Monday, October 31, 2011

A Funny

Ok, while I was busy posting that I had footage of Drew at school, there was ACTUAL footage of Conner at school.
Seriously.


You can see him at about 1:39 and 2:05.  He has a light blue shirt and a wig. He looks confused. :)

Darth Vader....

I got some video footage of Drew at school today... :D

Miracle Monday: Traditions

Erickson Halloween Circa 2010... no, this isn't what we're doing this year.

I know when this all started.  I really do.  I was picking out stuff for Yoda's hat in Joann's (in 2006, mind you) and it just hit me -- I should be Leia, I mean, how hard could it be?

How hard could it be?

5 years later.

As shown here.

Truth be told, I'm really glad that I thought that.  Sometimes I don't really feel like our family has any traditions.  But, hello.  A whole theme every Halloween? INsanity.  It's true.

Sometimes those little thought turn into big things, like this one has.  It's taken a LOT of time and thought.

We have some pretty specific rules as to how we pick.

1)  Nothing gross or creepy (that is rule #1, I abhor the creepiness that has "crept" into the holiday -- I have, in fact, started to boycott the Spirit store -- I just can't give my money to stores like that, end of story).

2)  We prefer good guys.  Although, there always seems to be a bad guy that creeps in... and come to think of it, that is often Drew....

3)  Literary characters are what we hope for, but we tend to do movies/tv.

4)  How easy it is (this may be #1, but I'd prefer to think it's not).

 Anyway, here's a preview.  It's a repeat, but I did have to make C a new costume (the other two just got handed down).  I will also mention that there was a good 4 or 5 inches taken off my belt.  Go me. :D  Pretty well as cute, 5 years later. :)

I hope to have more photos sometime this week.  I also hope this is giving my kid lots of memories.  Fingers crossed. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Get Ready to Cry

Might be allergies, might be an amazing story of a family who got help and a transplant.



Just a little plug for transplants.  What an amazing gift a family gave this little girl.  I hope they realize what kind of a gift she is.  My drivers lisence says donor, I've talked to all of the important family members about it.  I hope you'll talk with yours.  It's not an easy decision to make in the moment, but if it's something you've decided ahead of time, it makes it so much easier.

And to those who have fasted or prayer for our family during our times of need, I say thank you.  We have been the recipents of large amounts of service this year, and we feel so very blessed.

God loves us, and he has a plan for each of us.  Especially little Miss Annie.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Memory Lane: Haunted Houses

I hate haunted houses.  It's true.  I hate them.  I also hate scary movies and I hate being scared.  Honestly, I think the truth is that I am scared often enough in my life, and I often see awful scary things at work that I'd prefer to just live life as blissfully as possible.

I can remember watching The Mummy -- not even that scary of a show, maybe even "suspenseful" is a better word.  I just remember thinking "I hate this, I hate feeling like this.  I hate being here, I hate this show."

And frankly, I haven't watched many movies like that for a long time.  Silly, but true.

BUT, once upon a time I participated in a haunted houses - when I volunteered at the Utah State Mental facility.  We were required to volunteer there when I took an abnormal psych class.  And wow, was it an eye opener.  Me and my friend Melanie worked in the beauty shop.  Mostly we just did old lady's hair in curlers, etc.  It was kind of sad and ridiculous as I think about it now.  We had no idea what we were doing, but we did show them love, and I guess that's all that counts.

But, back to haunted houses.  While I wasn't thrilled about it, we were able to earn a TON of volunteer hours in one night if we went and helped out with it, so go we did.

Yes, I did spell that wrong, and yes I have
scrapbooked since college.  I am amazing. 
It is official.
Here's the best thing about that haunted house -- besides the fact that it was outside in this creepy castle-type atmosphere, which was really cool.  The mental patients were involved.  No, it wasn't the ones that were in there for murdering people, but you don't know that -- Joe Schmo who just walks through.  Is it Hilary, BYU co-ed, or is it Dan Lafferty, accused of killing his own sister in law and baby niece? 

Plus, they had a bunch of really great makeup and hair people so you really wouldn't know.

I loved screaming people's names as they came through, they'd get so freaked out.  Good times.

