Monday, December 31, 2007

Sick Kids + Sick Me = No Blogging
Happy New Year! I hope to be back among the living soon!

Friday, December 28, 2007

First of all, if you can tell me what movie the title of this post is from, I'll make you one of those little fabric bags! You'll get to pick your colors from my ever expanding fabric stash! I'm going to put a few together this weekend... so, whoever gets it correct first, wins!
Second, I just wanted to clarify on my list of goals: I have 100's of other things I could add to that list. I don't want y'all to think that I only have 4 things to work on! I've just discovered something about myself over the years. When I start out with a list that is 100 miles long, I get easily overwhelmed. Then I get discouraged. Next comes defeat, followed closely by feeling like a complete failure. So, I've learned to keep my lists short and sweet!
Now... onto the questions!
  1. For those of you who exercise in the mornings: Do you eat before you exercise? We've gone 2 days in a row (woohoo!!) and I haven't eaten anything... when I'm done I feel like puking my guts out. Any suggestions? Or is that just how I'm gonna feel till I get in shape?
  2. Does anyone have a good website that has healthy recipes? Or even a cook book I could check out? I don't want anything to complicated or with exotic (read expensive) ingredients...
  3. What is your favorite healthy meal? Would you be willing to share the recipe?
  4. Is it better to count calories or watch your fat intake or your cholesterol or sugars or salts...??? One person says to do this, another says that... does anyone really know?
  5. Now to a different topic... I bought a hair straightener and it makes my hair mostly straight, but kind of frizzy and the static it creates could power a small city. Any ideas on how to get it silky smooth and not have it fly away?

Okay... I think I'm done with the questions for now... I have another post brewing in my brain right now... it will probably go up later today... but if you can answer any or all of these questions, I would be most appreciative!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Changeling
We had a lesson in Relief Society (women's group at church) not long ago about being thankful. The teacher talked about how we have three major holidays grouped together at the end of each year and how one holiday should lead us to the next (she got the information from a guy who does talk radio, but I can't remember his name... sorry...). Anyway, the concept is that if you ("you" actually meaning "ME" or "I") really understand Thanksgiving and feel the true spirit of gratitude, then it should open your heart for Christ at Christmas time. And if you let Him into your life at Christmas, then you should be ready to change yourself with the coming of the new year. It was an interesting concept to me and one that I have given a lot of thought over the last few weeks. I'm not sure that I have the true spirit of gratitude or that my heart is really all that open, but I'm trying. And so, the next step is to change.
I thought if I posted a few things on here that maybe, perhaps, I'm hoping that it just might hold me more accountable. I might even design some kind of button for my sidebar that will link to this post... if I can figure out how to do that! So, here I go... my list of changes for 2008!
  1. Exercise at least 3 times a week for 15 minutes a day for 1 month. I know that's not a lot, but I did 15 minutes today and almost puked. I am REALLY out of shape. By the first of February I want to be exercising 4 times a week for 30 minutes a day. By March I want to be exercising 5 times a week for 45 minutes a day and by April it will be 60 minutes a day. If I can add days and minutes to my routine sooner, I will do it.
  2. I want to be a healthy eater. This will start by throwing out my "stash". Some of you may remember this bucket.... You may also remember that it is filled with this stuff.... It will be tossed. I will fill it with wheat to use in baking and and for sprouting to add to my diet and hopefully help put myself on a healthier path.
  3. I will read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover. This is part of an extended goal that lasts 4 years. 2 years ago I decided to read the Old Testament and the Pearl of Great Price - and I did. This year I read the New Testament - I have 3 chapters in Revelations left. Next year is the Book of Mormon and the year after that will be Doctrine and Covenants and Joseph Smith History. Hopefully I will have read all the standard works by the end of 2009!
  4. I will organize a closet or corner of my home each week. De-junk and take items to Good Will IMMEDIATELY. I will not hold onto things for "future garage sales". (This is a horrible habit of mine... I want to keep things so that we can have a yard/garage sale... so my house fills up with junk that I want to get rid of....)

So, that's my list. Only 4 things, but I feel like they are big things. I'm going to be asking for your help over the next few weeks... organizational tips, healthy recipes... those sorts of things! So get ready! 2008 is gonna be an AWESOME year!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Only 12 More Days
How was your Christmas? Did you have a wonderful day with your family and friends? Did Santa bring you what you had asked for? I know he must have... y'all are so stinkin good! Christmas here was nice and mellow. Nothing to crazy. Just our little family opening gifts and enjoying the day. I think everyone got something that they love. So that was a major bonus. And I got some pretty darn wonderful gifts too! All in all, it was a great day.
But, that great day is over. Hubby has gone back to work and I am left here with sleep deprived, sugar rushing, spoiled kidlets who are making me crazy. It's a good thing that Jolly ol' St. Nick has already made his rounds. The tantrums coming from this house would drive him away in the blink of an eye! They're about to drive me away! I think we've finally reached an unspoken truce... they will leave me alone to cool off for awhile, I won't scream at them for crying over EVERY LITTLE THING! It's a good bargain... we'll see how long it lasts.
As for the blogging stuff, since I am not super-ultra-mega-girl, I'm not going to attempt reading very many blogs right now. Nothing personal, it's just that my children are demanding. They won't let me sit at my computer for more than a few minutes. And y'all have been bloggin up a storm! It's only been a few days since I've read anything, but my Google Reader is full to the rim with your wonderful posts. I'll get to them... but it will be slow going...
Right now I have to go play "eating food game" with Baby Girl and her new kitchen. Then I might take the kids to the park so that Little Bug can ride his new scooter... and who knows? If the craziness doesn't get too out of control, I might have Red pull out his Transformers Risk game and we'll try to figure the darn thing out! It all depends on the level of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth... thankfully, there are only 12 more days till school starts again... 12 days and counting....

