Friday, November 9, 2012

Politics and Religion

I know, I know..both very sensitive topics.  And I know that if you follow me on Facebook, that you have probably already read this...but if not?

After the election, I was upset and a bit distraught. Now, before you stop reading, it wasn’t about who was elected (although that didn’t help much), it was the judgment of others on how I parent my children.

Let me be very clear here. I am a great mother. I know that I am not perfect. I know that sometimes I let my kids stay up too late, have an extra piece of candy or watch an extra show ...
on tv. I know that I yell more often than I should. I’ve even spanked my kids ::gasp:: but I am still a great mother.

My children know who God is. They know who Jesus Christ is. They KNOW about love and service and being kind to others. They know that human life and being here on earth is a big deal. They know the Bible. They know the Book of Mormon. They have high standards. They know that watching shows/movies that aren’t good for their Spirits. Their teacher’s are impressed with them as well. At Parent/Teacher Conferences their teachers had nothing but positive things to say: Your child is such a joy to have in class, your child is always willing to help, your child is a friend to others, works well in groups, show some wonderful leadership skills…should I go on?

Their They know these things. How do you think they know them? Because we taught them that. WE TAUGHT THEM.

The point is: I am a mother. I do not say this to boast or be prideful. I say it to let naysayers know that I am not only doing the best I can, but I am reaching further and trying to make MY CHILDREN the best person they can be.

If this means that I teach them my values and principles, then so be it. They are good kids.

After reading your comments this past Wednesday, I did some serious soul searching. I thought that you were right, that I wasn’t the parent I should be. But after much thought (hours and days now). I think you are wrong.

After my daughter (almost 9) got home from school, I sat her down and here is the conversation we had:
M: Livi, I am sorry that I only told you to “vote” for Mitt Romney. That was wrong of mommy to do. What I should have done was to tell you about the different candidates and let you make your own decision. You see Livi, this is what they believe:

Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in abortion (other than in cases of rape, incest, etc-that went over her head;) or gay marriage. He believes that when you have a baby in your tummy, it is a baby and something that is a gift from God. Others want to make it ok to kill those babies.
He aslo doesn’t believe in Gay Marriage. Do you remember what being gay means? A man loves a man and a woman loves a woman. That is nice that they love each other, but just like we believe and God tuaght, that marriage is between a man and a woman, Mitt Romney also believes that.

Livi: (After thinking about it for a few minutes) I understand mom. I agree with Mitt Romney.

Me: remember, you make the choice.

You see? Yes, I only explained some social issues vs. the debt or the Benghazi attacks or the comments Obama made to Russia. I didn’t even explain that the United States would be BURRIED in debt and she would have to help take care of that. I taught her about it. About what we believe. She made the decision.

I am a good Mother. My children understand the most important things: Heavenly Father is God. Jesus Christ is the Savior. All human life is sacred. Be kind and love others. Be of service. Be. Do. What more do YOU want me to do?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sidewalk Paint

I don’t claim to be the world’s most creative mom.  I wasn’t programmed that way.  But I can say that having Pinterest has been a GREAT thing in our family (or a bad thing, depending on who you ask Smile)

A few days ago I decided to be a better mom and we made some sidewalk paint.  It was SO FUN and SO easy!  The clean up was minimal and the cost of making it was $0, since I had all of the ingredients.

Food coloring

The colors turned out SO pretty. 

Note of advice:  I put 2 TB of cornstarch in to each part.  Then I added the food coloring in to each one.  I brought everything OUTSIDE and THEN added the water.  A lot less me!  :K)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

21 Day Update

I don't have any pictures to show for my time, but it is what it is.  Below I have marked off what was done recently.

