Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wear Pants to Church Day. I'm in. Here's Why. . .

I have been saddened to hear that the woman who organized "Wear Pants to Church" day has been receiving death threats over this issue.  Also because most people are missing the point, including the media.

The media made it sound like Stephanie Lauritzen's(one of the organizers) opinions were those of every participants.  This is not the case.

My SIL, Meredith, expressed the purposes of the event better than anyone I have heard so far:

 "it's hard to give a single list, because it means different things to different people. For some of us, it's about simply letting people decide for themselves what's appropriate. For some, it's about the silly idea that some local congregations have dress codes for women that are completely contradictory to official church policy. For some, it's about ward YW programs systematically receiving less funding than the YMs programs. For some, it's about a host of non-doctrinal cultural issues that are taboo to even discuss. For many, it's about removing the stigma of simply asking questions about doctrines regarding sex and gender. For some, it's about ordaining women. We don't all agree about exactly which doctrines or structures are issues. But we do agree that we should bring the discussion out of the shadows, and let others know that it's ok to ask questions, too."

Those are just some of the reasons.  Some I agree with.  Others I don't. (If you want to hear more reasons go HERE.)  I wasn't even sure I was going to participate.  Now I am.

I will be wearing pants this Sunday because of the amount of hate and unwillingness to understand that has been stirred up by this event.  This is part of what I want changed.  It is worth my support.

This reason is just one of the headaches that has persisted for the past 7 years for me.  I need to acknowledge and address it.  I'm acknowledging it now.  Here's to the beginning of healing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beginning the Christmas Season Off Right. . .

This holiday season is shaping up to be a crazy one. Between the sicknesses that keep running through my house and the coming Christmas Holiday it's been a little crazy.  I feel like all we do it go to some fun Christmas activity and them come home to someone sick.  Is anyone else feeling like this?

On a happier note, The Festival of Trees at the South Towne Expo Center was FANTASTIC!  I just love looking at all the trees.  The different designs are so fantastic.  I mean there are the regular trees.  . . Utah Tree, BYU tree, Jazz Tree, Disney trees, etc.  But then there are some really creative ones, like the crocheted tree, the Redneck tree made from Green Solo cups, and the PVC tree.  No, I didn't get pictures this year.  It's just not going to happen when you take your two toddlers to the show with you.  Next year.

We are going to admire Christmas lights tonight.  So excited.  Anywhere you love to go look at lights?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Flinstone Costumes

I am quite proud of these.  I made them all by myself.  Well, my Mom sewed BamBam's shorts, but I did the rest.  So much fun.  My Sweet Pea actually understood what we do on Halloween.  It took a couple of houses, but soon she didn't want to stop.  It was a great night.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Canada Day 2012

I love Vacations.  And this year our vacation was just over a week.  This was much needed.  One of the days we were gone was over Canada Day!  We spent it in Raymond, Alberta Canada.  Here they make Heritage Days wonderful.  Pancake Breakfast, Stampede, Running Race, Parade, Softball Tournament, Glow Golf, Town Street Fair, and Fireworks.  All of the activities are so much fun.  Loved it.

Here is a peek at the Parade:
These Firefighters are AWESOME.  Bagpipes.  Just FANTASTIC!

Great Float.
Gotta have the band.  They were so fun.
This shopping cart was great.  I wish I remembered what they were representing/advertising.
You can't have a parade without horses carrying the flag.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Soaking In The Sun

Between sicknesses, hospitalizations, send offs, trying to clean up after everything, and trying to get back on our schedule, I just haven't had very much time for posting.  It's probably better that way.  We all need to unplug sometimes.

Here is just a little bit of what we have been doing:

Since the weather has been so FANTASTIC this spring time, we have moved our activities outside.  Here is our little piece of MUSIC outside.  Hopefully these bells will not be the last of our musical madness outdoors.

One of our days is Art Day.  What better place to spark the watercolor brilliance than outside?!  Sweet Pea painting.