Friday, December 21, 2007

Yep - another blog look. I wanted something a little more serious for Christmas Day. Of course, I'm kind of defeating that purpose with this silly clip... yeah... I'm kind of a dork like that!
I'm gonna take a little bloggy break to enjoy the holidays with my family. Hubby has a couple of extra days off and the kids don't go back to school till the 7th of January... it's gonna be a long two weeks! But it will be fun too! You'll know that I'm back in the bloggin game when you see yet another template change! I thought about making a resolution to leave it alone for more than 2 weeks... but why? :)
Enjoy this fun little clip and have a very Merry Christmas!!
Enchilada Soup
First off... I'm not sure if I like the new design of the blog. Sound off... what do you think?
Second... I have been given a recipe and it is just TOO GOOD not to share with y'all! It's Enchilada Soup and it's super easy and oh so good to eat!WARNING: this makes A LOT of soup! Also, the amounts are approximates... you may want to add more or less of each thing
Okay... got that out of the way! Here we go!
6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 large cans of green enchilada sauce
2 cans of black beans - rinsed
2 1lb. bags of frozen sweet white corn
Put chicken in crock pot and put in enough enchilada sauce to cover chicken. Let simmer till chicken is cooked through. Pull chicken out and shred then add back to pot. Add corn and beans and warm through. How easy is that?? You can garnish with all kinds of goodies... I like cilantro, cheese and Fritos...

picture was taken Frito-less because I had forgotten that we had Fritos... Hubby likes his with cilantro, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, Fritos and just about anything else he can find! I don't put all those things in my soup because it makes me feel like Elasticwaistbandlady in a Dollar General. We'll just leave it at that. The point is, this is a yummy soup! Let me know if you try it one of these days!
I think I'm going to post about soup every Friday for awhile... do you mind? I hope not... If you'd like to join in and post your favorite soup recipes, be my guest! Let me know if you've done it. Soup is one of my most favorite things in the world and I'm always looking for new recipes!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Must Admit...
Last year Baby Girl was a real stinker. Hubby had wanted a remote control airplane for a LONG time. So, I decided to splurge a little and get him one. I took Baby Girl with me and she was so excited about the airplane. I stressed and stressed that this was a secret and that she shouldn't tell ANYONE, but especially Dad. When Hubby got home she said, "Look Dad! See that big box? It's your airplane!" She said that every time she saw him for almost 2 weeks. It was frustrating and annoying. Fast forward to this year. She has been with me for almost every purchase I have made, but if she asks me about it I say "I don't know what it's for. I'm just buying it. Here, have some candy!" The girl has had more Mini M&M's this season that I would care to admit!! But last night she went out with Hubby so they could get me a gift. We draw names in our own little family and Baby Girl has my name. I kept teasing him, telling him that there was no way she could keep a secret.
But, there was one thing I forgot. He is smarter than I am. Oh, yes he is. And I must admit, this idea was brilliant. They got their gifts and then Hubby had Baby Girl pick out a package of straws - you know, drinking straws and he told her that they were for me. They got home I teased by asking her what they got me. She proudly thrust the blue box in my hands and said, "We got you straws! See Mom?!!" She was so excited. And Hubby just sat there. Grinning at me like a Cheshire Cat. Outwit, Outplay, Outlast...
Score: Hubby 1; Me 0

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Doodle Bug
I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. I can't get proportions right. Things always look lopsided and stretched or squashed. But I do love to doodle. I used to doodle all the time in classes that didn't quite capture my attention. I had pages filled with notes and the edges of those pages looked kind of like this...
Now, as I sit at the computer downloading things or I'm talking on the phone, I find myself looking at items and trying to copy them. I am not very good at it, but it is fun to do!

So, do you doodle? If so, what do you like to draw? And when do you usually doodle?
Just Out of Curiosity....
Have any of your husbands/dads/sons/boyfriends (basically anyone of the male gender) started their holiday shopping yet? I was just wondering if my Hubby will be the only one dashing around town the next few days hoping and praying that what he's looking for (I have no idea what that might be) will still be on the shelf. On Monday night at dinner I mentioned that Christmas was in a week and his head popped up so fast I thought he had given himself whiplash. He had no idea that it was so close. The truly strange thing: he doesn't seem panicked. Not one bit. If it were me, I would be like a chicken with my head cut off. Running around in circles till I fell over dead. Isn't that a fun mental image? Anyway, there was one year where I looked and looked and looked for something for Little Bug. I finally went out and bought a car track on Christmas Eve. The whole mental anguish of looking for the "perfect gift" stressed me out in ways that I cannot explain! And he just seemed so calm this morning when I asked him if he would need a night this week to go shopping. "Yeah, I guess so." GAAAH!!
So, fill me in! Are the xy chromosomes in your life Supermen who got their shopping done the day after Thanksgiving? Or will they be Scrambling men like my own sweetheart? And do they seem panicked at all?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Okay - so maybe my spirit was a little dampened by yesterdays happenings (scroll down to previous blog post), but I'm gonna try to bounce back here. Kailani over at An Island Life wants us to post our favorite ornaments. I have several... so here we go!

