Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Main Event

My girls don't get up until 8. I know, I am blessed. So, we slowly rumbled out of bed on Christmas day. Thankfully the kids were patient while the adults tried to open their eyes. Of course staying up most of the night playing games and talking may have something to do with us being still asleep. The girls were so spoiled that got so many wonderful gifts. They would open a gift and want to play with it rather than moving on to the next gift. We had to put some gifts together, which took up most of the afternoon. McKayla said she got everything she wanted. Ariana just look overwhelmed by everything. We are so blessed to have loving family that spoil our kids. Even family that couldn't be here sent us money to buy special gifts for the kids. After we open gifts I tried to work on dinner. i was grouchy because I didn't get enough sleep and the food was not magically working for me. i normally can be a good cook, but it just wasn't happening. After was had something resembling Christmas dinner, we all took a nap. After the nap, I think I was a nicer person. I'm surprised someone didn't smack me with a piece of coal and tell me to straighten up. I love my family. We still stayed up late on the the 25th playing games and talking. We like games.

On Saturday My sister-in-law and husband cleaned the kitchen for me. I cooked breakfast and then my siblings left for Boise. It was so good to visit with them. They love playing with the kids and there are always a few laughs. My parents stayed until Monday. My kids loved having them stay. It has been hard for the kids to come down off a week of being fawned over and spoiled, but they are adjusting.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 24

This is the day that threw me off my cooking schedule. We woke up and had some fun in the morning. I was able to cook breakfast and we kind of lounged and visited for a bit. Then my sister-in-law and her family came over. The power went out at this point. So, we played some games and the cousins exchanged gifts. Then we went downstairs to roast marsh mellows in the dark and read Christmas stories and play another game. It was a lot of fun. The power came back on and then they left so that both families could prepare for another Christmas party. I remembered as soon as they left that we needed to do the Christmas story. I couldn't believe I had forgotten. We did read it later on that night to the girls.
Then we went over to our neighbors house. Santa came to visit and he brought toys for all of the kids. It was a lot of fun. Ariana wasn't too sure about the whole thing, but McKayla loved it. We were able to visit with friends and neighbors for a bit. Then we headed back over to our house. I need to put a late dinner together because my brother and his wife were coming up from SLC late that night and they would need some food. I made baked ziti and it was a hit. Yum.
We all went to bed much later than we should have, but it was so much fun! This is why I didn't bake my pie ahead of time. I also didn't make the appatizers a head of time. In fact, I simple didn't make half the menu for lack of oven space and time the next day. So, the feast wasen't glorious, but we had fun.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 23

So, I decided since there were no comments on teh pictures I left yesterday, that I would explain our Christmas day by day. On the 23 I got the house ready for guests. i thought my parents would be here early, but they didn't make it until late in teh afternoon. This turned out to be a good thing becasue my friend Karen came over and I was able to help her finish some blankets she was making. Who knew it could be so simple. I think I could maybe do that. Anyway, I had a great time visiting with Karen. Then my parents showed up and my kids got really hyper. McKayla has been practacing her cartwheel and she showed it off until she couldn't hold herself up anymore. (I will get a video up later.) Later that night my eldest brother Rob showed up and the girls went nuts. Ariana is especially attached to him. Maybe it is becasue he finds everthing she does cute and funny. He dosen't have steam coming out of his head on an hourly basis like I do. We had fun. My brother and I played air hockey and then my father and brother played some pool. It was fun to see my dad do a behind the back number. I just had to take a picture. We actully went to bed at a decent hour that night. Check back here for a report on our activities of the 24th.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Saving Money

So, my brother told me about this blog that a lot of his servers use down in Utah. It is called http://www.sheshopssmart.blogspot.com/. This blog is really amazing. It has a weekly meal plan built around the coupons. I used it last night and it worked pretty well. The plan this week was built around Smith's coupons. We saved about 25% on our shopping and we really got more than enough for the week. Also, we were able to save 10 cents per gallon of gas as well. The bill was a little higher than I am used to, but lately I have been out of meal ideas, so the blog helps with that as well. You can also choose whatever store you want to shop at and it will bring up the coupons for that store. I love it and I wanted to share with you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So Simple, Yet So Cute


So, I saw this great idea that I have been using on every scrapbook page and Christmas tag that I make. Yep, I went a little crazy, but I have to share.

This idea requires you to cut a shape or something out of your piece of paper. This can be done with punches, using the cricut, or using your scissors making snowflakes. Next, you get some clear packing tape and put it on the back of your paper with the sticky side facing the front. Now, the fun part, get some glitter, the finer the better. Sprinkle it on the tape you have a great sparkly look. See the above Christmas tag that I am going to put on the goodies I am giving to my neighbors.

For this project I used my cricut to cut out a snowflake card. Then I ran it through my cuddle bug to emboss it. Then I did my tape trick. And there it is all cute and stuff. Have fun!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

So am of right now the tempature says it is 8 degrees but it feels like -7 below zero. That is very cold. Chad's car has been broken for a while, so I had to bunddle everyone up to take him to work. Normally I don't mind, but this morning I just wanted to stay inside where it was warm. The roads were a little slick, but not too bad. Everyone seemed to be driving nice and slow. So what do I do when it is so cold outside? i made a toasty fire int he fireplace and scrapbook while the kids watch a movie in teh same room. Goodbye outside world. We will come out when the tempature gets abouve 20 degrees.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Silly Girls

So I wanted to share with you some of the humor that goes on at my house. First, Ariana brings me a diaper this morning. Her jammies are unzipped. She takes my hand and leads me to her room to be changed. I told her that I would get right on that problem. She cracks me up.

Then, McKayla comes to me wanting to wear a dress that she has already worn this week asking if she could wear it again. I told her to choose something different. So, she comes back a few minutes later telling me "I can't get it open." I ask her what she couldn't get open. She replies "My closet door." I then reminder her, "You don't have closet doors." She looked a little sheepish and said, "oh yea". That made me laugh so hard. She did finally choose something to wear for the day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yea Mom

So, the other night Ariana and I were hanging out in my bed playing and laughing. She starting to jabber and I thought she was talking nonsense. Then I started to listen and I noticed that she was singing. She was singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" I started to sing with her and she clapped her hands and said "Yea Mama". She is so proud that I finally figured out how to sing with her. Chad and I wondered how long she had been trying to sing with us, and we haven't been paying attention. I'm glad she is proud of me. Silly little girl!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Defence

To answer Sherri's question, we decided to do something special this year since we were not going to put up all of our trees and get out our breakable Christmas decor. We got a permit from the chamber of commence and we went with some friends to cut down a little tree. So, for the first and only time, we have a real tree in the house. we put a few decorations up and no lights. it's not as pretty as out normal lights, but we thought it was the best idea.

