Sunday, January 31, 2010

Are We Willing to Sacrifice?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Great Quote

"Ideals are stars to steer by; they are not sticks to beat ourselves with."
--Barbara B. Smith, Ensign, March 1976

Friday Favorites - My Currently Favorite Song

Here is a clip of my fave.  It's not a new song, but I'm rarely up on the newest and greatest.
Here are a few others:
  Courtney Jones - Awake and Dreaming
  Blue October - Into the Ocean
  Owl City - Fireflies

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Putting Her Foot in Her Mouth

The day will come when she'll regret that she ever practiced this at such an early age.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Went to get out the "magic walking rope" today, the yellow rope with the knots in it that the nursery kids use so that they'll stay together while we go get a drink in the hallway after snack time, and it was GONE.  I noticed that the closet was unlocked when we arrived, which was very strange.  I also made a very brief note in my brain that the shelves looked very sparse, but because I was so concerned about the rope, and because I couldn't imagine anything but the rope had been misplaced and the possibility that it was somewhere else in the room, nothing clicked.

At the end of class, after everything has been cleaned up and closing prayer has been said, we play bubbles.  When I first started in this calling, there were parents who said that the only way they got their child into the car that day was because they knew they were going to play with bubbles in nursery.  This group of kids talks about playing bubbles all during class.  Today, we got everything put away, and the kids followed me over to the closet in anticipation.  I opened the closet and realized that the bubbles were gone.  Not only that, but the extra snacks that we keep in there, just in case some child forgets the treat bucket, were gone too.

The kids were so sad.  I felt so sorry for them.  I also felt like I'd lied to them.  Got them all excited about popping bubbles, and there was nothing there for them.  I had to do some quick thinking.  We had about ten minutes to fill.  Quickly, we jumped into a game of Ring Around the Rosy and all was happy again.  Phew!  Thank goodness for a sweet, flexible group of kids!

So, this week, I guess I have a few extra errands I wasn't planning on.  Off to find a rope, bubbles and some extra snacks.  **Sigh.**

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope

Watched this last night before bed.  Tore my heart out.

More Winter Formal Photos

Okay you go.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winter Formal

Tonight was Winter Formal.  I just got back from taking Q and her friends home, but I had to post a photo here before I went to bed.  Z's sister came and did her hair this afternoon and her good friend did her make up and nails.  Q made dinner for her date.  Sounds like it was a good evening.  They had the dance at OMSI. 

Can't believe my gene pool contributed to her.  There was one really obvious genetic characteristic I could see as all of this took place.  She's wayyyy low maintenance.  Very easy going and not uptight about little details. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

In a large saucepan, combine:
1/2 C. milk
2 C. sugar (I tried to reduce this by 1/2 a cup, and they didn't set up as well, so I guess, like it or not, you gotta go for the whole sh-bang)
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1/8 tsp. salt
Cook on stove until it boils then boil it for one more minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add:
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. peanut butter
Stir until smooth.

3 C. oatmeal--we  like the old fashioned kind
Stir until all the oatmeal is coated.

Let the mixture cool for a bit; it will start to set up as it cools.
Drop by whatever size cookie you like onto wax paper or baking parchment.  Let them cool.  They're very sweet, but ooooh so good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - This One's for You, Emily and Josh!

I just received an email with a link to this video.  I was touched by the child in the painting.

I realize, after watching this, that I need to make sure that I'm doing my part.  I need to assure that my children understand the significance of their freedoms.  It's been more than a year since I've posted about the Constitution, but I need to get back to that.  I stopped right about the time I found out I was pregnant--too many other things were on my mind, I guess.  If you read my posts back then, you'll know that I really know nothing about the Constitution myself.  These posts were intended to help me learn.  The great thing was that someone who knew a lot about it and understood the wording would comment on those posts thus making it much more understandable to me.  I hope that if you have comments as you read, you will post them for me and others like me.


Scratching the Itch

I read a great thing yesterday.  I read an article about mastering smorgasbord kind of situations with Weight Watchers.  They said think of it as "all you should eat" not "all you can eat."  The other thing the guy said was to "Think of it as scratching an itch without making yourself bleed."  Brilliant!  That's how I need to start thinking about most things in life.  A little time on the computer...a little chocolate...a little of this...a little of that.  Self-mastery is about learning moderation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oh Wow!

My three oldest children and I, as of a year and a half ago, all had the same shoe size.  Now, if I put my feet into their shoes, they dwarf me, and as far as height goes, I have become an arm rest for them.  Nice of me, huh?

Well, yesterday, Q walked in wearing her dress for Winter Formal.  It's black and white, and she's GORGEOUS in it.  She borrowed a very cute pair of shoes to go with it.  The friend she borrowed them from came home with her after school yesterday.  When Q walked in the room, her friend and I both said the same thing, "Skyscraper."  Such a funny reaction.  She really was very tall in the high heels.  I don't think she has much experience with heels, so we'll see how she does this weekend at the dance.

