Saturday, September 27, 2008

What I needed to hear

Tonight I got the opportunity to attend the General Relief Society Meeting at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. I'm so glad I was there because otherwise, I'm sure I wouldn't have been watching. Throughout the day, while taking care of really sick Charlie, I held a prayer in my heart that one of the messages would be an answer to some of my recent prayers. I was not disappointed.
The RS presidency gave excellent talks as usual, but the real treat came with President Uchtdorf's talk. I'm not sure what this talk will be titled, but I hope all of you will look it up (when it's posted) on if you were unable to somehow listen to it today. He started off talking about how men and women are different and how women tend to be horrible critics of themselves. He told a sweet story about how his wife will prepare a beautiful feast for dinner, putting in an extra mile's worth of effort to make it perfect. Yet, she'll start the meal with an apology for something minute that could be wrong with it! Then he shared how he'll make greasy fried eggs and burnt "toast" and consider himself a hero!!! So sweet. Anyway, then he began to tell us that we, as women, tend to minimize ourselves and the things we're able to accomplish in a given day. Sometimes we find ourselves so discouraged, overwhelmed, and afraid of our potential to fail.

He spoke of the type of happiness we need to shoot for... God's happiness. Two fundamental principles of God's happiness is creation and compassion. He encouraged us to find ways to create. Creating is making something that didn't exist before. It doesn't have to be done in the kitchen or with a paintbrush or on a piano, it can be something as simple as creating a smile on someone's face. This portion of his talk gave me so much peace and encouragement. It made me grateful to have a few creative outlets that fill my soul. I sometimes worry that my stamping and paper crafting is selfish, but it's something that gives me satisfaction and helps me feel like I'm allowed to enjoy parts of my life. All my recent canning is also creative! I made something that didn't exist before and it will eventually bless my family. I'm grateful to know that by doing some of these things, I'm feeling part of God's happiness!

Other thoughts I had as he was talking was that if there is a part of my life that I'm feeling overwhelmed with, I should put some extra effort into making it more creative. For example, I hate cooking. I don't understand people who love cooking! But to be honest, I've never even tried to make an amazing dish or one to take pride in. I'm not sure that if I do put in more effort that I'll begin to love it, but I should at least try. There are also lots of things that I could be doing to be more creative with my children. I do need to recognize that I'm working hard to CREATE a loving home for my boys, but (without beating myself up) I realize I could be doing more to create positive, lasting memories for them that they can carry throughout their lives. This last week, Paul and I have been blessed with a precious gift... PERSPECTIVE, and this talk added to it. I'm so very blessed to be the mother of three amazing little boys, and whether we're given the opportunity to add to our family in the future or not, I've got one shot at these little one's childhoods. I would love to feel more of God's happiness as I put more of myself (my creative abilities and compassion) into my husband and boys.

So, if you haven't heard the talk yet, look it up... read it in the ensign... whatever you need to do. There's a treasure trove of the Spirit in President Uchtdorf's words. I hope they help you as much as they did me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The canning continues!

This Saturday was a very busy day. It started off with soccer (of course), which I ditched out of to actually get some house cleaning done... yes, it does happen sometimes. I first went to "card exchange." This is a little group I'm involved with where we get together monthly to swap some rockin' cards! We make 2 different cards (10 of each) of different themes that we pick each month. I love being a part of this group because we're all pretty picky and put a lot into our cards... that way, we always get a good return on our investment. So, if I send you a card, it may or may not be a card that I personally made myself, but instead made by somebody that I made a card for! These are the two that I did make. The themes this month were "religious" and "whatever." I was going to send my religious card to my neice, Greta, because she recently got baptized, but it turned out I got a way cuter card from Cyndi, so I'm sending her that one!

Then, in the early after noon, I had "stamp club." This is a different group of ladies (though some of them overlap!) that get together monthly to make cards and we all order stuff and take turns getting the free hostess benefits. I provide all the materials for this group and these are the cards we made.
This card is 4"x4" and uses the 'faux silk' technique. For this one, you stamp on tissue paper, crinkle it up really tight, spread it out and glue it down (with glue stick) onto some cardstock.