I hate throwing away flowers. I like to dry them and then they just sit around my house. At one point I still had most of the corsages I had gotten from dances in high school and college. Lame, I know. But then I found a craft that I could use them in... I took the corsages apart and put them into these...
I think I have 9-10 of these... all different. This is probably my favorite one. I used the dried flowers and the ribbon and threw the rest away. I love what they add to my tree!
My Grandpa (my Dad's Dad) passed away before my parents had even met. I never knew him, but I feel like I know a lot about him from family sharing their stories and love. One thing I do know about him is his love for Yosemite Sam. So my Mom got me this to put on our tree...
When I was in Kindergarten my teacher made each student a star of clay and wrote our names on it. I still have it. It's simple, but I felt like that teacher really loved me! So I've kept it all these years...
When I was growing up one of my amazing friends gave me an ornament she had made every year for Christmas. I still have a lot of them... this is one of my favorites.
But, my all time favorite ornament is this one!
No, we don't fish. At all. I have never been fishing in my life. Never. And it's been years and years (before we got married) since Hubby has been. So, why do we have a fishing ornament on the tree? My Mom thinks the world of my Hubby and she was so excited that I was marrying him. So she gave this ornament to him the Christmas right before we got married! It was perfect and I still love putting it up each year. He's still my "Catch of the Day"! Yeah, I know that's cheesy, but it's true.
So, what are your favorite ornaments? Let me know if you post them!
And thanks Kailani... this has helped me feel a little better about all the Christmas craziness!
Killing the Christmas Spirit
I have had so much fun this holiday season. I'm looking forward to Christmas and have really been feeling the true Spirit of the season. Till the last few days. I've felt down and frustrated and ready to curl up and be done with Christmas. What happened that changed this feeling so drastically?? Well, I'll tell you...
I went shopping.
It started with having to go to the mall for the last of my stocking stuffers - books from Barnes and Noble. Baby Girl twirled and ran and bumped into people. I apologized and a few smiled. But most glared and "Harrumph"-ed their way past us. When I left I felt a tad defeated. Sure I got the items I was looking for, but the smile was starting to disappear from my face.
Then I had to go to WalMart. I hate going in, but when a girl is on a budget you've got to go for cheap. And we live in a valley that doesn't believe in cheap. Ask any of my Mercedes or BMW owning neighbors. There are some fantastic stores down here, but they are expensive unless they have a good sale. The things I needed were not on sale anywhere... so, to WalMart I went. Looking back in retrospect, perhaps the extra money paid would have been worth it. Although, people here are just grumpy right now. So, I may have had the same experience anywhere.
I thought I could make the best of the situation. I smiled at people. I said "Hello" and "Excuse me" as I pushed my way through the minions of other shoppers trying to stick to a budget. People glared, stepped in front of me ON PURPOSE, blocked lanes while they visited with others for a good 5 minutes and were, in general, grouchy. And I'm just talking about the EMPLOYEES! Don't get me started on the other shoppers. It made me want to yell, "GO HOME! And take your stinkin grinchy attitude with ya!" GRRR!
So, if you're looking for a fantastic way to kill off the Christmas Spirit, head to your local WalMart where the employees are rude and the shoppers are heartless. Or, go shopping in general. But, if you want to keep that lovely Spirit alive, finish your shopping online!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Randomly Random
First off in our randomness is the blog change. I think this is one of my favorites! What say ye??
We went to the San Diego Zoo yesterday and as we were walking in we saw this sign:

Red promptly asked "What about pants? It doesn't say anything about pants?" So, if you are planning to visit the San Diego Zoo any time soon, please know, pants are optional.
While at the zoo we got to see the pandas and this one gave me a smile...

I love to look at the Pandas. They are one of my favorite animals... hands down!
In gingerbread house news....

I won first prize at our church dinner! Woo hoo! I won some very cute coasters and some hot cocoa. I was a tad embarrassed though, everyone else had bought kits. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Not one other homemade house in the place. We'll just have to see if I am crazy enough to try it again next year.
Oh, and for those of you that wanted the syrup recipe that I mentioned...
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 TBSP. water
Combine everything in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat (any higher and the sugar will BURN) and stir continuously. Bring to a boil - turn heat to medium low and let boil (still stirring) for 4 minutes. Wahlah. All done!
I'm afraid that's all the randomness I have for today. We watched the first Bourne movie on Thursday and the other two last night. We finished around 1:30 and my brain isn't working as well as I'd like it to right now! I hope you have all had a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

You Can't Catch Me...
Gingerbread making is a serious pain in the buttocks! I had no idea how much work just making the darn cookie pieces was going to be. My Mother in law makes a small gingerbread house for every grand kid to decorate at Thanksgiving. There are 21 grand kids. And she always makes extras just in case a couple break. She is an amazing woman to go through this every stinkin year! I know that I could have bought a kit and made a house that was kind of small and that would have looked a lot like this:
But, that's not crazy enough for me. No, I need to do something insane. Something that will take 3 days to complete. So, I got all the stuff together and made the cookie pieces and baked them over 2 days time. Then Hubby and I put them together last night and I gasped! It filled an ENTIRE JELLYROLL PAN! I thought it would be a lot smaller... what was I thinking?? (Ignore all the junk in the background... I couldn't be bothered with something so trivial as putting papers away before taking this picture)
I spent today decorating it. Baby Girl helped when she wasn't eating the frosting. Red wanted to help, but he had to go to school. Little Bug picked Nerds off of it and broke icicles. Bless his pointed little head! Finished product:

Do you like the smoke coming out of the chimney in the back? What do you think? Is it better than the kit? (yes, I'm totally fishing for compliments... ) No one, I repeat, NO ONE will be eating this house. It will be on display in my home for the next 20 years. I think I will have it enshrined in a plastic case...