I will post photos, so you can see her too.  It will probably be on Sunday.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not Really Trying to Be Jerks...Well...Okay, So Maybe We Are

Church today was comical.  First of all, L has decided that she's a dancer.  The past few weeks I've had to take her out after the opening hymn because she wasn't done singing when everyone else was.  This week it was different.  As we sang, she swayed on my lap.

Q warned me this morning that a boy who likes her would be at our ward today and that he would probably sit with us.  I was okay with this, not a problem.  I like him.  He's a nice kid.  It's just that I don't want my daughter, who just turned 16 and just started dating to get stuck dating just one guy right off the bat.  He, on the other hand, I believe, wants to date her exclusively.

What I'm loving is G's response to all of this.  G stood at the chapel door today to hand out programs.  He stayed there until after the sacrament at which time he came and sat with our family.  When he came to our pew, I was sitting at the opposite end, I watched him sit down.  He climbed over the young man's legs and wedged himself between the young man and Q.  After we arrived home, I asked him what had happened.  G said, "I just said, 'Sorry.  No,' and sat down."  HILARIOUS!!!  That's just so G.  He just has his own quiet way of getting his message across.

No, Z doesn't need to get a shot gun.  We've got the tactics of a protective brother.  Can't beat that!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


We were on the freeway right behind this accident.  It was interesting to watch the emergency vehicles enter the highway.  Craziness!  Even we pulled to the side and sat, a bunch of 30-somethings got out of their cars and started milling about and having a social hour.  An older-model, long-bodied Cadillac sat in the middle of everything.  The Cadillac's trunk suddenly popped open and the car started to back up toward the men in the street as the last fire truck eased its way past on the left right next to the cement barrier between the northbound and southbound sides.  An older man climbed out of the front of the Cadillac, said something to the milling people and climbed back into the car.  The next thing we knew, the bass was thumping.  The Cadillac trunk was providing entertainment for all of us in the cars behind.

WHAT?!  Up ahead of us sits every emergency vehicle in Columbia County....people are suffering.... and we are rocking out?  UhUh!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Think I've Died and Gone to Heaven (I just didn't know this was where it was)

A number of months ago, for any of you that remember reading it, I was going nuts about laundry....Remember?

I tried everything to hold onto my control of everyone's clothing and all that needed to be done with it.  I fought everyone's urging to let my children control their own.  I had some serious issues with this, and now that I look at it, must have felt that the world would end or the rotation of the earth would somehow be altered, if I let go of my control.

I finally gave in about a month ago.  It just so happened that for the umpteenth (I've always wanted to write that) time, I felt like the queen of the world as the laundry was, as far as I could see, all done.  Then the kids cleaned their rooms, and the piles filled the room, and it started all over again.  Uggghhhhh!  Something had to give, so I relented.  As an experiment, I handed some of the control over.

Now, you have to understand that all of my children (except the three year old and the baby) know how to throw a load of laundry in.  They know how to sort it, how to put it in the dryer and how to fold it and put it away (even the three-year-old can do this), but given too much control, I knew they'd leave it sit in the washer until it was moldy or someone else wanted to use the washer; or they'd leave it in the dryer and let everything wrinkle until it was an unrecognizable mass; or they'd throw the clean clothes into the corner of a bedroom unfolded and leave them there until it was time to do laundry again, and the insanity would start all over again.  I had nightmares about all of these scenarios.

So, the assignments were given in a way I could live with.  I have access to the laundry room on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  I do laundry for me, my husband, and the four youngest children.  I also have the basic household items that need to be laundered.  The children that are middle school and up each have a day--Q has Tuesday, G has Thursday, and DJ has Friday.  I have not shared with them my concerns--they do not know that I break out in a cold sweat as I watch each of them haul their over-stuffed laundry hampers up the stairs.  They do know, however, that by midnight on their given day, their laundry must be completely removed from the laundry room.

I have decided since the beginning of this that I need to let go of some of that anxiety.  Who cares if they go to school wearing clothing that's been wadded up with the garbage in the corner of their bedroom?  So far this hasn't happened, I'm happy to say, but I guess they've decided that having people want to be around them is worth their time and effort.  Let's hope this continues.

I didn't realize the effect it would have on me, though.  I quickly learned that before handing this over, laundry never ended for me.  It was always there; always growing; never ending; even when it was done, it wasn't done.  The great thing is that, on my days, my laundry has to be out of there by midnight too.  I have an ending point.  I have days when I don't even have to go in there.  Wow!  It's pretty danged heavenly!  The other great thing is that my laundry never overflows the baskets.  It says sorted when I sort it, and it gets done by about midday every time.  Ahhhhh!  I love it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Best Friends

I got on facebook last night to check it really quickly before going to bed.  I found a notification from one of Q's friends, so I checked that out.  I said that I was her #8 best friend on facebook.  I thought that was nice, so I decided that I'd try the same thing to see who my best friends are.  I pushed the button and waited forever, so I pushed it again--can't ever accuse me of being overly patient.

