Thursday, November 26, 2009

Most Thankful

I made a pledge to myself to actually TELL the people I was most thankful, that I was thankful for them -- instead of doing blog entries, but there are a lot of things that I'm thankful for that I can't actually tell or I already have... anyway, here's some of my "other" thankful things:

1.  My mixer.  SO glad I bought it, it's so freaking great.  I think a Bosh would've been a better buy, but it doesn't work on our counter, so I love my kitchenaid six quart.  I use it almost daily.  It's true.

2.  Our teachers.  I think a lot of people aren't aware of all the little things behind the scenes that teachers do, but we're all too aware.  Our children adore them, and they're teaching them so well.  I'm so grateful for them.  Instead of Christmas presents, we do thanksgiving presents for the teachers.... just so the kids can list all the reasons they're thankful that they're in their class.  Also, since I'm usually hefting a pretty heavy load on the Christmas (oh, I'm sorry -- holiday) parties, I don't have to think about those.  This year we did movie tickets.  Hopefully they can go find a movie they'd enjoy over the weekend.  I'm pretty sure Conner's teacher has been dying to see New Moon. :)

3.  Cars.  I'm just so grateful we have cars that are there for us, they don't usually die and they work when we turn the key.  We weren't quite so lucky when we were first married and I'm always thankful I have a way to get the kids to school.  I know now that Satan is rubbing his hot little hands trying to ruin my festive enjoyment -- but boo.  I still love my cars.

4.  My job.  I took some pictures of a stillborn yesterday, they didn't want to call a professional photographer, so I did the best I could with our crappy work camera.  It's a special feeling to know how important those pictures might be.  I'm grateful to make a difference in people's lives.  I am also determined to be excited to go to work -- to make that difference (not be afraid of what might await me).

5.  Family Home Evening.  I feel more and more pressure to tell our kids the right things, to keep them on the right track.  I'm so glad we have an evening each week to talk about values, and ways that we can work to be better people.  Don't get me wrong, there are several times I am VERY UN-thankful for this, but I know it's important.

So, happy Thanksgiving.  We're having ham, cranberry jello salad, sweet potatoes, crecent rolls, white cracker pie*, and apple pie.  I hate turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing -- and this is just one of the many benefits to doing Thanksgiving with just our family.  I hope the day is just as enjoyable for you and yours.

*My grandma used to make this, and I found-out my Aunt had a recipe, my cousin sent it to me and I made it.  I love making things that my family used to make.  Besides the temple, the thing that ties me to another generations are the things they do, that I can do now.  So grateful for my Grandma.  Who knows how it will taste, but it was probably the process more than the eating.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TMI -- it's your loss people.

Well, I have no thoughts or questions on this fine TMI Tuesday.

It is, however the Thanksgiving feast at school, has me remembering back to when Conner did it, I hate how kids grow-up but I love how they each do the same things, rites of passage.

Spencer will be passing through the day as an indian (Conner was a pilgrim).  As I was walking in today, Spencer was telling our pricipal that P is also going to dress-up as an indian (Spencers first halloween costume was an Indian, so I  thought she could wear it (and it would help her stay warm).  The pricipal corrected us in saying that it was a Native American, I said -- no, she'd be an indian, I made the costume so I could call it whatever I wanted....

For some reason it being the Pilgrims and the Native Americans just isn't as fun.

Cowboys and Native Americans

Native American summer...

It's just not he same ring people, it's just not the same. 

In other news, guess who is now officially off family leave, I go back to work tomorrow, and actually a lot this week.  I have decided I really need a new attitude about work.  I usually dread going, and generally, I have a really nice time while I'm there.  I feel competant and happy with my co-workers.  Of course, there are rare occasions I end-up frustrated.  I want to look forward to going to work.  That's not to say that I enjoy it as much as being home with my family, but I should enjoy the things I do.  So, it's something I'm going to work on.  Plus, word on the street we have a new contract.  I sure hope our raise is retroactive... or that we have a raise... or that I have a nap today.  Either one....

Monday, November 23, 2009


Interesting article I found:
Whatcha think?

Three Things I Learned

I have kept up with our church reading so far, and it's great to have a chronology of Christ's life.  Here are 3 things I learned this week:

1.  So, when Jesus is walking on the water and Peter comes out on the water with him, and at the beginning he's fine and then he starts to sink and Jesus catches him (which is so reminicent of a new walker just learning how to traverse the playroom) and the reason he starts to sink is his doubt.  THAT. IS. SO. ME.  Goodness, God tells me to go through with something, and I think, "YAH!  I'm gonna SO DO THAT!" and I start and then all the sudden I start to doubt, and I sink.  I'm not saying that it doesn't take courage to start the journey, but I the largest amount of faith comes from continuing on, walking high and tall til' you reach Christ.  I'm a doubter, give Peter some slack, people.

2.  I love parables.  In fact, I think they are a better way for me to learn than actually saying "Hilary, this is what you should do."  There's so many levels to learn on, it's sometimes easier to compare them to our own life.  I love them.  And so should you.  A perfect God teaches in perfect ways, it's true. I've been trying to find ways to use parables to teach my kids -- I often learn something in the process.