Now for my defence...I am so paranoid that my kid will become THOSE kids. You know the ones I am talking about. The really obnoxious kids that no one likes to be around. They are very busy and active. They are fun and can get into mischief, but they aren't brats. They do not tantrum in stores when they want something. They ask, but when they are told no they are pretty good. i worry so much that they will become so naughty. I want to have well grounded kids that understand things and are a joy to be around. I realize that I ma be a little harsh. So, I told McKayla that I was sorry for being mean and I took her out for chocolate ice cream. I also found some great stocking stuffers that both kids will like. I am forgiven?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Christmas Spirit and Tears

McKayla is at the age that everything revolves around her. She is very excited about Christmas. She keeps asking me if she can have every toy she sees. I tell her no. She just smiled and told my that it was okay because Santa would bring it to her. I told her that Santa would bring her 1 or 2 toys. Nothing more. Then I tried to explain about the real meaning of Christmas. I told her that it was about family and celebrating Jesus' birth. She kept saying it was a little bit about presents. I kept saying no. Then I told her that there were children who would get nothing for Christmas and that she should be grateful for what she would get. She didn't look convinced, so I asked if she were to receive no gifts, would she be mad and she said yes. I told her that was very selfish. Then she started to cry great big tears. Yes, I felt like the worse mother ever. Then I told her that Christmas can be a little bit about presents as long as she remembered the other stuff too. She said okay, but still she was crying. Then I reassured her that she was getting presents. She felt better after that. I guess the true meaning will come later. She likes the countdown stuff and the decorations. Tomorrow I will put up a slide show of decorating and getting the tree.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baked Ziti

This is a delicious recipe. It is super easy and so yummy!

2 medium cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
3 tb of olive oil
2 tbs basil leaves
Salt
1 pound ziti or other tubular pasta
8 oz mozzarella shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tbs oil and the garlic in a medium saute pan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes; simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and salt to taste.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tb salt and the pasta. Cook until almost al dente but still a little firm to the bite. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot with the reserved liquid. Stir in the tomato sauce.

Brush a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with the remaining tb oil. Pour half the pasta into the dish. Sprinkle with half the the mozzarella and half and half the Parmesan cheese. Pour the remaining pasta into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake until the cheese golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Update

Yea for me! The dr said that he wants to hold off on surgery becasue the gall bladder is not causing a lot of pain. I hope it stays that way. So even though we know it's not working, he dosen't want to take it out until it gets worse. Maybe I can make it through the holidays.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sick

I thought I had better write a post talking about my health since I have hinted at it here and there. I have been not feeling very well lately. I went to the doctor a month ago. I had many test run and that is when I found out that I was hyper glycemic. I still haven't been feeling great, but I was trying to listen to the diet doctor. Then on Wednesday morning about 2:00 am I woke up with a really bad stomach ache. It hurt and I didn't know what to do. I went to the bathroom and ended up passing out from the pain. After that, Chad took me to the emergency room. I was there from 3 am until about 8 am. They discharged me after running lots of test. They told me to come back in 24 hours to run 2 more tests. I went back and they did an ultra sound on my gall bladder. Nothing looked wrong there. Then they did another test that the put radio active dye into my blood stream and then watch the function of my gall bladder for 1.5 hours. It was discovered that my gall bladder is functioning at 7%. I guess I should be in constant pain, but really I just feel slightly uncomfortable. Anyway, I am scheduled to see a surgeon on Monday. From there we will schedule surgery to remove my gall bladder. By the time this is done, I won't be able to eat anything. I can't have sugary stuff and I need to be careful about my carb intake with my hyper glycemic. Now I can't have fatty foods because of my gall bladder. Oh well, I can make myself follow the rules and be healthy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Reconstruction day 2 looks a lot like day one. I finished painting all 4 walls. Then I took down the blinds. Then we went to the store to buy the rest of the items. Then we went to my sister-in-laws to borrow some tools. I am so grateful for family. My sister-in-law ans her family rock. We are so grateful that they live so close. Hopefully today I will get more done.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reconstruction-Day 1

Day one of reconstruction. I will post what we finish every day. I hope it looks good by the end. I think I will put together a slide show of the progress as the last day. However, I don't have any pictures of the picking out paint, or pondering over trim at the store. I'm sure you can use your imagination.

Thursday, November 5, 2009



My favorite time of the day is morning. I lay in bed waiting for my dear children to wake up. This is why I can't seem to get up and exercises in the morning. It is not worth throwing over our mornings. First, Ariana wakes up and needs a drink and Chad gets up with her to get it. Then he slips her into my arms between us. She lays there staring at us and talking. She pats us and we simply snuggle. Then McKayla will wake up and she loves to come into the pile. She come to my other side and tells me all about what she dreamed about and how her night was. It is a special time when the girls are calm and love abounds with in our home. This morning Ariana was naming our famiy: Nanana, Mama, Daddaddad, and Kaka. McKayla wanted to know why Ariana called her yucky. I couldn't help but laugh. I tried to explain that Ariana needed some more time before she could say our names well. She was in no was insulting McKayla.

This week McKayla has been learning about horses and the wild west in school. Today she was suppose to dress up as a cowgirl. Thankfully my mother-in-law had some cowboy dress up cloths. We sent McKayla off to school looking great. We didn't have a hat for her, so she improvised by wearing the sombrero that my brother and his wife brought her back from Mexico. It looked pretty good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Movies and Books

When my children were born I came up with a nickname from a children's book that I thought suited them. In both cases it has. McKayla was my Wild Thing from the story Where the Wild Things Are. I have read this book to her since she was born. She Can be wild, but has now grown more social. Ariana was deemed Caterpillar from the book The Very Hungary Caterpillar. This too has deemed to be true. She love to snack and have whatever you are having. Despite her tiny size, she really can eat.

Imagine my pleasure when I learned that McKayla's book had been turned into a movie. I thought it was wonderful. We were both very excited about going to see it. McKayla saved up all of her money to go see it on the big screen. Lucky for us, Chad had free tickets from work and they didn't charge us for the girls. So we went last night in great anticipation. McKayla noted that the movie was not quite it. And in fact she was correct. It followed the book, but took the simple story into complex twist and psyche. There were many levels of mental awareness and understanding that went on in the movie. Really, it went from a fun, imaginative book, to child learning to cope with the changes of life movie. McKayla still said that she liked it, but I don't believe it is one that we will choose to own.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

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Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm Back

So I spend Friday and Saturday scrapbooking. I was able to complete 40 pages and make 34 cards. I could have done some more, but became a little tired due to lack of sleep. I slept most of yesterday to catch up. i am so grateful to my family for allowing me the opportunity to go have fun. For 2 days I didn't have to worry about taking care of anyone or cooking or cleaning. Today I am ready to step back into that role. It was an amazing vacation from life that I really needed before the holidays. This week is going to spook-tacular.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dark Before The Dawn

Gloomy sounding title, I know. I am going away this weekend. Well, not away from my town, but away from the family. I am going to a scrapbook convention and I will be there until Sunday morning. I am going to finish all of my pictures and get my Christmas cards done so that I can be all caught up when the holidays hit. I love scrapbooks and recording our life as a family. However, last night my little Ariana woke up about 1 in the morning screaming. I took her to my bed and she settled right down clutching her father and I. Then at 2 she woke us by by throwing up. While Chad gave her a bath, I changed the sheets on the bed and we all went back to sleep with a bowl in the bed by Ariana. Then at 4 she woke up again. Thankfully she did not need a bath this time and the sheets survived. She does not have a fever and is still her silly self. She is a bit demanding, but I don't know if that is her age or tummy. Thankfully Chad is on duty starting at 2 this afternoon and I am off to play. I am so grateful that she is not really ill and I am so grateful that my husband is capable and confident enough to take care of her while I go play. I pray that this will not pass on to anyone else in the family and that it does not turn into something more serious.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Painted

Yesterday McKayla painted a small pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. I thought I had put the paints in a safe spot, but Ariana managed to finger paint her face a neck and cloths. I didn't get a picture because I didn't want her to touch anything. However, I thought she looked pretty good green.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Greatful