One great tip I got from my MIL was about construction. Instead of using royal icing to put it together we made a really heavy syrup - like what you would use for suckers. It sets almost immediately and it's hard as a rock! You don't have to sit and wait for the icing to dry for each piece. And if it does harden in the pan, you just put it back on the stove for a second and you can use it again! Then we used the royal icing for the decorating. Just thought I'd pass that along in case any of you are contemplating a similar journey...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The other day I was browsing at Barnes and Noble online when I came across this video : Claymation Christmas
This was a FAVORITE as a kid! My parents recorded it off of the T.V. and we watched it over and over. Don't remember it? Well, here are a few clips! The Three Wise men is my favorite...followed VERY closely by the Carol of the Bells

What's your favorite Christmas show from when you were a kid?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cut and Dry
My hands are pleading for your help. Every winter they dry out. I'm not talking about a little chaffed skin here. I'm talkin raw, burning, splitting, dry skin . Today I went to the bank and noticed that my hand was stinging a little bit. Looked down and one of my knuckles had split open and it was bleeding. I have tried all kinds of lotions and nothing has helped. Some have even made it worse. I'm hoping that maybe one of you will have some kind of magic lotion that you use! This picture really doesn't do it justice... my hands are red and dry and splitting on almost every knuckle... What do you use to keep your hands from looking like this:
The Great Gingerbread Adventure
I have never made gingerbread. That's right. NEVER. So, why in the world did I sign up to bring a gingerbread house to our church's Christmas dinner? I HAVE NO IDEA! And now I'm stressin a little bit! What in the world was I thinking? I have put houses together before, but that hasn't always worked out really well. They tend to lean a little bit and cave in on themselves. Fantastic. What have I done?? Is gingerbread hard to make? Will I regret this for the rest of my life? I admit that I love new crafts, but I don't really like to display my first try for the world to see... maybe if it turns out badly I'll tell them that the kids made it... yeah... that would work... right?
Any tips for making amazing gingerbread houses?? I'll take whatever you can give me!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Go here... no, really, I'll wait...

What's that? You missed the last link?? Well, try this...

Did you make it that time? Good. I can't imagine my home being buried in that much water and mud. I hope I never have to find out. But, if I do, I hope there are good people like Daring Young Mom (also known as Kathryn) willing to help me out. I made a donation and I challenge you to do the same. If each of us can give just a little bit, it will add up to a lot of aid for families who desperately need it.
Have you ever....
... had a rough night and finally fallen asleep around the time you're supposed to be getting up?
...eaten cake for breakfast to balance out the effects of a really rough night?
... tied a girls hair in rags (little strips of fabric) and then taken great joy at the wonderful curls that follow?

... had to take a Christmas present back BEFORE Christmas? (I just found out that the gift I got for hubby has been recalled...)
... bought something online and then used the UPS tracking number to check on that package 100 times each day because you're so excited about what is coming??
... found yourself just as excited about Christmas as your kids? But in a different more peaceful way?
... spent an afternoon creating lots of different blog banners because you have downloaded enough Christmas digital scrap booking stuff to keep even the most devoted scrapbooker busy for years??
... gotten behind on something because you totally and completely forgot about it? Yeah... I forgot about my little devotional blog. How lame is that? For those of you who have been following it, it's finally updated. You can check it out here.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Trim the Tree
Just a few pictures of our tree decorating extravaganza from yesterday...
Baby Girl loved to just sit and stare at the lights even before we had the ornaments on it.
The kids all took part in hanging the ornaments and would then stand back and admire their handiwork...

If you'll notice in the picture right above, there is a rather large clump of ornaments on the bottom of the tree... I was going to leave them, but Little Bug had put some glass and some heavier ornaments all on one branch. I was afraid they would fall and break, so I rearranged a few. Not many, but I don't want to loose any of these ornaments! Little Bug also got to put the star on top! He's never done it before. Never shown any interest in it till this year. But he knew exactly what to do with it!

And then we have the finished product. The first picture is with the flash, second is without...

We had a great time listening to music and talking about the ornaments. When I was a kid my mom bought us ornaments each year and put them in a box. We would talk about them and she would tell why she had bought each one. When I got married, I got my box of ornaments. It was so fun to explain all the ornaments. My kids each have a box of ornaments in our garage. We're going to sit down this evening and talk about what each one means and why I got those specific ornaments. This is one tradition that I really love and I hope my kids will love it too!

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Weather Outside is Frightful...
And I couldn't be happier! I know you're thinking that I'm some kind of freak... maybe I am! But, bad weather means that my cocoa tastes that much better. It's that much more rewarding for me. It also means that I get to open this box....
And let me tell you... I LOVE THIS BOX! Why do I love this box? Let me show you....
What's that there?? That looks like...
SWEATERS! I NEVER get to wear them! Funny thing about living in Southern California - it's warm here. I pull my sweaters out to go to Idaho. Then I put them away when I get home. I LOVE sweaters! This is a wonderful gift for me!!

