Friday, September 28, 2007

I Am Seeing Pink!

I have always wanted to get a Dyson vacuum. I don't think that I have ever actually used one, but there is so much hype around them, and how well they work. It is just hard for me to fork over $400 for this baby.

Dyson recently came out with a limited edition that contributes towards Breast Cancer. Because of that they made it PINK! Then the lovely ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are having a giveaway for this Pink Beauty. My chances are slim since there are almost 2000 entries, but it doesn't hurt to try right!? You can enter too! Just go visit this post and it will tell you what you need to do to enter. You better hurry because they choose the winner on October 1st! Good Luck! If you win, and you live near me...I may just have to come over and try it out!
If you want you can always buy this beauty yourself. They are available exclusively at Target!

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Our Dating Story

My friend Katie over at The Layton Family did this meme the other day so I thought that I would play along.

1. Where did you meet your husband? I met Shawn at a Country Dance for Y.S.A. (Young Single Adults – what the church calls the unmarried ages 18-30) I had sworn that I would never go to one ever again, but ended up there on a fluke. I had invited a friend, Jason, from my World Religions class to go out with me and my friends. He had just moved here from out of state, and didn’t really know many people. That night everything that we had planned fell through the floor! My friends had family emergencies, and then the Swing Dance (40’s swing..Yay!) had been cancelled. The country dance was the LAST RESORT….that is what I call divine intervention! Hee hee.
2. What was the first thing you said to your husband? The usual “Hello.” He passed me on the dance floor while I was making my way to the drinking fountain. I must have made an impression because he turned around, and asked me to dance.
3. Where was your first date? Our first date was to Sandolo’s Restaurant. It is a really fancy Italian restaurant in Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch. It has singing waiters, and at the end of your meal they give you vouchers to go on a gondola ride. Shawn borrowed his Aunt’s fancy shamcy car (his car was terrible! It was so loud that it would set off alarms as he drove past, and the AC reeked of exhaust). He had a Martina McBride CD on the seat of the car when I got in. (Our song was/is “I Love You – from Runaway Bride). We ate and then went on the gondola ride. The “driver” even let Shawn sing me a serenade. It was so romantic. I melt whenever I hear my honey sing. He has the most beautiful voice.
4. Where was your first kiss? It happened to be on our first date (yeah, I am that easy- just kidding) After our romantic evening he brought me by Keaton Allen’s house. Keaton was going to BYU at the time, but was supposed to be coming into town that night. Shawn wanted me to meet him. We ended up waiting on his front lawn for him to come home. That is when Shawn kissed me. Turns out Keaton was there all along, but had fallen asleep before we got there. I think that Shawn planned it that way.
5. How long did you date? It was relatively short. In fact I don’t know when we were “officially” dating, but from the time we met to the time we were engaged was about 3 months.
6. Did you have a long or a short engagement? Our engagement was short too. We were married 3 months later. So by then we had really only known each other for 6 months!
7. Where did you get engaged? At the Pueblo Stake Center! Sounds kinda silly right, but it wasn’t. At the time I was the Stake YSA rep, and helped to plan activities for us singles. We had a TRI-Stake Talent Show that was held at the Pueblo Stake Center. Shawn had somehow gotten ahold of the MC of the show, and arranged to be the last number. He called me up there and sang a song that he wrote about how we met, and then proposed. From there he took me to Keaton’s house (using his Aunt’s car again – this time I got Faith Hill’s Breathe CD) where there was a quilt on the lawn with a dozen roses, and a letter he had written me.
8. When and Where were you married? We got married on February 26, 2000 in the Mesa Arizona Temple.
9. How did the reception go? The reception was wonderful. It was also at the Pueblo Stake Center. I wasn’t part of that stake, but it turned out to be totally appropriate. That was where we met (the country dance was held there that night), where we got engaged, and then ended it with the reception. It was perfect in my mind. We had plenty of friends and family to celebrate the occasion, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
10. How was the honeymoon? The honeymoon was wonderful. We went to Spain where Shawn had served his mission. I had never left the country and it was so nice to have a personal tour guide. Shawn had only been off his mission for about 9 months so everyone that he had taught, and knew was still where he left them. It was so fun to meet them all. We were mainly in the Madrid metro area, but one of Shawn’s investigators got us a ticket on a bullet train to go south to Seville and then arranged to drive us to other southern parts of Spain. I loved every minute of it. Spain is definitely overlooked when it comes to visiting Europe. I can’t wait to go back again!

I would love to read about more dating I "tag" everyone that reads this!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Dear Sweet Husband

For those of you who know Shawn in real life. You know that he does not like to shop. I think it is a combination of spending money, and going around a store that he doesn't really like. So because of this loathing...he rarely goes out to buy anything. Well, the other day I was starting to make dinner when I realized that I needed some carrots for the meal I was making.