I was looking through my journal from this time last year. I remember feeling so isolated and alone. I remember having a new baby and tons of yard work to do. I look back and I relize how many wonderful friends have come into my life. I relize that I have gotten to know those in my neighborhood better and I have found new friends from facebook. I have also gotten to know family better. Little chats, smiles, and waves really make my day. It is wonderful feel more connected and to know I have people I can talk to. My husband is still gone a lot due to school. I still have a ton of yard work to do. I still have two small children that seem to be mischevious. But Life has changed since then, we have grown and reached out more. I am so very blessed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nails

I had a quick idea that I thought I would share. When my oldest daughter was about 1 I noticed that I never cut her nails. They were very short and jagged. I accused (falsely) the daycare. Then I saw her chewing her nails. I was stunned. Really? At age 1? So I started a tradition that we have been doing ever since. Every Monday I take the time to do nails. We trim, file and paint all of our nails. It makes it easier to remember when I do it the same every week and I also make sure that I take the time to do mine as well. It is some fun girl time and it helps us all have clean, nice looking nails. Even if you have boys, you can trim their nails and then treat yourself. It is just a silly thought that I wanted to share.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Fun part 2

I know I already posted a video, but I wanted to write some commentary about what has been going on. Yesterday was a day of first for us. It was Ariana's first day of nursery. In our church the children stay with their parents until they are 18 months old, then they go to their own classes for the last 2 hours of church. Ariana had a hard time with transitions from playing to singing to lesson. She was happy when they were able to play and she loved the snacks. She is so big. At times my heart grieves to know that While it is her firsts as a child I am leaving behind lasts in motherhood. I won't have a newborn to snuggle with. I won't sit up at night and feel a baby growing inside of me. I will never have a baby with me during all my church meetings. But I am so grateful for what I have. I love my 2 wonderful daughters and I embrace each stage they are in. That brings me to my oldest daughter McKayla's first yesterday. She was able to participate in her first primary program. She sang songs and said her line loud and clear. She did a great job. i can't believe how big she is getting. At times I just want to keep her my small girl. Yesterday was also Chad's first day as choir director for church. Only 5 people showed up, but he is hopeful. He loves music and can sing very well. I know he will do great. I love that there is growth and first in every season of every year. Life is kind of like a present waiting to be opened up every day.

Fall Fun

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Oct 09
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Friday, October 16, 2009

We're Good Right?

So, if McKayla was exposed on Tuesday and she is still not showing any signs of illness, we are good right? After canceling all of the plans I had this weekend, I think I am going to get them going again. (Please forgive me good friend.) Plus, I need to really made the invites and plan for the Halloween party and get the costumes figured out. Anyone know where I can find red footie jammies in 4T and 12 months? I think since Chad is going to be the cat he should wear black footie jammies. I'm still at a blank as to what I should be. I really want to be the fish. I may be able to find orange footie jammies and paint my face orange and spray my hair. Maybe I could use tissue paper for some fins? I don't know. Halloween is coming fast. Look out world, things are going to get crazy really soon!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Swine Flu

Yes we are all under quarantine until further notice. None of us is feeling ill. We are all healthy, but we could be contaminated. McKayla went to preschool on Tuesday with a carrier of the virus. The little girl didn't know until Wednesday. The preschool teacher called today and cancelled the field trip to the pumpkin patch and warned all of the parents. I'm a little upset. I really don't want anyone to be sick around here, but now what can I do? We've been exposed and now we have sit back and wait. In the meantime I am going to be jumping at every cough and sniff. I love Clorox Wipes, I will be using them constantly. Here's to staying home and cleaning like mad.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cancelation Fee

Have you seen those signs in doctors offices that explain their cancellation fee? The ones that say that if you do not give 24 hour notice when you cancel you will be charge $25. I understand those signs. I really do. It's rude to skip appointments and the doctors want to ensure that people will be there. Now, have you seen the signs about being late? The ones that say that if you are more than 10 minutes late, you will be charged the $25 cancellation fee and your appointment will have to be rescheduled? I even understand these signs. People should be prompt when attending to appointments. However, i wish that I could have a sign that states if the doctor fails to see me within 20 minutes of my appointment, I reserve the right to charge them $25 cancellation fee. Wouldn't that be wonderful? It would help doctors learn to schedule better. Of course, I think each doctor should spend adequate time with each patient. Sometimes I simply feel like you aren't even really "seen" by the doctor. They just come in and leave as quickly as possible. So, doctors need to schedule more time in between appointments and stay on schedule or you get paid. What do you think?

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm Here

Really, I promise, I didn't disappear on you. I've just been busy. We ran out to my parents on Friday night to get some wood. We came back on Saturday and were able to go to the harvest fest. That we pretty fun. Then I ran over to my friends and made some bead things. Whew. On Sunday we had church and then I helped Chad with some homework. Now it is Monday. My house is turned inside out the day has started and things might get back to normal around here. Well, normal for us anyway. I started a fire this morning in the fireplace. It feels nice, but it is a little hot. I still need to get the hang of having the fire create heat, but not boil the downstairs. It's an art. However, at least I don't have to worry about heating downstairs for the rest of the day. All in all, life is good.

Friday, October 9, 2009

God Said

I really couldn't think of another title for this post. Really it's not irreverent, I promise. My family and I are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Common names are LDS or Mormons. Anyway, we are a very religious family and we have faith that our lives are in the hands of a loving Heavenly Father. Sometimes it's not easy having faith. I know this is true for members of any faith and the general population. We have trials! Some are big huge explosions that rip our world apart and others or small every day trials. It's the small everyday trials that I find wearing me down. Chad tries to do 4-6 hours of homework everyday on top of working full time. That leaves me with the house work, yard work and child care. Most days I think I have things under control, but some days I wonder why we are putting ourselves through this torture. My husband and I have come up with the saying "God Said!" Think of it in the tone that a child would use saying, "mom said". It's that all powerful thing to say to a sibling. To us this means that we are doing what we feel is right. We are encouraged to get an education. At some point, I too will go back to school and receive my Master's degree. We feel that I need to be home with the kids. I have nothing against daycare and those that use them. We just had some rotten luck with our oldest in daycare. She had a lot of problems that have gotten better since I started staying home with her. 5 years ago I would have never seen myself as a stay at home mother. Now I can't see myself doing anything else. Of course I miss the kids I worked with, my co-workers, and the parents, but my kids need me. There are times when I just want to run away and hide, but God Said. We find comfort that we are traveling the path that we need to. We are learning to find joy in the journey. It is tough and it always will be. We try not to focus on the future when things will magically get better, we know this will never really happen. Instead we focus on what is and placing one foot in front of the other.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good Cause

This is my wonderful husband Chad. Now I want you to look very closely at his feet.

Yes, he is wearing heels. My manly man is wearing women's shoes. You may be asking why is he doing this.
Here is why: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a fundraiser to help programs that help those victims of domestic violence.

All of these men choose to walk a mile in heels for a cause that they believe in.


This cause is very important to us because of a very good friend of ours. She was the victim of domestic violence and her story is amazing and scary because no one knew of her suffering. Even after she left, she had to fight for her freedom everyday. Domestic violence is something that happens more than we think. We need to be aware and if we suspect it, then we need to be willing to step forth and call the police. It may save lives.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stair Races

Yep, this kept them busy for 45 minutes. I hope they don't have bruises tomorrow.
videoI can't figure out how to turn the video. Sorry.