Join the Challenge (at any time)
  • Day 1 - Junk Drawer (DONE)
  • Day 2 - Computer Desk (DONE)
  • Day 3 - Tupperware Cabinet (This is still clean from the last time!  Yay!)
  • Day 4 - Linen Closet -this one is scary.  Need to redo it soon.
  • Day 5 - Under kitchen sink (Still clean!)
  • Day 6 - Dresser Drawers (Still clean!)
  • Day 7 - The Pantry (I got a label maker for my bday.  Slightly obsessed. Not 100% but still good!)
  • Day 8 - Coat Closet (Need to redo)
  • Day 9 - Toy organization (Going great!  I have thrown away, boxed up and organized.  Still not done, but getting there)
  • Day 10 - Laundry Room (Did this a few months ago, but need to upkeep)
  • Day 11 - The Freezer (still need...
  • Day 12 - Spice Cabinet (looks great.  haven't needed to do anything here)
  • Day 13 - Medicine Cabinet (This one is also the linen closet.)
  • Day 14 - Under bathroom sink (Clean)
  • Day 15 - Medicine/Vitamin Storage (See #13)
  • Day 16 - The Fridge (ick)
  • Day 17 - The Mail (daily process..going fine)
  • Day 18 - Keepsakes (
  • Day 19 - Master Closet (redone over and over monthly)
  • Day 20 - Photos (right.....)
  • Day 21 - You pick!
  • Thursday, May 24, 2012

    The Potty Train

    Wow.  It has been a few long days around here.  Not extremely difficult, just long.  I think that is how most moms feel when their child is potty training.  I will say that the method I used worked.  It was very similar to the one I did with Livi (although she got it in about a day..with 100% by day #3). 

    We are on day #4 and Mac has done awesome.  He is basically done.  He still mostly goes in the portable potty, but we are working on the bigger toilet too. 

    I will say that that first night he woke up 100% dry.  It was a miracle!  The next night we gave him watermelon after dinner...and that was a big no-no!  Our kids don't hold watermelon in very well.  Mac wet twice that night. 

    This morning he woke up after 12 hours and had just wet, but I blame that mostly on me, since I should have woken him up instead of relaxing on the couch.  I won't make that mistake tomorrow.

    What did I do?  There is an eBook written by Lora Jensen.  You potty train your child in 3 days.  It really does work.  (

    Let me know if you need help or suggestions. 

    This is something I would LOVE to eventually invest in for my boys:

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

    Summer Bucket List

    Summer is right around the corner. Do you have a "summer bucket list"? Here is a list of some fun things to add to your summer fun. **Thanks Kiera**

    Picking and choosing from that list above will add to what we already have:

    -family reunion in South Carolina
    -swim lessons
    -Amish Country
    -temple trip
    -Library Reading Program
    -Lake Farm Park
    -Memphis Kiddie Park
    -Preston’s HOPE Park
    -Huntington Beach
    -Westside Market
    -Minor League Baseball Game

    It’s going to be a fun (and probably HOT) summer!

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

    21 Day Organization Challenge

    Wow.  I started the 21 Day Challenge back in OCTOBER!  I got to #9 which scared the daylights out of me, (see post here or how about here?) and did one more challenge...and then stopped.  quit.  I had, had enough!

    Then a few weeks ago, I started feeling like I need to clean out our freezer...and fast forward to today.  Freezer still not finished!  So, as I am currently doing #9 (and I will finish it this time!!), #11 will have to wait for a bit.  But it will get done.  And now that I have officially posted all the daily challenges, it's there and I need to follow through.  Even if it takes me a bit longer than a day. 

    Take a peak at it, go to the site and see what sort of spring cleaning you can accomplish! 



    I feel consumed by my children's TOYS!  They are everywhere (mostly the basement) and it is driving me crazy.

    I have tried organization, cajoling, nagging, yelling, cleaning them up myself...and nothing has helped.  Maybe I need to be stricter with the kids, but it is hard to get them to clean up, when their 2 1/2 year old brother tears it apart.

    A friend of mine, Christa, took away all of her girls' toys.  All.of.them.  I think she threw them away!  Gasp!  What?  Threw them away?   But all of my money would be wasted...until you stop and think.  Do they really need them?   Do they play with them? 