Ok, turns out maybe I like to be the scare-er, not the scare-eee.

I had to do a rotation in the same hospital about 2 years later.  And boy, were those people glum.  The state had decided that it didn't portray the right image for the hospital.  It wasn't fair to mock mental people in that way, so they shut it down.

{sad face}

The patients were SO sad. They loved doing it.  They loved having something that was theirs that they could work on and contribute.  They knew that it was a REALLY scary haunted house and that they could do something that cool.  The really sad part is that this brought in a LOT of money to the state mental, and all of the money was earmarked for them to do fun things outside the facility, which takes a lot of money to do.  You have to have the staff to help go, you have to have vans and of course the price of places to go.  It's expensive.  And now they weren't going, at least not going very often.

Do you think the state looked at that, do you think they thought about how sad they'd be or how it would hurt their lives.  Unlikely.  They just felt like they weren't being PC enough.

And so maybe the scariest thing is politics.  Maybe the scariest thing is not thinking about how decisions affect people.

Ok, no, haunted houses are scarier, but only momentary. 

Anyway, anyone else remember the state mental haunted house?  Did you go?  Did you wet your pants?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

I am still surprised what catches me when I just feel like I miss California SO MUCH.

One of my very favorite missionaries is coming home soon.  I'm so sad about the fact that I can't make her homecoming.  At least, I am pretty sure I can't.  I need to email her mom.

I was at the church and they were doing a stake youth halloween activity.  Just thought about all my good times in the YW presidency.

It does make me wonder when people die, what they miss about earth.  It would be interesting to know, but I do think I've had a sneak peek....

In other news, I am starting to really like Spencer's school and his teacher.  Time heals many wounds, no? :)  We'll see if I can make it through their halloween activity without crying. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

We are busy little bees around here lately.

Drew qualified for state with his marching band.  While this is great news, it does mean more time for band.  But, what's a little more widow-hood, right?  I'm glad he's successful.  Just one more thing putting him on the track to full time next year.  He's had a big project for his class also.  Let's just say it's been super fun around here. :)

Conner took a foray into babysitting recently, just our own kids.  He did alright.  Not sure we'd ask him back if he was not related to us, but I think we'll give him another shot. :)  He's also doing a flashmob for Halloween at school.  {sigh}

I just had Mr S's parent teacher conference.  Glowing remarks.  He's such a great kid, who sometimes gets sucked into his older brother's vortex of laziness.  His teacher adores him.  Go S. :)

P is growing up far too fast.  This week she's turning 2.5 years old, so it's time to start on letter sounds, she's doing well so far with M and T.  She's really getting far too old for me and I'm trying to suck the last little bits of baby out of her.  She likes that too.  She's always asking to sit and watch TV and have a cuddle.  She's too cute for words.  OH, and Miss P rode a HORSE last week at playgroup. And promptly got some hives. Silly girl. She loved it, we'll just bring benedryl next time. :) I guess when she got on, and they started she said, "I'm RIDING A HORSE!!!!" Did I mention she's cute, because she is. 100%.  Except when she's not.

Guess who got to adjust our sprinkler system and then aerate the lawn today.  We're getting ready to winter seed.  Yay.  Thanks Arizona. :)  I'm also trying to finish Halloween costumes so we're ready for the big day.  I sometimes think I have too much on my plate.  But I still have time for an hour of trash TV most days, so I guess it's not too bad.  I also had my 90 day review at work.  Besides her saying that she can't show me preferential treatment because I'm Mormon (I guess some people were saying that she was, which she isn't), they love me.  Makes me want to shove it in the face of everyone who's said I was no good.  Namely MJJ, CAD and CON.  Screw you. :D  There was, in fact, a conference with me at BYU saying that I might just not be nurse material.  I just wasn't cut out to do it.

Turns out I was.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sister Wives: Today's Thoughts

Just got done watching the weight loss sister wives (my mom allowed me into her comcast account, and I can see the new ones from there... YAY, THANK YOU MOM!!!!).

Here's what I have to say, I identify with these women.

Do I want to become polyg? No.  But here are my thoughts.

