Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Awesome Give Away

Just thought I'd drop in with a quick heads up about a super cool give away. My friend Gennifer has an Etsy shop where she sells these amazing family trees and silhouettes. I totally want to win one of these! You really NEED to go check them out on her blog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Let me 'splain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

RM will finally be finishing his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering this semester (or there will be heck to pay ;) ). We have applied for a grant that would fund his PhD and give us a stipend to live on while he researches. He wants a PhD because he'd like to teach Mechanical Engineering at a university. We are supposed to find out if the grant has come through some time in December. We have been going under the premise that if we get funded we'll do the PhD and if we don't get funded, we'll get a job. However, life being what it's like with five kiddos instead of four, we are considering getting a job even if the funding comes through. We can see many benefits to both options.

Since financially we have reached the point where we either need the grant or a job ASAP, RM put out several resumes at an engineering job fair at the U of U a couple of weeks ago. He has had at least a half dozen companies express interest and ask for interviews. So far we've had promising interviews from companies in Idaho Falls and Flagstaff/Phoenix. We have other interviews lined up with companies in Clearfield, Lehi, Washington, Michigan, and Albuquerque.

So, if funding comes through and we accept the grant or if we land a job on the Wasatch Front, we're staying put for at least a little while. Otherwise, we may be relocating as soon as the new year.

Needless to say, I'm feeling a little stressed.

As I chatted online with a friend tonight he shared with me a really great insight. I asked him if I could quote him on my blog. His response?

Only if I get a cut of the royalties...How about this: every person who reads and comments on my quote has to send me a job referral. And you have to say that the quote came from "my wisest and truest friend, Christian H Gibbs. (The H stands for Humble)

So, without further ado, here is his amazing insight:

I have a theory that at some point in our lives, the Lord pulls a 'Brother of Jared' moment on us. Tells us we have to make a drastic change in our lives, and when we ask him about details like 'how are we supposed to light the boats', instead of giving us the answer he says "What do YOU want to do?"

I think he's just about hit the nail on the head. I don't think it's a matter of a right and wrong choice for our family so much as a good, better, best choice. And, for some reason, those don't seem to be easy choices to make.

My friend gave me a bit of parting advice:

The brother of Jared formed a plan, then went to the Mountain of the Lord and humbly asked if his plan was acceptable. In other words, GO TO THE TEMPLE. GO DIRECTLY TO THE TEMPLE. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200.

I think we'll be taking this very sound advice...just as soon as we have decided on a plan. :P

PS...Christian is looking for a job in software development if anyone out there can hook him up. :D

PPS...Just found this compilation video on Youtube. Too funny not to share (even though I've shared parts of it before.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Fun Link for My Fellow Foodies

Just wanted to pop in quickly and share a fun link for those who love food as much as I do.

Renaissance Man is a big fan of youtube. He is forever finding cool new things to watch and learn about. It's very common for him to spend time with the kids watching "how it's made" videos. Recently he found a video on how to cook onion rings. That lead us on a link to link chase through numerous videos by the same entertaining poster, foodwishes. Not only did many of these videos make my mouth water, they made me giggle too. So, without further ado, here's a link to the Foodwishes blog as well as a video clip to the onion ring recipe that started it all.

(By the way, I didn't find the Panko bread crumbs the recipe calls for at the grocery store on Saturday, so we used regular bread crumbs. Bad idea, they were a bit too much on the soft side and way too greasy. However, I am on a quest to find the right bread crumbs and try it again. :) )

Next up on my "New Recipe To Try" list: Bumblebee Soup.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Introducing The Baby Boy

As many of you know, we have a new addition to our family. He arrived on September 10, 2010 at 6:44 am. He was 7lbs and 20" long. Here are the pictures that were taken just before we left the hospital. Enjoy. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hi Kate. :o)

I just had to give a shout out to my dear, sweet, wonderful sister-in-law, who complains nearly every time I see her that I haven't updated my blog in months.

So, here you go. A post.

It's my goal to make a post of some actual significance before the week is out. Maybe even more than one. ;)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh my. It's almost my blogiversary.

I got thinking about my blog and I realized that I had to be coming up on my blogiversary soon. I didn't expect it to be in just six days (July 12). Well, at least I didn't miss it. :P

I'll have to give this milestone some consideration and decide how we're going to celebrate. :D

How have you celebrated your blogiversaries?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Think I'm Getting This...

I finally had a chance to sit down and explore the new system a bit. There are definitely some things I like and some things I'm not so sold on. But, I guess I'll figure it out eventually. As you can see, I found my three columns option built right into the program, which is really cool.

