Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Craigs List

I have been getting very impatient with my living room furniture. I call it the "church foyer" furniture. Not only have I never liked the fabric, but the fabric has been wearing in spots and even got a hole punctured from the hide-a-bed. I like the shape of the couches, and they are in good shape other than the fabric. I couldn't decide whether or not to attempt to make slipcovers, or do new upholstery. I figured for the cost of fabric and time, it was worth looking to see what I could get on Craig's List.

So, I have been looking for new furniture - preferably leather. It is much easier to clean and much more classic.

I have been casually looking at Craig's list. Unfortunately, for well-priced leather couches, you can't just look casually. So, I started to get serious about it. After looking at several, I finally found this one, and I got it for a great price. It is very comfortable, and the cushions are attached!

I love a good bargain. Persistance pays off.

New Haircut

On Friday, I finally did it. I cut my hair short. My inspiration picture was this one of Winona Ryder.

Many of you are responsible for encouraging me to go this direction. To quote one friend, "go for it, it will always grow back."

So I did it, and now I will wait for it to grow back. This short cut is one more thing I can say I tried, but I will never do it again. This is the wash and dry version. I think I look 10 years older.

One more item off the bucket list . . .

Kitchen Disasters 2 in 3 days

The first disaster happened as I was making bread. I forgot to put the extra water in. Looking back, it would have been fine if I had slowly added the water, allowing it to mix with everything that was currently in the mixer. But, I didn't do it that way. I added all the water, then continued to add flour. It wasn't mixing together, so I decided to turn up the speed on the mixer.

Bad idea!

This is what happened.

The second disaster happened today. I was disinfecting the kids toothbrushes by boiling them on the stove. Well, I forgot about them until I was reminded by the oh so pleasant odor of melting plastic. This is what the toothbrushes look like now.

It took me about 1/2 hour to get the toothbrushes out of the pot, and another 1/2 hour to clean the pan and remove all the stuck on plastic. But, I did salvage the pan!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vote for the Desitin Bandit

Disney is having a contest for the "Messy Baby Faces." I thought DD2's picture smeared with Desitin was worthy of the contest.

You can vote using this link.


If you have ever registered for any disney site, you can use that username.
If not, you can register, and opt out of all the future e-mail offers.

You can vote 1x a day during the contest.

Thanks for your support!

Friday, June 12, 2009

To Paint, or Not to Paint

I want to move. There are no kids in our neighborhood. But, we have some work to do/finish on our house before we can do anything. One big one is the kitchen. It needs updating. When I was originally considering remodeling plans, it included things that would be for me. Now, I think what do I need to do that is enough to sell the house?

Option 1: Paint cabinets white. They have a lined look that painted white would look like beadboard.

Option 2: Reface cabinets - keep in current configuration

Option 3: Gut the kitchen.

Please vote.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cool Checks

We don't really use many checks anymore. We write a check for tithing, the occasional school fieldtrip, and piano lessons, but that's about it. But, I did come across these cool temple picture checks. I think I may order them next time I need some.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sister Beck – General Relief Society President visits Colorado Springs

Sister Beck – General Relief Society President visits Colorado Springs
Last night, I had the privilege of being part of a women’s choir to sing for the Fireside featuring Sister Beck, the General Relief Society President. We sang, “Write Thy Name Upon My Heart” by Sally DeFord. Sister DeFord certainly has a wonderful gift for writing uplifting songs and especially lyrics.

One funny note, we were not told what to wear as a choir. So, even though it had been snowing, I wanted to wear a spring color. It was a great chance to wear a coral long-sleeve shirt. Unfortunately, almost everyone else was wearing dark colors, either brown, gray or black. I think I may have stood out a little too much.

Another note about the snow, we were supposed to get a major snow storm, with 2 feet in Monument, 18 inches in Briargate, 3-6 in inches on the south side of town. Colorado Springs was really spared (Denver got 3 feet!). I can’t help but think it was a little miracle on behalf those who worked so hard to get her here, that it wasn’t cancelled.

