Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cathy's Baby Shower

Today was a fun day. I still can't believe that my sister is having a baby! She is 6 years older than me, but this is her first one. (yeah, I started early! - in fact, by the time I am her age my first will be 10!) It was fun to be a part of it and see her get lots of cute stuff. I am so excited for her and her new adventure! Here is a slide show of all the people that came to help her celebrate!

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And the Winner is....

Lani at The Wooden Porch!!! Lani is a great woman with a humorous outlook on life. You will surely have some funny things to say about Babyproofing Your Marriage. All I need is your info and I will send it on its way! Congratulations! Thanks everyone for playing along!

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Girls Night Out

Last year the Relief Society in my ward had a Women's Retreat they called "Just Breathe." I went last year and had a lot of fun, but I brought Sydney because she was still nursing at the time. When I found out that they were going to do it again this year I was so excited! This year I wouldn't have to have Sydney and I could truly "Just Breathe." The excitement soon fizzled when I found out the dates. They had originally set it for April 21-22, but moved it to April 27-28. I was so bummed! We were already set to have a baby shower for my sister on the 28th...so unless I wanted to wake up and leave the retreat at 8 or 9 am on Saturday, I was not going. There were some people willing to leave early with me, but I felt it would not be worth it to drive 2 1/2 hours to have to turn around early to come home.


Instead there were a few other girls in the ward that had little kiddos that that didn't want to leave overnight so we got together and went out for a "Girls Night." We went out to eat at a Mexican joint called Serrano's. They have the best bean dip ever! It was nice to sit, eat, and get to know these girls a bit better. Shawn and I try to go out on a date regularly, but I don't think that I get 'girl' time quite often. There is something different when you are just around each other.

We laughed, and talked about all sorts of stuff. I think that we all mesh pretty well, and each have something different to bring to the table. After we ate we went by Nielson's Frozen Custard for a yummy dessert. We ate our treat, and continued to gab for few more hours. Conversation was easy, and I had such a good time. I think that we may do this on a more regular basis. We thought that we could go to dinner and then do something fun afterward. My sister used to do these regularly, some of the things we did were: ice skating, bowling, karaoke, painting pottery. Do you have any fun ideas of things to do with 'just the girls'?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Remember to put things away!


For more participants check out the Wordless Wednesday HQ or 5 Minutes for Mom!
(Don't forget about my book giveaway...the drawing is this Friday! You could be a winner!)

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Reconnecting

Reconnection seems to be the resounding theme for our family this year! It seems like our old friendships are coming out of the woodwork. Yesterday was one of those days. One of Shawn's friends from High School was in town for a wedding so a few of us got together for a Shindig at our house.
I had met Jocelyn briefly at a wedding reception a few years ago, but since she lived out of state, we haven't seen her much. It was great to find out that her family was going to be in town, and I was excited to meet the rest of the bunch.

Caden is so fun to watch when people come over. I don't think a child can get any more excited than him. He had fun meeting Jocelyn's 3 girls, and playing with his usual Kent & Mallory. We managed to get all the kids together for a brief moment and took some pictures. My stubborn Caden refused to smile. That darn kid definitely beats to his own drum! If you try to tell him to do something he does the exact opposite! You can see how much he was determined not to smile in these series of photographs (that first one was taken before I told him to smile).

The crowd of friends wasn't as big as usual (we usually have some sort of get together over the holidays when everyone is in town and that makes for a big party), but it was nice for a change. We were able to sit and catch up on everyone's lives, and reminisce about the past. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we had a great time.

I find it fun to meet Shawn's old friends and getting to know them better. Even though they weren't really my friends growing up, it helps me to see a little different part of Shawn that I didn't know. That is the great thing about reconnecting, it kinda brings to life that part of you that you sometimes have forgot about. For me High School was a great time. I don't ever want to go back, but I have many great memories from that time of my life. Over the years I have been able to catch up with some old friends and it was great. It brings alive that time of my youth (not that I am really old or anything) but when I had less cares and just wanted to have fun.

