Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review - The Magic Room

This is a paid review for the BlogHer BookClub.

The Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our DaughtersThe Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters by Jeffrey Zaslow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me start this review by telling you that I got married 10 days after we decided to tie the knot. The day after deciding that we didn't want to wait any longer, I ran into a local wedding-dress shop and asked for something simple and cheap. I tried on one dress off the clearance rack and said "I'll take it." I shopped alone and I called my then non-official fiance (he never really proposed) and asked him if he would o.k. me using $200 from my paycheck to buy the blasted dress.

I felt it appropriate to start this review with my own wedding dress story as this book is a compilation of wedding dress stories. In The Magic Room Zaslow did a great job of telling the story of Becker's Bridal in Fowler, Michigan. In this teeny tiny barely thriving US town, there are a few constants, Beckers is perhaps the most impressive, only outlasted by the loyal long-standing families that reside there.

Even though I am not much of a romantic, I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a great job of interlacing the stories of various recent brides with the stories of the Beckers' royal family. For five generations the Beckers have faithfully served a very large portion of the bridal industry within the United States, many times selling dresses to mothers who years later bring in their own daughters to the same shop to purchase a dress of their own.

Unexpectedly, I learned a lot about the worldwide and US trends of marriage in this book. Zaslow has a knack for making statistics interesting, statistics like "25% of first-time brides have children. Another 7 to 8 percent are pregnant" and "forget the seven year itch, UofM researchers have found that more divorces now happen in the fourth year of marriage than any other."

Overall, this is a great book jam-packed with various intriguing biographies, families' dreams and losses, wedding magic, and like it says on the cover it's mostly "a story about the love we wish for our daughters." Indeed, I do hope to one day take one of my four daughters to this magic room or at least one just like it in my own region of residence.

View all my reviews

You can read more discussion about this recently published book at the BlogHer discussion boards.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Check out who was shopping at Target yesterday.

In the words of Mater,
"This here blog is bein' neglected."

I am spending lots of time with my family
and loving every minute of it.

Thank you to Jeremy for the reminder
that time is the best way to show love.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Maybe after Christmas, I will attempt
to write a yearly recap.


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Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa Claus Going to Town

Thank you Caroline and Shopko
for some Christmas jolly.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Kid Nativities

Remember how I told you
we were going to be making
nativities at Cub Scouts.

Well I lied.
It took the girls and I
two hours to come up with this.

The hour Scouts has alloted per week
just wasn't gonna cut it.

So I gave the boys the molding clay
and told them to create their own creche.

I was pretty partial to the pregnant Mary on a donkey.
It seemed to me like the artist must have some African roots.
I do believe this masterpiece
will be put away with tissue paper
and pulled out every year
to be displayed in a place of honor.

I also believe that today's equivalent to a manger
is a plastic baby pool.

Wouldn't you agree?

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book Review - Heir to Power

Heir to PowerHeir to Power by Michele Poague

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book took me a long time to read and I really think it can be shortened by at least 200 pages. There is a very "technical" feel to it and I wasn't surprised when reading that the author has written technical manuals. Sometimes I felt like I was reading a manual instead of a piece of fiction.

I think that Poague's overall idea is a great one. The tribe of Survinee people whom which the book were based upon were very intriguing, and seeing the world through their eyes felt almost like being an adventurous child again. That was probably the aspect of the book that I enjoyed the most: seeing my world through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it. Come to think of it, the two weeks that it took me to read this book was a little like I was a foreign exchange student experiencing a whole new place.

I definitely think that this book is being classified in the wrong genre. There were only about 5 paragraphs in the whole book that left the reader with any feeling of futuristic, much less science fiction. If you took out those 5 paragraphs, this book could have been a work of non-fiction about any ancient civilization.

I felt like the author left a lot of loose ends at the closing of the book which is always frustrating to me and I just read another review on goodreads that says the author plans to make a trilogy (which would explain the loose ends.) I know I am no expert but if I were to sit down with the author and have a perfectly honest talk (I don't believe I am even capable of being anything but completely honest) I would tell her to forget the trilogy and to get a good editor to cut the book length in at least half. Use the ideas for a trilogy to make ONE sound book that has a faster cadence with a whole lot less detail and technicalities. This will take a lot of letting go emotionally for the author, but I do think it would be to her great advantage in the book sales department.

