Friday, December 19, 2008

My Birthday is better than Santa Claus

I have been using Santa Claus as a motivation for my kids to be good since at least Thanksgiving, maybe longer. It never really works very well, and I have decided that my kids really don't care. One year Santa really did leave Shelby coal. When my parents came for breakfast on Christmas morning they had all of her presents and told her that Santa must have gotten mixed up. I wanted to see how she would react if Santa really didn't bring presents to her Christmas morning. She had presents from Mom and Dad to and that was it. Guess what! She didn't care! She was glad to have gifts from us, and there were the movies that Santa brought for the whole family, she was grateful for those too. She was very excited when Nana and Papa showed up with her presents, but that was when I realized threatening with no presents from Santa doesn't work for my kids.

Well, today is my birthday (I'm 35, doesn't seem quite right, but I'm ok with it.) The girls tried to make me breakfast. They made baked potato chips, Mike made Oatmeal. There was no fighting! They were very excited to give me the presents that they had made with construction paper, Popsicle sticks, pom poms, and glitter glue. Mike even got them to unload the dishwasher together, without fighting, by telling them they should do it together because its my birthday.

It should be my birthday everyday!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Windows of Heaven

I began this holiday season with a bad attitude. I had set some expectations for how I thought things should be and when those expectations weren't met I was angry. A couple of days before Thanksgiving I realized I needed to fix my attitude or else I was going to ruin the holidays for my family, and especially my kids. I was praying for help when I felt that I should keep a gratitude journal from that day through Christmas. Now I can see what a difference that one simple thing has made in my life. Some nights I have to really think hard to come up with five things I was grateful for that day, but last night I really started to see the hand of the Lord in my life. About ten years ago during tithing settlement our Bishop challenged us to start paying a fast offering he read from the scriptures about the windows of heaven being open and pouring out a blessing that you would not have room enough to receive it. My thought then was "I don't know, I have a lot of room". I really am so blessed. I have everything I need and a lot of what I want. Last night I was able to see how much I have been given, and the fact that I didn't even realize it showed that I didn't have room to receive it. I guess I should look at the scripture now and try to make room by being more aware of all that I have been given. I needed a kick in the pants to make me look around and see how great life really is. To steal a quote from TAMN of Seriously So Blessed, My life is a Kick-A Fairytale. It really is.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Time for Christmas

I'm listening to my playlist as I type this post. The song that's playing is Barry Manilow "I made it through the rain". I can't help but think of my parents. They moved last week, out of the house I grew up in. It was tough, not something that my mom really wanted to do. But they made it through, and I really do admire the courage and strength they have. They sacrificed a lot for our family and I am grateful for the life they gave us. The part of the move that really got to me was on moving day seeing my parents neighbors, parents of my friends that I grew up with. I really love those people, they are all very special to me. Love you Mom and Dad, I hope that you can find joy in your new home.

I started putting up my Christmas decorations this week. It took me 3 days to finish with the inside of the house. The lights on the outside are still not finished, but they are going to be awesome! I am really starting to enjoy this Christmas season. Last year I got rid of decorations that I didn't love anymore, so it was fun to pull out the bins and see the decorations I love.

This nativity was my birthday present from Darren last year. I love it!
I had the idea of a Christmas tree forest a couple of years ago and decided to bring it back this year. I love it. The tree with the ribbon and the bow on top is our story tree. Every night we read a story and put a corresponding ornament on the tree. Shelby told me a couple of years ago this was her favorite part, I wonder if it still is, she is the one that keeps us on track with it.
This is the downstairs tree. A new addition this year. I love the ornaments, they remind me of something from Whoville. The red lights are a little intense, but I like them, for this tree it works. I have started listening to Christmas music. Darren's rule is that the first Christmas music of the season must be Elvis. It was more like the 3rd or 4th album we listened to, but still early on. My theme for music this year is classic stuff. I have a "crooners" Christmas album that I love with Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, its awesome. My favorite song is "Merry Christmas, Darling" by the Carpenters. I love the Carpenters. Karen Carpenter was an alto, so she's easy to sing along with.

My shopping is almost done, hopefully I will finish it up today. Christmas cards are next, then its time to think about cheeseballs!

P.S. Happy Birthday Jared!
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I can't believe I'm doing this so late! I am a terrible mom and wife. Shelby and Darren celebrated their birthdays over the weekend, Shelby on Saturday and Darren on Sunday. The long running joke in our family that makes Shelby shriek every time, is that we are skipping her birthday this year because Darren's birthday was skipped when she was born and he had to spend the day in the hospital, because of her (not that he had any part in that). We went bowling for Shelby's birthday. The biggest tragedy of the day was when Sarah got a strike and didn't get to roll the ball a second time.

My Shelby is Eleven! How time flies. I look at her and think back over our life the last eleven years. I am so grateful for Shelby, she has taught me so much. I'm so glad that she chose to come to our family. I could do without the wailing that Darren can provoke from her with so little effort, but she also has the best giggle around. She is growing into a very fine young lady. Happy Birthday Sweetheart.