And by the way, you people are awesome! Your birthday wishes have made my day! You've put a smile on my face and I appreciate it!! And just so you know Nancy, my dear sweet Grandma wanted to name me Pearl! Wouldn't that have been fun to be named after such a horrible event? On that note though, do take a moment to remember this day. And if you get a chance on this Pearl Harbor Day, thank a soldier for their services!
Now, I'm off! It's time to have that hot cocoa...thanks again for all your sweet wishes!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Celebrate Good Times
Some people don't like birthdays. They pretend that they don't have a birthday and go on with their customary routines. They don't want anyone to acknowledge that they are getting older. They just want a regular, normal day. I'm not one of those people!
December 7th is my happy day! And so, of course, I've changed the look of the blog! Some of you have asked what I'm going to do on this glorious day... For me, this day is about relaxing and spending time with family so that they can pamper me. SO!! First off I'm going to have an applesauce bar and cup of hot cocoa for breakfast. I think I'll throw a spoonful of carmel in the cocoa just for good measure! Then I'll get the boys out the door for the day. Baby Girl and I are going to go out for lunch. If Hubby can meet us, great. If not, we're going out anyway. We might head to Barnes and Noble or maybe Kohl's for a little bit. Then we'll come home and wait for Red and Little Bug to get home. We'll decorate our Christmas tree and get pizza for dinner. (I am NOT cooking on my day! The closest I'll come to that is boiling water for my cocoa!!) Then, on Saturday (yep, we will continue to celebrate the next day... I like to stretch it out for as long as possible) we are headed to San Diego (unless it rains). We will go to the zoo and then hit a fabulous restaurant in Temecula on the way home. Which restaurant? Don't know... don't care! As long as I don't have to cook it and they don't serve it to me in a cardboard box, I'm good!
So, I'm curious... how do you like to celebrate your birthdays? Do you celebrate with friends? Family? Both? Or do you like something more quiet? To do a few things on your own? Enquiring minds want to know...okay, so that should say "enquiring mind" since I'm probably the only person who wants to know, but still! Humor me, please?!

p.s. I know that Kool and the Gang don't really bring the Christmas spirit, but I couldn't resist...
Today was a crazy day... I'm trying to get lots done today so that I don't have to do a darn thing tomorrow*. I had to mail a package, I went and joined the local chapter of the American Autism Society, took some toys over to the Toys for Tots drop off (that's my good thing for the 25 days to make a difference), looked around Toys R Us for the last few stocking stuffers - couldn't find them, so we headed to Lowes to get our Christmas tree, and then to Wal-Mart (the bane of my existence) to get the stocking stuffers. Lots of errands. Then I ran home, cleaned up, got some laundry done, cleaned a little more... just general rushing around. Tonight I'm going to grade papers for Red's teacher, make some applesauce bars to enjoy in the morning, and hopefully watch the first Bourne movie. If I have time, I just might get some Christmas cards ready to be sent. All of this craziness just to be a bum tomorrow. But it will be worth it...

Don't forget to go here for the mini devotional...

*why am I insisting on a life of ease tomorrow? Because it's my birthday! This is my gift to myself... a clean house and nothing above and beyond keeping the children and myself alive for 24 hours :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So, I clicked on a link on a blog which took me to a link on another blog which took me here. A sweet blog called "25 Days to Make a Difference". The main writer on the blog is a young girl. Each day she is doing something to try and make a difference in the world. She is also donating her entire months allowance ($25) to charity. Other people have matched her donation and now she's having a contest of sorts. You can participate by doing acts of kindness and in the end, the person who has made the biggest difference, chosen by this awesome young lady, will get the money donated in their name to a charity from a list they have compiled. How cool is that?? You can also offer to make a donation. So, I'm going to try and do this. I think I'm going to see if Red wants to do it too. I'll probably just let him post his good deeds here on my blog, rather than starting a blog just for him.
It feels a little weird to talk about the nice things I've done... but, I have to blog about it so they know I'm participating. So, today I did the dishes for my Hubby. That is usually his job, but I knew today was going to be a rough one for him, so I decided to finish that task for him.
So, would you like to join in? Do you want to participate? This is a really cool thing! The deadline to sign up is on Saturday the 8th. You only have to participate 3 times a week, but, the more often you participate, the better your chances are. So, go on! Go sign up! Do something good in the world today!
Good Idea, Bad Idea
Good Idea: making delicious salsa for a yummy treat and eating a LITTLE while watching T.V.(see previous post)
Bad Idea: making delicious salsa for a yummy treat and eating almost ALL of it while watching T.V.
I ate and ate and ate that stuff last night. It was so good! But not a good idea. My tummy rumbled all night long... bleh. I'm still not feeling too grand today, but, I'm sure that in awhile, I'll eat a little salsa for breakfast. Because I like to punish my body so that I can eat things that taste good.

The video is a tad morbid, but it makes me laugh. :)

Here's the recipe for the salsa. I got it from my Mom, who got it from my Aunt. Not sure if my Aunt came up with it or not... but here it is
Pomegranate Salsa
1 lime - juiced
2 pomegranates - peeled and fruit pulled out
2 avocados - chopped very fine
2 tomatoes - chopped very fine
2 green onions (I use regular onion) - chopped very fine
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. coriander (I don't have this, so I don't use it)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
After chopping avocados, put in lime juice - make sure they are coated with the juice. This will help them from browning. Add pomegranates, avocados, tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, coriander and cilantro. I like to let it sit for awhile so that the flavors can mix. Serve with Frito's or other corn chip! Enjoy - but don't pig out on it like I did...
The devotional is up for the day.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some Like it Hot
I made salsa tonight! So yummy!!
What's that?? What did you say? Those tomatoes look a little funny?? Look a little closer...

