Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Quiet Minute

Dixon needed a time-out from church today, so I left Relief Society to bring him home to his bed. Now I'm sitting here A L O N E with about a million things that I could be doing before everyone else gets here, but I decided to plop on the couch and get caught up on a little journaling while it's Q U I E T.

1. The morning study/workout routine has been going wonderfully! By the end of the week I could "run" a full mile again without stopping, though I'm sure the old man on the treadmill next to me was worried that he might have to jump off and revive the girl with the bright red face. I'm grateful that my body has decided to allow me to move again, for the time being. Oh yeah, and I dropped 2.5 lbs. last week, so that made me pretty happy as well.

2. We spent almost the entire day in the garden yesterday, planting cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and zinnias, as well as tilling and digging up the walkways to put down weed barrier. Sure makes the beds look nice, outlined by the clean walkways. I didn't even think about getting my camera out yesterday, so maybe I'll take advantage of the beautiful day today and go take some pictures. We have 2" peas, onions, lettuce, spinach, beets and radishes popping up, and the potatoes have started to make their way up through the dirt as well. Our asparagus is growing like crazy, but we've yet to pick any. Some were nice thick stalks, but it grew so fast that before we knew it, some of it had ferned already. I'm considering going out today and picking a couple just to have some fresh stuff for dinner.

3. I purchased a cutting mat and rotary blade yesterday, which made my tie cutting SO MUCH FASTER! I'm very excited to start cutting again tomorrow, to see what I can get done. I got another shipment of fabric in this week so I could start building up my inventory for the fair. I feel like there's so much to think about and get done before it gets here that I'm kinda glad it's the only fair I've entered so far.

4. I got sick of my red living room, so I took down my curtains, sewed some new ones and recovered all my pillows with greens, blues and browns. I even repurposed a couple of old sweaters into pillows..they're my faves.

5. Dixon has started to stand without help. He always looks around to find someone to cheer for him when he does. It's adorable.

6. Brooke taught herself how to ride her bike without training wheels yesterday. Mike fixed up the bikes as best he could, attached the trailer to his bike and took the kids all the way over to the mortuary parking lot to ride after hours. They had a BLAST! I'm afraid I'm going to be hearing lots of, "Mo---om, can we go ride our bikes at the mortuary?" this summer.

7. Mike has decided to take the month off from planning any dates for us. Therefore, I may protest next month by planning dates for myself. Like, a pedicure while he's at work, or maybe some clothes shopping...

8. My morning scripture study has been such an influence on the rest of my day. I've felt compelled to study patience, and as a result have been more aware of my lack of it. On the days I choose to exercise it more, I feel happier and more in control. A thought came to me as I studied that to wait on the Lord is not a waste of time.

9. We found out today that our Stake Presidency is being released at Stake Conference in four weeks. Mike was informed this morning that Elder Bruce C. Hafen plans on interviewing each of the High Councilmen during that time. Hope he doesn't get an ulcer.

And with that, the kidlets have returned...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Money or Competition?

I started a friendly little competition this weekend with about a dozen others who needed some motivation to drop a few.

Pounds, that is.

We each paid in $40, with prize money going to 1st and 2nd place, and 1st place in points (earned through tracking meals, workouts, water, etc.). So far I've been very diligent--even fierce!--about keeping to my goals for daily calorie intake and calories burned through exercise. (Yes, the gym welcomed me back with open arms...or flying buttresses, whatever the case may be.) I've decided that getting up to study and workout before the kids have a chance to swarm me feels oh so much better than sleeping in. Yep. You read that right. Me. The one who adores her pillow nearly as much as she adores her husband, actually thinks getting up EARLY is the winner. Now, if I can just remember that when the alarm goes off at 4:45...

It felt so good to get on the treadmill, and despite the threat of earthquake or recoil, RUN AGAIN. Mike will read this and snicker because according to him, what I do is not classified as "running." He also thinks that me calling it "jogging" is letting it slide. So sorry Mr. Cross-Country and your I-ate-so-much-chocolate-this-weekend-and-I-still-can't-break-200 metabolism. You know what you can do with your definitions.

A really great resource I've found is Spark People. I track all my measurements, meals along with calories & nutrients, and workouts including calories burned. I LOVE the site and I'm pretty sure I'm not organized enough to track everything without it. I'm feeling really good about my progress so far. I may even win.

The question is, is it the money that is motivating me, or is it the competition????

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bridget's 4th

Happy 4th Birthday, Bridget!

Friday, April 16, 2010


There's a great giveaway going on at BLOOM today, so I'm posting here for another entry. Who doesn't need more bakeware??!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Importance of Being Bridget

I found a nifty new feature on my camera last week that allows me to take successive pictures. I couldn't resist posting this sequence of Bridget, who was supposed to be helping me get the lighting right on my camera, but was a little obsessed with her new dental work and thought the camera would find it as interesting as she did. This kid cracks me up.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Break Part II

Flip Flops!!!!