Ingredients: (all Stampin' Up!) Eastern Blooms stamp set, Ink: sage shadow, chocolate chip. Paper: chocolate chip and sage shadow cardstock, whisper white cardstock, white tissue paper. Accessories: anywhere glue stick, white grosgrain ribbon, 3/4" circle punch. Easy and fun!

This card was a fast and easy one. No special techniques here!

Ingredients: Upsy Daisy stamp set, Ink: riding hood red, chocolate chip. Paper: riding hood red cardstock, Bella Rose designer series paper. Accessories: vintage brads, piercing tool.

This one was also very easy. Ingredients: Say it with scallops stamp set. Ink: tempting turquoise. Cardstock: tangerine tango, kiwi kiss, tempting turquoise, whisper white. Accessories: scallop square punch, tangerine tango striped grosgrain ribbon, silver brad, dimensionals.

So after all the card making fun, Emily and I picked up some amazing peaches from our neighbor and friend in the ward for a great price. We each bought two boxes, so we were in for a marathon peach-canning extravaganza! We ended up bottling 51 quarts of peaches that night, finishing way later than we wanted to. Here's the end result... I love how sweaty and beat we look!
While Emily, Nate (her hubby), Paul and I were all working hard on the peaches, we were glad that Sammy and Charlie were getting along well! We could even hear them laughing and playing together in my room. Well, we learned this lesson a little late, that though the house may be mostly Charlie proof, it is NOT Sammy proof! That little one has some AMAZING fine motor skills! I now know not to leave things out just because I think Charlie won't get into it. Things like fingernail polish....Yikes!!! It was a pretty tough moment, but we got through it, finished the peaches, and got the carpets cleaned today. I was impressed how much of the stain came out, and thankfully, it's not in a high-traffic area of the house. It now just looks like we didn't bother to clean up some spilled kool-aid or something, which is MUCH better than the full-on, brownish-red fingernail polish all over the floor!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My first "tag" with peaches on top

So, my new long-distance friend Rachelle tagged me to list 6 quirky things about myself. Now, I don't really think of myself as "quirky," more like "disfunctional" in many ways. But over the last couple of days, I thought of some quirks that annoy myself and others.

1. I'm a picker. Yep, it's gross, but I pick things. I pick scabs, zits, peeling sunburned skin, stuff like that. For some reason, I just can't help it. Skin should be smooth, and when it's not, it gets picked. Call it a curse.

2. I ALWAYS have to turn around at least once when I'm driving someplace I've never been before. This is partly due to the fact that I'm not a great driver... never have been. Paul does ALL the driving when we're together, and that's okay by me!

3. I sing along incessantly. Radio, CD's, commercials... if there's music with words, I'm probably singing along. In fact, if you were to ask me what kind of music I like, my answer is, "music I can sing along with." Coincidentally, I married a man that also sings along. We happen to have 3 children who sing along... so much so that we have a rule at our house... "no singing at the table." Otherwise they'd never eat. It's actually kind of funny, but not.

4. I'm not a germophobe. While I do wash my hands after using the bathroom and after touching meat, I'll go ahead and eat food off the floor if it's something I really wanted (within reason, of course).

5. My feet are almost always cold when I get into bed. My husband's legs are usually nice and toasty. You can imagine the scene.

6. I talk too much, especially about myself. Pretty much, all of you know this already. I'm just letting you know that I'm aware of this issue and have been working on it. I figured it out a while back when I met someone who talked more than me and I realized how annoying that is. Sorry about that one, folks!

7. Paul says I should also include the fact that I laugh at my own jokes. Apparently I think I'm funny. I hope I'm not the only one!

So, now I'm supposed to tag 6 other people. They are supposed to post their own "quirk list" on their blogs. I tag...
1. Emily,
2. Alisha,
3. Denise,
4. Lisa G. (so she'll actually post something!)
5. Mindy Tec
6. Becca

Today, I ventured into the arts domestic. This was the result! PEACHES!!!!!
I don't know what it is about canning, but I find an INSANE amount of satisfaction in it! Especially when you get the fruit for free... Thanks Tammy! She had some extra peaches picked from her mother's tree and wasn't going to can anymore quarts. This little batch only made 7 quarts (aren't they pretty!!??!?), but my friend, Emily, and I have some big plans for Saturday. Can't wait to have some help!