What's that?? Still can't tell what it is... well, let's get a little closer....

Closer still...

Oh yeah! You're lookin at tomato, onion, avocado, cilantro and..... pomegranates! And let me tell you... it is OH SO GOOD! This combo is a tantalizing treat! I'm gonna sit down and watch the Biggest Loser with a pile of this and a bag of Scoop Frito's. Oh, it's gonna be good!
Mount Vesuvius
Yesterday I blew my top. And the words that spilled from my mouth were like molten lava. They burned a scorched everyone that got in my way. It was a humbling moment when I walked down the hall and heard Baby Girl yelling at her toys saying the exact words I had just said to her. I got so caught up in my feelings that I let it overflow to those around me. I'm tired of house work. No, tired isn't the right word. You see, I am a person who loves projects. BUT, those projects need to have a beginning, middle, and an end for me to feel satisfied with the outcome. Housework isn't like that. It's a circle. For example - I finished the laundry yesterday. Spent the entire day washing, folding, putting away. And then when everyone got in their pajamas last night they threw their clothes into the hampers - meaning that I didn't FINISH the laundry. There was no end. I got the dishes done, then we had lunch - more dishes. We got the toys cleaned up, then the kids wanted them back out to play. I'm really struggling with the fact that there just isn't an end. There is no real finished product. It makes me frustrated and at times, angry.
I apologized to the kids and tried to make it up to them. Red was already at school when it happened, so he was safe. I took a magazine to Little Bug that was from the San Diego Zoo. It was full of pictures from the Wild Animal Park of the 4 baby elephants that have been born there in the last 3 years. He loves elephants! We sat and looked at the pictures and said "elephant" for each picture and then giggled. Baby Girl and I spent some time together after Little Bug went to school. I painted her toes a lovely shade of sparkly blue and we watched a PBS cartoon together. We giggled and had a lot of fun. I just wish I could have done those things for fun and not as an apology.
So, how do you get through your housework? How do you find joy in it and not let it become drudgery? Any ideas how I can feel accomplished with this? I just want to feel like what I do matters. And right now, it doesn't. Plus, I can't blow my top like that every time I'm frustrated with folding laundry... suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Don't forget to go here today :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Amazing Grace
You may want to turn the music off before you watch this clip...

Have you seen this movie?? It was WONDERFUL! I enjoyed it! I know there are others that feel it moves a little slowly, but to me, it was captivating. If you get a chance, you really should see it!

December 2nd & 3rd devotionals are up over here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Can Almost Cross it Off My List....
I have a list of things that I want to get done before Christmas gets here. Some of the things I've gotten done (shopping is a big one) and some I haven't started yet (we still are debating the real/fake tree thing). But I am SO CLOSE to having one more thing crossed off my list! These puppies...

From left to right we have stockings for Little Bug, Baby Girl and Red. I bought a bunch of coordinating fabrics and then they each got to pick the one they liked best. You can't tell from the picture here, but I machine quilted the fronts of each stocking with a gold thread. It was a lot of fun for me. Now I just need to get mine and Hubby's done! I might work on it tonight... or not. Maybe I'll just throw in a movie and eat lots and lots of candy... because that's on my list too... no really! Right here... look... #23 - Watch a movie and eat lots and lots of candy. I'm all about getting these things crossed off my list as soon as possible...

By the way, the first devotional is up at the OTHER BLOG. Remember, this is a simple, short, mini devotional. Meant to take just a few minutes. But, I still think it will be a wonderful thing. Head on over and check it out if you get a chance. I'll post a new one each day...

