Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

I love highlight shows -- when they show all the great stuff that has happened over the year.  LOVE them.  What's wrong with me?  Either way, 2012 top 10.

1.  So thankful for a good bishop.  A certain member of our family has built a special bond with our bishop because of some behavior we needed to nip in the bud.  Just had to say how amazing a good bishop is.

2.  Family reunion.  Drew's family has a family reunion every couple of years.  This one had a lot to offer...

3.  Getaway, Drew and I got a night away.  The last one we had before that, Spencer was like 2.  That's right, 6 years later.  Savor it.

4.  Superhero costumes.  I kind of remember each year by our halloween costumes.  Is that crazy?  Don't answer that.

5.  Princess.  Man our little girl turned super girly this year.  I secretly can't get enough, even when I'm pretending to vomit with all the pink.

6.  Home.  We grew attached to our dwelling in the desert.  Kind of a fan of it, in fact. :)

7.  Carnival -- I took on heading up the school's carnival that I had never been to.  Dumb.  Do not replicate that at home, friends.

9.  Baptisms and priesthood.  Lots of growing up happened, and big years for each of our boys.

10.  Settled.  Kind of really feeling like this is where we belong.  Growing roots, and enjoying it.

Anyway, maybe next year will be more exciting.  Either way, I'd like to keep it less exciting then both 2009 or 2011. :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Pretty Great Day

You know, I trudge through marching band season, wondering if it's ever going to end.  And it does, and we move on.

But today was such a great day.

It was the 50% off sale at Goodwill.  Let me share a little bit of what I got:

We got a Plasma car for 5 bucks.

I got these shoes for 5 bucks.

Those aren't the exact shoe - -since it's mens.  They're a women's cut of a similar shoe and it seriously feels like I am walking air... yummy.  I also got 4 other pair of shoes.  One of which looks a lot like this (for 10 bucks):

I got a cute maxi dress, this is a similar cut but my strips are horizontal and while it may not be the most attractive mo-moo out there, I'm probably going to LOVE wearing it in the summer!


Drew has been looking for another wii guitar so we could compete in guitar hero... and he found one.  For three bucks. :)

I found princess P a bunch of clothes to go on the Disney princess dolls.  Now we just need to find a princess (a little Minnie came with it but I can't get a lot of the clothes on her).  I also found about 10 minature barbies and while I'm not a barbie fan I am loving how these fit in a little purse for her to take to PTO meeting.


I also got her a cool Ravensburger 24 piece block puzzle, kinda like this (but with more pieces).

Anyway, it's always fun to get new things and while I know a lot of people think shopping at the Goodwill is beneath them, they are likely not married to a teacher and are trying to put any "extra" money towards a masters degree.  Hence, nothing is above us. :)

But we still feel like we have a lot.  :)   

Also, we got to go out to the Haji Babba with friends for dinner and then over for a Krispy Kreme to finish off the evening on a sweet note.  I feel very lucky today.  A reminder that life is long and has many ups and downs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Re-Wind 2010

This one will bring back a lot of memories of baby P.  I miss that little one.

Ok, I just re-read this one.  I actually mention how long we think we'll live in CA.  I had no idea we'd be moving... funny....

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Card Re-Wind

Because my Christmas cards are so funny, I'm sure you miss them after you throw them in the trash.  Here's last year's for your viewing/reading pleasure:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

The eve of Christmas is upon us and it turns out that if you're not in my intial batch of Christmas cards, I lose will to keep sending, but if I got one from your this year, you'll be on our list for next year.  HORRAY!

And until then, here it is in it's e-card form to brighten your life.

Merry Christmas everyone, think of Mary in labor.  Suffering like all moms do.  Sure does seem like it was worth it though. :)

**Names have been changed to protect the young. :)

Christmas 2012

After quite the adventure last year, our plan was to LAY LOW this year.  Change nothing, DO nothing.  Sadly, our kids and our jobs just felt like things needed to be done.  So, let's review.

D and H did nothing.  On purpose.  Sure, they went to work, fed their kids, did the main stuff.  But  we didn't buy a house, we didn't even CHANGE jobs.  It's like the year never happened.

C did a lot.  He's loving his school's Junkyard Wars competition and is thoroughly enmeshed in the band program at the middle school.  Just six more years til' he can leave us and go on a mission!  He's ecstatic.  Thank you President Monson!

 S felt the need to also do things.  He has a great third grade teacher that is helping them go to Mars this year (don't I wish?).  He lost two front teeth just in time to look like a Jack-O'Lantern.  On a brighter note, maybe he'll just ask for those for Christmas.  I already made them. J  One less thing to do.  Am I right?

