Friday, February 29, 2008


Happy leap day.

I don't feel like leaping much, more like lounging.

Today I will finish the master bedroom, do one more load of sick princess laundry (ewwww) and vacuum the living room. Just so I have time to read more of Twilight and get ready to play a new Catan expansion.

Oh, and hubby's team goes for third place today. I wish them luck!

Ahhh, Simple and Slow Friday.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Waste not, want not

My passion for muffin making is no secret to those who know me. There are almost always muffins for the boys to nosh on when they step in the door after school.

Today I needed to use up some stuff around the fridge. So what kind did I make? Blueberry? not really. Apple Cinnamon? sorta. Banana? keep guessing.

I used half the amount of bananas called for, plus a grated up lousy looking green apple, plus about 20 blueberries left in their container. With a dash of cinnamon just for the heck of it.

Who says you can't be resourceful AND a good cook! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fun mail day

Well, my prize came today. Thanks Lisa! So much fun!

I got all this:

And yes, those are personalized items. How darling!

Anything that says 'fine chocolates' right on the box can only be a piece of heaven. And how did she know my favorite non-chocolate candy are Swedish Fish?!

Thanks for the fun gift!

Works for me Wednesday - wreaths

Okay, I love wreaths. A naked door makes me very uncomfortable.
I want to share my easy wreath solution. I keep my costs down by making my own seasonal wreaths and it's very easy.

My trick is to use one grapevine wreath over and over. Just use wire to attach a garland, bow, something cute from the craft store instead of hot glue.

Then you can remove the items at the end of the holiday or whenever you get tired of it. Easy to change, cheap to buy. It works for me!
For more great WFMW tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

Oh. My. Lands.

I'm SO making this.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Not Again and Divine Hands

My princess is sick again. Last time it was two full weeks long, and the coughing resulted in bilateral hernias that need repaired :( After missing those two weeks of nursery she was thrilled to go back this week.

Now she's throwing up every hour.

It really makes me wonder what the purpose of church nursery really is. UGH. I know to expect a new sickness every Monday.

In a big family with kids going every which way, it should not be the 2 year old (who is only ever around her homebody mother) who brings every sickness into the family. I sacrifice to be at home for many reasons and it's frustrating when she is exposed to germs similar to being in a daycare.

Please keep your children home when they are sick. There, off my soapbox now.

On a lighter note, I wanted to share an apparent blessing that happened yesterday. Strider kissed all goodbye and headed out the door as usual before work. After 3 or 4 minutes he came back inside. His car wouldn't start.

Sure, I thought. I only have to run to the bank and we are out of milk and Jedi needs to get to school and I already did the treadmill and don't WANT to walk up there. But sure, take the van.

No, really I just said "Take the van" and secretly wondered how we would get through rest of the week with the gas guzzler driving to the point of the mountain every day.

Well he got home after basketball practice and with minutes of daylight to spare (and still in his dress shirt - gotta train him there) ran outside to start checking on the Tracker. Miraculously, it started right up, and he even ran it around the block for good measure. Looked at the battery, spark plugs...all checked out.

Now, was he or I being spared an accident or mishap yesterday? Would leaving on time have caused him a problem in some way? Was I supposed to stay home and off the roads for a reason we will never know?

I am grateful for someone who is watching out for us even when we don't realize it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I've been tagged. Again.

Ok, Ash.

This tag is called: All about my man........

1. Full name: Strider

2. How long have you been married: 11 years

3. How long did we date: 1 year before the mission, 6 months after

4. Who said I love you first: He did. My response? "Are you sure" ROFL

5. Who is taller: lol-he is! Perfect height for me.

6. Who sings better: I do but not by much. We both have decent choir voices.

7. Who's smarter: Depends on the subject. We each have clear strengths. (BTW Ash, Nic does not know everything :)

8. Who does the laundry: I do.

9. Who pays the bills: He takes care of the house and medical. I do the utilities and groceries and the rest.

10. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed: If we are laying in bed, he does.

11. Who drives: I hate driving so I avoid it when I can.

12. Who's more stubborn: We both are, but he will say I am.

13. Who kissed who first: Doesn't it take both? I guess he initiated.

14. Who asked who out first: I did!

15. Who proposed: He did, in the middle of Fashion Place Mall, no less. Cue the violins!

18. Who has more siblings: I do; 3 sisters, 2 brothers. He has 3 brothers.

19. Who wears the pants in the family: I do, and they're usually jeans.

I tag Sonja, Kodelle, Kristy, Tracy and Sharon

How did you get here?