As of right now, the one word that comes to mind with this book is "long" which I don't think any author wants to have on the book cover. However, I do think the story-line and the author have a lot of potential and Poague could have a great best seller on her hands with some editing.

This book made me think about Emily Dickinson. She wrote and wrote all day, but only let the public see a small 1% of what she found her best writing. I hope that when I write that book I've been dreaming about one day that I will be able to self-edit because I am also long-winded.

I received a copy of this book for free but as you can see I am still very honest in my critiquing. Note to future best-sellers: send me your books first, I will be brutally honest. Please go here and buy a copy for yourself and tell me that you didn't think the book was long at all and that I am just a slow reader, it will make me feel better. It is always fascinating to me how every reader has a completely different experience with the same book.

You can also go over to Michele (with one L) Poague's website if you would like.

Check out the goodreads book synopses:

The colony of Survin has been hidden for centuries, protecting an ancient religious artifact called the Healing Crystal from men who would steal or destroy it. Kairma, heir to the Crystal, is destined to mate with the handsome Naturi and become the leader of the reclusive colony, but she is too young to realize the peril soon to arrive. At sixteen, Kairma is too young to realize many things...

Kairma would rather go spelunking with her brother and his best friend than study ancient medicine and religious laws, but the discovery of a tomb containing ancient artifacts leads Kairma to question her religion and the true nature of the Crystal. To further complicate Kairma's ascent, a childhood illness has left her resembling a nearby race of men both hated and feared by the people of Survin. Because of this, Kairma's younger sister Kinter, who is in love with Naturi, believes she is the rightful heir.

Disease and infertility have decimated Survin, but bigotry and religious laws forbid the introduction of new members so things heat up when a traveling archeologist stumbles upon the reclusive colony and introduces a powerful new weapon. Forced into a larger world, the Survinees discover they hold an object of unimaginable power, a power other men covet, a power that might save or forever damn the human race

View all my reviews

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sticking Out Like a Sore Thumb

I will be reading a Christmas books about idioms to the kids today at the Christmas party.
I love idioms so much I could eat them.
Did you catch that?

On Sunday, LG and I discovered that the phrase "sticks out like a sore thumb" isn't an idiom at all, but a tried and true description.
I cut my thumb good while making hashbrowns. OUCH!
LG was so kind and wrapped up real tight to stop the excessive bleeding.
The wrapping seemed to multiply from the roll to the application.
My thumb was humungous by the time he got done.

Of course this happened on the Sunday that Abigail and I were scheduled to sing in church.
The only comfort I got from the constant throbbing was to hold my thumb above my heart,
so while singing I had to ignore the throbbing. I wasn't about to hold it up for everyone to see.

For some reason I have been having a bad week.
This morning while Caroline and I were cleaning up all the books she had dumped out all over the floor, my bad week was hopefully finalized. Caroline was wearing her pink cowboy boots and she stomped down hard on my thumb re-tearing open the wound.

Did that just make you squirm? Because it did for me.

What a boring post, but that photo is pretty cool, huh?
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Thursday, December 15, 2011


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We are in the land of snow.
This photo was taken a few weeks back.
It would be a whole lot better
with my old broken camera,
but I take what I can get.

I was having a bad day
and when I opened up this file
it made me smile from ear to ear.

I am so blessed to be a mother
even if sometimes I want to quit the job.

My husband and my girls
are my greatest treasures.
Nothing else is relative
if I don't have them first.

They make everything enjoyable.
Even the stuff I don't like.
for instance.
Not a huge fan.
I did grow up in San Diego
after all.
But, my family makes snow
Wondrous to behold.