1.  They're overweight, many women are overweight, and they're working to change it.  I love that. :)  Poor, poor Janelle, you could see that first day was a doozy!

2.  I really like how reality TV shows us different choices people choose and how that affects their whole life.  Jon and & Kate was a good one for that, but this one's an extreme example.  I love reality tv.  I'm a junkie.  I also love biographies, and just peeks into real life.  Once they start going on cruises, less real - less fun.

3.  These are women of faith.  I have faith, I do things that seem crazy to people sometimes.  I'm glad that they're showing people who make decisions based on faith.  We don't see that much anymore.  It's  happy thing.

In other news, Kody is an idiot.  He doesn't get how hard transitions are on women.  I mean, Christine's still post-partum, he's knockin' up #4 and poor Janelle went to a new town and being a full time stay at home mom.  I can't imagine all the angst that's around them.  Makes for great TV.  I have a real problem with how he just made this decision.  I get the sense that Christine is tired of decisions being made without her input.

I really wish they'd stop the Utah layers though.  Really, there are plenty of shirts that don't need a tank top over them.  PLENTY of them.  TLC, take them to a real store. :)

I love sister wives.  I know a lot of people think I'm supporting polygamy, or Mormon stereo-types when I watch it.  But I really don't think I am.  I think I'm understanding them a little bit more, and I think I understand a little bit more about what some of my pioneer ancestors went through.  I think they show that women NEED other women.  Solid women who are there to help.  I'm glad Drew just didn't marry any of those friends of mine. :)

Miracle Monday

We are heading into month four here in Arizona.  I know, you're all thinking how did that go so fast?  Me too?  But, just like when you have a baby you look at them and feel like they're so brand new, but you can hardly remember life before them.  That's how I feel.

I must admit that I can't imagine a more perfect ward for us.  I spoke in church yesterday (if you're lucky, I'll get around to posting my talk).  As I looked out in the audience I thought of all the nice people we've met already, and how lucky we are.  We also had a ward new member dinner last night and I felt the same thing.  Thing is, we hadn't looked at hardly any houses in this ward -- until this one.  Just feel so lucky to land where we did.

And I'll remind you that I bought this house over the internet.  I'd never seen it, or really thought of this area.

But it's absolutely perfect.

Still working on loving our school.  We have parent teacher conferences coming up.  I bet that will help.

What are the miracles in your life?  Blog about them!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Taking a Break from Polygamy to ask a question....


Admit it.  She's crazy cute, even 2 years ago.
Time for my annual Christmas query, as I'm a mom who likes top quality toys that the kids will find fun and enjoyable for a long time.  So, here's this year's question.

I'd like to get an MP3 player that may or may not allow game downloads but I don't want him to have willy nilly access to the Internet.  Is that possible?  Not sure, I may just get him a regular ol' Sanza Fuze like the rest of the cool kids have. 

And finally, being that we have almost every boy toy ever created I'm venturing into the land of solid girl toys.  P got a baby doll last Christmas, she has a stroller and she got one that wets when we potty trained.  What does an almost 3 year old girl need?  I've seen the swing/carseat/ etc... and that seems to be a bit overload.... What were your favorite toys for a 2-3 year old girl.

Besides a muzzle.  I've ruled that out.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

Well, after our trip, it's back to reality and our regular life.

Drew had his first concert.  Sounds like it was a success.  He has a marching competition almost weekly and everyone seems to be enjoying themeslves.  Not that I would know.  I remember the days where I'd show up to his stuff.... I think those are things you can do when you only have one child.  Although, frankly he's never come to one of my deliveries.  To be quite frank. :)

El Presidante is trying to show me he's worthy to babysit sometimes.  I had started allowing it, but took a big step back during the lying spree.  I am going to pay him 1$/hour if Drew and I are out for fun.  I'm having a hard time imagining Drew and I being out for fun.... but a girl can dream....  We recently went for flu shots, and he only had a mild panic attack before allowing the nurse to do it while visualizing the candy isle. 

Mr Middle had his own lying fest a couple of weeks ago.  He decided to read the ENTIRE Harry Potter series (that's right, ALL of them) in one week.  Seriously.  I was wondering how he did this, and then I found out he took a vacay' from homework, and then lied to both me and his teacher about doing it.  In other news, he loves Harry Potter.  Yay.

