Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garage Sale Info

Garage Sale AmericaOk, after spending the day at our school's rummage sale I came up with some helpful tips I thought of:

1.  Get a large dollar pen.  I haven't a clue where you get them, but there were SO many people paying for stuff with 100's and 50's.  I was amazed.  Of course, we also probably attracted a number of illegals who get paid that way.  Either way, every time I took one I got nervous.  I actually had someone pay for 2$ worth of merchandise with a 100$ bill.  Nervous.  Yes.  I did find the watermark, but that wasn't really enough for me. :)

2.  Stay firm.  Mark your large items with firm prices, and stay that way til' 10 am'ish.  I think this is how we made good money in the beginning.  Clothes were a dollar, as were hardback books and we had plenty of people paying that price for good stuff.  I figure it's well worth it, a lot cheaper then you'd get it for at Goodwill.  We had so many people trying to break us down -- but we were clear that if they wanted the item, they could come back and pay less 10 am -- this is a good way to shut people up.

3.  Sell it by the bag near the end.  As noon nears, you realize you just want to get RID of stuff.  LOTS of it!  So, it started out being 5$ per paper bag, then 3, then 2.  It did the trick.

Our school made almost 4k with our garage sale on Saturday.  We had the whole area contribute items and it did really well.  It was a fair amount of work, but for 4 k it was worth it.  Now Conner won't have to walk to science camp. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For Dinner Tonight

Is there anything happier then your kids going out to do the weeding?  Well, maybe doing it without being reminded, but man -- THIS is why I had kids. :)

Anywho... tonight we had Carne Asada tacos and they were A-mazing.

Recently, due to me having lost my mind we went to the wrong night for the Rubio's fundraiser for school.  We left without buying but I've been missing tacos ever since then.  So, I bought me some skirt steak and yes indeedy they were good!

I loosly followed this recipe.

I marinated the skirt steak in that recipes marinade (which, if I was just doing skirt steak again, I would 1/2).  I only did it for an hour (if I did flank steak, I think I'd do it longer).

I made a little taco relish with cilantro, onion, garlic and lime juice (made it in the food processor, and no I didn't stick my hand in it... impressive, I know).  Wait, I did stick my hand in it, but it wasn't running, or had the ability to run.  I'm smart that way (now).

I mashed up some avocado and just put a little salt and pepper with it (I'm finding I like this way best, and it saves the fat of the sour cream I used to add to it).

I got out a little cheese (emphasis on little, in restrospect, I don't think we needed it at all {gasp}), and I cut up a few tomatoes.

I let the steak sit on the counter for the last 1/2 hour of its marinating (I heard you don't want to put a cold steak on the grill or it will seize up).

I grilled it, 3 minutes on one side, and 2 minutes on the other -- I think if I were to do it again I'd grill for 3 minutes on both sides.  It was just SLIGHTly too pink for me.  I still loved it though. :)

Let it rest for 5 minutes while I grilled the corn tortillas and whamo... it's dinner. :)

Everyone LOVED it, and in fact I wish I'd done a flank steak.  I think I should have mentioned that you take the steak sparingly, but it's so good, who would want to do that? :)

So, tortilla, avocado, steak, cheese, tomatoes and yummy taco relish.

Give it a try!

Education in America

 I've been watching the series that NBC has done on education in america.  It's driving me insane, have none of these people ever been in a classroom before?  Because here's the real deal.

Teachers are great, they are amazing and there are a few things keeping them from fulfilling their full amazing-ness.

1.  Teachers are required to teach to the stupid tests.  By No Child Left Behind, he meant EVERY child would be left behind, because they're learning not how to innovate, but how to take tests.  Honestly, not a useful skill when you're hoping to be a super power.  I get why they do it, but they really spend almost an entire month working on testing skills.  Let's not even TALK about how much these tests COST.  And let's just say they're not losing funding, or being asked to take extra days off... no! those tests cost a lot each and every year!

2.  Teachers have great stuff, and can do great stuff if you would just teach your kid how to behave.  Normal age-appropriate-ness is normal, but talking back, being unable to sit down for 10 minutes etc.  COME ON.  It's YOUR job to start that, not theirs.  And if it's happening, it's your job to work on it at home until the kids beaten into submission. :)  Behavior problems take up SO much of their day.  It's just annoying.

Not that my kids don't have a behavior problem every now and then but I really take what's gone on at school and I work to help it at home.  I know a lot of parents who think behavior is the teacher's job.  Clue:  It's not.

Are there bad teachers out there that the unions have kept around.  Yes.  I think that's annoying, but it's not near as annoying as these two things.  I do hope they fix the unions a bit.  I hate ineffective teachers almost as I hate taking a blender to my hand... but I digress.

I just wish Mr. Facebook had helped out his own community a bit more {hint, hint, nudge, nudge}

The real story is that if YOU don't like your school you need to chip in to help fix it.  It's a flawed system and I hope someone can fix it, but until then I chip in where I can -- and so can you.

And Drew, maybe it's best you don't watch it.  I like happy Drew. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Post You've All Waited For -- Sister Wives

Is it just me, or do they all look alike... funny thing,
new wife has dark hair.  Go figure. :)
 Last night I viewed my first episode of Sister Wives.


