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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unrealistic Expections

     I always look forward to school holidays and summer vacations, because in my mind I build it up to be this great, fun, carefree time, but it never turns out that way. This Christmas vacation for instance, I have my one daughter that lives in California here visiting and I had visions of all of us sitting around, while Christmas goodies baked in the oven, watching Christmas movies on TV and putting together a 1000 piece puzzle, I love doing puzzles, and having a grand time, it's not happening. Mostly we've watched football games and basketball games and I won't mention who's fault that is, but they know who they are.
     Last summer, I had visions of reading all kinds of books and going to the Roy Pool with the kids several times a week but that didn't happen either. Life just gets in the way. At our house shopping for food is a full time job. If I added up what I have spent at Walmart in the last month it would make you cry. I know this because it makes me cry every month and December is the worst.
     I know what the problem is here, I have unrealistic expectations. I am a see-the-world-through-rose-colored-glasses kind of girl and when the reality doesn't live up to my dreams I have to adjust. And I have to adjust a lot.
    You would think I would learn, but I just keep on hoping for that perfect time when I can do all the fun things that I plan on doing and none of the day to day responsibilities get in the way. Like I said, unrealistic expectations. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

     I know I am late blogging today, but I have been busy with funeral arrangements. Who knew it was so complicated to pass away? We can't find a copy of Grandpa's birth certificate and we can't file the death certificate until we do. I have my poor sister-in-law searching her house frantically for her copy. Grandma and Grandpa didn't have plots picked out here in Utah, so tomorrow we are going to the local cemetery to pick out two of them. The only problem is it is supposed to rain and snow. I don't want Grandma getting any sicker (she's getting over bronchitis) so I may go with my son-in-law, the funeral director, to pick them out for her.
     Thank goodness for David. He has taken care of so much, I don't even know where or how to begin to thank him.  It's funny the reaction I get from people when I tell them my son-in-law is a funeral director. People usually say, "That's one job I could never do." All I can say is that goodness for the caring men and women who do take care of grieving families in the most stressful of times. What would we do without them.
     And, of course, all the friends, neighbors and ward members who have offered their thoughts and prayers and everything else you could think of. Their are so many good people out there and sometimes we forget that when we are watching the evening news. So to all of you thanks for your support, it means the world to us. We love you all.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Few Thoughts On Life And Death

     I want to let you all know that my father-in-law, Robert Stefan passed away last Friday evening. He was here, at home and we were with him and my mother-in-law. It was a very peaceful and spiritual experience and I am grateful that I got to be a part of it.
   As a society we have insulated ourselves from two of the most important experiences in life, the act of birth and death. Most families, for centuries have been around when the women in their lives gave birth, even if the children weren't in the room, they were well aware of the magnitude of it. We have taken that away from our children by sending them to grandma's while mom has another baby.
     We have done the a same thing with death. Most people today die in hospitals or retirement homes, if they live that long. Sometimes, family is there and sometimes not. If you look at history, for generations older family members, or sick family members died at home, surrounded by people that love them and have taken care of them since the day they were born. 
     Life is a circle of birth and death. If you are born, someday your body will die, it is one of the truths of this world. I am grateful for my belief in life after death. It is comforting to know that someday we will be together as a family once more. I know that the bonds we form on earth are the most important relationships there are and they continue after our physical bodies can no longer go on.
     Bob was the first grandparent to pass for my children and it has been a positive experience to explain to them that we are sealed in the temple and we are an eternal family. Someday their other grandparents will pass and then it will be time for my generation to go.
     Life is a gift and I think we have lived it well, so miss us, but don't mourn for the wrong reasons. We will be on a new adventure and awaiting the arrival of the next generation.

Friday, December 23, 2011

About Chapter 30

     It was my intention to post chapter 30 today, but we have had a stressful week with sick family members and visiting family. I hope to have it posted on Monday. Sorry.
    

    



 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Big Day Is Almost Here.

     We're getting down the the finish line here. Are you ready? I think I am getting close. I have two more gifts to buy and I'm not sure what to get. I have to hurry, because I don't want to be out and about on Christmas eve and I have tried to get everything done so that I won't have to be, but there will be something, one tiny little item that I have forgotten and I will be running to Walmart with 800,000 other people on that special day. Oh, the Horror!!!!
     Did mention that I have gifts that I ordered on line that haven't come yet? Did I mention that I ordered new checks, because I am totally out, that were shipped on the eighth of December that I haven't gotten yet? Did I mention that I think I'm going crazy worrying about all 1,890,000 details that must be attended too? And to make it worse I still don't know if my brother-in-law, his wife and son are coming for the weekend. They can't seem to decide. If they come that means more gifts, if not I can save the money. (You can't not give them gifts when they are here on Christmas morning.)
   As much as I love the holiday season it is so stressful, that I am a little relieved when it is over. Do you guys ever feel this way, or is it just me?
    

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Good Mom Or A Bad Mom?

     I have often wondered what the definition of a good mom really is? The reason being, I can't quite figure out where I stand in the motherhood derby. For instance there have been times when my kids didn't like what we were having for dinner, so I let them eat cereal instead. Does that make me a good mom or a bad mom?  There have been times when I just wanted them to go to bed and I didn't care if they had brushed their teeth or not. Does that make me a good mom or a bad mom?
     There have been times when my kids have chosen friends that I didn't think were a very good influence, yet I let them reach their own decisions about that. Sometimes I was sorry and sometimes they were. I have never been a mom to stand over my kids when they did their homework because I wanted them to take responsibility for it themselves. My kids haven't always gotten the best grades due to that decision. I have always been against strange piercings and tattoos, and yet, my daughters, not my sons, have pierced tongues, ears, lips and bellybuttons and one even has a small tattoo. Does that make me a good mom or a bad mom? 
     And right now my two youngest are sleeping on a mattress they took off a bed and raised one end of it by stuffing, who knows what, under the foot part, so it's like they are sleeping on a slant board with their little knuckle-heads at a weird angle. They will probably wake up with massive headaches. Yes, I should have insisted that they put the bed back together and sleep properly, but I didn't. Does that make me a good mom or a bad mom? I wish life came with an instruction manual, because I'm not sure where I stand sometimes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Variety Is The Spice Of Life.

     Today, I hope to get some of my Christmas baking done. I bought a bunch of the ingredients yesterday while spending a small fortune a Walmart. Last night while talking about this with the fam, I had to laugh, because it was just like when I ask everyone what they might like for dinner.
     "I had two people saying, aren't you going to make the Reese's candies?"
     "No, don't make those I hate those, make the little Russian Tea Cakes.
     "No, I hate those. Make the green things, I love those."
     "What about sugar cookies with frosting?"
     "I want the cashew brittle"
      And so it goes until I am making ten different goodies just to make everyone happy, just like at Thanksgiving. We had two turkeys and a ham, two different kinds of potatoes, two different kinds of vegetables and eight pies, in addition to all the other stuff. When it comes to food, the Stefan's like what they like and no ones going to change their minds or cheat their tummy's.
    Is it any wonder that I have had to take up exercising as a hobby?
    I hope your holiday baking is a little less complicated than mine is, but if you have a great recipe that everyone loves feel free to share, I can always had a new to list.

Monday, December 19, 2011

How Was Your Day?

     Well, it's going on seven as in PM and this is the first chance I have had to blog today. This time of year is crazy and I didn't even Christmas shop today except for a few food items I picked up in my massive shopping expedition today. I got up took the boys to school came home and did the dishes I was too tired to do last night. I'm talking two full dishwashers full of dishes and their were still a few big pots that I had to do by hand. Yes, I have two dishwashers in my kitchen. And before you think I let them go for a few days let me set the record straight, all the dishes were from Sunday.
     After that I exercised, showered and then ran to take my daughter to an appointment, went back home to get Kaelyn and we ran off to Walmart. I needed reinforcements. I spent over four hundred dollars and the only reason it wasn't five, was that our carts, yes, we had two, were so full we couldn't fit one more thing in them. Then we ran home unloaded and for good measure we dropped a full gallon of milk in the garage and had it split open all over the floor. Then I jumped into the car to go and get my daughter, who was now done with her appointment. Came home spent an hour putting everything away and then made dinner, while watching three of my grandkids while my other daughter went to Walmart to grocery shop. And now here I am. How was your day?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Permit Day Here In Utah.