Name Change

I have decided to change my name. Not that I dislike my name, but it is out of necessity. "MOM" gets shouted way too much around here. And I think that McKayla has forgotten that my name is just mom. Usually it's Mom-Ariana. Such as "Mom, Ariana..." I'm sure you get the point. So, to cure this problem I have decided that I need to change my name into something much longer. Maybe 30 to 40 letters ought to do it. That way, by the time my kids finish saying my name, they will have forgotten what it was they were going to whine about. Of course this plan does have it's down side. Ariana can't sat a whole lot, so she would find the change most distressing. And I would miss the "Mom, I love you". Okay, so maybe I don't want to change my name, maybe I just want to hear in a sweet sound tune of happy girls. Hum...not sure that will work either because sometimes when they are happy their volume goes through the roof. Well, as I can find no solution at 6:00am perhaps I will later in the day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Information

I hate the hospital. I don't like the look or smell of it. Today I had to go to the hospital for some lab work. I remember the other thing I hate about hospitals-they make you go everywhere to end up where you were to begin with. Chad works at the hospital so I asked him what I should do. He said I'd better check with admissions first before heading to the lab. I went to admissions and waited for someone to help me. I finally noticed a lady eating and talking at a desk. She abruptly told me that I needed to check in. Huh? I thought that was what admissions was. Apparently not. Checking in meant you went to the front desk that says information. How could I have missed that? Of course you check in where it says information. Then the information people take your information and tell you to wait. Then they take you back to admissions to give them your information. See why it's is called information. Anyway, then admissions takes more information from you and has you sign your soul away for the visit. Then they tell you to follow the arrows to the lab. Upon arriving at the lab I wait some more while admissions shares my information with the lab. Then I proceed to get blood drawn numerous amounts of time. Then, I am allowed to come home wondering if I was better off before everyone started poking me and getting my information.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Snow

I'm not ready for winter yet. I love fall. I love cooler temperatures and wearing light jackets. I love watching the leaves change colors. I love going for walks with my kids and stomping the leaves. I love jumping in the leaves and having leaf wars. However, this year winter came. i have to wait a few day for the rain to clear up so that I can work in my garden. Even then it won't be above 60 degrees. Sigh. I simply wanted a few more weeks.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cold

So, the frost is here, the frost is here. We picked like crazy last night. We picked anything and everything. We have a lot of green tomatoes. I know that you can put them in the windowsill to ripen. Are there any other ways to ripen a lot of green tomatoes all at once so that I can can them? Anyway, I decided to bake some potatoes and having chili over them, but our oven decided to put on a fire work display. We were having problems with our element, and we thought we have fixed it without getting a new element. Not so much. Today it sparked and burned and then the element fell into 2 pieces. Hum...I guess I will go to the store and get an element. That's okay, no harm came to the potatoes or the oven. It will be easy to fix and something I can do. Since I will be stuck in the house for a little while before I can get outside and clean up the flower beds and put everything in the shed. Goodbye fall. It was nice to have for 1 week. I will miss you. This is my day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Apron

I have a new secret. I love wearing an apron while I cook. Shh. Don't tell too many people. At first I put one one because I was getting way too much food on my cloths, but now, I love it. Why does wearing an apron make me feel like a better cook? So I had an apron that I simply used for decoration in my old house, now I started cooking with it. Then, I saw this really cute black and white apron at a store and I bought it. I have 2 little aprons for the girls. But, I want more. I saw on a blog where this lady had a gardening apron that she could put her produce in as she picked it and then when it was full take it over to the bag or whatever to haul it home. This would be very convenient when there are three or four of us in the garden trying to pick at the same time, but we only brought 2 bags. However, I haven't seen these aprons anywhere. They looked like they just tied around the waist rather than the neck and the waist. I think if I had any sewing skills I could make one. So, what's a girl to do? Well, I will learn. My mother in law is a very talented lady. She can sew just about anything. I have taken this for granted and now she is a little busy to teach me how to sew. So, when she is done with her current task of being very busy, I am going to ask her to teach me how to make aprons and to make quilts (because my kids adore the quilts she made them). And any other project she is willing to teach me. That way I can pass it on to my kids and 3 generations down my posterity will all be master cooks and gardeners because they have aprons on.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall

Fall is a busy time of year. I have noticed that some of those projects that have been put on hold are coming the front. For example, we organized our wood pile and bundled all of the little sticks that for from our trees. Chad removed out air conditioner and helped clean up the patio. This week we will be getting the rest of the garden produce out of the garden. The temperatures are suppose to drop down to about 26 degrees her Wednesday night, and there is no recovering from that kind of frost. I will be canning everything that can be saved and organizing the rest. I will hopefully have time in the next couple of weeks to clean out the garden. I need to rip all of the good plants up and put them in our compost pile. Then I need to get rid of any weeds that might have grown up within the plants. Then The leaves will come. I will have to be mowing up leaves every other day so and putting them on the garden spot. Chad will have to till in all of the grass clippings and leaves into the garden so they can compost over the winter. Leaves are a chore in a whole different category. We have a lot of trees on our little property. We have enough leaves that if I didn't rake them up, they would be well over a foot deep. Good times. I love this time of year though. I love the crisp mornings and mild days. I love to see the colors change and squeezing out the last few minutes of fall and summer before the cold weather starts. I love decorating for the holidays and the anticipation of spending time with family. Hooray for fall.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In the Kitchen

I love cooking. Sadly, my waist does not. Being 4'10 I need very few calories to keep going, I just like to eat more calories,because they are yummy, and I am less cranky. Anyway, my parents came over last night because my mother was riding the shuttle to SLC at 2:00am. Yep, I got up and took her because my dad had to sub today. Anyway, I tried this new recipe out on them and it was pretty good. Give it a try!

Turkey or Chicken Casserole

6oz Stove top stuffing
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 C sour cream
2 to 3 cups of chicken or turkey

Mix stuffing according to package directions and cook.
Mix soup and sour cream in bowl.
In a 9 by 9 dish put 1/2 of the stuffing
Then add all of the chicken
Put sauce mix on top of Chicken
Finish off by adding the last of the stuffing
Put in oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes
Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yoga

Today I tried to do my old yoga video. Honestly, it was pretty fun. I have a head ache, but I think that is just from concentrating so hard. I liked it. I am noticing that getting up first ting and focusing on me and my health goes a long way. Soon the kids will be up and I love to see their smiling faces, but for now I am not needed. It is difficult to a mother. At times I wonder if those without children realize the responsibility and selflessness it requires to be a mother. I know I didn't. Even when I was working and being a mother, I didn't know how hard it would be to devote my entire day to my family. Chad has a tough job. He gets up at 6 with me and does homework for 2 hours. Then he gets ready for work. After work he does homework until 6 pm. Then he comes home and gives the girls 100% of his attention from 6-8. after that, he either does more homework or we relax with a movie. His day is packed. My day consist of taking care of everything so that he doesn't have to. I try to make our budget stretch, and the food stretch. I am in charge of organizing and keeping the family on track. I know some people may see this a a step back into the past where the man worked and the woman stayed home. I know that I once thought that I could never be a full-time stay at home mother. Now I know better. My husband I have equal parts in this relationship. He is responsible for taking care of our physical needs and giving emotional support. He is a cheerleader and supported when he can be. I am blessed to have a husband that jumps in and helps whenever and where it is needed. I, however, am there to see to the nurturing of the family. Physical nurturing in the way of making sure my kids eat good food and exercising. I also try to make sure they are dressed, bathed and clean little girls. Even if there is no proof of it by the end of the day. Emotional nurturing by talking through emotions and teaching my kids to be balanced individuals while helping them when trouble does arise. Mental nurturing by teaching my children. I teach by example, making them do things, reading to them, and trying to answer the many questions they have. Lastly, I am the constant rock. I know I may not always be the most popular, but I am Mom. I am there no matter what. Friens come and go, seasons pass, but I am noticing more and more that my kids need a solid rock these days, and it is my. Sorry for the apparent ramblings with no paragraph structure or organization. These are simply my thoughts.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Okay mental health update. i am doing so much better. I have implemented some of the trick I wrote about. I especially feel great when I get up early and exercise. I don't know why, but it fells great. this morning I was able to workout on my elliptical for an hour. It said I burn 736 calories, but I think it is high in it's estimation. Anyway, anther thing that I have been trying to do is reach our to others. I make myself come out of my shell and try to be nice to others. I have had the opportunity to try and be a better person and help other 2 this week. they were easy talk. All I did was tell the people I was thinking about them and say hi. I feel great about that. I'm sure as the day wears on my good feeling and patience will dwindle as well, but for now I am at peace.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cold