It's must see TV.  The sad news is that it's on the same night as Desperate Housewives... I mean, which trashy show do I watch first?  Quite a decision to be made.  But, here's my thoughts:

1.  OK, Utah.  Tank tops over sweaters -- it's just not good fashion.  Frankly, my personal opinion is that a tank top over anything isn't particularly good fashion, but this woman had a sweater with a spaghetti strap tank top over it.  STOP IT.  Honestly, that is the main thing that bothered me for much of the program.  Judge me, it's fine.  It's not even because she's polyg.  It's Utah fashion.  STOP.  STOP IT NOW.  I was also amused by all the shade shirts in this show.  I hope they're sponsoring it. :)

2.  This show is blowing the lid off the perks of polygamy.  I think most women think of it an awful state... as do I.  But seriously, aren't there a few million times a year that you couldn't use an extra wife around your house?  There are plenty of times I could use a wife of my own to take care of ever little thing for me.  Couldn't you?  They're pretty open about the sisterhood and how they really have to work on each others relationships as well as theirs  with their husband.  Honestly, I think the Mormon church has learned how to get a lot of the perks of polygamy without the icki-ness of sharing a husband.  Way to go Mormons (btw, these people are members of the fundamentalist LDS church.... it is in no way affiliated with our church).

3.  Eh, the dad dating a new wife.  Ewww.... I mean, these people have been living like this for 16 years.  It will be REALLY interesting to see how this whole thing is dealt with.

4.  Wife #3 Janelle did not grow-up polygamous, but did live in UT.  She said she had no idea polygamy existed.  Hence, I no longer believe a word that comes out of Janelle's mouth.  I always saw the polygs at Sams Club, Kmart, etc.  (ok, upon further eval it just says she grew-up LDS... still, unbelievable.)  Suspicious?  Yes.

5.  I just saw that Bigomy charges are being considered against the husband.  Honestly, these are 3 consenting adults.  It doesn't appear they are living off welfare, and all were well above the legal age before they got married.  I'm not sure what they can charge him with?  I mean, wouldn't they have to charge every man who has had an affair and conceived a child?  At least this guy's supporting them (and not making me do it).

6.  While googling for a link to the bigomy charges, I Found that Perez Hilton is creeped out by this.  PEREZ HILTON IS CREEPED OUT BY THIS.  Is anyone else finding this amusing.  Guess what, I find it awful too.  I don't think it's a healthy environment for the women or the children.  BUT, if you're going to promote a lifestyles where women marry women and men marry men then you by jove better be fine with this... because this is where it is going.  These kids look normal and healthy and if you asked the wives they'd say it's fine.  And while we're at it, Perez creeps me out.  There, I said it.

7.  On an entirely different topic I had forgotten that my mom had once been asked to be a second wife when she was in college.  Seriously.  Not kidding.  How hick do I sound now?  Well, I don't wear tank tops over my sweaters.

I'm interested to see where it goes from here.  IT does make me really uncomfortable to know that there are women out there OK with this.  I feel sorry for them, and I hope that they are truly happy.  I also believe that there's a whole lot more to life then sex, and maybe those other parts of their lives make up for it.  Either way, it's not for me but I'm happy to peek in their windows. :)

Here's a clip for those of you dying to watch it now:

In other news, I've made a decision I can no longer watch Kate Plus 8. Any woman wearing realy low cut tank tops with mini skirts isn't actually parenting 8 children. I don't need to watch parents not doing their job. My husband's a teacher and we attend public school, I see plenty of that. :)

Primary Program

This past Sunday our ward's children (ages 3-12) put on a program filled with gospel principles that they learned this year.

I almost cried.

And it wasn't because P was twisting my finger, because she does like to do that.

I'm so touched by all these people who volunteer for my children, to help reinforce the things that I'm doing at home.

I'm touched by songs that sing exactly what I want them to know.

I'm touched by how much God loves little children.

I've been watching a little bit of NBC and Oprah talking about education in our nation.

I think primary is such a great example.  Of course, the teachers need to be paid but they're just a support for what's going on at home.  I need to mull over the education thing a bit more, and formulate my thoughts a bit... but suffice it to say that God loves children and I'm so glad that he does.

I love children too.  Especially when they're sitting 100 feet away from me and performing for my dewy eyes. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010


On Saturday (after a RAGING rummage sale at Conner's school, we made some good $$) I went to my church's Women's Conference.

I learned a lot of things at it.  I'm so glad I went. I know a lot of people like to enjoy it in their home, but because we don't travel out of our house for general conference it's nice to realy sit and enjoy a session.  REALLY take it in. :)  That's somewhat rare with a 3 child cyclone happening around me on the other sessions.

I think the biggest thing that touched my heart is how important the individual is -- to God, to the church and to each other.  I think that's a large part of why I like my job so much.  I'm definitely not dealing with masses of people at once.  It's a one on one thing, where you can really make a difference.

But, it also made me think about being a mom.  How it is SO individual and how even as a parent you want to keep things are fair as possible, but in the reality of life it's an individual thing.  Just like in Siblings without Rivalry -- each child gets what they NEED.  I think that's one of the hardest parts of having more children.  Your focus turns from little faces to the field of faces. :)  Sheesh, and I only have 3 kids!

So, I think that's what I'm going to try and focus on this week.  What does the INDIVIDUAL in my life need?  Life isn't about policies and procedures and I tend to lean that way.

How do you see your kids as individuals, instead of a mass? {a whining mass of needs}. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thoughtful Sunday

Drew and (ok, it originated with me - probably because I was the one that needed it most).  Have decided not to turn on the computer on Sundays (post dating this post... fyi).  But I love a lot of the messages on You Tube.  You see, I believe these men (this is Elder Hales) are apostles of God, just like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are.  You will feel the truth of their message, and how it can affect your life -- just like it affects mine.

Enjoy, and happy Sunday.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

HUGE rummage sale

I'm headed out to help out at Conner's rummage sale at school this morning. There is a TON of stuff there so if you're in the market for practically anything, please stop by!  It'll be going til' at least 4 pm.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wordle of the Week

And yes, I was too lazy to crop the screen shot.  Isn't it cute?