     Today is a day that puts terror in the hearts of parents everywhere. Our daughter is taking her drivers permit test today. You would think I would be used to this by now, after all, I have six adult children and they all have their licenses. She will be number seven.
    It's not like I don't think she's a good driver, because she is. It is the thought of all the other drivers out there speeding, and texting while they drive, and driving with friends in the car, and the snowy, icy roads that we have to deal with on occasion, that scare me.
     I think every parent lives with a secret fear when they reach this poin they will get that dreaded phone call that your child has been in an accident. We have already had that phone call with her when she was a passenger in a car that was in an accident and I don't want that to happen again.
    So if you are driving in northern Utah any time in the near future, please go the speed limit, pay attention to what you are doing, don't text, and look out for a girl with blonde and brown two tone hair. That's one of my babies and I want to keep her safe and sound for a long, long time. Eventually, she's going to find the right guy and get married and is going to give me five or six grandkids and I want everyone of them. And I want to see her grow older along with her babies and face the day when they go and get their permits and we can talk about the worries and anxiety of thinking that her baby is going to be turned loose on the highways of America.
    It's a vicious cycle.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My New Jeans, I Don't Think So.

   Warning: If you are offended by the word, butt, don't read today's blog.

    I don't know why I do it, but I did it again. I went shopping with my daughters. Now if you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know I hate to shop, unless it's Walmart or Home Depot. The mall and I have never been good friends. Yesterday however I had to take my daughter to get a new pair of jeans. A friend had told her about a great sale and I am all for sales at this time of year. We went, we found, we bought.
     And then they took me down to J.C. Penny's to look for jeans for me. I have lost a little bit of weight and my old jeans are really baggy. That's the good news. The bad news is my daughter talked me into buying cute jeans. They really are cute, but, after wearing them for the day, I don't know how the girls today do it. The jeans are cut lower on the hip and they fall down all stinking day long. Every time I bend over I have to hike my jeans up. I suppose if I wanted my butt crack to hang out it would be fine, but let's be realistic here. I am a married, for a lot of years now, mother of ten. No one on the face of this earth wants to see my behind, in all its heinous glory.
     I bend down to plug in the vacuum, pull up my pants, bend over to pick up the candy wrapper the vacuum won't, pull up my pants. Get in the car, butt crack gets chilled, it's winter here and it snowed all day. Get out of car, pull up pants. Walk two feet, pull up pants. I feel like I need to walk like the gangsters on T.V. when they are getting arrested and they have to walk with their legs spread really far because their hands are in handcuffs and they can't keep their pants up.
     Is this really the best the fashion people can do? I am a grandmother for goodness sakes and I want pants that stay on, with full coverage and I'm not going to settle for anything less. Who's with me?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What Kind Of Christmas Is This Going To Be?

     I don't know what it is about this Christmas, but I am really behind and starting to panic. I have only purchased a couple of gifts and the big day is less than two weeks away. It's not that I am procrastinating, I have asked the kids several times to write down a few things they might like and I am still waiting. Even the little kids, who usually give me a list in October are stalling. What is up with that?
     I keep trying to think of something I would like under the tree and all I can say is, I have a stupor of thought. Can it be that we have everything we want? Could we have possibly realized that there is more to Christmas than getting stuff under the tree? Why is it you can always think of things you could really use until now? If you had asked two months ago, I could have handed you a list, now nothing, nada, zilch. What kind of Christmas is this going to be?
     On Christmas morning I will have my hubby by my side, nine of my ten children here, along with their spouses and all of my grandkids and the in-laws who are healthy and happy for now, so I have to say it's going to be a pretty darn good one, gifts or no gifts.
     I wish this same Christmas morning for all of you and your families.
    Now I have to go shopping and get something to put under our tree. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Koda's Date With The Doctor

     Today is a big day in our house, or a sad day if you happen to be our dog, Koda. He's getting fixed today. The hubby and Karrah have already left to take him in for his date with the knife. I have to admit a little bit of sympathy for the little furball, as someone who spent her entire adult life with her OB/GYN I know how fun it's not.
    It was not an easy decision, but something had to be done. He's been trying to rock the world of every stuffed animal, pillow and small child in the vicinity. It was becoming a problem, not to mention the way he takes off when the door gets left open. Maybe if he isn't looking for a girlfriend he'll come back when we call him.
     So if you happen to think about our Koda today, send good thoughts his way. Poor dog.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Makes Christmas Special For You?

     I have long felt that the Christmas season was getting way too commercialized and we should try to remember the true reason for giving gifts during the holiday season, to symbolize the gift that the Savior, Jesus Christ, was to the world.
     We have always been so blessed at the holiday season. No matter the circumstances we found our selves in, we always had good Christmases. This year will be no different, except we won't have as much money to spend. The economic downturn has combined with rising expenses in our household to make us reevaluate what we are going to give this year. And I have to say, before anyone feels sorry for us, that it is a blessing. It makes you really stop and think about what is important in life. We have so much already, we have our family, which is really all that we need, we have our health, we have jobs, we have a beautiful home, we have the church in our lives, we have wonderful grandkids that we adore. We live in the greatest country ever and in a state that is a scenic wonder.  Like I said we are so blessed.
      How could a few store bought gifts even compare with all of that? Still, it is Christmas and the kids need something to open on Christmas morning. With all of that in mind I want to give gifts that are from the heart and not just the latest toy or item they have seen on TV. I want to give them something that will be special to them for a long time. I think this Christmas will be the best one ever.
    What kind of Christmas are you planning for your family? Do you have any special traditions that you could share that help make your Christmas about Christ and not the presents. If so please share them. I would love a few new ideas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Facebook and Pinterest

     Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook? I do. It's great. I have reconnected with friends that I love, but who had drifted away because of how busy life can get. This makes me so happy. I can chat with relatives in California and other places near and far, in the blink of an eye. We can share happy events and challenges. We can offer support and love, all while not being inconvenienced with a phone call at a bad time. How many times has someone I really wanted to talk to called right as I am walking out the door to pick someone up? Hundreds. Facebook makes it easy for everyone.
     And as if that wasn't enough, now there is Pinterest. I love checking on the new pins friends and family have pinned several times a day and before you non-pinners think that it is another waste of time let me say, Not So. I have found and tried several great recipes off of there that I pinned onto my Yumm! board. I have found inspirational quotes that have made me try harder and feel happier on a daily basis.  My Living Healthy board has all kinds of stuff on it that makes me think it really is possible to lose a few pounds and to eat healthy. There is home decor and cute outfits, crafts, wedding ideas and so much more. And when you pin something on your board you can follow the link to the original website and find all the instructions for what ever.
    So if your Facebooking and not Pinteresting come join us and get inspired. Find me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tiime Flies, So You Better Have Wings

     How is it that the days seem shorter and time is going by quicker than ever before? I can't believe that 2011 is almost over. I am so unprepared for the holidays. I have only bought a few gifts and Christmas is fast approaching.  Time goes by so fast that I feel like I have to run to catch up. It makes me wonder if I am spending these precious moments doing the right things.
     I have added exercise to my morning routine and I am reading my scriptures daily. It feels pretty good to be doing something positive for body and soul.  However, it does take up a lot of time. By the time I am really ready to start my day, it's like the day is half over.  To be more productive I have pretty much given up watching T.V. and now that The Walking Dead is on hiatus until February there isn't anything on that I am dying to watch. Besides, it's football season and now basketball season is heading our way, not to mention the NBA is starting up on Christmas day.  This limits our T.V. choices even more. Try wrestling the remote from a group of rabid sports junkies, it's not easy.
     I guess the point is, time is a precious commodity and I want to spend mine doing things that make me happy, healthy and a better person. After giving it some thought, if I had three months to live, I would do just what I'm doing now, be with my family and do the little things that I do every day. That's when you know you are making the right choices for you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let's Torture The Kids With Christmas Carols

     One of the best things about the holiday season is the Christmas Carols. I love, love, love them. I could listen to them all year long, but the fam. would have fits, so I try to control myself until Thanksgiving. After that its a free for all. I listen while I bake Christmas goodies. I listen while I do housework. I listen in the car where the audience is held captive to my enthusiastic sing a long efforts. Hey, if they don't like it they can walk to where ever I am hauling them to.
     This is my time, baby. Tis the season where mama sings and ain't no one gonna stop me. How could a person resist tapping your toe along with Rockin Around The Christmas Tree or Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. And I have a hard time not getting a tear in my eye when I hear, Mary Did You Know or Silent Night. Then you have the transnationals, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Oh little Town Of Bethlehem, Oh Come All Ye Faithful and all the rest, that bring back memories of when kids were allowed to have school plays and programs that reflected the true meaning of Christmas.
      There are a whole lot of new favorites to enjoy, Just Put a Ribbon In Your Hair, It Must Have Been The Mistletoe. And the song that I love to torture my kids with, Let's Be Naughty and Save Santa the Trip. I like to sing that one to their dad and watched them all start pretending to gag and vomit. It's one of the best traditions of the season so I am breaking out the iPod and plugging it in.
     Merry Christmas From My House To Yours.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Dreaded Weigh In.

