Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Blog Award? I Can't Believe It!

I just received this awesome award (my very first!) from Jess

- who is so awesomely real in a very funny and humble way-

on her blog
"Messy Jess" . Check out her story about Gratitude!

If you hadn't already noticed, the logo of this award is a picture of a little lemonade stand. So the award must be for those who manage to make lemonade out of lemons.

This little figure of speech for some reason makes me think of all the ways I am grateful for my husband.
He really did take this lemon (me) and made some lemonade! (well, he is still trying to . . .and that is BIG!)

Here are just a very few of the many reasons that I have to be grateful for my hubby:

He always puts his family first
-Whether it is church activities, vacations, or schooling, or any other need that our children and I have, he makes sure that we get to where we need to go, and have everything that we need to do it.

He puts up with me!
-If I am working on my church calling, or working toward a goal that I have made for myself, or even just busy working on a hobby, he always make sure I have the time and resources that I need.
-If I am moody, cranky, or just plain being a jerk - no, he doesn't just tread softly and wait until I get over it. He calls me on it, tells me how I've been acting, and why it makes him crazy, and tells me to knock it off. This may seems brutal, or insensitive, but it is just the opposite. He is sensitive enough to know that this is exactly what I need!
He knows me well enough to know that I don't want to be a moody, cranky, or jerk-ish person.
And who better to tell me than the person who is around me and loves me the most!

I am thankful that he is a good person
-Anyone that knows him knows that he will do anything for anyone to help them. He has always been that way. It most definitely stems from when so many times as child, people who cared helped them when his mom was struggling to raise a large family, working two jobs, and trying to make their meager dollars stretch as far as they could. He learned to be grateful to them, and he vowed to himself that he would always help those in need.
-He never wavers. As long as I have known him, he has always chosen to take the high road. To always do the more right thing, given a choice between two good things - even if it was the more difficult thing. I hope that our kids will develop this trait, in spite of my weaker character.

He is never stingy with his affection
-He is always first to tell me that he loves me, and he never forgets. He always tells the kids how much he loves them, and hugs and kisses are plentiful all around.

I love you, my precious husband.
Thank you . . .
Here are the rules for the blog award:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award
6. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude

So, here are my ten picks for the blogs with an Attitude of Gratitude:

All Good Things Come . . .

I luv fireflys

Laughing At Life's Little Wedgies

Memoirs Of Mommy


Mislaid Musings and Random Ramblings

My Kitchen Cafe

So Declare the Javier's

that's what she said...

We're Glad! Are You?

Webbs - because really... all you need is love...

I think I actually ended up with eleven. . . oh, well, the rules did say "at least"!
And there were many more that I could have was so hard to choose!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

U S M C Bumper Stickers for Memorial Day

Someone sent these to me in an email the other day . . .Support of our Veterans!

"Stop Global Whining"

"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It"

"It's God's Job to Forgive Bin Laden -- It's Our Job To Arrange The Meeting"

"My kid fought in Iraq so yours can party in college"

"A Dead Enemy Is A Peaceful Enemy -- Blessed Be The Peacemakers"

"Marines -- Providing Enemies Of America An Opportunity To Die For their Country Since 1775"

"If You Can Read, Thank A Teacher. If You Can Read It In English, Thank A Marine"

"Except For Ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism, and Communism, WAR has Never Solved Anything"

Go and hug a soldier today!

Friday, May 22, 2009

It Could've Been the WORST Yet, But it Really Was the BEST!

Ask pretty much anyone over 40 and they will tell you that when it's their birthday, they would rather just ignore it. That's how I was feeling this year . . . really depressed, even, about getting older . . . until I set a goal for myself.

I've been running - well, more like slowly trotting - for about 15 years, pretty consistantly, except for when there's snow and ice - and the times I was pregnant.

But only short distances.

The farthest I had ever worked up to in all that time was 5 miles.

But usually it was just 2 or 3.

I never considered myself a 'runner'. . .

I was just exercising.

Then one day last month, my friend Missy called and asked if I wanted to do the MS Fun Run that was being held in our area. So, besides being for a good cause, it was Not a Competitive Race. Not at all. And it was 5 miles.

We had so much fun!

Realize that - I had Never run anywhere in "public" like that before.

I realized that it wasn't as embarrassing as I thought it would be!

I was hooked! And for the first time, I (briefly) thought of myself as a Runner . . .