Photo Friday: Perfection :)

Well, first off -- last weekend we had some serious date night.  Conner, I and Paige were relegated to the home spot where we made muddy buddy chex mix and crepes.  It was a lot of fun, fatty fun.  We also played some wii and laughed ourselves silly at some old Wipeouts we had taped.  Conner did a good job at helping with the crepes, and we know that's no easy task!  We even got some pointers from our friends on You Tube before trying it out -- I think it may have actually helped. :)

And this little one looked SO darn cute on Sunday I couldn't help but photograph.  I loved this one in black and white... she looks so old fashioned and grown -up -- and that's rare since she's still my baby and loves her technology. :)

But, here you can see her amazingly adorable red bow.  Is she a fashion diva or what?

And not to be undone by their little sister, the brothers needed to get in on the act.  This fine fellow had a great parent teacher conference this week.  I was so proud of him after it.  I hate to let my kids know that they're TOO amazing, but this one sure is.  Even after starring in the school play he still got amazing test results, is being a bit less fidgety at school and {gasp} hasn't lost a single jacket....  In this nice warm weather we're having.  :)  I love how he still looks a little goofy and little in this shot.  I'm pretty sure I made a fart sound before I took it.  Got him a new blazer at kid to kid.  I think he looks pretty darn smart.

And these two, they sure do love each other!

I know!  A picture of myself.  Despite how my eyes look like I'm a pirate in this photo... I like it how I'm sitting there and then P is behind me waiting to attack.  She's like that, you know.  Thanks to Conner for his sweet photography skills.  Oh, and why do my gums take up 1/2 of my teeth?  It's fairly unfair how my smile is far too gumm-y.

This one is also pretty darn great.  We don't have his conference til' next week but I love how he's turning into a great student in first grade.  He, apparently is aware of his gumm-y smile because he was unwilling to show teeth....

And wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles ... all 3 LOOKING AT THE CAMERA.  Did you guys just hear on the news that hell froze over?  Yeah, that was pretty weird too. 

And, because no documentation of this week in our life would be perfect without a few of my fine finger, I give you a pictorial to advance kitchen safety.... 

Do you see the top stitch in this photo above -- and then there's a long stitch and it's reaching to the middle of my fingernail.  You might just think he left one of the stitches too long.  Oh no, that's where the end of it is.  That's right, through my fingernail (meaning he had to dive under my nail bed to get there).  Yesterday, I just realized I will get to feel them take them out.  Not looking forward to it people.  Anyone want to give me something to bite on?

Anyway, it is feeling better, and those of you that are faint of heart can thank me for leaving these pictures small.  You can always click on them to blow them up if needed.  I know I'll be doing that.  To REALLY feel my pain. :)  Also, thanks to Conner because I just couldn't get a good focus on my finger while being behind the lens.  Someone else is turning into a bit of a photographer as well.

Did I happen to mention that after hours of itching my nose, I think an ulcer might be rearing its ugly head after too much ibuprofen.  I think God is wanting me to suffer.  Anyone else?

Happy weekend everyone.  Let's make it safe, shall we?

A Couple of Things: for Our Good

First off, I must admit the worst part of this whole finger incident is telling people how I did it.  HOW on earth could I have been so dumb?  WHAT was I thinking?  In my head I don't expect perfection.  I am fine with the things I'm not so good at.  I don't find myself comparing me to others, I realize that some people have certain gifts and some have others.  But in reality I do expect perfection.  I expect me to have the perfect FHE dessert, even if I'm so tired and have so many other things in my plate that I can't really put myself in a safe place.  Anyway, it's been a good lesson that I'm not perfect, and being whole is better than being perfect.  I think it's also let me eat a bit of humble pie -- and that's just good for digestion in general.

The second thing, I've been thinking a lot about a talk my Aunt (who is one of my most favorite people) gave at Women's Conference, and I searched for it this fine morning on the Internet.  I think it's got a good message for people who are going through hard things.  I'm pretty sure I've put it on the blog before, but here's the link (you can click onto the MP3).  Even if you only have 3 or 4 minutes, listen to the first part -- it's a good reminder that everything we go through is for our good.  And that true joy really only comes after you have known the sadness.  I'd encourage for you to have a listen.

And then wait with great anticipation for Photo Friday.  I'll be warmin' up the Lightroom soon. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just one more medical post....

This one's a happier one.

Today I went in for my lady part check up to my GYN. :)

Health o Meter SAB998D-41 Dial Scale, White with Black MatI had to do the dreaded scale visit and the once dreaded "arm hug" with the BP cuff.  It was in her office where I finally weighed in at 210 and my BP was creeping up.  Today it was 178 and BP was 116/64, which is great.

It's a reminder that it's not ALL about how awesome I can look in a pair of jeans.  I'm in it for health, for the long haul and true happiness.  Which, can be partially found in a great pair of jeans, am I right?

I've started watching the biggest loser.  I've nver really watched it before, maybe caught a finale or a random episode here or there.  However, people who are skinny watch that show.  I think I might learn a little something along the way.  Question my own fitness....

Just a happy little step along my journey that seems to be full of steps I'm not all together in love with all of the time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Guess who's not going to work today.  I talked to employee health and they told me that unless I can get a doctor's note saying he will allow me to do frequent and vigorous hand washing I'm out of a job until I can.


I must admit I don't feel QUITE as much like a slave after this. 

I also think that the words frequent and vigorous can't be applied to anything using my finger.

Of course, after it happened came the "WHY MEE's" (esp, as they put a stitch into my fingernail, which hurt worse then a kidney stone, fyi).  But, it is interesting that everything in life has a purpose.  This could be to help me realize to be safer, how much health can mean to a person, remind my family how much I do... maybe a little time off work.

I do so love money though.

It's a problem.