Thank you God
for giving me an eternal family
and this mortal life
with earthly experiences
to savor
with the ones I love most.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Only Have One

I'm a codependent.
A full-fledge flaming codependent.
What does that mean?
It means that I am addicted to others at an unhealthy level.
It means that my core issue is
needing other people to fill my love tank.
It means that I unconsciously do things
(all the time) to feed my addiction.
Things like making too many comments in Sunday School.
Or blogging for attention.
I often cry myself to sleep at night because nobody cares.

And then there are the times (too many times)
that I try to require things of my husband,
things that I need to let go.
I don't do it to be wrong,
I just want to be loved
and I just want to love others
and so I hold on to that thing
far too long.

It's part of my addiction.
I try to control other people.
To gain importance.
To get love.
I can't have enough of love and importance.

Just saying it is part of the addiction
doesn't excuse it
because it is still very much my life
and I have to own it and change it
and sculpt me into what I want me to be.
It does give understanding
and the first step to fixing is admitting.

So, this post is my way of letting something go.
Something hard.
Even though I have every right to care about it.
and I am completely justified in my desires
because they are pure.
Yet, they are my desires for him,
and not his desires for him,
so I have to let it go.
Even if he is wrong
and doesn't see it.
Because I can't live his life.
I can only live my life.

Apparently JJ Heller understands
why I cried myself to sleep last night.
Next time I am going to sing this little song
instead of getting all frustrated with myself.
Because let's face it,
nobody gets it right every time.
Everyone needs room to screw up.

And I have decided that true love is
really only one thing.
Loving each other through your screw ups.
And boy do I love that man.
I'm the luckiest girl that he loves me back
even when I try to control him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mom + Dad

Perfectly sound math skills,
if you want to know my opinion.

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Notice crazzy has two z's.
You may be worried about her
mastering of the English language,
but I assure you both z's are necessary
for all the sleep I am losing
at the hands of this child.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

DIY Christmas Advent

Abigail and I made some new friends here in Utah.
I love Kristen Colson,
while Abigail is a little more partial to her kids.
One imparticular.

Kristen is my kind of mom.
She's fun.
She's loving.
She's involved.
She keeps it real.
She keeps things simple.

Kristen says,
"You're welcome."

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Me and My Shadow

It's one of those mornings.
I don't want to get out of bed.
Lucky for me I've got nothing on my calendar.
I turned on some cartoons
and gave the baby a bottle, a banana, and a creamie
in her bed for breakfast in bed.
(the last was by her request
and I am in an indulgent mood)
[And yes she still has a bottle - sue me]

I then found the laptop
and crawled back under my own covers.

I prayed earnestly last night
with many tears
that God would sustain me in my trials.
I begged him to help me get through
another day with a toddler.
And the other stuff I deal with.
I feel somewhat better this morning,
but I am giving myself permission to take it easy.
Funny, the toddler seems
harder than anything else right now.

I miss having the kinds of friends that
I can just call and say,
"Will you please take Caroline off my hands for a bit?"
I think I am going to kill her.
(not really)
It takes a while to make friends like that
and all of mine are out of state.

I need some breathing room.
I need a break.
But sometimes I have to wait
for the break I need
because there are too many duties at home..

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Did you notice what Carolines' shirt says?
Ship me to grandmas, special delivery.

Too bad grammy is out of state too.

And so I come to the blog
to work out my own misery.
It helps me so much.
I don't know exactly why.
It may be because I find
an old post like this waiting for just the right words.

Or it may be that I think of my friends
who will read what I write
and I think of the one
who just lost another baby
and her husband is about to lose his job.

My other friend has
early onset Alzheimer's
and is experiencing great confusion.
They say she could only have 4-5 year to live.
She's only 38 and has a 6 month old baby
and three other children.

I have a friend who is struggling
with chronic illness
that she can't find a diagnosis for.

I think of the lady
who I can't write about.
And another friend close by
who just lost her father-in-law

There is a girl from high school
whose family hasn't been able to find
her mentally ill adult brother
for months.
There is another church friend in TN
who has a little one pound baby
fighting for his life in the NICU.

I imagine what so many of my friends
are going through
beyond what I know.
I am sure so many suffer in silence.
I have many friends
who don't know what I deal with.