Not long after that, I went on a longer run with Missy. Six miles this time. So, week by week, I have worked my way up mile by mile, to my goal of running 9 miles on my birthday!

So, Wednesday was the day.

As we jogged along, I was trying to pace myself as best as I could. Then I realized that my times were slow.

Way slow. I thought I must have my regular run miscalculated, and I had not really been running the distance that I thought.


The last lap (of 4) was WAY more difficult than I thought it should have been.

Halfway thru that last excruciating lap, Missy turned around and jogged backwards for a minute (I told you she was in great shape, didn't it?) and told me, "this is the last mile".

What I realize now that what she was doing, was assessing my "condition"!

Finally, with much talking to myself ("I'm almost there, I can keep going" over and over), I reached the end of the route!

And then Missy turned around and and said " You did it!"
"And now I want you to go home and get on Facebook, and post a comment that says -
"Today is my 45th birthday, and I just ran 10 MILES for the first time ever!" "

That little turkey! She tricked me! But I am so glad that she did, because mentally, I don't think I could have done it any other way. Not yet.

So, Missy, thanks a lot! Really, THANKS!

So, now -

I. Am. A. Runner.

But, this was not the end of my day . . .

I finally got to go to the hair salon, where I got my hair cut and (professionally) colored.

Thank you, Suzanne! While I was there, my hubby called and we made plans to meet for lunch - at Chili's. Yum!
Then, when I got home, the house was clean!

I started to wonder a little bit, and then get really suspicious when they KEPT cleaning the house. The windows, too. Dead giveaway, people.

Then I saw little people in my driveway, carrying bags. (Missy's kids - she's also my next-door-neighbor)

My sweet husband had planned a surprise birthday party for me! Cool! Me & the girls
Card from Missy (aka the Trickster!) & family - but she did redeem herself by getting me some way cool bath stuff!Time to cut the cake!
It was the best birthday ever, for sure!

Thanks, everyone, who came to the party, and sent birthday greetings, and just showed me the love~!

You are all so great!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I have discovered . . .

. . . that Rachel likes mice better than chickens. Which might only makes sense if you know that she is a vegetarian . . . .
Silly girl!

Yesterday I got a warm fuzzy when . . .
. . . as I signed Noelle's weekly grade folder, I noticed that she had her ususal all A's - with the exception of one B. When I asked her about it, she was a little uncaring about whether or not she finished the year with all A's (this would make it two years in a row!).

Before anyone starts thinking that maybe I should just ease up on her, just realize that she is perfectly capable of raising her math grade up just a few percentage points. No problem for this girl.

So, to give her a little added incentive, I told her that I would give her $5 for each A, as long as she got all A's. Normally, we don't pay our kids to get good grades, (maybe we should?) so this was a pretty good incentive for her. I could still tell that she wasn't completely on board with the idea, so I threw in a half gallon of ice cream for her very own.

To that she said . . .

"no, Mom, what I'd rather have is to be able to spend a whole day together, just the two of us".
( I get all teary just re-reading this. . . )

So that's the plan! I love this girl!

I get ticked when . . .

. . . I see workers - who are being paid with our tax dollars - performing meaningless tasks with no apparent purpose!

All of the intersections along Hwy 95 between Hayden Ave and Appleway - there are 5 or 6 - have been under construction for the past several weeks, at least. And at each light, there is a highway worker, just standing there, all day long (maybe at night, too, for all I know) Monday through Sunday - yes, seven days a week! What is their purpose, I ask you?

The only thing they do as far as I can tell, is to stand there and guard their lunch boxes.
I have no problem with the workers - we all need to make a living. (But what a painfully BORing job!)

It's with the knucklehead bosses who think this is required!

There must be something more productive that they could be doing!

. . . and just one more thing . . .

Monday it was a Wonderful 84 degrees outside, so we decide to have family night at Coeur d'Alene Park/Beach

. . . yummy dessert pizza that we took along with us . . . everyone else in the park was jealous, I could tell. . . Isaac & Tanner Awesome views . . . We are lucky to live in this beautiful area . . .

Have a good one!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Here is A Bill With Some Bite! (HeeHee)

Have you heard about the bedbug infestation? ("In hotels, dormitories, and apartment complexes")

Apparently it is running rampant in our country! ("The co-sponsors of this bill include Reps. Don Young , R- Alaska , Ben Chandler , D- Ky. , Bobby L. Rush , D- Ill. , Betty McCollum , D- Minn. , Corrine Brown , D- Fla. , Steve Cohen , D- Tenn. , Brad Miller , D- N.C. , and Eddie Bernice Johnson , D- Texas")

It's the biggest insect outbreak since World War II !