P, being the evil incarnate of Hilary felt the urge to mother us all.  She's quickly building up to reading, is enjoying a class at the library and telling us that all boys are bad.  Also, that we aren't doing our part to make her world a better place.  Sorry P.

D took some classes at ASU and basically tried to survive marching band season with drunken football parents and an un-drunk wife.

H wrote this letter.  It's a dandy, no?

Anyway, there is our year in a nutshell.  I'm hoping to maybe get a couple of things done this year.  Either way I'm bound to have lots of tea parties, babies to deliver, conversations about Harry Potter, questions about the existence of the universe and a husband who's gone late, again. J  You know the drill {wink, wink, nudge, nudge}.

But we are coming together to love the little babe who came to this earth so many years ago with love in our heart for all the things He has given us.  We are truly blessed whether there is lots to do or not so much.

                                                                                                Merry Christmas,

                                                                                                The E's
                                                                                                                                                      D (old) H (less old) C (12), S (8), & P (3)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Believe

A few years ago I did a post about why I belive in Santa Claus, and how you wouldn't ever be hearing from my lips that Santa isn't real.  And while I still believe ever ounce of that post I've been thinking more about it. 

I now have a 12 year old, who likes to act all mature and is ready for me to tell him that Santa isn't real.  I remember doing the same thing as a kid...

The truth is, he is very much real.  There is no way this mom would have allowed her kids to get DS's or a wii, or1 million pounds of Lego's which I would step on and spew expletives.  But, as I get close to Christmas my heart thinks like Santa's heart.  What do those kids REALLY want.  What would give them joy and glee.  I want them to have workbooks full of academic puzzles and timers to help them with their jobs.  Sometimes Hilary gives those gifts, but Santa gives them what they want.

Like the year Conner got the Darth Vader voice changer, completely useless -- but it's what he wanted.

And the truth is that there is a special love this time of the year and I think it springs from within the earth.  It remembers Jesus being born and the love he brought into this world.  How he healed the sick, reminded the poor and meek that God did love them, very much indeed.  And we name that love Santa.

And I love the fact that my children KNOW that if they believe he will come.  And when I am questioned with all the intricacies of Santa's eternal lifelong mission I simply say, "If you don't believe, he will not come."  I'm willing to stand with that one.  If for some insane reason someone, at some point, chooses not to believe -- he in fact will not come.  Nor should he.  For then, he isn't real.

However, that is untrue of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for all the unbelievers out there he still IS real.  He has given you gifts of plenty, He continues to want to bless you.  Even though they don't believe.  What a beautiful story.

Today is the last Sunday before Christmas and I will be "blessed" with around 4 four year olds to share it with.  They will be exploding the excitement that only Santa can bring.  It's my job to help them realize how that joy ties into the joy that Jesus brings.  We will talk of gifts and the many things he gives us that are better then a Nintendo DS.  That's my job, and it's my job with my own kids.

For Santa is real.  He lives in the hearts of men and women (frankly, more in the hearts of women, but I digress).  He brings about real changes that I embrace whole-heartedly.

Merry Christmas everyone.  If you haven't yet, take some time to feel the very real joy of the season.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Non-Favorite Friday

Sure, it sounds like I love EVERYTHING on this blog.  But that's a lie.

Last year I got this for Christmas from an un-named source.

and I hated it.  I had walked by it in the isles of Costco eyeing it and thinking that would save cabinet space and be so gosh darn convinient. 

Turns out it is the jack of two trades, master of none.

The blender doesn't do smoothies well.

The Food processor was awful and super small.  Sure, the blade was so sharp it would cut me if I looked at it but then it woudln't turn well when I turned it on.  Turns out the blade needs to SPIN to cut things.

Who knew?

Anyway, my lesson from today is that maybe one purpose is enough for an item.  I ended-up returning it and getting a separate food processor and a separate blender, both of which get good reviews.  I don't use my food processor a huge amount but I need it to work when I want it so I went with a lesser brand with decent reviews. 

anyway, not everything is great.  It's official.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What is Christmas REALLY about?

I'm having a hard time getting in the spirit of Christmas lately.

I'm not 100% sure of the reason.  Sure, the weather is like the most delicious spring day you can imagine almost each and every day.  I love that, but without snow sometimes it's hard to get all Christmas-y inside.  We have no family coming to visit/going to visit this Christmas.  I am working Christmas Eve night and I not only hate night shift but I'm worried about how the kids will react and if I'm really going to be able to soak in the day.