It was cold here last night. It is also going to be cold tonight. I tried to cover my garden. Okay, I confess, Chad covered the garden while I cooked dinner. I haven't gone to see the results. Do I dare look? However, what I cooked for dinner is perfect for fall. My garden my soon die and we may be buried in leaves for all of our trees, but I can start cooking winter dishes. Give it a try!

1 lb. ground beef
1.5 tsp salt divided
1/4 tsp pepper
4 med. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 med carrots peeled and cut into slices
1 lg onion chopped (or pureed if you are me)
1 C. ketchup
1 C. water
1.5 tsp vinegar
.5 tsp basil

In a bowl. Combine beef, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls. In skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs on all sides; drain. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in crock pot. Top with meatballs. Combine ketchup, water, vinegar,basil, and remaining salt and pepper. Pour over meatballs. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.

I love cold weather cooking. It makes the house smell good and it heats up the kitchen nicely too! What are some of your favorite recipes?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tips To Make Your Day Go Better

I've had people ask how I find time to grind my own wheat, can my produce, and fix all my meals from scratch. I decided to write down a few tips that I use to help me get things done.
1. Plan out your days and week. Know what days you are planning to can, because it will take up most of your day. Decided when weekly chores will be done and stick to it. By dividing the chores throughout the week, it helps the to-do list seem more manageable. I live by my planner. I can jot down thing I need to do and make sure I plan time for my girls. I find that I can keep doing chores all day and not take time to read to my kids or play a game with them. I also make sure that I schedule personal time for me to exercise or read.
2. Plan your meals. Have your breakfast lunch and dinner planned out by the week. You can always fill in with healthy snack and produce through the day. That way you can go to the store and only buy what you will need and not just buy items. You should also try to plan around what is on sell and what you already have. In season produce also is something to be aware of.
3. You might take note of what items you know you use a lot of, such as cream of chicken, then when Smith's or Albertsons has their case lot sale, you can stock up and save money. This is hard for me because we have a very tight budget, but if you can do it, it saves so much time and money. I also love using coupons. They can really save up. Even if you only save $2 a week using coupons, that adds up to $104 per year of savings. Another thing I have learned is that sometimes when items are on "sale" you really don't save money. Be aware of prices so you know when something is on sale.
4. Do food prep the night before. Look at your menu and figure out what you can do the day before. I love making my waffle/pancake mixes the night before and then I set them in the fridge, so all I have to do is cook them up in the morning. I don't use pancake mixes from the store, mine is 100% whole wheat and from scratch. Also, set your meat in the fridge to thaw. It is safer to thaw it this way. Cut up and veggies or fruits.
5. Find joy in what you are doing. At times it is overwhelming to be a parent. We are all doing the best we can. I know everyone has different situations and abilities. Some moms work and others stay home. Some have older kids while some have little kids. Do what you can and be proud of what you do. I know that I feel upset when I start comparing all the "should-haves". I am grateful that I am learning things as I go.

If you have any tips that help you please feel free to let me know.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Life

This post is not amusing or clever. Really it's a look into my weird mind. Nothing about the kids or any fun events, so you may want to skip it. Just a warning. About a year ago I because severely depressed. By this I mean I voluntarily went to the doctor and asked for a prescription. I hate the doctor and I hate taking medication. But, things were not well inside of my head. It was a very dark place. That prescription ran out about 3 weeks ago. I have not gone to the doctor to get it refilled. I am trying to monitor myself and see how I can fix thing naturally before resorting to medication. First, it's not really working because I am having a hard time doing what I need to do. My brain is become darker and darker every day. Also I am noticing that my temper is flaring up. I used to have a terrible temper, I wanted to fight with people. Doing judo and growing up has helped me a lot in this area, but I find I am slipping. I yell at drivers who are being dumb, but are of no threat to my vehicle, I snap at my children and husband. I mentally rip myself apart throughout the day. This all equals not good. So, just going off medication is not working. I have trying to put some things is place. They are writing in a journal. I try to write a blessing journal and an activity journal. I try to focus on the good things that happen that day, especially what fun things my kids say and do. I try to write down what I did during the day. I want my kids to know I canned for 5 hours at a time or that I worked in the garden for hours. I want them to know I work hard as a mother. I also try to note my emotional state and really define it. That is harder than one thinks. I won't allow myself to just say that I am sad. I have to state what is making me sad and why it could trigger those emotions. I have to play counselor with my thoughts and sometimes it is a real pain. I also pray more. I try to tell Heavenly Father what is going on ans I beg for help to be a better wife and mother. My family does not deserve to be living with a snarly monster. I am trying to exercise more. I want the happy endorphins that exercise releases into the brain. In doing this I realize how far out of shape I am. I used to love the feel of using my muscles. No matter how long I would go between workouts, exercising was fun. Now it is just plain hard work. I feel good that i do it, but I don't enjoy it in it's self. I am contemplating finding a martial art that I can do, hopefully judo to help with my anger and work out. I have also contemplated dance or yoga. Those things can be fun and maybe I can reverse my mind set. I am making myself go to bed by 10. Thanks to all of those that made good suggestions on that post. I woke up early today. I think all of these things will help. If not, I will go back to the doctor, but I am trying other alternatives first. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fudge

No, I'm not upset. I really wanted to pass along this fudge recipe. It is so quick and easy. I like it and the girls love it, so here it is.