My ten year reunion is coming up this October. I am really excited to be able to go, and see my old friends. I have tried to keep in touch with many of my close friends over the years, but we have been so busy we haven't got together in years (besides Julie & Robbie who I see regularly). After yesterday it makes me want to plan some shindig for my friends before the reunion...in hopes that Shawn won't be too bored because he will feel like he knows somebody. As of right now I don't think he is too excited to go to my reunion. How has your spouse reacted when you have your reunions?

***Just a reminder*** I am giving away a free book so if you want to be included in the drawing go here and leave a comment.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Babyproofing Your Marriage

Back in February, lovely Kailani over at An Island Life informed us that Harper Collins Publishing company was giving out free books for review. I hopped on over and requested Babyproofing Your Marriage from Felicia. It came while I was on my cruise so I wasn't able to read it right away, and with my kids the only time I get to read is while I am working out at the gym. So it took a while to get through this one, but I am finally finished and ready to give my input on this one.

Initially I was taken back because within the first few pages there was profanity. I know that there are people out there that use it on a regular basis. I am not one of them. I personally think that there are better words that can be used to express how you are feeling. I guess that these authors thought the context was appropriate, but I didn't really care for them.

As I looked past my first impression, I actually found the book rather entertaining. These group of girls made up alot of their own terms for different things that new parents experience. One of my favorites was

"The Mommy Chip: A hardwired circuit that is activated when women become mothers. Once trigger, this chip hums 24/7 and cannot be turned off. The chip drives, what men refer to as, crazy Mom behavior. It contains a Worst Case Scenario Program that feeds a mother's fears (Let me just make sure the baby is breathing) and is plugged into a Guilt Circuit that makes her constantly question whether or not she is doing enough for her kids."

That is just a glimpse of some of the humor that they have when talking about what happens when children come into your life. Although I didn't agree with some of the ideas (The Five Minute Fix) they did a great job at taking a lighthearted look at situations that we can encounter.

If someone is struggling in a marriage with kids, I don't know if this book would be able to give them all the answers. I think it is more of an entertaining way to look at things. They made me laugh, and it was interesting to see things from a different perspective. They had interviewed hundreds of mom's & dad's and had quotes from them spattered through out the book. I guess in a nice way it helped you feel not so alone when it came to certain situations... to know it isn't just you!

I think when it comes down to it...marriage takes work. There is always give and take, and you have to be willing to try your hardest. It isn't all about how much sex you are getting. It is about loving your partner no matter what. Giving them the benefit of the doubt and working together as a team.

So in the end, if you want to read an entertaining book, that gives you some tips along the way...this book is for you!

I will be giving away my copy of the book so if you would like to win the copy just leave a comment, and let me know if you want to be included in the drawing. There aren't many people who read my blog so you will have a fighting chance. If you post about it on your blog I will put your name in twice. I will draw the lucky winner next Friday, April 27. Good Luck!

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Vegetarian Taco Salad

When I was a junior in High School my dad decided to become a vegetarian. He now is a vegan and eats no animal products whatsoever. Out of all the recipes that he made this is one of my favorites. It is so simple to make, and still tastes pretty good. Because I am not a vegan I sometimes put about a cup of cheddar cheese in with the salad, but that is up to you!

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 a head of lettuce chopped
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1-2 avocados diced
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 can of black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can of kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can of pinto beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1/2 a bag of crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 small jar of salsa
  • Catalina/French dressing

Preparation:

  • Take all ingredients and toss together in a bowl!
Alot of this recipe is to your own taste. I sometimes don't put all of the onion in, only put a little salsa, and dressing etc. I have also been known to add some chopped cilantro. Let me know if you try it, and what you think!

If you would like to find some more yummy recipes head on over to Overwhelmed With Joy!