    Here is what she wrote to me:
    "I had been thinking about it for months and one day as I was yelling "clean up your toys" I stopped mid sentence, went into their room and had them sit on their beds. I came back with several trash bags and started filling them. I just had them sit there and watch me fill up bags and bags of their toys. They shed a few tears but I literally took everything, old and new. I filled 7 bags!
    I kept them in my closet for a while and went through and took out sentimental toys and that only filled up half a grocery bag! Once they were showing that they could keep their room clean I slowly gave them a toy from the grocery bag. And those are the only toys that they still have. The WORST part of taking all the toys is that they DIDN'T CARE! I was so annoyed that they didn't even miss them! They just made games up with each other, they play with old cracker boxes, they make up crafts...they don't care about not having toys! I feel like such an idiot for ever buying them any toys past babyhood! We made a descion that we weren't going to to toys for Christmas either. It was awesome. I told them not to ask for toys because it wasn't going to happen. And it was our 1st (of many) Christmas sans toys. The best part of no toys for Christmas was that they actually had to think about things that they needed or want, they became very aware of other things that might be cool to have. Good luck- best thing I ever did!"
    Wow.  She is a brave woman!  I think that having girls is like that.  With Livi, she could basically care less about most of the toys in our home.  The boys are a bit different.  They love their cars, trains, legos, etc.  They play much more with the toys.
    With that said, I have started the process.  I went down in to the basement.  Took a HUGE box and started filling it up.  I am about 1/3 done, but you can already tell their is a big difference.  I am taking away most of the smaller toys (Little Pet Shop) and keeping bigger toys, like blocks. 
    They will keep puzzles and books and bigger trucks.  Spencer and Mac love cars=they are staying. 
    I have noticed that we have a lot of "junk" toys.  They are getting pitched.  There are only a few McD's toys we have kept because of their quality.  (ex. Kung Fu Panda figurines)
    It is a lot of work.  I swept the toys in to a pile in the middle of the basement floor.  From there, I had Spencer grab them, place them in the sorting box and then I would start sorting.  I had the garbage, the huge box and the other shoe-sized bins that the toys had originally been in. 

    Things started filling up FAST!  We only got part way through, but I figure that is something that I can do over the next day or so. 
    *These pictures were taken back in November 2011 during my 21 day organization challenge.  After looking at the basement challenge I stopped.  :)  It seemed like too much to do.  I think after this, I'll be starting back up!

    Thursday, April 5, 2012


    Do you have cravings?  For sugar or carbs or even things like cheese?  Are they strong and irresistible?  Strong, hard-to-beat cravings indicate that something in our body is off-balance.  If you explore where they are coming from, you will be taking the 1st step to getting rid of them.  And, believe me, life is much more peaceful without those nagging cravings! 

    In working with people - and also from my own self-experimentation - I've uncovered a golden truth.  Filling our bodies with nutrient dense foods calms our bodies' "screams" for the non-nutrient dense foods.  Seriously, it is that simple.  Most of our bodies are SCREAMING for nutrients!  Good nutrient dense food.  That is often where that craving is originating.  (There are other reasons that can be explored in another post, but this is the most common.)  Sugar and processed foods are going into our bodies and our bodies are then craving more of the same.  Once we fill them with nutrient dense foods, we discover that the "screaming" slowly goes to yelling, then even to talking.  And eventually it turns into a whisper or doesn't even have a voice at all!  And that is when we have a greater ability to by-pass the same nutrient void foods we were once craving.

    I have a friend who decided to get some nutrients into her day by making a green smoothie every morning.  She included lots of fruit to calm the bitter taste of the greens. And that helped her to enjoy and look forward to the smoothie every morning.  After a short while she experienced amazing results.  She said that there was a large cookie sitting on the table that would have normally called to her until she ate it all.  This particular morning she started eating a few bites of it and set it down - surprising herself that she didn't want to eat the rest of it!  She was so grateful that the cravings were settling.  And it was all because she answered her body's call to balance itself with some good nutrients.  Our bodies have a language.  They literally speak to us - through cravings, through aches and pains, etc.  If we are experiencing these things, it is our bodies' attempt to tell us, "Hey, something is off. Something is out of balance.  Help me!"  We can re-balance our bodies and feel better as we listen to what they are saying to us.  It takes some practice, it takes some effort and some true listening.  But once we become more in tune, we will be able to find solutions to our problems and be on the path to greater physical and emotional health.



    Man, I miss the good old days.  Did any of you have these in Kindergarten?  Our teacher had the blow-ups for  Loved it!

    Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Shaklee Giveaway!

    Congrats Cami!!  You won!  Leave a comment with your email address and I'll get your info.  The comments are hidden! 


    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

    What better way to kick off the FIRST DAY OF SPRING than to have a giveaway?! 

    Ohhh, I love all things spring.  It may have to do with the fact that I was born in April, but anyway I see it..spring it amazing.