On a side note, Charlie says the word "peach" (and "chip" for that matter) in a very questionable/inappropriate way. To use some speech pathology terms, he's been doing some prevocalic voicing and some "metathesis" on chip. Just nobody take it personally if he says it to you! It could be worse, though! My neighbor's daughter has a hard time with the word "truck." Hahaha!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week in review

We had a pretty decent week. My friend was cleaning her storage room on Monday, which inspired me to do the same. Now, this is embarassing, but I'm going to post it anyway. This is our storage room. After almost 3 years of living here, we still haven't done much with this space other than just fill it with junk, junk and more junk. We had boxes in this room that we packed in Brigham City, took to Burley, and then brought here without emptying or repacking them! To say the least, attacking my storage area, was bound to be a gigantic project. Here's a picture of phase two.That's right, phase two. Sadly, this is a vast improvement of what it was! See all those boxes on the left... they used to be filled with stuff that is now either at DI or going in the garbage tomorrow. Here's the other side of the room.This is also an improvement if you can believe it! I guess if you know me well, you can believe it! This is my deluxe stamping space!!! It's rarely organized and only bi-monthly is there enough room on the table to actually make a card (or 50). In my defense, the mess on the floor is a recent occurance. When my boys see floor, they take it upon themselves to do something to remedy that situation. In this case, they found that plastic blue case there full of the foam letters and put them together... they haven't played with this toy for years, ever since I got sick of them chewing up the letters.

Anyway, part of the problem of doing this project is that I neglected the laundry and the rest of the house pretty much all week, leading to an exhausted meltdown on Saturday. Sometimes it's hard when you feel like you have to "do it all" and "be it all."

Other news, I lost another 1.4 pounds at my weigh-in on Thursday. YAY! I'm now down 7.6 lbs from my starting weight.

Also, Andy FINALLY lost that ugly, yellow, front tooth!!! I took the boys to the dentist on Wednesday and was thrilled to have no cavities. Even Charlie got his teeth cleaned, with much screaming and fighting. Luckily the older boys are total troopers when it comes to the dentist, but the gal sure earned her money when it was time to do Charlie. Andy's tooth was loose (he actually has 3 loose teeth), so the dentist showed him how pushing vs. wiggling is better for getting the tooth to come out. He pushed and pushed on that tooth for 3 days, but it finally came out when he was jumping on the trampoline at Grandma's and he hit his face with his knee. Ouch! Well, he looked and looked, but couldn't find the tooth. He figured he may have swallowed it, so he had his cousin, Ellie, write a note to the tooth fairy. This is what it said,

"Dear tooth fairy, I think I swalowd my tooth today. I was bowsing on the tramp my knee hit my tooth my tooth got knocted out that's the part when I swalowed my tooth. From Andy

Isn't that so precious??!! I wish he had written it himself (though it would have hardly been readable) but he did sign his own name! He put the note under his pillow and the tooth fairy brought him 3 quarters! He was thrilled. Now he and Canon have matching smiles again.

The story of a watch

So, about 5 months ago, I bought this watch at a women's expo in Orem. I love this watch and felt so stylin' wearing it. Unfortunately, within a couple months, the battery died and I am TERRIBLE at getting around to fixing things like that (I have 3-4 dead watches right now). But since I love this watch, I would still wear it occasionally because it was cute... until one day when I was pulling it off, SNAP went the band and beads flew everywhere. I collected all the beads and put them in a bag so I could eventually take the whole thing back and get a new one.

