Monday, February 28, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
“I always give 100% at work:
This is so true! There are certain days that are just more productive than others, aren't there? Sometimes I wish I could be more consistent between days, but in reality, balance doesn't have to mean equal parts all the time, right? As long as at the end of the week it all adds up and you've managed to do something resembling progress. It's good to have 22% Tuesdays, and 4% Fridays, and a few variations along the way are a healthy part of the balancing act.
So now you have 20% left for the weekend (if I did the math right), use it well!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
So why do I shop on Tuesdays you ask?
Tuesdays are the last day to use last weeks adds. Sometimes if I know that something is going to sale out or a coupon will expire, I will go earlier, but Tuesdays are the best days for the deals.
I also receive my Red Plum Mailer on Tuesday. It is the one with next weeks grocery ads. Then I can compare prices and see if there is a better sale.
I also like shopping on Tuesdays because I can wait and see what the new coupons will look like on Sunday as well.
So that is typically why I do the grocery shopping on Tuesdays. Then I also know I am not shopping multiple days in a week for groceries. I try to hit them all at once. (Aside from Fred Meyer, their ads run till Saturdays.)
When do you do your grocery shopping trips. Any tips?
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesdays are usually the days I don't have a lot going on, and the kids and I can pick and choose what we want to do, either at home or out and about. The past two Tuesdays, however, have been real doozees, so I've decided to rename Tuesday Doozee-Day. Has kind of the same ring to it, don't you think?
Last Tuesday, as I rocked my sick, ear-infected daughter back to sleep, I squinted through my blurry eyes at the clock that read 3:36 am. What's worse than being sick myself is for either of my children to feel horrible and, in this case, too young to tell me what's wrong or where it hurts.
Fast forward to yesterday, the beginning of my 28-hour "adventure" (as my son called it), trying to get from my sister's house to mine, a trip that usually takes 4 1/2 hours (5 tops). Think the shortest distance between to points is a straight line? In this case, that straight line crossed over a snowy, icy mountain pass that fluctuated between treacherous and undriveable (if that's even a word). The three of us spent the night in a small town on the back side of the mountain to wait what the weather looked like today. Uh-oh. More of the same...and worse. We decided to backtrack 20 miles, drive south to Oregon, over to Portland and back up to home sweet home. All in all, we spent 17 hours on the road and 11 in the hotel. One for the *family* history books for sure.
During both of these experiences, a quote was replaying in my head after I heard it in a talk at church about stewardship.
"Some may believe that they create their children, that they shape them out of unformed clay. Others may believe that they own their children. We, however, understand...our children are not ours. They belong to their Father in Heaven and to themselves. Our noble brothers and sisters, matured adults who agreed to become helpless babes entrusted to our care, have a right to expect us to treat them well."
I feel blessed to have my children's care entrusted to me. I have felt the weight of and reward for this responsibility especially over the last couple of weeks. I'm ever thankful for it.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
For a long time, to keep them looking lovely, I used a commercial cleaner. And then I read in a magazine that so-and-so's housekeeper kept her wood floors gleaming by using a simple solution of warm water and vinegar. "Hey!" I thought, "That's pretty much what I use on my windows!" (I add a little dash of rubbing alcohol to the mix, to help it dry faster.) So I've been using my homemade window cleaner on the hardwoods and I haven't looked back. I love that it's safe for our home environment (as well as the global one), it does a great job, and it's gentle on the floor's finish. Saving a few extra pennies on cleaning supplies doesn't hurt either, of course!
Now if only I could find a solution for the not-so-white-anymore carpet in the rest of the house. (Seriously, if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them!)
Monday, February 21, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
...because cooking is part of the creative process, a process that has become such a vital part of who I am. Whether it is writing, sewing, or cooking, I find such joy in creating.
I will never forget the day I heard President Dieter F. Uchtdorf say:
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Quiet time is for me more then my kids. I am able to clean up or work on a project with out them getting into it. I am able to sit on the couch and eat a snack while watching "Lets make a deal" or "Ellen" without them asking me questions. It is a time for me. My husband gets a break at work for lunch, so why not me too.
And lets face it, sometimes our kids need a break from us. It is a time for my daughter to "Do whatever she wants" in her room. She said that yesterday. "I can do whatever I want during quiet time mom." In regards to my 4 year old licking the window. Gross! But hey, it is her free time as well. Yes I check on her occasionally, but she is able to read, play, chill out with out her brother bugging her or me bugging her.
It is good for all of us.
Enjoy your quiet time!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
It's a good thing the rain suits me, since around these parts we get, on average, about 50 inches of rainfall and 154 days of precipitation every year.
I'd be lying if I said there weren't days when I'm not quite as fond of it, like when it's supposed to be summer and it's 55 degrees for a high and you're standing underneath your friends' covered porch watching the fireworks because it's pouring and you're drinking hot chocolate on the 4th of JULY.
But, apart from that, there are definite bonuses to living in the land of rain.
*My skin is soft and doesn't get the dry winter "itchies."
*The brown sugar doesn't ever get hard in the pantry.