Green Bean wanting in on the Art action.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Really Did Organize My Life: Step #2

Oh, has it been a month.  Wow.  And it's still going.  Life with two young children and their whining, crying, allergies, and sicknesses (these are never ending this month) will get better, right?  Deep breath.  Exhale.

Okay, back to the organization plan that has worked for our little family.

STEP #2: Assigning Tasks to Days

Now that you have your Kid Needs and Mommy  Needs put together, you need to grab a new piece of paper to put together your week.  Across the top of the paper write out the days of the week.  Then draw a line between each day and continue each line all the way down the paper.  You should now have 7 columns across your paper.  (I only did Monday-Saturday to begin with.  If that is easier to do less than 7 days, just do the 5 days of the work week.)

Now, in order of importance, assign your needs and your kids needs to the days of the week.  For example, I assigned my Cleaning days as:

Monday - Bathrooms
Tuesday -Vacuum/Dust
Wednesday - Sheet Changes/Sweep
Thursday - Laundry Room
Friday - Kitchen/Storage Room
Saturday - Garden/Car/Outside stairs

When doing this, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ASSIGNING A TIME OF DAY to any task.  For now, just give each task a day, even if it's something that is on everyday.  List it all.

Don't panic.  There are a lot of tasks.  We are all busy.  Keep it light and fun.  Use different colors.  Pull out your felt pens AND/OR crayons to help with this step.  The color helps everything to be visible and organized for our upcoming step. Not to mention, it keeps the kiddos coloring next to you busy while you are organizing your future days together.

Remember there will always be things that get in the way of your daily schedule.  Don't stress over a day missed or and activity missed.  It's okay.  Roll with it.  Somedays that is better.

Just in case you missed the beginning:

The Beginning

Step #1

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pigs in a Puffy Blanket (Dairy Free)

I am not exactly a hot dog person.  They just aren't exactly a healthy choice, but with my little Sweet Pea LOVING them, we just have to have them once in a while.  Lately I have been using crescent rolls to wrap the hot dogs, but last week I didn't have any in the house.  So, I picked Sweet Pea's favorite Buns to wrap her hot dogs:

Rhodes Rolls

If you read the back of the package you will find that these Buns have the ability to be a great many things.  I decided to use them for our Pigs in a Blanket.

  • I put them out on the cookie sheet like normal and let the rolls begin to thaw..
  • When they had thawed and begun to rise, I took each roll and pulled them long.
  • By pull them long I mean I did this pull/jump rope/flippy thing to the mound which got the dough long enough to wrap around the hot dog.
  • Then I wrapped the hot dog.
  • Don't forget to tuck the ends of the dough underneath the last wrap so it stays in place. (I had a couple come loose because I didn't tuck them well)
  • Place each wrapped hot dog back on the cookie sheet to rise again.
  • When they are nice and puffy, put them in your 350 degree oven
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes. Just until they are golden brown on top.
When you pull them out, you should end up with Beautifully Puffy Pigs in a Blanket:

They tasted SO good.  Way better than the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.  Sorry Pillsbury.  My heart has found a new match for my hot dogs.  Fantastic.  YUM yum YuM!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt in Orem

Easter Egg Hunts have so many kids, not enough candy, and sometimes CRAZY parents.  This is why I like to find a smaller Easter Egg Hunt to go to with my little ones.  I just don't want them to get trampled by all the big kids.

This year we went to the 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Orem High School.  There were less than 50 people and more than 1000 eggs.  Their whole courtyard was covered in eggs.  

So my Sweet Pea was able to find and pick up colored eggs until she didn't want to anymore.
It's a little disorganized, but because there are so few people, it doesn't matter.  It's good for Little Kids. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Craziness of My Life

I can't believe the end of the month is here already. It's been a whirl-wind of a month here for my sweet little family.

We have had three weeks (so far and looking like a 4th) of sickness. It just doesn't seem to want to go away AND I'm thinking we need to stay away from the Library for a while. Every time we go, we get sick. Stupid people who take their kids out when they are sick. GRrrrrr.