Thanks to those who have chimed in already. Keep your tips/discoveries coming, I'll probably need them. :D

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Get By With A Little Help From My (Blogging) Friends

Or at least I hope I do. :D

As you can tell, I'm trying to do a little updating around here. But, I'm running into the new Design Template issues. Apparently I can't change the colors of my text, etc. without directly altering the HTML without updating to the new Design Template. The big problem? The default template that my current blog is built upon is not available in the new Design Template. Most of the free background sites I frequent have recommended the Minima template as a base. I found one site that gave a recommendation of the Picture Window background or the Awesome Inc. background instead of Minima, but the problem so far is that those backgrounds are all 2 column, and I'm a 3 column girl. Does anyone have instructions for altering the new templates for 3 column? I noticed that some of you have switched to a new tabbed format, which is pretty cool.

Any suggestions for this pathetically-behind-the-times-HTML-impaired-wanna-be blogger?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Personal Favorite

I think you all know by now that I am a huge fan of the Mormon Messages videos from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on YouTube. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that they have made a video from one of my all time favorite Conference talks. This video is wonderful, but the full talk is so much better. It has been a source of hope and comfort to me for many, many years now. So, if you have a few minutes to spare, watch the video and enjoy its uplifting message. If you have a few minutes more, listen to the whole talk (it pre-dates video clips) and let its message of hope touch your heart and buoy you up in days to come. :D

"An High Priest of Good Things to Come" by Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign November 1999.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just a Shameless Mommy Brag

Today was quite an eventful day for my PrincessBug.

At today's elementary school award assembly she was acknowledged for being on the Honor Roll. Then she received an award for outstanding academic achievement followed immediately by an outstanding citizenship award. Then, to top it all off, she won a new bicycle in the "Road to Success" drawing. (Each time the kids read a certain number of minutes their name was added to a pool. The more minutes you read, the more chances you would have in the random drawing. Her name was selected from the upper grade girls' drawing.)

She volunteered to be a lunch worker today. After lunch, she and her classmates (all of the upper grades actually) walked to a nearby pool for a swimming party. After school we picked up her bike from the office and brought it home.

Unfortunately, she didn't drink enough water and got too much sun. By the time we got home she was on her way to a migraine. I kept trying to get her to drink, but she fell asleep before she got any real water or anything else to help her out. Eventually, after she woke up, we were able to do more to help her and she went back to sleep for a bit.

I'm happy to report that after her second nap she woke up happy and smiling, the way you should be after a really good day.

I'll add a picture of her with her new bike just as soon as I get one taken. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Perfectionism Paralysis

So...I know that I'm woefully behind in my blogging, even after my last brief check in. It seems that I have been waiting for the "right time" to jump back in and get going. See, there has been so much going on in our lives, much of it with significant importance, that I feel obligated to "catch up" and document the lot here on the blog. Some part of me has pictured an epic post (or two, or twelve) with lots of pictures and lengthy journaling. Some part of me wants the epic posts.

But, I'm beginning to feel that if I don't just start right back up as if I have never missed anything at all, that this little blog of mine is just going to fade away into nothingness. That would make me very sad. I really like blogging and the opportunity it gives me to share my thoughts, the events of our lives, and those little cool things I discover along the way. I also love reading your blogs and sharing your triumphs, tears, and laughter. I've been missing that too. So, I'm gonna just jump in with both feet and see if I can add those "important live event" entries somewhere along the way.

With all this in mind, check out this really cool entry from Shannon Hale's blog: Morals and values and lessons, oh my! I find it fascinating, especially since I have aspirations of being a writer someday when I grow up. I'd love to hear what you think.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday

And I wonder why it is that sometimes we seem to get nowhere... :D This is 'Lashes in early February.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hello to all those in blog land...

I've been terribly remiss in my blog writing and reading. I miss it. I shall endeavor to get it together and get posting/reading again. So, don't be too shocked if you find your inbox filled up with comments from me.

One reason I've been rather AWOL is my effort to reclaim my house. I've gotten increasingly stressed over the state of Chez Nous and I'm desperately trying to get us cleaned up and dejunked before the little one arrives. (I don't know it counts as nesting just yet, I'm only 16 weeks, but maybe. Mostly it's an effort to have a place to put said child.) I'm also trying to get my kids more involved in the process. I simply can't do it all by myself. I've also decided that it's really hard to train the kids and myself at the same time. :P

We tried to finish a basement bathroom over RM's Spring Break. We didn't make it. :( So, we'll continue to work on it a bit at a time. Right now I'd rather have RM graduate on time (Summer semester) than have a finished bathroom. We've survived this long, we'll survive a bit longer, even if it does mean we've got traffic jams from time to time.