Darling P poops in her pullup EVERY nap.  I don't know what to do.  We try and sit on the potty for a VERY long time before naps, but frankly that loses its savor.  And then she just does it.  Not sure what to do.  Thoughts?


I'm wishing I could still have a life of fun and frivolity, but it turns out I don't.  I am, however, loving how fertile our garden is.  Sadly, I think the lettuce seeds kinda blew all over so I'm picking a lot of lettuce out, but either way I think we're going to have a good crop.  I'm back on my modified weight watchers plan and I've lost a pound a day.  Go me.

Things are cooling down here in the dessert, but frankly not fast enough. :)

Sister Wives: Let's Move

Uh.

This episode is where I started having panic attacks for these ladies.

Seriously.

And their kids.  Especially the kids.

The fact that they decide they're moving, but they don't need to tell the little ones, they'll just tell the older ones, and expect them to be SUPER HAPPY.  Of course that will all work out.

Turns out, they're bitter.

But, they did have a lovely Christmas, and I did like that part.  I wonder if they took these types of vacations before TLC took them over, or if TLC is turning them all Jon and Kate.

I do think it must be fun to have so many options as siblings.  Always someone to play with, or watch your mom sled down the hill with.

Mostly, I don't get why they're moving.  I mean, it's not like the law can't get them in Las Vegas -- is it?  It's still illegal in Vegas, isn't it?  Plus, what are the chances that the law is going to put restraining orders against all the wives so they can't see each other, even after he's gone to jail.

Which seems to be what they're afraid of.

Oh sister wives, the drama.  I know it's going to get more juicy, stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sister Wives: Regular ol' Folks

The next few season 2 episodes we see the family havin' a grand ol' thanksgiving, and then he takes Christine and her kids to Las Vegas.

Turns out all is not love and roses with Christine.

Turns out that getting a woman pregnant and then gettin' a "newer model" may not have been his brightest plan. I mean, imagine being CRAZY hormonal and then cute Robin shows up and he's frothin' at the mouth to get HER pregnant.

Ew.

So, he takes Christine and her kids to Las Vegas. And I like this. I like that he's getting one on one time with the kids. Because, as with gay marriage, the main problem I have with it is the kids. I honestly don't think that the kids can get enough "father" time when he's got SO many of them, plus all those wives that need attention too. Anyway, good by him having the one on one time...

But picture that you're home being one of the other people's kids, wouldn't you be a little steamed up that you weren't gettin' one on one time, in the city of sin? Again, I just don't think there's enough of him to go around. Kids NEED a dad, and they need that dad to be intimately involved in their life. I just don't see how he can.

I know that lots of parents have lots of kids, but he not only has all those kids, but he also has all those wives. Anyway, I'm just saying, that for me it's a pretty big downfall of their little plan.

I don't see the Christine situation getting any better though. I think the timing was REALLY rotten (aka, postpartum) and I'm sure that getting a new wife after ALL those years isn't something that's easily tolerated. And then, in a few episodes they move.

More on that later.

Anyway, do you think he can be a proper parent to all those kids? Do you think I'm crazy for loving that it's on netflix now?

Thoughtful Tuesday: Celebrity Divorce

Ok, I currently live in a bit of a cave.  My main source of news was about 10 minutes of the Today show I'd watch while I put my shoes on (and no, it doesn't take me 10 minutes to put my shoes on, but you know....) and now that Spencer leaves so early I don't even get that.

So when I somehow found out that Ashton and Demi and J Lo and whoever she's married to are getting divorced.

And I just get so sad.

I really like it when celbrities get married.  I like it when anyone takes the pluge.  It takes hope to get married, and that's always a good thing in my book.

And it's a lack of hope that splits you apart.

That, and being unable to keep your pants zipped.

So, do you like celebrity weddings?  Do you just figure they'll get divorced after a while?  Who's your favorite clebrity couple?