But those are things that I can't change.

But, what I could change is how I was thinking about Christmas.  We read the Christmas Carol as a book group.  I'm really glad that I did.  I think Christmas has totally turned into balancing numbers of gifts, wrapping, the stress of getting Christmas Card gifts out, and gifts to friends.  Sure, I have many thoughts of how grateful I am for my Savior and to the holy family in general but I wasn't really sure how I was integrating them in my heart.

And last night it hit me.  For ME (at least this year) Christmas is about hope.  The stress of Christmas and my PTO positions has been weighing heavy on my heart.  I felt hopeless towards what I could do or how my children were going to fare.  But the truth is that if I do what I can that tiny babe came to earth to make-up for the rest of it.

A great part of that hope is savoring the beauties that are here and around me right now.

Yesterday, as I drove to work I thought about how amazing my pantry is, how I would have given thousands of dollars to have that pantry when we lived in CA.  How lucky I was to have a nice yard and good neighbors.  How the small things in my life are SUCH a blessing and I ignore them day in and day out.

I LOVE getting the mail.  I love those happy faces staring at me from my card wreath.

So while Mary had to ride a donkey on a long journey, she had the hope that she wouldn't be pregnant anymore and would someday birth the Savior of the world.  And while I may have signed-up for too many PTO positions and consistently feel like money is stretched more then I'd like I have the hope that we have wonderful things and people in our lives and our kids are going to have an amazing break just spending time with our family.

Is there anything more hopeful then a newborn baby?  Each child I deliver has the potential to change the world for good - to make really really important impact on specific people.  I know I am very lucky that some particular people were born.  I am most lucky that our Savior was born, was permitted to come to this earth and live a perfect life to save me.  To allow me to be with those I love forever.  Pure hope, that's what that is.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Name is Hilary: And I am Wearing Pants to Drop My Son off at Mutual

Some people may have seen a recent brew-ha-ha over LDS women wearing pants to church this past Sunday.  I read a little bit about it on the Facebook and frankly -- I just didn't get it.

I guess I really think that if you feel unequal, it's up to YOU to make yourself feel equal.

I've had a few non-LDS friends ask me how I feel about my role as a woman in our church.  I confess that we pretty well run the church.  We are present in every facet.  I realize we can't give blessings or be the prophet, but there is plenty on my plate without those two items.  Men and women are naturally different, and the priesthood is for men.  End of story.  Women have plenty that are just for us -- bras, pantie liners, douching, umm... need I go on?

I also saw someone post that it hurts when they don't see women giving prayers in General Conference.  I'm all for anyone who will give a short prayer.  Do we have anyone that fits that bill?  Can I somehow protest long prayers?  That's something I could get behind.

Frankly, I'm so busy on Sundays with 4 year olds (my calling is to teach the 4 year olds in primary) and my own brigade of 3 that I didn't even think to see if anyone was wearing pants.  Truth be told, I don't care.  We have plenty of women who wear pants.  Whether it's for their comfort or a personal stand I don't care.  I'm glad they're there.  I hope they got more out of church then I did.

I also think that most of this happened in Utah where I don't live.  Maybe I just don't get it after being in the "mission field."  Maybe that's because I realize the enormity of the church a little more.  I know what it's like to be a YW leader where 2/3 of your young women don't even know they belong to the church -- little loan being active.  If they showed up in pants, and a black hoodie I'd still give them a hug and tell them I am so happy to see them.

Just like Jesus would.

The beauty of Jesus is that he can make you feel great about whatever you're not feeling so great about.  He can make the difference that wearing pants to Sacrament meeting can't.  I have a strong yerning to wear sweat pants every week to primary, so if there's something I am missing in this thing, please clue me in.

And I'll say it again.  If you feel unequal.  It's time for you to step it up.  Come to the ward party early and help set up.  Call someone you didn't see at church.  You don't need a calling to be amazing.  And THAT my friends, IS doctrine.

**After a couple re-reads I am thinking this blog may sound a little insensitive to whatever lead people to start this protest.  I, honestly, don't get it.  I've tried.  I hope that if this was important to you, you got whatever you were looking for.  Men are that they might have joy.  Women too. 

What's Up Wednesdays: Princess P

Princess P is a new person every day.  You never quite know who's gonna peek her head out that door.  I love how she rubs her little eyes and asks to have milk and a cuddle on the couch when she wakes up.  I know that's not going to last much longer and I need to drink it in every day it still does.