We are down to the wire for finishing the MS degree. The drop dead date for having everything turned in will be June 21. RM will defend about a week before that. So, for the next couple of months things will be uber crazy. But, I have faith we can do it!!

I promise I'll do better at checking in with bits and pieces of information and hopefully a few pictures from time to time. :D

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This one always makes me smile and sometimes makes me laugh so hard I cry. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. :D

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Vivaldi

Apparently I'm a sap for Google's special homepages. However, since I really enjoy a good dose of Vivaldi from time to time, here's a little something to celebrate his 332nd birthday. :)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blog Give Away

It's been awhile since I posted about a give away on a blog. I just happen to be a big fan of this blog, it's owner, and the prize that is being given away. Check it out! :D

Antique Blue Jars @ The Shabby Nest

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Details :)

I've edited the previous post to add some details for those of you with inquiring minds. :D

Friday, February 19, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday -- Special Edition

Ok, ok...I know. It's been over a week since I posted anything new on my blog. Plus, I forgot to post a picture for last Friday's Favorite Photo Friday. If I post a special favorite photo today, will you forgive me??

So, am I forgiven for my scatter-brainedness now?

Edit to add details :D :

Thanks! :D

I saw my doctor on Thursday and we got this little sneak peek. I'm ten weeks today (Saturday) and due Sept. 18.

We're about 95% sure this is our caboose...and if it's a girl about 99% sure. PrincessBug has been asking for a sister for years (and we've kind of had a feeling that there is supposed to be another girl coming). We've joked for a long time that we'd give her one more chance to come and if she didn't then she'd have to figure out how to get here on her own because we'd be done. :) So, think pink!! (Though healty is our #1 wish. We'll happily take another blue, though I'd wonder where the pink vibes we've felt have been coming from.)

I've been feeling pretty well. I can tell you though that having a baby at 35 is a lot different than having a baby at 32. I've been really, really tired. I never get really throw up sick, but I have had a perpetual stomach ache between the nausea of needing to eat and the indigestion and heartburn of having eaten. I'm kinda looking forward to that part ending. :) So, other than that and the occasional muscle cramp or round ligament twang, we're doing well. (And, developing a baby bump remarkably fast with this one.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day (A Bit Early)

This just felt appropriate to share now rather than on Sunday. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Believe in Miracles

Almost two weeks ago I had a friend of mine over at my house. She had been here for around and hour when she looked at me with fear and tears in her eyes and confided in me that her husband was being screened for cancer that day. Furthermore, while searching for a cause for some numbness he's had in his extremities, they thought they had seen a brain tumor. She just couldn't bear to keep the news to herself any longer, she had to share with someone.


What do you say at a time like that? We discussed Priesthood blessings. I reassured her that we would be praying for them and that I would keep the confidence she had shared with me. She promised she would keep me updated as they found out more information.

After she left, I felt tied in knots. I had promised that I wouldn't tell anyone. (She didn't care if more people knew, but he didn't want to say anything until there was something to say.) Yet, I desperately felt that they needed more people praying for them. I struggled with what to do. Then I had the thought to call my mother-in-law.

My mother-in-law is truly a saint. She is one of the most generous, kind, and loving women I know. She will go out of her way to help people and she genuinely strives to be like our Savior. I told her about my friend's situation. I asked if I should keep the confidence or if I should tell our bishop so that someone else could be praying for them. She gave me the most simple and beautiful of third options.

She reminded me that in the temple that there are hundreds of patrons in dozens of sessions praying for those whose names are on the temple prayer rolls. By placing my friend and her husband on the temple prayer roll, there would be thousands of prayers offered for them over the course of the two weeks they remain on the list. By placing their names on the prayer roll, not only could I keep my promise not to tell anyone in the ward what was going on, but I could also radically increase the number of prayers on their behalf. The answer was so clear and so RIGHT.

I called every temple from Bountiful to Mount Timpanogos (Salt Lake was closed for cleaning) and put their names on the prayer roll. Then I waited and prayed.

Three days after she confided in me, my friend called me to say that the cancer screening had turned out negative. Hallelujah! One major bridge crossed. A brain tumor is still very scary stuff, but at least we knew there was no cancer in the location we had feared. Now just to wait for the results of the other test.

More prayers and waiting.

My friend called me late this afternoon. The screening for the brain tumor came back clear. Either they thought they saw a tumor and they were mistaken or the tumor has disappeared. There is no brain tumor!!!