Darren. Where would I be without him? I'll avoid getting too sappy and just say that he is my rock. To use his words he talks me down off the ledge. I'm also grateful that he has chosen me. Happy Birthday honey, your great for being half way to 70!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Time for me

I have been trying to figure out what it is that my family needs, what it is that I should be doing for my husband, my kids, our home school. The answers have come to me from varying sources, but have all been the same. I'm no good to anyone if I don't take care of myself. I've never thought of myself as kind or putting others needs before my own, but as I've thought about how I spend my time and energy I realize I put what I want at the bottom of my to do list. I'm not looking for sympathy, because I think every mom does the same thing. I am grateful for this life that I've been given and maybe one way to show appreciation to my Heavenly Father is to enjoy my life, and not add more pressure and more guilt. I'm so tired of guilt, its exhausting. I quit guilt!

Its time to unite! Moms of the world; do one thing today that you want to do. One thing that doesn't have to be done, but that is on your mind that you would like to do. I've actually done almost 3 today! I am taking an online scrapbooking class, and I started on that project (its a gratitude memory box-I'm so excited about it), I left a message with my favorite hair stylist to get my hair done, and I'm blogging. I love blogging. I love to read others thoughts and I love having a forum to share my own. I am also going out with my hubby tonight for his birthday (its on Sunday), and I am so excited about that! I would love to hear what you do today just for you, so leave me a comment and let me know!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Sentiments return

I loved writing my Saturday Sentiments, the problem was that I was never very consistent. I have decided that the first Saturday of the month will be my Sentiments day. I like having a place to talk about stuff that I like and is important to me. So, here goes.

This wasn't what I had in mind for today, but when I saw it on Mandi's blog I thought I would copy her (seems to be a theme for me lately-see previous post-oh well Mandi's awesome!). I read the Twilight books over the summer, and they were the perfect summer read. I want to go see the movie, but I want to go with girls (I don't think Darren really wants to see it). So anybody game for a Twilight movie night? Garrett, I know you want to see it too I bet Hayley will go with you so it looks like your being drug there. I know Mandi and Kelly already have tickets, but you could see it twice. Mandi I have 2 of my books back from my sister if you want to borrow them.

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall Moments

I pulled out my Christmas notebook tonight (I'm always worried about forgetting things, so I have to write everything down), and as I was making lists of gifts, and projects, and things to do I remembered that I have a blog. So before it all passes by I thought I would post some of our fall goings on. Life has been crazy as I've adjusted to our household growing from 4 people and 2 dogs to 7 people and 4 dogs. Having Mike and Tiff and Carter here is great, we have had a lot of fun.

I love fall. Mandi's post about fall was the best and ever since then I have wanted to take a minute and post about some of the things I love about fall. Darren is at a meeting tonight, the kids are in bed, so since I have a minute I'm going to take advantage of it.

Every fall I love to go to Gardner Village and see the witches. I love that place, I love the little shops, and the treats at Sweet Aftons. Mom came with us, and we had a great time. Sarah knew exactly what she wanted to see, and made sure we found all the right witches.

We went camping with the whole Shipley clan (except Melanie and Dan-we miss you guys, and Daniel and Mindy didn't really camp, they just came up for dinner one night) over UEA. We went to Look out Pass. The weather was so nice, I had been worried about that and took Shelby shopping because she had no long pants and no long sleeved shirts, and no real shoes. Riding the 4 wheelers has become my kids favorite thing-thanks Brett and Jen, we need to get some of our own. Even Keno loves a ride, Molly likes to run along side and barks at you when you go too fast.Here is Shelby and yes, that is my grandparents old trailer in the background. I love that thing, it is a 1978, but it is way better than sleeping in a tent on the ground.That's Mike and Tiff on the 4 wheeler, Mike is giving Sarah a ride. Sarah left the helmet on the time so that she was always ready for a ride.Check out Carter! To say he loved the 4 wheelers would be an understatement. He really took to driving that little one, and we had to keep reminding him to drive slower, he didn't believe he could crash.

Our next fun fall thing was Pumpkinpalooza at Thanksgiving Point. For $5 you go there and carve a pumpkin, and they clean up the mess! This sounded like just the thing for me! Well, that was before the kids got pumpkins from both sets of grandparents, but I figured oh well we can go anyway. Tiffanie and I bought potato head pumpkin sets and the kids wanted to paint pumpkins so they will also get to carve a pumpkin with the help of someone else. I don't like carving pumpkins, its gooey and sticky, I hate being sticky. I usually let Darren do it, that way I can take pictures-see sneaky right?