I think about me and my shadows.
My secrets.
My friends.
My friends with secrets.
And then I laugh at the blog title
because it wasn't written weeks ago
 to refer to my mood,
but my sweet little two year old
that I need to appreciate and love.

God grant me the strength
and the selflessness.

And please help me find some time
for the break that I need.

P.S. I do know that in all trials
and all struggles and all the darkness
and the hard and the frustration and the tears
God has given us very many things to be grateful for.
I am going to start a list of mine
to pull me out of this mood.

thank you for
my toddling tornado
who is so dang cute and energetic.
Modern medicine & doctors to help my suffering friends.
An eternal plan of happiness for families
that gives us the knowledge that
someday all suffering will cease
and all families can be together forever.
Thank you for my bed
so I can sulk.
The heat that comes
from the utility company
with an up to date paid balance.
And my laptop that allows me to
write until my mood is changed.
Thank you for the TV
and the milk in the bottle.
Thank you for
my husband's job
and for all the years we suffered
without income
so I know that my friends
who lose jobs will also be provided for.

Thank you for a Savior
who suffered all things
so none of us have to suffer,
if we just call on his name.

See how that works?
I feel better already.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Kid Nativity

Today at Cub Scouts
we will be talking about the ways we worship.

While I give a lesson about how
as members of
The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints
we worship our Savior Jesus Christ,
the boys will be keeping their hands busy with this project.

Thanks Aunt Rosemary for the great idea.
And thanks cousin Ryan
for making this so very lovely
twenty years ago.

Nothing better than a vintage art project.
I believe this would make even Martha proud.
Martha Stewart and Martha in the Bible.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Book Review - Cold River

Cold RiverCold River by Liz Adair

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes I wonder where my brain is. It wasn't until I sat down to write this review that I realized how the title Cold River reflects the subject of the book. I swear I am blonde sometimes.

The jest of the story-line in Cold River is a gutsy gal takes a job as a superintendent of schools in the small town in the upper mid-west of the US. She has never lived in such a small town and so when she ends up renting a house right on the river, the river and its surrounding landscapes are a comfort to her as she acclimates to the small town life. The river also has significance in one of the main plots, but I hate to give away spoilers in the reviews I write, so you will just have to read the book yourself.

This book was a fun read. It took about 100 pages until I formed any kind of attachment whatsoever to the story-line, but that doesn't mean it's a bad book, it took me the same amount of time to love Harry Potter, and we all know how that turned out. I fell in love with the male co-leads, if that's what we can call them. There are three cousins that are completely different yet equally hunky and mysterious. Once the story got going it was fast paced and intriguing and the suspense and romance only grew my interest up until the very end.

I loved how the relationships all twist and intervene with one another; the mere idea is so consistent with small town living, especially because everyone is related in one way or another. I didn't guess the villain of the story until they were revealed and that is not easy for an author to do...I always guess what's going on, so I appreciated the surprise. It was a great surprise and I love when an author can get me shaking my head at myself for not guessing what was really going on in the story-line.

I am personally connected to the three subplots of music in schools, literacy, and gaining emotional maturity and I agreed with the viewpoint of the author on them all and enjoyed how Adair wove them into the greater story.

The end of the story was magnificent. I have a real hard time giving a book a good review if I don't think the end was spectacular. It has to be not only spectacular but real to life and feel-good. I know that limits me, but I don't think I am going to change now, so all you authors out there, write good endings. I like setting a book on the shelf knowing that it left me with a greater expectation from the world around me and the end has to leave me feeling good for that to happen.

I highly recommend this book. If I had to describe it in one word it would be adventurous. Get the book, it will take you on an adventure physically and emotionally. You may even feel like finding that Cold River and staking out a home of your own.

Purchase the book here. When I last checked it was only $12. Great deal. Even better Christmas present

Say hi to author Liz Adair on her blog here.

Ask her to write more good stories for all of us.

I was compensated for this review with a free copy of the book,
but like always, I gave you my honest opinion.
I don't think I am even capable of anything besides my opinion! 