The moment I got off the phone with my friend, I called my mother-in-law to tell her the good news.

I'm not sure what would have happened if my mother-in-law had not so sagely advised me to put their names in the temple. I do feel that her inspired counsel played a huge, positive part in the miracle that has happened for my friend and her husband.

They still don't have a cause for the symptoms my friend's husband is experiencing, which is frustrating. But, for now, there is definitely cause to rejoice. There was a strong possibility of two very serious, very scary diagnoses, and by a miracle neither of them came to pass.

I am so humbled and grateful for my Heavenly Father's love for me and my friends and for the influence of such a righteous woman in my life. I am grateful for miracles.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday --A Charmer

I keep meaning to sit down and make a real blog post, but somehow I keep getting distracted with other things. At least I'm posting this one on time today. :D

This is Sunshine Boy at about three. He was my original charmer. Since then his brothers have picked up the banner and they all continue to run with it. Love those brown eyes!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I've Added a New Widget

I've seen these cool "You Might Also Like" boxes on a few different blogs. They've usually been high traffic blogs with lots of posts. It never occurred to me that I could install such a feature on my own blog, until I saw it on my sister-in-law's blog. Very cool!! I've thought about it for about a week and I've decided to give it a go. My greatest concern is that I simply don't have enough blog entries to make this a worthwhile thing for anyone. So, if the recommended posts are just too repetitive or annoying, let me know and I'll take it off for a bit. ;)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday

What can I say? I just LOVE this one and I just LOVE this boy. This is 'Lashes about one year ago. :D

A Little Dream Interpretation, Anyone?

I should preface this post by saying that RM has gone sugar-free. He stopped eating sugar in early July and has done really well with it. He is very strict. We will eat my homemade pancakes even though they have a little bit of sugar in the mix, but he doesn't eat jam or honey or syrup. He doesn't even eat peanut butter because it has too much sugar in it. Things like sweet & sour chicken are out too. He even stopped eating my home bottled fruit because they were canned with sugar, so this year I canned everything in juice instead.

He did allow himself some pie on Thanksgiving, some treats Christmas eve and day, and some fun stuff on New Year's eve and New Year's day. He also paid for his indulgences with killer headaches that lasted for a couple of days.

He has lost at least 11 pounds (I don't know when he weighed last to know if it's more yet) and several inches. He desperately needs to take his suit in to be taken in. It only stays on his body by the grace of his suspenders. Without them, he'd walk clean out of them in two steps. I keep encouraging him to keep going with it, because I can see a difference in how he feels and his health in general.

He has been encouraging me to join him for months.

Well, I finally decided to take the plunge, sort of. I knew my sweet tooth was out of control and I really needed to get my casual sugar snacking problem fixed. But, I wasn't ready to give up sugar entirely. So, starting after New Year, I decided to go sugar-free M-F, with permission to eat sugar with moderation on weekends and holidays. I'm not as strict as he is. I will drink juice without diluting it with water. I might have a PB sandwich now and again, etc. But, I am not randomly walking through my house snarfing sugar all day.

It's been a real challenge. I was actually quite resentful at first, but I've gotten over that. (At least most of the time. ;) ) I spend most of my week fantasizing about exactly what treats I'm going to eat when the weekend comes, though most of the time by the time the weekend has arrived I've lost the mania for what I wanted so badly. I've been really, really good. I'm trying really hard to keep the commitment, though I really doubt RM would give me too much grief if I strayed. However, some days are much harder than others.

Which brings me to the point of this post...

What does it mean if I dreamt that I ate a large bowl of ice cream for breakfast...and then felt hugely guilty when I realized it was Friday morning and not Saturday? :P

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Talker

It appears that 'Lashes is going to be as big a talker as Princess Bug and Bob. He's already using short sentences and vocabulary words that astound me. Some of his recent chatter has thoroughly charmed me, so I thought I'd share.

A few weeks ago, he was looking kinda thoughtful while I changed his diaper. Out of nowhere he says, in a cute little sing song voice, "Wee wee wee home." It surprised me so much I started to laugh. I quickly finished changing him and grabbed my video camera. I managed to get him to repeat it, but it was cuter the first time. If I can figure out how to do it, I'll post the clip here.

I'm getting pretty used to having him answer "yeah" or "no" to my questions at this point. However, the other day he managed to take me completely by surprise. I said to him, "'Lashes I have a question for you." And, he replied, "What?"