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tweaking

I have been doing a little tweaking here on my blog. I thought I would try something out. I found this tutorial on how to make my own banner. It was fun, and this is what I came up with. It is not really spectacular, but it is a nice change. I still don't know a whole lot about how this all works...for instance I don't know how to make it so I don't have to have the Blogger header that states my blog name. Instead you get to see it twice. Oh well. I was ready for a little change, I will have to figure the rest out later. :)

***Update*** As you may or may not notice, the original Blogger Header is gone. My lovely husband came home, and he being the computer whiz that he is....fixed it for me! Thanks, hun!

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Friday, April 13, 2007

My journey for Caden

If you asked me when I was young what I wanted to be when I grew up...I probably would have told you a mother. For as long as I can remember I looked forward to the day when I would be able to have children of my own. I love children, and dote on them whenever I have the opportunity. There is something about a child that brings something alive inside of me. It helps me to have a lighter outlook on life, and just brings me so much joy when I am around them.

Shawn and I had been married about a year and a half (it was fall 2001) when we felt it was time to "start" our family. I was excited of the aspect of having a child, and just couldn't wait! Well, my Heavenly Father had other plans. Month after month of disappointment followed. I didn't understand why I was not pregnant. We had been trying for a whole year, and nothing. I wanted to be pregnant so badly, but was not willing to go to the doctor to find out why we were not pregnant yet. I was so fearful that they would tell me that I would never be able to have children. So instead I tried to do everything to educate myself.

The best book that I have ever read on the subject is Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It helped me to understand how my body works. I was able to arm myself with knowledge in case my worst fear came to. I charted, took temperatures, everything....still nothing happened. I had my beloved yearly coming in February, and came to terms that if I was not pregnant by then...I would talk to my doctor about it. That is when I think I finally gave into my fear, and gave it back to the Lord.

I knew in the end it was in His hands...he knew the timetable. Lo and behold after 15 months of heartache, and tears. I found out I was pregnant! That is when my journey began....

More to follow later!

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My Baby Brother

My youngest brother, Michael, turned 18 yesterday (he is the one on the right)! To me he will always be my baby brother, but he sure has grown up. He is now much taller than me, and a great kid. He works at a laser tag place, and ended up having his party there. The management was nice enough to let us all play for free, and we got free food. :)

When we first showed up Caden was a little scared because the place where we were going to eat was dark, and he started to cry. We were able to get the lights on, and he started to have some fun. He even ended up going in for a game of lazer tag. I wish I would have taken a picture of him with the gear on. It was so cute to watch him run around and "shoot" people. He teamed up with my niece Maya (Nancy's daughter) and ran around the course like he was a pro! I don't think that he actually got anyone, but he had so much fun. He even woke up this morning and was still talking about it.

It was nice to be at the party. It made me reflect on Michael and how much he has changed and grown over the years. I am so proud of how well he has done in school. I think that he is #35 in his class (out of over 700). He is such a smart kid. He will be going to UofA in the fall, and has gotten scholarships galore. We will find out later this week if he got a particular scholarship that he applied for. If he does he will have a free ride in school because this scholarship pays for everything that his others don't! I wish I would have done more to get more of an education, but I only got a few credits from the community college under my belt. Anyway, I am excited for him, and the opportunities that he will get because of all the hardwork, and determination he has put in. He was even lucky enough that he friends got him a laptop for his birthday! I wish I had friends like that! (My friends are really great...don't get me wrong...and I would have never expected to get a laptop, I actually got great gifts from them!)

Michael is a great kid, but has had to deal with alot. I think in a lot of ways he has grown up alot faster than most kids. My mother was 47 when she had him. There was already 7 kids, and the closest one in age was 6 1/2 years older than him. He had no one to be a kid with. I have watched him as he grew, and it has been fun to see him change. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful little brother. He loves us all, and is always so willing to give of himself. Happy Birthday Michael! You are loved!


Excuse the 'white trash' messy faces of my children...they enjoyed the pizza, and ice cream cake far too much!

On the way home Syd crashed in her carseat, and I knew Caden wasn't too far behind. He went potty when he got home, and I got busy doing something. When I came out I found this....
I think that he was trying to 'hide' but fell asleep in the process...not that he could really fit his whole body under the couch anyway!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

My heart stopped...

