Saturday, December 27, 2008

Late, but Still Inspiring

When Tim and I visited England (1999) with his parents we stopped one evening at the York Ministry. There was a choir practicing inside and the music was ethereal and brought chills down our spines. Tim and I have agreed it was one of the most spiritual experiences of our lives. We have looked for music that sounded like it ever since. I just found a performance of a favorite German Christmas carol that I found very comparable.When I hear things this beautiful, I know there is something greater and glorious than what can be found in this sometimes dark and dreary world. Happy New Year Everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cats 1, Tree 0

We finally got our tree yesterday. I have been dreading this day ever since it occurred to me that it is going to be a totally different experience with cats. I asked a number of friends who have cats for their advice and experiences. Some have had no problems with their cats but many of them have pretty much wished me good luck with a knowing smile on their faces.

I am thinking of keeping score in this battle of the pets versus the tree. Today: Cats 1, Tree 0.

We came home to the tree laying down on it's side today. We havn't decorated it yet so no harm done. I think we will be making our Christmas Tree ornaments out of paper this year and every year until things change in one way or another. It is too bad I have grown attached to our cats. If it had been our rats..they would have been OUT OF HERE!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

J.C. Penny Redemption (more Christmas Cheer)

This is a pretty hilarious add.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Little Christmas Cheer (. . . at the expense of others)

For the holidays one year, rather than send gifts, my friend decided to enclose checks in her greeting cards. Inside each card she wrote "Buy your own presents" and then sent them off.
A few months later, she discovered the checks she'd "mailed" under a pile of books.
-Ruth Williams (found in Readers Digest, Jan 2009)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Lincoln's Dream

Last night Tim was reading the Advent scripture for the night with the kids. The story was the wise men receiving a dream that warned them not to return to Herod after visiting Jesus. Tim told the kids that some day they may receive an important dream as well, and they should not ignore their dreams.
Lincoln then shared that he dreamed about Jesus. At risk of not giving it the proper reverence I would really like to share it. He said,
"I had a dream about Jesus once. He told me to be quiet."
The Lord really does understand doesn't he?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Layering is in!

Sam has decided he will "change" his own clothes, like 4 times a day. "Chainging" in Sam's language however is "layering" in mine. In this picture he is wearing a blue knit shirt with a collar, then a batman undershirt over that, then an orange and green striped shirt over that and then a blue, white and green striped shirt on top of that. With this in mind, I am glad he asks me to "Change" his diapers for him.

Friday, November 28, 2008


As Thanksgiving has come and gone, I feel a need to give thanks for all of my many blessings.

1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ- Lately, with all the changes and debates going on in our country over moral issues and who is the best person to lead our country, I am so very thankful for the knowledge I have of what is right and wrong. I am also thankful for a leader that is not chosen by the people, but by God. It was such a refreshing difference between all the debates and speeches we have been hearing from our politicians and the talks we heard from the brethren at General Conference. I am grateful for a living prophet who leads us and inspires us. I am thankful for the scriptures and I am thankful for prayer. Without them, I could not receive my own personal knowledge of the truth of this gospel. I am grateful for the knowledge of who I am and what is most important in this life. I am grateful for the knowledge that I can see my parents again some day and that my family, generations past and generations to come will always be a family.

2. Family- I am grateful to my parents who raised me up in the ways of the Lord. They taught me the gospel and they taught me how to love and laugh. They gave me a great childhood which has prepared me for a great adulthood. I am grateful for my brothers and their continued friendship and for my new sister-in-law. She fits in so well with our family and is a wonderful addition.
I am thankful for my husband who puts up with me and can't be praised enough as a husband and father. I am thankful for his family. Especially his parents who have acted as wonderful parents to me with the loss of mine. I can't relate when I hear stories of not getting along with the in-laws and I am grateful for that. I am very blessed to have them. Tim's brothers, and sister and their spouses are always a pleasure to be with and talk with as well. I am grateful for the sisters his family has provided me with. It is fun to be the big sister in his family while I am the little sister in mine.
I am thankful for my wonderful children. As they grow older they become less work and more friends. I know this will probably change in the teens but I hope not too much. They bring so much joy to my life. Of course there is opposition in all things, but from those occasions , I learn valuable lessons of patience and understanding so I am grateful for those moments too.

3. Friends- What would life be without friends? I am thankful for my life long friends that I have way back from my school days. I am thankful for the ones I have made in my adulthood, on my mision and with my new family. I am so grateful for the support they lend me as a parent. It is so nice to have someone to talk to who can say, "No you are not crazy, because I have the same problem." At least I am in good company with my insanity right? I am grateful for the friends my kids have too.
Friends make the hard times easier and the good times even better.