Sis. Beck’s talk and answers to questions really helped me. For a few weeks, I have been increasingly frustrated with my daily life. It is truly living up to the title of my blog, “Life is a Blur.” Often, I can’t remember anything from my day, and I frequently find myself forgetting what I am doing. Some days, it feels like I have the memory of a goldfish. She said many things that seemed to address what I have been feeling lately and how to overcome it.

Here are some of my notes from her talk. Remember, these are notes, and not necessarily quotes (although there are a few).

There are three purposes of Relief Society. 1) Increase faith on the earth. D&C Section 1; 2) Strengthen home and families; and 3) Provide relief. Just as the YM are being prepared for Priesthood responsibilities, YW are being prepared for service in the Relief Society.

Everyday, we should ask ourselves, today, how can I help increase faith, strengthen family and provide relief. The Lord will inspire us.

She quoted Pres. Monson (April 2009), “the future is as bright as your faith.”
Strengthening families is not just the job of married women. Every woman needs to defent dthe doctrine of the family. Sis. Beck said she memorized the Proclamation on the family and reviews it once a week. We should know and defend and be able to say the words of the Proclamation.

Then, she opened it up to questions.

When preparing to visit with Priesthood leaders, she offered this advice (works for all situations I think): Go prepared with 1) a list of your observations, 2) a list of your concerns, and 3) your recommendations, your best thinking on the matter.

She related a story about Eliza R. Snow crossing the plains. Her husband, Brigham Young, was the prophet and wasn’t available to help her. She asked, who is going to help me? Brigham Young told her, Eliza will help Eliza. She explained the meaning was, I trust you to be strong enough and figure this out. You can do it.

She used the story of the Mormon Battalion to emphasize the point. All these men were being asked to leave at a very difficult time. Their women did not complain about getting across the plains by themselves, but instead told them, we’ll meet you in the valley.

There are times when we need Priesthood help, and times we need to be like Eliza R. Snow.

In response to another question, she called pornography and “avalanche of evil.” I thought that was a great phrase. She also warned that boys are first exposed to pornography around age 10-11 (scary statistic), and that the newest target group for pornography is women. She quoted Pres. Monson from April 2009 Conference, his voice of warning to ALL, about the many pathways of destruction and the destruction of the Spirit.

We are in a war with evil and we need to declare war back. Don’t permit it, don’t tolerate it, don’t take the blame for it, don’t concede for we are not shrinking women. We need to take steps to protect our homes and family. We need help from angels, miracle, and we need to call down power from heaven. This is a call to action in our homes and families. If we don’t do it, who will? We need to approach it as a faith-based work.

As far as strengthening our homes, she gave examples from her own family. Need to have daily family prayer and scripture study, FHE. She would review the seminary scripture mastery cards in the morning with her children until they memorized them. When their children were older, they had a contest between the boys and the girls to see who could read their scriptures every day. Whichever side missed first had to buy the others ice cream. They went months, before a miss, but it established the habit. They did family vacations – no electronics allowed. Talk and share together. Teach our children to work. Write down what the culture of your family will be. Teach hymns (hymns teach doctrine) to children on the way to school.

As far as worrying about difficulties with our spouses (activity in the church, repentance, unequally yoked, etc.) she gave some good advice. We have enough to worry about with ourselves. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of repentance, the gospel of change. Our choice is to go forward in faith, to forgive, and to teach the gospel of repentance. Too often, we give up on the Atonement. Divorce is never final, referenced a talk by Elder Haight where he combined divorce and its effects to nuclear waste. Often divorce only changes one problem for others and it is always painful.

Elder Funk (Area Seventy) added we often have a mortal and temporal perspective. We need to strive for an eternal perspective and develop patience and love.

Sis. Beck talked about Rebecca from the Old Testament as a woman who knew her worth. She talked about the covenant with Abraham that his seed would be as numerous as the sands of the sea. Yet, he and Sarah only had one son for all these blessings to come through. How important was his wife? So important, a servant was called on a mission to find the right wife. Then, Rebecca had twins, and only one son was living righteously. Yet again, only one golden boy to bring these promised blessings. Rebecca used her influence to ensure the blessings went to the righteous son.