3.  After coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration Christ was met with a whole lotta "crap" (can't think of a better word).  Just things being thrown at him from every angle.  So often I comee off a personal moment of "transfiguration" and after basking in the glory that moment was, I am thrown into the fire.  It's comforting to know that the god I pray to has a sure knowledge of how that feels.

Anyway, just some thoughts of what I pondered on this week.  It is definitely putting how I view Christmas in a different tone, which is interesting because I am also in ka-hoots with Santa on some serious fun from him as well.  I've always thought that Christlike love and Santa combined well, and I'm even seeing it more strongly now.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I know I go on and on about what a great budgeters we are, and how we stick to it and we don't buy many groceries, but it just flew out the window this week!  I said to myself, "Self, you have GOT to stop buying food."

For, you see -- the winter months are the times that things you can stock up on go on sale.  Cream soups, canned veggies, the whole nine yards.  So, yes -- I have stocked up.

But, then I go overboard.

It's insane.

I mean, I don't have it planned out to the miligram, but I'm fairly sure we could go a year with the food we have around here, and it wouldn't be tortillas with rice and beans either.

So, I'm putting us on a little spending fast.  I want to keep the grocery budget under 40 each week.  I need to decide what's REALLY a good deal, that we REALLY need and then end it there.

Again, there's a fine line between preparedness and hoarding, and I walk it...

Sadly, I don't look good in a leotard and tights....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Take THAT you ingrown nail!

Me and the doctor decided the toenail needed a little trim.  Besides the shots to numb it, it wasn't that painful at all.  He said it will be a bit painful the next 3 or so days...  Word from him is that I'm supposed to keep it elevated as much as possible.

Huh, how's that supposed to work?

Sometimes I realize it's like I'm running my very own small business here.  I only have one other per diem employee... currently he isn't working very much (here, he has another job).  Anyway, life doesn't happen without me, but it's nice to have a reason to sit on the couch.

So, we all watched the 18 Kids and County vow-renewals just now.  It was pretty interesting to compare it to the Jon and Kate fiasco that was Hawaii.

Mrs. Duggar did the decorations herself, they picked-up the cake (I thought for sure Duff would bring it from Baltimore).

Anyway, it's easy to see when you're a distant viewer how some relationships work and others don't.  It's all about the effort you put into it.  It's also nice to see a couple who wants to put that much into their relationship.

And for now, I will putting in my effort from the couch.

Thank goodness for frozen casseroles.

P.s.  This darn P totally ruined my body.  Kidney stones, un-specified right sided pain, now it's ingrown tonails and of course the tailbone issues.  Booo.... She's lucky she's awfully cute!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I'm headed to the podiatrist tomorrow, I have some ingrown nails and some plantar warts... one of the ingrown nails has made my toe numb.  I think it's because my feet were SO swollen when I was pregnant, and I've just been putting it off...

Some fool decided to look at the surgery on you tube.

I want to die.

I always forget that ignorance is bliss....

What's Up Wednesday? Conner Meets the Mosaic Law

That's right, if he pokes my eye out I'm gonna put a rod in the fire and poke out his own.

Well, maybe not that much -- but the kid needs a reality check.

This morning:
"Conner, are your teeth brushed?"
(toothbrush dry as a bone)
10 minutes later:
"Mom, when are you gonna pack my lunch?"
"It's already done."
"No it's not."
"Sure it is, why wouldn't you beleive me?"
then I smile and ask him how it feels to be lied to.
Problem is, I think he's lying as easily as he does brush his teeth, it comes naturally right now, and I am NOT OK with that.  At all.

In response to the jacket situation I decided that paying for a new one with his allowance just wasn't harsh enough, he's going to work for minimum wage in order to pay for a new one.  I figure a new hoodie (not on sale, just a hoodie) is about 20 bucks.  He'll be doing 3 hours of work in order to pay for it.  I will act like a manager, and I told him if I fire him he'll have to wait a week to start a "new job".  He's also not getting hired to do anything until next week.  He needs to experience coldness.

Yes, I am that mean.

In other news, he's doing pretty well in school, especially math olympiad.  I guess they work on really hard math problems together, and then they take quizes once a month and compete with other schools.  He' really enjoying it.  I really need to focus on the good parts of him lately.

Oh , did I mention he got silly putty stuck in his hair on Sunday and then decided to just cut it out.  He is now sportin' a nice bald spot on the top of his head.  It's super cool.

Thinking positive... thinking positive... right?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday which is being done on Tuesday because I lack gumption

The will to think up dinners is a lot of will.  I just didn't have it yesterday.
Thankfully, I we didn't have much need to plan stuff, we still had 4 items left on my menu plan, but I still wanted to flesh it out a bit.
  • Chicken:  Chicken Parmesagna (sp?)
  • Casserole:  Chilli Rellenos Casserole
  • Kids:  Calzones (might do it with broccoli as I saw on a website...)
I sure wish you guys would post your "go to" and yummy meals on your blogs.  Really, must I carry the whole world on my own?