Reading is happening.  Reading is such a process and perhaps I push it a bit so it takes longer then usual but all the sounding out and the sight words.  I remember I was REALLY frustrated about 5 months ago and we've grown a lot since then.  It's just something you have to keep plodding foreward with.  A good lesson for all of us.

Princess P went to see Santa the other day.  She just went up and hugged him, for probably an unfortunately long period time.  She loves that guy so much. She has her heart set on a dollhouse and a new dolly.  Love that those things are on her list.  I waited long and hard to have dollhouse wishes on someone's list around here. :)  I thought she might be nervous to go up and see him but she bopped right up there.  My brave little girl.

Naptimes are doing a little better.  I have her go down for "quiet time" regardless of if sleep happens or not.  She sometimes comes out but I'm just trying to be persistant with putting her back in her room and it seems to be working.  Mostly.

Persistance is the key, am I right?

I am not going to have little people around much longer for Christmas.  I need to soak in each Santa-loving moment. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hello Winter, Hello Dry Skin!

One of my least favorite parts of winter (or "winter" as we like to call it here in the desert) is the dry skin (fyi, it's not "dry skin" here... we still get that part).

Enter the picture:  all the cool new "buffing" products out there.  There's a new one out called DDF Revolve

It's a breakthrough device that delivers microdermabrasion results that are just as effective as the professional treatments (and who hasn't lusted after those a time or two -- especially in the winter).  The revolve 400 retails for $98, which I agree is a little steep but right now it's $45 dollars with free shipping through Jan 31, 2013 with the code DDFMICRODERMA .  If you want more information, you can click through some information here.

If that isn't what you're looking for, DDF also has a lot of great deals on other products on their site.  In fact you can get 2nd product half price, free shipping, through Jan 31, with the code: 2013DDFSKIN.

I think all of us can agree we worry about SPF in the summer (some of us in the desert probably worry about it more then others of you) and then dryness in the winter, so I think this a good time to mix up your usual routine to find something that will make you glow a little more.

Thoughtful Tuesday: Unions

What?  More union talk from Hilary?!  Who knew?

With all the brew-ha-ha over the whole Michigan Union thing I thought I'd share a few things.

When I was hired in CA I was informed it was a union hospital and I would be paying union dues to work there.  Period.  It was around 80 bucks/month if you were part time.

If you have a religious conviction that necessitates you not joining unions you have to give that money to them to give to a charity of their choosing, that's right - -you can't even choose the charity.

And that is all.

Michigan has made it so that you can CHOOSE if you want to pay those dues.  In essence, you can decide if what the union is doing, is WORTH paying for.

In my case there were times I thought the union dues (which ended up being about 50 bucks/month if you worked once a week like me) were somewhat useful.  Most of the time, especially as a per diem non-seniority employee I thought it wasn't.

But I didn't have a choice.  Its like the union owned the jobs and it was your privilege to work there.

Decide what you want about unions, but that's a little information I've found that not everyone knows.

It was the same thing at Drew's school.  Similar pricing also.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Play Me: Ker Plunk

Oh man, I loved this game as a kid.  I still love it now.

It's short.
It's great for all ages.
It takes very few brain cells to play.
Did I mention it's short?

Because it is.

Premise:  You put all the sticks in holes in the middle of the game, then you pile the marbles on top.  THEN, you pull sticks out one at a time, the person who lets the most marbles drop is the loser.

And that is often me.

But I'm fine with that.  No really.

All of us can play it, although it only has slots for 4.  I'm sure we could fix that and just put someone's marbles in a bowl or something.  For now, P plays on one of the adults team.

Do you like Ker Plunk?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Love Christmas Videos

I just found this great playlist from Mormon Messages.

So many good things on there.

I'm gonna play these for my kids ASAP.

That Come oh come Emmanuel brings chills ever time.  Love.

Is there anything better to do on a Sunday then to realize the Christmas story is real and the reason we feel so much hope and love this time of year is that God showed so much hope and love by sending a little baby to loving parents?

I doubt it. :)

Ronconciling Terror

I've thought a lot about the school shooting this past week, just like you guys.  My husband is a teacher, and 2 of my children are in public school and I'm training another one to head there in a few years.  I will rejoice when she goes.  I'm sure those parents were happy to see the school day start and send their little ones off for a fun day in first grade.

The construction of the Gilbert Temple.
And then to arrive at the fire house and wait, and wait.  To see other children come and be reunited.  And just to wait.

{the horror}

But to me the horror came in one thought.  My children were afraid and I wasn't there.  And the fact is, my children are likely to run into situations in this world in which they have intense fear, and I won't be there.  I don't want to be there all the time, I love the fact that my children have a lot of adults in their lives who love them and teach them amazing things.  I love that they're finding autonomy in the world and finding out who they are.