It is interesting how life has a purpose, and sometimes we don't find that out until we're just to it or passed it.  What's your purpose today?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I've Learned

Besides that it's really hard to type sans index finger.

Also, lacerations REALLY hurt.  For instance, right now.

The sad news, I had to get right back in the saddle today.  Made all 3 meals, some even involving a knife.

The reaction of my friends has been interesting.  They all get it.  Mom gets busy, making dinner dealing with 3 kids, accidents happen.  FAR too often in the kitchen I have close calls.  A knife falls near bare feet, I scrape when I should unplug first, I get burned.

So, this short blog entry is a PSA for YOU to be more careful in the kitchen.  A lot of us use powerful tools and ones that can hurt us.  Yesterday's mishap could have been a LOT worse, but it wasn't, and for that I'm really glad.

So, next time, maybe you either need to find a simpler recipe or you need to have some time to yourself for safety's sake.

And there, I'm off my soap box to go elevate my finger.  Did I mention it hurts.  Still weighing nose itching vs pain.

ALSO, I have a review up of CSN stores on my review blog.  Link on the right also.  One word for the future, people.  Giveaway.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Well, I found a way to not be a slave....

Today while working on our FHE treat I cut myself really badly.  So bad I was screaming for Conner to call Drew and we made a quick trip to the ER.
Here I am 4 stitches later....

Finger is still numb, which is starting to creep me out... it's been at least 6 hours!

Doesn't hurt though, which is good because they had to stitch through my fingernail.

Nose is itching because I took a tylenol with codiene and somehow during my kidney stone drama I developed this weird side effect to narcotics.  Dang you stones.

Finger is splinted and blog posts may be sparse....

Hoping to sleep instead of itch soon... 4 benedryl on board right now.  Kinda loopy (and still itchy).

Anyway, maybe I prefer being a slave....

Important Post of the Day

A lot of my Utah friends are writing very scary stories about the fires in Utah and being evacuated from their homes.  I just read a great post, that has a list of things you should grab in an emergency.  I am gonna post it in our garage by our door, just in case.  I think you might be so out of your mind being scared that you won't think straight, so a list would be handy. :)

The Fine Line

. . . If You Lived When There Was Slavery in AmericaDoes anyone else feel that there is a really fine line between motherhood and slavery?  Lately I've just felt like EVERYTHING is MY job and people feel no qualms about complaining or letting me know I did it wrong.  I know that a lot of this is my fault.  While I can really try and coax pleases and thank yous out of my kids I can't expect it (and they're good at saying it, maybe not so great at showing it).  Drew's really good about reminding the kids about all that I do... but really.  It's been hard lately.

And I know the attitude shift has to be inside me.

I need to find more pleasure in the simple joys of motherhood -- and normally I do a pretty good job at this.  Finding a new item to make for lunch, or organizing something so that it's more useful... these things do bring me joy.  I like housework, in general.  I feel like I'm a good housewife...

But there are days.

I guess there are WEEKS.  And last week was one of them. :)  Drew was gone almost the entire day.  I realize I'm usually pretty lucky, but only seeing him for an hour daily (mostly, just enough time to feed him)makes the days quite long.

Anyway.  How do you shift how you're feeling?  Or, should I just put on an Aunt Jemima handkerchief and get into my new role. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

Something to remember that you can make a difference.

I really like it at the end when they say it's the best thing that's happened to the team and the school. Sometimes you go out thinking YOU will make the difference. In the end, it's them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo Friday: Made with Love

First off, some sad news.  I, apparently, didn't take many pictures this week... which is JUST WHAT photo Friday was set-up to avoid.  I am feeling properly chastised.  I did, however, get a few good pictures of stuff I made.  First off, I made the Cook's Country biscuits (they were in their last issue, if anyone cares).  I can not find the recipe for it, but they were delicious.  They do them in the food processor... which leaves them so lay-er-y.  I'd never made biscuits before.  I could, however, open a tube with a little fat man on the front with the best of them.  I even made them hearts, because Cook's Country says if you don't have an "edged" cutter you'll flatten all the layers (and I only have heart cutters, because up until now, sugar cookies was my focus).  There's only one thing in this house allowed to be flat, and that's my belly.  Well, and an upper region on my body, but I digress....

And, I couldn't let my fabulous jam go without a photo of it.  Doesn't it look amazing?  I wish I had some more of the larger jars you see in the background.  They're a better size, but the tiny ones work too.  Ingredients: 4 C Strawberry mash (which I did with my hand blender), 1C apple juice, 3C sugar (I actually did 1/2 C honey and 2 C of sugar... or something close to that.  Plus like 90 gallons of boiling water.  Man, canning is a hot process....  Plus, one packet of gelatin.  Smelling this stuff is like crack cocaine.  If I lose my job, it's the jam.  OK? :)

And finally, more sad news.  I have an obsession with baby shoes and I am getting SO sad that P's are starting to get too small.  I mean, I keep her in the third percentile for a REASON.  It's all about the fashion ladies.  These Pumas (that you see in the front) are SO cute, and have done us well.  I remember being at Kid to Kid, wondering if 9 bucks for a pair of baby shoes was just excessive.  I've probably gotten at least 50 bucks of joy and compliments out of them.  I will miss them when she gets too big.  I'll miss a lot of things, but my teething lack of sleep right now isn't one of those things.  I do love baby shoes, don't you? :)
  BTW, the ones after the Pumas are "See Kai Run" an man -- those shoes stay. on.  I love them.  I got them at a garage sale for 50 cents.  Score.
Lara, are you noticing all the pink in this photo? I sicken myself sometimes....