TMI Tuesdays: My Take on Mammograms

I saw this story on the news yesterday and I was surprised by it, but here's my personal take on it:

1.  Mammograms in general just aren't that great.  How many of us have had a family member/friend who went in for a biospy and it turned out to be nothing.  This happens ALL, THE, TIME.  In general we need better technology to detect.  Fibrous breast tissue isn't good, many women have cyst all through their breasts which make the mammograms almost useless.  It's amazing there's nothing else yet!

2.  When women go in for things that are nothing, there is a chance of complications, be they infection or whatever, every time we have surgery and find out it was "nothing" that's an issue for the medical community.  It's essentially wasted dollars (that could be used to better the mammorgram technology), and again -- giving the possilibility of complications.

3.  Radiation isn't all it's cracked up to be.   Radiation causes cancer, and I think we've all just decided that X-rays and Cat scans are just fine, but in reality they can CAUSE cancer.  Mammograms use radiation to detect cancer, and the less we're exposed the better.  As I laid on the table last week getting an X-ray of my spine I realized that I need to be more careful about how my own body is taken care of, and make sure that medical tests really are necessary...

4.  For me it all boils down to a personal relationship with your physician, and obtaining an accurate history, leaving it up to them and hoping that they are up to date on the most recent findings.  Talk with your doctor before you go in for the squish.

In the end we really need to look at how we use our health care dollars.  We need to have informed practices and not just doing things that make people not want to sue us.

However, I'm torn -- because I know lots of people who've had breast cancer detected before age 50.  I'm not sure how we're going to detect it if they're saying no self exams, no mammograms, and doctor's exams might be useful either.  It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out, either way it has made me think a little more about the use of our healthcare dollars and how we can effectively spend them.

And people, I'm out of questions.  Do you want to see TMI Tuesdays die?  I could do one on people dying, I've seen that a few times also...  but I don't think anyone would want to read it....

Brutally Honest

Lately I've been thinking about my honesty.  It's something I take really seriously in my life.  If I give my word, it gets done.  This isn't to say that things don't slip through my cracks, but I try and be as honest as humanly possible. 

However, this also extends to any advice I give.  I'm brutally honest towards my friends.  I try and lay it on as lovingly as possible, but I'm not one to spout whatever just to make a person happy with me.

I'm all about keepin' it real.

So, which kind of friend would you rather have, or do you need a mix?

In other news, Spencer is still alive, but had a nice long tantrum last night about how he had nothing to be thankful for.

Again, another miracle that he is still alive. ;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

In Review

Today, while I was reading my scriptures it talked a lot about Mary and how close she was to Jesus, as well as some other women.  It made me happy. :)

In other news tonight we were building our "Thankful Turkey" and we were writing people on the feathers, and writing why we were grateful for them.  Spencer started screaming that he had no one that he was thankful for, at which point I took away his treat and then he had a tantrum.

And the spirit came and dwelt in our home. {not}

It's my last week of Family Leave.

I may be ready to leave my family after it.

40 Days Closer to Christ

As I mentioned before, at church we've been challenged to read the account of Christ's life and ministry in the scriptures, along with the companion book Jesus the Christ.

I must admit I'm finding it harder and harder as time goes on.  I didn't get to it on Saturday, and I did a whole hour of it yesterday and it's a lot to plod through, but I did have some serious thoughts, especially on the part where Jesus chose his apostles.

I really enjoyed how Talmadge went through each of the ones Jesus chose (I'm talking Matthew, Mark, Luke and John here for those of you a bit lost).  I enjoyed hearing a bit of back story, how some of them were brothers and things like that.  I think its' hard to imagine Mark or Luke as a man.  They are "apostles" but it's great to realize that Jesus picked regular old men with all the faults that you and I might have to help him in his work.  Which means, we can help him just the same.

Frankly, I think Judas gets a bad rap.  I feel like Jesus forgave him, and we need to let it go too.  I figure his just deserts are not going to be all that great, so we should move on....

The one thing that has made me sad in this whole thing is that there is very little talk of Jesus and women.  I would want to be Jesus' friend.  I am guessing he had female friends, but I wonder why they are mentioned.  Personally, I don't think that Jesus ever married because he knew what was going to happen to him, and I don't think he'd want to put a wife through that.  Also, there are the whole issues of the things married people do and how he was 1/2 God and 1/2 human... just personal thoughts.  Just as I was reading it I wish that women would've been discussed more.  Perhaps the weren't there, and that makes me even sadder...

Anyway, the final thought is that Jesus chose normal people to help him, just like he does today.  It's the little promptings to call a friend, or to help a child that shows we are followes of Christ as well.  We don't need to be superhuman to do amazing things with our lives.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Blogging rut.
Blog reading rut.
Life rut.
Finding a large amount of joy organizing my canned goods can't be a good thing
Can it?
Maybe I'll find something amusing to write about one of these days.  Just not up to a favorites Friday.
In other news, Conner lost another jacket.  That's #3...
{big freaking sigh}
What would you do?  He's 9.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

He Can't Make me Thin

So, you might remember that I signed-up for -- and it was OK.  The forums are pretty-well useless, and the spiritual thoughts drove me crazy.  On second though, it wasn't that OK.  The final straws were that I had issues logging into their website and their emails weren't getting through to me.  Finally, we mutually decided to just cancel my membership.  I think the site honestly doesn't get much attention since after the initial TLC show, and they aren't putting much effort into it either.

