Monday, September 29, 2008

New Season

Season premiers are here!!! I am not a huge TV person, but there are a few shows that I choose to follow.

Among them are:

And, my inspiration,

Well aside from needing an excuse to post a hot sexy picture of McDreamy on my website.... I have been thinking about the next "Season" of my life. As it cools down and the nights get longer, it means that "Fall" or whatever we call it here in AZ is approaching, followed by "Winter" which is seriously OVERRATED :), but nice and definitely enjoyable here, I contemplate.

What new story lines will I create? What goals do I want to set? How will I teach my 1 year old that it's NOT alright to scratch my face when she's mad?

Each season in our lives are different. Each choice we make leads to consequences, good or bad. Each day brings new challenges. I don't know how I will answer each of these questions. I don't know what this next year will bring. I'm sure there will be tough moments, there will be frustrating moments. But I also know there will be moments of intense joy. There will be new memories to be made, new goals to set, and new beginnings.

Here's to a new "season" to us all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Something old, something new

Want to know when it's time to buy a new car?

When it will cost more to fix than it's worth.

When it has 206,000 miles.

When it "blue books" for only $750.

Our Camry has been very good to us, and has seen us through some amazing times.

We brought Sariah home in the Camry.

We made dozens of trips to the temple in the Camry.

We have many wonderful memories in the Camry.

However, cars do not last forever. Something went wrong and needed to be fixed. It was going to cost us more than the car itself was worth. We cut our ties with our sweet car.


Here is our new car: 2006 Nissan Altima.

It's not new, but it's new to us, and drives like a DREAM.

It's a car that we hope to have for the next 10 years, and will see us through many more wonderful memories.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Queen of her castle

This morning, I was making my bed...

I tossed the pillows on the floor to pull the sheets and comforter back...

When I turned around, I found Sariah...

...perched on top of "her" pillows.

She sat like this while I folded laundry...

And took a shower...

Sweet girl.

Kung Foo Parker

I think Parker has been watching a little too much Kung Foo Panda at my house...

He decided to sleep with his "Master Parker fighting sticks."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Aunt Courtney - notice the family resemblance?

I wonder where my child has learned to suck her fingers like this...AUNT COURTNEY.

I definitely won't mention any names...AUNT COURTNEY.

No one in MY family sucked their fingers like this...AUNT COURTNEY.

Be Prepared

The economy today is SHAKY.

The stock market is down.

Bank cash reserves have been raised from 9 billion to 90 billion (people want cash because they are worried about banks closing).

Will milk be $6 a gallon soon?

What will the economy be like in 2 years?

Will my husband have a job?


The experience that Adam and Erin just had (they have power now!) has really instilled in me the need to get our house in order.

Our family motto for the rest of the year is BE PREPARED.

We are going to dedicate every FHE from now, until the end of the year, to get our 3-day emergency kit put together, a 30 day supply of food and necessities, and get all of our important papers in one binder (so we can grab-and-go if necessary).

Here is what we have decided to put in to our 3 day emergency kit (which will be a duffel bag). Our thoughts are if we need to evacuate, here is what we'll take with us. Or, if our power is out for a few days, here's what we'll need.

$300 cash
$10 quarters
4 flashlights
several packages of D batteries
battery-powered radio
plastic sheet (tarp)
duct tape
peanut butter
protein bars
granola bars
canned meat
canned veggies
canned fruit
can opener
first aid kit
plastic garbage bags and ties
warm blanket
change of clothes and shoes
paper, pencils, pens
extra keys (cars and house)
anti-bacterial gel
leash for Corona
travel-size: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deoderant, soap
toilet paper
duffel bag to put it in

Have on hand, but not part of kit:
Charcoal (for bbqing)
camp stove
extra propane

These days are so unpredictable, that I felt compelled to share what we are doing to prepare. I'm sure we have a lot of this already, but it's good to put it in one place so we can grab it if we need it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Update on Adam and Erin

A lot of you know my brother and his wife who are living in Louisville. Adam is in his 3rd year of law school.

On Sunday, a tornado hit Louisville, and surrounding areas. It hit while they were at church. The bishopric stopped church and sent everyone home. There are more than 13 million people without power, and here is an update on how Adam and his family are holding up, along with some lessons I have learned from their experience.

UPDATE: On Sunday, Adam had to drive 70 miles to find ice to pack their perishables in!! Whatever was not spoiled by Monday evening, they were going to BBQ. Adam said as he was driving, all the gas stations had lines of more than 100 cars.
LESSON: Always keep your car's gas tank at least half full (which has been recommended by

UPDATE: They are living off their 30 day supply of food.
LESSON: Have AND MAINTAIN a 3 month supply of food (which has been recommended by

UPDATE: There is NO ELECTRICITY. The grocery stores are running on generators and back-up sources of power. You can buy groceries, but only with cash (ATMs aren't working because of no electricity, and the debit/credit machines at the stores don't work because of no electricity).
LESSON: Always keep a stash of cash in your house somewhere for emergencies like this (yet again, recommended by

UPDATE: It will take an estimated 10-14 days for the power to be restored.
LESSON: Have a stash of flashlights, batteries, and candles ready for emergencies (um...recommended by

UPDATE: You can't read by candle light, and there's only so much you can do after dark. After a while, the family is bored so they just go to bed!
LESSON: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise (recommended by D&C)!

UPDATE: Adam STILL had SCHOOL on Monday!
LESSON: The world has to end in order for school to be canceled.