One of the best, however, happened late last night. We were driving home after visiting with RM's brother's family. From his car seat I can hear 'Lashes straining at his carseat buckles. I glance back to see him stretching as far as his little arm can stretch toward the window and he's saying, "Reach! Reach!" I asked him what he wanted to reach and he says, "Moon!"

A Little Mommy Bragging

When I went to pick up Bob from pre-school today, his teachers took a minute to visit with me. They told me that he says something fun (and impressive) nearly every day.

Today while they were reading a story they discussed that when you have more than one mouse, you call them mice. But, when there is only one, it's called a mouse. A few minutes later they came across a bee in the story. Bob chimed in that if you had a thousand bees they are called bees and if there is only one bee it's called a bee.

Now, if Bob had said that at home, it wouldn't have even created a blip on my radar. But, apparently it's a big deal for a four year old pre-schooler to have a grasp on singular/plural. Who knew? :D

Friday, January 22, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday

Yeah, yeah. I cheated and backdated this post. Wanna make something of it. ;)

This has got to be one of my favorite photos ever. What do you get when you cross a good-natured brother who is eager to please with a bossy, creative big sister?? Well, something like this:

What you don't see in this photo is the row of letter stickers just beneath the collar of his jammies neatly spelling out his name (complete with backward letters).

I giggle every time I see this one. By the way, did you notice those brown eyes? Those melt-your-heart-make-you-swoon brown eyes? Sigh. What's a mommy to do?

July 2006

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pondering on the fragility of life...

I received word this morning that a friend who used to live in our ward passed away yesterday. (You can read about the circumstances here.) My heart is breaking for her family.

My heart is also breaking for the people of Haiti. Whenever wide scale disasters like this happen, my head and heart just reel thinking about how many people are just "gone".

I'm grateful for my testimony of the Plan of Salvation. I'm grateful that I know that our Heavenly Father loves us, knows each one of us personally, and is there for us in our needs. I'm grateful for my Savior and for the hope that comes with the promise of the resurrection. And, I pray for the comfort of the Holy Ghost for those in need of His comfort at this time.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday...a bit late...again.

One of my favorite photos of Princess Bug ever. My mom took her shopping for her baptism day dress and they picked out this stunning number. By lucky coincidence, Princess Bug was actually baptized ON her 8th birthday. It was a very special day. Oct. '07.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

You May Have Noticed...

A decided lack of new blog posts from me. I've got a few running around in my head, they just haven't managed to make it to cyberspace.

One of the reasons for this is that I have been reading blogs instead. I've missed getting all those little glimpses into your lives. However, some of you are so prolific in your posting that I don't think I'll be able to get "caught up" with all your posts. It makes me a bit sad, but that's just life I guess. Hopefully I'll make my way through my "Blogs I Try to Follow" list soon. So, if you suddenly find your inbox stuffed with notifications that I've been commenting on months old posts, you'll know what's going on. :P

Friday, January 8, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday

I'm WAAAAY overdue to post another picture for Favorite Photo Friday. Sorry! So, here it is.

The kiddos were just monkeying around, making funny faces for my camera last January. I provided a small amount of coaching and snapped this funny picture of one of the most famous monkeying around poses there is. It makes me giggle when I see it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A New Year's Resolution

A friend of mine introduced me to a new concept recently. Instead of making a long list of New Year's resolutions that will be overwhelming and forgotten in a few weeks, she chooses a single word to focus on for the entire year. I've given this idea some thought and I have decided that this year I will not make a list of resolutions. Instead, I will be joining my friend and picking a word to focus on throughout the year.

My word for the year is: Better.

It's my goal this year to be better than I was last year, in every respect. I want to be better at saying my prayers and doing my scripture study. I want to be better at keeping my house clean. I want to be a better wife and mommy. I want to eat better and take better care of my body. I want to make better use of my time. I want to make better choices. You get the idea.

Today at church I heard a quotation that impressed me so much that I tracked it down to it's original source. It seemed so incredibly appropriate to my state of mind that I thought I'd share it with you.

“A wise man once distinguished between ‘the noble art of getting things done’ and ‘a nobler art of leaving things undone.’ True ‘wisdom in life,’ he taught, consists of ‘the elimination of non-essentials.’ What are the nonessential things that clutter your days and steal your time? What are the habits you may have developed that do not serve a useful purpose? What are the unfinished or unstarted things that could add vigor, meaning, and joy to your life?”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “As You Embark upon This New Era,” in Brigham Young University 2008–2009 Speeches (2009), 2; see also Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living (1937), 162, 10.

I think that one of the best things I could do to make my life better this year is to choose to leave more things undone.

I hope and pray that I and each of you will have a fantastic new year...full of undone things. :D


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