And then it came to me.  Their fear would be met, just like my own when we were moving.  On several occasions I felt like my grandmother was with me.  She knew how hard it was for me to do what I was doing and she just wanted me to know that everything was OK and that she loved me.  I have always had an intense love for this grandmother, but I haven't actually felt her with me after her death until that moment. In my head, I imagine countless angels being with those little children that day.  Whispering words of comfort and then also being there as their spirits went back to our Heavenly Father.

Because the only thing that makes this right is the faith that God will make it alright.  God will hug those little kids as will other angels who love them dearly.

A world that produces someone who can shoot darling little 6 year old girls (and boys, but somehow I think it takes someone with an extra void of darkness where their heart should be, to shoot a sweet little girl) has to have someone who is supremely good watching over all of this.  That is the God who created the amazing teachers.  That is the love that fills those teachers hearts, who have only known these children for 4 months, and yet were willing to tell them how much they loved them and protect them with their lives.

That is the God I know.  And until we raise kids who know that God and let Him fill our children's hearts with things that are good and happy we will continue to have these days of sadness.  I am thankful for a season where I can help to fill hearts and fill my own children's hearts with what God wants them to know.  He wants them to know peace and love and charity.  And those are the things that can fill in the fear and the worry that this could happen to any of us.

Merry Christmas, may we spread the good around a little extra this week.

*On a side note, the LDS church teaches (and it is what I strongly believe as well) that all children under the age of 8 who die automatically go to heaven.  They have had their test on earth and didn't need it to continue.  They will receive God's highest glories.  That is a happy thought indeed.

*Another side note, I'd love to know what you said to your own children about the event.  I told both of my school-aged children about it.  I told them about the amazing teachers that were there, as well as their own teachers and how so many good people tried to help, how lucky we are to have so many good people around us each day.  I also reminded them that our family is sealed forever and that if any of us was to die we would see each other again.  I bore testimony that I knew this was true and that we WOULD see each other again.  And then they asked what was for dessert.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Favorites Friday: Nativity

Oh man, did I love going to our local Christmas Creche exhibit in CA.  SO many amazing nativities from all over the world.  I loved taking my kids and seeing how different cultures interpreted such an amazing event.

I'd love to get creche's from all over the world.  Turns out I don't tend to leave our neck of the woods very often, but everything comes in a time or a season, right?  For now I have a lot of kids nativity scenes.

We have this one

 And that one (my amazing sister in law got us this one for Christmas one year, she's a smartie)

And don't forget this one

Yes, that is a rubber duck nativity, I got it at Hobby Lobby

And another kiddy one, durn it that picture is small -- suffice it to say it's wooden and OK for children's hands, although this one is our nicer one so I keep it off limits for the most part.

Because I'm a super lame parent I don't usually let my kids have toys up in our living room (we have a playroom for that kind of tom foolery).  BUT, the nativities are up here and I let them move the people around as they wish.  Often all the people stare at the baby, or they line up or they wander around their spot.  I think it helps me to think of the nativity as a real thing, with real people and they all had feelings about what happened on that day.

Anyway, I LOVE nativities.  100%.  Almost as much as Christmas cards, almost. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

TMI Thursday Re-Wind: Fevers

Originally posted here and here.

Fevers are crazy in little kids.  Isn't it funny how you can almost see STEAM coming off their cute little bodies.

And all that is good.

Does it FEEL good? no.

But fevers are great stuff.  They show you that their body is fighting the infection.  I really don't care unless my kids fevers go over 104.  That's right, people -- 104.  

Symptoms are a whole other story.  Neck, ear, throat pain -- that's a whole other bag of chips... but fevers alone.

P loves to get fevers, and hold onto them for extended periods of time and I've just learned this.  A lot of time she has no other symptoms, but she must be fighting something.  I keep expecting a rash (a lot of times, kids will get a high fever and then break out in a viral rash the next couple of days later), but nothing appears.

Anyway, it's my advice.  My kids are also addicted to tylenol and advil.  I mean, if they have a fever, give them something to make them feel better.  But, ask your pediatrician about dosing, etc.