UPDATE: Carter has set up a tent in their living room because he says it feels like camping.
LESSON: Live in the moment with your children (recommended by Stefanie, who didn't want to be a "basket head mom").

It's amazing to me. What have we been told to have in order to be prepared for an emergency situation such as this? Thankfully, Adam and Erin are FINE and have everything they need BECAUSE THEY LISTENED AND HEEDED.

I'm sure they could use our thoughts and prayers. I'll post another update as soon as I have one!

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Resolve

Has anyone else ever been in the "frumpy mom" mode? You know... the one where you wake up with your children, stay in your yoga pants all day with your hair out of sorts, and don't dare leave the house because you feel icky?

I'm sure I'm not alone!

The day-to-day activities can get a little tedious.

And then I remember that I chose this. I chose not to work so I could do these wonderful day-to-day activities!

"Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women's opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering." -- Elaine Heffner

Today, I did 4 loads of laundry.

Today, I steamed 11 of my sweet husband's work shirts.

Today, I played with my daughter and niece and nephew. We read books, danced to a "Silly Songs" CD that Parker (my nephew) LOVES, put together puzzles, napped, and ate lunch with silly hats on.

Today, I gently cleaned my 3 month old niece (in the sink) after a diaper blow-out.

Today, I cooked a delicious dinner of salmon, salad, and melon fruits.

Each and every one of those tasks is so important!

But today, I made a new resolve. How can I be a good wife and mother if I don't take care of myself first?

Tomorrow, I am going to wake up at 6:30 am, take a shower, get dressed, put a little make-up on, read my scriptures, and eat a good breakfast. Once I have taken care of myself, I can then listen for my beautiful daughter to awake and take care of her. I have found that I have a much more productive day when I am dressed and ready for the day. If we don't take care of ourselves first, how can we expect to take care of our families? I am going to love that hour in the morning, all to myself, to greet my day.

PS - I'm really not as overwhelmed as that cartoon shows - I just thought it was funny.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Midnight Sun

Most people I know, have loved Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Sagas. Well, most of the books. Some loved the last book, and some hated it.

The author has written a new book, "Midnight Sun," which is from Edward's point of view. It's the first book with a fascinating twist of being seen through the eyes of Edward: seeing Bella, smelling Bella, falling in love with Bella, sharing his dark secret with Bella, etc.

Stephanie gave a partial draft to a few trusted friends for editing. One of those trusted friends posted it on the internet, which has made the author incredibly disgruntled. I would be, too!

The good news for us - on her website, she has actually posted the partial draft for us to read, free of charge! She figured if it was out there anyway, she might as well give it to us as well. It's only half of the book, and it makes me MORE anxious to buy it when it comes out!

HERE is the link to the book. It's in PDF format, so you can just read from your computer. Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

10 best BRAIN foods

About 2 years ago, my school sent me to a conference in San Francisco to learn about the latest brain research. I was then to use some of my learnings and apply them to my in-classroom instruction. I was given money to buy a few books, which I became addicted to (and recommended to my principal to have all the teachers read). I am completely fascinated with brain research, the adolescent brain, and how it all ties to learning. As a biology teacher, I knew I would put everything I learned in to use...and I did. The conference made me a better teacher.

The conference I went to was put on by Eric Jensen, one of the leading brain-based educational instructors in the world. He has the leading scientific experts join him at his conferences to teach us how the brain works, and then he teaches us how to use that information and apply it to teaching.

One thing that I took away, I will never forget. It's the top 10 foods that are best for brain development, function, and learning. I didn't allow eating in my classroom until I heard this list. Then I allowed kids to bring in any of the following to munch on.

They are (in no particular order):

1. Blueberries
2. Broccoli
3. Spinach
4. Salmon
5. Walnuts
6. Tomatoes
7. Bananas
8. Yogurt
9. Olive oil
10. Brown bread

I actually had a child come in with salmon chips! I now incorporate these foods almost daily in our meal plan, and especially for our growing daughter.

Now, this list is VERY close to the top 10 HEALTHIEST foods. There is a difference, and one item on the 10 healthiest foods that I was definitely not expecting to be there. Stay tuned for that list...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Maybe we ARE doing something right

Sariah loves to gesture with her hands. She has a hand gesture for almost anything, because she hasn't started talking yet.

When she has to pee, she points to her diaper.

When she's tired, she'll go get her blankie and pacifier, and sit on the ground.

When she's all done, she'll promptly put her hands in the air (as demonstrated in the video).

One night, we were getting ready to bless our food.

Sariah folded her arms.

She understands that folding her arms goes with a prayer.

Of course, they unfolded 2 seconds later, but she's starting to understand...

Maybe we are doing something right afterall...

This is what life's about

Ahhh, to be 14 months old again...

And play in your pj's all morning...

And be silly in your pretend car...

I love it.

The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.

Peter de Vries

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy Birthday to my One and Only

Today is Jared's birthday!

He's 29.


Happy Birthday to you, my wonderful Captain Moroni. I LOVE YOU.

What's up with "Captain Moroni" you say?

When we were dating, we went to the temple. I wanted to do baptisms since I wasn't endowed, and Jared performed them. We went to the temple and joined a youth session, and the temple president gave a talk to the youth. He told them what an amazing thing they were doing. He also told the girls that one day, if they lived their life right, they would marry their very own Captain Moroni in that very temple.

I did. I married him 5 months later, and I love him more each day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This child does not share my DNA

I certainly never acted like this...

Or took off my clothes and diaper...

I have NO idea where she got this from...