Yep, thats me carving a pumpkin. Sarah's pumpkin. Darren carved Shelby's and Mike carved Carter's. So much for getting out of carving pumpkins. Next year I'll make my own treats, turn on my own spooky music, and do it in the backyard and save 10 bucks. If the kids want to paint pumpkins I won't argue.While I was carving her pumpkin Sarah took this picture of all the guts.See Sarah with my cute pumpkin? I mean her pumpkin.Photo op. at Pumpkinpalooza.Finally, the kids with their potato head pumpkins. Those turned out so cute. We went to pumpkinpalooza last Wednesday night and with the warm weather our carved pumpkins aren't looking so hot.

So there you have it, our life over the last couple of months in a nutshell, aren't the pictures awesome? I love this time of year, I love wearing a sweater, I love the taste and smell of pumpkin spice (have you tried the hershey's kisses?). Fall is also the beginning of birthday season, my Shelby turns 11 on the 8th, so be prepared for something totally sentimental then.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Production Numbers

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was organize a family production number. I would take the Janeen Brady stuff, or whatever, assign parts to my brothers and sisters, and we would put on show for our parents. Our stage was usually the hearth (sometimes pronounced hearther, and also used by Garrett for cracking open his head during an exciting night of spinning), we also would perform on the trampoline or swings.

Well, this morning my kids were listening to an oldie, but a goodie, My Turn on Earth. The song "What does it take to make a family" started to play. It all came back to me. How about at Garrett's wedding luncheon we do a production number!? The words are "What does it take to make a family? People who love and laugh, people who sing a song". Come on, does this not sound like us? Tori could be our choreographer (be sure to include lost of jazz squares). So are you game?

Ok, if not a production number maybe we could make a video with pictures of Hayley and Garrett and put it to that song. I hope you are all laughing with me!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Walking Dogs

About a year ago, after reading Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion. I was trying to come up with a way that Shelby could earn money. Something that was real (not just me making up work) and meaningful to her. My brother in law, Mike, has a nephew that likes snakes. Tiffanie was telling me that he started selling mice to people with snakes. As creepy as that is, it got me thinking. What does Shelby love? Dogs. She has to walk Keno everyday, maybe she could get a couple of other dogs to walk too, since she has to go anyway, she could make money while she's at it. Darren and I also thought she could start paying for dance, not all of it, just $5 for every day of the week that she has a class. So if class was 2 days a week, she would pay $10 a month. She would also have money to pay tithing on. When I presented the plan to her, she cried. How could I be so mean. Mike talked to her about his money making endeavors when he was a kid, and she started to warm up to the idea. We decided we would make fliers and give them to people with little dogs. It has been wonderful! She has 4 dogs she walks each week plus Keno. She loves the dogs, and has hired Sarah to help her on days that she has more than 2 dogs to walk. She pays Sarah a dollar a week. I love what this has taught my girls. They have to be responsible to show up on time, they have to manage their money. Shelby has since opened a savings account that she pays 10% to each month. Plus, I have not bought her a single webkinz, she uses her own money.

I was so glad they stopped by the house last week with the dogs so I could get pictures of them with the dogs! Thank you to those that have been kind enough to let my girls walk their dogs. Their relationship with the dogs and the owners has blessed their lives and it touches my hear too.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fairy homes

My girls, especially Sarah, love fairies. When we saw an article in Family Fun Magazine this morning on building a fairy house, they were totally excited. They quickly got dressed, ate breakfast, and cleaned up their rooms, so that they could get outside and work on their fairy houses. They used flowers from the funeral yesterday to make beds, and other fairy household items. Sarah covered the floor of her house with petals. I did feel bad that they didn't dry them to save, but this is what they wanted to do, and now they are preserved in pictures. To make the houses totally magical, they sprinkled them with glitter, and then spent the rest of the morning going in and out of the house to check to see if the fairies had been there. Some things had magically moved, so we know that they did come and visit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Grandma Elsie

Darren's grandma passed away Friday night. She has been living with Darren's parents for the past two years, and would stay with them for 6 months at a time for a couple of years before that. His mother (Pam) has given her life to taking care of her mother since she moved in full time with them. I really admire all that Pam has done, she has taken great care of her mother and I know it has not been easy. I sat with Grandma a few times when Wayne and Pam would go out, and Grandma would be so worried when Pam wasn't around. Since Grandma died on Friday, I have been trying to think of something good that I could keep with me. Today was her funeral. I learned that pink was her favorite color. I felt like I really got to know her today, and I wish I could have known her better when she was more of herself. Today as we were driving home, and I was thinking about her, I felt her spirit. I felt like she was letting me know that she knew that I try to do what is right, and she appreciated me. Thank you Grandma Elsie.
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Monday, September 15, 2008


I know I have been kind of a slacker blogger. It just seems like I never get the time to sit down and write. So here is a little update of what has been going on.