Anywho... somehow I now am getting their emails (go figure) and today's was to get a buddy.  I'd actually requested a buddy on their site -- but shockingly no one got back to me.

So, you are my buddy.

Here's the deal, this system really works.  I've lost 5 pounds since I started and when you stick to their plan you are totally on top of things.  Key words being sticking to their plan.

Maybe marching band season isn't the best time for me to be doing this.  Frankly.

Maybe my life doesn't really work with me doing this plan.  Frankly.

I know when my kids are driving me to the BRINK of extinction I really want to eat.  I want something yummy and satisfying.  My kids often are neither yummy or satisfying (I suppose they have their moments...)

But I'm going to keep trying.  It's all about listening to your body and doing things that work.

Not eating like a glutton.

Please help me stop being gluttonous.

Please make me thin. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TMI Tuesday Earaches

Ahhh, the one thing that brings me into the doctor with my kids (besides well-checks) the ear-ache.
Actually, only one of my kids has ever had an ear infection -- Conner, and his lasted well into 3 months courtesy of mis-shapen ear tubes, most likely. He had tubes placed when he was 1 and he had a couple of infections after that and then we had to have them manually pulled when he was 4 (they never fell-out).

Signs of ear infections
  • For babies it tends to be crying while they're eating their bottle (they'll suck for a minute, and then the pressure changes in their ears so it's painful, esp. if they're more flat)
  • Crying after you lay them down (like they're hurting, not just like they're tired)
  • Pulling at their ears (my kids do this all the time anyway, so that doesn't help)
  • Runny nose, boogery eyes.
  • In older children it's obviously them saying their ears hurt.

Ears tend to hurt a lot at bedtime, as the temperature is getting colder and as that changes the pressure on their ear drum hurts as well.  My ears often will hurt after dinner when I have a cold, and then they'll go away.  You can always lay on a hot pad and that will help stabilize the temperature changes.

If it's more than just at bedtime I usually take them into the doctor. Back in "my day" they used to give antibiotics for any ear infection, but they are finding that more and more are viruses and they want to wait it out and see if it gets worse or gets better.

For me, the need for antibiotics would depend on a few factors:
1.  How painful it is, if they aren't willing to give antibiotics, can you get a drop for pain in the ear?  If the child's screaming in pain I would most likely just start an antibiotic.
2.  Have they had them often before?  If it's kink in the ear tube, it's likely that fluid builds-up and gets gross in there.  Discuss the history with your doctor (or remind them of it).
3.  Your doctor's willingness to give you the prescription and let you make the call.  A lot of times they'll give an RX so you can fill it if you feel like it's necessary.  Maybe also get some pain drops as well.  I appreciate it when my doctor allows me to "make the call".

I would like to make a plug here for how important it is to NOT over-use antibiotics.  There are super bugs out there, and the time for child to build-up an immune system and immunity is while they're young.  If you keep them in a bacteria-free environment it's going to be difficult for them to do that.  Treat symptoms, give love -- but re-think yourself when you're wanting antibiotics. 

BUT, in some cases they're totally necessary, and ears can definitely be one of them.  I think most doctors are willing to talk this out with you.  I think that many parents go in insititing that he provide them with a prescription for relief, when that may only come from kleenex and love.  Just let him know you want a well-thought out decision, and that you're fine to wait a bit and see.

In other news I got a coccyx series of x-rays today and I will be heading into the spine clinc sometime in the next week or so to get a cortisone shot where it hurts.  I am also heading to the podiatrist next week for 3 ingrown toenails.  Just gettin' my tune-up, I guess. :)

Monday, November 09, 2009

I'm done.

I FINALLY made an appt. to have my internist look at my tailbone.
Church is the final straw lately.  The pain's a killer.
And let's face it, church with a 6 month old is painful on its own {and only going to get more painful -- I'm aware}.
Pray for me and my buttocks.

Menu Plan Monday

First off, a rating of last week's new dishes:
Broccoli Pie:  I've made this one before, but somehow I used "cut broccoli" instead of "chopped broccoli" and it was SO yummy.  I also cooked it a bit longer.  Kids loved it, super easy.  Also took it to a friend, and she had nice things to say... who knows if they're true though. :)
Italian Sausage Soup:  High marks, full of veggies and delicious.  Kids (even S, who hates soup) really liked it.