    With that said, who wants to celebrate with a Shaklee sample?  Don't know what Shaklee is?  How about a non-toxic, organic cleaning product that is safe for the environment AND your kiddos!

    A few months ago, I won a sample and have loved it .  This itty, bitty little sample can make one whole bottle of all-purpose cleaner and another entire bottle of glass cleaner.  Each are 16 oz!  

    In order to win:

    1.) Share this on Facebook (and come back and post the link)
    2.) Write your name and address in the comments section.

    Giveaway endes next Tuesday, March 27th at midnight PST.

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Creative Juices and Hidden Treasures

    You know when you have a TON of things to post and don't quite know how to get them down on paper? neither. I feel like I am tapped out. Nothing exciting to post. Nothing exciting to just bear with me as I write the following:

    still  used to love shows like Cash in the Attic and Antique Roadshow.  Seeing people find 'true' treasures in their own homes was pretty interesting.  MY favorite part?  Seeing how much that piece of pottery or painting was worth. 

    This past summer a few families got together and had a Garage Sale.  Besides having a lot of fun, we each made some money. 

    Laura had a sewing machine that she was selling that was worth a lot more than the $20 she was asking.  She didn't know how much it was worth, until someone came along and mentioned that she might want to raise the price! (to between $100-300)  :)

    The next day, we had a few more people come through that wanted something NOT for sale in my garage.  A lantern. Similar to this one:
    The first man to ask was nice when I turned him down.  I could see that he wanted to push the issue, but when I firmly said no, he left.

    The next one to ask was an older woman.  She wasn't so kind.  When she asked if she could buy it and I replied no, she got a little heated about it and started to argue.  I calmly insisted it was still a no and then my brain started moving.  Two people in 2 days asked about the same lantern that was partially hidden in my garage.

    I decided that my neighbor would know a bit more about it and she did.  She said that it was an old railroad lantern.  She gave a little background and said that it was probably worth some money.  No, I am not going to be a millionaire, but I did investigate a bit more and found that there was a bit of interest from consumers.
    Who would have thought that in my immaculate garage, someone would find something that I had no use for, other than the eye appeal. (Like I mentioned above, I am a bit of a sucker for antiques and other fun things). 

    How often do we go through life, pushing things to the back, without realizing the worth of them?  My advice?  Clean out your garage!

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Doesn't take much...

    Tonight I walked into my daughter's room, to tell her to turn off the light, and found her kneeling next to her bed, praying.
    It doesn't take much to make me feel proud to be her mom. 

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Friday Talk: True Love

    *written on Monday:

    I am not sure that this post will be written as well as I want it to be or even as I experienced it.  I don't want this post to be too sappy (because I have a hard time with anything too sappy), but I knew that if I didn't write about it, it would slip through my fingers and I would soon forget.

    Yesterday was a great Sabbath day.  I started a bit frustrated with the kids, was refreshed after Sacrament meeting and then in Relief Society.   After church we ate our traditional Chicken Salad sandwiches and then I went to lay down in the sun. 

    You see, our front window is amazing.  We have a HUGE window that lets the sun filter in..we love to lay down and get a good dose of Vitamin D.  Yesterday was brilliant.  It was actually sunny.  And to be in Cleveland, with the sun, is nothing short of a miracle.

    After a few moments my hubby came over and snuggled in next to me.  Do you know how glorious it is to see the love of your life in the sunlight?  I mean, I literally couldn't believe how amazing his eyes looked.  (And I often think how good looking he is.  He was blessed with GREAT genetics :)

    BUT, to have him in the sunlight and sitting next to me, was a different story.  At times he looked ethreal, as in heavenly.  I may have caught a glimpse of how Bella felt when she saw Edward glitter in the sun.

    Like I said, I don't want to be too sappy, but to honestly just sit there (and ignore the kids) and just gaze into each other's eyes?  It gave me an even greater sense of what our Heavenly Father sees in us. 

    Have you heard the song, "What Heaven Sees in You"?   I know it is geared toward girls, but the chorus is perfect for how I felt:

    And the Father looked down
    And the angels surrounded that place
    They knew the truth, all that you could do
    And you will, too, if you have eyes to see
    What heaven sees in you..

    I love this man to eternity and back.