AND we had the passing of my very wonderful Grandma. So sad to see her go. My kids won't really get to know her very well. But it was fantastic this morning when my Sweet Pea noticed a picture of her on the white board and called her by name. She at least knows who she is.

Needless to say, my schedule has been M.I.A. this past month. But I'm so excited to get going again and do more outdoor things. YEAH!! Get more blogging in. WooHoo! And FINALLY get to EXERCISING A BIT. We all know my body needs it. As soon as we are all completely sickness free there WILL be partying at our house.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Last Friday, March 2nd, was Dr. Seuss' Birthday! To celebrate this wonderous occasion we had green eggs and ham for lunch. . .

My lunch

Sweet Pea's lunch

While Sweet Pea ate lunch I read Green Eggs and Ham to her. It's really hard for me to get her to eat eggs. However, today when I died them green and hard boiled them she actually had a few bites. Hooray!

This is my Sweet Pea yearning for me to stop taking pictures and just let her eat her lunch.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Really Did Organize My Life: Step #1

It has been 2 weeks since I started putting together my schedule. And there have definitely been some adjustments made and still some that need to be made. But I LOVE it! With a schedule, my life is less stressful. I don't have to find a way to squeeze something in, it already has it's place and time. Again, I LOVE IT!

I wanted to tell you how I went about getting it all together. Well, let me first give you "the checklist." This is the list that got me started.

  • get together a 90 day menu plan with grocery lists to go with each week
  • Weed out the clutter! Garage Sale, D.I., Savers
  • Everything kept is neatly organized and can be found quickly
  • Get together a weekly schedule with time carved out for blogging, housework, play dates, park time, library time, and other activities we've been wanting to try but never got around to.
  • For Stay at Home Days, we've got a routine that the kids can rely on. It includes stuff like art time, outside time, story time and bath time.
  • Put together all activities, quiet books, busy bags. Things that can be done while I am getting dinner ready or need a few minutes of kid-free time.
  • get our budget down to a science.
  • Update our wills, life insurance, and retirement planning.
  • never again miss an appointment or birthday.
  • If something does somehow sneak by, have a birthday closet with pre-bought gifts and cards - thanks to the new budget and organization I now have the space and money for it.
  • Start exercising regularly (part of the new weekly schedule).
  • go through all of my digital photos, edited them, imported them to yearly photobooks and backed them all up online.
  • catch up on my personal blog and regularly contribute to it.
  • have a set-in-stone date night that we never miss.
  • have family night
Now this list looks so long and unattainable. However, we need to do as Bob would do. Baby Steps. Baby steps. So, after getting this list all together, I started with figuring out what I need and what the kiddos need.

Which brings me to:

STEP #1:  Prioritizing Our Needs

I sat down next to my toddler, took a scrap piece of paper and crayon from her and wrote down these things:

  • Library Day
  • Swim Day
  • Park
  • Craft Day
  • Music Day
  • Field Trip Day
  • Bathtime
  • Calendar Time
  • Snack Time
  • Nap Time
  • Reading Time
MOMS NEEDS: (this is more like a to-do list)
  • Cleaning
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Exercise
  • Email/Blog/Pinterest
  • Pay Bills
  • Laundry
This was a relatively easy list to compile because I had been thinking about it for months and months. Before going any further in planning your day, week, or month; you HAVE to know what you have/want going on in your life. Prioritize. It helped me.  Sit down and make this list.  It is a requirement to use Crayons though.  Don't forget.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Really Did Organize My Life: The Beginning

I have done it!

I read a post HERE about this woman who had "organized" her entire life. I was stoked. Ready to learn how she had done it, and maybe borrow some of her tried and true methods. It was all too good to be true.

Although I did have a good laugh and I felt a bit more at ease that I'm not the only out there that isn't on a schedule with my kids, I was a bit disappointed.