My heart stopped for a moment today. Since yesterday was ate up by the photo session, I didn't get much done around the house. So today I set out do make a dent. I managed to do a bunch of laundry. Later in the afternoon the kids wanted to go out and play in the backyard.

I thought, "Great, go play, then I can clean the kitchen, and mop the floor while you are out there!" They jetted outside, and I started in. There was something on the counter that needed to be put away in my room. So me being in my "just do it" mode ran upstairs to put it away. When I turned around to head back down I glanced out the window...and that is when it happened. Just to give you a better feel here is the view from my bedroom window. Ignore the awning with the 'hanging by a thread' trim (yes we are cheap, and haven't got it fixed yet.)

As you can see our house backs up to a canal. When I glanced outside that gate was wide open and I saw someone dashing towards the canal! I don't think I had run faster in my entire life! Images flashed through my mind. I imagined rounding the corner to find one of my children in the canal and saw myself jumping in without a thought trying to save my child. Then I started my inner conversation about how stupid I was to not check on them sooner!

Instead I rounded the corner to see my son smiling back at me, and Sydney far away from the canal. I started yelling at Caden, and he just looked at me, smiled and said, "Mommy, look at all these seashells! (For whatever reason the dirt all along the canal is filled with them - I have no idea why!?) There were two other kids that were there that said they had run over to keep them from falling in. I don't know if Caden was that close, but I am thankful they were watching out for them.

I grabbed my two children, and went back through the gate and SLAMMED it shut! My heart was now racing out of fear, anger, and guilt! I don't know what I would have done if the scenerio that I played in my head happened in real life. I sat Caden down and told him that if he wanted to go out the gate that he needed to come and find me, and I would take him. I explained to him that I didn't want him going out there without me because he or Sydney could fall in the water, and drown, and if that happened Mommy would be sooo sad. I started to cry a little just trying to explain this to him. He innocently looked at me again, smiled, and said, "Okay, Mommy!"

He ran off and started playing again and my mind started to reel. I love my children dearly and I always have, but moments like this really bring you home to how deep your love really goes. My aunt lost a son a few years ago, and now that I have children my heart aches for the pain that she must have had to go through, and probably still goes through. I have the utmost respect for those mothers. Now I am slapping myself silly at how stupid I was today. I am just thankful that nothing happened.

There is a lock on this gate, but it didn't work too well. Sometimes you can jimmy it and it will open without having to take the lock off...and apparently that is exactly what happened. I had bought a different lock a while back, but couldn't get it on. Well today ladies and gentleman...I jammed that sucker on! I don't know if I can get it off, but that's okay. I don't need another heart attack!

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Picture Fiasco

Last Wednesday Julie came over so I could help her make a bow for Gemma for Easter. I got all my bow making supplies, and that is when she saw one of the bows that I made to match one of Sydney's dresses that had cherries on it. Goes to find out she had just recently bought the same dress for Gemma. Thats when we thought it would be so cute to get pictures of them together. Wednesdays are Robbie's day off so we decided to go the following Wednesday to get the pictures so Robbie could watch Caden while we took the girls.

Julie was a member of a picture club for a company that shall not be named. She had some coupons, and also got some sort of discount so that is where we thought we would take the pictures. When Julie called to set up an appointment, she found that all the locations had been shut down except for one that was on the other side of town. We knew that it would be a long drive, but thought it would be worth it anyway. They didn't have any openings in the morning at the time, but said that we could walk-in, and they would be able to squeeze us in.

So we began our hour long drive closer to 10 am. When we got there we were displeased to find that they couldn't "squeeze" us in until 1:20 pm. At this point we didn't really have much of a choice. We had already driven out there so I wasn't about to turn around empty handed. Julie called Robbie and told him of the situation. Thankfully Robbie is such a trooper, and was willing to watch Caden longer than expected.