I called Shawn on his cell phone and asked if he could stop by the store and get some for me. Then I figured since he was there he could get me a few other things that I would need. I asked him to get carrots, milk, croutons, 5 or 6 tomatoes and 1 yellow/sweet/vidalia onion (I was going to make homemade salsa & was missing those ingredients). My sweet man made his way through the store while talking to me on the phone. I listened as he asked where certain things were. I heard the woman tell him that "No that is not a yellow/sweet onion, those are green onions...the yellow/sweet onions are over there by the potatoes."

When he got home I went to open the garage only to have it practically come off its track. (We later found out Caden had manually locked the garage and when I went to open made the motor go crazy, and caused the problem.) Anyway...this didn't put Shawn in the best mood. He went downstairs and starting trying to contact the "garage guy" to come help fix it.

In the meantime I thought that I would go out to the car and get the groceries that my honey had stopped to get me. As I was emptying the contents I came across this

At first I was a little perplexed. What is this? I thought to myself...I didn't ask him to get me a potato. Then I remembered the conversation that I heard when he was on the phone in the grocery store. That is when it hit me and I couldn't stop laughing. My sweet husband got me a potato instead of an onion!!! It helped to lighten the mood of our impending situation with the garage, and give me a much needed laugh. I need to get this boy out more!

He will probably kill me once he sees this on the I don't know how long it will last on here. I am in no way trying to make him look stupid, I just thought it was so funny I had to share. Also to his defense...he was in a hurry and I was talking to him on the phone. He wasn't paying the best attention to what he was doing. He really is the best husband in the world! I love you honey!

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Up for Debate...

As you all know I am pregnant. This is my third child, and I already have a boy & a girl. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to find out what we are having this time. There was no way that I could do that with Caden or Sydney because I wanted to be prepared for them. With this pregnancy it is different because I have the majority of the things that I will need for either sex.

I have mixed feelings about the whole matter. Part of me thinks it would be nice to find out because then we can prepare the kids for a “brother” or a “sister.” The other part thinks that it would be fun to keep it as a surprise, and wait till the baby is born.

Shawn wants to find out, and thinks I am silly for thinking otherwise. The ultrasound is scheduled for October 18th. I know the decision will ultimately be between me and Shawn, but I was wondering what your opinion is on the matter.

Would you find out or would you keep it a surprise? Dish me your thoughts! I may even put up a poll for a vote.

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Time Out For Women

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Time Out For Women. The event is sponsored by Deseret Book, and is kinda like a mini Womens Conference. They have a handful of speakers that speak about different topics, and some musical performances. My sister, Nancy, had bought tickets with a group discount so a couple of my cousins, 2 of my aunts, my mom, sister, and a friend all went together.

If you have never been, I seriously recommend it. It was exactly what I needed, and was so thankful that I was able to go. I have alot of thoughts and feelings about what I learned, but I think that I will save them for a different post. I think that we have all decided that this will be an annual event for us to attend. It really was a great refreshing weekend!

Check out their website to see if one is coming to your town, and buy tickets! You won't regret it!
From left to right.... Lori (Aunt), Nancy, Gina (cousin), Mom, Sherry (my friend), Sheri (Aunt), Me, and Jenny (cousin)

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Saturday, September 22, 2007


Caden learned this at preschool the other day, and I just had to tape it.
The song is from "Sing and Read Colors" by Frog Street Press.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007


Please, excuse the interruption for some bloggity service announcements.

I started my blog only about 9 months ago. I have seriously enjoyed every aspect of it and over this short period of time I have learned a lot. I thought I would take some time to let you in on some things that you may or may not know about the blog-o-sphere. I am not the one with the most wisdom, but this is what I got.

1. Email addresses: For those of you who use Blogger….PLEASE CHECK THE BOX!!! The box that I am referring to is found under “Edit Profile” when you first log into Blogger. It is the box that says “show my email address.” Why should you do this, some may ask? Because it makes it so much easier to respond to a comment from someone! You know how you get an email and it says ""…if you check the box then the person that you left a comment for will be able to reply to you personally – and not have to try to hunt you down through your user profile! I love it when I see someone’s email address! If you need help with figuring out how to do this go HERE or HERE.
2. Feeds: If you are anything like me….you read tons of blogs. I don’t even know exactly how many blogs that I stalk/read on a regular basis. I use a nifty service called Bloglines. It is great! What I do is “subscribe” to the blogs that I regulary read (I even have a button in my sidebar that will do that for you!). Then all I have to do is go to one central place and it will show me when a new post is up! Isn’t that wonderful! Then I don’t have to spend time “checking” in on a blog to find that there isn’t anything new. It saves me lots of time! Like I said…I use Bloglines, but Google has a reader that works well too. Check them out, and pick which one works for you.
3. Technorati: If you haven’t heard of this site…it is pretty cool. They know all of what is cool in the blogosphere. You can go here and "claim" your blog, and then see where you “rank.” It keeps track of all the sites that have links to your blog. It is always fun for me to see when someone links to me either in a post or adds me to their blogroll.
4. Hit Counters: I am sure you have all seen the counters on most blogs. It tracks all hits that your blog gets. I use Sitemeter. The thing that I like about Sitemeter is that not only does it keep track of my hits, but it also shows me where they are coming from. I can see how people were referred to my blog, what state they are in, and how much time they spent looking at my blog. You can even make it ignore your own personal visits. It’s pretty cool.
5. Test Blog: There have been many times when I am trying to change the look of my blog, and almost end up erasing everything!!! That feeling is terrible! In order to solve that problem I set up a “test blog.” You can name it whatever you want, and use that blog to fiddle with the html until you get it to look the way you want. If you mess up…no biggie because it doesn’t really contain any information. Then you can just copy and paste the changes into your real blog with no worries!
6. Headers: When I first started blogging I had the standard header that came with the template that I chose. While I blog hopped I saw all the cute ones that people came up with, and wanted to make mine unique too. I did a search on Google, and found this tutorial. It has been great, and has given me a good foundation to learn how to play with Photoshop. There is still a lot I don’t know about Photoshop, and its capabilities, but this was a good start.
7. Picture hosting: When there are certain things that you want to put on your blog sometimes it requires “picture hosting.” I use Photobucket, but there are many others available too. I use this mainly for uploading the scrapbook papers that I use for my backgrounds. Photobucket creates the url needed to put in the html section of your layout in order for it to show up on your page. It is pretty simple to get set up, and then upload your files too.

