Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gathering Inspiration

This month a group of bloggers are writing for 31 days about things that they are passionate about. I have loved reading these blogs. You can check them out if you'd like by clicking on one of the top two buttons at the right, they are just two of many women that are writing. These women are writing about finances, decorating, photography, living simply, entertaining, enjoying Fall, and grace. Its like inspiration for the taking.

I haven't known what to write, because my thoughts are all over the place. I read something at this sight today that helped me put things into focus. This amazing woman is writing about 31 days of grace. I have spent the afternoon thinking about grace. I know that I need it, and want it in my life, I think we all do. But what really hit me today was how much I need to share grace. People are good, and everyone is trying to do good, more than good; we try to do the best we can. That is enough.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Living Joyfully within My Means

I have had this post bouncing around in my head, and I hope to that I can find the right words. This topic could be a series of posts for me, because it has been the focus of my life probably since I became an adult, but very intensely for the last couple of years.

I am learning the joy of providently living. It is not easy. There are two things I do when I am feeling stressed, the first is eat, and the second is shop. I am awesome at budgeting, meaning creating a budget. I keep track of everything I spend, writing it down in my checkbook register and adding it to my budget. Now, following that budget is a whole other issue. I have done hard things in my life; loose 108 pounds, check (yes, that was hard and its still a struggle to keep it off, but I did it), pull my kids out of public school to home school and face the stigma and judgment of others- again hard, but I did it. Follow my budget, now we are talking about something really hard.

Over the years I have come up with a lot of little tricks I use to "float" my money. So what the bank says and what I know to be real are two very different numbers. Well over the past couple of years I started to get real. I took an honest look at my debt and what needed to happen to start paying it off. I watched some great videos and used debt calculators at this site. Progress has been slow (which, honestly, frustrates me-I have realized I do have an issue with patience and wanting instant gratification) but the balances are getting smaller.

Here is the biggest lesson I have learned. More money isn't the answer. I wish it were, but it's not. The answer is a wise stewardship over money. In September I made a serious commitment to get back on track. The reality is a huge leap of faith. I have to trust that because the council to live providently comes from prophets of God that I will be guided in this trial. As I have tried to harder than ever to live frugally I have been blessed with inspiration.

Food is the area of the budget with the most flexibility. We have a freezer full of meat, and my storage room is stocked. So, we have been living primarily off of what is already in the house. The goal: not to go grocery shopping at all, live completely off of what we already have. That didn't work. We have needed a few runs to the grocery store. Here is what has happened. With careful planning I have been able to order from a local food co-op, a couponing trip, and bulk food order. I have been blessed with inspiration and energy to make meals at home, really cutting what we have spent on eating out.

I know this has been a long post so I'll end with a scripture that really touched me.
"...take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than rainment?
"For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." 3 Nephi 13:25, 32-33.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Keep Moving Forward- Happiness is this Right Here

About six months ago I started p90x with my sister, Tiffanie. It was painful and hard. To make ourselves feel better we started making fun of the teacher/creator of p90x Tony Horton. We now have a bunch of "Tonyism" that we say, things taken from the workout videos to motivate or maybe it was even just mindless stuff that Tony would say. One of those is "Happiness is this right here." Tony says it during a stretch at the end of a workout. Tiffanie and I started applying it to Diet Pepsi and cookies, and other related unhealthy things. The thing is I have found myself thinking it at other times lately; like when I'm spending time with my family and we are enjoying being together. I caught myself with this thought in my head, and realized that, Yes, happiness is This Hight here.

I've been working very hard lately at listening to the Holy Ghost. Trying to understand the will of my Heavenly Father for me. It has been hard, but I am learning so much. I have often felt a desire to write down the lessons I learn, because they are small lessons. I am a great believer in the scripture; "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass". I don't want to forget these small lessons, and I want to better recognize them. So I need to be writing them down. I have been trying to decide what to do with my blog, should I just delete it? Its mostly become a big bookmark for my favorite sites, I rarely write. The more thought and prayer I've put into writing about things and what to do with my blog, I've come to realize that I need to be writing those lessons here. I've been hesitant to do that because it may turn people off, but so few people read my blog, and these are my lessons that I want to write down for me, and possibly to share with future generations. So that is what I'm going to do.