I think it's really interesting to find out what words used in a search engine bring others to this blog. I was inspired by Dawn at Mom2my6pack. These are real and not altered in any way.

Here we go with some of my faves:

1. baby head gear - sounds like someone is starting wrestling too early

2. too ticklish - yes, very

3. tiny house - every inch of it

4. healthy sweet and sour chicken - I would love some, but I've never posted any on here

5. wheel of fortune emptying the dishwasher - see here

6. mormon blogger - and proud of it

8. cute babies in the world 2008 - Awwwww, thanks

9. cute tiny house plan - I'm flattered; you wanna copy my house plan? okay!

10. elementary school teaching methods 1910-2008 - um, wow.

11. mudroom ideas for small spaces - even with clever ideas, this space is still too small

12. pedicure ticklish - see #2

13. super saturday crafts - tons of fun; wish it were more than once a year

14. word basketball party template - huh?

15. organization ideas for a tiny house - yes, currently looking for some...

16. stupid game show answers - see #5

17. taco soup with tortilla chips - one of my fam's faves

and hands down, my three top ones (remarkably related to each other)

18. handsome basketball coach

19. how to have a cute baby

20. you are the sunshine of my life

Friday, February 22, 2008

She's here

Oh baby. The long-awaited expansion set is here.

My family has fallen in love (is that accurate to say about a board game?) with Catan. The only problem (aside from all the lost sleep as we play into the early morning hours sometimes) is that it only goes to 4 players.

Enter the expansion set. Now 6 of us can battle, build and scheme to our hearts content. At once.

If you haven't given this little gem a try, I suggest doing so. I thought I would HATE it when Strider began playing with his brothers. I played once, just to appease him, I told myself. I have been hooked ever since.

Consider yourself warned.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New First Presidency pictures

Do you still have the old picture hanging in your home like I do? Here's a talented artist who has sketched the new brethren. Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Firstborn

To my dear Potter, on your birthday,

I can't stop thinking about you today. Of what we both were doing 10 years ago this very minute. Of how we were bonding and getting to really know each other on the outside, just like we knew each other on the inside. I was SO tired, but so joyful. It was the greatest moment I had ever experienced when one final push brought you to your dad and me.

I am a mother and it is my greatest calling. But I was not one until you made it that way. You made me a mother. The reason I am called "mom" 56,924 times a day started with eight pound, seven ounce you.

We have had our times of harmony and times when we clash. We are so much alike in some ways, and your are your father's twin in so many others. You like to slow down and take in the surroundings while I'm usually impatiently pulling you along faster than you are comfortable with.

I don't tell you enough how great you are. I don't praise your good choices as I should. I do hope that I've taught you a little along the way. I hope you have learned how to love and how to forgive. I hope you have the desire to be a parent someday and do this for yourself.

Then you'll understand.

Love you forever,


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, ASH

Wishing a happy day to my next oldest sister (the one in red). Wow, halfway through your 20's, eh?

More happy news...I won something! A bloggy giveaway from Lisa @ Take 90 West. So cool, thanks!

Nice leisurely afternoon for me. Looking forward to a night of no cooking (going out to eat), yummy cake with the fam, and decorating the house after the kids are in bed for my Potter's birthday tomorrow!

Monday, February 18, 2008


Oh my. Memo to aunts, uncles, grandparents and generous friends. PLEEEEEase stop buying my kids so much stuff.

We have very generous relatives and we are very blessed. We love you. But this house is too small and my kids are not given the chance to appreciate anything. They have about three times more stuff than they need and they lose or break half of it because it doesn't mean anything to them.

I remember desiring toys when I was little. Wanting something soooo bad. Thinking about it. Coveting a little. Circling it in catalogs, wishing, hoping. IF I got it eventually, it was the coolest, neatest thing I could ever imagine. It was ultra-special to me.

My children don't have that feeling of waiting, wishing, owning. Their toys and belongings are, for the most part, fleeting and disposable. They always know another toy is around the corner, and so what if toys A - B - C all get busted. They still have D - Z at their whim.