We cant know our worth if we don’t know why we were born, or our place in the gospel.

Balancing Roles and Responsibilities

We think there are women who can – it is a MIRAGE

Trying to make things work out on paper doesn’t work. We have to turn it over to the Lord. This is a faith-based work. The Lord makes it work. Balance is the Lord’s job. We do the best we can.

There are 3 shifts a day, the day shift, swing shift, and evening shift. Woman can really only do 2 shifts a day, and only 1 really good. We should do what we need to, to conserve on other shifts for the swing shift (afternoon, dinner) when the everyone is the neediest. Plan dinner early, do scriptures in the morning.

She told a story about her mother. She married her father who was a 30-year old widow with 3 children and was Bishop. Within a year, he was Stake President, and when they were married 5 years, he was called to be a Mission President in Brazil. She had to move with 6 children and one on the way (she delivered 10 days after arriving in Brazil). Three children in cloth diapers in an area where they never dry completely because of the humidity, her husband was gone 20 days of the month, a huge, old house without all the tools to clean, the dog would kill rats that came into the yard. One day, she decided enough was enough, and she went upstairs to have a good cry, “always feel better after a good rainstorm.” Her husband discovered here and talked with her. He said twenty years from now, the experience will be over. We will enjoy talking about it, so let’s enjoy it now.

We are all having an experience. When we signed up for the plan, we signed up for an experience. Moses 5 – Eve was having an experience. An experience the world says we should be striving for, perfection, ease (Garden of Eden). She realized this isn’t what we signed up for (Moses 5:10). The experience is to prepare for the dream (eternal life).

We need to increase in personal righteousness day by day. The most important skill is to seek, receive and act on inspiration.

I hope these notes have touched you in some small way if you weren’t able to be there yourself.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training


I thought potty training DD2 would be easy, since she has such an awareness of wanting her diaper off if it is even slightly wet. I thought we were starting a step ahead. But no, this time potty training has been worse than the other three combined.

She loves to take off her own diaper. She won't even come to me at all, unless she has a problem. For example, she will take off her diaper, wipe herself, and then come to me for a new one. After a doing this a couple of times, I decided it was time for actual potty training. My earliest ever, just before turning 2.

You would think with this early "readiness" it would be easy, but her independance is its own problem. I am sure I will appreciate this independance when she is 18 and ready to leave the nest, but for this adventure, it is frustrating.

Example #1: She takes off her diaper in the morning and climbs out the crib herself. She gets poop everywhere - in the crib, on the floor. A lot of little pieces everywhere. Well, DH is cleaning it up (I was teaching Seminary at the time). But, since the carpet in the girl's room is dark brown, he misses as spot. He steps in it and doesn't know it, and tracks poop all the way from the girl's room to the laundry room. On the stairs and everything. This clean-up was so bad, I had to rent a rug doctor.

Example #2: I can smell the poop somewhere downstairs, but I can't find it for 2 days. Turns out, she had pooped into one of her toy bowls. While it is not the floor, and she had some effort in mind, it was not exactly the toilet either.

Example #3: Today, she pooped on the floor (right after being on the potty, of course). The other kids come running up telling me about it. I gather my supplies and head downstairs, but the poop is gone. I asked Lydia what she had done with it. She pointed to the toy kitchen. She had put it in the "microwave." Gross! It's not like we don't have plenty of real "fake food" to play with.

My mom says, as she is laughing, that it will be over soon, and I won't really even remember it. I may even be able to laugh about it. While I am not there yet, at least you can have your laughs now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scout Troop Flag

I just finished making this troop flag for DH's scout troop. I think it turned out really cool!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Amazing Story

I just read this amazing story. Likely, many of you who blog a lot more than I do are already familiar with it. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"In August 2008, a small plane crashed in St Johns , Arizona . It's the type of story that makes the local news and not much more. The plane held three occupants: a pilot and a young married couple. The pilot, Doug Kinneard, died the next day. The young couple was badly burned. The husband suffered burns over 30% of his body. The wife, 80% of her body.