1.We have been working on finishing a room in our basement. Actually, to be honest Mike (my brother-in-law) has finished a room in our basement. Mike and Tiff and Carter will be moving in with us soon, and now they have a room to stay in! I am excited to have them stay with us, and even more excited that they will be living in Eagle Mountain. Here are some pictures of the new room before and after. Isn't the color fun?! Keno adds a little human interest, although I don't think he can compete with Sarah dancing.

2. Darren was called as the Elder's Quorum President in our ward. We were so surprised when we got the call to meet with the Stake President. We didn't think Darren would ever be released from scouts. I have so many thoughts about this calling as well as my own, but the right words just aren't coming to me right now. So, I'll just say that I know that Heavenly Father is aware of our family and will help us in all that we have been asked to do.

3. I have loved summer! We have a had a lot of fun with our family. Tiff and I perfected ( in our opinion) lounging at the pool. We bought umbrellas, and beach chairs, and went as often as we could. Tiff and I went to the Parade of Homes, and check out this room!

4. I started school back with the girls at the beginning of August. I am really excited about this new school year! I found a History curriculum I really love, it called Story of the World. We are also making a BIG time line, it has lines for world history, American history, Church history, and Family history. I'm excited to see how everything comes together. We also got our new math books, and Core Knowledge books. I feel like I have better grasp on things this year, and I know what I want to see happen in our home. Wish me luck, I need it! Here is our 'First day of School' picture.
So, with all of this going on I needed a little getaway with Darren. Two weeks ago we went with Mike and Tiff to Park City. We shopped, went to the movies, and visited the Olympic park. It was the perfect break. I came back with new clothes, and ready for whatever is ahead. There's a quick blurb about what has been going on in our home.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Garrett is getting Married!

I got a phone call last night around 9:30 from my brother. Which was odd because he never calls me unless we have plans. He proposed to Hayley last night! I am soooooooooooo excited! They are getting married in January. I am adding Hayley to my blog roll, so you can read about the proposal if you want! Congratulations! I love you guys!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I quit the daily schedule!

If you know me well, you know I live for a schedule, and routine. It is what helped me during those postpartum months, and saves me when things are in limbo. I love a schedule so much that I have gone so far as to map out my day hour by hour, sometimes even by the half hour. I sat down yesterday to type up the new schedule for this school year, and I felt the frustration coming. I don't like having my days mapped out to be that ridged. The problem is, if I get off the schedule somewhere, or just don't feel like doing something, my day is ruined and I feel like a failure. There are plenty of other things that are worth getting your day ruined over like when you buy a 32oz. Diet Coke and your sweet 6 year old spills it right after you get it home, but that's another issue. I think I'm hard enough on myself without some piece of paper making me feel worse.
So, here is my solution. Our mornings are pretty structured, we start with Scriptures at 7:15, then instead of being driven by the clock its more of an order of things that come next. We have Job meeting, breakfast, devotional, and I make the daily school list. I am going to have certain benchmarks, that keep us going throughout the day, or help get us back on task if we stray a little (I'm all for being open to where a new thought will take us, who know what we might learn along the way, and I don't want to stifle any learning). So, we have jobs and school in the morning, then I start Lunch at 12:00, followed by finishing up school. I start Dinner at 5:00, bedtime is 8:00. I have our big calendar in kitchen that has the times of lessons and appointments, and I can glance at that throughout the day so I don't forget anything important.
I feel a weight has been lifted. I don't need every hour of my day planned in order to be productive! I have my school log that I fill in each day, so that I make sure all the really important stuff happens. Its more important that it happens, then what time it happens. I'm still finding my way down this home-school path, and it has only taken me a year to figure this part out. If I am stressed about a schedule all day, I'm not creating the learning environment for my children that I want. This is huge for me!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

20 Years ago tag

Tiff just did this on her blog, and it was so fun so I thought I would do it too, plus I've never done a tag before. If you want to, consider yourself tagged.

20 years ago...

1. I spent the summer playing night games with my neighbors, and a guy I worshiped(like a big brother) that was getting ready to go on a mission.

2. My best friends in the world(they were twin sisters) moved.

3. I watched Greg Louganis hit his head on the diving board during the Olympics.

4. I volunteered as a Candy Striper at what was then Jordan Valley Holy Cross Hospital

10 Years ago...

1. I was figuring out what it meant to be a mother to my almost 10 month old Shelby. I experienced levels of worry and anxiety that I didn't know existed.

2. We lived in Midshore Manor Apartments in Midvale, and worked as the on-site managers. Darren was going to school, working nights at RC Willey, and was the Elders quorum President. Life was stressful.

3. I was babysitting my sister-in-law's nephew.

4. We went to Garth's family cabin in Schofield for the first time and loved it!

5 Years ago...

1. I went to girls camp, and had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life.

2. In September I was called as the Primary President of our huge primary, something like 90 kids in nursery.

3. My sweet Shelby started kindergarten.

4. Sarah was making us giggle all the time (I guess she still is).

3 Years ago...

1. I lost 84 pounds!

2. I was called as the 1st Counselor in the Stake Primary, and got to work with the most awesome women I know.

3. Shelby was about to turn 8 Years old, and Sarah was 3, and I was reminded that its not the 2's that are terrible its 3 year olds.

