most of Saturday with two long time friends at the Time Out for Women in Sandy. It was great.
 This was taken while everyone had their phones lit up and waving to Nathan Pacheco singing. I love his music.
 Grabbed a picture with my two friends. There were so many inspiration messages shared. I felt fed in a way that I desperately needed.

We got Panda a big boy bed! And he "helped" put it together. He actually was kind of helpful. I find that letting him help is a way to teach, rather than telling him no and having him in my way all the time. He is my partner in all I do every day. He loves to be helpful.
He posed for this. It is so hard for him to stay in bed. We have the baby gate up so he can't get out of his room. I hope he gets better quickly.
When I went to Ikea to buy his bed, I found this swing. Daniel put tings in the beams on the ceiling of the toy room, hooked up the swing, and we now have the funnest play room ever. Panda loves it. He does it on his own too. But this picture is to show you that I do more than hide behind the phone camera.

During Stake Conference he needed to run off some energy so Daniel took him outside and he found these leaves for me.
Such a thoughtful boy. 😂
He's been quite silly lately. His energy is giving us a run for our money. I didn't take a picture of Thanksgiving, but it was fun. We spent it with Daniel's parents and Panda loved playing with the cousins.

Then on Saturday the 25th, we had the annual Hellewell Christmas party. Grandma Hellewell (GH) will be 99 in January. This year there were over 200 people in attendance. All related to her. She has 10 children, 51 grandchildren, and I think she's up to 118 great-grandchildren. Panda was number 105.They had the most wonderful Santa and Mrs. Claus. Panda was not shy at all. He is a people person.

Look at his grin. I just love this kiddo.

Are you ready for December? I am. I have an advent calendar and it will be filled with an activity a day to do with Panda. I will post more about that while we're doing it.

Then my sister comes to town with her little on Dec 13! I am so excited to see her and her baby!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Am I caught up yet?

In October, Caroline and I took the kids (I say kids because she has 3) down to This is the Place State Park for the "Little Haunts" they do at Halloween. The boys had a blast. Another friend joined us and the kids were loving all the candy from the trick or treating. We rode the train a few times (Panda's favorite) and Panda did well despite his cast. (It was on from Sept. 30-Oct, 23, just in case you are getting confused about the time line! )

Cutest little Harry Potter!

He is pretty good at selfies. This was when his cast was getting taken off. He was very intrigued by the saw that cut the cast.

At the end of October Daniel and I had the chance to help with a service project for his work. It was great. It was kind of a date night. I love doing things to serve. I never feel to happy as when I get to help others.

My dad used to put his ties around his head occasionally and be silly. I couldn't resist this. My dad may have passed away, but he is still with us and I want Panda to know things about his Grandpa Joe and why my dad is so special to me.

My dad is third from the left.

Daniel and his Maggie puppy he got for father's day. She great, but silly. She's a clumsy, ditzy dog. But she is sweet and she will calm down with age. This is when she thought she was in trouble. Which she generally is.

Monday, November 20, 2017

More catch up!

I love being busy with my little guy. Time goes so swiftly and building memories is the best way to spend the time.

By the time the cast was cut off, he had collected quite a few signatures of people who loved him.

His first bath after the cast removed. We were both happy about that!

 Our almost 11 yr old Lacy dog is the best dog in the world. She and Panda are best friends. He loves to snuggle her while watching TV.

Sweet little Panda sleeps with his arms behind his head. It is too cute.

We were stopped somewhere that Daniel just ran in and left us in the car. Panda was pretending he was asleep. I started talking pictures and this is the series.  

He is so fun.

Friday, November 17, 2017


I am making the decision that journaling about and growing my family is my priority these days. Sometimes I get distracted. Especially around the holidays.

I love Halloween. I threw a spectactular (forgive me tooting my own horn) Halloween party this year. I made costumes for all of us. (But forgot to get a family picture!) We had friends over and had some awesome food, fantastic games, and some really good laughs. I also do Plexus. I've been trying to grow that as a business. It's a good company and I love the products. But I realized after all of this that I am also trying to raise a little boy, add another baby to our family, take care of my house, and get healthier. That's a lot on my plate. So I have taken my fingers out of some of the pies. I will be focusing on my son and growing our family. Part of that is taking care of myself, but I want to put my family first.

Now that the serious info is over. Here is a sum up of some of our recent activities and shenanigans!

 We loved viewing the 97% eclipse from our front porch. Whoever had the idea to put the paper plate with the glasses for the kids was brilliant. It protected his eyes. I know he won't remember this, but I am also building memories for me and this was a good one.

We got a membership to the local aquarium and he loves to go feed the sharks and manta-rays. It's so close and I don't ever feel like we have to stay for a long time to get our money's worth. We can always come back later. It's been a good activity for us.

September was wonderful! The weather was cooler and we went to Idaho! I have family in the Idaho side of the Teton Valley. We went fishing. I caught one. They sure are tasty.

 Panda basically ate skittles the whole time. My uncle started calling him "Skittles."

 Then Daniel's work had their work party at Lagoon. This was his favorite ride. I think he rode it three times. He basically got to drive his own car!
 One of our good friends also works for Lifetime and was there with his family. Their son is just a few months older that Panda and also adopted. They are best buds. The dads crammed into the little kids ride with the boys in front of them. Their safety was not guaranteed! They all loved it.

 He sleeps with a small herd. He truly loves pandas. I think we are up to 13 now.
 We got to take Dad to the aquarium one day and had a fun family date afternoon. I think it is important for us to do things as a family when possible.