("Those who've suffered outbreaks say that the anxiety it induces can be debilitating. Potter said many sufferers tossed out furniture and could spend thousands of dollars on repeated treatments from pesticide companies. They call him about anxiety, insomnia, shame and the incessant annoyance of itchy red welts on their skin.
"They're, like, ready to blow their brains out," Potter said. "It's emotionally distressing. Anyone that has never had a bedbug problem is not one to judge whether we're dealing with a medical, emotional public health issue.")

Go here - to find out more about it!

(The Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2009 - Really?)

And though fleas are the pests you might normally think of when animals are mentioned, that news article reminded me of this:


Excerpts from a Dog's Diary . . .
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary . . .
Day 983 of my captivity...

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously brain damaged. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe.

For now ...

Thanks, Laura for sending me this cute email! It really brightened my day!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oh - My - Goodness! I'm Such a Bad Mom!

Well, maybe BaD isn't the right word . . . More like FoRGetFul!

I just realized that I hadn't mentioned anything this week about what a wonderful Mother's Day we had around here!

My kids didn't Forget:

from Jake:

Kayla: (including a gift certificate for a manicure. And I sure do need one!)

Isaac: (it says "Happy Mother's Day, I love you thank you for helping me and taking care of me love, Isaac')Tanner:

And . . . my husband got me a gift card. He knows how I love to shop! Thanks, Honey!
And RAchel, (with lots of help from Noelle) made me a delicious dinner (lasagna! Yum!)
The best part was just being able to spend the day with all of them (well,in Jake's case, it was the day before-his wife is an only child)
I Love You Guys!
And I hope all of you Mother's out there had a great one, too!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

HELP! I'm Stuck In A Rut, and I Don't Know How to Get Out!

Today I am cursing the nasty weather outside.

It's rainy, too cold for May, windy, and just plain horrible.

My lilacs and snowball bushes haven't even leafed out yet, much less any hints of blossoms!
I'm pretty sure I had blossoms by Mother's Day last year.

(Or maybe it was Father's Day. That must be it. We had a horrible, long cold winter last year, too.)

Anyway, one of the things I am grumbling about is that I didn't get to do my run this morning. For the last two months I have been seriously working at trying to get back into shape

(such as it is - I try my best, but there's only so much I can do now that I am on the down-hill slide)

I have been doing pretty well in the consistency area.

I've been adding distance every week to my runs.

AND I have been trying to watch what I eat.

I think TRYING is the key word here. I haven't been perfect, but every single day since April 22, I have been writing down everything I eat, and the calories that it represents, and trying to keep them under 1400 per day. (Remember, I am only 5'2")
Usually this approach works pretty well for me.
But this time, the weight loss has been SO SLOW.
Or the near lack of weight loss, I should say.

The only thing that's kept me from getting completely discouraged is that I have also been writing down my measurements.

And they have been improving. Somewhat.

What I need to know is: When people say they've lost, let's say, 4 inches, which area(s) of their body are they measuring?

I assume it's several different areas, but which ones are standard?

Another thing I need help with are ideas on how to vary my workouts?

Right now, I try to work out at least 1 hour per day, 5 or 6 days per week. I combine my running with Tae Bo. What other programs out there have worked for you?

I need to break out of my slump! I'm done with feeling like a squishy slug!

So if you have any help, advice, ideas, and/or motivational techniques, please let me know.
I know I could probably do a search on the Internet for some of this info, but I'd much rather get it from Real Live People.
Then I know it's not just a bunch of hooey.

OK, so Debbie left a comment with a link to this website, where I found another link,
I think Kirsty's method, or a version of it, might just work for me!
Wooo Hooo!! I'll letcha know how it works!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Reply to Abby's Comment. . .

The love and support reflected in your comments on my Doubts and Regrets post really touched my heart, and got me thinking, and I felt the need to respond here.

Dear Abby (and everyone else!) -

Thanks for taking the time to comment. It really made me stop and analyze a few things about myself. All of your comments did.

I think I need to clarify a few points.

First, I don't let these regrets dominate or rule my life; used as an excuse for anything bad that happens. I only get these thoughts when I am feeling reflective, which happens during times like Mother's Day.