4. Books- I love a good book. I love it's ability to put me in someone else's shoes, in a different place, a different time. I love the knowledge that if I have free time I know exactly how I want to spend it.

5. My home- This includes my neighbors, my ward, our kids school, our yard and the rec-center and park behind us. I have lived in this home for a year and two months and I love it as much if not more now for all of its hidden pleasures. I love everything about it. It is when I am with the people in our ward that I feel the most like this is home to me. What a group of wonderful people.

I have many more things I am grateful for but these are my top 5.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Last Cookie

Sometimes being a peace maker means you are willing to eat the last cookie so no one else has to fight over it. It's tough to be a mom.

Monday, November 24, 2008

4 of my Greatest Blessings

Notice how all blessings have their light and dark sides? :)

Kids and Kittens

And I had to add this one we took today. You put the kid in a shirt and tie and suddenly he is Mr. Smooth

Thursday, November 20, 2008

By Demand Part 2: Indoor pictures

Entry Way and living room
The Kitchen

The Living room
The Library
Dinning Room(above) TV room in basement (below)

Monday, November 17, 2008

By Demand

My sister in law asked me to post some pictures of our house she has never seen. . I better oblige. I will post some pictures of the inside some time too.

The Downfall of Autumn

I love this picture. I love all the leaves but even more I love the look of dismay on their faces. I am guessing it has to do with the leaves.
When I think of Autumn, I think of leaves, then my hands get sweaty and my heart starts to beat a little faster. That first leaf I see on the ground at the beginning of fall brings to mind the Psycho theme: "CHING CHING CHING!!!" Don't get me wrong, I love Autumn I love autumn leaves too. . . If I don't have to rake them. How big of a deal can it be you ask?
Take a look at this picture.

Look at all the leaves my kids are playing with, and then look at all the leaves that are STILL on the trees and are yet to be raked up!!! We have three of these willows. I love the trees. I love that they give beautiful green shade in the summer and lose their leaves in the winter to give plenty of light to our house. I don't love the in between so much. There are TONS more leaves at the side of the house, and in the back of the house. Not just from our trees but the trees behind and beside our back yard.

I admit, I love the bright orange and red ones, even as I am working hard to pick them up, they elicit wonder and awe as they are very beautiful. But by the 15th bag I fill with them, they are less wonderful and more awful. I imagine as the kids get older and can help more and more with this process and as I get a system down, I will learn to loath it less and less. Tim is helpful when he can be, but it is dark by the time he gets home from work and the weekends we would all rather be doing something else than raking leaves all day. I only have last year to remember and all I remember is intimidating piles of leaves calling to me, telling me I need to put them in bags before they blow all over the place again or kill the grass they are piled on.

With all this work and toil comes blessings however. It is a reminder that all beautiful things require work. The work itself brings blessings. Here is an example of one of those blessings.My kids are working together!!!! This gives us all the opportunity to work hard and learn its value. Is this not a blessing? How about the satisfaction we feel when we are done? Doesn't the cocoa taste a little better and the fire a little warmer when we have just finished working hard outside? We know we earned it! It also forces us to be outside in the cold when we might otherwise be inside. We get to see the beautiful colors of fall and feel the crisp cool air of the approaching winter. Lets not forget the great exercise we are getting.

Last year, I had just moved in to the house and I didn't have the same appreciation for our trees that I do now. This fall I am going to try harder to be grateful for our trees. They bring so much beauty to our lives the whole year round. Even in the Autumn.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Counting Down

I am excited about the new James Bond movie "Quantum of Solace" coming out this Friday. I am even more excited that my husband and I are doing a big group date with our friends on Saturday to see it as a matinee.

I have my concerns that I might not like it as much as the last one. Last time I was pleasantly surprised because I am usually not that big a fan of James Bond movies. I wonder what the difference was. . hmmmm. . I am guessing it had a little to do with the casting. Seeing the vulnerable side to James Bond was a nice change too. Usually James Bond movies aren't romances. Now I have higher expectations they may not be able to meet.

It may be a little disappointing, but I doubt it will be THIS bad.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Confessions of a Torn Republican

I have torn feelings at the end of this election. I voted for McCain but only because his ideas more closely agreed with mine. I didn't think he was the best man for the job either. I don't know a lot about Obama's positions on things but I know he has some very radically liberal ideas. I know there are a lot things he believes in that I do not. He doesn't have a lot of experience behind him either.

At the same time I can't help but be very happy for him as a person. I don't agree with his political views but I don't think he is another Hitler or a person who hates America as I have read so much about on the internet. I realize I don't know what results will come of his election. I may come to wish I never wrote this blog entry but for now I chose to be optimistic.