If Tom Hanks and his wife ever split up I'll be pretty sad.  I don't even like him all that much anyomre (thanks Prop 8, you ruined a lot of celebrities for me), but I just like that they're married. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Run, Don't Walk -- Sister Wives is on Netflix!!!!!

Ladies, Sister Wives is on Netflix, seasons 1 and 2.  I guess Netflix and discovery channel (aka, TLC) have some new deal where they're getting their stuff quicker.

YAY!  TLC is my most-missed channel, by far!

Anywho, I couldn't be happier.

But, I think this calls for a week of sister wives posts. 

Get excited.

So, season two opens with them being all out in the open and the kids going to regular high school (except for Meri's who is still allowed to go to private school -- btw, sometimes I see a bit of the first wife mentality there, but it could be that Meri only has one child, so maybe there's perks to that, who knows... I really like Meri, I think she's a tough cookie).

They go on the Today show, and things are just peachy keen.

Then, they start getting investigated, and they're shocked that any of that is happening.

I just have to say that it IS against the law in Utah.  How could they have not figured that they'd be investigated? 

But, I will have to say that I think it's a dumb law.  I have to think that there are about 20 million other things the police department could use their time with instead of investigating a guy who seems to care about his kids and his wives and doesn't seem to be cheating the government out of anything.

Personally, I think they need to get rid of the law.  Sure, you can't be married to more then one woman, but if you want to be spiritually married and actually take care of them, that's your choice in my mind.  Once you break other laws, like marrying an under-aged child or welfare fraud, then that's a horse of another color.

Do I think it's right?  Not really.  I don't think that a polygamist household is great for kids to grow-up in, but c'est la vie.  It certainly doesn't work for me.

So, what do you think about the Brown investigation?  Do you think they were naive to think they wouldn't be investigated?

Are you frothing at the mouth for my other accounts of the show?  It's must see TV in my book and things are just starting to get juicy....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's Doubtful that I'm Christian

You know, more and more I am doubtful that I AM a Christian.

True, I believe and love my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I believe He walked on this earth, healing the sick and promoting a better life, that -- if we live faithful, we are able to return and live with God someday along with our families.

I follow the teachings that he taught in the bible.  I have read the New Testament, cover to cover a few times.  I'm profoundly impacted by the way that Jesus helped the poor and the needy.  I'm always left feeling incompetant with my own reactions to those who are truly in need.

I have pictures of the Savior in my home.  I believe that just having his remembrance in our house brings peace into it.  We speak often about how He would act and what we think He might do in certain situations.

I do all this.  I truly believe HE is my savior, and that he knew the trials we went through this year and He sent us angels to comfort us.  I believe all of that with my heart.

I think a particularly favorite argument of mine is that true Christians believe that a belief will be enough to get to you to heaven. And those darn Mormons think you need to DO something to get to heaven. As if Christ did things.... as if....

But I don't care what you think I am.  I do think that Jesus wouldn't go around saying in "duck, duck goose" fashion -- Christian, Christian, not Christian (insuing a run around the circle).  I think that if the Jeffrey-Pharasees were to ask "Who amongst these people is Christian" Jesus would say who would help this beggar, or who would follow me and listen to my teachings?  Or, he'd have an awesome parable to leave them in the dust, most likely confused.

So, more and more I just want to say, "I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints."  End of story.  Honestly, it says more then enough.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Late Photo Friday, but the quantity will make up for it. :)

People. We went on vacation. And it was awesome, and I broke out the nice camera.  I also brought the small camera.  Life's a balance, no? :)

Anyway, we went to Vegas, baby!  We were all set to see old friends, and I just couldn't wait to tear off this nice exterior that I've been painting on here in Arizona to be my real self. :)

We went to the Bellagio, it was amazing. The kids LOVED the fountains, and the garden room.  They had a talking tree.  Big hit.


Look, P looks like an angel.  Weird....


Right across the street is Paris, how convenient.  There's even a photo of Drew and I together.  Odd, but true.


Did I tell you the kids loved the fountains, because they loved, loved, loved them.  I actually think they were a highlight of the trip.  They're so imaginative.  So pure,  so un-las vegas.  I do think that Bellagio is the one hotel that looks just as nice inside as it does outside.  The last fountain show we caught was Appalachian Spring by Copeland.  Probably my favorite song of all time.