In fact, if you have a question, as your pediatrician as I'm just a nurse. :)  I mean, nurses run the world -- but I'm JUST a nurse. :)

I will say kids fevers and adult fevers are two different things.  Kids are so small their fevers get much higher, but if you -- as an adult were to hit 103 or so I'd probably head in.  That's a pretty high one.  And if you're pregnant I'd even say 101 I'd call your doctor.  But, I rarely get fevers anymore, maybe my kids have just taken the fight out of me. :)

My two cents for the day.  Hope it helps someone. :)

I was just changing a diaper, when I realized I didn't mention that newborns are NOT supposed to have a fever. Their immune systems are too darn new. Anything up to about 6 months, I worry a lot about with fever.

Don't just bythely give the babe tylenol. Take the temperature in an appropriate way -- most likely axillary, we're not even doing rectal temps in the hospital anymore, and then call your doctor.  BTW, the pacifier thermometer isn't accurate.  And ear thermometers don't work in babies, their ear canals are too small.

Also, if you don't know the cause you might want to call your doctor.
Most of the time I write these posts I worry about getting sued.
I really don't think a mom will take my advice wrong, but you never know....
Again, check with your doctor.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What's Up Wednesday: Mr Middle

It's great to be eight.

I think.

S is having a great time at school.  He has a lot of goofy friends who he really enjoys playing Harry Potter-esque games with at recess.  He wishes his mom was more into playdates, but what's a gal to do?  I can barely remember to open the door for him most days after school.  I need to get on that. {quick flashback to having to drive and pick up back in CA, I sure don't miss that}.

He is loving cub scouts.  He's achieved wolf, I think (scouting, not really my area).  I really appreciate the church's scouting program.  It builds a lot in these little boys.

At our city's Christmas craft night, with his hot cocoa.
He is obsessed with being the smartest at EVERYTHING.  He likes to tell everyone he's a genius.  He's actually been doing that for a while but I'm sure it's getting REALLY old to his classmates.  I'm hoping that peer pressure will be the nix on that one.

He still loves crafting and playing with all sorts of toys.  He's still definitely pretty little, especially when compared to Mr C.  I'm glad, I'd like to keep him that way a little longer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What's For Dinner: Korean Meatballs

El Presidante has a concert tonight and I let him pick what's for dinner (from a list of recipes we had ingredients for).  He chose Korean Meatballs, and ALL my kids LOVE this dish and the cucumbers that go alongside it (which is good because we have 4 Cucumber plants who have recently started giving us fruit).

Anyway, not to hard and pretty easy on the calorie count. :)

Thoughtful Tuesday, Learning from the Jaredites

The Book of Mormon has a section that tells the story of the Jaredites.

A group of people were prompted to build boats and cross the seas.  Here's a version of the story:

What a great story.

First off, the brother of Jared (great name, right?) couldn't figure out how to get light into the boats (the boats were kind of like two bowls on top of one another that each had a cork in them as the boat was tossed around on the seas, which ever part was up would be un-corked, sound awful?  Yes. Yes it does).  But, God tells him to figure it out and come back to him.  A great personal story and a great parenting story.

Secondly they brought a bunch of animals and seeds with them, preparing as best they could and then just put it to God.

Because God wants us to prepare, and work hard and try our best to do things, but he takes over when we've done what we can.



That doesn't mean he'll make our lives perfect.  I can't imagine how awful it would have been to cross the ocean on that boat (the scriptures say that the wind pushed them continually which sounds great, but also exceedingly awful in a tight boat with animals), but they made it to their "final destination"... and that was what mattered.

Always lots of good ideas from the scriptures. Love them.

Do you have a favorite scripture story?  Blog about it and link it here!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Play Me: Disney Scene It

Sure, these are all over the place, but I think this is one of our first family games that Princess P (age 3) was as happy as the other 2 (ages 12 and 8).  Disney appeals to everyone.  Plus, they had older movies and newer movies, animated and regular.  It's really fun.

This particular Scene It is the one we have but there are lots of newer ones out ther like this one (that aren't 100 bucks).  I've toyed with getting other scene its.  In fact, I think we have a Star Wars one that doesn't get played very frequently.  I've toyed with getting a Harry Potter one, but so far I think this Disney one is good.  I don't love games that gather you to the TV as I'd like to be as electronic free as possible... but we know kids love TV (ok, and so do adults).  Do you have a scene it game that you love?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Remember Family

Awh, I love this video.

Except it looks like the woman's drinking coffe in the scene when the kids run down the stairs.  I'm 90% sure it's cocoa or herbal tea though. :)

Christmas is natural time for your hearts to "turn to your fathers" and think about the traditions that have made your family.  I'm so thankful for that part of this festive season.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Favorites Friday: EOS Lip Balm

Princess P took it upon herself to smear my lipbalm all over her towel.

Thanks so much.