View all my reviews

Monday, December 05, 2011

Holly Wreath Cookies

Thanks to Donna for doing a virtual cookie swap. How much fun is that?
Anyone can join including you, so go check it out.

I am honored to be her first feature
with a long-standing family tradition cookie called
Holly Wreath Cookies.

Oh the memories of buttered up hands and brothers grabbing all the red hots first.
I don't know how my mom put up with all of us.

Before I give you the recipe, let me direct you to Donna's funniest recent blog post about what not to ask black people. Donna is black just in case you were wondering what makes her the expert.

Here is the recipe for those of you who like your cookies made from dirty little fingers.

Holly Wreath Cookies

1 Cube Real Butter
1 Bag Large Marshmallows
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
6 cups corn flakes
Lots of green food coloring
Red Hots if desired

First make sure you grease a few large pieces of wax paper prior to preparing cookies. We use Pam to spray the wax paper but mom always used butter or margarine.

In a large stock pot melt the butter. Add marshmallows, vanilla and almond extracts and stir until all marshmallows are melted. Be careful to not burn the mixture. Remove from heat and add green food coloring to bring mixture to a forest green color. It takes quite a bit but it definately looks better than avacado green when you use just a little.

When mixture is a good shade of green add the corn flakes. Fold the flakes into the mixture to avoid crushing the flakes. When flakes are sufficiently green scoop out approxiamtely 1 1/2 cups of flakes onto wax paper. Have kids rub their hands with butter and form the flakes into wreath shapes. Add red hots and let cool.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Salt Lake City

I am so happy to live back in Utah.
I miss my Tennessee,
but I sure do love both places
with all my heart.

I can't wait to go back to Temple Square
when it is all lit up.
It's on the family calendar in the next few weeks.
Anyone want to join us?

Here are some photos from Temple Square
during a summer wedding.
Winter photos to come, very very soon.

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Another Holiday Give Away

Remember my friend Lori who won the half-tee and I asked her to give me something free.

Well, she is trying her hardest to oblige.
You're welcome everyone for putting the giveaway idea in her head.

This post is my 1 in 4 chance at winning one of her adorable and quite famous pillows.
I don't usually do this much work so that tells you how much I want one for FREEE!

Go here for your chance to win.

Friday, December 02, 2011

DIY Angry Birds - just in time for Christmas

All credit for this amazing idea goes to my amazing friend

When her and her husband posted this idea on facebook
I just knew I had to share it with the cyber world.

The picture pretty much tells you all you need to know,
but for those of you like me who want more details,
come back for when I hear back from Stori
as to what she used to draw on the store-bought bouncy balls.
I am guessing she used paint or sharpies.
What's your guess?

Stori's answer
I used a little bit of everything, sharpies, paint & even a little green nailpolish(which i already had) on the pigs noses to give them a little depth. lol I got my paint at lowed they have in any color for around 2.97

Easiest and coolest
and quite possibly the cheapest
Christmas gift for the season.

It will be perfect to give to your kids on Christmas morning
when you have a million assorted cardboard boxes
to put to good use.

Thanks Stori for having a brilliant mind.
And for being an awesome friend
and letting me be the one to crack the story on my
little personal blog.
I think I am going to get millions of hits this month.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

December's Writing Contest

As you all know, I like to have a contest every month. I want to engage you all, my wonderful readers.
Last month, the contest was easy, all you had to do was leave me a comment to win a half-tee.

This morning Lori Cruze was chosen as #5 on She is going to be sooo excited.

Congrats Lori. Thanks for being a reader and a friend. 
Now, when are you going to give me something free? Huh?

This month I am going to do something a little different. I guess your chances of winning will be pretty high because I don't expect too many people to participate.

I'm hosting a writing contest.
I used to love Scribbit's writing contests
before Michelle went a-wall.
I even got an honorable mention once.
It was one of my most proud moments.

Anyhow, I have always loved sappy Christmas stories.
I know that the stories are everywhere and everyone has their own that should be told.
So now it's your chance.

