October 30, 2009

hmmm... how about indiana?



What do you know about
Muncie, Indiana?

Ball??

i like to can stuff...
with ball canning jars...
does that mean i would like
Ball State?

Obama seems to be enjoying his Muncie, Indiana hamburger...

there's this stuff downtown...

and, THIS GUY!!!
everyone loves big green frogs (not to mention old guys with a fo-hawk and go-tee)!!

i'm sure we would LOVE Muncie...  i hope...
do you know ANYTHING about Indiana?

October 25, 2009

halloween 2009- Wizard of Oz

may your days be filled with SUGAR
and your nights full of SWEET dreams
and your carpet full of chewed up BUBBLEGUM
tis the season!

Thru the Years...
















What a Treat!

October 24, 2009

creepy things going on...


isn't this picture funny?
i've been trying to make a blog header forever and i couldn't figure it out.
this time i just imported a picture into www.picnik.com and played with it... it's all free and it's FABULOUS!
when i went to SAVE the picture it has a place where it says the size... if i changed the pixels to 1175 width it automatically converted the height and when i entered it into my blog it was the right size.
(i didn't click shrink to fit and i did click use my picture instead of the blog title.)
seriously, i really don't know what i'm doing i do a lot of trial and error... but, give it a try.

i converted my blog to minima stretch.
it didn't mess up my past blogs at all, the only thing it messed up was my blog header and my background didn't work any more.
but... it's fun trying new things.
so, go ahead and give it a try.

and, enjoy our new halloween header.
(the extra kid is Justin, my nephew who spend the summer with us.  he's not with us anymore, but the picture was from the summer...)
happy days!

ODD NOTE- so, if I have my blog header 1175, it fits the box, when I see my blog with Mozilla Firefox search engine.  If I use internet explorer, my picture seems too big, unless it's at 1000.  So, now i have it at 1000... when you look at my blog header, does it fit the box, or can you see white spaces on the side?
weird...

sweet notes from my kids...

ellie is the queen of sweet notes. and the professor is very funy. especially when he sings Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus songs.
this letter was delivered to me during scripture time in the morning. drew was being a stink and i warned him that he would be grounded if he said one more sassy word. one more word... he, being the smart child that he is, wrote me this sweet note. "I'm not grounded and I'm not going to listin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" lovely. ps. he was grounded that afternoon. (grounded at our house usually means grounded from screens - wii, computer, tv, game boy, etc.- so, our 'grounded kids' are most often the ones who are outside.) drew, he's smart... but, his momma is smarter.

October 23, 2009

things i've learned...

how about a lunch-time bath? this is what happens when I ignore the laughing... um. it was TONS of water. from the faucet. but, a good excuse to mop the kitchen. oh... i'm remembering the joy of toddlers. one is not so bad, but one that is mobile with one that laughs... that can be MESSY.

October 19, 2009

step-aerobics, carpet cleaning and water skiing... UPDATED

today i am humble.
Because, this morning i took a step-aerobics class, and i am HORRIBLE.
like, stopping, tripping, laughing, horrible.
and, even though i couldn't even do what they did, i was still exhausted.
honestly, i'm an aerobic instructor's nightmare.
i was dying and then my friend said, "Good job, you made it through the warm-up."

i FAILED aerobics in college.
for real.
I got an E. isn't that worse than an F?
I took aerobics 6am, everyday, my first semester at BYU.
grand intentions... the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.
and, we were graded on skill... like, how far past your toes you could touch.
um. E.

So, it's like i'm getting a second chance.
And, part of me wants to stick with it and see if i can pick it up.

i'll tell you one of my regrets in life. you see, i never really tried when i was in school. things came easy to me, and i skated through. i was ok with ok grades. i took a lot of credits, graduated early and had over a 3.0 GPA... but I know that I never really tried. i NEVER read my text books. i slept through many of my lectures. i used cliff notes. i crammed and then did pretty good on my test. as a young child, i never stuck with anything. i dropped violin, i dropped track, i was on the swim team and i took gymnastics for a few years, then stopped. (i could never do a cartwheel.) i asked my mom once why she didn't make me stick with anything when i was growing up. she said, "Well honey, you weren't good."

so... this is my current delima.
do i stick with this step class that is TOTALLY not in my talent area... hoping that i will improve. or, do i accept my lack of coordination and stick with the tredmill?

i've always wondered what i could have been IF i tried.