Some of the hotels look great on the outside, and less so inside.... :)  For instance....


We went up to the mountains with our friends.  We chucked some rocks together.  Good times.


We had hotdogs and smores.  Yumm.... I'll have s'more smores.


Drew and I were SO happy to be on vacation! :)


But wait, a photo where we are all looking at the camera.  And Spencer turns into a men's underwear model.


Do they make children cuter then this?  Doubtful.


Here's me, my BFF's and my 12 chins.  I prefer to look at them.


We really had a great time that night.


But, then the lure of the city brought us back.  Really, our kids would get such high hopes at each casino, thinking it'd be as cool on the inside as it was outside.  Hopes dashed, each time.  Especially in this one.  But honestly, what better lesson then the fact that a LOT of things (especially in Vegas) look cooler on the outside then they really are. 


Luxuor did have a little bit more coolness on the inside.  I still think it's cool that the rooms are in the pyramid shape.  Casino, less fancy.


Then it was off to the Grand Canyon, by way of Hoover Dam.


And finally, to some natural beauty, that's just as good on the inside then the outside.


Spencer some time walkin' around like the Maid on Movin' on Up. :)


Look, I was even there. :)


We just walked around on the rim, and enjoyed the shuttle busses they have.  We only spend one night there, but we're excited to go back sometime.


We actually met up with friends later that night in Grand Canyon from here.  I just had the strongest feelings that while I ADORE my friends from Santa Clara, that this is the place I'm supposed to be, with the people I need to be with now.  Things are good.  and I am SO glad I had a break.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, some outtakes on my phone. :)

Guess who got her first pedicure in LV.  I'm fancy.  I know.


Have you SEEN such cute kids?


BTW, we stayed at the circus circus.  Amazing how my kids love that place.


Me and my BFF's ate at the Wicked Spoon.  A-mazing. :)


I guess, when you have a blog, what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas....


We fancily ate at the Bellagio buffet as a family.  Yum.


Anyway, that's our week in a nutshell.  Hope you had a good one too!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hello from the southwest

I am sure you've all been dying from a lack of posts from me... but even mommy bloggers need breaks, and this was mine.

We spent five days seeing friends in Las Vegas, & then it was a quick trip the the grand Canyon.
Just what the doctor ordered. I can't help but mention that this trip seemed really full circle for me. I will have to talk about that later, though, since I have my own grand canyon o' laundry.

Yay.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just Sayin'

Things you don't want to hear in Las vegas:
"Mom, do you know what I just saw in the stall in the bathroom?"
While my eyes got really big he told me the a/c vent had fallen off and it was just blowing cold air on him.
Pha-uesh.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What's up Wednesday: Moo-ha-ha

Just so everyone knows, we're not re-doing Peter Pan.  That was just a nibble of things to come.  That thing isn't Peter Pan. :D

Anywho...

Time marches on, especially time at our house {hardy, har, har -- get it, Marching?}

Anyway.  I have a new "punishment" in my arsenal.  I've been just RACKING my brain about what to do when kids don't clean to my specifications.  And I know I sound awful, but I really try to lower my standards when my kids are cleaning.  No really, I do.  BUT, this morning, no one even made an effort in their room.

So, I had "cleaning lessons:.  I taught them the way that I would clean a room, full of tips and techniques and things I think they're missing.  They just LOVED every minute of it.  By the end they were all REALLY WISHING they had cleaned it up this morning.  JUST WHAT I WANTED.  But don't tell them I told you so. :)

I hope it helps.

P hasn't had a tantrum in 2 days, but thanks to facebook I have lots of ideas.  I have actually made her a little tantrum spot at the bottom of the stairs.  She kind of does the break-dance worm when she freaks out, so I don't want to be somewhere that she could hit her head....  She's getting a little too attached to her thumb lately.  Sometimes I wonder if it's going to fall off.

Drew is really NEVER home.  It's hard not to feel like his maid/cook/nanny/tiresome wench, but I am doing the best I can considering the circumstances.  I plan on moving out over Christmas, just so he gets the FULL WRATH of these kids.