*The grass stays green all year round.
*The air smells clean and fresh.
*It's perfect crockpot dinner weather.
*It's also perfect bread/cookie/treat baking weather.
*The sound of rain falling is therapeutic and relaxing.
*Lazy rainy days. I don't really know what the "lazy days of summer" are because it always seems like summertime means yard work, packing for camping trips, picnicking and playing outside, all good things, but I hardly feel lazy.
*Not having sewing guilt because I'm not taking advantage of the sunshine.
*Free irrigation! Two years ago, our vegetable garden thrived, and we didn't water it with the hose even one time.
*But let's face it, the REAL reason I love the rain is:
What do you love about the rain?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Let me take you back to 9th grade, when one of my favorite memories is of falling asleep in the top bunk with my alarm-clock-radio tuned to Casey Kasem's Top 40 Countdown. Fast forward to just before I got married, when I lived in our first apartment by myself for a few weeks, after our good-nights but before I could fall asleep I'd listen to short stories and plays on the radio. Then after marriage but before kids, we'd stay up and listen together. Even now, especially in the heat of summer's canning season, when I'm always up late because I didn't plan on the jam taking so long to set up, there's nothing like a cool breeze coming in the kitchen window and old-time swing music playing on the radio.
And so! For your listening enjoyment, here are links to some of my favorite late-night radio programs. And thanks to the beauty of the internet, you don't even have to stay up late to listen to them!
L.A. Theatre Works' Radio Theatre Series
To the Best of Our Knowledge ... a sort of "radio magazine." Lots of good stuff here.
Selected Shorts ... short stories from all genres, read to you like it's bedtime. And for me, it is!
American Routes ... is a presentation and discussion of quintessentially American music: blues, jazz, rockabilly, zydeco, gospel; with interviews, documentaries, and of course the music itself.
And of course, one of my all-time, long-time, I'll-cry-the-day-it-goes-away favorites, This American Life.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Jocelyn and I went up early Saturday with Jeremy and hung out and James got there later. I had my eye on him from the start, but nothing happened till Sunday.
It was Fast Sunday, and we all bore our testimonies that day in church. It was interesting, a bunch of kids from BYU-Idaho taking over his home wards testimony meeting, but they all really seemed to enjoy it, and that was one of the best experiences to be a part of. We then went back to Jeremy's house after church.
Matt had a flat tire, and I volunteered to help change it. All the guys were pretty impressed, and that then got all the girls annoyed with me and then Matt because all the other girls were out there too. I left. He could not get the lug nuts off and I was done with all the girls. So I went off to hang out with the animals. Jeremy's parents had some Donkeys or Mules. I can't remember which. So I hung out with them for a while while waiting for the game to start. That is when James made his move and came out to figure out who I was. We talked, hung out then went to watch the game.
To tell you the truth I do not remember who played or won. I know it was the Janet Jackson Super Bowl though. (I did not see the halftime show due to being on the phone with my parents, thank goodness!) I actually did not pay attention to much of the Super Bowl because James and I were flirting with each other the whole time, and from then on it is history.
That semester then involved me chasing him, and winning his heart with goodies, and his roommates sure loved me too. There were cookies, (Jocelyn, I will always have fond memories of that night!) cheese cakes, regular cakes, more cookies, etc. I enjoyed myself, and I am sure James did too, although one plate of cookies was ate by his roommates before he could enjoy them.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
There was talk that he would have surgery to remove the tumor, but many of his lymph nodes had already started mutating into serious, untreatable ones. The doctor recommended immediate chemotherapy, rather than go through surgery and wait months afterward to start chemo. Every month, my parents made the hour-long trip to the clinic to receive an aggressive dose of chemotherapy. The days following treatment were miserable for my dad. He described it like having the flu...times 10.
Why share this with you when we're talking about love stories this week? I've always known my parents loved each other, although, like all of us, they experienced ups and downs of the daily stresses and celebrations in their marriage. I have noticed in my parents, since my dad's diagnosis and treatment, a much deeper love for one another than ever before.
At my mom's quilt retreat that same year, my sisters, aunt and parents were sitting around one night chatting and catching up. Dad's treatment had taken a toll on his energy, and he decided to turn in early. He stood up, said goodnight, and gave my mom a warm, lingering embrace that spoke volumes to me of their love. I've always known them to show affection toward each other, but this small moment seemed different somehow, more personal and meaningful, and I was thankful to have witnessed it.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Their advice: "Always tell each other you love each other daily and hourly. Always do everything together and be patient!"
Friday, February 4, 2011
It's called FreeCycle!
Have you heard about this? Have you used it? Well, I think the first thing I'm going to watch for is some shelves! :)
And if you're looking for a good book to teach your kids about reusing and recycling and all of the great habits that go along with those, I would recommend Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, by Cari Best.
She will teach you about taking care of your things, using them out, making do with what you have, working hard, and sharing with others. It's a fun book and I enjoy the illustrations too! :)
Have a great Friday...and let me know if you decide to join the FreeCycle group--I did!