And now onto this week's meals:
  • Easy:  Potato Bar
  • Casserole: Tuna Casserole (super easy and good, feeding the missionaries tonight)
  • Soup: Refried Bean Soup mine's from Good, Cheap Fast -- but here's a similar recipe.  The refried beans give it a nice thickness, that's so easy!
  • Chicken: Chicken Court En Blu -- I saw this last week on Martha Stewart, and it made me want it, oh -- and we also have some swiss cheese to use-up.
  • Mexican:  Chicken Enchiladas (throw in a can of chicken, cream of chicken, some sour cream, some salsa to taste and some cheese, throw it in a tortilla with more cheese if you want and WHAMO, it's dinner -- great thing to take to friends who need a casserole)
  • Kids:  Pizza (the yummy America's Test Kitchen kind)
  • New:  Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

I must say now that we have 3 kids going out to eat is just a pipe dream.  It's not easier, it's painful -- so eating at home will have to be the norm for a while.  Not that we ate out a lot before, now it's just not going to happen, except for special events.  Having my possible meals listed just makes that SO much easier, and I can choose what I'm in the mood for still.

I'm also working on making my own baby food.  Made some sweet potatoes today.  I don't plan on serving her mush for long (currently she's not much of a fan) but I do want to check some common allergies before I set her lose on the world.


Saturday we went up to the temple*.  We have a ward temple day each week where the whole family comes (children aren't allowed in the temple, but it has beautiful grounds and a visitor's center that they visit).  It's such a fun day for us to re-focus as we enter the holiday season and remember what we're truly grateful for.

Anywho.  I was REALLY excited to go.  Drew's been gone a motherload of time lately, and I haven't been working.  I feel alone, and tired, and run-down by the kids and life.  Drew and I were planning on switching off, and doing some shorter work so one could stay out with Paige (they had activities planned for the boys).  I was just looking forward to some time of peace to think about how to be a better mom, wife and friend.  I always find solutions to my problems when I was there.

Drew went first, so I could get the kids settled in and help out if necessary.  We went on a tour of the outside.  For those of you who haven't been, the Oakland temple is on possibly the most beautiful plot of land in the Bay area, it's up in the Oakland hills where you can look out on the city.  It was such a clear day and the flowers were lovely.  We just had a nice time, me and the kids and our friends.  Then, Drew came back and it was my turn to go in.  As I was walking in I was thumbing through the nine-million cards in my wallet, and I couldn't find it.  I figured it'd just be a mater of time, so I sat down.  It was nowhere.  4 Kaiser cards, 3 library cards, 4 cards for my job, ID, credit cards -- all of them there.  But not this one.  It was gone.  I sat there so sad.  I felt like I had let God down, myself down, and those who were watching my kids, I felt like I let them down too.

I went to my car and started to cry.  Mostly just the week culminating in such a crappy ending.  I did have some time to review my life then though.  I thought about how I'd heard a voice in my head say "check to make sure you have you recommend", but I ignored it (in retrospect, that probably would have been worse, because the card is gone -- I have no clue where it is, probably lost at at my Nephew's wedding or at one of the other 5 million times I have to pull cards out of my wallet).  I thought about all I had gotten done that morning.  I'd balanced the checkbook, cleaned the entire house, spent 20 minutes cleaning the garage, got the kids bathed, dressed and fed and off to the temple by 9:30 am.  I'd accomplished a lot (I'd even done my food storage check the evening before because I knew I wouldn't have time that day).  I actually got in the car and was patting myself on the back for all I'd gotten done.

Problem was, I didn't have the one thing I NEEDED.

Then, my mind wandered to the story of Jesus with Mary and Martha.  Basic story: Jesus goes to visit and talk with them, and one of them is running around trying to clean her house and make it presentable to the King of Kings, and the other one sits at His feet and listens.  Far too often I'm the cleaner, and not the listener.  It's not to say that keeping a house of order isn't important -- but was it as important as listening to our Savior?  Anyway, just realized that I need ot be in a more equal partnership with my husband, that the weight of doing everything doesn't rest on me, and that he's willing to help out (but might need a little direction). 

I have a friend's blog whose title is "Raising Boys" and her subtitle is this:

"My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, 'You're tearing up the grass.' 'We're not raising grass,' Dad would reply. 'We're raising boys.'"     ~Harmon Killebrew

Anyway, just came to the realization that I need to look more thoughtfull into that type of activity.  It's not about compost, cleaning, and bread-making, it's the family (and in the end, that will help my goal of independence).

When I finally got over myself I got out and joined my family.  They were in the visitor's center.  There are SO many great exhibits in the visitors center.  The one I was able to make it all the way through was one about families and how it all points to families being forever and that's most important.  I teared-up again.  Those darn church videos, they'll do that to a girl.

In the end I felt so blessed to have what I do have, and realized I'll be back to the temple another day but remembering what an important job I have right now, how blessed I am to be a mom, a wife and a friend and how I can make a difference in people's lives.

And, I got a new recommend yesterday.  I feel so lost without it. :)  I am so grateful for the temple, and even just being near it helps you to make your life better.  We'll be heading up again early next month for a dance recital of the Jesus' birth.  We'd be happy to go with friends. 

Whatever your "place" is to go and reflect.  When time gets tight, it's so important to take that time.  To make any changes you need, and to put your life on the right path.  Where do you go?