All in all I'm doing alright this week.  Not working has helped a lot.  Grateful for the small break.

Center Yourself: Ensign

My church publishes a magazine called the Ensign (they also have one for young adults and one for kids) each month.  I am a magazine whore.  I love the short articles and the thoughts and ideas in them.  Just perfect for the 3 minutes before I'm dead asleep.
There's no way I could read my scriptures at night.  I can barely speak little loan comprehend writing.

So, an article in the Ensign is a great way to wind down, and maybe think of a few ways that I can be better tomorrow.

Do you have anything you like to read before bed to center yourself?

Halloween. Finalized. And a serious flaw.

Here's the good news.  Halloween costumes have been finalized.  Don't get too excited.  It is a repeat, but I do have one more costume to make (which shows you that the costumes were made prior to P being born).  It's nice to have it all set.  I know, I'm a freak but I feel major stress about these costumes, each year.
The bad news, I now lack the ability to buy cheap store-bought costumes.  I went to Party City.  I tried, I even thought of ways I could easily modify it, but I found myself trekking back to Joann's.

It wasn't even cheaper to do it this way.

It was probably a couple of bucks more.

But I only have one to sew, and I just like knowing they're good stuff.  They're not going to fall apart on my kids.  The pattern looks pretty easy, and the other part I'm just gonna wing it.

I've been taken to the dark side.  Stupid Singer....

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Centering Yourself: Scriptures

I get up, I work out, I get a giant glass of water, I pray, and then I set a timer for 10 minutes and I read my scriptures.  That's right, I have just shared how precise my life is. :)  Sometimes I skip the workout part, but without the prayer and scriptures I am SO miserable!

I don't know how much of it is the ritual of the day, and how much of it s the actual scripture reading.

If you REALLY want to know how anal I am, I have a reading policy.  Mon I read my lesson for primary and the scriptures I need for that, Tue-Wed I read for the Sunday school lesson, Thur I read for the RS lesson and Friday I read the Book of Mormon.

But I just have to say that I am really trying to think of an issue i have in my life before I start.  I always find the answer, and I have a little notebook I write down my tidbits of inspiration in.  This has been key for me. 

Again, my mind is homeless.  It wanders at will and without aim.  I need to focus it if I want to to work for me.

The notebook and the thoughts help to do that.

So, do you ever read the scriptures?  Do you find answers in them?  For me that's been the answer, but I know a lot of other people who have other books they read to center themselves.

Happy reading and centering. :)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Centering Yourself: Prayer

So, I have helped a lot of women push out babies.  Sure, 3 pushes, counts to ten, the whole jazz.  A lot of doctors hardly want them to breathe at all between pushes, but I always tell them to take that time to gather themselves and then push again.

"center yourself"

Because if you're always crazy working, it just isn't as effective.  And heavens knows the only person besides you and your visitors who would prefer you don't push 3 hours, is me. :)

So, I'd like to share some thoughts about centering yourself, in perhaps the only reason it will help is to help me.  Things have been INSANE, but I am ready for a week of no work where I can really concentrate on finding out who I am again.  I'm no longer needing to spend countless hours looking for jobs or houses.  I mean, what did I even do before all that?

So, my first thing, that I do every morning and evening is prayer.

And frankly, I'm not the best at it.  Mostly because I'm not the best at conversing with ANYONE anymore.  My mind's going 12 million places and I'm hardly listening, I'm just saying stuff (note, if I've talked to you recently, you can rest assured that THAT conversation was totally normal... it' just some of the other ones).  So, I've tried some things to help me to focus.  Of course, sometimes I have an outside thing that I'm praying for.  Friends who are sick or are going through a tough time.  I really try to take a minute to think of all the people in my life who NEED prayers.  Then, I go through each of my in-house family members and what I hope for them.  P has been throwing tantrums like nobody's business, so that is on my mind for her.  Mr Middle is turning whining into an olympic sport, and as I read through his journal last night I realized it's a life-long problem for him, and I really want to help him change.  El Presidante can't stop himself from lying and breaking rules, right after I say them to him.  I never see Mr. E and somehow we need to create a relationship with the 3 minutes we see each other each day.