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Pinned it. Tried it. Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

    I have made this recipe twice.  It is super easy to make, but definitely lacks in an over-the-top flavor.  I will say though that this last time I used REAL onions instead of dried and it added a little more wow. 
    Pinned Image

    Pasta Cordon BleuRecipe courtesy of Dunne at With a Cherry on TopServes 6
    1 lb. Pasta (I used bowtie, but I think Penne would've been perfect)
    1 cup Chicken Breasts, cooked and cubed
    1 cup Ham, cooked and cubed
    1 1/2 cups Milk
    8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
    2 Tbsp. Dried Minced Onion
    2 cups Swiss Cheese, shredded

    Cayenne Pepper1 cup Panko Crumbs (I used regular bread crumbs and they worked just fine)
    1/2 cup Butter, melted (I used 1/4 c. butter and it worked great)

    Cook the pasta al dente.  Drain and return to the pot.

    Add cooked chicken and ham and toss to combine. 

    Preheat broiler.

    In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream cheese and onions over med-low heat.  Stir frequently, until it becomes smooth (about 5 minutes). 

    Stir in the pasta mixture.  Add swiss cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Transfer pasta to a baking dish and top with Panko crumbs. Pour melted butter over crumbs and broil until browned (I gave it 4 minutes).

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Friday Talk (a few days early): The Birds and the Bees

    I am writing a very serious  post today.  (Although the picture would seem otherwise)

    The Birds and the Bees. 


    I recently talked to my 8 yo about it.  I had to.  She had heard about it and was asking OTHERS!  Ouch.  My husband and I knew that if she was talking to others about it, we should probably interfere and make sure that she had her facts straight and wasn't broadcasting to everyone around her (that wasn't an issue). 

    After I found out that she knew about sex, I had a lot of emotions:
    1.  Denial.  What?  My child?  No way.
    2.  Fear.  What else is she learning that I am not aware of? 
    3.  Anger.  Who told her and took that 'calling' away from me. 
    4.  Rash judgement.  Should I pull her out of school and homeschool her? 
    5.  Sadness.  My baby is growing up too fast.
    6.  Scared.  My baby is growing up too fast in a scary world!

    Yesterday morning, BEFORE I found out, I  was driving her to school and I had a feeling that I needed to tell her how much I love and appreciate her. I went on to say that some people may not be good examples at school, but she had the Holy Ghost and that she would be able to know what was right or wrong.

    She started to open up a little, saying that a lot of her friends were swearing and when I asked if she did...she said, "NO!"
    Oh, that was the least of my worries...little did I know that an hour later, I would find out she knew.

    After I found out, I immediately called my husband.  He was good enough to remain somewhat
    calm.  He was concerned about where she had heard it from and that she had learned at such a young age.   We knew that we needed to talk to her that night.

    In order to prepare for our upcoming discussion, I knew that I needed to have a few resources.   I searched " LDS Forum + how to teach your child about sex" and I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the websites.

    The first one: Being LDS gave some great insight. She had a guest blogger who said that she started talking about it to her 3 year old. Nothing too revealing, but just gave a roundabout way of where babies came from. As a side note, I get that. We have done the same thing, especially when I was pregnant with #3. 

    The second one: The Golden Seven gave an FHE on it! It was so well put together and well-said. Some of her sources said to start teaching them at age 8 (well, I guess we are there whether we like it or not). She brought up Adam and Eve, Noah's ark and explained that there was a reason that Heavenly Father placed a man and a woman on the earth. Brilliant really. An approach that I never would have thought about, but now that I have it...I want to run with it! (and I did!)

    When I was done reading these articles, I still wasn't sure whether I should run over to the school, pull her out and homeschool her until she was old enough to get married.  Yes. Probably not. But that doesn't make these "homeschooling" feelings go away. (Another side note: I have been having some inklings of homeschool for a while now...just don't want to go through with it!)

    As a mother, I feel nothing short of a failure. I haven't protected her. I have noticed she hasn't been the 'same' sweet girl and that she has been treating us and her friends differently. I know they grow up, but have I missed something?   I know things change, that I can't keep them cocooned for ever, they hear things...but it doesn't make this feeling any easier.

    I also know that there are people around the world that are going through the same thing.  They are scared to death about "the talk".  But as someone who has JUST gone through it and lived to tell, it is going to be ok.  There is a real threat to our homes and our children, but as parents we know how to protect them.  Be open and honest.  They need this more than being sheltered.  They will find out about it anyway, be sure that you aren't holding off because of YOUR uneasiness.