Mini Devotional
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I created another blog. This blog was purely for me to mess with the templates. To try things out. See what I liked and what I could do with it. I've decided to turn it into something else for the holidays. Each day, starting tomorrow, there will be a mini devotional with a short quote, a scripture to read, a holiday suggestion, and a song to sing on that blog. The Relief Society Presidency (leaders in our women's organization at church) gave us a little notebook thing that has this spiritual advent calendar in it. I thought it was such a good idea that I would share with you. So, head on over to my OTHER BLOG starting tomorrow for a little spiritual lift each day. When the holidays are over, it will go back to being the blog I mess with... but for now, I hope it will be something to help bring the true spirit of the season into your home!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Didn't Make It
I tried. Really I did. I wanted to clean till noon today. I made it to 10:00. Rats. I just started feeling a tad on the woozy side. And decided not to push it. So, I'm resting and hoping to get the other 2 hours in this afternoon... oh well. I'm going to do a little holiday getting to know you thing right now... I guess it's a meme, but I got it in an email from a friend and thought it would be fun to post. I've added to it and changed it a bit...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. Who ever heard of having a gift bag fight when you're done opening your gifts??
2. Real tree or artificial? I love real trees! LOVE THEM. But last year it just about killed us... it's too warm here and the tree released pollen like crazy in the house... we just might get an artificial one and this breaks my heart! Anyone know of a candle that smells like a Christmas tree??
3. When do you put up the tree? As soon as possible after Thanksgiving... we are looking at artificial trees tonight and if we find one it will go up when we get home!
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually right after Christmas because the real trees are pretty brittle after 4 weeks :(
5. Which do you prefer: eggnog, spiced cider, or hot cocoa? Normally I would say hot cocoa, but we had a spiced cranberry cider stuff the other night that was DIVINE!!!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmm... my birthday is right before Christmas... I'm trying to remember which gifts were Christmas and which were birthday... I got a camera one year and had so much fun with that thing! Took pictures of everything I could find!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep
8. Hardest person to buy for? Parents - both mine and hubby's
9. Easiest person to buy for? My kids! I love to find things that they will love :D
10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? Can't think of anything....
11. Mail or email Christmas card? Um... yeah... I don't usually send out cards... um... cause I'm lame and stuff... :S
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf - hands down!
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I buy things all year long. I have a box I put them in and then I either pull it out for Christmas or birthdays
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not yet
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Hmmm... that's a tough one... I love candy canes. I know that's really simple, but I love the mint flavor so much!!
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Usually clear... I want the color to come from the ornaments...
17. Favorite Christmas song? Yikes... um... to listen to: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by BNL and Sarah McLachlan. To sing myself: Silent Night
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We used to travel, but now I really enjoy our Christmas time spent at home. And the kids seem to like it too.
19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Yep - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Doner (or Donder), Blizten and Rudolph
20. Do you have an Angel on top or a star? Star - rustic, very country looking star...

Now it's your turn! I'm not gonna tag anyone specific, but if you feel the need, play along! Let me know if you do :)
With a stretch and a yawn I greet you all! I went to bed at 7:00 last night. I was up at 6:30 with a bit of a headache. An Advil or two later and I'm feeling great! So great that I'm going to attempt to clean my house. I'm not going to overdo it (that usually just makes me feel cruddy again), but I am going to get a few things done. I've given myself till 8:30 to do bloggy things and then I'm off! I'm going to work till noon and then give myself another little break. Hopefully I will have some good things to report! See you in a few hours!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It feels like I should have posted this a week ago... it's a rather Thanksgiving-ish post. We watched "Ratatouille" the other day with the kids. And I've been thinking about part of the movie. There is a food critic who comes in and orders some "perspective". He is ready to give a scathing review till he gets something he wasn't expecting and it changes his way of thinking. Kind of an odd thing to ponder, I know, but it did make me think about my own perspective. Here are a few things I'm going to try to change my perspective on...
  • I'm still sick... but the last time I checked, a head cold is not life threatening. So it's not a big deal.
  • Baby Girl has been getting up between 4-5 a.m. the last few days. It's annoying. But, she's not sick or in pain. She just wants to play. It's not so annoying anymore.
  • My house is a mess. Everywhere I look are paper piles and items that I haven't put away. But, I have a house to live in. And I'm thankful.
  • Hubby and I are trying to make some pretty big decisions right now. It's maddening and stressful. But, we are choosing between two good things. I'm grateful for so many opportunities.
  • Little Bug has autism. It's something I can't change. And sometimes, it just gets me down. But he is happy, healthy, and starting to say more and more things each day.
  • I spent the evening with a group of women last night that I don't have anything in common with. I felt out of place and rather alone for most of the evening. But, I got a break from home and when I got back, Hubby had done laundry.
  • Red has a bit of an attitude right now. We are butting heads at every turn. But he is a bright kid. And even though I hate to fight with him, his arguments are starting to be more logical and I can see (even in verbal combat) just how intelligent this little guy of mine is.