No one here really said that in their comments, but I just feel it needs to be stated.

Second, I feel that an education would have benefited me, mostly because I was so young and naive and hadn't matured into someone who knew her own mind yet. I was too wishy-washy about pretty much everything (except the Gospel), so I wasn’t consistent in my discipline. I know I could have benefited from the techniques and tools that I would have learned. But no, it wouldn't have made me a more loving mother, because I love my kids more than I could ever imagine I could love anything.

And thirdly, I do realize that my husband made a choice that it was his, and maybe he wouldn't have gone on a mission even if he had never met me. I have listened to him tell others why he didn’t serve many times, and I realize now the reasons he gave, which I stated, were to make himself feel better.

The blame part is all me.

It was his decision.

He was afraid that I wouldn’t wait, but he doesn’t hold that against me. I am the one who's saddended by the fact that he didn't have more faith in me; in our relationship.

But I still can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had not been such a gushy schoolgirl and reasoned with my mind about getting married so young, instead of with my heart and hormones. We can’t change anything about that.

We all have “what if” thoughts like that.

I simply feel that his life (and of course many other's lives) would have been benefited by his serving. And not because of the RM label, because he is not into that kind of glory. And the RM label obviously did not make any difference to me.

And finally, I know that I can rectify the education thing by going back to school. That is an issue that I have been pondering. That would give my kids that I have left at home (4 of them, and 5, if I include Chad who's on his mission) the example to further their educations.

I’m reminded of someone who said “I’m too old to go back to school” And another person responded with “how old will you be in 4 years if you don’t go back to school?” The answer was given, and the reply was “well, how old will you be if you DO go back to school?” And of course, the answer is the same. So, it’s never too late, is it!

Thanks for all of your comments. I have been surprised and encouraged by the love and support I have felt from you all.

One-In-A-Million Photo

(Got this in an email the other day)

When the lightning flashes, this is NOT what you want to see.



Taken April 3, 2008
Lariat # 2 Sandridge Energy South of Ft Stockton , TX

(Is this really a real photo? Or is it photoshopped? What do you think?)

So, here's the rest of the story . . .

After reading Abby's comment, I went to to read the article about this photograph for myself. You can, too. Here's the link:

Thanks, Abby!

(it's still a cool photo!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

And The Winner Is. . .

The winner of my little 100th Post giveaway has now been chosen . . .

The winning number is . . .

(drumroll, please! . . . )

23! (via Randon Number Generator!)

(Now I will go and look to see who that is!)

It's . . .
Abby from Delusions of Grandeur


And thank you everyone who left a comment. The answer/ask question game was really a lot of fun to read!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Letting Go of Doubts and Regrets That I Have as a Mother

But first, there's just a little update to my Little Giveaway post . . . down at the bottom . . .

All this week, since it is the one leading up to Mother's Day, as I was trying to reflect on the wonderfulness of being a mom, all I could feel and think about were my regrets and things I wish I had done differently.

I remember as a child, how I used to daydream about the boy I would marry, and the kids we'd have. I'd plan how many boys and girls we'd have, and what order they'd be born in. It'd usually correspond to the sibling lineup of the current crush that I had at the time, and my friends and I would giggle and dream up lists of first and middle names for all of our babies.

It's funny how those expectations end up so far from reality. Yes, I married a good man and we have a wonderful family; that I cannot deny. But the mistakes I did make will always make me wonder. . .

Like how as a kid, I would always have my head buried in a book, and when it wasn't, I'd always be daydreaming about the story, or anything else. Never really living in the moment and paying complete and total attention to what was going on around me. I still struggle with that habit, to this day.

I wonder if I'd been more aware, that I'd have realized sooner the importance of an advanced education. I wish with all my heart that I'd done more in this area.

I wonder if I'd been more committed to my education, that when I met my husband at the end of my senior year of high school, if I would have been more insistent about his going on a mission.

His real fear was that I wouldn't wait for him, and to this day, he will insist that he wasn't meant to go on a mission. Even though he had a great testimony of the Gospel, his circumstances growing up so independently and with a strong will and desire to follow the commandments, made him feel that a mission wasn't meant to be for him.

I see it now as a way for him not to put the blame on me, and I respect him for that. But, who and how many others missed out on his goodness by my not standing my ground and telling him that I wouldn't marry him unless he served.

I know now that was what I should have done.