     If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that I have completed a thirty day challenge which consisted of exercising for thirty minutes a day for thirty days, except on Sunday. This was tougher than I thought it would be. Sometimes you just don't feel it, if you know what I mean, but I stuck to it and now I am working on the next thirty day challenge.
    Since I started on a Tuesday, that is the day I do my weigh ins to see if I am making any progress. I swore to myself I would only weigh in once a week, so as not to get discouraged by a lack of progress or even backwards progress due to what time of the month it is. I know all you women out there who have ever worked your behind off and wound up gaining two pounds, know exactly what I'm talking about here.
     So I have been giving weigh-ins a lot of thought and I have decided that the proper weigh in procedure should go as follows, be totally naked, first thing in the morning, after fasting for many hours, don't brush your teeth before hand, you might swallow a little bit of water and invalidate your progress, and always lean on the towel bar for stability. If the towel bar breaks off you can always replace it, the important thing is that the scale shows a drop in poundage. Of course, you have to be realistic if it shows a drop of twenty pounds or more in a week, a little less pressure on the towel bar may be considered....then again maybe not. What is your weigh in procedure? Anyone have any better ideas? I am open to any and all suggestions.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day After.

     The insanity continues around here, we have out of state company today. My sister, her hubby and four of their kids came to visit and my husbands aunt, her daughter and hubby came to visit.
      My daughter is leaving tomorrow at five am. Thankfully, the hubby is taking her to the airport while I sleep in. What a good husband. I am really going to miss my daughter, I want her to move up here so bad, especially now that she is going to have a baby. She also took my youngest two boys and my grand daughter to the movies. Is it any wonder I want her to move here.
     The best thing about today though is we have plenty of leftovers. And I'm going to go and eat them right now. I hope your Thanksgiving was as yummy as ours was.
     
 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family and friends. May your day be filled with the best of family, friends and food. What more can you ask for out of life? Besides health, happiness, success, love, joy, and all of that good stuff. And I wish it all for all of you.


                             Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Here We Go Again.

      As much as I love the holiday season, I am exhausted and it isn't even here yet. It makes me wonder how I am going to make it through the next five weeks.
     My daughter Katie is visiting from So. Cal this week and I have been trying to make sure she has a good time, so we have been to Babies R Us, Cafe Rio, Red Robin, Walmart and several other places in the last few days.
     Tomorrow I will be cooking for about 20 people give or take. It will be a small Thanksgiving for our family, but it still will mean cooking two turkeys, a ham, ten pounds of potatoes, gravy, green beans casserole, broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce, my special strawberry Jello, rolls and seven, yes, seven pies. It makes me tired just thinking about it.
     And to make matters worse I had nightmares all night last night that when I took the turkey out of the oven it was still frozen solid. Yikes!!!
     Is it any wonder that I am happy to see the end of the holiday season.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The True Meaning of The Season

     Here we are at the front door of the holiday season ready to knock and let it in. Are you ready? Have you started your Christmas shopping? Is your turkey defrosting in the fridge? Are you craving pumpkin pie? I say yes to all of it. Bring it on. It's all good, right? Or is it? I wish I could somehow make Christmas less stressful and make the true meaning of the season come to life for my family.
    I have often wondered what would happen if they unwrapped a gift on Christmas morning and instead of a new pair of jeans or a game for their Nintendo DS's there was a letter from their mom. I would write a letter telling them how much I love them and how much they mean to me. I would write about all the hopes and dreams I have for them as they journey through this adventure called life. I would share all the sad, hard and important lessons that I have learned, so that they don't have to learn it the hard way like I did. I would share my testimony of the Gospel and hope it would make a difference to them that their mother is a woman of great faith. I would tell them how important kindness is and how much we need more of it today. I would tell them how family is the most thing in life and to spend as much time with them as possible because time goes by so fast before you know it your children are grown and they have babies of their own.
     I would try to tell them all of this so they would have an appreciation for their blessings and not take it all for granted. The question is, would they listen? The Christmas season means different things to people but for me and my house I want it to be about the birth of the Savior and the impact that has on our lives. If you don't focus on that, the holiday season is just another day off from work.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Happiest Place On Earth?

     The happiest place on earth. That's where we are. We are spending a week in sunny and warm So. Cal. I have been off line the past few days as our hotel charges for internet, how cheap can you be? So I haven't been able to blog, sorry if you missed me. I will be back at it on Monday, when my life returns, for better or worse, to normal. That is if you can call my life normal, which I don't. It's crazy and the thought of all the laundry I'm going to have to do when I get back makes me cringe. It will be just as bad as all the laundry I had to do to go. We moms pay a high price to enjoy all this relaxation. cough, cough. You all know what I mean. Anyway, so long for now going to spend some prime time with the fam. Love ya.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Don't Want To Be The Mom Today.

     Here it is late in the day and I am just now getting to my blog. That should give you an indication of what kind of day it's been. Why is it no matter how hard you try to be on top of things, life just gets the better of you sometimes and you wish you would have crawled right back into bed. It hasn't been a bad day, I just didn't get to all the things I wanted to and now the day is done and here I sit discouraged about my lack of accomplishment.  I did exercise this morning and I did read my scriptures. I also showered, ran a few errands and paid a bill, just a few little things. I did parent teacher conference also.  I won't list all the items I had planned that I didn't get too because I don't have that much space. Let's just say that my to do list is full and then some for tomorrow.
     I have had other days when I don't get to everything on my list, but today it is bugging me. It feels like the perfect storm of discouragement. I should focus on what I got done, not what didn't and move on, but what I have to move on to right now is making dinner and I just don't wanna. Sometimes I want some else to be the mom. Do you ever have days like this?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holy Jeans!

     It's only been cool here for about a month, which means by boys have only been wearing long pants for about twenty days. Before that is was shorts, man. This means that in the last four weeks I have been stocking up on new long pants to clothe said boys, to keep their legs from freezing in the early mornings. Ryan who is ten wears and size ten. Scot who is eight wears a size eight. They are considerate that way, trying to make life easy for their mom. Thanks boys.
    Every time I go to Walmart with a little extra money I pick up a new pair of pants for one, or both of them. They both are up to about five or six pairs each which is the goal. If I do laundry on Saturday or Sunday they have a full supply for the school week. Their is only one problem one of the brand new pairs of jeans that I just purchased has a big hole in the knee. What the heck is up with that?! They are brand new! I already threw away two pair left over from last year that had huge holes in the knees. I like to pass Ryan's old jeans down to Scot if possible, but that hasn't been the case lately.
     I know my boys love to play football at school before it starts, they have a following. A group of boys that get to school a half an hour early just to join in the fun and I'm happy about that. It's good exercise, they are never late to school and I don't have to fight all the mom's dropping off their kids right before the bell rings. I love that. But for heavens sake how many pairs of jeans can one mom buy in a month? At this rate I will have to replace all of their jeans again within a few months.
     This is a serious dent in the clothing budget, like I have a clothing budget. If you are about to go naked, or freeze to death, we get you new stuff, until then we don't want to hear about it.
     I haven't decided yet if the football is worth the cost of new jeans so often, I will have to weigh the pros and cons. Shoes are a whole other issue. We go through those like toilet paper. And speaking of toilet paper...never mind. That is a whole other blog. ")

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mayo, Butter and Campbell's Soup Hurray!

     I don't know if every family is like this, but in our family there are certain things you just can't do without. Things like Best Foods Mayonnaise, real butter and Campbell's soups. These are the things that make life worth living. These are the things that make the daily hassles of life worth the effort.  And when I get them on sale it makes it especially sweet.
    I bought 48 cans of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup for 49 cents each and 24 cans of Cream of Mushroom for the same price. That is less than half price even at Walmart. I also bought ten jars of BF mayo for $2.99 a jar, not as great a deal, but still a dollar less than the Walmart price and I don't know what we do with all the mayo I buy, but it seems to disappear faster than almost anything else in the pantry.
     And can we talk about real butter, not the axle grease stuff they call margarine, the real creamy, nothing else tastes like it, butter. With the holidays coming our butter consumption sky rockets so when I can get fifty cents off a pound of butter, I get excited. I bought ten pounds of it. :)
     Then there is the fifty pounds of potatoes I got for around ten dollars. Yippy!
     If you get hungry this holiday season, come on over, we will be eating really well. 
     I love stocking up on food, it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. How about you?
   