I should also pray for my paint, because P is sure kickin' the crap out of the wall by the stairs right now.  She's so fun.

And then there's the evening prayers.  Our last stake president had some interesting words on this one.  He said his evening prayers were just bad.  He was tired, and could barely get through them without falling asleep on his knees (sound familiar?).  So, he started having thankful prayers.  Which has been a life changer for me.  I just try to think of at least 5 things that I'm thankful for -- and they need to be things that I'm REALLY thankful for.  Not just stuff I'm always thankful for (aka, dishwasher, washing machine, etc.).  It tends to be really random things, but as I reflect on the day I find those small miracles that I NEED to see to make it through the next day.  It also puts my head in a nice mind frame to fall asleep in.

Anyway, I know a lot of people save prayer for those hale Mary moment when all is lost, but by talking with God daily, you are forced to think about the higher being who loves you so very much, and wants to give you all the things you need.  I highly recommend it.

Does praying help you to center yourself?  Are you very good at it?  Sometimes I wish God took email.....

Menu Plan Monday, and a plea for help

Her's what's on tap:
  • Korean Meatballs -- from Cooking light, if you like Korean bbq flavors, this one does them nicely in a mealball flavor.  Everyone likes these, and we have them with pickled cucumbers -- and bountiful baskets gave us a bunch of those last time)
  • Burritos -- hamburger, refried beans, and some of that pre-done burrito packet mix from the seasoning isle, throw it in a tortilla with some cheese, microwave for like 5 minutes. 
  • Pesto Chicken Pizza  -- I just mix a can of Costco chicken with 2 or 3 heaping tablespoons of pre-prepared pesto, and then I do about 4 T of it on the crust and smooth it all out, add the chicken top with cheese and pinenuts and basil, if I have it on hand... sometimes tomatoes too...
  • Lady's Cheesey Mac (I usually make Chuck's mac and cheese, but I don't have any cottage cheese)-- homemade mac and cheese.  If you want the recipe, email me.  I'll make the full recipe of this, but I will freeze 1/2 of it for another day and put it with a big salad.  Yum.

So, my begging for help is family friendly meals that are easy to prepare.  Drew is only one home one night this week, and I need to make stuff that my kids will enjoy that get on with a minimal fuss.  So, do you have standbys that you go to?  I think we may be doing some breakfasts for dinner, and things like that.  I know there's lots of ideas, but lately I'm just out of them.  And Drew won't be home til' around Thanksgiving (much).

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Six Months Later

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it's easy to measure your life in 6 month marks -- October to April and vice versa.  We have our church-wide General conference at these points.  I like to compare it to our Rosh Hashanna. :)

In general, it is about family and food for us.  And pajamas.  A beautiful weekend, a true blessing from God.

But last April I had SO many questions and wondering how life was going to turn out for us.  I hung on EVERY word from the Lord's servants.

And this year I can't echo the sentiment that God loves EACH of us, He has a plan for us and he wants us to be happy.  And we we will be happy if we do what he wants of us.  I truly have a testimony of all of this.  And if you are at the point where you really want to know what God wants of you, I can only say that sometimes you just need to take the steps, you need to have faith, even when the thoughts in your head seem ludicrous.  Things like:
  • Picking a job with an insanely low salary
  • Thinking you can just nab a job, wherever your husband finds one
  • Buying a house on the Internet
  • Thinking you can just get a loan, even though you're switching jobs
  • Selling your house during a GIANT housing recession, and hoping to come out on top
  • Moving to a town that you had only driven through once on band tour.
God expects you to have faith, and he will unlock the doors of heaven for you.

And sometimes they have cinnamon rolls in heaven.  Or, so I am would infer since what would heaven be without cinnamon rolls?

In other news, I distinctly remember thinking that would be my last time to make cinnamon rolls in that house, balancing pans on the sink.  And it was.  I had them on the island, and it was pure bliss.

Thank you so much for my abundant blessings, Heavenly Father, I do see how richly blessed I am.

**P.S. Spencer Drew this picture this AM.  I do think we sent out a bat signal to God last year, and he totally paved the way. :)

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