With all the time on our hands all we could do was shop, and we also got a bite to eat. One fun thing was Children's Place is having a spring clearance! I think The Children's Place has some really cute clothes, but I am just not willing to pay full price for them. Everything was marked down to $4.99!!! So things that last week had cost $30-40 were now cheap! I snagged some beautiful dresses, and some cute boy outfits for my sister who will be having a boy in June! BTW, they said that Children's Place's nationwide are doing this so check it out, and you may be able to get a deal too!

Then it was time to head back to the studio for the girls photo session. I have to tell ya, they looked so cute. We had everything matching right down to the shoes. While we were waiting to be ushered in the girls played on this thing they had in the entrance. They could climb inside, and then go down a slide. As luck would have it (because the way this day was going...it just had to happen) seconds before they called us...Gemma tumbled down the slide and hit her head. She now was sporting a beautiful red bump on her forehead! They got us an ice pack, and that helped a little bit. The photo shoot turned out pretty good. It is amazing how hard it is to get two little girls to sit still. Halfway through the shoot Sydney decided to face plant. I guess she was feeling left out, and needed a bump of her own. We laughed, they cried and they took more photos. Now we were left with yet another hour to wait for the pictures to get developed, and then we could go home.

We took the kids over to the malls play place, and let them play to their hearts content. It was quite the fun little area. Sydney loves to climb, and this gave her exactly that opportunity. She went up, down, around and through all of fun structures. Finally we headed back over to the studio.

Unfortuantely, the pictures weren't done and we had to wait some more. They gave us more of a discount because they felt so bad because we had been there all day and had driven so far. We finally got to see the results closer to 3:45. They turned out pretty cute, and even though it ate up our whole day...it was fun (though my husband would like to think otherwise). We probably won't ever make that trek again, but atleast we will be able to look back on our crazy LONG day, and laugh even more.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Storage Room Challenge

It has been a week since Laura's 30 Day Organizational Challenge. I have been working steadily on the storage room, and thought I would show some pictures of the progress. I also thought this would count for my Tackle It Tuesday! I still have ALOT more work to do, but I am getting a little done each day!

BEFORE

MIDDLEAFTER


I obviously still need to get some more bins for the extra clothes. I actually have gotten some that are clear and fit better than the current ones I have. I am working on getting those put away and labeled this week! Keep checking back...I will keep you posted on my progress!

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Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter Dinner

Yesterday turned out pretty well. We went over to my sisters for her annual Easter/Birthday party for Noah (my nephew turned 10 on the 2nd of April.) As usual, it was great. I love getting together with my family. There are 8 siblings, and then all of our family is here in town so it ends up being a huge party whenever we get together.

We had dinner and an Egg hunt. By this time Caden was really ready to go on the hunt and was so excited to "find some eggs"! Sydney was even getting the hang of it. We had our camera this time so we were able to get a more shots of the fun event.

The other crazy thing was we found out that my oldest brother's girlfriend is due to have a baby in June...just days away from Cathy! I have a lot of differences with my oldest brother, Danny. We don't really get along. When I lived at home he made life, well not so fun. I couldn't believe that he hadn't told us she was pregnant! I just hope that he owns up to his responsibility this time around.

He has 2 children from his first marriage. Caleb is 16 and Ashley is 14. They are great kids, but don't really have a relationship with him. He has been in and out of prison pretty much their whole lives. I know that he loves his kids, but for whatever reason he has given up. He hadn't even told his kids about the pregnancy. They found out the same way everyone did when they showed up and saw Chrystal (that is Danny's girlfriend). Apparently he hadn't even talked to them since Thanksgiving. I am just frustrated with him. He still lives at home and he is will be 38 this month. I wish that my parents would make him leave. He needs to grow up!

I just don't know how to deal with the frustration that I have with him. I have always wanted to say something to him, but don't ever know where to start. I can barely stand to be around him let alone have a conversation. How do you deal with a person that has hurt you so much!? I really hope and pray that he can be a good dad this time around. I am just waiting to see.

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is such a wonderful day. The message brings me such a feeling of renewal, and beginnings. I am so thankful to have a Savior that loves and knows who I am. I was humbled today when I attended my church meetings.