So, happy Friday I hope the weekend has lots of fun in store for you.  Mine has work and next week might be even more busy then this week but I SWEAR I will have a photo of someone in it next time.  Even if it's just me waiving in the mirror. :)

Conner's Blog

Hey guys, I just noticed that Conner has a new post up about one of his new favorite video games.  It's an online game -- and it's free (or it is, so far!).  It's really fun and I found it from family fun magazine.  Go take a look at his entry.  Game's for like 7-10 year olds, FYI.  That seems to be a hard age to find educational, fun games for (or, perhaps I'm out of the loop).

George Parks, RIP.

While everyone else was headed to EFY, I instead chose to go to Band Leadership Training.  I did 2 summers at that training camp and it has changed how I view every day life ever since then.  They taught you about trust, inspiring people and working hard.

So, I was sad to hear that George Parks, one of the main instructors at that camp died recently.  Of course, I knew just how he died because that guy could yell like nobody's business.  He scared the be-jesus out of me a few times my first year.

Anyway, I think it's rare to find people who can really inspire greatness out of others, especially young people.  I think he was one of those people.  I actually think that BLT was just what I needed.  I think it was the first time that I found someone who wasn't LDS to be inspiring (note, I grew-up in UT so it was rare to find someone who wasn't LDS anyway). 

But, what was inspiring was things I still hold dear.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression, if you want respect you have to earn it and show it, YOU need to model what YOU WANT.  They're important qualities to me as an employee, as a mother, and as a friend.  I'm sure it's a huge loss to his band, but also to the world of marching band in general.  I'm sad for the students in the future who won't have him to make them pee a little bit in their pants. :)

{this entry made me sound like a total band geek, I'm embarrassed at the truth -- George would want me to wear it with pride, but that's really not possible at this point...}

Thanks George, I am guessing heaven is a little bit louder today....

I am Woman Hear me ROAR

Ok, here is a list of things I got done today (today, being Thursday -- that's right, you found me out -- I post-date stuff).  I had giant plans for the day, it started out with grocery shopping.  But, I came home from that to find a nice puddle in the front of the dishwasher.  I herded the groceries where they were supposed to go, got P interested in some toys and went to find out what was wrong.  I un-did some stuff.... I un-did a few more things, I googled.  I tried to fix it, thought it was good -- but it wasn't.  I did some more stuff... I googled some more and then I REALLY fixed it and WOW -- I FIXED my own dishwasher.  No leaks, not even now!  I know, miraculous (btw, I tightened the screws that hold the door in... in case someone with a leaky dishwasher is googling this)

Of course, I still had a giant list of things to do....

So, I cut up the strawberries I got for a sweet deal at the grocery store (Savemart: Buy 1 get 2 free this week) and I got those ready to can, and I canned them (like, boiling water canned them -- not some pansy freezer jam).

In between dishwasher steps and some canning steps I turned my compost.  Don't worry, I washed my hands good after.

Then, I got lunch ready for a friend.  It was modestly delicious.

Then, I made bread.  I'm talking ground the wheat, mixed it in my mixer (I accidentally typed dishwasher there, I think that'd be a fairly wet dough if I tried that).

So, let's recap.  Mrs. Fix it, turned compost, canned 10 jars of jam, fed the hungry, baked bread.  Oh, and add into that 2 loads of laundry.

Some days you just need a cheerleader. 

My husband just isn't a cheerleader.  Gosh, I love him but I'd like a cartwheel for all that I do some days.  I barely get a finger circle.

Anyway, I am woman hear me ROAR and once my bread is done I'm totally gonna do some yoga and have a 3 minute nap on the couch before it's time to make dinner. {phewsh}

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Five Star Dinners: Bellas, rolls, easy

Hey, I wanted to let you guys know a few recipes the family has loved lately:

First off, we all LOVED the double Decker Portabello Sandwiches.  SO tasty.  However, you need to like both mushrooms and blue cheese.  My kids are both kind of on the edge for both of those things but they loved the sandwiches.  Also, they're pretty decently healthy for you.  BTW, we made these with baby bellas and "slider" type rolls.  I thought they'd be easier for the kids to handle.

Speaking of rolls... I made potato rolls for the sandwiches, and boy oh boy are they light and fluffy.  I even subbed in a couple of cups of whole wheat flour for the all purpose but they were still light as air.  Yumm....

We also had Shannon's delicious pasta for dinner, I can't find the recipe anywhere but here's the gist of it:

1 box cream cheese (8 oz)
1 box pasta (16 oz) -- we used the rotini kind, but I'm sure whatever would work
1 can cream of chicken
1 can of chicken (thank you Costco)
1 envelope of dressing mix (ranch or italian, I did ranch)

Cook the pasta.
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds in a large microwave safe bowl (I use the one bowl to serve it all in, so it's a pretty big bowl)
Then combine the cream cheese and the chicken of chicken, chicken and ranch mix.  I then popped that all in the microwave for a minute.  If it's kinda clumpy you can add milk (or some of the pasta water, I would think -- I didn't have to do that).  Then, add pasta.


SO quick and easy, which is just what I needed tonight!

An Helpmeet

I was reading some Mormon Mommy Blogs today and came across this one about how you can help your husband (from the title you think it might be something else, especially if that was someone from work's blog... but I digress....).

Anyway, she says are you the woman specifically created to help your husband.  We learn from the scriptures that women were made to be an helpmeet for their husbands, and they are made to be an helpmeet for us.  Now, you notice it's helpmeet, not just to help with meat. :)

Anyway, I think I FAR too often look and see how he's helpin' meet my needs.  Is he helping with the kids, with dinner, with rubbing my feet {if this was one of the criteria he'd fail, btw}.  However, my husband has a pretty stressful job this time of year, and it's being made worse with a big trip they're hoping to go on.  The guy is fairly stretched right now.