And I wonder if I'd had that education, if I'd be a better mother today. I don't have to wonder long, because I know what the answer to that is. My education would have focused on early childhood development, and since I was all enrolled to go to Ricks College (yes, I am that old!) the LDS school certainly gears those courses to learning how to teach children in the spiritual and moral framework that I believe in. There are so many things that I struggle with today that I know could have been so much different had I had the knowledge and the training.
Now that I have laid open my weaknesses for all to examine, I can only hope that others will be able to learn from my mistakes. Moms, please tell your daughters that, yes, there are real women out there who's lives turned out pretty good, but still wish they had furthered their education. Real wives and mothers who know they should have guided a young man to serve a mission, which would have done a lot to make them better prepared to be husbands and fathers.

I just hope my own children, my own daughters, and my sons, will want and achieve more more than I did, for themselves.

And now that I have purged myself of these thoughts, and doubts, I intend to focus on the Wonderfulness that being a Mother IS!

(But I hope it's not one of those intentions that pave the path to, well, you-know-where . . . :~D )

Here is a picture of the finished apron that you can win in my little Giveaway. I hope you'll forgive the terrible shot, but a photographer I am not.

If you'd like to enter to win this cute little number, please scroll down to the next post, and for sure at least read the last half so you'll know how to enter the drawing.

Thanks! Have a good day! Hope you win!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The (borrowed) Post that Keeps on Giving! (A.K.A. My 100th Post GIVEAWAY)

For my 100th post celebration, recognition, achievement; whatever you wanna call it, I thought and thought about what I wanted to do.

Susette suggested doing a "100 things about me" list – a fun idea, but since I had already done one like this and this and that, I just kept thinking . . .

Another idea was to do a recap of some of my most, ummmm, interesting (?) posts, but you can go and read any of them, anytime. Not so interesting, fun, or exciting, I don't think.

(Just some stuff about the

first day of school pics (not), crazy redneck outhouses, our new presidency, my missionary son, what a Christmas tree Nazi I am , speeding tickets, and an April Fool's Day joke.)

I think probably once is enough!

Then I remembered a post a good blogger buddy of mine (thanks Erin!) did a couple of months ago. She was going to be out of town, and away from this little "world" we have going on here, and didn't want to be forgotten! So she 'borrowed' the idea from several others that were doing it at the time, and I thought it was a lot of fun.

(Plus, it might get some Blog Lurkers, AND friends & family – you know who you are – to not be so bashful and leave a comment!)

AND - it's a great way to get to know EveryONE better!

So, this is how it works - I will ask a question . . .

The very first commenter answers my question, and then figures out another question to ask the next commenter.

Then the NEXT commenter answers that question, and chooses another question for the next commenter.

And so on, and so on.

It's pretty fun to do, and to read!

AND . . . here's the best part - every comment (with a questions answered and asked) will enter you in a random drawing
to Win !
a cute cute cute little apron that I will be making in the next few days.

I have made these for presents lately, and one for myself, and almost everyone has said they loved them!

This is the fabric. I thought it was cute for the coming summer . . . (yay, summer! Can't wait!)

So I hope you like it, too - enough to leave a comment!

So –

Here's my question –
"If you could LIVE anywhere in the world, where would that BE? And Why?

Thanks for playin'!

Oh - and I should give you a date that I will be doing the drawing -
it will be Monday, May 11! At, let's say, Seven pm!
So leave a comment now, ya hear!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

- an itsy - bitsy teeny - weeny mini - micro - makeover . . . OH! And a BIG P.S.! (Hint - a GIVEAWAY?)

Saturday I painted the dining room! Or, you could say I re-painted it, since I have painted it many many times before.

Before shot -

My little helper
After -

And even though these pictures are not AT ALL dramatic,
those who know how a room FEELS when it has fresh paint,
well, a picture can't capture That.
All clean and cozy and fresh.

Just close you eyes and imagine. . .
OH! And A BIG P.S -
The next Post is my 100th!
Should I make it a big deal, or just let it slide?
I'm thinking a giveaway or a contest of some sort . . .
what d'ya say, girls?
I need some help here!
so . . . OK, so if I do a giveaway, should it be:
~an apron? (i'm really into them these days, cuz I found a super cute pattern and really cute fabrics)
~some jewelry? (does anyone have any suggestions? I see a lot of cute stuff on the jewelry blogs)or -
~a favorite CD of your choice?
Or if you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them!