So, I'm trying to look at each situation in a new light. Now, if you'll excuse me, my head is pounding, but Hubby has a job. So I was able to drive to the store, buy some Advil, bring it back to my home where I will take two, put a movie on for the kids, and then I will rest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lessons Learned
  1. Never buy jeans while bloated. Forget the fact that your last pair of jeans has a hole in a rather revealing place. You can wear capri's in Idaho till the bloating goes down. You will freeze, but just for awhile. Then, buy jeans that actually fit right.
  2. The shower at my in-law's house sits at about 5' high. I am 5'6". I will hit my head on the darn thing every time I'm there.
  3. The shower at MY parents house has no water pressure. It will always feel like a glorified spit bath.
  4. We get sick every time we go to Idaho. Every stinkin time.
  5. Staples are easier to take out than they are to put in Baby Girl's head.
  6. Talking about Christmas a month before it's actually here is a bad idea when there are children involved. It guarantees a month of begging and asking "Is it Christmas today? NOW can I open my presents??"
  7. P L M O W - those 5 letters, in that order, spell every word in the English language. Just ask Baby Girl.
  8. If you have a big day, where you have a lot of errands to run and cookies to make and programs to create, someone in your home will get sick. Very sick. And you will have to run errands, make cookies and create programs anyway.
  9. PLMOW. Yeah. That about says it all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Black-ish Friday
This is long... sorry. Last year our shopping experience was a tad frightening. Not super scary, but we were one of the few that got "THE" item at one plac. You can read about that here. This year wasn't quite so crazy. We started plotting and planning on Thanksgiving morning and I started lamenting because there were 3 stores that opened at the same time and they had things that I NEEDED! Okay, so, maybe I didn't need them, but I WANTED THEM! I narrowed it down to two stores. We had to be at Toys R Us and ShopKo at 5:00. In steps my brother's totally awesome wife - they have a big group that goes out every year. They divide and conquer the shopping world. They had a group that was going to be at Toys R Us and they offered to pick up my things. They got every stinkin thing on my list! They totally rock and I will love them FOREVER!!
Anyway, Mom and I got up at 4:00 and started to layer. You see, you can't go out in Idaho at 4 a.m. without 100 or so layers. We went to ShopKo. They opened one set of doors at 5 a.m. on the dot. The other set of doors, the ones we were lined up at, opened at 5:00:32.4 and there was much weeping and wailing and general gnashing of teeth. So, we did the only sensible thing - we RAN to the other doors and got in just a few seconds faster than the people we had been in line with. The only downside to this was a pretty good shove I got from a lady on her way past me. We found almost everything we were looking for. My Mom couldn't find one thing (I would tell you what that one thing is, but the person the gift is for occasionally reads the blog). We stood in line and joked with the people around us, lest they should decide they HAD to have what we had and try to take it from us. Apparently my humor worked well because no one ripped the Littlest Pets or Star Wars Blaster from our frozen fingers. After that we headed to a craft store called Porters. Once a year this store does a wonderful thing - they put all of their Willowtree figurines on sale - including the Nativity sets. I got the main set last year and this year I added the stars, another shepherd, 2 more lambs and a camel. I will get the ox and goat for my birthday (thanks again Mom!!). Next year I will save up and get the wise men set and maybe some more stars. And someday I will have the gorgeous creche!!
After that I think we went to WalMart. They had been open for a few hours... but we were hoping a few things might still be left. We were SO SURPRISED!! There were very few people there and they had a lot of their door busters left! So we got our things, plus a few other things! Remember that one thing that my Mom couldn't find at ShopKo? She found it at WalMart for $20 less. Who knew that WalMart could bring so much joy? Usually I dislike them, but on Friday, we were friends. After that we went to KMart and got some jammies and a few clothes. Then we headed to Geraldines. If you are ever in Idaho Falls you MUST stop there for a cinnamon roll. It will make you say "Cinnabon who??" They are fantastic! By happy coincidence, my brother and his wife were there with their shopping party. They gave me my Toys R Us items (Hello Transformer that turns into the Millennium Falcon!!) and then we bought our gooey goodness and headed home. Other's may not have gotten everything they were hoping for, but my black Friday wasn't all that black. More of a gray-purple color that matched my frozen limbs. We were only out for 4 1/2 hours but it was worth it. My Christmas shopping is done. Yeah, you heard me - I'm DONE SHOPPING! We can now commence with holiday joy!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I did it! Can you believe it? I stayed off my blog for over a week. Now, I know some of you can stay away for a month or more, but I just can't. I start writing blog posts in my head after a few days and then I just can't think straight. Actually, it was pretty easy to step away since we hopped in the car and drove for 15 hours to visit family. And then we played. Oh how we played! We played so much and so hard that half of us are now sick. Yep. We pushed ourselves into utter exhaustion and then just a tad farther into the kingdom of congestion, deep coughs, and sore throats. We are hoping to make an exit from said kingdom soon. So, technically, I'm back. But I'm surrounded by sickies (and I think I'm jumping on the band wagon), so you still may not see a lot of me around till the veil of fogginess in my head lifts. Even though we're sick, it's so good to be home!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Out of Time
I feel like I'm about to run a marathon. I have 100 things to do before tomorrow and I don't have the time to finish them all unless I stay up for the next 36 hours. Well, technically, that isn't true. I COULD finish everything if I would just step away from the computer. If I would stop reading. Stop writing. Stop playing pointless games. I could get it done.
But every time I think about this, I can feel the withdrawal symptoms creeping up on me. I get dizzy. My mouse hand starts to twitch. My eyes come out of their glazed state and I can't focus on anything that isn't square and shiny. I'm not sure I can do it. But, I'm going to try. My family and home are crying out for me and I suppose it's time to respond. Okay... on the count of three I will attempt to pry myself out of this chair... ready... one... two... three!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Craziness
Yes, I'm going to blog about Christmas before Thanksgiving. Why? Because I'm a Christmas purist. I believe that it should be celebrated ALL YEAR LONG. And so, it comes time for me to make another change. No, not the template, not yet. I'm still being thankful for our Veterans and our men and women currently serving in the armed forces. No, the change I'm making will probably annoy a great many of you. But, it is my blog. And so, I'm gonna do it. It's time to start the Christmas music. Oh yes it is! Every time you come to my blog you will be greeted with cheery tunes of the holiday persuasion. What is your favorite Christmas song? Leave me a note in the comments and I'll see if I can get it on the playlist! I hope that if you are a Scrooge or a Grinch that you will still stop by and read. Just turn the volume down before you come on over. But, if you're like me and you can't get enough of the stuff, well then! Crank it up! Cause it's Christmas here at the Memos!
Image Meme
1. The age you will be on your next birthday:
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2. A place to which you would like to travel:
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3. Your favorite place:
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4. Your favorite object:
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5. Your favorite food:
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6. Your favorite animal:
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7. Your favorite color:
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8. The town in which you were born:
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9. The town in which you live:
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10. The name of a past pet:
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11. The first name of a past love:
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12. Your best friends nickname:
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13. Your nickname/ Screen name:
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14. Your first name:
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15. A bad habit of yours:
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16. Your first Job:
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17. Your grandmother's name:
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18. Your major in college:
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