Fast forward to last Saturday (Sept 5th). I was in some serious need of "mommy alone time." It so happened that the same expo was going on again and I knew I could go exchange my watch there! Paul had been gone overnight to do his final triathlon of the season and didn't get home until early afternoon. Of course there was a BYU game on TV that somehow (in Paul's mind) trumped me going to the expo by myself. I stood my ground and insisted that I was NOT going to take Charlie with me. You can see that Charlie's very cute, but he's almost two years old. Even in this very picture, he's just finished pulling all the clothes out of the laundry baskets. I love this little guy, but there is no way I'm taking him to a crowded women's expo so he can sit in a stroller and scream (he's a screamer... a loud, ear-piercingly high-pitched screamer!) while I try to take a little break and get my watch replaced!
I did end up getting my way (of course), but I wasn't graceful about it, unfortunately. I convinced my sister-in-law, Melanie to come with me, so we took off with her little baby boy (4 months old is easier to shop with than a two year-old) to go to the expo.

Well, an unfortunate event occurred while driving north on I-15. We were about to exit into Provo to run a quick errand before going to the expo and somehow, my "idiot light" that has been VERY reliable up to this point failed me. I knew I was low on gas, but figured I could get to Costco with no problem, since the idiot light hadn't gone off yet... NOPE! I ended up looking like an idiot who ran out of gas. The friend that I was going to see in Provo came to bring us some gas, but by the time she got there, the battery died and we had no jumper cables. So, calling in the hubbies, we sat and waited for them to come and jump the car. By this point (an hour later), Melanie just went home with Spencer and Paul took me to the expo to exchange my watch. We had to hurry though, because our kids (and most of the other grandkids) were at Grandma and Grandpa's and they needed us back ASAP.

So, the watch company was great about exchanging the watch. I handed them the baggie and said, "new watch please!" and they replaced the whole thing AND threw in an extra battery! Thanks! I also picked up some super cute headbands that I had been wanting since the last expo. So much for "mommy alone time," but at least I got my watch back and some cute things.
Fast forward to Sunday (the next day) at stake conference. Now, don't get me wrong... I love the gospel and value my membership in the LDS church immensely, but getting through sacrament meeting with 3 young, loud boys is completely draining to me. Stake conference is TWICE as bad, seeing as how it's twice as long! In an attempt to keep Charlie quiet (which just means NOT SCREAMING), I let him hold my newly replaced watch. He innocently dropped it, and THIS is what happens.
SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Yeah, that's a broken glass right there! Cheap crap! I'm sure they'll replace the face again, but grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! As if sitting on the highway for an hour wasn't punishment enough for wanting to escape, but then the fruits of my labors end up breaking less than 24 hours of getting it fixed! Ah well... it's a bummer, but at least it's just "small stuff" and could be much worse. At least it's still keeping time!
So, the lesson I learned is this... if you need to escape from your kids, don't tick off your husband before you leave, because the karma comes around and bites you in the butt... big time!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A great Labor Day weekend!

The weekend started off with me receiving some of my big Stampin' Up! order on friday! This is proof that Paul tries to be as cool of a husband as I am a wife! I did some extra, unexpected testing that brought in some extra, unexpected money, so let me introduce you to my new BigShot!!!!!!
I've been watching the die cutting/embossing folder trend in scrapbooking and card making for years now, but have held off because I'm kind of a SU! snob when it comes to my crafting dollars and we didn't offer anything in that market. But finally, I need wait NO LONGER!!!!! So, it was exciting to get my BigShot on Friday, but the rest of my order (that had the only die I ordered in it) didn't come until Tuesday, so I didn't get to play with it right away. But on Tuesday, this box was on my porch when I got home from work! And these are the goodies for me!!! It felt like an extra birthday!
The Whole Box and then a breakdown of what's inside! 7 stamp sets (4 of which were free!), 6 punches that coordinate with the stamp sets, 5 ribbons, and some random tools and paper! That black square is my first die ordered... a big scallop circle!
I can't wait to work on my cards for card exchange and stamp club this month! (hey, we all got our thing!)