Today is what is called Fast and Testimony meeting. It is normally on the first Sunday of each month, but we had General Conference last week so Fast Sunday was pushed back a week. I know some have a hard time with Sacrament meeting when it is for the bearing of testimonies. I have had a hard time in the past. People get up there and babble on about nothing, and don't really bear their testimony sometimes. Today was different. Perhaps it is because it is Easter everyone's mind is so much more turned toward Christ. It was a great meeting.

Then in Relief Society the lesson was on testimonies. This is where it hit home a little bit more. The lesson talked about how important it is to bear your testimony because it is the only way you can grow, and keep your testimony. I think that I do okay at bearing my testimony, but I also think that sometimes I hold back for fear that the person will be offended. I thought about my friend, and wondered if I should have said something different. I often wonder how many times I have ignored the spirit when it is telling me to testify what I know to be true. I left with a greater appreciation for my own testimony, and a challenge to recognize the spirit more when it is trying to get me to do something that I am afraid of doing.

With that being said...I am so thankful to have been born into a family with two parents that I know love me dearly. I am thankful for the knowledge of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is such a great example. I know that He lives, that he loves me, and that He knows who I am. He knows my innermost thoughts, feelings and desires. I am grateful for the sacrifice that he made for all the people in the world. We would not be here if it were not for him. He is what gets me through is day.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. We will be going to my sister's later this evening for a dinner with the family. I took some pictures of the kids in their Easter outfits. Syd did not want to look at the camera today, but she still is beautiful as ever! I can't believe how fast my little Caden is growing. He looked so grown up today in his cute shirt and tie!

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Easter Morning

Here are some pictures of the kids this morning. They loved waking up to see their Easter Baskets!

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Saturday Easter Breakfast

Today was another crazy day. It was my job again to plan an activity for my entire congregation. We have an annual Easter Breakfast and Egg hunt. This was my first time doing it. We eat outside, have no decorations, no program...simple, right? WRONG!


I thought this would be a piece of cake. We had people sign up to bring milk, OJ, and fruit salad. We were providing eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, & homemade buttermilk syrup (yum). I had bought all the stuff we needed earlier in the week, and my comittee planned on being down at the church by 7am. We would start cooking the food by 7:30 and the event was supposed to start by 8 am.

I thought I had everything covered, but things didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked. What we didn't realize that the previous Activities Comittee chairman had used alot of her own stuff. We had to make a few phone calls, run around like chickens with our head cut off, and do alot of stressing, but in the end everything worked out fine. I think when you are in the thick of the situation you magnify the problems, and shortfalls of your planning when in reality it isn't so bad. I am just thankful that I have a great committee that help me out so much! I don't know what I would do without them.
After the breakfast we had an Easter Egg hunt...of course the big hit with the kids. I had forgotten my camera, but our friends took some pictures for us. (Thanx) This was Sydney's first time. I don't think she really understood the point, but loved the fact there was candy inside the eggs.
Whew! I am just glad it is over and I don't have another activity to plan until July!

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Obsession's

Wow! This is the first time I have ever been tagged for a meme! Gosh it makes me feel special! I guess that means that people actually read my blog, and know I read theirs. Local Girl blessed me with this little meme about obsessions. I am supposed to name 5 obsessions and then tag 5 people. So here it goes...

  1. Checking my email - I think that I check 50 times a day, just to see if someone has written me. I love getting email.
  2. Doing Sydney's hair - she constantly pulls out the bows or anything that I put in her hair. I am obsessed with keeping it looking pretty. I even carry around extra elastics, and a comb so I can fix it whenever she messes it up.
  3. Making sure my kids don't have boogers - Okay I know this sounds stupid, but I do. When ever my kids have runny noses, I am constantly wiping them. My kids are pro's at "blowing." My husband calls me the booger nazi. I just hate seeing kids with green crusty boogers...it drives me crazy.
  4. Loading the dishwasher - I like to load the dishes a certain way. If someone else loads the dishwasher I will go and rearrange the dishes to the way I like them. I guess I think that I can fit more in there if I do it my way.
  5. Folding Laundry - it is the same thing as the dishes. I like things folded a certain way. It is kinda a backfiring obsession because it is hard to let someone help you do things when you like them done a certain way.