3.5 Cups of chocolate chips
1 tsp of vanilla
1 can of condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt
Put in microwave for 1.5 min or until melted
Put in sprayed down pan and let cool. Yummy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wake Up Little Susie

My wonderful husband changed jobs about 3 weeks ago. We thought it was going to change a lot of things and it has, just not like we expected. My husband used to get off work at 11:30pm. Then we would watch a movie and hang out until 2:00am. Then we would get up between 8-9am. We knew this was bad. We both felt tired and rundown. Now he works from 9-4. We have really been working hard to go to bed before midnight and wake up at 6:00am. We are making slow progress. Chad can usually fall asleep before 11:00, but has a hard time waking up. I can usually get to bed before midnight, but then I'm up around 7:00. I want to get up early to get some exercising in before the kids wake up, it is so not happening. So we will struggle on to get our bodies used to a normal sleeping pattern. Has anyone faced this before? What are your suggestions. If I take a sleep aid, even a small amount, I can't get up in the morning. I am very sensitive to stimulants and sleep aid. Almost to the point of silly, because that is how I become when I take them. I am learning that 2 years of the old pattern is not replaced in 3 weeks. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow I will feel refreshed when I wake up. Right now, I'm ready for a nap.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Salsa

I had someone ask about the salsa. The way that I know to do it is to make the salsa, then cook it down for a very long time. Once you get the consistency that you want, then can it. I have 1 salsa recipe from my mother-in-law that is very good. It is a sweeter salsa and not very spicy. Due to this nature, you can use it in your toco meat or just it it out of the jar with chips. I will post it down below. I have also been considering going online to find some other recipes to try. I'm not sure if this answers the question that I was asked. I am think that all tomato products really need to be cooked a lot. Ever when i simply slip the skins and toss them in a jar to cook down later, I have to pressure cook them for 45 minutes. Anyone else have any canning tips or recipes that they would like to share

Making Salsa
16 C of tomatoes
1/4 C vinegar
1/8 C sugar
1/4 Tb salt
1 large onion
1 green pepper
1/2 jalapeno

Cook until thick
Pressure cook for 15 minutes at 15 ponds of pressure

Friday, September 11, 2009

Canning and freezing

I canned and prepared veggies for the freezer for 4 hours this morning. I'm beat. I was able to can 3 quarts of tomatoes sauce and 13 pints of carrots. Then I froze 9 cups of carrots and 5 ears of corn. Freezing veggies is a lot simpler than canning them, but it does take up space. On the other hand, canning is more time consuming, but you can store it anywhere that is relatively cool, dark, and dry. I thought I would quickly go over some how-tos because I had some people ask. First, I have a large, heavy pressure cooker. It is older than I am, and it weighs more than my children. However, it does a great job. It has a pressure gauge on it to let you know the pressure inside. You should read your instructions before operating your pressure cooker. I am not afraid of it blowing up, but I also know what I am doing. Once It reaches the desired pressure I simply turn down the heat to medium and let it cook for the proper amount of time. Beans are one of the easiest to can because you snap the ends off, snap them into smaller pieces, add salt, add water, put the lid on and pressure cook at 15lbs for 20 minutes. Carrots take a little more work. You need to peel them and then chop them in to 1/4 pieces. Then add salt and boiling water to them. Pressure cook at 15 lbs for 25 minutes. Tomatoes are still more labor intensive. You boil the tomatoes just long enough to have the skin slip off. then you cut them into chunks. After than you add hot tomatoes sauce (I use V8). Then you add salt and cook them at 15lbs of pressure for 45 minutes. You can do a lot more with tomatoes. You can cook them down and make a tomatoes sauce, spaghetti sauce, or salsa. All are great ways to use up the multiple pound of tomatoes. I made my 12 lbs yesterday into a think sauce by simmering it for 10 hours on low.

Freezing is similar in the prep work, but not in the finishing. Tomatoes can be placed on a cookie sheet whole, then frozen solid. Once they are frozen, place in Ziploc bags and store in freezer. (They sound like pool balls once they are frozen.) When you thaw them they are not as firm as fresh tomatoes, but still taste great. You can use them for tacos, or any recipe you add tomatoes to. Carrots need to be peeled and cut up. Then you need to place them into a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. After that they need to be placed into a pot of cold water for 2 minutes. Then you are free to stick them in the freezer in whatever serving size fits you best. Corn needs to have the husk removed then boil it for about 7 minutes. Then place it in cold water for 7 minutes. Stick it in Ziploc bags and store in freezer. Zucchini can be shredded and frozen.

I encourage all those that can to look into canning and freezing produce. It sure saves money during the winter when the produce is so expensive. It also nice to know that your kids are getting healthy garden veggies throughout the whole year. Anyone that wants to learn, I will be happy to teach. i am not an expert and I know their are others that know so much more, but I willing to so my best:) I know there are web sites and stores that will teach as well.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

To party or not ro party?

McKayla really wants a Halloween party. I think it mostly stems from the cool things that super cooks can do with food that she sees in the check out line. I'm impressed too. I could just imagine having a great party in our back yard with yummy treats and everyone sitting and chatting while the kids played games and entertained themselves. Then reality come to mind. The cooking for 2 days to have all of the cool goodies. Being thankful that it is Halloween food so that it doesn't have to look pretty. Trying to keep the house cleaned so that others are fooled into thinking it is always this clean. Trying to convince McKayla that she can not change costumes again. trying to decided to who want to come to a lame party at our house. Then worrying that too few/too many will show up. Hearing children fight. Then at the end of the party realizing that you were so busy that you didn't even get a chance to sit down and talk to anyone. Yet, I am still tempted. What is every one's opinion. how have you had low stress get together? Maybe it is a girl thing because my brothers manage get together all of the time and look so relaxed. maybe it's the kid factor that throws everyone for a loop. Ideas? Comments? Good therapist recommendations? ;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Put That Pen Down

Ariana is certainly growing into her own little person. She loves to write on things. If she can find a crayon, marker, pen, or chalk, she will use it to write on something. It seems like she a has a stash of them somewhere because as soon as a take one away from her, she has another one. It makes me laugh. She is also very into baby dolls. McKayla sometimes likes dolls, but is more into the theatrical dressing up . It is fun to see her pat her babies and she makes a sad face when she is holding them to let me know they are sad. It's so cute.

McKayla is loving school and dance. She thrives in social areas. She loves people and animals and she talks to everything. She also wants to know why. Why this and why that. She really has some good questions. Such as, "If God made the sky pink, what color would sunsets be?" And "Why is it not Halloween yet?" "How long is a long time?" "Why does everyone have to go to school and work? We should all just play together and then we would be happy." And last, "No mom, we don't have to wait and see, we just have to do it. It easy."

These two make me smile and laugh. At times I miss working, but for the most part I couldn't imagine not being here to see them do their silly little things every day. I am greatful for the opportunity I have to watch them and learn from my two sweet girls.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Fair

I realize that time passes and I am getting older. However, the fair reminded me of my age with stark reality. Here are some things I noticed yesterday when we went to the fair. They are not in any order, but more rambling of my mind. I will put up a slide show of the fair tomorrow, but I am too lazy to go get my camera out of the car right now.

After being at the fair about 2 hours I was tired. I used to go the the fair all day and never even stop.

I was appalled at the rip off the rides are. $30 for all rides, but we would have had to pay that per person. Then we started looking at the rides that McKayla could go on by herself, there were 4. With an adult there were a few more, but not really $30 worth. I wasn't going to pay $60 for rides yesterday. We could go to Lagoon and it would be cheaper. I used to not care about the money. It was the state fair and I had to ride everything.

We ate more food during the 6 hours we were there than we normally do in 2 days. The food was one the most exciting parts of the fair. I used to never eat the food at the fair. I only rode ride after ride.

We went though the commercial building to look at the vender's and the exhibits. I especially loved the wedding cake displays. They were incredible. In my younger day, I hated walking around looking at things.

The crowd really annoyed me. There were too many people and too little space. I used to love the excitement of the people and being around everyone.

I looked forward to running into people I know. I used to simply rush from ride to ride, not stopping to look at anyone.

I used to dress to go to the fair to be noticed. Now I dressed as comfortably as possible.

The money was a big issue. I used to get upset that my parents would gripe about the cost of everything. Now I totally agree with them.