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's Nano Time!

     It's Nano season! Happy Nano! Feliz Nano! Get your Nano on! I'm getting my Nano on!!! ")
  
     It is Nano time, in case the previous sentence didn't properly inform you. What is Nano? Nano is, National Novel Writing Month. Sometimes called Na No Wri Mo. Or NaNoWriMo. No matter how you spell it, you can Google it and it will take you to the same place.

     The object of Nano is to write a 50,000 words novel in a month. At the end of the month you have a complete or an almost complete novel. Unless you are me and my first novel is over 140,000 words. It took me seven years to finish it, in which I gave birth to not one, not two, but three more children, just in case I didn't have enough to do with the seven I already had.
    Nano is intense. It is a commitment. It is right at the beginning of the holiday season. And I am almost guaranteed to fail. But sometimes you just have to go for it. You have to grab that big brass ring.   
     We have write-ins where my writer friends and I get together and do nothing but write. No talking until the ten minutes at the top of the hour and then all heck breaks loose. Do you have any idea what kind of commitment it takes for women to be in a room together and not talk? One heck of a lot.
      Technically speaking, you are suppose to start with a new story that you haven't written a word of, but I am trying to finish the one I have been posting on my blog. I don't think it will take 50,000 words, but just to finish the rest this month will be a feather in my cap, a rose on my nose, a---never mind.
     Can you tell I was up until one am Nanoing? If you have an idea for a book or just want to try, sign up. It's free. Everyone has a story to tell, join us in Nanoing and you can give it a shot.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Few Things I'm Grateful For.

     As we head into November and many of us are thinking a little bit more about all we have to be grateful for I would like to share a few of my thoughts on the subject.
     Every night before I go to sleep I pray and my prayers always start with all the things I am grateful for. Sometimes I feel as if I am repeating myself over and over again, but I am still grateful for those blessings in my life and I want my Heavenly Father to know that.
     I am grateful for my family and for the health and strength that we have that keeps us going every day. I am grateful that we have the relationships that we do. We are a family that may not always agree with what each other does, but when the chips are down and there is a crisis we are there for each other and we always will be. I really like who my children have turned out to be and I want to spend time with them. I think that says a lot about who they are.
    I am grateful for a husband that has a generous heart. He would give his last dime to one of his children if they needed it and he often does. I am grateful that my grandchildren live so close and I can see them as often as I do. I love them so much, everyone of them is special and precious in their own way. I am grateful for the home we have and where we live. I feel at peace here. I am sooo very grateful that I was born in The United States of America. I love my country and the freedoms we enjoy.
     And last but not least I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and for the opportunity I have to be with my family for eternity. I can see all of us gathered together generations from now, in a much larger family room than we have now, talking over the days events and planning what we are going to have for dinner tomorrow, even though we just finished dinner tonight, that's how we roll around here. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
     I don't know why I have been so blessed in my life to have so much, but I know enough to be ever so thankful for all of it. 
   

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

     Well, today is a day I dread all year. I know I should love it and look forward to it and rejoice in the moment, but I can't. Halloween, for me has always meant lots of work, little fun and days of clean up after wards. When my older kids were little I would start a month before Halloween asking them what they would like to be. Then I would set about trying to get a costume together that didn't cost me a fortune, only to have them come home from school the day before Halloween and say, "I don't want to be that now. I want to be this." All my work would be for naught.
   Then there was all the money I spent of candy. Talk about putting a dent in the budget, candy is not cheap, because I always buy the good stuff and to add insult to injury, I have a hard time keeping my hands off, so it becomes a gut-busting holiday. You know what I'm talking about. ") 
     And then there is the trick or treating itself. I do love seeing the cute little kids coming to my door and trying to remember to say trick or treat, that is the fun part. And now I love seeing my adorable grandkids in there costumes and enjoying the night. What I don't like was in California when, at nine-thirty at night these kids that looked like thugs would show up and yell trick or treat when you opened the door. It felt like a shake-down, "Give me candy or I'm gonna trash your house." They didn't say it, of course, but you felt it. Here in Utah it isn't quite that bad, but I have had some kids come kind of late. If I turn off the porch light they seem to get the message, but they never did in Cali. I had kids pounding on my door at ten o'clock at night.
     So for me the negatives out weighed the positives, so tonight I am going to try to have a good time and have a better attitude. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary Mom And Dad

  Today is my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Fifty years! Most of you haven't even been alive that long. Can you imagine being with the same person day in and day out for fifty years? Going to bed with them, getting up with them watching the hard times and the good times come and go all with one person.
    I can, because I have seen it done. My husband and I both have parents that are still married to their original spouses. How unusual is that at this time when people refer to their first marriages as practice marriages and spouses are interchangeable. I have seen my parents struggle through some really hard times when they didn't know if they could hang on and yet they did. They gave their three daughters a basic understanding of what kind of commitment it takes to keep going.
     Some people think of marriage as a 50/50 proposition, but I believe that to be false. If you only gave 50 percent to your job or career how long do you think you would be on the payroll. When my husband and I got married our Bishop told us that marriage is about giving 100 percent and I agree. When you have given every thing inside of yourself and it still isn't working you have to reach down deep and give a little bit more to make it to the top of the mountain. 
     My hubby and I have reached a place, after 31 years of marriage, where we still drive each other crazy some times, but we just don't let it bother us too much anymore and the little things don't matter. What does matter is that our children know that despite all the ups and down we love each other and them and family is what matters when it is all said and done. So thanks Mom and thanks Dad for being strong enough to make it work all these years and for setting the bar so high that we all have something to strive for and an example to follow.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Unwelcome Visitor

    I have an unwelcome visitor here today. He showed up last night in the form of the flu. I didn't invite him and he is most unpleasant. He keeps me up all night and he smells terrible. He won't stay in one room and tends to randomly invade the space of every person living in my house. I don't like cleaning up after him and he stays much longer than he should.
     Who invited him anyway? I know I didn't and I'm pretty sure my eight year old didn't either. I certainly don't want him here. I think I will un-invite him. I hope he doesn't plan on staying through the holiday's.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Try This Recipe

     I have been cooking meals since I was in jr. high and my mom went back to work. I guess after all those years of eating my own food it's hard to get excited about something new, but I found a recipe on Pinterest the other day and I thought the fam would like it. It had sour cream in it and if any of you know us personally you know that that is one of the top ten things we love to eat that we know we really shouldn't. Along with bacon, butter and a few other yummy heart stoppers.
     Anyhow, this recipe is so ridiculously easy that it is going into the permanent rotation. Here it is.

Oma’s Sour Cream Chicken


Time for another Oma classic.  File this one under easy weeknight dinner.  As an avid follower of the Tao of Oma, you know that Oma is all about simple, easy, hearty food.  Her Sour Cream Chicken is no exception.  Wait until you see just how Oma this recipe is.
Oma’s Sour Cream Chicken
Print-Friendly Recipe
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts or tenders (Oma prefers breasts)
  • 1 1/2 cups of Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing, the crumbles not the cubes (Oma accepts no substitutes)
  • 1 cup (approximately) of full fat sour cream
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  This is classic Oma in that it is less about the recipe and more about the process.  Lay the chicken close together on a foil lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Coat with a thick layer of sour cream.
Top that with the seasoned Pepperidge Farm breadcrumbs and then dot with the butter.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 35 minutes for chicken tenders or up to an hour for chicken breasts.
Its ready when the chicken is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are nicely browned.
In fact, the best part may be the breadcrumbs, even the crusty parts that kind of fall around the edges of the pan.  The chicken is moist with lovely crunchy buttery bits on top.
Enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Can Do Hard Things