 The boys at the zoo. We had planned to leave town, but our destination was expecting snow and 4 wheeling in the snow is not a great idea. So we did the zoo instead. The boys had a blast.

Then the dog tripped him down the stairs. He spent three weeks in the cast for a broken foot. He was a trooper and didn't let is slow him down at all. It took a few weeks for him to walk normally again after it was removed, but he is back to himself these days and running like nothing happened.

Friday, July 28, 2017

More July Adventures!

The last Sunday my sister was in town we had all the family that lives nearby over to my grandparents to meet her son Peter and have ice cream.These were the littles there.

Top center clockwise: Panda, Liam & Kinley (siblings), James, and Peter. The three babies are 12 weeks apart - Peter, then 6 weeks later Liam, then 6 weeks later James. We joke that Liam should have been named John.

The Zoo!

My friend Megan, and Plexus mentor, has a pass to the zoo. We've been friends for over 2 years but have never actually met in person. So we met up with our little ones and had so much fun at the zoo. 
 I think that drinking fountain has been there fore 50 years. 
We were at the right spot before the Elephant show and we got to see and play with some African instruments. Panda loved it. 

Then we got a special treat. We got to feed the Giraffes. It was pretty fun. 
Panda loved it.  That is definitely something we will do again. 

Then, of course, the train. His favorite. 
We'll have to ride the Heber Creeper sometime soon. I'm sure he'll love it. 

 We decided to go out to dinner and he loved the fried pickles. But he loves pickles anyway, so that was a given. Then dip them in ranch? He was in heaven.
Last Friday I decided we needed a treat. I asked him what kind of cookie he wanted and he said "A Big one." So he got a big one. 

We are now working on potty training! Eek! Wish us luck! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Busy busy!

I am trying to make summer for us. Especially little Panda. Here's a little bit of what we've been up do lately.

Someone wanted cupcakes and Mom and Dad were not fast enough in meeting his demands.


While my sister was in town we made it up to Bear Lake for a few days
 This boy wanted to spend nearly the whole time on the swings. He loves swings and slides. Hopefully next summer we have our own swings and slide.
 If he wasn't swinging or sliding, he was running. So much energy! He just goes, goes, goes!
 And then crashes.
 And crashes.

It was a great getaway with family, We sure love being up at the lake. We have no schedule and just laze around all day.

A few other family pics:
 We clean up nicely.

 But we still have our goofy side!

The girls and the grandsons. We're slow to grow, but we're gens when we do!

 We went to the aquarium again (we got an annual pass) and there was a mermaid. I could not get Panda to look away. He was smitten. His favorite movie is The Little Mermaid. And her top was pretty blingy.
Playing under the water. This is such a fun little aquarium. I'm glad we got a pass. It's 5 minutes from home and a great way to spend an hour or two with my little guy.

I'll post more soon!

I love keeping busy!!

What do you do to keep busy in the summer?

Want to know more? email us at danielashleyadopt@gmail.com

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Maybe I'll set a goal to post once a month!

Apparently I'm not super great at this regular posting thing. Here are a few of the things we've been up to over the last month.

 Helping with dishes. Panda is all about helping these days. Whether or not is actually helpful is a different matter!

Last month our home teacher came by with a mini-ex and tore out the stumps to some trees we had cut down last fall. Panda loved helping and riding. 


We have enjoyed the space this frees up, but we still have lots of work to do to get it to where we want it. 

Mother's Day was great. Nursery did these little hand prints for the moms. I love it. Such a sweet thing for the memory box.
And Daniel won with this print. I have loved and followed this artist for a while and he ordered me a large print of the Cinderella and Alice was thrown in as a bonus! I can't wait to frame it for my craft room. 

My library looks like something exploded, so I decided to re-organize and de-clutter. It was quite the project. I am mostly done now and just have the children's books to go through. 

 At the graduation party of one our Sunset neighbors. 

Then we went for a really big adventure and did Yellowstone for 3 days with Daniel's Sister April and her family. Panda did pretty well in the car and watched "The Little Mermaid" about 20 times.

 He was obsessed with taking pictures.But he dropped the camera, so he only got about 10. He dropped it again and now it works again. Lovely. 
 Old Faithful
 Riding in the pack with Dad while snuggling his new Buffalo, Frank.
 Looking out the window.
 We finally decided to let him walk a bit on his own. You just can't trust runners at Yellowstone!
Trying to keep the little boy out of the fire. 

 We went up to the Mantua poppies with Grandma Nedra and Papa Brent.
 He sure loves his grandparents.
 Another adventure day down in Salt Lake. We rode Trax and this boy was so excited to ride a real train!
 The boys running around Temple Square. I'm so glad they are buddies.

For Father's Day. 
I gave in. 
Daniel got a puppy.
 Her name is Maggie. She is a Lab/Llewellyn Setter mix.
 We are in love and are enjoying the puppy energy.
 Family play date. He and cousin Kinley had a blast and did really well together.
 My sister and two cousins all have baby boys this spring. James born May 17, Liam born April 8, and Peter (my sister's boy) born February 26.
 Playing in the buckets!

Our most recent adventure with Ryan was the aquarium.
 Looking at the Jellyfish. 

Feeding the sharks! We got a one year membership to this aquarium, so we can go lots!

Then we have to keep up with distant family. We try to skype Great Grandma Arave in Virginia once a month. He sure has lots to say to her when we do. I love technology. 

We are headed up to Bear Lake with my family next week, so we'll have stuff to post when we get home. Summer is so fun with a toddler!