That is all I can think of for now. What differences do you notice as you go to the fair?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lonely, I'm so Lonley

If you have seen Flushed, that song was my favorite part of the movie. I don't know why, but it amused me greatly. I was reading a blog the other day when a mom talked about how lonely she was. She talked about how she sometimes wished for those carefree days before marriage and motherhood settled on her shoulders. I also read a note on facebook from a person my age that is not married and has no children, who is very attractive that is lonely as well. My conclusion? Well, I think we are are lonely. I wonder why this is. I am a busy mother of 2. I love being a stay at home mom and I do my best to find ways to save money, teach my children, and better run our household. Yet, sometimes I am simply lonely. I think that the age of technology has replaced human interaction. Of course comments on my blog or on facebook can brighten my day. However, they are no substitute for a nice phone call or a good chat. Now, I love to walk my neighborhood. Sometimes people are in their yards and we will chat for a bit. I love connecting with those that live around me. Of course my favorite person to chat with is my best friend and love. Mr Chad is a great person. He encourages me to play Guitar Hero and listens to my silly jokes. He loves to hear my silly made up songs and encourages me to do what ever I want to do. I love to have him with me. We don't always get along, and sometimes we have miscommunication, but all in all, he his my favorite person. He is working right now and striving to receive his masters degree. At times it is hard to let him focus on these goals because I want someone to talk to. I have a feeling that many people feel the same way. So, how do we start to feel comfortable with ourselves and reach out to others? How do we start friendships that are so important to women? How do have time to sit and visit and share our woes of child rearing and house cleaning? How do we break out of the comfort zone of the Internet and have actual people over for dinner and games? It seems easy, but it is not. My question is this: What do you do? How do you faster relationships beyond facebook, twitter, or myspace. Especially those stay at home mothers, how do step outside of your comfort zone and embrace your fellow man? Or is this all just me and my insecurities about calling people up and making friends?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Salsa!

My family and I love salsa. Unfortunately our favorite salsa is garden fresh salsa. We put tomatoes, green peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, corn, cucumbers, and onions. I have yet to figure out how to bottle our fresh salsa so that it still taste like fresh salsa. My mother in law cans salsa and it taste great, but it's not the same. Has anyone out there canned salsa and had it taste fresh? Please send me your salsa experiences and recipes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

If You don't have anything nice to say, shut it!

I was running back through my blog and noticed a comment on my "My Kids" post. Here is my response to the anonymous commenter: First of all, you know nothing about how I raise my children. Second, I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. I know that He came to this earth. I know He died for me and atoned for my sins and my pain. I know that He rose triumphant from the grave and conquered death. I know that My family will be together forever. I also know that the teaching of Jesus are to be good and kind. What is so wrong about that? I have felt Christ's power in my life. I feel it as strongly as I feel the current in a stream and the wind in the air. I may not see Him, but I can't deny His love and existence. I feel sorry that you are so bias that you cannot leave people to believe what they wish without writing mean comments. Obviously you are a coward because you wouldn't put your name to the comment. At least I am proud of my religion and what I teaching my children. Your comment was not intelligent or even a good argument. It was mean and spiteful. Please feel free to read my blog, but be strong enough to leave your name and honestly, think about what you are saying. Reading my blog is your choice, I don't force it on people. If you don't like what I write, don't read it and don't comment.

A Week of First

This is the picture that I wanted to do last, but it showed up first. Okay, I know you are sick of hearing about my garden and canning, but I had to share. This tomato weighs 1 pound and 2 ounces. Really, that's huge! You could cut it and it would cover an entire piece of bread. We call it Monster. I can't wait to eat it! PS-please ignore the messy scale. just pretend it is sparkling clean, because by the end of today it will be. I hate when my mess shows up on camera.

Forgive me, I did the pictures wrong, but I don't want to re-do them. I will try to tell the pictures as I go. Maybe by the end of the post it will make some since. This blog does not have the option to copy and paste, so now It really is a jumble mess. I wish I had time to fix it, but alas I do not.



I'm not really fond of these pictures of McKayla. To me they do not really show her. I don't even think it looks like her, but we were running late, so I had to go with what I have. Maybe I will try to get a different picture after school. it still counts right? McKalya was so very excited about going to school. She is super smart, but really needs the socialization. I think this will be great for her. I worry about her being the kid that always wants to talk rather than waiting for her turn to answer. I worry that in her quest to be friendly, other kids will be turned off. She seems to love everyone instantly and seems to believe that everyone should feel the same way. I have tried to explain to her that some kids want some space and some time. She just wants to jump in with both feet and be best friends with the world.

I always thought that I would be ready for this day to arrive. Especially since McKayla went to daycare for the first 2 years of her life. Well, almost three. Anyway, this week marks the beginning of me being a taxi cab and the end of me being the center of McKayla's world. She started dance yesterday and today she started pre-school. We found both at reasonable prices and McKayla couldn't wait to start. Yesterday she was upset because she had very high expectations. She thought that she would learn to dance like a ballerina, in one day. She was upset because she messed up and thought her teacher was mad at her. Oh boy. Not that I am hard on myself or anything, but the poor dear.


I love this picture because that is my McKayla. She is such a pretty child and so full of life and love. She is growing up too fast and I can't seem to capture it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Journal

So, I received a journal from Chad last year for my birthday and I finished filling it a week ago. I've never completed a journal. Now that I have and I haven't bought another one I realize that I miss writing in it. I made writing in it part of a to do list that became habit. Now I am missing it badly. I heard on the radio that we are living in record times. That we should keep a journal and record the proceedings for our posterity. Right now, the US is on the brink of great change. I believe that we are experiencing great change, but I don't really write about that. I hardly ever write about the economy or the health care reform, unemployment, or politics. I keep up with them on a very basic level, but I don't write about it. The question is, did those that kept journals during the great times of our history, did they write about current events when they were in the news or did they wait until it affected them? How much should I dedicate to writing about current events from the news? For example, did anyone note in their journal that JFK's brother passed away Tuesday? What is most notable is that in the 60's he was drunk and got in a car accident that killed his female passenger. The really big problem: He didn't report the accident/death until the next day. Who in my generation knows this? Does it matter? I focus on my blessing and what funny/quirky things that my kids do. I write about spiritual experiences and about family activities. Do those of you who keep a journal write about the happenings of the news or current events? Do you write a brief paragraph or choose once a week to view the world? What do you do? Just wondering.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oops!

I normally try to be pretty neutral about my religion as I love my friends that are of a different faith as much as I love my LDS friends. However, I have to give some religious background so that you can get the full scoop of my embarrassment. So bear with me. In our religion we have temples that we go to. There we covenant with the Lord and receive blessings. Not only do we do this for ourselves, but we do it for the dead as well. Now, just because we do it for the dead doesn't mean that they have to be LDS. Heavenly Father would never make someone be LDS. Think of it as a gift card that you can use if you want. It's all about agency. So, it is a sacred setting. Anyway, my husband and I had the opportunity to go the temple last night. We decided to do sealings. This means that we stood in as proxy for husbands and wives and were sealed for time and all eternity for them. Anyway, we were in the middle of this when I started not feeling well. Yep, I passed out. Then, Chad had me sit by him and I passed out again. I was very embarrassed. They called the doctors and nurses to come and help me. Funny thing about passing out, you dream. It feels very weird to wake up from a dream and be in the temple, when you expect to be in bed. It really throws off your perspective on things. I asked Chad how long I was out and he said 30 seconds max, so how did I have a dream that felt like I was asleep for hours? I am still embarrassed, but I know that no one looks down on me for this. The temple workers were so kind and caring. I guess it could have been worse, but I felt like I ruined a very special experience. Anyone else ever pass out during a special occasion? Or is it just me?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Kids

Kids say and do the funnest things. Somethings I am not in the mood to hear or witness these things, but I have been trying to lighten up lately. I wanted to record a few thing that my kids have done lately.
On Sunday we had some friends over for homemade bread and jam. McKayla loves to play with this family's little boy who is a year older than she is. She dressed up in a princess outfit and they played. After he left she said, "He didn't say I was beautiful." I had to clarify, but what she said was spot on. She was sad that the little boy didn't notice she'd dressed up. I told that boys don't really notice those things. She asked why and I redirected her to her father. He simply said that "boys are dumb."