So as I was perusing the isles of the local Walmart trying to find a sav, thinking that my lips were "dry and chapped like the dessert sand, not wet and moist like a pomegranate" (can anyone name that movie, one free shout out if you can!).  I saw EOS lip balm that I'm pretty sure I've seen in a couple of makeup videos.

So I bought it.  Even though it was a good dollar or two more then the chapstick.  I thought, what the heck -- I'm worth it!

I like it.  I like how it's all natural and it feels good and not overly sticky.

I think that most of my lip health is dependent on my hydration level.  Luckily I've been doing pretty good in that area lately, but during the winter especially I feel like I need a little something on them at night.

This fits the bill.

Anyone else like it?  Other flavors I should try?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

TMI Thursday: Boobs

I did that carb fast in the fall.  Totally useless.  I proved something to myself, but I didn't lose weight and I actually felt kinda awful the whole time.

Fast foreward to me still snacking of candied yams a week after Thanksgiving and I come *MALES, TUNE OUT NOW* to that "time of the month" and my boobs are killing.

Do you think it's the sugar?  Now, two lines of thought:

I did like 50 pushups with Fitness Blender on Monday and my pecs (is that the muscle by your boobs, so much for my medical knowledge) are pretty sore, but slowly feeling better.

Maybe I'm just a pansy.

But my boobs are a nightmare.

Don't anyone say it.  I'm not pregnant.  And if I am, I will most likely be on a psycho ward with a prozac drip swan-ganz catheter.  Just sayin'.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone thinks it's related to my dive back to the carbs?  I have been eating carbs for well over a month, but I know I've had more refined sugar in the last week then in a long time previous to that.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

What's Up Wednesdays: Mr C.

If you get our Christmas card you'll notice that Conner isn't much of a smiler lately.  That isn't to say he's not happy (ok, maybe he's not -- but you'll have to ask him, he does seem happy a good percentage of the time).  He just doesn't like his picture taken.  He's asked me not to instagram him.  Poor kid.  Luckily I have Roddy the elf to take a lot of my instagram time up. :)  He does love the jumping picture below though.  Horray for jumping pictures!

What's up with El Presidante?  Frankly I'm not even close to 80% sure most of the time.  Why did no one warm me that these years were going to be so miserable.  I knew I hated Junior High but I had no idea I'd hate HIS Jr high just as much.  But I do.  There's just a lot going on inside a person at this age and I can't help but feel sorry for him.

But the good news is that he's managing it really well this year.  We are being more on top of missing assignments.  I hate it when stuff just doesn't get done or turned in, so I am rewarding him for not missing any assignements.  I'm happy to say that when he does something, he usually does it pretty darn great -- but sometimes he just brushes stuff off as not important, and sadly his mother just isn't OK with that.  My plan has been that we make a treat together (like cookies) if he has no missing assignments.  This has a great two-fold effect in that he gets a reward and we also have some time together to talk about baking and each other.

He is really enjoying scouting, and band at school.  It's an exciting age where you're really trying to find your "niche" in life. 

Do you have advice for the mother of a Jr High student?  Do share...

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday: There You Are

a cute printable I found here:

Have you heard this quote before?  I've been thinking a lot about it lately.  I've been thinking about how you think that moving or changing your situation may be the key to your happiness.  I'd thought for a LONG time that having a larger home would change our lives dramatically.

Turns out, it's pretty great but we're still here.  We still fight, I still yell at my kids and the happiness quotient is pretty well the same.  I just have further to yell. :)

I think the key to this quote is really liking yourself, because it is the one thing that you'll bring with you no matter where you go.  And if there's something wrong with YOU, it will come with you each place you go.

Annoying, am I right?

I had a friend who bought a much larger home, and I was excited to go see it, only to see I felt like I was in her old home, just more space.  Things still looked the same.  She was the same (of course, which is great, because I love her) but life was still pretty well the same. :)

I remember looking around the house at some point after our move and realizing that life was pretty much the same.  I guess I felt there'd be some bippity-boppity-boo transformation when we got here and things would be VASTLY different.  But they weren't.

So, if you're looking for a change, I think you have to look in your own heart.  And believe me, that's good advice for all of us. :)

Monday, December 03, 2012

Favorites of Christmas: Cards

My tongue kind of itches.  At the very least it's left a nasty taste in my mouth with a few paper cuts.  That's right, it's Christmas Card time!

I have to tell you that Christmas cards are one of my favorite things about Christmas.

A lot of my favorite things we did/had got left behind in California so it's been interesting to re-create the magic that came so easily there, but I'm glad that Christmas cards came with us here.