4. I realized that no matter what I was staying with Darren forever. I don't know why I decided this so late in the game, but I realized how much all the really hard years together meant to me, and how those years had shaped what we had now.

1 Year ago...

1. Darren and I decided to homeschool our kids. Crazy? Yes. Absolutely right for our family.

2. Keno joined our family, and I discovered that I love a little lap dog.

3. Darren and I went on a cruise to the Caribbean. When we came home we wondered why no one made our bed when we left the room.

4. I went to Pennsylvania to visit my brother (actually, Liz and Madeline) with my sister and my girls. We had a great time visiting Kirtland OH, and Palmyra, NY, and Niagara Falls. On the way home we spent a day stuck in Denver, trying to get a flight home, only to drive the rest of the way. I had dreams for months about being stranded somewhere with Tiffanie and our kids.

So far this year...

1. I have been released and recalled as the 1st counselor in the Stake Primary, and continue to work with the most awesome women I know.

2. I have gained and lost more weight than I know how to count.

3. I started this blog, which gives me a place to talk about whatever is on my mind. I love that!

4. We are sticking with homeschool, and marvel at the things that are happening in our home.


1. I took a nap at 10am, because I stayed up too late the night before while Mike worked on the room in our basement.

2. I wondered for the millionth time if 10 years old is too young for a girl to hit puberty as I watched Shelby's mood swings.

3. I went shopping with Tiffanie, my best shopping buddy. She bought the cutest trench, and I can't wait till she lives here so I can borrow it!

4. I started reading "Ender's Game".


1. I slept in until 7:30 when Keno jumped on me, and wanted to burrow under the covers.

2. I checked some ebay auctions I'm watching.

3. I read some of "Enders Game"

4. Praised Shelby for organizing the pile of books by her bed, using a cute thing she got from the Hello Kitty store.

Tomorrow I will...

1. Go to Church.

2. Go to Pres. Draper's fireside for 11 year olds.

3. Take a nap.

4. Enjoy my Sunday.

Over the next year...

1. I will be 20 pounds lighter.

2. Finish Shelby's quilt, and my eye spy quilt (hopefully before the end of the year)

3. Welcome Mike & Tiff & Carter, along with their dogs to our home, and as our neighbors!

4. Watch things grow; my testimony, my children, my love for my family, and hopefully the trees in my yard!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My quilt update

I have finally finished piecing all of my quilt blocks together! I was still feeling unsure of how the whole thing would look all put together so I layed the blocks out on the floor. This is what it looked like. I was pleased with that look.

Then, still being worried about how it would look with the fabric I've chosen to go in between the pieced blocks, my sister suggested laying the blocks on top of the other fabric. This is what it looked like. I thing it has just the look I'm going for. It will be great in Shelby's room. Perfect for a 10 year old, still pink, but a little grown up too. What do you think?

My grandma always liked to have a quilt up for conference, and with the pace that I am going I think I will be ready to have this quilt on frames for conference. If some how I get this done earlier, then I am going to finish my "eye spy" quilt I started with my Harward family on Thanksgiving about 4 years ago. I will have to share that quilt with you all as well. Either way I will have a quilt up for conference! What do you think should I really quilt this pink and black quilt or should I just tie it? I can see both in my head so I'm not sure what I want to do. It is really fun to see this start to come together!

Friday, August 8, 2008

This is how I feel somedays

There are days I just feel so empty inside, she said, that the only cure is buying stuff I don't need from WalMart. The best thing, she added, is that it all breaks after a couple of weeks, so I can throw it out & start all over again.