I can't help but feel very happy for what his election stands for. President Bush put it well in his speech this morning when he said that his success represents the American dream. This means a lot to a lot of people. I was teary eyed listening to Obama's speech last night and to President Bush's this morning. Politics aside I feel proud to be an American and excited about the historic step this country has taken in voting for an African American as it's president.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I've been Tagged

What Wallpaper do you have on your desktop right now? It says a lot about a person. Describe it or show the picture. Tag 6 other people. My kids begged me to take this picture of them. I could have done so much more with it I know. I thought it an appropriate picture for this week.
I tag Lis, Heather, Heidi, Sarah, Amber and Eileen and Rebekah. . . I know that isn't 6. Too bad!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Motley Crew

Here are the kids in their Halloween Costumes. Joe is a Magician, Elisabeth is Nancy Drew, Lincoln is Indiana Jones and Sam is a Ghostbuster. This is after all their Trick or Treating at the mall and Trunk or Treating at our Ward's party so they are a little sloppy. They sure had a lot of fun and sure HAVE a lot of candy! What do you think of Elisabeth's expression in the second picture? We are in BIG trouble!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today it occurred to me that Lincoln knows his name well enough now that I could have him read his name on our books about Abraham Lincoln and realize he had the same name. Then I could explain to him who he is named after. I asked him if the name looked familiar. He said it didn't. Then I had him spell out his name and pointed out the letters as he said them. He got excited when he realized he had the same name.

Elisabeth almost said Abraham Lincoln was a president but I told her not to because I had been waiting all this time until he was old enough to to appreciate and I wanted to be the one to tell him. Yeah, I am selfish. So I told him that Abraham Lincoln was a President of the United States and did very important things. This is his response
Lincoln: You should tell Dad!
Me: I think you should tell dad... he would think it is cool that you are so excited.
Lincoln: But I am not.

I waited 5 years for this day. . . for him to know he was named after an important person. Apparently I have to wait a little longer if I want him to actually appreciate it.

The Powers that Be

Have you ever wondered how to get rid of the hard water deposits and scum around your sink drains? Or anywhere? I mean besides getting a water softener. . . My mom taught me a secret the last time she visited my home. I have been noticing a nasty ring around my drains again and thought I should try it again. It always amazes me how well it works and how easy it is. Yeah...I need a life.
Anyway. Here is a before and after. I wish I had thought of taking a before and after picture before my last sink.
The secret? Vinegar. Let it soak for a few minutes. If it doesn't come off, wait some more. Ok. . . some of you may already know this, but for those who don't. Now you do!

Monday, October 27, 2008

IKEA: House of Horrors

Elisabeth received a coupon for a 3D Spook house at IKEA. We had no idea what it was and we decided to go check it out last weekend. Immediately upon entering the store we started looking for some signs or something to show us where it was. I saw a group of people go by. I heard them talking:
Person 1: Should we go upstairs?
Person 2: No! I don't want to do the maze again!
Foolishly I assumed because we were there for the Spook House , so was everyone else. I said to Tim.
"Hey . . . you should ask them. . .it sounds like they just came from it." I thought to myself "It must be a little scary if he doesn't want to repeat it. "
Tim then enlightened me that "The maze" is most likely in reference to the show room upstairs. I can be so oblivious. Now that I write this it so obvious.

The spook house is good for little kids but but a little cheesy. It is a big tent set up in the far corner of the parking lot, furthest from the store itself. There is a sign at the front stating "NO REFUNDS" Not terribly promising is it? It was fun to see kids reactions and it was probably just perfect for them. Nothing too scary. The kid's school gets $5.00 from what we payed so it is a school fundraiser too. There is a lady waiting at the end looking apologetic. She says
"You guys can go again if you want." What was said in the tone of her voice but not in words was
"I am sorry. I know it isn't that great and maybe you think the $25 dollars you just spent was wasted. Maybe if you do it again for free, quantity will make up for quality." We did it again. I don't think we will want to repeat it next year. I think the maze in the upstairs of IKEA is scarier. It is certainly harder to find your way out at least. As the famous song Hotel California goes "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave. . ." at least not without spending a lot more money and time than you planned to going in.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Joe makes Church Movies now!

Today Joe was dying to play with his Movie Maker program and since it was Sunday we said he had to make a movie with some spiritual message. We suggested he do it on our scripture of the week. Moses 7:18. I knew he would do good things with it. This is what he and Elisabeth came up with.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Movie Club

My son Joseph and his friends Duncan and Jake made this music video for one of my favorite songs, Viva la Vida. I think these boys did a great job picking the pictures and timing it just right. They received NO help from any grown ups. I am impressed that Joe seems to know more about Windows Movie Maker than Tim does these days. Tim was asking him how to do something with the program the other day. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fruitsnacks and Applesauce and Juice! Oh My!