I must tell you that those that are still on our list mean a great deal to me.  Sure we have family, and I like them alright - but I have thought about the friends who are still on the list and how much I love them.

As I write a little note in each one I think about the good times we've had and the impact you've had on my life.  I wish I had the time to write that on your letter, but with over 75 now our Christmas list is at capacity. :)  Just know I think so much of each and every one of you.

And when I get them in the mail it's the same process again.  I just got our first card and I was so happy to remember the times I'd had with this woman.  How she shaped and molded me into the person I am.  I have had SO many great friends.  I feel 100% lucky!

Let remind you of the three tiers of cards:

1.  Those who don't send.  These people don't stay on the list long... :)
2.  Those who send a regular card.  I kind of want to see you, but I love that you thought of me.  I still really like you.  You still get a place of honor on my card wreathe. :)
3.  Those who send a picture card.  I seriously can't believe how big people's kids are getting.  It kills me.  But I love it too. :)  I must admit I sometimes get a chuckle at how we're all starting to look like our moms {super giant sigh}.
4.  Those who put a personal message in.  LOVE this.  Seriously.  No matter how small a tiny message makes my day. :)

Anyway, my wreathe awaits to be filled with smiling faces from days of yore.  Will yours be there?

**BTW, I made this as a Christmas Card wreathe, but I am able to leave it up all year round.  I just cleared off all the wedding annoucements and high school graduations or cards.  I love it all year round.  If you want a tutorial, see here.

Play Me: Life

Thanksgiving afternoon we laid princess P down for a "nap" (she does well with a little quiet time, even if she doesn't sleep), and I decided to play Life together with the boys.  I found it a Goodwill a few months ago and brought it home for them.  I'd LOVED the game as a child.  The romance of getting married, learning how important insurance was -- all that jazz.

Anyway, we were going to play it.

MAN that game has a lot of rules and it doesn't seem to really help if you go to college.  Conner ended-up winning as he was an "entertainer" who made it big (there were two 10's spun right in a row).

So did I love it, no.

But it did bring up a few things.  I went to college and had a steady income, while Drew picked the teacher card (ironic, no?) and his income wasn't so great, but tolerable.  It was a good game to kind of bring up conversations about life -- stuff we don't normally talk about like how insurance is important and the kids realized Drew was in "night school" and would get more money when he was done.

I think we may make it a Thanksgiving tradition.  The kids really liked it, even if I made a rule that you owed the bank 10k if you started singing at any point. :)  It was a good rule, btw.  And it stopped the singing.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Mormon Tabernacle Choir on YouTube

Did you know the Tabernacle Choir now has their own youtube video?  Besides being GREAT background music I am hoping that it can be used in primary every now and then. :)

I am really loving this one.  Really reminds me that blessings are all around me, the lizard on the wall, the sunrise, the chill in the air.  So many wonderful things made just for us!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Share Me, Use Me Up. :)

I'm not sure how to categorize my blog.  Is it parenthood, advice, useless drivel?

You can answer that, as I think most people that visit here do so for their own reasons.

BUT, if you like something you read on my blog, I'd love it if you share it with your friends on your platform of your choice.  I'd like to think my blog appeals to a lot of readers but I don't really have very many and I'd love more.

Also, if you have ideas on how to get more readers I'm open to it.  This isn't even to get money.  I get about 8 bucks/month right now off our advertisements, but I just like a lot of readers.  I like to think my voice is being heard, for good or for bad. :) 

There's also some new buttons up there on the right that make it easier to follow the blog.  I'd hope you'd follow along.  I love having you here... ;)

Speaking of Food Budgets

I mentioned we get 80 dollars/week for groceries.

I will admit I went over that total a LOT in the first 6 months or so while we lived here.  Just trying to build up the ol food storage and being in a new house means a lot of new expenses.

I did a budget post here.

It pretty well explains the budget and I'd say we're pretty well on target right now.  I would guess that I average around 70 bucks/week for groceries (the other 10 bucks usually goes into a pot to go out to eat together once a month or so).  You have to remember I have a 150 dollar Costco budget on top of that.  I also have 100 dollars for clothing and household items.

If you included my Costco and food budget together it would be just under 120/week.  I have toyed with getting rid of my costco card and just trying to live through Walmart, but I don't have the fortitude yet.  I just renewed my Costco membership.  Maybe next year....

Anywho, it's all detailed out in that post.  I just thought I'd share it. :)

I'm trying to work on budgeting for Christmas.  That's my own personal nightmare, but we're doing much better then in years past, and I feel good about that. :)


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