This describes my feeling today. I want to go shopping. The purse store is calling me, maybe a new restaurant
I haven't been to, instead I am wasting time on the computer, waiting for my sister to call and tell me she can play. Hehe. This thought from the story people also describes how I feel about Walmart-it makes me crazy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Its been a little while since I posted anything, and I always hate it when I leave a rant up for too long, so its time I confessed to what I've been doing the last few days. I have been reading, that sounds great right? I read a mindless book that I like called "A Year of Living Famously". It took me a day to read. I thought that was so much fun, what other mindless stuff could I read. So, I decided to give the "Twilight" books a try. We had to go to Target on Pioneer Day, so I bought the first book. I read a little on Friday, and then after Darren and I got home from seeing Batman on Saturday I read half of the book, until I decided I really needed to get some sleep. I finished it on Sunday(yes, nice Sabbath day reading, but those of you who have read these books will understand). The funny thing about this book, (aside from the story-seriously, try to explain the story without sounding ridiculous) is that it was recommended to me about two years ago. I went to Barnes and Noble to try to find it. The people working there had no idea who Stephanie Meyer was, can you imagine such a thing today? When I found out it was about vampires I decided against it, because I really don't like vampires. I've seen enough vampire movies that just gross me out. However, I have been so intrigued by the popularity of these books, and the age range of people (ok female people) that like them that I was curious. This was the perfect mindless read, totally romantic, what can I say, I am hooked, and must finish the series. Well Monday morning I called my friend that I knew had the books, but she wasn't home. I had to read the next book-no question. I went to the Library with Tiff, and looked for it there, no luck. I had to have the next one to read that night, so I went to Target and bought the next two, I played it safe. So I started "New Moon" Monday evening, and finished it Tuesday afternoon. I am now half way through the third book "Eclipse". I'm taking a break to blog because I just keep laughing at myself. Darren keeps laughing at me too, because when I tell him(a serious sci-fi, fantasy reader) about these vampires he just chuckles. I mean vampires that aren't hurt by the sun, they glitter, what's not funny about that? So, I have them all now, and fully intend to buy the new one on Saturday, let me know if you want to borrow them, they are a great summer read!
This post is titled confessions which hints at more than one, so here is my second confession. I bought the new George Micheal CD. I saw him on Good Morning America on Thursday (I must have been extremely open to suggestion on Pioneer Day), and hearing his music made me confess that I like it. So, I looked at it when I was at Target, but they wanted too much so I bought it at Wal*mart. The funniest part of the interview on GMA was when he said that women love him for his mind. I've never thought about what could be on George Micheal's mind, unless "Wake me up, before you go go" is something deep that I'm missing? Anyway the CD is fun and I like it. I guess you could say my summer really is about being mindless, but I am having a great time!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Homemaking vs. Housekeeping

Darren and I had an interesting conversation yesterday that has kept rolling around in my head. I have been reading the Worldwide Leadership training pamphlet, and I was looking back through the notes that I took the day that it was broadcast. I had written "A lack of homemaking leads to emotional Homelessness." Darren and I then started talking about homemaking and that too often we equate homemaking to a clean house. I believe that there are principles to homemaking and certainly keeping our homes neat is one principle, but I think there is more to homemaking than a clean house. As I thought back to my home growing up I remember comparing our home to my friends houses. It seemed that our house was never quite as clean as everyone else's house, I am sure now that my point of view was somewhat off. We had awesome neighbors, the family across the street was like a second home to me. JoAnne was my Young Women's leader and a second Mom, I could talk to her about anything, and the awesome thing as I look back now was that she always backed up my parents. It seemed like her house was always clean and one day when I was saying something about our house not being as clean she said "You guys have 6 kids, I only have 3". JoAnne taught me something great that day. It wasn't just about having a clean house. It seems like she went on to list all the things my mom did that she didn't. My mom is a great seamstress and sewed a lot of our clothes. She kept 6 kids organized and got us where we needed to be, when we needed to be there, and we participated in a lot of lessons and sports and stuff. She didn't (doesn't) like to cook, but she still taught me how to read and follow a recipe. So as I think about homemaking I think its looking at your family, seeing what your family needs and meeting those needs. Its about having an idea of what will and won't happen in your home and building life around those values. It does involve cooking and cleaning, but if that was all, then everyone that hires a cook and a housekeeper would be a good homemaker as well. That is why I think Sis. Beck says that women in the Church should be the best homemakers. We know what should go on in our homes and what shouldn't, because of that knowledge our homes reflect that.

Another Em rant to start your Monday.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Sentiments- I Love My Dogs!

I really do love my dogs. They are great because they are always happy to see me. I can yell at them and they still love me. All they want is to be fed and loved, and told what to do (it really does make them happy to make me happy). Yes they get obnoxious, and I'm sure my neighbors have all heard me yelling for Molly to come home a lot, but I still love them. So let me tell you a little about each of them
1. Molly
Molly is a symbol to me. We got her on September 10, 2001. To me she symbolizes what an average American family would be doing before September 11 when the world changed. Part of what made that day so stressful for me was dealing with her. I had never had a dog before (my dad believes the best kind of dog is a dead one-love ya Dad!). So as I was watching TV, pregnant and wondering what kind of world I was bringing a baby into, I was also freaking out over this puppy that was peeing and pooping all over my house. I called Darren to find out what to do, and he told me I could put her in the garage. I didn't know you could do that! If you get sick of a dog just stick them somewhere else. Whoever invented "Time Out" must have had a dog. Not long after 9/11 Darren got lost his job. We were both so worried, I wasn't always the comfort that Darren needed because here we were getting ready to have a baby, which we had waited so long to do, and now there was no job, and how were we going to keep our house. Molly didn't care that there was no job, she loved him anyway. Did I mention Molly really is Darren's Dog. She is a German Shorthair, a bird dog. She goes pheasant hunting with Darren, from what I hear she's really good. I would love to see here in action sometime. Molly is also my running/walking buddy. The moment I wake up in the morning she starts whining and won't leave my side (she's worried I will leave her). When I pull out my gray sweatshirt she starts to pull on it, that is the signal we are really going for a walk. She can tell by what I put on first thing in the morning if we are going or not, on weekends she's always a little disappointed when I don't put on the right clothes. I love Molly.