So, how will I help meet his needs.  How can I create myself specifically to help him?  Hopefully he's thinking the same thing on the other side, and that isn't to say that I'm not still going to scream, "WILL SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME AROUND HERE."  But I think the binoculars need to go back onto myself.

What will YOU change in yourself to be the woman specifically created to help him?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Needed This Today

Ok, maybe I need it every day -- but the things those girls said about their moms, I hope can one day be said about me. :) Enjoy.

Drama- Ramma

BRAND NEW NEVER USED OR OPENED 10oz BOTTLE OF DESIGNER SKIN DRAMA QUEEN TANNING LOTIONI've had so many people come up to me and ask me if I'm OK, and I'm like -- OK with what?  You see, the blog is a little bit about drama.  I tend to write posts when I'm in the heat of the moment and of course, I want readers, so sometimes I'm a little dramatic about what happens in our little life.

That's right, I'm almost as bad as Kate Gosselein.  You found me out.

But, whatever you read on anyone's blog -- realize that's now how they'd talk to you in normal life.  They might say something in passing about someone's death... but they woudln't have a 4 pargraph rant about how much they'll miss them.  That's just awkward.

One of the blogs that I read (I would link to her, but I'm not sure she'd want it) has had a sick little boy.  Someone said that she was being a bit dramatic.  But, newsflash.   People like drama -- that's what makes you keep reading.  Boring blog posts about how I taught Paige to traverse the one step in our home aren't that entertaining.  Ok, maybe they would be.

Just a little something I thought you should know. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Food Storage is Good For You: Diapers

Pampers Baby Dry Diapers, Size 3, 204-CountNo, this isn't a new fangled entry on eating diapers, although -- wouldn't that be delicious?

Food storage, for me, tends to go into whole life storage.  Food, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.

Diapers is something I've gotten fairly good at.  I also obsess over having a good supply so I'm not out and {gasp} have to pay full price one day!

So, my target price for diapers is 5 dollars for a jumbo pack.  Every once and a while I will go over that, to 6 -- but 5 is my target.  We wear size 3's, and that's 31-36 diapers per pack (depends on if you use the supreme or regular, I buy an assortment -- because I do think the surpremes work better at night).  That's $0.138 cents/diaper.  Costco for regular diapers is 22 cents/diaper.  Now, Costco HAS been running coupons lately and that could be a better deal (looks like that takes it to 20 cents/diaper what has been in their recent coupons).  I haven't looked because I tend to like the supreme and the regulars, also that's coming down a lot of cents to make my target price.

Now, you're not going to see diapers for sale for 4.99, that's the sad news.  BUT, diaper coupons lately seem to be really easy to find, and if you have a few coupon friends that you let them know you want diaper coupons they'll probably fill you up. 

Also, make sure you join the huggies and pampers (and luvs, if you're into luvs, which we're not) reward programs and they'll send you coupons in the mail.

Also, today I worked a deal where the diapers were 9.99, Safeway had a super coupon taking them to 7.99 and then I had an ecoupon for 3.00 and I had a paper coupon for 2.50.  The math goes like this
9.99 * regular price
-2.00 *super coupon -- huggies or pampers for 7.99
-3.00 * ecoupon loaded from -- click on the coupon link from their front page
-2.50 * printed paper coupon from the huggies site
2.49 * total price

Of course, this is a swinging great deal and you can't have more then one ecoupon loaded onto your card at a time... so I still bought 3 other packs that were 5.49 -- but it was worth it since we were low.  Another great thing to look out for is when there are catalina coupons (they print out at the end of your shopping trip) for $$ off your next purchase.  They come up somewhat often for diapers and that's a nice way to save money as well.

Part of storage is knowing how much you have and if you need to buy or not buy.  I try and keep 2 packs on hand all the time, so when I'm down to 4 or so I know I need to keep my eyes open.

AND, you also need to keep an eye on your kid.  Luckily, mines in the 3rd percentile so we'll be in size 3's for quite some time, but if you have a grower, you might want to stock up a few on the next size as well.

And, finally -- my favorite site for diaper and baby deals in general is -- they always alert me to great sales and how to combine coupons, etc.  Love them!

And one day you'll potty train.  And you can use all this money at the spa.  Right?

Update on Eval

Evaluation went fine.  I've had complete opposite ends of the spectrum on my evals, so I tend to be nervous.  BUT, I can't say how lucky we are for me to have that job.  I feel blessed each and every day because of it.

However, in other news you know how I said "Charity Never Faileth" -- guess what, it did.  I had a complaint from another floor -- and I was like, what the heck!  There was something going on one night, and I just expressed compassion for them and said how hard that must be.  They took it that I was making fun of them, and went to both their manager and director.  I honestly haven't a clue how they got that in their heads.  I feel awful if they actually felt that way.  I should make them some bread.

Ladies, "Charity Never Faileth -- but apparently, it's all in the delivery" -- we need to change our motto.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I have started coming up with a TON of recipes that I have most of the stuff on hand for, and having those as my menu plan.  Things in the fall are a bit more crazy than usual at our house and it's nice to have a lot of options  Here's what's on board:

So, that should probably get me through the month.  I sometimes come-up with a few things to add to it along the way while I'm reading magazines.
Hope it helps someone!

PTSD: Mormon Style

So, I had a really hard week last week.  I'm obviously Mormon.  I've been that way my whole life.  Many people around me call it my blind faith -- that it's just what I've grown up with and it's what I believe.  They obviously aren't aware that I'm an over-thinker of every. little. thing.

I think I some how was regressing into some Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  As soon as I heard the news that Roberta had left us I just had ALL these thoughts flooding into my head.  Thoughts about my uncles who'd also died suddenly.  Thoughts about all that I believe, having a hard time sorting through all of it.