     I have set several new goals for myself recently, that I very much want to accomplish. These aren't like New Years Resolutions, where you write them down and then can't remember them a week later. My new goals, I want to incorporate into my life on a daily basis for the long run. The hard part is that I have been a goal setter, a list maker and a good intentions person my whole life. There is a part of me that is a perfectionist and I set the bar so high that when I can't reach it I give up. I am also a bit lazy. It's okay, I can admit it. You toss that in with mild ADD and you can see that accomplishing things is hard for me. Hard, but not impossible.
     I believe that you can take an idea or a goal and find a way to do it step by step, but you have to have realistic expectations. One of the first times that I realized I could accomplish something that seems way too hard is when I finished my first book. It took seven years. And in my own defense I did have three children in those seven years, not to mention the seven that I already had, and a husband, and a home and responsibilities. The point is I finished it. Over 140,000 words. A labor of love, but labor none the less. You can't imagine the feeling as I was getting the last few chapters down on paper(the computer) and out of my head. It was euphoric. If I never did anything else in my life, I wrote an entire book.
     I started out with an idea and I brought it all the way to fruition. This is why I know I can do things that seem impossible. What are the things in life that you want to accomplish, but have been putting off? Is there something that has been a monkey on your back for a while now? Well, today is the day to get on it. Start small, but start. Remember "You can do hard things."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today's The Day We Begin

     I'm excited that so many of you are with me for the thirty day challenge that I posted yesterday. Feel free to update us either here or on facebook when ever you feel like it. Let us know your successes and your failures, your highs and lows. I think we could learn a lot from each other. I myself need to have to answer to others for my goals or it is too easy for me to procrastinate. I'm sure none of you do that.
     The reason I chose the thirty day challenge is I have heard that it takes thirty days before something becomes a habit. I am hoping to make exercising more of a habit. I know many of you are better at this than I am, so I am hoping to get some tips from you along the way.
     We have about 15 people committed to the challenge so rest assured you are not alone. 
     So everyone break out your sneakers and sweat pants and let's go. 
    

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Thirty Day Challenge

     If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know how I feel about exercise. I makes me tired and sweaty and I don't like getting sweaty, but you also know I like to set goals to challenge myself. So in the interest of keeping my ever widening hiney from getting any bigger than it already is(winter is coming and most of us who live in snowy climates gain weight in the winter)  have decided to take a thirty day challenge to get thirty minutes of exercise for thirty days. Not including Sunday, unless I feel like walking on Sunday.
     I have tried most of the fad diets and I have come to the conclusion that it really is a matter of making better choices for the long haul. That means giving up my beloved Coca-cola, cutting back on the fast food and sweets. I will have to find something else to live for I guess. In the long run I hope to feel better and to get into a smaller size of pants. You know how they say misery loves company, I sure could use some here, so who's with me??? Anyone? Come on speak up you know you want to.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A New Priority List

     I saw something on tv the other day about a person who was not spending any money for thirty days. To be honest I wasn't really paying attention to what it was all about, but it got me to thinking, what if you couldn't spend any money for thirty days? What if something happened and all the stores were closed, no fast food, no gas stations. What if all the power went off, no electricity, no gas, no cell phones? How scary would that be?
     When I got to thinking about it I realized that food wise we would be fine. We would be eating a lot of rice, beans and pasta, but we would probably be healthier anyway. The problem I discovered, as I thought this all through, is we have gas and electric appliances even our bar-b-que is gas. We don't even have a camping stove. Now, if we had a generator we could crock-pot it, but no generator. I guess we would be building a fire pit in the back yard and cooking our food there.
     Heating our house would be a problem, our house has central air so that means gas. Our fireplace is also natural gas. No gas, no heat. We would probably be okay though, our house is insulated and we have plenty of blankets. We'd be doing a lot of snuggling under those blankets.
     Toilet paper would be a whole other issue. I have always been someone who tried to keep a lot of the staples on hand for a rainy day, but I can see that I need to rethink some of these things. Maybe put a few new priorities on my needs list. After all what good is having all this food if you can't cook it? I thought I was so well prepared and now I see that I need to refocus.
    

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Death In The Family

     I have to share with all of you the fact that Shiba is no longer with us. She has been fading the last two weeks and last night I sat up with her as she took her last breath. I will miss her. She was familiar and comfortable and I like that. Shiba shared with me all of my favorite things. She helped me plan my goals and my meals, my stories and my projects, yes, she will be missed. However, life must go on. I owe it to her, my family and all of you to pick up the pieces and make the best of it.
     So off we went to Best Buy today and got Shiba II. I was going to go for a totally different breed, but in the end the fam decided we needed a new Shiba. We are still getting to know each other, as in the beginning of any new relationship it is a series of highs and lows. I think I liked Shiba's keyboard better, but Shiba II is young and fast and shiny, so we will give it some time and see where the days and nights take us together. Is anyone else this attached to their computers or is it just me?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Le Creuset on the Brain


 Yesterday, my son surprised me with an extra special birthday present, a Le Creuset pan, not to be confused with the Le Creuset french oven I got last week. He told me he wanted to get me something for being such a good mom all these years.  My daughters went with him and helped him pick out the color, which I love. The new pan is cherry red and I can't wait to cook something in it. I couldn't cook in it yesterday because the lid didn't sit on the pan properly, so we had to return it and get a different one. The new one is perfect. And while we were there they had a Le Creuset oval dish on the 40% off rack. It's fennel green. They have so many pretty colors that I can't decide which one to get next. Check out the display. Isn't it bright and cheery.
     Thanks, Kyle, you're a good son and thanks to Karrah and Kaelyn for your help. You kids are pretty sneaky. I'm gonna have to watch you all a little closer. Wink wink!
     



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Germs Are Everywhere!

     We have been relatively healthy lately, but, I fear that is about to change with the weather. I have noticed a few people around here sniffing and this morning I have a sore throat. A sore throat sends me into panic mode because two years ago, at Christmas time Karrah and I came down with Strep Throat. I thought I was going to die. I had never had Strep Throat before and I kept thinking I would get better, I didn't. By the time we went to the doctor's my throat was white and I couldn't swallow, it hurt to breathe and sleeping was impossible. After three days on the meds, Karrah was feeling better while it took me about a week to even be able to sleep again. I never, never, never want to get that again. So you can imagine the thoughts that run through my mind when I start feeling a sore throat coming on.
     I know just where all these germs are coming from to. My boys sit in a classroom every day with more than 30 other germy kids. They all touch the door knobs and the chairs, and the drinking fountain handles. GROSS!!! I can only imagine where those hands have been. It's a wonder we all make it to adulthood. We must be the hardiest of the hardy. But still, keep your germs to yourself. As my son pointed out yesterday, I am past half way to death so nobody push me before my time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

     Today is October 11th, it's my birthday and has been since midnight last night, and just to remind me of that four of my children came bursting into my room last night, at a few minutes after midnight and scared the heck out of me yelling, "Happy Birthday!!!" I often wonder what our neighbors think about our loudness as a family.
     I have one more year until I am over the hill. The funny thing is and what most young adults don't understand is when you get to this age, you don't feel any different than you did when you were say twenty-five. Yes, I can't see without my reading glasses and I am more tired than I used to be when my kids were little and I could function on four or five hours of sleep at night, but I still think pretty much the same and I have pretty much the same values. I still love my husband and he still loves me, that hasn't changed since I was sixteen. I love my family and each new little grandbaby that comes into our family insures that my legacy will live on after I am gone, because as my son pointed out last night at midnight I am past half way to death, there is no way I'm living until 98. Isn't that nice of him, the whippersnapper.
     I think today I'll take my cane and hobble out to lunch with a kid or two and try to keep my false teeth from falling out while I eat my lunch.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Italian Chicken Soup

 Here's the recipe for the soup that was in my pot last week. It comes from the blog of "The Pioneer Woman." Be aware it serves eight so if you need more or less you can adjust. The picture looks more brothy because of the cheese on top it's really a creamy soup. I used boneless/skinless Ck breasts because I'm lazy and I rarely bone chicken. Also no jalapeno's, too hot for the kids. Good Luck and enjoy, it is delish.

Recipe: Italian Chicken Soup

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Ingredients

  • 1 box Ditalini Pasta (very Short Macaroni-type Pasta Noodles)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Cut Up Fryer Chicken
  • 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 whole Green Bell Peppers, Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 whole Fresh Jalapenos, Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 can (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Oregano
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
  • Parmesan Cheese Shavings, For Serving

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta in a pot according to package directions, being sure not to overcook it. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
Place chicken in a large pot or dutch oven and cover in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer chicken, covered, for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and shred meat. Discard bones and set meat aside.
Dice canned tomatoes and return them to their juice. Set aside.
Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and oregano and turn off heat, stirring over the next minute to keep oregano from burning. Set this aside.
Either pour off chicken broth into a separate container or use a new pot to saute onion, green pepper, celery, and jalapenos in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, shredded chicken, and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add cooked pasta, cream, and all the oregano and olive oil from the small skillet. Stir to combine. Turn off heat.
Serve with lots of Parmesan sprinkled on the top--the more the better! Crusty Italian bread is good, too.
Posted by Ree on September 11 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Days Off!!!