Keep Moving Forward is the name of my blog for a reason. The reason is; that is all you can do. Keep Moving Forward. I struggle with so many things; my weight, money, parenting (which includes educating my children at home), my callings in Church. That I can get pretty hard on myself when I don't measure up to the standard that I feel I should. All I can do is Keep Moving Forward.

I hope you will join me on this journey I am on, its so much more fun with friends and people who care about you. I am making no promises about how often I will write, I am working toward at least once a week. The topics will be varied because that is life and the lessons are in everything, the goal is to see the lessons and decide how to apply them and enjoy the journey.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New insight- cooking calms my nerves

I just realized today that cooking helps me relieve stress, although the previous post should have given me a clue. I know this is true for lots of people (Tiff loves to cook and makes brownies when she's stressed), but I never thought I was one of those people. I like to cook, and I have found the process of chopping vegetables to be therapeutic, something about taking a bunch of ingredients and making something wonderful. I also like being able to make a meal for my family that is really delicious.

A while ago Mandi led me to Our Best Bites,(see button to the left) they have such good recipes. They are all tried, and perfected, easy and so yummy. I have made lots of their recipes, but this week I have been obsessed. It started with making the Asian BBQ chicken, and then taking the leftovers to make pizza on the grill (which btw was easy and so fun). Friday morning Darren worked from home and I got up to look for a yummy breakfast, and made breakfast taquitos -so good! Plus, this summer I have become obsessed with wanting to own a small, counter top ice cream maker. Especially when OBB had a snickerdoodle ice cream recipe (I LOVE cinnamon, and really LOVE snickerdoodles). After searching my local Target, and Walmart for ice cream makers I turned to the internet and good old Amazon came through. My ice cream maker was set to be delivered on Thursday. I planned my whole day around it! I even made sugar cookies (our best bites, of course) to put in the ice cream. When I saw the UPS man leave without delivering my ice cream maker I wanted to eat a bag of M&Ms I was so upset. Lucky for my waist he came back, and ice cream making was back on. I made the custard, which had to cool overnight, put the ice cream freezer in the freezer, and I was set to make snickerdoodle ice cream Friday night. It did not disappoint- so good that when I woke up this morning I grabbed a spoon and headed for the freezer.

What does this have to do with stress relief? I'm getting to that. Since yesterday's ice cream was so good I decided I needed to try another flavor. I was torn between blueberry cheesecake and caramelized banana. I chose the banana because I have some bananas that need to be used.

Today we went shopping to get Shelby (and me) ready for girls camp. We only needed to buy a few things, but it was stressing me out. We still need to get her secret sister stuff. Plus, since I'm going too, and being the planner that I am, I've been trying to figure out: 1)what snacks I need to bring, so that I can eat healthy,2)what is the best way to get my trailer to girls camp, 3)Darren is coming for the first night as priesthood, so what does he need to bring, and 4)what do we do with Sarah while we're all gone. I finally have that all figured out, but when we got home from shopping I was feeling a little fried, so I decided to caramelize the bananas and get my custard for the ice cream chilling so I can make it tomorrow. That did the trick, totally helped me unwind. Who knew? I didn't have to eat a thing, just cook. That is a revelation.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My house isn't clean, but I'm making cupcakes

So I am happy. Today I feel happy. It's been a bit of a rough week with my grandma passing. My bathrooms are clean, my bedroom is almost clean, and I'm sifting through the paper that seems to gather in piles around my house. Darren and I took Keno to get his shots today, and then decided to see if we could get him to the groomer as long as we were out and had him with us. The groomer(Scotty's K-9 design-who we love and is local in Saratoga Springs) could get him in today. I have an app on my phone that lets me check movie times, and we could get into a showing of Robin Hood, while Keno was getting groomed so we thought, "why not?". It was great to spend the day with Darren, and its great to put things back in order at home. Plus I got my hair done yesterday, and that is always a lift to my spirit.

I love my grandma, and I will miss her. I have realized this week what I have learned from her; mostly the value of running a home and doing it well. She did. I have also realized how much my family means to me. My parents are my rock, and I have leaned on them for support, and maybe they don't know that, but they have lifted me up this week. I have awesome brothers and sisters, and great cousins, and aunts and uncles that I want to keep in touch with and have them be a part of my life.

So mostly life is good. I really am living the dream when I stop and think about what I always wanted for my life and how things are working out. I owe that to a loving Heavenly Father. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where I'm at

Sometimes I forget I have a blog, and sometimes I just don't know how to write what I'm thinking. I worry that I get too philosophical and that it turns people off, but really that's me. I'm always looking for the meaning of what's going on in my world. So here's here's what's going on in my world.