I'm not saying birthdays can't be fun. I'm not saying Santa needs to pass over our house without stopping. But we need to get reasonable. Who wants their money wasted or unappreciated? I sure don't. I can think of better things we can do. Bank accounts can grow and savings can accumulate. Children can be shown love and celebration without going overboard. I'm tired of cleaning it all up every week and I know they are tired of hearing me grumble everytime I do.

As a result, I have not been buying this year. I buy groceries & perishables, but I have not bought clothes, shoes, toys, books or household stuff. The back of my van is full of a thrift store load as we speak. I can't take it anymore.

It doesn't matter if this is the cutest item I've ever seen in a kitchen. Or if I would trade a child for a set of these. I'm done shopping. For right now.

Thanks. I feel better already.

Monday: Fried Chicken, green salad
Tuesday: Birthday meal for Potter, going out as a fam
Wednesday: Chicken Broccoli Casserole, cake and ice cream with grandparents
Thursday: Breakfast ham/egg casserole
Friday: Sloppy joes
Saturday: Chicken salad sammies
Sunday: Pot roast, veggies

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Ok, so it's a picture of a blue backside. It happens to be the backside of the State Champion at 145 lbs and the only three-time state champ Cyprus High has ever seen.

I am so proud to be the sister of someone so admirable. To battle everything given to you and still come out on top is a true lesson in perseverance.

Matt, it was incredible to be there last night to watch the victory. Best of luck as you head to college for the next phase of your wrestling career. I love you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No, it's not a mole

Hard to see, and even harder to photograph. With the last tortilla he ate, Potter informed me that he found a heart on it.

I looked. It clearly was a heart spot.

So, happy Valentine's day, everyone. Especially to my sweet Strider, the love of my life. And to my kids, who have opened up my heart wider than I could have ever imagined.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

well, i tried

So, I'm still navigating this whole mother-of-a-girl thing, but I decided the Princess was too darn cute to be sabotaged by her less than talented mother. Time to start learning. Or experimenting. So we have our first braid picture to share.

And yes, that's her and her brother commandeering my computer.

By the way, how come it looks like she lost an ear?

Monday, February 11, 2008


Fine, Sonja. I will.

1. I listen to Radio Disney even without my kids in the van.
2. I don't like dogs.
3. I love elderly people and worked in a care center all through college.
4. I worked outside the home till my first baby was 7 months old.
5. My employer at the time only gave 2 weeks for maternity leave!
6. I don't think there's anyone in the world that doesn't think I keep my house too cold.
7. I'm sorry to bore people with more things they don't care about after they just read 100 things they surely didn't care about! LOL

Ok, I tag.....all my sisters and any body else with too much time on their hands.

Families are Forever

Family, family, family. That's what I have learned this weekend.

Thanks to a generous BIL, we were able to have the kids taken care of so that we could attend the Worldwide Adult Meeting on Saturday. It was really what I needed to hear. I am so grateful for inspired leaders for our church. I needed a reminder of how I need to make my family my first priority; conciously, not just because they take all my time with laundry and dishes. I need to take the decisions I am faced with , measure them against the Family Proclamation we have been blessed with, and choose accordingly.

Is it a good use of my time and effort? Does it bless my family life? Does it help me in my divine role as mother/wife? What effect will this have on the relationship with my husband and children? Will it allow us to have quality, enriching time together?

Additionally, the VT message this month is about the family and we had a great discussion with our VT group yesterday. And I flipped on the radio last night while doing the dishes and they were replaying the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast from the morning and it was on the family.

Coincidence? I think not. I think the forces of evil have a bullseye on everything good, namely all that we hold dear at home.

Now is the time for us to get serious about deliberately fortifying the home and teaching our children the tools necessary to equip them to battle these negative attacks. I feel very strongly that we can combat the world and be strong in the midst of danger. I am thankful that we don't have to figure it all out for ourselves. We have a pattern to follow and it gives me the confidence to reach my potential as a parent.

Friday, February 8, 2008


The last two days of communication with the 2 yr old

To me, asking for a snack, (I think): "I want groceries"

To the computer mouse while trying to do a Nick Jr game: "Pay Attention!"

To her big brother home for five minutes after school: "You're frustrating me!"

To me while I was exercising using cans for hand weights: "Wait! I need corn to dance, too!"