     I've been looking ahead at the kids school schedule for the month of October and I was surprised to see that they have three days off. What's up with that? October shouldn't have days off, as it is we are headed into the holiday season and it will be here before we know it. They get a four day weekend and Halloween off. Like that wasn't planned, no costume parade hassles, no candy messes. It's not like I don't love my kids and want to spend time with them, it's just that I think they should go to school more and longer.
     Why do they get out early on Friday? I know it's really so the teachers can get out of town and let's face it by Friday they have to be sick of them, I would be. Why can't schools be an all day thing? They could keep them for a couple of hours after school to make sure they do their homework and send them home for dinner, bathes and bedtime. Think of how much calmer our days as parents would be. Let's hear it for all day school!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm a Pothead

   



I was going to post this next Tuesday when it is actually my birthday but I couldn't wait. My family pitched in and bought me this Le Creuset French Oven. I love, love, love it.
It is cobalt blue and so pretty. It has a 9 quart capacity which is a plus with our family. Here's a pic and I did that slate back splash myself. That has nothing to do with the pot, but it looks pretty good in the picture. :)








     This is the Italian Chicken soup I made to test out my new pot. It is delish. I made it once before about two weeks ago and the fam. has been begging me to make it again ever since. It was a lot more fun to make in my new pot than it was the last time. My other pot is okay, but it is a stock pot and taller than the new one and it is harder to see inside of because I'm vertically challenged.









     To give you an idea of the size of this pot I put three medium sized tomatoes in it so you could see the depth and width. It's a big'in isn't it? They actually have one bigger than this one. At 13 3/4 quarts it is the biggest round pot they make. In the oval shape they have a 15 quart french oven. They call it a goose pot because you can cook a whole goose in it. Did I mention these come from France, hence the goose thing. I wouldn't cook a goose, but I would and do cook for an army and this new pot is going to make it that much easier.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Family Togetherness

     Our church had General Conference this past weekend. For those of you who aren't familiar with this, it means we get to stay home on Sunday and watch church on TV. No having to force the boys into the shower and then drag them out 30 minutes later. It means I don't have to force my soft and puffy self into nylons, it means dad makes his awesome breakfast burritos and it means that the kids and grandkids come over.
     This past weekend was a little different in that my daughter Karly and her hubby were in Chicago and were not with us on Sunday, but her girls were with my other daughter, Kristin who took care of them for four days.
     Kristin's family, plus two, showed up at 9:45 in the morning and left at about 8:30 at night. That made for a grand total of nineteen people, including two grandparents, here for the day. And lets not forget about the dog. Here's how it went, we had six instances of not making it to the bathroom on time, several diaper changes, two bloody noses, assorted bumps and scratches, arguments and yelling, spills and fussing babies. We also had great laughs and snuggle time with grand kids and a few moments to console and to teach.
     The house shakes with the noise of so many people in one space and sometimes we wonder what the neighbors must think, but I wouldn't have it any other way. When my little granddaughter comes up to me, out of the blue puts her arms around me and says, "I love you, Monna." Well, I can't tell you what that does to me. We didn't get to hear a lot of the talks during conference, but we got the meaning behind it. It's all about the family. And apparently dishes, I ran my dishwashers three times.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm a Songbird

     I love to sing. I sing along with any song I hear and if I don't know all the words I'll make up my own. This has caused some issues with my family because, according to them, I can't carry a tune. I hear it just fine in my head, but apparently it doesn't sound the same to my children.
     I have heard them say things like, "Mom, who sings this song?"
     I, in my wisdom, tell them and they say, "Let's keep it that way."
    "Mom, please! I have a headache." "Mom, you're giving me a headache." "Don't sing when my friends get in the car." "We should just turn the radio off." "Is there any song you won't sing to?"
     Kids aren't real big on building a mom's self-esteem. Despite this, I still love to sing. I love the Christmas hymns at church and I love all the patriotic songs around the Fourth of July. I love country and I love rock. Mostly the old rock, but I like some of the new stuff. I just can't listen to it and not sing along, so sorry kids you had better get used to it. You're mama loves to sing.
    

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy birthday, Kaelyn!

     Today is my daughter Kaelyn's birthday. Fourteen years ago today I gave birth to her, at home, with no pain killers. This was no easy feat because she weighed in at 10 lbs 3 ozs. She was my only ten pounder thank goodness. Her thighs were pretty thick and chunky for a baby of mine, but it only lasted a few weeks before she became one of my babies with no rolls anywhere. I love chubby little babies with those adorable rolls on their thighs, but my kids, even if they started out big, had skinny little legs.
     Kaelyn is talking a tumbling class right now and loves it. She is doing well in school and loves make-up. That doesn't sound like a typical teenager at all does it. She also loves fast food and likes reading dystopian novels. For those of you not familiar with that term it's a book where the world as we know it doesn't exist anymore. There has been some kind of disaster, war, volcano, meteor striking the moon, and a formal society is no longer. I love movies like that. Kaelyn is a lot like her mom. For good or bad.
     Happy birthday, Kaelyn. We love you, even though you are fourteen, and that can be a hard age. I can't wait to see who you become when you are all grown up.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Who? What? Where?

     I made this great new pasta soup dish for the fam about three weeks ago. It was a huge hit, everyone loved it. I mean, loved it. They even ate the leftovers, all of them. The hubby was the only one who didn't get to try it because he was out of town on business. Now they are asking for a repeat performance and for the life of me I can't remember where I found the recipe in the first place.
     What does that mean? Am I losing my mind, already? Do I just have too much to do? A little too much on my plate? How can that be when I am still so young. I can hear my kids now saying you're not young, you're old, but in the grand scheme of things, I am young and I can't afford to lose my mind this young. I still have two kids in elementary school. What am I going to be like in twenty years?
     Maybe I will be the little old lady in the home who waits and waits for family to come and visit and then doesn't recognize them when they do, but then I won't know they didn't come so it won't matter.
     Life is so complicated sometimes. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Brave New World

     We recently came upon an old picture of my 21 year old son on Christmas morning and he was holding up one of his gifts. It was a CD walkman. Remember those? I ask because they have discontinued making them. That's right, what was a cool Christmas gift only six years ago isn't even being made today. It's become outdated. With the invention of iPods and MP3 players and other things, the walkman has gone the way of the big box TV and corded phones.
     What's really scary and may be a problem is I read on the internet that Apple may be getting ready to do away with the iPod. I have to say that this is a concern to me. We have many iPods in this family and my boys are asking for their own for Christmas this year. We also have a large collection of music on our computer for our iPods and it scares me to think that if Apple comes up with something to replace our iPods with will they be compatible with what we have already? And if you're thinking, "Of course they will!" Let me say one thing, VHS.
     We had a large selection of VHS movies at one time and now we have had to replace many of them with DVDs. Do you remember your first cell phone? How would that compare to the one you have today? I am willing to bet your first cell phone wasn't even a cell phone, but a pager. Do you remember the pager stores?
     The point I am trying to make is technology is progressing so rapidly now, that before you can catch up you are already outdated.  The danger lies in moving so fast that people give up investing in new technology because it isn't worth laying down hard earned cash for something that will be replaced with newer, better, faster in a matter of a few years. It's almost scary. I wonder with the new cloud technology if we will even have DVD's and music (in a physical sense) in a few years or will we just tap into the universe around us to find all of our collections of stuff. It really is a brave new world.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To Purge or Not?

     It's that time of year again. Time to purge the closet and get rid of all the clothes I haven't worn or don't like any more. In that category is the, "I don't fit into them anymore" dilemma. It is always a tough decision for me when I come across a pair of pants that I like, but that have gotten a little snug. Do I save them in the hopes of dropping a few and they will fit again and save me from having to buy new ones? A double plus, or do I face reality and toss them because, let's be honest, I don't like to diet and exercising makes me sweat and you all know how I feel about that, so chances are I will never fit into them and they will just be taking up space until I am a shriveled up ninety year old and who wants to see a ninety year old in hip-huger jeans? That's it, decision made, they are going. Someone else can use them while they are still in style.
     Now, what should I do with all those exercise clothes that have never been worn? Suggestions? Anyone?
    

Monday, September 26, 2011

Autumns Here!