1.I have two awesome kids!

2.I was released from my Primary calling. I went through a bit of an identity crisis, but not to worry I ate my way through. I also learned that I can survive change, I am not perfect, but I do "Keep Moving Forward"

3.I am struggling with my motivation for healthy living, I am awesome at working out, but the eating is another story. When I started teaching I chose to go to Weight Watchers on Saturday. Its hard to give up a Saturday morning, Darren likes to make waffles on Saturday, and I would have to skip, because I was going to weigh in, plus stuff always comes up or happens on Saturday, so I was missing meetings a lot. Tiff is my loyal buddy and we try to keep each other motivated, but we were really missing our "kick butt" leader. We took the leap and went at night to a class that she teaches, not knowing what that would do to our numbers, lived through it, then Easter candy happened and I am trying to find my motivation.

4. I read blogs today and learned that two of my friends are really struggling and my heart goes out to them. Its always frustrating to me when I get so caught up in my life, that I miss when those I love are hurting. Just know that I love you and you are in my prayers.

5.Darren's parent's mission began yesterday. They are living at home while they go to the MTC, so they aren't gone yet. I am so proud of them! Darren's parents are such great examples to me. We have spent a lot of time with his family the last few weeks, there have been decisions to make and it has been a little stressful, but one of the things I love about the Shipley's is that they are always there for each other when you need them. I love you all.

6. My parents are moving! I am so excited for them! They have bought a very nice house in West Jordan (our home town), back where they belong.

7. I am starting to earn my Personal Progress award with Shelby. When our Ward YW presidency mentioned doing this with our daughters at New Beginnings in January I just thought "I'm too busy, and I can't take on one more thing." Then I got released from my stake calling, and when I went to recognition night with Shelby and the Mothers were challenged again I thought "maybe" then during conference someone said it again and I thought "ok I get the point". Yesterday I bought myself a book, read through it and picked out my first goal. I am going to work on the same value as Shelby. She is almost done with Knowledge, and then plans to work on Integrity, so that is where I'm starting. Part of the reason I was reluctant to do this was that I earned my medallion when I was a Young Woman, so I thought I was good, but the Spirit has told me I need to do this with my daughters. My plan is to earn the award with Shelby and then work on the honor bee award with Sarah, when she turns 12 in 4 years.

8. How perfect for number 8-Sarah is turning 8! I can't believe it! I thought Shelby was so big when she turned 8, but Sarah is still little, but seems to be getting bigger in my eyes every day. She is having an animal rescue party on Saturday, that will be so much fun! I love my Sarah, she has such a sweet testimony wrapped up in her fiery spirit.

9. Its spring break, and there is snow on the ground! What's up with that? I am so ready for warm weather!

Monday, February 8, 2010


I love to read! My favorite afternoon activity is reading, I love to get all cozed up(a Sarah phrase), and read, maybe even take a little nap. I have this dilemma when it comes to reading. I pick something I think I want to read and then if I don't get totally sucked in I start reading something else. I still want to read the previous selection, so I end up with about 5 or so books on my nightstand(which is why my nightstand is now a bookcase) that I intend to read. So, I've been reading the same three books for a month,(one of them is a tip a day book, so who knows how long that will take me), in the meantime I've read a couple of other books. Last night I finished the 2nd Percy Jackson book (its Shelby's, but I love them-we are so excited for the movie to come out this weekend), today I am looking for something to read. I opened a goodreads account and that is helping me organize my big list of books I want to read. Which brings me to my second dilemma. When I started on this Thomas Jefferson Education path (our home school philosophy) part of that is being well read and learning from the classics, not an easy task when your trying to educate your children as well, but that is something for another post. So then there is the choice of what I want to read, plus the classics which I also want to read, but fall more under the category of 'should' read. I know I make things complicated. There is something about if its what I want and enjoy I must do all the 'shoulds' first. I scanned my lists, and then my bookcase, put a few books on hold with the library, and have decided to go with something that was sitting on my nightstand. Happy reading.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Big changes are happening in our house this week! I'm not one that deals with change well, but this week has gone exceptionally well, which is a reminder to me that my Heavenly Father has a hand in my life and is helping me through this change. So lets get on with it, right?