"But the surviving victims of this accident were Stephanie “Nie” and Christian Nielson. “Nie” is a popular LDS “mommy blogger," with a devoted following across the Internet. She was known for her public declarations of affection for her beloved husband, known to her readers simply as Mr. Nielson. She was considered a bright spot to many. Her blog, NieNieDialogues.Blogspot.com, was full of optimism, love, and adoration for her four young children. She helped her readers appreciate motherhood and see the joy in the challenges it presents."

To read the complete article: http://www.ldsmag.com/exstories/090130nie.html

I added their blog to my other interesting blogs list.

I'm sure you will be as touched as I was.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fireplace Makeover

Our fireplace has always been a bit of a decorating dilemma for me. When we moved in, the mantle was this huge piece of dark wood. It matched the trim and the dark wood in the kitchen, but those were all things we were going to lighten up a lot.

All the trim was going to be changed over to white, but I didn't think that would look good against the brick.

So, when I was painting the walls, a nice light butterscotch color, I painted the mantle as well. It was much better than the dark wood, but still not quite right. It still stood out a lot.

Today, I decided I would try to soften the look by sponging on a couple of other browns. It think it turned out pretty good. I think the overall affect is much better, but it still works with the brick.

What do you think?

PVC Pipe Storage Shelf for Storage Tubs

My uncle sent this web-site to me, and when I saw it - I knew. I knew, this was just what I needed. (http://studio5.ksl.com/?sid=5148165&nid=61)

A lot of my tubs are for holiday things, which I only need to get to twice a year (taking out and putting away). For those, it's not as big of a deal if they are just stacked on top of each other. But, for the kids clothes storage, I am in those a lot more often.

I figured, if I'm going to make one, make one big enough for all of them. So, we are making one 5x5, for 25 tubs.

To make it even easier, my husband used his chop-saw instead of the PVC pipe cutter. This hand tool will get the job done, but it is a lot of cuts, and your hands would get very tired.

I'll post a picture of the finished project.

Friday, January 23, 2009

This is our family picture from 2007. Time for a new one.

I LOVE Early Church

This year, it is our ward's turn to have 8:30 a.m. church. I used to hate this time. It meant no sleeping in. But, children change things, and since there is no sleeping in anymore anyway, this is my new favorite church time.

The differences are especially apparent coming from 12:30 p.m. church. On that schedule, I never felt like Sunday was a "day of rest."

Now, we get up, go to church and are home with a good part of the day left. This schedule also doesn't interfere with any naps or meals for the kids. I usually finish the things I enjoy doing on Sunday's by early afternoon, and I have been wondering, "now, what do I want to do?"

It is also a lot easier to fit in FHE on Sunday. During the week, the after school/before bed-time is so tight, FHE is hard to do.

For this year at least, I feel like I have at least a partial "day of rest" and it isn't as much of an oxymoron.

I have discovered at least one down side. By 4:00, the kids are whining about how bored they are. During the week, when they are bored, I offer some chores, or homework they can do. I'm going to have to come up with some Sunday appropriate activities they don't want to do to help then figure out how not to be bored (or at least not tell mom you are)

Finally - new dishes that match!

I am excited - I finally have new dishes! We have been using the same dishes I purchased when I went to college. After being married for 12 years, I finally got some new dishes! I think I have been pretty patient.

I wanted Corelle, because they are light and child-resistant. I got the red cafe set. Just in time, too. When I finally got around to ordering, Target and Wal-mart didn't have them anymore, and Amazon only had 4 left.

Since a lot of my family is local, and most family dinners are at my house, I got all 4 sets so I would have enough dishes when everyone comes over.

I also like the Corelle because they hold the heat better. The stoneware would make my food go cold so quickly, it was annoying. I had my first hot meal in a long time without having to use the microwave (you know how it is, getting everyone else's food ready while your's cools).