     I did it! I survived another summer. Autumn officially started last Friday. Now we just need a few autumn like days, because this week is more like summer with highs that are supposed to be in the upper 80's. I am hoping that by the end of October we will be feeling the real fall weather.
     I don't know why I love autumn so much, maybe it's because the weather gets cooler, or maybe it's because the decorations for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving are just so awesome. Maybe it's because my birthday is in October and even though I have reached the age where I would be perfectly happy not to get any older, I still like the presents.
    This year I want something special. A Le Creuset cast iron enameled pot. This is not your average pot. It is a huge pot, at 13 1/4 quarts, it should be big enough even for my family. With autumn here and winter on its way I am looking forward to making soups and stews for the fam.
     Another plus for autumn, it is a down hill slope to the holidays and I can't wait to break out the Christmas music. Get ready every one, it will be another country music Christmas at our house. Can you hear the groans? Can you?

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Want My Oreo's Back!!!

     We are having to buy a new microwave for our kitchen. It quit working about a year ago and we have been making due with a really old on the counter. Our original microwave was built into the kitchen cabinet above our ovens. This kept the counter space more open and since we are having company this weekend the hubby finally want to replace it. What is irritating about this whole situation is that the microwave was only three years old when it went out. Three years! I'm not an engineer, but shouldn't something that pops popcorn and heats up frozen corn-dogs last longer than three years?! I don't do much microwaving, but the fam does use it to heat things up.
     When we bought our house we added the upgraded GE stainless steel appliance package. We thought we were being so smart. All brand new, all brand name and all upgraded from the standard appliances. If I could afford it I would replace them and get a different brand. We have had to have the repair guys out so many times I know their life stories.
     What is the most maddening about the microwave is we went and purchased the new model replacement microwave (our model was discontinued) brought it home and started to install it when we realized the stainless steel frame that goes around the microwave doesn't fit even though the new one is supposed to be the replacement model. The screw holes don't line up and there is a ridge of metal on the bottom of the microwave that makes the microwave not set flat, so guess what, you have to buy a new frame kit.
      You have no idea how mad this makes me. It is flat out corporate greed. GE could have produced the new model to fit the old frame, but then GE would be out all that extra money we pay for a frame kit, which is almost as expensive as the microwave itself.
     This is another example in the ocean of examples of what is wrong with America. As we have gotten away from our core values of morality and do unto others, we have forgotten that greed is one of the seven deadly sins. Exxon making record profits while raising the cost of gasoline during a time when the American consumer is facing a recession and people are losing their jobs and homes. Banks illegally foreclosing on homes after we bailed them out. Companies giving you less and charging the same prices. Don't think I don't know what you're up to Nabisco, with your new smaller package of Oreo's at the same price. As if they weren't expensive enough.
     What ever happened to getting value for your dollar? How much money do these companies need to make before they are satisfied? I do believe in the free market and earning and paying your own way, but when it seems like the corporate world is out to make paupers of all of us while they make their billions of dollars it makes me see red. Does anyone else notice this trend? Does it make you as angry as it does me?
     

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Companies Coming, Ready, Set, Clean!

     We're going to be having company in the next few days. Why is it that knowing there are going to be visitors in our house makes you see things with new eyes. Now I see the finger prints on the wall and the dust on the appliances. It's like we have moved into a different house and the housekeeper has been on vacation. The windows will be needing a touch up and the kids room a complete overhaul. There are bushes that need trimming outside and the garage floor needs to be swept, after a reorganizing of the garage itself.
     Funny how we can live like we do and be fine, but when people who you don't see on a regular basis are coming you see things through their eyes. On the plus side it gets things cleaned up in a way that wouldn't happen otherwise. On the minus side, down deep I don't really think they will notice our dusty garage floor, but if it gets the hubby to get the kids up and moving, I'm all for it.
     One last thought, if someone doesn't want to be our friends because of a dusty garage floor they probably aren't worth knowing anyhow. Ya know what I mean. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It Costs How Much To Raise A Child

     Every now and then you hear these unbelievable statistics about how much it costs to raise a child. These "facts" are enough to send potential parents screaming into the night, alone. I wonder how they figure out these numbers. Do they figure the cost of name brand diapers and formula? What about store brands and breastfeeding? Are they adding in extra for private school and a brand new car when the kid turns sixteen? Are the sending them to Harvard and paying the kids way?
     I can tell you what they aren't figuring in, the damage that kids do through out their lives. It can be something as simple as a baby spitting up on a dry-clean only dress, although if you are stupid enough to hold a baby in a dry-clean only dress you've got it coming, to the bigger things like your son heaving a rock through a window, or poking hole in a window screen, or writing on the walls with permanent makers. $$$ These all cost money.
     I bet your wondering what made me think of all of this. I got a call today from the mother of one of my sons friends telling me that our two boys borrowed her ATM card and ran up $150.00 worth of charges on their Wii.  Yes, $150.00!!! What the heck were they thinking?! I know what they were thinking, they were thinking that the magic card is something you use when you're out of cash and it is a never ending source of fun. I think some financial lessons are needed around here. They are starting today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nick and Mia

     For those of you wondering if I have given up on Nick and Mia, the answer is no. I had to take a break for a while because I was burned out, not on the story, but of trying to write so often. Trying to do a chapter a week is very time consuming and the family was starting to resent the time I was spending, but like most writers, my characters have become like friends and they keep nagging me to get on with it, so they can see where the story is going to take them. I miss their company and their personalities and I need to find out what is going to happen.
     When I wrote my first book, which took me seven years by the way, I thought about the characters constantly. I remember laying in my hospital bed after just having my last baby by C-section and thinking about one of the saddest scenes in the story and it brought a tear to my eye. I couldn't wait to get home to write it. Writers are a little strange, we often hear our character's voices in our heads and we miss our friends when we are apart for too long. Rest assured I have been working on Nick and Mia's story and I will post it asap.
     For those of you who have commented on the story and been supportive thank you so much.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Few Thoughts On Family Budgeting

     I have to confess that every now and then, in the name of fiscal responsibility, I go online and search for ways to save money. I'll type in things like, family budgeting, how to save money for families, or something like these into the Google bar to see what pops up. Sometimes I am bewildered and sometimes I am amused by what I find. Today, for example, I found 101 ways to save on your family expenses. It suggested things that we already do such as bundle your internet, cable and phone service into one (outlandishly expensive) service. I added the outlandishly expensive part in case you didn't catch that. It really ticks me off when I have 996 channels and there is nothing good on to watch, but that's a whole other blog.
     One of the other suggestions is to stop buying designer jeans. What the!? First of all I haven't squeezed my ever widening heiny into designer jeans since I was a teenager and second is this really the best they could do to help families struggling in a bad economy. How about this one. Try not to use so much shampoo and conditioner when you shower. Huh? I get a huge bottle of Tresemme shampoo at Walmart for about $3.65 and it lasts me a few months, even showering everyday. I probably could use a little less, but it's like a little vacation for me there in the hot water, by myself, all lathery. Can you hear my voice dripping with lathery sarcasm here, I hope so. I mean, seriously, I want some reality based ways to cut down on expenses, not a list of things that are so far fetched that they are ridiculous. 
     Reading these confirms what I have thought for years, there is "them" and there is "us" or "we". "We" live in the real world where we see inflation every time we go to the grocery store and put gas in our cars. Then there is "them," who try to tell us that there really is hardly any inflation going on. Or the "them" that says family budgeting involves things like your portfolio and investing in this, instead of that. Get real "them". "We" are more worried about putting food on the table, keeping the lights on and whether we will have a job in six months. It's too bad "them" will never really know or care about "we."
     Or maybe it's just me?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Feeling Poetic Today

     In the field the hay's is gone. The geese waddle through the stubble finding a harvest of their own. Gray clouds are spilling rain. A sign of more to come? Somewhere close by, a farmer is burning his land. The smell of smoke drifts on the breeze and lets us know the seasons are changing. The land here is yawning, preparing for its winter rest. We the inhabitants are scurrying like mice to bring in summers bounty before the autumn frost can touch it.
     The evenings are growing dark and the birds are heading south. Bright summer flowers are giving way to the reds and golds of fall leaves. Orange pumpkins dot the fields. In the air is a chill, a warning of the cold darkness soon to come. Autumn is here.