2. Keno
Next is Keno. We got him just over a year ago. Keno has issues. He thinks he is a big dog, and not the Miniature Schnauzer that he really is. So, he gets totally mad if you try to pick him up. When we first got him, we were never sure if he was playing or really mad until he bit us. We got Keno from Darren's brother, when they thought they were going to be moving into an apartment, and couldn't bring the dog. When I first saw Keno I fell in love with him, he is just so cute. Once we got him home and we learned of his anger issues I wasn't so sure I liked him. Now after lots of work with the "Dog Whisperer" (Darren) he has gotten much better. He still rushes the door when people come over and he cries like a baby because he wants to bark, but knows he shouldn't. He also screams like a girl when we take him to the vet or the groomer. The minute we walk in the door of Petsmart he won't move, so we have to carry him (did I mention he hates to be carried?). I now see what a sweet dog he really is, and he tries so hard to be good.So even if there is a lot of this (insert growling here). They really are a part of our family. If I believed in putting vinyl sticker pictures of my family on my car I would have to include my dogs.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

Relief Society

I've been thinking about Relief Society lately. When I moved into this ward 8 years ago I was called to be a Primary teacher with Darren, which we really liked, but that meant I couldn't go to Relief Society From there I was called into Young Women's as the secretary, still couldn't attend the Sunday meeting. Then I moved to the Primary presidency, and served there until three years ago. While I still get to serve in the Primary (which I love) I'm not working with the children on Sunday anymore, so I go to Relief Society. This was a hard switch for me. First, I had a hard time sitting still for that long (its crazy that we thinks kids should be able to do it). Then I thought this is group therapy for some women, and time to "toot my own horn" for other women, and I struggled. I realized I had a bad attitude that I needed to fix. My good friend, Carma, told me that when she first joined the church she realized that it helped women to have somewhere to talk about their struggles. So, I started to change my complaint about "Relief Society being group therapy" attitude. Later during Sunday School Bro. Stock had asked the class to share how they had been successful at doing something, he added that it wasn't bragging because he had asked for examples. That helped me change my women "tooting their own horn" attitude. Later on I was at a fireside where the speaker said that if an "Enrichment" activity didn't sound like something that would enrich your life you didn't need to feel guilty about not going. I've used that excuse A LOT for not going to enrichment. Through all of this I have felt that I really needed to get over these bad feelings about Relief Society. So I started looking at and studying Relief Society, I would really feel the spirit of what this program is supposed to be. Plus, Sis. Beck's (the General R.S. Pres.) talks are awesome I love that she says things straight and doesn't beat around the bush or sugar coat what she is prompted to say.
Last Sunday during the R.S. lesson we discussed how we all have problems. We were studying Elder Wirthlin's talk from last Conference. We all need love and no one is perfect. This isn't a church of perfect people, we all show up on Sunday with our trials that we are trying to overcome. I think I need R.S. for that reason. I need the strength that I get by being around righteous strong women, that struggle just like I do. Last night I went to Enrichment, even though I was tired, and Darren had just gotten home from scout camp late the night before and we hadn't spent anytime together except for sleeping. I thought I would put this new idea that maybe I do need R.S. to the test. I had a good time, it was nice to enjoy the company of my friends and neighbors. I am going to work harder at reaching out to my neighbors, because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that struggles with Relief Society. Its not easy for me to talk to someone I don't know, and I frequently feel like a freak. I also tend to have thoughts that people don't really want to be bothered by me, or that someone that has only met me once won't remember me the next time they see me, so this goal of reaching out is not easy or just the nice Sunday School answer it really means something to me.
I hope this wasn't too long and boring, but its all part of what "Keep Moving Forward" means to me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July

I'm not one to post twice in one day, but I really wanted to post about swimming lessons and 4th of July. Then, I can move on to other things.
I LOVE the 4th of July! I love that its hot. I don't know why other than Darren keeps telling me I can't regulate my own body temperature so its nice not to be cold. I love eating! I mean I love it in general, but on the 4th we have our family's special marinated turkey. This year I made "Frog Eye" salad which I think is so yummy (and for all you out there who had some of my salad I just want you to know I am still eating it, had it for lunch today). Tiff made dutch oven potatoes in the regular oven that were so good we had them again on Sunday. We topped it off with my Aunt Saundra's recipe for Cherry Pecan Ice Cream oh my I could have drank the stuff that melted it was so good. So wow that's a lot about the food we won't mention my good porn, (which was really corn some people just can't hear).
Before we ate we went to the movies and saw Wall*E. I loved it! This might be my favorite Pixar movie! I highly recommend it.
Here are Carter, Sarah, and Shelby sitting on the display. Aren't they cute all dressed a like? My mom made their shirts, notice that the pocket of Carter's shirt matches the girl's shirts. I told you it was in my genetic make-up. You can check out Madeline's shirt on Jared and Liz's blog.