I have been meaning to get a schedule together for a long time. I even had a basic plan on how to do it. It was supposed to be in place January 1st. But I just wasn't getting to it. I mean, popping in a movie is SO EASY. But not really fun, or educational. I had liked the post I read so much, I had to share it with my Hubby.

Mistake? I don't think so. He thought that the post was clever, but he turned to me and asked,

"So, why don't you?"

Me, "why don't I what?"

Hubby, "get a schedule together. She made you a check list that you don't have to organize and you wanted to do it anyway. So, why don't you?"

That was a great question.


SO. . . . . . . I DID!!

I put together my schedule. For me AND the kids. Themed days. Outings. Exercise time. Internet time. Cleaning. Dishes. Meals. (I already had my 30 day plan put together. I don't need 90 days)

This was not a simple, quick process. It took me 3 days just to get it all together, then another couple of days to get the whole schedule rolling. And it takes every single day to keep it going and to keep me prepped for the next day or week. Sick days also throw a kink in the schedule, but we are back on track.

I don't have too much time today to tell you how I did it. You'll have to wait until Friday.

Step #1 is coming. . .


Step #1

Step #2

Monday, February 6, 2012

"I Want To Go Home!"

It's been 10 weeks since we moved into the basement of my parents home.

Everything is here.

Everything is set up.

Everything happens like normal. But my sweet little toddler still cries and screams,


She will even go get her shoes and coat. Begging to go home. Sad, sad, sad.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Been 7 Years Today

I was reminded today while browsing through my friends updates on Facebook, that it has been 7 years today since I left on my mission. Not from the new Timeline they have going (heaven forbid I forget something I never want to remember and remember something I never want to forget), but from another friend that left the same day. We even shared our farewell together.

She is fondly remembering her experience, and I can't help but question my feelings. It doesn't help that I'm residing in Happy Valley where there is (lets say) a slight misunderstanding for those who didn't finish their missions. There really isn't a whole lot to say about it. The only words I can come up with to describe my experience are:


It's been 7 years. Couldn't I now have just a little bit of understanding?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monthly Menu Planner

I decided this year that I would be on top of the whole dinner every night thing. It is supposed to be cheaper, right? Well, this year I'm going to see if it actually does save us money to eat at home.

I decided I needed a way to organize and remember what we were going to be eating every day. So, I spent plenty of time on trying to find some great menu planners. I found plenty of them, but none that I felt would completely meet our needs. So, I made my own.

I started out with a plain old cork board. It was this ugly brown color. So, I painted it black.
Here is the cork board all ready to be painted.

Here is my finished Monthly Menu Planner:

Days of the week

The whole board. I left lots of space so I could fit Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on each day.
I finished it in time to try out the last two weeks of January. It worked out fantastically. I knew before hand what I was going to make for dinner. No more hours of debating our meals. Yeah.! This last Sunday I spent nap time putting together February. I have my whole month planned out. Fantastic!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Late Night Snack

There is just nothing like blue Rice Krispies before bed.
I made them so gooey that we couldn't cut them. We had to just scoop it out.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

10 Resolutions I Don't Have to Set to Begin 2012

10. Get More Sleep (With 2 kids and midnight feedings? Yea Right!)

9. Become a Better Homemaker (I don't need to have brunch like Mrs. Jones)

8. Read the Books I Bought 2 years ago (but they look so good on my shelf all pretty and new)

7. Make More Money (I think I enjoy playing with my toddler in our pajamas too much)

6. Save Better (I save just fine. I'm sure it's the banks fault there isn't enough in my account)

5. Follow the Presidential Debates (They aren't really going to do what they say they are anyway)

4. Keep My Oppinion To Myself (I don't think so.)

3. Spend Less Time on the Internet (cut off my interaction with people who say more than "mine-ses"? I don't think so)

2. Give Up Junk Food (Food tastes too good. Maybe next year)

1. Lose Weight (if I work hard, I could be the next Biggest Loser contestant)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Birthday Seasons

This morning, while contemplating the shortening distance between my current age and 30, I was remembering the different ways that my previous birthdays have been celebrated. The swimming parties, the decorations my parents put up, the mornings that I was awakened early to go out to Village Inn for breakfast with friends, and the flowers and note found on my doorstep from a friend on the other side of the world.