Boys Basketball

"Either love your players or get out of coaching".-- Bobby Dodd

My handsome Strider is the assistant boys basketball coach at the school where he teaches. Thanks to my kind sister, I was lucky enough to have a date night with him last week and I went to see him coach before we went to dinner. It was so neat to see him interact with these kids that he loves so much. Teaching has been difficult but so rewarding and I just love seeing him instructing and guiding, as these pictures show.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

No Comment

Recipe for a perfect tea party

Tea set from Grandma +
water +
Ritz crackers +
pajamas +

a nice big brother =


** They have done this every morning this week
as soon as the older kids
leave for school!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cool site

The Church has set up a really neat page for info about our new prophet, President Monson. Check it out!

Resolutions, anyone?

He-lloooooo? Echo echo echo echo

How are we doing, folks? I have totally done well where I didn't much expect, and struggle with a few that I thought would be easy.

2008 Goals

Here's a few updates...

drink water before meals - I have been drinking a lot more, but not really before I eat

no eating after 9pm- UGH; not doing well here. I like to munch with Strider before bed. Need to cut that out.

walk to kindergarten once a week- well, mostly 20 degrees and snow every day. BUT, even better, I do the treadmill or workout tape every other day! YAY

read the Book of Mormon every day-fantastic! and I'm loving it

be a better VT by setting the meeting time early in month- we have a time set up on Sunday, so we'll see...

finish at least one book every month- starting book #3 today :)

establish a budget and track spending- totally struggling with this and I was so excited for this one, too. Any motivation?

establish daily and weekly schedules that work- I set it all up but have slowly declined. I am pledging to do better this week, as today is bathroom day and it needs it!

Remember my general rule to keep myself in line:
prayer before computer
scriptures before TV

Cute baby head gear

I wanted to pass along the cutest site for headbands and bows. She's a niece of a friend of mine. Check it out!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cue the music....

In keeping with the blog tradition
of my one hundredth post,
I am posting my 100 Things About Me.