After the movie the kids played on the the slip and slide.
Go Sarah!
Notice Carter's excellent form!

Shelby showed everyone how its done. Note: she was so sore the next day she needed medication!

And finally, no Ward family get together would be complete without Rockband, Singstar, and/or Guitar Hero! We really had a party and played all three.

I also love fireworks! McKay went all out on the fireworks and they were awesome, and West Jordan's fireworks show was really good. Good times.

Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons have run our lives for the last two weeks. I chose to have the girls take lessons at Riverton Pool, since its fairly close and it was affordable. So we drove into town Monday through Thursday for lessons. I chose a lesson time of 11:45, so that we could have lunch at the park and then go back to the pool to swim if we wanted to.
I have lived in Eagle Mountain for almost 8 years, so I am conditioned now that if you go into town you must make it worth the trip so I packed as much as I could into my daily drives. Basically I'm exhausted. The 4th of July on Friday and a trip to Price for Taylor's Baptism made last week totally fun, but also exhausting. We were late for church on Sunday because we just couldn't move fast enough.
So this week is all about catching up on things I have let slide; housework, practicing piano, and blogging. Here are some swimming lesson highlights.
Aren't my girls fabulous in their matching swim suits? I love dressing them the same, its in my genetic make-up.
Here is Sarah leading her class in a game of "red light, green light". The color of the "light" determines how fast you kick your legs.
And now the most climatic moment of all. Its the last day of lessons, will Shelby jump off the high dive? She has jumped off the regular diving board, which took a lot of courage because the water was 12 feet deep. She climbed the high dive once only to turn around and climb back down. Are you on the edge of your seat with anticipation? Well I will leave you in suspense no longer.
She did it!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Progression of Big Hair

Thursday night I went to Mandi's for a fun Girl's Night Out. We watched an awesome movie and then sat around and talked, and laughed. We reminisced about all the trends that we thought were so cool in the '80s, pegged pants, plastic charm necklaces, and Unit clothes (remember the jumpsuits and the bands you wore layered around your waist?), oh, and layered socks. Well my pride and joy of the '80s was my hair so I thought I would share some pictures of my beautifully big hair. The pictures aren't great, they are pictures of pages out of my mom's scrapbooks, but still fun.

This is 8th grade. Notice how my hair looks wet on the sides, that is from the hairspray.

This is 9th grade, the hair clipped up on one side is very stylish. Also notice the scarf-fabulous.
This hair do is work of art. To get it to just flow like that, took talent. Don't you love the little cowboy slide thing at my neck. It was a stressful picture day by the time I got to sit down for the picture I didn't notice that my neck slide was twisted and one end was in my pocket. This was my sophomore year of high school.

So there you have it. Trends I did once that I don't have to do again. I do think it would be fun if our neighborhood party gals all dressed up like it was 1989 for Halloween!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Red Box

Have you tried the Red Box? I gave it a try because I got a couple of coupons for free movie rentals from McDonald's. The Red Box is an interesting thing. Its a great idea because first of all its only $1. So, you rent your movie and then take it back the next day, which is great because I forget about returning a movie on Thursday that I watched Saturday night. Plus if your late to the other places they charge you for another five days and the Red box only charges you for one more night. The thing I don't like about the Red Box is that there is always a line, at least in this neck of the woods, and if there are people waiting behind me I feel self conscious. In a regular video store I can browse and not worry about how long I'm taking, but at the Red Box I feel like I need to know exactly what I want get it, and move on. This must have been invented by a man, because I just described shopping with Darren.
Last night I was returning a movie (after promising Shelby that I would only return the movie and not a buy a drink too, She worries about me keeping the Sabbath day holy). There was a line, of course, it was getting close to 9:00 when the charge for another night is added. There was a lady trying to rent something, it was taking her a while to find what she wanted, so she was getting nervous. She found what she wanted, and then was swiping her card the wrong way, so it wouldn't work, and instead of anyone saying anything, we all stood and watched. So, after about 5 tries she gave up and left. The next lady in an effort to be quick put her movie in the machine and walked away, only to have the machine spit it back out because she put it in wrong. The kid behind her, wearing turquoise and black checkered pants, didn't know what to do with her movie. Good thing the lady was still watching, and came back. She had the movie in the case backwards, once someone pointed this out to her she was able to successfully return her movie and move on. Funny how someone helped that lady, but not the poor lady that had her debit card turned the wrong way. I guess someone decided that helping the second lady would move things along and helping the first lady would only make her be in line longer. Funny that. So, another thing about the Red Box is that it makes for good people watching. How will people behave under pressure? Hope I haven't totally bored you, but I had fun thinking about this.