Then I started to think about all the fun things I wanted to do for my little ones. The decorating, the party themes, and the activities. All fun things for my special little veggies.

And after that, my birthdays to come. They seem very uneventful. There aren't any mile stone birthdays left. Nothing big like 12, 16, 18, or 21. I guess there are seasons to Birthdays. My season for the fun exciting birthdays has past. And the season to celebrate the little ones is here. They get the attention. They are the ones that need the attention and special treatment.

I hope that my Sweet Pea and my Green Bean have as many great memories of their birthdays when they get to be my age.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dairy Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have spent more time than I would like to admit on Pinterest in the last few weeks, but I have found a lot of great recipes. I found a two ingredient recipe for pumpkin cake that I liked but improved on by using a spice cake mix instead.

Any way, if you have ever made that two ingredient cake, you know that the batter is really thick. The last time I made it, I thought "I could make this into cookies instead of cake and it would probably go farther than the cake." So, I decided that I would make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I used:
One box of Western Family Spice Cake (it has no dairy in it)
1/4 bag of Enjoy Life Mini Chips (also Dairy Free)
15 oz can of 100% pure pumpkin (yes, pictured is a 30 oz can. I used half of it)

Mix it all together in a large bowl.

Spoon out onto greased cookies sheet.

Bake for 10-17 minutes at 350 degrees. The time all depends on the size of your cookie scoops. Really, I just watched them closely.

They turned out great and didn't last longer than two days. The story of baked goods in our house. (I might have been the one to eat most of them. SHhhhh.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

10 SURPRISES of 2011

10. Surprise, I'm pregnant again!

9. Surprise, I didn't qualify for health insurance. (in case you didn't know, pregnancy is a pre-existing condition)

8. Surprise, Sweet Pea has been watching all along and decided to just get up and walk.

7. Surprise, Sweet Pea blew out her candle at her 1st Birthday and we didn't even have to show her how.

6. Surprise, we are having a BOY!! (we thought we were going to have another girl)

5. Surprise! If we tell Sweet Pea she can kiss the boys, she is the aggressive one. (we are going to have to watch out now. oops!)

4. Surprise! Kiddie Pools are not for Kids.

3. Surprise! 4 People, 2 kids, 1 family. 0 JOB. What to do?

2. Surprise! Now we have to move back to Orem to live with the Grandparents.

1. SURPRISE! My Hubby gets a job only 3 weeks after being laid off. YEA!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fruit Christmas Tree

I saw a picture of a fruit tree on Pinterest and thought that it would make a perfect addition to our dinner on Christmas Day. So this is what I came up with.

1 Foam Cone
Seran wrap
all different kinds of fruit.

The foam cone that I used flaked ALL OVER, so I covered it first in seran wrap. Then I poked all of the fruit onto it. So much fun. Oh, smart girl here didn't know that if you put salt onto your apples, they wont brown. So, if you choose to use apples, then try salt too.

This was easy peasy. Try it sometime.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas Season

This Christmas season came and went so fast. There wasn't time for everything I wanted or usually like to do. A move just puts a wrench in things. But we did have an enjoyable Christmas anyway.

I took my Sweet Pea and Green Bean to see Santa at the University Mall. Sweet Pea liked to look at Santa but she did NOT want to sit on that strange mans knee. I ended up being in the picture and she sat on my knee. So funny considering one of her two favorite movies this Christmas was The Santa ClausE. Maybe next year.

We also went out to this tree lot . . .

all to see this fantastic person. . .
Mater is so fantastic. My Sweet Pea thought that he was great, but screamed when I left her next to him to take a picture. Funny funny girl.
Christmas Day after church.


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