Since I'm a story teller, you get the whole back story. When I was deciding about home schooling my kids a mom in my colloquia I was attending at the time told me about the Kimber Academy, and LDS private school, her kids had just started attending. I loved what she had to say and it sounded like the best of both worlds the kids go 3 days a week for 4 hours, they get the benefit of being in school and being home, it sounded perfect. I looked into it more and it just came down to we couldn't afford it. Fast forward to the Kimber Academy opening a school in Lehi. I was so excited, maybe some day my kids could go there. My brother in law, Mike, knew of the Kimber family from his home school days, and enrolled Carter in the school in Lehi. I received an email through the Eagle Mountain homeschoolers message board about elective class being taught at the Kimber Academy. I had had my eye out for a good art class for my kids, and art was one of the classes that they were offering, so my kids started going to art once a week, and loved it. Every month Tiffanie tells me about the great parent meeting and how awesome the school is. Then, a little while ago Tiffanie told me that Carter's teacher was quitting to have a baby. I started bouncing the idea of teaching there around in my head. One day I asked Tiff what she thought of me applying for the job. She was very encouraging and got some information for me. My main thought was, would my kids be able to go there if I taught. After a lot of prayer Darren and I decided I should go ahead and apply. I interviewed last week and was offered the job as the teacher of the reading class on Monday. I started teaching on Tuesday. My kids also started going to class on Tuesday. What an amazing week.

My kids, especially Shelby, love the school. I have been praying a lot about what it is that Shelby needs right now, and I don't think its a coincidence that this is happening right now. A light has come on with her that is so exciting to see. Sarah is also happy to be there, and its great for me to be there too, so she can come and see me whenever she needs to. I love my class, I'm so excited about the curriculum that I get to teach and my kids get to learn.

It has been a crazy week, figuring out our new schedule. Mike and Tiff have been such a big help and things could not have gone so well if weren't for Mike taking the kids to school. I am so excited about this opportunity for our family.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Finding Joy in January

I've mentioned this before, January is my least favorite month. The main reason is that January is so gray, the sky is cloudy and days of blue sky seem rare. So this year I have had this idea of finding joy in January bouncing around in my head, and as I've thought about this past week I've realized that so far so good. Let me share why.

First, in our Relief Society our ward is focusing on making "Home a Heaven" each month has a room for you to work on in spiritual, physical, financial, and emotional ways. There is a scripture that goes a long with each month and a FHE to have to work on that room. This month the room is the bedroom. This week Target had a 3-shelf bookcase on sale for $16 dollars I went a picked one up; and now it serves as my night stand, but clears all the books that I'm working on reading right now, that I have stacked throughout my room, into one place. I love it! I have also decided that I am going to finally get Shelby's room done. Do you remember that quilt I started a year and a half ago? Well, I'm going to finish it, get her room painted, paint the picture frames and shelf in her room, and get new ribbon for her mirrors, and get it done. I am working on binding her quilt and I have two sides completed, so I'm almost done. Sarah's room has also gotten some attention this week. I rearranged; hoping to make it easier for her to make her bed; I also realized her room could use a new coat of paint, that will have to wait-one project at a time.

The next thing bringing me joy is reading. I have always loved reading. I haven't set some great New Year's resolution, I just want to be healthy -physically, spiritually, and mentally. I have found some books that I am really enjoying that are helping me on that journey. I have been kind of a snob about what I will read; trying to stick with classics (not just old books, but books that have something I can learn) I'm starting to see how broad the definition of a classic can be. I was inspired by Hayley and her list of books she read last year, and I have decided to copy her and make my own list, so that I can look back at the end of the year at what I've read and hopefully what I've learned. I signed up on Goodreads this week, and like having a list like that of books I want to read, and I also like being able to get recommendations from people I know and trust, because there is a lot of garbage out there. Be prepared to hear more about the books I'm reading.

Blogging is giving me joy. I have found some blogs that I really enjoy. I have added the links or buttons on the left. I have made so many yummy things from Our Best Bites, and I love the Fashion Blog (sometimes she talks a little strange, but I found some great tutorials and tying a scarf), reading Nie Nie keeps me humble, and I love Pioneer Woman, and I love reading updates from my friends and family too. I check the blogs in the morning; its my little minute (that can turn into 30 if I'm not careful) that starts my day happy before we jump into school. I know that facebook and twitter are more popular, but I love the blog.