All the sudden you're brought back to the quintessential Mormon questions: 
  • Who am I? 
  • Where did I come from? 
  • Where am I going? 
Do you know?  I mean -- do you really KNOW?

I sometimes worry that these are mearly things that I hope very hard.  Some of you see the flames of hell nipping at my heels, I see.  Well, I find that questioning is the only way that brings a sense of testimony.  I think that you can question in an inappropriate way, but I also believe you can question stupid little things and find yourself in a very painful place.

One of the problems with being a mom is that in those moments of wholesome housework, you also have a lot of time to think about the things on your mind (especially, since much of my housework is done while P is asleep).  I have a really hard time with the uncertainty of it all.  Will we see them again, will they want to see us, will I end up in Hell, will they end up in Hell, will there be fire, will I get vertigo if I'm taken up in the last days?

Uh huh, that kind of thinking.

So, Drew and I went to the temple on Saturday.  Thank GOODNESS for babysitters who are willing to watch the wee ones while we sort our lives out.  I mean, we all know how I like a good sorting, don't we?

I'm not sure what I hoped to see.  Maybe to see her sitting next to me in white.  She could've sat next to me, the session was fairly empty.  But in the end I felt some very special things and I have a VERY firm testimony that She is VERY happy with how she lived her life, and where she is now.  She also wants all of us to be very happy as well.

I am the kind of person, that when I have a canker sore, I tend to touch it like 5 million times with my tongue.  Kind of like getting the hurt out of the way so that I can move on.  But, it doesn't realy happen that way, does it?  That canker stays there and you're just touching it and suffering.  They don't want that. They want us to be happy like they are.

AND, if they are happy, that must mean we will see them again and we can all be happy together.

I do think that knowing they are happy is one of the most comforting feelings you can have, regardless of how you believe on the rest of those questions.

And while this is a fairly random blog, it felt nice to get it out of my system.  And while writing this, my manager called wanting me to come in for my evaluation, not particularly looking forward to that.  Just one more thing to worry about.  Happy, be happy, happy, be happy...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mozy on over and do a back-up

People, do you fear computer failure as much as I do?

Well, I protect my data in a few ways.

1.  I make a CD/DVD each year and mail it to my mom's house, in case something happens here (aka, giant fireball that happened just a few miles up the road)

2.  I use Mozy -- it automatically backs-up this year's photos, financial info, etc.  You get 2GB free (and if you click on this link you get an extra 256 mb (which is 1/4 of a gig) -- or, you can alternately use referal code UWGJ4B in the referal code box -- it will be the same deal. :)  That way, I have this year's photos consistantly backing up (as well as our quicken, documents, etc.) and the other ones are safe at grandma's.

At least, that's what I think when I sleep at night.
Give it a try, you'll feel warm and fuzzy inside. :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Photo Friday: Quack, quack.

First Off, we went on a duck tour on Labor Day.  It was a LOT of fun.  If you ever find a groupon for it I highly recommend it.  Apparently, ours was a "quacker tour" which is somehow different... either way it's land and sea all the way, baby!  This isn't actually our boat, but it shows what it is, for those of you who are lost. :)

And a sun soaked picture of us in front of our sea worthy vessel.  Man, I have a glow about me, don't I?  We brought sweatshirts, but we didn't need them.  For once in its lifetime, SF got above 70 degrees, which was good because we were in an open air vehicle going on the land and sea. :)

We saw some ships in the ocean, and a sea lion soaking up some tax-free rays

The kids all even got to drive the boat.  Oh, and Drew. :)    Spencer's with our friend Derek.  I am not sure how I didn't get a photo of him and his amazing wife Tansy, but they allowed us to come on their voyage with them.  They were really good quackers.

In case anyone left their heart in San Fransisco, it's in Union Square.  It's awful pretty too (must be an art exhibit because there were a few of them).

We rode through China Town.  Love that place.  IN-sane.  They even showed us some of the less touristy places.  Those people sure are green, lots of undies hanging out the window to dry...

This one's for my mom.  She loves her a psychic.

While we couldn't go ON Lombard street (no large vehicles, we hard a hard time getting our minivan down it the one time we went), we did get a nice view of it.  Who on earth lives on that street?

We had to see our friends the sea lions.  Last time we were there, they'd gone away for a bit -- so it was nice to see so many back (but so far away... do we smell?).

Me, reminding C and S that if they're bad I'll send them out to Alcatraz.  Maybe I'll blow this up and put it in the time out corner.

Seriously, my kids love the sun, can you tell?  I promise Conner has eyes in there somewhere!
We saw some street performers, and realized that the line between a performer and a beggar is very small.  Especially in this guy's show.  This is Keith from the Keith show, and  And no, please don't go to his web page.  Sadly, I'm pretty sure I'll always remember his name is Keith, as many times as he told me he also does corporate parties.  Good for you, Keith.

No photo Friday is complete without a picture of something I made.  I made Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies -- but instead of 3/4 cup of butter, I used about 1 cup of cooked white beans (not too packed, so I figured it was about equal).  I know, you're dying just reading that but these are great.  They're REALLY great right out of the oven, and a little less great the next day but you would NEVER KNOW.  Seriously, try it.  Try your own, because these are all mine.