Last month, I saw this great tutorial on how to make interchangeable flip flops, and I
immediately knew we had a fun Spring Break project on our hands! Ever since I brought home their new flip flops, the girls have been waiting on pins and needles to start decorating them. Well, today was that day!

And then we looked outside...

Doesn't that just scream "SPRING BREAK!" to you?

So after an hour or so playing in the frozen white North, building a pretty impressive snowman with Dad, and having one heck of a snowball fight, they finally conceded to the wet and came inside to start their project.We started off with these plain black ff's from Old Navy that I got on sale for $1.83/pair. That's cheaper than Walmart, AND they're better quality. Yay me! (Did I really just quote London Tipton? Little too much Disney Channel...)
I found this adhesive at Hobby Lobby. Hot glue will come apart too easily, so I found one that would adhere fabric to plastic.
I cut strips of velcro the width of the straps and angled the tops to fit nicely together. Then I used the rougher "hook" side to glue down. Next came my sewing machine, where I jumped ahead of myself and forgot to take a picture of how I folded the ribbon and sewed it into a "V". Oh well. (If you can't figure it out, just refer back to the original tutorial. I'm only adding my own here so I know I'll be able to refer back to this, even if the other site disappears.) After that, I took the corresponding "loop" side and sewed it to the ribbon down both sides.
The girls picked out their own ribbons and flowers and other adornments, resulting in these beauties.

I have to go buy some more velcro so I can get mine done now! It was a pretty easy project, and the girls are very excited to swap bands with one another. Of course, they won't be wearing them outside the house until Mr. Snowman has completely watered our lawn. From the looks of this before (10 am) and after (6 pm) shot, it may happen sooner than later. Of course, this is Spring in Utah.

Spring Break Part I

We spent Easter weekend with the Stringham side of the family, and had a really great time. I always love it when we can get the little girls together to play because they have so much fun! (Not to mention the fun the big girls have when we get together, too!) The boys--Paul, Mike, Matt, and Jason--went off to watch Clash of the Titans, while we took the little ones to the Treehouse Museum, where they played furiously for about an hour and a half. Afterward, we met up with the guys at Fat Cats and played video games. Most of us took a turn at the bumper cars, which Maggie, Brooke and Katie LOVED! It was hilarious watching their little faces just beaming with pure exhilaration as they manned their own car and held on for dear life! Everyone came back to our place and had an Easter egg hunt in the back yard...just what we needed--kids hyped up on candy! After some KFC and a rousing game of Apples to Apples, everyone took off and we all crashed hard.
Easter morning came, and the girls were so excited to put on their new Easter dresses, that they didn't care that it was General Conference and not regular church. {Chocolate for breakfast isn't THAT bad, is it?} They climbed back into their little tents they had brought upstairs for Saturday's conference sessions (a la the Nephites who turned their tents toward King Benjamin) and proceeded to peruse their Conference packets I'd printed off for them. Maggie actually listened to almost every talk of every session this year, which was quite remarkable to me. The force is strong with that one... :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Teach the Children

When touched by the Spirit, tears flow so easily for me, but often words do not.

Today I watched this short video between Conference sessions about The Redeemer, with Maggie and Bridget seated beside me.
"Mom, you're crying AGAIN!" they said, between giggles.
"I know, I know. Mom just cries at everything, doesn't she?" I said, as I quickly wiped my face and turned off the computer to make my way to the kitchen.
Dinner was ready in time for the start of the last session, so we sat down to eat our lovely Easter dinner, with Maggie's boombox strategically placed on the counter so we wouldn't miss a thing. (The meal must've been good because everyone was quiet enough for us to hear the talks!)

As Elder Hales began to speak of how his mother wanted him home for dinner before he could go out to play baseball, I looked around our kitchen table and felt an overwhelming sense of joy that our family was all there together.
I was further impressed when he started talking about the Nephites during the time of King Benjamin, and how "there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people..." (Mosiah 26:1) I at once thought about Elder Bednar's talk yesterday. "Parents should be vigilant and spiritually attentive to spontaneously occurring opportunities to bear testimony to their children," he said. "Such occasions need not be programmed, scheduled or scripted. In fact, the less regimented such testimony sharing is, the greater the likelihood for edification and lasting impact" (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:85). I also thought of how I had let that moment pass me by as I had earlier wept with my children beside me, never explaining to them why my heart was so tender. It never occurred to me until that moment that my children could be like those Nephites who didn't understand, so they hardened their hearts, consequently were not baptized, and never joined the church, separating themselves from the Lord.

How could I possibly think my sweet little ones would understand the deepest feelings of my heart toward my Savior, Jesus Christ, just by looking at the tears streaming down my cheeks? How will they know if I don't take the opportunities given to me by the Spirit to testify of truth?
This Conference, for me, was the most touching and powerful of any I can recall. So much was directed toward my role as a mother, as I repeatedly heard, "Teach the children." I can't wait to read the talks over and see what other things the Spirit impresses upon me, and I can't wait to share these things with my children. My tears will be learning to have a voice.