Write down your story,
post it somewhere online, 
and leave me a comment on this post
with your name and story url.

The contest will end on December 20th
and I will announce the winner
shortly before or after Christmas.
It depends on my wrapping situation.

I will get a friend to help me choose the winner.
The amount of tears shed while reading your story
will determine the winner.
Trust me, this won't be hard,
I cry at everything
and I will choose an equally emotional friend
to help me pick the winner.

If you win,
you will be sent our own copy of my favorite Christmas story

You will also have some mean bragging rights.
Like I will stick the word WINNER
on the above jpeg
and you can post it on your blog.

Let me take this moment to thank all those who made my own Christmas stories possible.
You forever live in our hearts.

I hope this year will be our year to start
paying it forward.
And I thank God for that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


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KittyBear has been consuming my energy.
She's been missing for five days.
She is our beloved cat of seven years.
I've blogged about her before

I had to go to the pound yesterday 
to see if she was there.
Don't go to the pound.
It's not all fun and happy like
Hotel for Dogs
Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

It's sad and depressing
and will make an animal hoarder
out of the most sane of people.

Last night I sincerely had to hand
KB over to God.
I could feel myself
getting more and more depressed.
If I let my thinking fester
I may end up in bed for months.
So, I just said,
"God, I am giving KB to you now."
You would be amazed at how fast
doing that works in any given situation.

I know you are all gonna think
I am totally whacky.
Who gets that upset over a cat?

Well, I do.
That's who.
I won't even go into my
conspiracy theories
of my serial killing neighbor.

God has a way of putting things into perspective.
I got a facebook message10 minutues ago
and someone's teenage daughter
has been missing from my city
for the same exact amount of time
that our KittyBear has been gone?

Do you think they
could have run off together?
Don't tell me otherwise, please.
That is my happy place.
A lonely teenage girl and KB 
snuggled together in a boxcar somewhere.

Don't forget that tomorrow is your last day to win a free half-tee!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Memorizing Scripture

After the last general conference
one of the things
we decided to work on as a family
is memorizing scripture.

Richard G Scott gave a great address
on scriptures being our friends.

It got me thinking about how many times
God has spoken to me through a verse
of scripture running through my head.

I thought I better work harder at giving scriptures
to the girls so that in their time of need
God will be able to speak to them through
the scriptures that are stored in their brain.

We started with my favorite scripture.
This verse has been there with me
through a whole lot of hard stuff.

Proverbs 3:5-6
We all took a turn writing a line.
Caroline even got a turn.

As we all cited the scripture together
for the first time
Caroline was quick to correct us that
after path
we are all to say
scribble scribble scribble

How dare we leave out her part?

How many of you bet
that someday in the near future
God will speak to my girls
by letting them hear
the words
scribble scribble scribble circle
in their minds and hearts
when they need it the most?

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Little Monkey

Happy Thanksgiving
to you and yours

from us and ours.

I think we win the cute contest.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


A few weeks ago LG confided in me that he had fallen in the shower.
He had a boo-boo and I wasn't very sympathetic.
"How old are you?" I asked. "70?"

Then, just days later, I fell in the shower

and he was so sweet about it.

I did fall way more violently
as there were cleaning agents and a trash can involved
but still.

Sometimes I know I got the better end of the deal.
I am so glad that there are those times
to even out the ones when I wonder
what the heck I was thinking.

Love you LG!

And I hope we got our falling out of our systems.
Because if this happens when we are 70 or more
one of us is going to end up in the nursing home.

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Even more disturbing than the bruise....
my triple chin.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I guess I better get these Halloween photos up
before Thanksgiving gets here.

Our girls got some killer deals
at K-mart on their costumes.
Sometimes it pays to be late.
50% off plus another 20% off coupon.
Then I got another discount on Abigail's
because we had to sew a strap on.
I told the girls that we would only spend $5 on each of them.
They gladly subsidized with their own money
so they didn't have to make their own costumes.
I think we spent a total combined of $30.

I can't say that I was disappointed
since making our own costumes
would require my help.