And, finally today was P's first day at our church playgroup.  She heads out to nursery in 7 weeks (but who's counting, oh and one of those is conference so basically just 6) so I am wanting to socialize her a bit.  Let's just say she wasn't a stellar participant but she enjoyed herself, until about 10:45 when we decided it was time for nap time.  Which we are still doing right now.  Go naps! :)

So many blessings in my little life.  Thanks to Roberta I'm trying to love everyone around me a little bit more, including the tiny people in my life.  Hope you can love a little more too.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Sad, Sad

The sad news for our family is that Drew's cousins wife died unexpectedly in her sleep the night after Labor Day.  It's a lovely way to die (and, thankfully I know Roberta would know exactly what I mean by this), but also an awful way because those who find you are those who love you most, with no chances for goodbyes. This is my most recent picture of her, and I think it sums it up best.  Roberta was a mother, a mother to everyone.  She was one of the mothers I learned so very much from when I wasn't even a mom.  We hung out a lot whith them when we lived in Utah when we were first married, before we moved here.  Sometimes I wonder if her mothering hours were used up.  Like, her mother ticker had just run out.  She mothered her own {amazing}  kids, she mothered me and Drew as we were newlyweds, she mothered nieces, nephews, friends, neighbors, countrymen....  I know kids loved being at her house because Roberta was so open and enjoyable.

Roberta somehow put herself co-in-charge of the last couple of family reunions.  The kids had SO much fun with all the fun things she planned for them, even though her kids were much too old to enjoy pin the tail on the donkey or P's personal favorite, pick the duck out of the kiddie pool.  P could have walked around for hours with those ducks....  In the photo above she walked her horse around that pond at least 20 times so the kids could all have a ride on it. 

She was also a nurse.  She actually started back to school to become a nurse as I was finishing.  I thought she was insane.  But, I knew she'd be great at it!  You could tell she was one of those amazing nurses who really made a difference.  On the unit, with her patients, with her co-workers.  I always secretly thought maybe someday we'd move back to Utah and we could work together.  No such luck.  The saddest part is that she carried something for EVERY. SINGLE. EMERGENCY. with her.  All the time.  Perhaps this is a very sad lesson that you can't prepare for everything.  I hate that.  I wish you could.  Believe me, I try too. :)

She possessed the most amazing ability to see a person for who they were and what they needed and was able to fulfill that need (which is probably what helped her be a great nurse -- and also a great mom, as the two sometimes go hand in hand).  I often talked to her about how she could see so much potential in a person and was always SO willing to help anyone out to reach that potential (but rode the fine line of not acting like everyone was perfect, she also had a lovely rye sense of humor, which of course I couldn't be friends with her without).

The sad thing about this place we call Earth is that we can't see all of God's plan.  I haven't a clue why she had to leave this earth.  It makes me terribly sad.  I will miss her as I suffer the hot summer heat in Preston alone {ok, not totally alone, but sometimes I needed an "outlaw" to play rye sense of humor with}, we'll try and duplicate her delicious cobbler and miss her so.  I can't imagine life without her.  But it will go on, it always does -- painful at first, and for a while.  My thoughts are constantly with her family who we all love so much.  That's one of the worst parts of living away is not being there when the ugly goes down.  Our hearts are with them, that's for sure.  We'll Miss You Roberta!  I hope you're having a nice spa day in heaven -- well deserved my dear!  But just one spa (ok, you really deserve a whole week) day before you set-up carnival games for all the little kids in heaven.  Complete with prizes and a pony.  Of course. :)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I'm an Abassador!!!

Yes, send me to Washington I'm the newest Ambassador.
Kidding, just one for Power of Moms (very bottom).
In truth, it's something I really believe in.  And I really need to get back onto the MOMs organization thing.  Right now I'm REALLY trying to count points though... so one thing at a time, right?  BTW, the inbox is totally working.  I highly recommend.  Kids are now trained. :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Little Cheer

There's a lot of sadness in our hearts here today {I will post more later, but just know our immediate family is fine}.  I saw this on my friend Kelly's blog and OMG, I had a nice laugh.  Just what I needed, I hope you can use it too. :)

Blind Side

The Blind SideDrew and I got The Blind Side from Netflicks last week.  We were able to watch it on Sunday evening.  Boy, oh boy did I ever love it!

It got me to thinking.  I didn't find the woman in the story to be terribly religious.  They never talked about her going to church or talking about God.  She just made a good decision and then kept acting upon that with more good decisions.

I think that sometimes, as members of the LDS faith we're so caught-up in the Sunday School answers of reading our scriptures and going to church that we forget how important it is to show compassion for all of God's children.  In fact, I think this is something I need to work more on.  I suppose the hope of reading my scriptures and going to church is that I will be willing to listen to the spirit when it tells me to help someone out.  I have real issues with people who can spout every scripture story in detail along with biblical historical references, but don't spend time with their families or in the community.

Anyway, it's for me.  Learning to help others out regardless of status or what I think they deserve.  Thanks Sandra Bullock for making me think (and frankly, these days you do have to make me think).  I really do {heart} my netflicks.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Labor of Love

Labor Day has traditionally been our hallween choosing day.  There have been years where it has happened before Labor Day but in order for me to have enough construction time, I need it by labor day.

In case you're nearly as anal as I am here's our halloweens from the past, enjoy!

First off, 2006, where I started doing this whole insane thing, we had a Star Wars Theme.  Best costume award:  Yoda, obviously.  If you look closely you'll see my soul on his hat.  It now lies in our costume bin, poor little soul.

Next we did a superhero theme.  Best costume:  Tough call between me and Robin.  i think robin required a bit more ingenuity... but man, I do like my wonder woman outift!

And, the pregnant year of Calvin and Hobbes.  Best costume:  The fact that Drew and I already look like Calvin's parents, so I didn't have to do a thing for us!

And, finally the greatness that was last year's Peter Pan Theme... best costume by FAR being Drew's, thanks to a good friend who loaned us that hat.  Awesome, aint' it?

While having a family theme has been SO. MUCH. FUN. (and while I realize that sounds really sarcastic, even as I type it, it's not... I really do think that) I'm not sure it's in me this year.  I bet it will be though.  Just have to finalize.  Have any ideas blog readers?


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