    Sex is a sacred thing and it is being thrown around the four walls of a classroom or at the wind during recess. We can't sit back and let our children learn it from someone else. We need to be proactive and be willing to open our mouths and hearts to our children.

    Last night went REALLY well.  I used a bit of the FHE lesson and was able to open up a dialogue with her.  We have an "open door policy",  so nothing was off limits.    She was a bit reluctant at first, and she was embarrassed a few times, but we discussed a lot of things and I made sure that she knew NOT to talk to her friends about something as sacred as procreation.

    I am hoping that my kids realize that they can come to us when they hear things. Here's to hoping...


    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    Pinned it. Tried it. 7 Layer cups

    Pinned Image
    picture via

    I made these for the superbowl and they were a HUGE hit!  So good, sooo easy, easy to hold and we weren't worried about double dipping :)

    I changed a few things, like putting them in those small plastic cups (PERFECT) and making sure that I had an exact idea of what was needed for each cup. 
    *my changes in red
    I found that putting 2 TB (+/-) of the refried beans, sour cream, guaco and salsa worked really well.

    An easy recipe for Seven Layer Dip.
    • 1 – 16 oz can refried beans
    • 1 – 1 oz package taco seasoning
    • 1 8 oz container sour cream
    • 1 package of pre-made guacamole from Aldi (so easy and good!)
    • 1 cup pico de gallo or salsa
    • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (for gluten-free please use fresh shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese often has gluten added to prevent caking)
    • 1 2.25 oz can black olives, chopped or sliced (3-4 olives, cut up per cup)
    • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
    1. In a small bowl mix the refried beans and taco seasonings.
    2. Spread the mixture in a pie plate sized platter or several small individual containers.
    3. Next, layer the sour cream followed by the guacamole and salsa.
    4. Top the dip off with Cheddar cheese, chopped olives, and green onions.
    5. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Follow up to addiction

    I was just talking to someone about Facebook and how it is destroying families and marriages.  I am not surprised by this at all.  It is a sad world we live in. 

    I will say that I was so into being on Facebook and checking up on people and whatnot that finally I stepped back and sort of "snapped" out of it.  I knew that I couldn't do it on my own, so I asked my hubby to change my password...and NOT TELL ME!  :)  I will say that it has been good for me to be off.  I don't spend as much time on the computer and I am able to do other things.  I get on occassionally and I get on under Luke's name once a day and it is fine.  I don't feel like I have to be completely consumed by it. 

    I know that many addiction solutions aren't this easy, but enlist the help of loved ones.  (That's why they're called loved ones. :)

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Friday talk: Addiction

    There are so many things that people are addicted to:  eating, sleeping, reading computer.  Wait, that's me!!  :)

    But in all honesty, addiction is a very hard battle.  Drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, video games, working, exercising (although I don't have a major problem with that!  ;), watching TV, shopping, etc.   It is a very real and unsettling thing.  It can disrupt and ruin lives; your life, their life, your childrens' lives. 

    A few weeks ago, we had a lesson in church on addiction. I wasn't able to attend, but I would have liked to.  I think that many people associate the word "addiction" with someone that is bad.  So, for me to say that I have tendencies toward addiction (spending too much time on the computer, reading until I finish a book and even wanting to sleep more than my body needs) is a big deal.

    Now, reader beware.  I am not confessing anything major here.  But I do wonder how many others "suffer" from this.  Are you a closet crafter?  Like to do TOO many remodels around the house?

    I was reading a bit about the LDS Addiction Recovery Program.  There are 12 steps (very similar to the 12 steps of AA) that I thought were very encouraging to read:

    Twelve Steps via

    1 Honesty
    2 Hope
    3 Trust in God
    4 Truth
    5 Confession
    6 Change of Heart
    7 Humility
    8 Seeking Forgiveness
    9 Restitution & Reconciliation
    10 Daily Accountability
    11 Personal Revelation
    12 Service

    As I took a step back, I realized that this list wasn't just FOR addiction, but for being a good, well-rounded person.  Who doesn't want to be honest, humble?  Or of service?  I think that even if you don't have a problem or even a serious one, this program would be at least a great way to build character.