i HAVE tried hard at being a good mom and wife and a homemaker. the mother part came naturally to me, but the wife and homemaker part has taken my best effort.
i try hard EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY.
and now, i want to try to be good at exercising. i've never had to exercise before, so now, i'm 32 and my metabolism is changing, and i really want to figure out how to loose a few pounds.

i decided to give up sugar... treats and stuff. and so i started today. i didn't even take a treat that my new step-aerobics teacher offered at the end of class. but, when i was cooking dinner, i had this whole pan of apple bars just sitting on the counter, and i ate a small, small piece. And then, i ate another small, small piece. And now, i'm 0 for 1 on my new No Sugar Diet.
See... i'm a dropout. (but, i DIDN'T eat oreos after my kids went to bed tonight.... and it was hard, very hard not to.)

i've been wanting to clean my carperts for a couple of weeks now.
but,
by the time i get them all picked up and vacuumed, it's time for the kids to get home from school and i always talk myself out of it... planning of course to just do it tomorrow. And that has happened for 2 weeks now. So, this afternoon it was seriously 30 minutes before the kids came home and i was determined to clean my carpets. i picked up, vacuumed and filled my little bissel with water and went to work. only, it didn't work. the cleaner would spray out water, but it wasn't sucking anything up. i turned it over, i used a screwdriver to open up the belt part and i couldn't figure it out. by now, all the kids were home, the carpets were all wet and messy, and i was SOO frustrated. i called the professor and he asked me dumb questions like is it plugged in and is the button switched for carpets. i was snotty. finally, he asked what i would like him to do. and, i told him, i want you to come home and RESCUE me from my mess.

he came home and with a sweet smile told me i just needed to put the lid on the water container and then it would work. seriously.
i wish that i could have just figured that out on my own.
but, if i can't ride on my own yet... i choose the professor for my tandem partner.
or lifeguard, whatever analogy you prefer.
[i'll tell you, when i saw him washing my carpets i loved him 100 times more than i did the day i married him...]
so, if i'm trying to find a theme for this post, i'd go with...
if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

here's my new life analogy (i came up with this while i was vacuuming...)

life is like Water Skiing...

There are times that you are up and looking good, and times that you are in the water.
Getting up is the hardest.
When you look around you, everyone else seems to be skiing beautifully.
But, no one can ski forever... Everyone spends time in the water with a wedgie.

So, now, i don't think i'm a looser during the times i'm struggling to get my skis underneath me.
And, i'll try to enjoy the moments that i'm skiing.
And... today, I'm going to remember that practice makes perfect.
and that
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier. Not that the task itself has become easier, But that our ability to perform it has improved." Ralf Waldo Emmerson
and tomorrow,
i may just be an step-aerobic, water skiing, carpet cleaning, bull-riding, wonder of a woman!!
(or, i may just decide to forget about step-aerobics and eat another dang apple bar.
either way, life is good.)


UPDATE-- So, I did the Step Class again this Friday.  And... I FELL!!!  Huge, wipeout, on my back.  Just so you know.  Really, I'm awful at step.  But... maybe I'm getting better... maybe next week I'll have a break-thru.

October 17, 2009

what's for breakfast? crepes

Crepes… ohhhh Crepes!!

If you don’t have crepes on your list of REGULAR meals, you really need to try them out.

SUPER easy, HEALTHY, and SOOOO good!

This is the recipe that I use… (always doubled)

1 cup flour (I use whole wheat)

2 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup water

Salt

2 Tb melted butter

Powdered sugar (optional if you want to make them sweeter).

Mix it all together.

Heat up your frying pan and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.

(Don’t use butter because it burns really fast and makes the crepes blackish on the bottom.)

Put about ¼ cup of the batter in the pan and tilt the pan a bit to make the crepe larger.

Then just wait, the edges will get all cooked and they are VERY EASY to flip.

I usually chop up some apples and fry them in a different frying pan with some juice or concentrate, cinnamon, nutmeg and powdered sugar.

And, I cut up some fresh strawberries, if we have them, at drizzle them with sugar so they get saucy. MMMMMM.

And, we LOVE whip cream. Either homemade or from the spray bottle.

This is probably our FAVORITE Sunday morning tradition.

Try em… You’ll be changed forever.

a lubbock day...




just another lubbock Saturday...

happy birthday chad!

these are two of our favorite people in Lubbock. chad is a REAL, bull riding (maybe calf roping), belt buckle winning, cowboy at least he USED to be. (now he's OLD- the big 3-0.)
Mills, Partingtons and McCombs... good times with GOOD people
today, i'm grateful for friends. we REALLY need to do things like this more often.