Finally(I know this has been long, thanks for sticking with me), last night we took Shelby to the Temple to do baptisms for the dead for the first time. What an experience. The spirit I felt last night as I was there with her was such a boost, such a confirmation of the truthfulness of temple work. The temple workers were so sweet to her, knowing that it was her first time; taking every opportunity to explain to her what was going on, why they did things a certain way, and where she should go next. Darren got to baptize and confirm her, I was so happy to be there. We learned that only the youth can do temple file names, we adults need to bring family names, just a little info for those of you that haven't done this before. I didn't know that, so I didn't do baptisms, I just watched. But, it did not diminish my experience at all; plus it was great to be able to just be there for Shelby and help her through her first time. It was a great night. I left feeling a desire to be more diligent in my temple attendance. Thank you Shelby, for getting us to the temple last night.

There it is, my Joy in January. There are also some great things to come this month that I am looking forward to. Tomorrow is Ward family FHE, and I'm really looking forward to seeing my family; we really do have a great time together (I'm using the word 'really' a lot). Sarah gets to go to 8 is great next Sunday-I can't believe she is getting baptized this year! We have Christmas Jammie pictures on the 18th, that is always chaos, but the pictures are sooooooooooooooooooooo stinkin' cute! We also get to go to New Beginnings with Shelby, having a Young Woman is a new experience; we are having a lot of firsts right now, maybe I should write about that someday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

As Long as we're sharing bad Christmas pictures

Jenny and Kelly both shared pictures of themselves on Christmas that were less than flattering. After a review of my Christmas pictures I thought I join in the fun.
Like my friends this is the only picture of me on Christmas(isn't my head scarf fabulous?). I think this calls for some action. We Moms should make sure we are better documented in our family's lives. I'm worried that someday my kids will look back through the scrapbooks and say "I think my mom was there".

Monday, January 4, 2010


I have a sort of love/hate feeling about Monday. I hate that Darren goes back to work and isn't around all day. I love a fresh start, and that is Monday to me. I love putting the house back to order after the weekend. Tiff told me that she learned Monday's are for recovering from Sunday, that if Sunday doesn't wear you out than your doing something wrong. For me, this was a relief to hear, I thought there was something wrong with me that Sunday (a day of rest) left me so worn out. I think that as we go to church, and try to be in tune with the Spirit, so that we can be guided to our Heavenly Father's will for us, can be exhausting. Let's not talk about extra meetings, getting our family out the door on time, and then keeping them quiet through sacrament meeting. So, ever since I was told that Monday's are a day to recover from Sunday, I have ordered my week so that I am home all day on Monday. It has helped me to really look forward to Mondays. I am able to get so much done, and get my week going in a productive, and positive direction. I got a lot done today, and we had a good school day, it feels good to be productive, and remind myself that I do work hard. I enjoyed a little holiday break, but it felt good to get back to our regular routine today.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Mother Goose came! This is a family tradition that I grew up with. You put your shoe under the Christmas tree on New Year's Eve and Mother Goose fills it up! In our family Mother Goose leaves books, I love it!

You may notice the lack of a Christmas tree, or any type of festive decoration, in this picture of my living room, well that is because I took it down a few days ago. Christmas was stressful for me this year and the relief I have felt this week that it is over has been tremendous. I did feel a little guilty "breaking Christmas", as I called it, so early, but I needed to put it away. I did leave our little tree up downstairs for Mother Goose, but everything else is gone! We had a great Christmas. I enjoyed spending time with my family (the four of us and our extended family). I realized how much I love Christmas eve with my family and the Shipley Christmas party. I love the brother/sister dinners. I needed that reminder this year to help me learn which traditions to hang on to and which ones just add more stress to the holidays and need to be let go. I felt the Spirit testify to me of the reality of the birth of my Savior Jesus Christ. That is what Christmas is all about; not all the craziness. I am grateful that I was reminded of that this year, and had the courage to say 'no' when I needed to.

I love new beginnings and looking back at how far we've come over the last year. Since this is the beginning of a new decade I have also thought back to where we were at this time ten years ago; and though we have challenges and struggles now I am grateful to be in this place now. Life is good and I am happy. The bittersweet of it all is that now its January. I don't like January, its cold and gray. I am grateful for everyday that the sky is blue and I can see the sun. So my goal this year (I love goals, and any reason to set one) is to live a healthy life; not just physically (which is always a challenge), but emotionally, and spiritually. I wish you all the same!