*The temple is a sacred building.  All visitors are welcome in our churches, but only those who are of age (usually when kids go on missions or get married they are "endowed" in our temples) and worthy are allowed inside.  Worthiness isn't difficult but you are required to be a member for at least 1 year and answer a few questions in order to get a "recommend" (a piece of paper just saying your worthy to enter the temple).  The questions include following the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, and following the commandments in general.  Inside the temple we make promises to our Heavenly Father that will allow our family to be together forever.  For me, it's a place to relax, really think about how my life is going and any "redirections" that I need to make.  You can find more information here.  The second video shows some footage inside the temple.  I know that the temple seems like a scary and distant thing, but it's warm and inviting, for those who are ready to enter it.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


I am by no means a scriptorian.  I tend to pull-out feelings, and ways to change my life -- rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of the stories.  This isn't to say that I don't read them.  I read them religiously {he, he} -- every morning (weekday mornings, not so great on the weekends) and I keep a little notebook on thoughts of how I can change to become a better me.  I find it centers myself to get onto the hectic day.

So, last Sunday, when they announced in church that they were challenging us to "become closer to Christ" by doing some scripture reading of His life along with reading Jesus the Christ I was a bit leary, but firm in my stance to DO IT.  It's a fair amount.  I'd say it's 1/2 an hour every day and I'm a pretty fast reader.

This week has taken us through the mission of Christ, the prophetic annoucements that He would come, Mary and Joseph being told He would come, John the Baptist birth and finally Jesus' birth.  So, what have I learned?
1.  James E Talmadge is much smarter than I, especially those first few chapters.  YEESH, the guy should've gone easy on us for the first few.  I can see why a lot of people start that book and never finish.  It's getting better, less ginormous words... but yowza.  The notes are pretty interesting, but man -- they must be in like 8 point font.
2.  In retrospect, everything on this earth led-up to the moment of the sweet babe's birth.  The annoucements, the thoughts, the feelings, the sacrifices... all for that baby.  I don't think I'd ever really thought of it that way, but the whole world hoped He would come, and He did.  It's a great lesson in faith.
3.  The story of John the Baptist's birth is amazing, and such a story for all of us to learn something from.  His father was obviously a great man, and one with amazing religious conviction -- and yet he didn't believe --and God didn't take it easy on him.  All the thoughts that must have gone through his head while his wife was pregnant, and oh the release once he was able to talk.  I hadn't thought much of that story.  I also wonder if his wife ever had heavenly messengers.  Thoughts?
4.  The story of Joseph and Mary is one we concetrate on, and I don't think I gleaned anything amazing about that.  I had some very tender feelings about it last year (I think most pregnant women do).  I did like the insight that Mary knew that the Christ child was coming, and perhaps many young teenage girls sat around wondering who the mother would be... and she was chosen.  I still have wonderings about the immaculate conception -- but the book didn't dwell on that at all, what a shame. :)
5.  I'm glad that we've kind of "ramped-up" the whole nativity scene.  It sounds like we really don't know much about what we throw into there -- the Wise Men (how many, at what point did they come), no room at the inn -- and while it might be historically inaccurate I think we all learn some things from this story.

Anyway, those were my thoughts for the week.  We're basically reading a chapter (or two) of Jesus the Christ each day along with a few scripture verses.  If anyone is interested in the readings, I can probably poke my friend into emailing them to me.  Beware, it's not an easy read.  I have to do it before lunchtime if I have any chance of concentrating.  But what else is new?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Favorites Friday

Today I'm giving the love to a blog that IS fairly popular... and I think I may have linked to it before:
I think a friend of mine showed me her blog (was it you Sarah?) and I've enjoyed it ever since...

5 adjectives:

1.  Pretty.  Shawni takes AMAZING pictures.  Really, super talented.  She also likes color and depth as much as I do.  And I like them a lot. :)

2.  Amazing.  I think that be virtue of the fact that she takes amazing photos, it's easy to imagine that her life is entirely perfect (just like the pictures).  I'd like (or I THINK I'd like to) live in a place where all was perfect.  I think this about a lot of my photography friends blogs.  I know their lives aren't perfect... but it's easy to step into those photos like Mary Poppins does and think it's all roses and honey. 

3.  Realistic.  Every now and then she does a post about everything that's going wrong.  It toatally breaks #2 and somehow that makes me happy.  I am obviously quite shallow.

4.  Mormony.  She's LDS and lives in AZ.  Also, her sister was a friend of mine here.  It's nice to peek in on her world through her sister's blog.  Also, her parents are the masterminds of "Joyschool" -- its easy to think that their lives are perfect and Shawni breaks that down too. :)

5.  Mommy.  Everyone gest this adjective, but it's rare that I read a blog that doesn't have "mothering" at its core.  There's just so much we can learn from other mothers.  Shawni has a special needs little girl and realizing all that she does for her makes me love mine own ever more.  Just like we learn in joyschool, she does seem to find a lot of joy in the sheer chaos that having 4 kids must entail.  A good reminder for myself. ;)

Anyway, go visit it, enjoy the eye candy.