    Maybe along with my New Year's Resolutions, I can start with one step a month.  To become a better person and to look more towards my long-term goals...


    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Circle of Moms

    I have a friend from my college days that is pretty much awesome. She has amazing style that I could never dream of rockin'..and yet? She does it with ease!

    She is a wife, mother and domestic goddess. Seriously. Cori is pretty much the type of wife and mother I can only hope to be one day. (In college, I was her visiting teacher for a bit and her apartment was decorated SO cute...she sewed her curtains and I was in awe of that :) Fast forward 8 or so years and she MAKES some of her own clothes. And they are chic!

    With all of this in mind, do me a over to her blog: La Vie Petite and check it out. When you are satisfied that she is simply amazing, click over here and vote for her!

    I submitted her name and blog for the Top 25 Fashion & Beauty Moms- 2012.

    From the website:
    Are you a mom blogger with an eye for style? We’re searching for the best fashion and beauty mom blogs – blogs written by moms that share fashion and beauty tips, products, and trends, and inspire us by showing how motherhood and style can coexist.

    We are trying to promote and recognize the work of moms who blog with this contest, rather than blogs that are intended for mom readership.
    Therefore, this contest is only open to moms.

    Since I honestly believe that she is exactly what the above states, I'll be voting for her daily.
    Do me a favor. Put her link on your blog!

    Monday, February 13, 2012


     Shutterfly has a great offer for those of you that like to print books.  40% code: BOOK40

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Pinned it. Tried it.

    Southwestern Chicken Pile-up

    Pinned Image

    If you want a meal that is extremely easy, healthy AND tastes good..try this!  I have made this a few times and each time the family gobbles them up.  (I am able to adapt what goes on for my stubborn #2).  I have included the original recipe link (click via above), but I have made my own personal changes below!


    1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon salt-free Southwest seasoning
    1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    2-3 boneless,
    skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
    6-8 whole-wheat pita (6 1/2" diameter) OR the new sandwich thins split in half

    Red-pepper flavor hummus (I use about 1/2 package and spread enough to top the pita)
    2 tablespoons no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and rinsed
    Red onion strips
    Red bell pepper strips
    Chopped tomato
    Shredded Cheese

    4 teaspoons guacamole or fat-free sour cream (optional)


    Preheat the oven to 450°F.

    My chicken is usually frozen, so I usually boil it and then either take out and shred or else grill it a few minutes to get all the pink out.
    Sprinkle the seasoning and garlic powder evenly over the chicken.
    Meanwhile, place the pita on the grill rack. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until lightly toasted. Place the pita on a nonstick baking sheet. Spread evenly with the hummus. Top evenly in layers with the beans, the reserved chicken, onion, red pepper, tomato,  and cheese.

    Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Slice into 4 wedges. Top each wedge with a teaspoon of guacamole or sour cream, if desired.

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Friday talk: Discipline and Resolutions

    That post title doesn't seem like it makes much sense, but with all of the jumble of this'll get it.

    After that last post, I had some reassuring comments.  It's nice to know that there are mothers, sisters, aunts, grandparents, etc.  that "get it" and have either faced a similar problem or knows someone who has.  Thank you!

    In other news, did you know that spanking your child has been linked to long-term effects? HERE is the article.  We posted about Discipline last year. 
    Do you agree?

    And last, but not are your New Year's Resolutions/Goals going? 

    While driving home from Chicago after our NYE fun, we had a few that we thought would be appropriate for our family this year.  I don't remember writing them down, but I DO remember that we were going to go until June, and reevaluate how the first half of the year had gone and if we needed to change anything.

    A few of our goals? 
    Read the scriptures as a family. 
    We have these goals more exact in our minds, but I really think that writing them down (like in year's past) would have been a bit smarter than trying to just do them off the fly.

    Any goals you would like to share?

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Sick, Sick, Sick

    Remember how I said I was back? Yeah, that was before my little one got pneumonia. It has been a long, long 2 weeks.

    Not sure if I have mentioned that #3 is on a clinical trial through the University Hospital Rainbow Babies & Children-Pulmonology Department? If not. He is.