Now for the other part of the weekend. On Saturday morning, we got the kids up WAY to early to get Paul to his triathlon up in Riverton. It was a sprint triathlon to give Paul a chance to try out his new wheels in a race. Well, you know what? HE DID AWESOME!!! This was Paul's first podium finish, taking third place in his age range!! It was so fun to see him be so much awesomer than most the other racers there! I'm super proud of my guy and feel bad I won't be able to make it to his last race of the season this upcoming Saturday... that dang soccer mom stuff again!
On Monday morning, I also did a race... a nice little 5K in the rain! I did pretty awesome myself, taking 4th (from last) in my age range!!!! I know, I'm pretty amazing! This is me at the finish line, smiling because it's almost over!
This is my friend and neighbor (we share a wall), Monica. She beat me by 3 rockin minutes! You go girl!
It's amazing how much of exercising and racing is a mental battle as much as it is a physical one. This was the first time I'd ever run in the rain, but it wasn't raining that hard. Because of the bad weather, Paul debated on whether to get the kids up or not. I told him not to worry about it because if I were in his shoes, I wouldn't stand in the rain for 40 minutes with the kids just to watch him run! So, as I'm going along, stopping to walk 4 TIMES during the second mile (just being lazy!) I'm thinking to myself, "self, nobody cares how fast you do this race." I ran most of the last mile, but even then slowed down more than I needed to until I came around the corner and heard Paul and the boys cheering for me to hurry up! I guess they got there just in time to see us START the race, but didn't have time to find me to let me know they were there. I think if I'd have known they were waiting for me, I wouldn't have been so POKEY!!! Ah well. It was fun to have them there to support me. I loved it when Andy yelled at me to "kick it, Mom!!" so I did kick it into gear to finish the last 25 yards! My kids are so fun! The rest of the day, I sat around the house reading "Gone with the Wind" until we went to a barbeque at the Croshaws!

One more update... having intentionally weighed in at weight watchers with my heaviest shoes and clothes on last week, I lost an impressive 6.2 pounds this week! I'm sure at least 3-4 of those pounds are the difference in clothing, but hey... sometimes you've got to make sure you have a successful start to things! It's been a great week figuring out where I'm adding too many calories into my day. And now that I can factor in activity points earned into my daily points budget, this dieting stuff shouldn't be so bad! Okay, nuff for one day!

September = soccer mom

So, soccer started a couple weeks ago. We had a bit of drama figuring out the coaching situation. See, Paul loves all sports, including soccer. He coached Andy's cub soccer team 2 years ago and initially wanted to keep coaching Andy's team as he grew up. Well, we've got more than one son. So last year, Paul coached Canon's cub soccer team. So, this year, he's Andy's coach again and when I signed the boys up for soccer, I put Paul's name down to be a coach for Andy's league. When Paul went to pick up the coaching equipment after the orientation meeting, they stopped him and asked if he was also coaching a cub soccer team. They must have assumed that since he'd coached cub soccer the last 2 years, he'd be okay with it and they had him listed as the coach for Canon's team as well. Instead of saying, "there's no way I can coach two teams," he ends up taking the equipment home for Canon's team, leaving the responsibility for finding a different coach to US! He even said, "YOU're just going to have to coach his team!", which as you can imagine, didn't go over well considering my contribution to Canon's soccer games include multiple fast sprints into the field to keep Charlie from throwing a spare ball into the goal! Thankfully, one of the other families on the team was able and willing, but Canon was disappointed that he didn't get Daddy as coach again. Phew! At least we got THAT figured out!
So here's a couple pictures of Canon's first game. Our team was playing two of the kids we share a backyard fence with, Berkley and Paris. Though I think our team scored a few more goals (no technical score is kept), we figured that since Canon scored two goals and Berkley scored two goals, we tied! I feel bad not having any pictures of Andy's games yet, but as mentioned earlier, I hardly get to watch the soccer field at all with Charlie taking off as fast as a bandit these days! I'll post some within the month before the season is over! Soccer season is fun for the boys, but it does get a little old... scrambling to find the clothes, the shoes, the shinguards, the water bottle, the camping chair, a spare ball or two, etc, etc, FOUR nights a week! I hope Charlie doesn't intend to grow up very fast... I'm not ready to add two more games a week to our already insane schedule. My hat goes off to you "moms of many!" I don't know how you do it!