Okay so they are pretty silly obsessions, but they are mine just the same.

I am tagging An Ordinary Mom, Babysteps, Fantastic Five, Wild Daisies, & Little Woolgatherings...and anyone else who would like to participate. Let me know if you do this so I can come read about your obsessions!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Chips anyone!?

For more participants check out The Wordless Wednesday HQ or 5 Minutes for Mom!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Doctors

Back in December when I called our Pediatrician's office to set up Sydney's 15 month appointment I was hit with the news that the Pediatrician that my children always see was leaving their office. I was so bummed because I really liked her. She was the only doctor that my children have ever seen. I was just comfortable with her, and liked the rapport that we had together. They said they would have information as to where she was going to in the near future. I set up Sydney's 15 month appt. at our original office just so she wouldn't miss a check up. In the meantime, I continued to call until they had the information as to where Dr. M would be.

Finally they had the information. The only problem was that the office that she was now going to be practicing at was a considerable distance from our house. I went back and forth as to what we should do. I liked the Pediatrician's office that we were currently at....I actually went there as a child, hence the reason why I chose them in the first place. At the same time, I was attached to Dr. M. In January, I took Syd to her 15 month. The doctor that we had the appointment with was still a great doctor, but I left missing Dr. M.

After much thought, going back and forth, and talking it over with Shawn I decided that the drive to go see Dr. M was worth it. The nice thing is her new office is not too far from my sister so I can atleast make a stop and visit with her too. I called and set up Sydney's 18 month appointment with Dr. M. which happened to be yesterday.

It is funny how excited I was to take Syd. The new office is great, and I think that it is going to work out. Sydney now weighs 24 lbs 12 oz, and is about 31 inches tall. She is in the 25% and 17%. It is strange to have a child that is small for her age. Caden was always, and is still off the charts...he has always been a big boy.

Anyway, it was great to see Dr. M again. I am glad that my kids are still able to go to a doctor that they know and love. I don't know why I felt that way...I mean a doctor is a doctor right? Would you drive a greater distance just to see a certain doctor or am I just being silly?

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30 Day Organizational Challenge

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When I saw this challenge over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. I knew exactly what I was going to do. Little did I know that the prizes would be incredible too. I don't even care if I win...the best prize will be having an organized room! I am so thankful to Laura for hosting this...it is just the motivation that I needed! Thank you! When I started blogging I had come across the Tackle it Tuesday's hosted by 5 minutes for Mom. I enjoy participating in those because it helps me get things accomplished. After the first one that I did, my husband kept asking when I was going to do the storage room for one of my tackles. I would just laugh, and say that I would get to it someday.

Now is that someday. I think that I kept putting it off because there was no way in my mind that I would be able to accomplish it in one day. This room has become an ultimate nightmare that honestly I would like to forget. In fact, from the looks of it...you can see I have. When we first bought our house 4 years ago we thought this room would be fantastic. We loved the storage. To give a better explanation...the previous owner had opted for the third bay of the garage to be enclosed and is now an air conditioned storage/workrooom. So keep in mind, this room is huge. It can fit a whole car in it plus extra space. Over time it has accumulated so much stuff it is incredible.
My sister gives me all of the clothes that her children grows out of. For a while I had done really well at keeping it organized. I had tubs, all labeled with the size and gender. Then I ran out of tubs and just began to throw the bags of clothing that she gave me in the room and shut the door. We never go in there so it is easy to do. Anything that I don't need to use at the precise moment gets tossed in here to be dealt with later. The key word is LATER, and later never comes. This is also where we try to keep our tools. The previous owner even put up a nifty board on the wall to get things organized yet we haven't utilized it like we should.