October 16, 2009

what's for dinner? nachos!!

Everything Nachos!
Mmmmm. This is one of our favorite Saturday dinners. (Especially when we're watching football!!) All you need is chips and cheese... I like to add the stuff (even if it does end up in a pile on their plate-- i'm totally ok with them picking out the stuff they don't like IF they do it quietly). Extras I add... tomatoes, avacado, olives, cooked chicken, shredded zucchini, salsa, re-fried beans, etc. Cook at 350 till the cheese is melted, about 10-15 min. Put a tablecloth on the floor in the living room, and ENJOY!!

Under Construction

This is a song that Carrie Maxwell Wrigley wrote that inspired my last post about Construction times... it's called Under Construction.

We had planned a quiet and romantic getaway,
Leave the kids with grandma, be alone for just a day,

But as we arrived for check-in at our local hotel,

And looked around the lobby, how our eager faces fell:
The sound of pounding hammers echoed through unpainted walls
Scaffolding and drop-cloth littered up unfinished halls

The restaurant was closed, room service "limited," it said,

And a scribbled cardboard sign next to the front desk read:


"Please excuse our mess, we're under construction;

We know it's awful inconvenient, but it's true.

The builders are working hard each day,

To make things better in every way,

And when all of this remodeling is through,

We'll be even better set for serving you."

Lately I've been thinking back a lot to that hotel,
Because, you see, for awhile I've not been doing very well.

Everything seems unfamiliar, everything seems strange;

Everything inside me seems to be getting rearranged;

Old walls I prized and thought I needed now have been knocked down;

New sections have been added, my whole floor plan has been turned around;

And through the dust and disarray, the thought has crossed my mind,

That maybe I should start to wear a little cardboard sign, saying:

"Please excuse my mess, I'm under construction;

I know it's awful inconvenient, but it's true.
The Builder is working hard each day,
To make things better in every way,

And when all of this remodeling is through,

I'll be even better set for serving you."

There's a certain Carpenter, a master in His skill;
Day by day, he does his work, you see.

I'd be perfectly content to stay a little cottage forever.
But He's got plans to make a shining palace out of me.
That He can live in...


So, please excuse my mess:
I'm under construction.
It's not really of my choosing, but it's true;

The Builder is working hard each day,

To make things better in every way,

And when all of this remodeling is through,

I'll be even better set for serving Him... and you.

when this place of reconstruction work is through.


C.S Lewis said,
"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of--throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."

[C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 174; book 4, chapter 9, paragraph 10]

Love it. Because it's true... we all need a sign!!

Seriously, I want to make this sign for my girl's room...
wouldn't that be cute?
"Please excuse my mess, I'm UNDER CONSTRUCTION!"

the construction phases... NORMAL.
the estimated completion date... ETERNITY.
people who don't struggle... IMAGINARY.
the attitude we have during remodeling... OUR CHOICE!!

Today...
I'm washing lots and lots of laundry...
cleaning my carpets (I hope)...
nursing a feverish husband and toddler...
and...
I'm choosing Happily Ever After.

Depression- edited

One of my FAVORITE speakers at the conference I attended this summer was, Carrie Maxwell Wrigley (read this article). She is a marriage and family therapist, and she spoke a lot about depression.

Her perspective is, depression is real. It happens because life is hard and WE CAN OVERCOME IT... with exercise, healthy eating, proper sleep habits, teaching ourselves NOT to listen to the negative comments that come into our head, etc. She attributes MUCH of depression to Satan's influence on good people. This day and age depression is so accepted-- which is good. But, for me, it was a breath of fresh air to hear someone give tips on being happy that were more than just 'take a pill.' Not that pills aren't helpful... but I have learned that we CAN control our mood by controlling our thoughts and our behavior.

She quoted a Duke study (read about it here) where they took 3 groups of clinically depressed people.
Group One got Zoloft only.
Group Two got Zoloft and Exercise.
Group Three got Exercise only.
After 3 months all of the groups had equal percentages of depression relief.
After 6 months Group One had 38% depression relapse, Group Two had 31% depression relapse, and Group Three had 8% depression relapse.