I was going to dress Caroline up
as Shirley Temple
but she barely cooperated
for wings,
so what would have been the point?

Have I told you how much of a handful this kid is?

I wonder where she gets it from?
We dumped Caroline back at home with dad
after knocking on the condos
close to home.

Here are the girls out about in the neighborhood
with our two friends Natassja and India.
It seems we should live somewhere more exotic
than Utah
when we have friends with names like that.

I just loved this shot with the pumpkin.
Notice that we use pillowcases
for carrying Halloween candy.
It's what my mom used to make us do
when we were kids
and the tradition has stuck.

Best costume of the evening.
Obama and his Secret Service agents.
These boys are awesome.
My girls enjoyed following them around the neighborhood
on our perfect weathered evening.

I enjoyed taunting Obama at every door
that us Utahns only give our candy to Republicans
who work for their own stuff.
I'm silly like that.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Family Dance Night

Do you remember this ancient post about the family staying up all night to dance.
We couldn't afford to go to Chuck E Cheese and so we pulled out the old records.

Well now we can afford to go to Chuck E. Cheese but I believe I would rather
travel back in time and do this all over again.
I finally figured out how to post the video and these are so cute.
The girls have grown so fast but I am pleased to report that they still giggle just the same.
And they still think they can dance.

It started out slow. Very Lawrence Welk feeling slow.

Then we moved on to Bob Dylan's song on banjo.
Dad does some tapping and at the end the baby has to join in.

More with dad and baby. Puff the magic dragon.

Then dad goes a little crazy.

A little Beverly Hillbilly's. We were in TN after all.
We have some underwear malfunctioning.
This is when I hope that no sickos have found the blog.
But, if you sickos have found us, make sure you watch this one through
to see the man you will contend with if you come within 50 feet of our daughters.
And then know that I am about 800% more ferocious.

Now dad kindly introduces the two-step to our flapper girls.
Has anybody seen our girls?

And if you've been the loyal watcher,
you will be happy for this finale.
One final laugh for us all.

Good times. Good times.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Living a Consecrated Life

Every 6 months Mormons gather worldwide
to hear from the latter day prophets and apostles.
You may think that sounds crazy,
but trust me, if you were to peek in,
you would be astounded.
Astounded like you were at the feet
of Moses or Noah or Peter, James, or Paul.

For me, every time, the experience is life changing.
This last session in October was especially so.
I wrote down a list of personal questions
that I have been seeking God for answers about
and then I prayerfully listened 
for communication from God
through His messenger The Holy Ghost.

1-How can I know my purpose or mission in life?
2- How will having my own personal goals make me happier?
3-How can I become more physically/mentally healthier? To what level should I commit myself?
4-Why has it been so hard for me to find a job?
5-What about more kids? I want to be done and I want to know now.
6-How long should I wait to finish my education?
7-How can I get more disciplined and make living the gospel priority #1?
8-What do I need to change as a wife and a mother?

I got a whole composition book
of notes
on personal guidelines
for my life.

I hope to share some.

Ian S. Ardern gave a particularly helpful talk.
It was entitled A Time to Prepare

Listen to this:
Mastering the techniques needed to
reach our goals includes becoming
the master manager of our time.
Our greatest happiness comes as we tune into the Lord and to those things which bring a lasting reward....Take those things that rob us of our precious time and determine to be their master, rather than allowing them through their addictive nature to be the master of us.

He also said: "Grind distractions to dust."

This talk answered a whole slew of my questions.
From this talk I made myself some new goals
that would assist me in showing God
by the way I use my time
that He is my first priority.

1-Quit wasting time on the computer and looking for validation online.
2-Make a goal to run a 5k.
3-Pray and study every day.
4-Follow the promptings of the spirit on a daily basis.

I've been using my time much more wisely, and I feel a million times happier.
Living a consecrated life isn't a sacrifice, it's one of God's very best blessings.
He looks after each of us individually and speaks to us.
He knows what we need.
I have found that seeking out the Lord in my life
always leads to greater personal satisfaction.