     Okay, so I was feeling poetic today. Here it is, my ode to fall.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Night Away

      The hardest part about going away, is coming home. We jumped right back into soccer and basketball practice and homework is still on the horizon. One night is just not long enough. Does anyone else feel like that or is it just me?
     I did enjoy our time away, we went to Sur La Table in Salt Lake City. It is a kitchen shop with all kinds of fun stuff. It's in the Gateway Mall and I had never been to the Gateway Mall, very cool. They have a water pad, one of those areas that squirt water out of the ground and the kids run through it. It was fun to watch the kids having so much fun. I would love to take my boys there but I think it may have to wait until next summer as the days are getting cooler. The hubster and I also went to the Thanksgiving Point Gardens and all I can say is I want to live there, right on the grass, so I can look out over the acres and acres of flowers, trees and grass and pretend that all is right with the world.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm Outta Here

     Don't look for me at home today, because you won't find me there. The hubster and I are going away for the decade, I mean night, to a hotel were there will be peace and quiet. Where I can linger in the bathroom without someone knocking on the door and needing something right that second, you know like scissors, or clean socks, or to let me know that the cookies are all gone and they didn't get their fair share, things like that. I look forward to no one trying to sneak into bed with me at three in the morning, or waking up to go to the bathroom at three in the morning and tripping over an unidentifiable form wrapped up in a blanket on my floor right in the path I take to the bathroom in the dark. You'd think they would know the traffic patterns by now.
     I may get a nap, a real one with no one waking me up screaming in the other room. I may even see a movie. I think the last movie I saw in the theater was Super 8 and it's on it's way to DVD as we speak. I may go swimming in the pool if we can sneak in after hours when no one else is there. I wouldn't want to be responsible for blinding some innocent person with my whiteness. I know we will go out to eat and I won't be required to cook it before or clean it up after. I think I want to live in a hotel from now on. I hope your day is going to be as peaceful as mine is. Bye for now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boys, Boogers And Bird Skulls

     At a time when most of our friends are enjoying the freedom of children grown and gone, or watching the grandkids growing up from afar I still have two kids in grade school. And to add insult to injury my 10year-old has reached fifth grade. I know that doesn't mean much to most people, fifth follows fourth, but to me it means that his math is no long in the realm of my understanding. Thankfully, I have older kids that are math whizzes so I have passed the torch and let them help.
     My youngest two are both boys which was a new situation for me. All my other boys, for better or worse, were separated by sisters. I confided to a friend that I was concerned about that when I was still pregnant with my youngest. She was the mother of several boys and she assured me that, "they will just roll around like puppies all day." She was right. Ryan is very good to Scot, he lets him hang out with all of his buddies and generally watches out for him. Over all they get along, which is good they are still boys though and yesterday was one of those days when I wondered why all children can't be girls.
     I should have known something was up when the dog kept laying on Ryan's, tossed on the floor, backpack. He never does that. Later I found out why. On the floor was a baby bird skull, with the upper beak still attached. The dog was chewing on it. SICK!!!. Why on earth would anyone pick it up let alone put it in a backpack and bring it home! This is a huge difference between my sons and daughters. My girls would never even consider doing that. Next came the booger war at bedtime. Ryan pretended to wipe one on Scot so Scot got him back with the real thing. GROSS!!! After a huge fight, it all ended in tears and threats of violence.  Boys! What's up with them?

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Lesson Learned From 9/11

     We spent most of Sunday watching 9/11 shows on tv and reliving that day ten years ago when everything changed.  I remember watching the continuous news coverage and feeling like I was in shock. Those same feelings came back as the images played on our big screen today. I remember the days following when American flags were every where and people filled the pews at churches all over the country searching for comfort and peace.
      I remember hugging my kids and telling them I loved them in the wake of 9/11. I wanted to tell them everyday for all the mothers and fathers who died that day and who could no longer tell their kids. I think we all realized in those few hours how quickly our lives can change or end without any warning at all. Of all the things that we learned that day, appreciating and taking time with our families is the most valuable and I try to remember that every day.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Bird And Turtle Campaign

     A couple of days ago my youngest came to me and asked if he could do some chores to earn money. I was busy at the time so I made a few suggestions and went about my business while he started sweeping and cleaning windows and doing a few other things and then he asked me for five dollars. What?! What the heck does he think this is? I'm not the President handing out wads of cash and hoping for the best. This needed some serious investigation, so I asked him what he needed so much money for. "I want to buy a bird." I suddenly had a memory flash of him asking me how much bird seed costs. Okay, I'm a little slow sometimes, but two and two were adding up to four and I didn't like it a bit.
     I could feel my blood pressure rising and I said, "We are not now or are we ever getting a bird." For crying out, loud where would we put it?! We would have to have a big cage and I had friends who had birds and the feathered things were always kicking stuff out of their cages and onto the floor. I don't think so.
     We have already had five dogs, cats until I became allergic to them, a snake, a rat, mice and fish. Not to mention that my boys are not above collecting wild snakes they happen to come across, spiders, ants and any other creature they can keep in a Home Depot bucket, so when I finally, after a long while convinced the boys we were not getting a bird, they were silent for about two seconds and said, "How about a turtle. We'll take care of it and feed it and everything."  Ha!!! Like I haven't heard that one before.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"There's No Food I This Whole House!"

     Big shopping day at Walmart today. That means I bought all the things that I put off buying when we really don't have the money, things like paper towels and fabric softener. You know what I mean don't you? The last few days have been a chorus of, "There's nothing to eat in this whole house." I couldn't even make french toast because we were out of bread, eggs and we were way low on milk. That's when you know your getting down to the bare bone on food.
     With that said, I almost had a heart attack when the total came to $417.80. What the heck did I buy? The chicken legs I bought were on sale for $4.19 x 4, the ribs for $5.05, a couple of pounds of hamburger and that was it for the meat. What's up with eggs being $1.98 a dozen? I had to buy six of them because we keep running out, but $417.80. If the prices keep going up we'll be eating rice and beans. I wonder how the prices can keep going up and people survive?
     My family is probably sick of me talking about how much prices have gone up, but as a SAHM, (stay at home mom) my contribution is trying to save money for my family and I feel like I can't maintain our standard of living without spending a fortune. "Our standard of living" it sounds like we live in luxury which isn't the point I am trying to make. The point I am trying to make is we are going to stop having steak and start eating mac and cheese a few nights a week.  You all understand what I'm saying don't you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Cure For Divorce

     We watched the movie Titanic the other day, it was on TV. There is a line in the movie where Rose says, "I feel as if I am standing in a crowed room screaming and nobody notices." I hear ya, Rose. My family seems to have selective hearing and it's driving me crazy. I mean really, how many times should I have to say, "Please go and brush your teeth," to my boys before they even look at me. Do I really need to yell at them to get their attention?
     I'm sure there is some horrible, life-destroying failing I have as a parent that has made them this way, but what is the hubby's excuse. I can't tell you how many times I have said something and he says, "You never told me that." And I can say, "Yes, I did it was on Tuesday the fifth of August and you were sitting on the couch watching the game and you said, "Oh, okay. That sounds good."
     He looks at me funny and says, "I did? Well I don't remember." It shouldn't be that easy to tune out someone you have been married to for over thirty years, someone who sleeps in the same bed night after night. After all, I am the one who feeds him and washes his dirty clothes, doesn't that deserve a true listening ear? Or maybe, that's why we have been married for so long. Did I just discover the cure for divorce? Ignore each other and be happy. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hair Day

     I am a woman and as a woman it is important to know yourself. I think after all these years I know myself pretty well. I know the things that make me happy and I know the things that make me sad. I know sometimes I feel grouchy for no real reason, but I feel that way anyhow. I know when I feel my best and when I start to feel tattered and worn. And when I feel tattered and worn it's time to do something about it, so I made a hair appointment for myself today.
     I am only a few hours from being a new woman. A new woman with her hair cut and colored. Now the hubster doesn't know about this and to be honest he really doesn't understand a woman's need to change it up once in a while, mainly because he has had two, count 'em, two hair styles in his entire life. The first one was parted on the side, neat and clean, the second is a buzz cut on number two with the the clippers we bought at Walmart. He likes this one because there really in no up keep other than washing it. In the morning he can get up and go. Me on the other hand, I have to wash and blow dry and make sure everything is where it should be and when the doo starts looking tattered and worn, I start feeling like less of the woman I should be and more like a poor homeless woman. No one else probably notices as much as I think they do, but I still feel uncomfortable going out, so I am going to fix it. I am going to call the hubster and tell him and I know he is going to say, "How much is that going to cost!" What I really want him to say is, "that's great you deserve it." He still hasn't figured out that it's a small price to pay for a happy wife who feels good about herself.