  • 1. I was born in Somerset, Pennsylvania.
  • 2. Once I get an idea about something, I obsess over it and gather so much information that it makes my head spin.
  • 3. I am really bothered by typos.
  • 4. I traveled out of the country for the first time in 2006.
  • 5. My husband is a teacher.
  • 6. My favorite day of the week is Monday.
  • 7. My favorite season is Autumn, followed closely by Spring.
  • 8. I hate driving.
  • 9. I am too ticklish to make it through a pedicure.
  • 10. I love doing laundry.
  • 11. I love mushy baby faces.
  • 12. I love snow and not having to go anywhere.
  • 13. I wish I had never stopped piano lessons.
  • 14. I was forbidden to chew gum when I was younger and now that I can, I don't like it.
  • 15. I think Gatorade is yucky.
  • 16. I used to work for a doctor.
  • 17. I know how to draw blood for tests and used to be very good at it.
  • 18. I have a dimple in my back from incomplete Spina Bifida.
  • 19. I am terrible at learning the lyrics of songs on the radio.
  • 20. I married my husband in 1996.
  • 21. I love to sleep where it's cold.
  • 22. I have three boys and a girl. In that order.
  • 23. I love flowers.
  • 24. I love the smell of clean laundry but NOT laundry dried outside.
  • 25. I love to bake bread.
  • 26. My favorite brands are Tide and Jif.
  • 27. My husband and I are absolute best friends and totally compatible.
  • 28. I really don’t like emptying the dishwasher.
  • 29. I love to do crafts.
  • 30. I have never eaten a sandwich with a tomato.
  • 31. I love music loud.
  • 32. It makes me dance and feel like cleaning.
  • 33. I went to Brigham Young University and UVSC.
  • 34. I love my mom’s roast and fillin’ balls.
  • 35. I don’t like frilly dresses.
  • 36. I loved the smell of my grandmother’s house.
  • 37. When my kids are grown, I want to go to cooking school.
  • 38. When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor. Specifically a pediatrician.
  • 39. I took French for three years.
  • 40. I enjoy teaching in church.
  • 41. I love milk chocolate.
  • 42. I can’t stand Mickey Mouse.
  • 43. I own a minivan.
  • 44. I got a second ear piercing twice when I was in college. It grew back both times.
  • 45. I have almost always had a pet cat.
  • 46. I don't like my back being scratched or rubbed. Especially in labor.
  • 47. I sleep on the left side of the bed, but either is ok with me.
  • 48. I go to the home improvement store for fun!
  • 49. My favorite “pet” ever was having our fish tank and I miss it terribly.
  • 50. I have never been to California.
  • 51. I LOVE college football on Saturdays.
  • 52. I love having a centerpiece on my table.
  • 53. I don't like crowds.
  • 54. I LOVE cheese. Especially medium cheddar.
  • 55. I want to ride in a hot air balloon before I die.
  • 56. I love the feeling of sand between my toes.
  • 57. I would rather have a few close friends than many acquaintances.
  • 58. I had three of my children completely naturally.
  • 59. But with the last one I had medication AND a c-section.
  • 60. I wear contact lenses.
  • 61. I hate dealing with bone-in chicken.
  • 62. I am a Certified Nursing Assistant.
  • 63. A clean house makes me positively giddy.
  • 64. Sometimes I read magazines from back to front.
  • 65. One of my first jobs was as a grocery store cashier.
  • 66. I love to read books, but rarely find the time.
  • 67. I love TV shows on DVD. Especially Mad About You & ER.
  • 68. I love yard sales and thrift shops.
  • 69. I got a stick shift car on my 17th birthday and didn’t know how to drive it.
  • 70. I'm an oldest child.
  • 71. I’ve lived in the same place for 11 years and still won’t drink the tap water.
  • 72. I was in a Columbia/Tri-Star movie (WIND)
  • 73. I'm a pretty good listener.
  • 74. The concept of eternity baffles me.
  • 75. On a sky ride I freak out about my shoes possibly falling off.
  • 76. I love studying and reading mundane things.
  • 77. I really admire parents who have had to deal with the loss of a child.
  • 78. I have little memory of movies after I watch them.
  • 79. I love thunderstorms.
  • 80. I love big old houses with porches and lots of windows.
  • 81. I love the beauty of simple clean lines.
  • 82. I don't like clutter; it is distracting to me. But I battle it all around me everyday.
  • 83. I wish I had nice hands.
  • 84. I hate “doing” my hair. I always air dry and rarely curl it.
  • 85. I don't like wearing socks.
  • 86. I love wearing brown but it doesn't compliment my skin tone.
  • 87. I have a passion for the American flag and treating it properly.
  • 88. I am paranoid about running out of something so I always stock up.
  • 89. I like background noise.
  • 90. I really enjoy Jazz basketball.
  • 91. I love 80's music.
  • 92. I love earrings.
  • 93. My favorite movie is A Few Good Men.
  • 94. I don't like going back to the same restaurants. I love to try new ones.
  • 95. My hubby and I love playing Air Hockey together.
  • 96. My very first job was as a newspaper carrier.
  • 97. I can never resist a good cookbook.
  • 98. I love taking pictures!
  • 99. Technology blows me away.
  • 100. I love the creative outlet known as blogging!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Talk About It!!

Vote! It's Super Tuesday, and no matter what your political views, if you have a Primary election tomorrow like we do here in Utah, Go VOTE!

For more information on the choices before you, compare candidates here.

Join Talk About Tuesday with the Lazy Organizer.

Monday: Taco soup w/ tortilla chips
Tuesday: Chicken packets w/ au gratin potatoes, salad, dessert (having company)
Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread
Thursday: Sweet sour chicken & stir fry veggies
Friday: Grilled cheese
Saturday: Pancakes and bacon
Sunday: Dinner at grandma’s!

P.S. This is my 100th post!!! Celebrating tomorrow!

This is my life

Snowy afternoon with the princess.

Who, by the way, is missing a sock. Hmmmm.

Empty sheet of Disney stickers.

I'm reading a book, and my leg is covered with sticky princess faces.

This is my life, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Stupid Game Show Answers

Well, according to my site stats, someone actually found my blog by using "wheel of fortune emptying the dishwasher" in a search engine. ROFL!! I guess they were watching this same episode.

That is too funny.

So, of course, being the nerd I am, I did the same search. Brings me to a cool site for other nerds like me...Stupid Game Show Answers.

Listen:Family Fued

Family Fued 2

Little quiz for all you in bloggyland...

58%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

You are the sunshine of my life

What would we do without sensitive husbands? My perceptive and ever-increasingly spontaneous hubs brought me flowers last night, after his third solid night of church meetings. We have seen so little of each other, and with the kids off track and threatening to destroy me....I melted. SO not like him and SO needed. I am ever grateful for his unconditional love.