Thanks for writing your blog Shawni, I really enjoy reading it.

As an update on our move towards independence, this morning I realized that Conner has lost 3 of his 5 jackets/sweatshirts.  I told him if he didn't find at least 2 of them today he'd be paying for a new one (from the used kids store) out of his allowance.  He is very bitter.  I am very tired.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I'm just TIRED of all the EMAIL I get.  I realize I bring it upon myself by shopping online, etc... but it's SO DARN MUCH.
So today I decided to unsubscribe from all the ones I didn't find necessary.  I find out about most sales arleady through slick deals.
And I did it.
And I feel 10 pounds lighter.
Sadly, I am not. :)

Safeway this week

Safeway has 3 great deals going on right now (Safeway is sister stores with Tom Thumb and Dominick's, so it should also work at those locations as well -- fyi)
1.  Breakfast is "on them" if you spend 50$ -- super coupons are in the add (for free bacon, eggs, OJ and english muffins)
2.  10$ Kohls cash for every 50 that you spend.  (make SURE you use it in the dates specified -- I'm gonna put that on my calendar right now)
3.  Home for the holidays (HFTH) promotion where if you buy 25$ in items you get 5$ on your next purchase. 
I combod all of these and spend 72.89 but I got well over 180$ worth in groceries, plus 5$ on my next order and 10$ Kohls cash.  Here's what I bought, just to spark some ideas (HFTH is the 5/25 promotion):
  • Oil (superQ) HFTH
  • Bisquick (lots of eq's and a paper coupon) HFTH
  • Flour 2/3 (great price, better than Costco) HFTH
  • br sugar 1.69 (paper coupon) HFTH
  • Nestle choc. chips 2/5 (paper coupon) HFTH (not an amazing price, I hope this gets better in the weeks to come)
  • beans 10/10 (this will be the price through the HFTH promotion, I noticed on its tag -- 80 cents is OK -- wish it was better)
  • taco shells (1$) (need)
  • Flipsides crackers 2/4 super Q and paper coupon HFTH (great deal -- I found some peelies at Lucky's a while back, and that made these only a buck and my kids LOVE them)
  • Pepperidge farms baked naturals 2/4 super Q and paper coupon (looks yummy -- again, only a dollar after super Q's and the paper coupon from last week's paper -- I think)
  • free breakfast foods (sweet)
  • 10# potatoes (super Q)
  • Asparagus (1.47/lb)
  • Butter (SQ)
  • Cream cheese (SQ)
  • Safeway PB (SQ)  99cents is a great deal on PB
  • Cream of mushroom/celery/chicken 88 cents -- haven't seen it this price in a while, not amazing -- but I bought like 4 cans of each -- so great to make quick dinners out of, or take dinner to a sick friend.
  • Broth 60 cents -- decent price, it's Swanson's and I like to use their vegetable broth in soups (I do my chicken broth from a container I got from costco -- it's a great deal!) 
  •  I also bought a couple of small containers to tote baby food around with me -- guess who started solids yesterday.  OH BOY. {boooooo} -- not amazing prices, but needed and if you can get close to that kohls cards, it's worth it.  In retrospect, I probably should've waited for a better deal, but it was only 3.19.  Sue me.  Also bought some alumnium containers to take dinner to friends.  Seems like the swine flu/ etc. is eating all mine up -- 6 for 2.49 isn't too bad (but they're cheaper at the dollar store). 
  • Bought lunchables I had a raincheck for
Anyway... there you go.  Just a little peek into my mind as I shop.  I have some serious putting away to do in the garage.  I cleared-out some space and I'm just trying to figoure out a good way to organize stuff with the new space included.  Always thinking about my food storage.... 
In other news my body still hasn't adjusted to daylight savings.  It was 4:45 wake-ups earlier in the week, but thankfully now it's just 5:30.  Slowly moving to the real time. {boooooo}

Help me Out!

Last month, you were all so helpful on my goals.  Let me do a quick run-down on how I am improving our after-school time. 
I am trying to focus on this time, meet them at the door (if D picks up), put P down quickly and then focus on them.  We are having an after school snack and this seems to help re-focus everyone so we can do the things we need to get done.  It's helped a lot in our lives and I feel like it's a new beginning to the afternoons.  I hope it lasts.

So, this month my goal is to promote more indepdence in my children.  Not the type where they go out and get an earing ala Jon Gosslin.  More the, you can sweep the floor on your own, and take the initiative to clean-up a room without me having to remind you of every. little. thing.

Right now my plan is to do something daily with one of them that promotes this as well as big praise when I see initiative being taken by one of them.  On Monday I had Conner make those cookies on his own and I really tried to praise him for the steps he was taking.  I think it turned-out well.

So, what do you do to promote independence?  Inquring minds want to know.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What's Up Wednesday

P is what's up. I feel like I'm just grasping at straws to keep her tiny. She's growing and growing and it's just making me sadder and sadder... {sigh}

My baby is getting so alert. All the sudden toys are exciting, and she lays on her belly and studys everyone and every thing.