Laura had us ask ourselves a couple of questions.
  • What do I want the purpose of the room to be? I would like to make this a more functional storage area. Right now I can't find anything in there without making a bigger mess because nothing really has its place. I want to be able to go in there an know exactly where to look for something.
  • What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose? I think that I need to first declutter and then properly label things so they are more easily accessible.
  • What can I remove from the room? I think there is plenty that I can get rid of. Because it is so much extra space I think we tend to save more because there is "room" for it. I would like to purge as much as I can and only keep things that I know I will use through out the year.
  • What problems do I see with the room? There is really no system or anything really working in this room. Things are everywhere. I couldn't find something if I wanted too!
  • What organizational tools might solve this problem? Containers and labeling!
  • What habits need to change in order to solve the organizational problem? I think the biggest problem is the "I will get to it later" mentality. I need to put things away right then! Not just toss it in the room and shut the door.
  • What kind of budget do I have to create the organized room of my dreams? I would like to be able to do this with as little money as possible. I would think if anything I wouldn't have to spend more than $100, but I hope to not even spend that. (My husband would like that too.)
  • What kind of timeline is necessary to organize the room? I think that if I spend 30 minutes on it a day I should be able to have it done by the end of the month...if not sooner.
  • What is my plan of action?

My Plan of Action

Declutter the area: go through everything and decide what I do and do not need

Containerize: find the right size and amount of containers I will need to make the space functional

Label: So that I know what is in each container, duh!

Prioritize: Make sure I spend atleast 30 minutes a day working on the project!

  • Who can I ask to help me with this? The only person that I would dare ask is my husband, but I hope to be able to work on this during the day while he is at work.

So here is the beginning of the challenge. I am now cringing at the thought of posting the before pictures that I have, but here they are...try not to think too bad of me. I am putting it in the smallest size possible...brace yourself if you are brave enough to click on the picture to enlarge it.







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Monday, April 2, 2007

He made out like a bandit!

With the purchase of our new van, we needed to sell our other car. As I had said previously, it had started giving us problems and that is why decided to purchase a new one. We went on the Kelly Blue Book website to see what the car was worth. It is a 97 Ford Escort and had about 123, 000 miles on it. There are some mechanical problems that need to be fixed, the windshield is cracked, and there are quite a number of dings on the outside. We figured it would be on the "fair" side of the spectrum. KBB said if we were selling it private party in Fair condition we could expect to get $1700 for it.


We didn't really think it was worth that much, and were willing to sell it to my younger brother for $500. On some aspects I didn't really want to sell it to family because I would hate for them to pay us and then shortly after the car really dies. So we took a bunch of pictures and Shawn threw it up on Craigslist for $1100 before he went the Priesthood Session of General Conference (each year the LDS church has a conference that is broadcast for everyone - this session is just for the men)on Saturday. When he came back 2 hours later he had received about 15 emails from people who were interested in buying the vehicle! About three people said they would come by on Sunday to look at it.

The first one showed up around 8 am. He looked at the car, test drove it, and then offered Shawn $1000. We thought that was pretty good, and honestly just wanted to get rid of it. So we agreed to the price. My sister is a notary so I drove over to her house to get the title notarized, while the man and his family went somewhere for breakfast. (They live on the other side of town so they didn't want to have to drive all the way back.) We called "J.R." and he came back and paid the remainder of the $1000. We took the money and went inside.

Shawn was doing some work on the computer, and from the office you have a clear view of our front yard. Right before J.R. left, the other two people that were interested in the car showed up. There was probably a congregation of about 10 people out there. They were all there for a short time looking at the car. The next thing we know the man we sold the car to drives off...WITHOUT THE CAR!!! We go back outside because we are curious as to what happened.

J.R. turned around and sold it to one of them for $1300! He made $300 in a matter of minutes! Can you believe it!? I thought Shawn would be upset that someone else got more money for it, but surprisingly he wasn't. He actually said that he wouldn't feel right about selling it for that much. There are just so many problems with the car that once you fix them all it would cost more that what KBB says it should in Excellent condition. The nice thing is that now it is out of our hands. If it happens to break down soon they can't come back to us...because we didn't sell it to them. This J.R. guy literally made out like a bandit!!!

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