The results were surprising because everyone thought that Group Two, Zoloft and exercise, would have the best results. The conclusion was made that the reason Group Three did the best was that they felt like they alone had control over their moods. The medication groups felt like they had an illness, something that they had no control over, affecting them. "Simply taking a pill is very passive," one Duke professor said. "Patients who exercised may have felt a greater sense of mastery over their condition and gained a greater sense of accomplishment. They may have felt more self-confident and competent because they were able to do it themselves, and attributed their improvement to their ability to exercise."
I took Prozac or Cymbalta for many years (starting after Anna burnt her hands), and I loved it. It gave me just a little bit of numbing that helped me be a more calm and patient mother. Because my family has a history of mental illness, I always felt like it was my duty to take medication. This summer I stopped medicine and started exercising, eating healthy, taking VITAMINS (i love THESE multi-vitamins, you can get a free sample here) and getting more sleep. I feel powerful and happy. Without medicine, I FEEL more and I love it. I'm crying again... at sweet commercials. And, sometimes I yell (I rarely lost my temper on medication). But, I am an emotional person... sometimes I get angry or frustrated or hurt or sad. I LOVE knowing that I can control my mood with my CHOICES. Yes, some days I feel depressed. And when I feel down, I fight it... by DOING good stuff, eating good food, taking a nap, PUTTING AWAY MY LAUNDRY, taking some time for myself, planning out my life, etc. Even on medication I felt depressed some days. But then, I was more likely to label it "depression" and feel like a victim of my chemicals.

I think the harm in current 'depression thinking' is that it makes us feel dependent on an outward chemical for our happiness instead of teaching us, or reminding us, that we can control our thoughts and our behavior. When we learn to control our thoughts and behavior, our emotions WILL follow. This reminder has given me back POWER in my life.

I did NOT plan on writing this blog today, although I did plan on writing it someday. I'm not an anti-medicine person, that would be hypocritical. BUT, I thought I had a chemical imbalance, that it was genetic, and that I would just need to accept the fact and take medication for the rest of my life. It was refreshing and life changing for me to hear one voice tell me something different. I love feeling powerful. And, I love being ME... passionate, spiritual, loving, excited, EMOTIONAL me.


Here are some things I remember when I feel the cloud approaching...
1. Care for your Spirit
-Be CLEAN... repent, monitor your imput (books, tv, thoughts, friends, etc.), be morally pure and live according to your value system
-EXERCISE... pray, study, ponder, plan... take time to study and learn and set goals to progress your spirituality...  don't just go through the motions, stretch yourself and put priority on your study.  Start a new system for scripture study, mark different or use a study guide... really exercise your spirituality.
-Nourish your SPIRIT... listen to good music, count your blessings, allow yourself to feel the Spirit, feel the love of your family and your God...
-REST... take time to just BE, ponder, write in your journal, look outside and consider your blessings... at night before you sleep find the JOY in your life and focus on that.  BREATHE out your weakness and breathe in the grace.

2.  Care for you BODY

-Be CLEAN... shower, wear nice clothes, (if you don't have clothes that you feel comfortable in, buy something new), do your hair (you may need a haircut if you don't feel comfortable with your appearance)... how you feel about your body physically REALLY affects your mood.
-EXERCISE... move, push yourself, get ACTIVE...  I can't say enough about the positive power of exercise and movement and pushing yourself physically.  Even if you are not able to really work-out, just go for a walk, do jumping jacks, put on music and dance with your kids, stretch... you feel better when you exercise your body.
-Nourish your body... don't just eat, NOURISH, concentrate on the FUEL you are choosing for your brain, eat REAL, FRESH foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, drink water, take vitamins.  Buy healthy, fast snacks (almonds, edimame, fruit, yogurt, V8, etc.) that you can grab to fuel on the go.
-REST... early to bed and early to rise.  I say bed by 10pm up at 5am.  To do this, I try to be in my bedroom by 9pm to start winding down. 

When I focus on Spirit first, Body second, I have a strong foundation that I can build on.
Next I focus on my family... helping them with their Spirits first and Body second.
Then my home... Spirit (or PLANNING) first, Body (or physical) second.
Then I can focus on my extended family, service at school or church or community, and friends.

This changed my life.  I have seen my emotional stability, physical health, family and home completely change as I focused on this order.
Sometimes I'm scared of going back to the hard places that I have been, but I have hope that even if I have a bad day, or a bad week, I can always start again by focusing on the basics; SPIRIT first BODY second.

October 15, 2009

family night... taffy

Old Fashioned Taffy Pull

Just because.

We used this recipe.

I spent $1.75 on cherry flavoring.

Everything else we had.

A bit of a mess… but SO FUN.

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