    He has never been officially diagnosed with asthma..or anything for that matter, but there HAS to be something wrong with his immune system SOMEWHERE! Here is a run down of his sicknesses:

    First time getting a breathing treatment:

    Right before he got his tubes in:

    Running total:
    Double Ear infections (4) + Ear infections (6) + Croup (2) + H1N1(1) + Pneumonia(2) + Bronchitis (2) + wheezing (13+)= one sick kiddo

    Here is the actual month-by-month sick count:

    June: Born (hard time and very scary-was blue and not breathing)
    July 2009:  He started all of this sick  "business" when he was 5 weeks old.  He had a horrible cough NOT normal for a newborn.  The dr. knew it wasn't "right" but said not to worry about it...
    October 2009(4 months old): Gets H1N1
    1 week later it turns into a bronchial infection and wheezing
    December 2009: 3rd-Ear infection, low oxygen levels, wheezing.
    -10: Turned into a double ear infection (while on medicine), wheezing was incredibly bad= Atypical Pneumonia
    February 2010: croup + ear infection (medicine prescribed
    Two weeks later: ear infection hasn't gone away, wheezing didn't go away (we had 3 different medications and they didn't work)
    Referred to the pulmonologist
    1 week later: Pulmonologist said that you probably have asthma, but they wouldn't diagnose in a baby so young
    March: healthy!
    April: double ear infection
    3 weeks later: cough, wheezing,
    June: ear infection
    July: Bonchitis
    August: Hand, Foot & mouth Disease
    September 2: Small fever + cold turned into a major scare:
    Sept. 6: low pulse/ox levels, wheezing, ear infection. Started throwing up. Dr. wanted to put you in the hospital, but didn't want you to get worse. Sends us home.
    Sept. 13: double ear infection
    October: cold, but was able to fight it without meds!
    December: Double ear infection=Surgery to put tubes in
    January: tubes
    January 28: sick
    February 11: croup
    March 7, 22: ear infection/ear draining + cough, runny nose
    May 19: Flu
    July 12th: Put on the clinical trial
    August: sick
    September: Very sick. Almost sent to the hospital
    October: coughing again
    December: cough
    January 23, 2012: cough + wheezing = 3rd time to start the clinical medicine. After 4 days, it didn't get better so he started the NEXT medication. We went in to the dr. 2 days later and you he was running a fever, the medicine hadn't made anything better...and they found that you had pneumonia :(
    UPDATE 2.16.2012:  You finished the APRIL, OCELOT.  The Amoxicillan was finished this past Saturday, 2.11.12 and started coughing AGAIN on Sunday..and now have a double ear infection, with wheezing, coughing, runny nose.  We need to get you better!

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Pinned it. Tried it: Yummy and goodness!

    Last week I made these for a Sunday treat. 

    I decided that instead of dipping them in regular chocolate, I'd try it with this:
    Pinned Image
    Magic Shells just seemed like it would be the easiest and it sure was easy, just wasn't the right taste.  I used milk chocolate chips and it was just too sweet. 

    For the Superbowl I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and it tasted much better.  The dip was MUCH thicker than I would have liked (note to self:  make the magic shell with semi-sweet choc. chip)

    They were a hit!  Both times.  So, so good...just make sure that you have a whole lot of people, so you don't eat them all.  (Makes about 40)

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Pinned it! Tried it!

    Ok, so I'm back. Sort of.  It has been crazy and yet, not so crazy over here.  My poor family has been sick for the past month, so we have been dealing with that. 

    Alright, the last few months I posted ideas from Pinterest.  Well, I have decided to actually do a few of the pins that I have pinned (that would be 2012 and NO COINCIDENCE on the number either! :)  Not sure how often I'll post about what worked and what didn't, but at least I'll start using the pins instead of just lookin' at them from afar.

    Let's start off with this pasta

    Two-Timin' Pasta is what the lady over @ Pearls, handcuffs and Happy Hour named it. 
    It is incredibly easy and I was able to tweak a few things, since I had forgotten to buy mozarrella (oops:)
    Make sure that you give yourself enough time to bake it as well, I didn't read that part before I started...see?  That's why you need to read the recipe before starting.

    Verdict?  The hubs and kids really liked it.  I wasn't sure what I thought.  The mixing of marinara and alfredo was definitely interesting and the leftovers today were really good.  All-in-all?  Give it a try!

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    It's been a while

    I know, I's been a while.  It's been a crazy month, but things will turn around soon. 

    We've got some good things coming!