I love our house, and this year, I love our trees and grapevines too. As I explained in an earlier blog, I canned peaches about a month ago, and now it is time to harvest the apples and grapes. Tim went out and bought a juicer and I bought a dehydrator. Both in the name of Tim's birthday. If we have all this fruit every year we are going to have to get this stuff eventually so better sooner than later. I hope my friends forgive me for not making it a girls activity like a planned. There is always next year when I am more familiar with the process and know how much I get.

So, Saturday we made made 6 quarts of concord grape juice. We don't have any canning jars so it is just going to have to drunken soon. That is OK . I LOVE concord grape juice. After this week that might change though. Apparently one needs to prepare to be truly prepared. Wal-mart was out of canning jars on Thursday. Anyone know where else to get them? I haven't even had time to look. I guess next year I will know to be more prepared.

Sunday we dried some apples and bananas. They are addictively yummy. The dehydrator sounds like a blow dryer so we need to find a place to put it other than the kitchen or run it at night. It is just white noise but after 6 hours straight, it can get on the nerves. Yes, I worked on Sunday. We also went to church early enough to sit in the chapel instead of the cultural hall (where we usually sit.) Does that cancel it out? Probably not.

We made apple juice and applesauce as well. The cool part is that with a steam juicer you make them at the same time. You have to peel and core the apples. Then you steam the juice out of the apples. It takes about 90 mins and the bounty isn't as much as for the grapes but the pulp that is left behind is the apple sauce. That makes up for the less juice I think. One 1 lb of apples makes 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of juice.

I didn't have any idea it could be so easy. I thought you would have to have some fancy machine or grate apples till it killed you or your hands. I thought to have juice you would need some fancy press machine. The juicer can be used as a blancher and vegetable steamer as well. It has a water pan, a pan to collect the juice, and a metal basket with wholes to hold the fruit.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Tim!!!!!

It is hard to make an entry about Tim that doesn't sound like it is meant for an anniversary or Valentines. That is because I can't celebrate him with out thinking about how happy I was when he became a part of my life. I am so glad he did! I am even more glad that he decided to stay a part of my life. I couldn't ask for a more wonderful man to spend the rest of my life and forever with. I could tell you how awesome he is but I already wrote a blog entry all about him and he is still just as wonderful a person. I love you Tim! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kids make reason stare!

Lincoln: "Mom, can I eat lunch downstairs?"
Me: "You have to eat the apples and drink your milk up here but then you can bring the sandwich downstairs."
Lincoln: "But I don't like apples! I don't want the milk! (add really whiny tone)"
After arguing this one for a little while
Lincoln: "Mom, Sam has more apples than me!" He then bursts into tears!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Elisabeth's Baptism

My daughter was baptized today! What a nice meeting it was too. Tim performed the baptism and confirmed her. What a blessing it is to have a worthy priesthood holder for a husband. Thank you Tim.

My brother David gave the Holy Ghost talk and used her very special blankie (that we secretly brought with us this morning) for his talk. She was quite thrilled to see it. I asked him to give the talk because he gave the Holy Ghost talk at my baptism so many years ago and did such a great job :) Thanks David! Eric, you have two and a half years to get ready for Lincoln's baptism. Both of my brothers were able to witness and participate in her confirmation. On Tim's side his Grandma was able to come for which we were very grateful. The rest of his family are all in different states. Most of our friends were able to come. Friends and family sure helped a lot in managing my smaller kids. THANK YOU! I was really worried about it from past baptism expereiences so I am more grateful than you can know.

I was able to do a little more for her baptism because I was able to help her dry off and get dressed up again afterwards. I wont get to do that with the boys. That was special for me.
We celebrated with her choice of resturants for lunch. Doc's Pizza Buffet.
Congratulations Elisabeth! We are so proud of you!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Cold by any other Name

The last few days I have been suffering from a really stuffy nose, headaches, sneezing attacks, a scratchy throat, and most recently a cough. Up until a few years ago I would have said I have a cold. You treat colds with rest and liquids right? I don't know if I was just ignorant, or my parents were ignorant, but I had never heard of such a thing as a "sinus infection" until I moved to Utah. It sounds so sinister.

I really feel like what I have is a cold and that is what it should be called but I have had friends describe similar illnesses and call it a "Sinus Infection." I hear they take antibiotics to treat it. I never would have dreamed of taking an antibiotic for a "cold". I hope I never have to. My body is already pumped with antibiotics from other infections that I enjoy on a frequent and regular basis. Whatever this thing is called, I call it misery.