Last night we were have family home evening. We were talking about the importance of family prayer and why we pray. McKayla noted that Jesus had super powers. She said that He can make faces and all sorts of things. We are not sure where this came from, but we did tell her that He had the power to create things. She wants His super power. I had to tell her that Jesus was very special and only He has His superpower.

Last, I was taking a bath this morning, after my workout. I felt especially tired so I thought that I needed a bath. Next thing I know Ariana had climbed in the bath tub with me. She left her cloths on. I had to get the camera and take a picture. She was happy as could be simply swimming in her jammies.

I love my girls and I am so greatful for them and their sweet spirits.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Rising Generation

On Saturday we had a special opportunity to hear from the leaders of our church. They spoke directly to this area. One of the main topics was the rising generation. The speaker really emphasised the importance of supporting the youth. Not only the youth in our immediate family, but cousins, nieces, nephews, and neighbors. I am amazed at how much I love the youth. I think of my nieces and nephews, as well as my own kids, and how many people support and love them. I am grateful for this gentle reminder that our youth needs us. They need us to protect them. tThey need us to guide them and help them navigate this crazy world. Cheers to the rising generation.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Uninspired

I have been uninspired lately. I really don't know what to write about. Nothing bad is going on, it is simply a down time for our family. I guess I am feeling like the summer is slipping away faster than I want it to. I normally look forward to a change in season's, but with Chad in school, it is much harder to enjoy. It is harder for me to get out and enjoy friends and neighbors. I don't see everyone as much as I do in the summer time. It makes life more challenging. I was thinking about holding a craft get together once a month. People could come and scrapbook, quilt, or anything that they want. However, then I worry that no one will show up or too many will show up. Last winter I tried to have a playgroup, but no one came. Perhaps, I remember how isolated I felt last winter, and I dread the same feelings. Nevertheless, winter is slowly coming and soon fall will be upon us. I am thinking of the pumpkin patches and the leaves. I also love going on the pumpkin walk in Shelley. I love make delicious zucchini bread. I need to find joy in the seasons and not dread the winter months.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bead Dealing

My friends Stacy and Karen have become obsessed with bead jewelry. I admit that it's cute, but they are obsessed. Last night I went over to Stacy's house and they were at it again. So, I made a bead watch. I'm now hooked. Mine isn't as great as theirs, but I like it. Now I want to make more, and I am thinking what easy Christmas presents they make. I told Chad about it and he encouraged me to get some stuff. I gave him a funny look and asked him if he knew what that meant. I think his idea was a couple of bags of beads and that was it. Oh no, you need to buy at least 20 different styles so there is variety, plus watch faces, and the string, glue,... well you get the point. Had Chad seen the stuff my friends had, he would have never made the suggestion. So, do I add more crafty junk to my growing pile or resist temptation?

Yes, the picture is upside down and there are little hands in it. So difficult to photo a masterpiece with little ones.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Canning

So I told you that we had a lot of produce. I took a large bag to my family in Boise, and then I went and picked some more yesterday. We will eat it, but when? So, I decided to get out my trusty pressure cooker last night. I canned 4 pints of beans, 3 pints of carrots, and 1 quart of tomatoes. These will be delicious in a hearty winter stew. Yum!

I started with fresh, dirty veggies from my garden, and then I put them in the sink.


Then I washed and sorted all of my veggies.


Then I canned them. I can use them as they are or in stews. I am very excited.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Health and Whole Wheat

When I first became a stay at home mom, I had aspirations to cook all of the meals and not buy any processed foods. This became harder and harder as my husband ate lunch and dinner at his work place. I noticed that I don't really cook any more and my kids were eating way too much junk. This week I decided to fix that. I wrote down every meal we would eat, including snacks, and only bought that at the grocery store. My husband is no longer going to eat what the cafeteria at his work provides. He has gained a lot of weight from bad food, over eating, stress, and lack of sleep. I have a little hand grinder for my wheat. It took me some time, but I can grind my wheat. This morning it fell apart. I'm not sure why, but it did. It took me 2 hours to make whole grain pancakes. Finally I sent my husband over to get my mother-in-law's electronic wheat grinder. All I can say is WOW! It ground up the wheat so fast and it was much finer than what my hand grinder can do. I love it. (I promise I will take good care of it and return it!) It's a good thing that I borrowed it because I have whole wheat pasta, whole wheat waffles, wheat bread, whole wheat blueberry muffins, and other things on the menu. It takes some time, but I feel good knowing what we are eating. I am also blessed to have a wonderful garden harvest. We have been eating fresh peas, beans and carrots from our garden. We have tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, and pumpkins as well. I feel so blessed to eat of the earth and to teach my children how to do this as well.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Today

I am feeling good today. It amazes me how much better I feel about the situation I posted about yesterday. I feel so much better about it. I am reading a great LDS book called The Seventh Seal. It is fictional, but truly awesome. I would recommend everyone read it. Rats, I have to end this post because Ariana just emptied out an entire shelf of books. I wanted to go on about this book, so read it! Bye!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stewing In My Brain

I haven't written lately because I knew I would vent my frustrations and I am not sure that it is the place. However, I am going to write a quick version of it, then hopefully move on. There is a town celebration and correlates with a church celebration where we live. My parents and I had arranged to sell snow cones during the celebration. A family walked up to us and told us that they were 'assigned' to sell snow cones and that we had taken their spots, blah, blah, blah. They used names and they also used their church as an excuse, as well as being quite overwhelming and demanding. I feel so bad for my parents because they had spent a lot of money preparing for the celebration, but we packed up and left. I didn't want to fight until I knew all the facts. Luckily, we did get the name of the family so that we could confirm their story. And that is just what we did. We called the city office asking if there was a mix up or what happened, and the city office didn't know the people. After many phone calls and the husband of the family getting removed from the city office by police, due to his behavior, we discovered that obviously the people lied in every which way. I am sadden by their actions. Yes, they lied to me and my family, but they ruined it for themselves. In addition to selling snow cone, they had about 5 other activities that they offered at the celebration. Now, I don't believe they are welcome to participate in the town celebration again. Also, they brought religion into it. This part really angers me. We are of the same religion and they were totally offensive. Not only were they offensive, but they claimed to do it in the name of their religion. No wonder some people dislike any religion. There are always a few out there that leave such a bad example that it ruins the image. There can be 99 examples of a religion doing good things, but it only takes 1 bad example to ruin it. Frustrating. Anyway, the deal is over with. We were in the right, but I don't feel happy. I feel sorrow that there are people out there like that. I feel sorrow because I know my kids will have to deal with people like that. I feel sorrow because greed and manipulation has blinded these people to the truth. I feel sorrow because these people have blinded others to how wonderful our church can be. I feel sorrow because there is so much wickedness in the world, one hopes that religion would be a place from the storm, but it is not always so.