Naps, lately, have been from about 9 am til' 11:30'ish and 2 to 4'ish... and sometimes one at dinner time, depending on how the other two went. She usually does well at night, not so well lately.... We have yet to start solids but it's on my list for the week. That's not my favorite thing...

She continues to have a "strawberry" on her back (it has a technical term, but it escapes me right now) but it's large, red and raised a bit. I find it endearing, and I'm glad it's not in a place that it will bother her. Supposidly it's going to disappear by the time she hits puberty/adulthood -- who knows. Thanksfully it's just on her back.

I can't get enough of her clothes. I love these two outfits that I used for her pictures:

It's really just sickening how much I'm in love with this baby. She's my world right now and we have so much fun together. Sleeping seems to be getting back on track after the whole shots/I want to be social because I'm now so darn cute thing. Everyone loves her though. The boys still love to play with her and giggles are like an Emmy around here.

I was thinking back to last Halloween when I annouced I was pregnant. It was indeed a scary time, but the sun shines now. And she can wear a sweater like nobody else's business.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Yes on C

Don't forget to go vote!  For those close to me, vote yes on C!  It can make a big difference to the kids!

TMI Tuesday: Reader Questions

Yay!  someone sent me questions.  Sadly, I'm not super-well versed on how to answer them... I will give it a shot though!

She asked:

Are there any tell-tale signs of a secondary infection (besides getting sick, getting well, and then getting sick again).  Why yes -- and it all has to do with our friend bodily fluids. :)  Mostly if you start coughing up, or blowing out green stuff you may have a secondary infection.  HOWEVER, green stuff can also result from the ends of infections where the mucus is just drying, so you also have to take into account how you feel.  In general, if you are feeling like you're getting over something and then you're back to bed (unless you think you might have gotten another infection, since you live in a cesspool like me) you might want to think about calling the doctor.  Also drink LOTS of fluids, because that helps keep away the green gunk.  It's true. 

Can you start-off with pneumonia?  As far as I know, no -- it's a secondary infection.  Again, lungs aren't really my strong point.  We did call it the old man's friend when I worked hospice, and there was definitely a reason....

Do you know where you can get children's medications without high fructose corn syrup and other artificial flavorings?  Honestly, no.  My guess would be Whole Foods.  I'm surprised/unsure that tylenol has anything like that since we obviously give it to kids who have diabetes... I don't see it on my bottle, and obviously we can see how little I care about this particular thing.  My kids love their tylenol, it's true.  Even P starts to smack her little lips when I give it to her...  I'm sure it's out there... maybe google it?  Did I mention someone got 5 shots last week?  Sleep is a thing of the past...

In an emergency would you give a child adult acetaminophen or ibuprophen (smashing it to get the right dosage).  In general, these aren't really considered emergency drugs.  They're to take away fever and pain, and they only eliminate side effects.  So, it'd have to be a pretty big emergency for me to use it (and I always have like 3 bottles on hand at home -- I mean, I have like 50 pounds of wheat... why not have 3 bottles of Children's tylenol?).  But, I suppose if like the whole world had fallen apart and my kid was dying I might do it.  Otherwise, No.  Too many factors in how they package adult medication.  Time release, enteric coating... etc.  It's not a good plan.  It's a better plan to have 3 bottles in storage. :D

In the meantime, keep the questions coming.  I'm fresh out -- an otherwise next week's post might be on something REALLY boring and DISGUSTING.  Believe me, I could make you all sick.

Hilary is an RN, BSN who has worked in various medical fields for the past 12 years, however, none of the information on this blog, should be substituted for the care of a physician. The information provided on this blog is informational only and shouldn't be taken as medical advice. You have instinct, use it -- and use it wisely. If you have questions, please ask your doctor. If you think you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 911. Also, please don't delay contacting a physician due to something you have read on here. Pulling Curls doesn't takeresponsibility for your health. That's your job. We're just a nice read.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Ahh, back on track after Halloween.  Doesn't it feel nice?
Pasta:  Beefy Noodles with Sour Cream Sauce (Desperation Dinners is a serious go-to for me, I love their recipes, and many of my best friends have gotten this recipe book from me)
Chicken:  Chicken and Apples with Djon Cream (I have some green apples to use-up, my recipe is from the sister book to Desperation Dinners -- Good, Cheap Fast -- never tried this before.  I hope it's good).  Here's a similar one.
Casserole:  Broccoli Pie -- I've made this for years, great way to sneak broccoli into the diet.
Soup:  Italian Sausage Soup
Mexican:  Tacos
Easy:  Potato Bar
Other: Crab dip (found crab on sale a couple of weeks ago, craving this dish we usually only have for new years... but why not have it for dinner with a salad?)

In other news I made these cookies from my cousin's blog.  Actually, Conner made them with only a little help from me.  He did a pretty good job.  I couldn't ever find the spice cake mix, until recently -- and then I waited for it to go on sale, which happened just this past week (I used Duncan Hines, and their cake mixes are 99 cents through Tuesday).


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