When it finally came up, after it said it was going to analyze my friends, nine of my top ten were family members.  I wondered if it was rigged, so I looked at Q's friend's list to see if hers were all family members.  Hers weren't.  Her mom was actually #6 (or so) on her list.  The others were just friends.

I got to thinking about this today and realized that yes, my family members are my best friends.  Funny thing was that my in-laws were on my list too.  I really am blessed with a wonderful family all the way around.

The one person who wasn't a family member is a woman in our ward.  I LOVE her!  She's amazing!  After looking at my list, I realized that if I got to choose someone to be my sister, she'd be it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Week in Review

We started this week at the beach at Z's parents' home.  We have spent Christmas with them every year since before we were married.  Our first Christmas as a married couple, we decided that we'd spend the holidays with them as long as they were around and wanted us to.  In my family growing up, by the time I came along there were no grandparents to celebrate with.  We feel that this is a great opportunity for our kids, so it continues.  A couple of our kids voted to spend Christmas just us this year, but yay for parental veto power.

Z's brother, wife and two kids arrived on the 26th, and it was great to get to spend time with them.  We went on a double date on Monday and went out to pie at the Chalet Restaurant in Newport.  The pie was DELICIOUS!

We had promised B that we'd take him to Red Robin for his birthday, which was Tuesday, so we headed home Tuesday afternoon.  It was great to be home!  Funny, I'm always excited to go, but I'm usually just as excited to get home again.  Red Robin was fun.  I don't know how many baskets of fries we went through, but I can tell you it seemed like they just kept coming.  We are moving A and B's birthday celebrations to the summer starting this year for a number of reasons, so I had told B that he wouldn't be getting any presents this year.  He, surprisingly, said he was fine with that.  You know I could never do that to him, but he was surprised when Q handed him two packages at the restaurant.

On Wednesday, Q, DJ, L and I went to visit an old friend.  I hadn't seen her in some time.  I ran into her about two years ago at Time Out for Women.  It was completely out of the blue.  I sat in on her missionary discussions when G was a tiny baby.  I was also her escort through them temple a year after she was baptized.  When I ran into her at Time Out, she told me that she was living in Hillsboro--not far from us.  I was so thrilled.  Anyway, she had us over, we had lunch, and brought our favorite book from this past year to share.  She shared the book Pillage with us.  Q just finished it last night and now it's in mine to read.  We had a very nice lunch and visit.  While we visited, it started to snow.  This cut our time short as things started to accumulate outside.

B and G have been trying to accomplish some of their scouting requirements this vacation.  It's been good to see.  G's nearly done with the electronics merit badge, and B has just started into the world of Webelos.  We also tied some quilts.  While we were at the beach, I bought a quilting frame for 50% off.  It'll be nice to have.

Thursday morning Z and I took our weekly date.  He took me to Tom's Pancake House.  I had marionberry crepes.  They were so good.  We discussed the coming year and some of our plans.

That night, we had a party here with fourteen teenagers before they went to the youth dance.  Q and G both invited some friends.  We started at 7pm and took the kids to the dance at 9pm.  We then went back and picked them all up at midnight.  DJ had a friend spend the night too.

Yesterday was my family's "Christmas" party.  Now that my brother's close by (just moved back into town from Seattle), he and his wife are great about hosting family get-togethers.  We had a white elephant exchange.  There were some pretty funny gifts there.  My oldest brother's son got a CD set that teaches how to be a gentleman.  We were teasing him that at the family reunion this summer he'd have to teach a mini-workshop on the principles he learns from it to the younger male cousins.

Today Z, Q and B went to help Z's younger brother move.  He's moved to Washougal, Washington, where my dad lives.  I guess, according to Z, he's only a few blocks away from him.  Small world!

While they were gone, G went babysitting and worked a bit more on his merit badge requirements.  So, a good part of the family was gone most of the day.  I prepared for my new nursery class--playdough is made.  I also made more aprons for this class, since I gave the last class the ones I made for them shortly after I was called to be their teacher.  These new ones are very colorful.  I really like making them--so easy.  I also started the preparations for A's birthday tomorrow.  He'll be seven.  The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford is in the fridge just waiting to be eaten.  He chose Oreo Jello for the middle and crushed Oreos for the top.  We'll also be having tacos for dinner--his choice.

Tonight, Q is gone on her first official date.  It's been a funny road as she's turned 16.  Kind of strange to have a child at this age and stage in life.

Friday, January 1, 2010

So Much for Having It All Together

Ran out of syrup this morning.  Ugh!  So much for being prepared for the new year, huh?

So, here's what I'm trying this morning--smells HEAVENLY.  It was very fast to make, and I had everything on hand; that's the kind of recipe I like.  Pancakes are on the griddle, so we haven't tried it yet, but I'll let you know how it is.

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