There is probably a lot more things to discover, but these are just a few that have helped me out. If you ever have questions about stuff…feel free to ask, and I will help you out if I can!

Do you have any tips or tricks that I don't know about!?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Let me tell you a story...

Once upon a time, in the fall of 2006, there was a cute little boy who was coming up on his 3rd birthday. He had shown much interest in using the potty so his mommy thought it would be a good time to start trying to train him.

Things started out okay. The little boy got excited when he learned how to go pee pee. Mommy was even more excited because she dreamed of not having to change two sets of diapers everyday (they had a little sister). Little did Mommy know what kind of Potty Training Saga that she was going to face in the next year!

They had their ups and downs. He would do well for a while. Then have multiple accidents for days at a time. Mommy was so frustrated and didn’t understand why her little boy was so lazy and wouldn’t take the time to go to the potty. She almost resorted to going back to diapers, but just couldn’t do it.

Over time he did great at going “pee pee”, but for some reason kept soiling his pants. Mommy tried to be patient. All the books and research of the internet told her that she should treat these “accidents” non-chalantly. No emotion, and especially not anger – because according to “them” it would only prolong things. It was hard as time went on because she KNEW he could go in the potty, but just chose not to. It came to a point where it was almost a daily occurence. Finally after almost a year….she snapped!!!!! This is the scene that ensued…

The boy had just come out of “bummer time” and was making his way down the stairs.

“Mom, I think I pooped my pants.”

She was thinking NOT AGAIN!!! But told her son to come down, and she checked his pants. “No, there is no poop. Why don’t you go to the potty so you don’t get poop on your pants.” (She then lets out a sigh of relief.)

He pauses and seems to be thinking…he then says, “Nope…there’s no poop.”

She thought to herself…yeah right…but knew it would do her no good to take him to the potty. Besides, by now he is practically 4 – he knows when he needs to go. She proceeds to go to the kitchen to start dinner….and that is when it happened.

He rounds the corner doing his infamous cowboy walk. Bow legged trying not to let the “stuff” touch him. Then he utters the words again. “Mom, I think I pooped my pants.”

She always found it funny how he would say he “thought” he pooped his pants. He knew darn well he did…and that is when she had it! “That’s it! I am sorry, but I can no longer clean your pants! You knew you had to go potty and you CHOSE not to go! From now on it is not MY responsibility. If you want your pants cleaned…you are going to have to do it YOURSELF! It is YOUR job!”

The little boy looked at his mommy like a deer looks into headlights. He was shocked! He looked at his mom and said, “No it is not my responsibility…it is not my job. I am a little boy…I can’t do it.”

She was not giving in this time. She had cleaned too many pairs of underwear, and was sick of it…it had to end, and today was the day!!! “Let me ask you something…is that my poop in your pants? No- it is not! It is yours, and now it is your job!” She then led him to the bathroom, and removed all of the bath mats, and told him that once he had cleaned himself up then he could come out.

He began to cry. The thought of having to touch his poop was not very thrilling to him. He continued to whine about how it “wasn’t his responsibility, and that mommy needs to do it.” He got to the point of taking off his pants and tried to take off his underwear. In the process his mound landed on the ground and he was horrified. “Mommy, I can’t pick it up…it will get on my hands. I can’t clean my underwear, it’s not my job, it’s not my responsibility, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.”

Deep down his mom felt some remorse for putting her child through this, but she didn’t know what else to do. She felt like he continued to soil himself because it was easy. He didn’t have to stop what he was doing…he could just do it wherever he was, and then run and find Supermom, and she would save the day. He didn’t have to do anything. Mommy would clean it all up, and then he would go on his merry way. She finally figured that this had to be unpleasant for him…something he would remember, and she was not going to cave this time.

She sat and listened to the whining for almost an hour (yes she was that cruel…please don’t report her to C P S). She stood by and instructed him on what he needed to do to get things clean. She let him know that even when mommy cleaned him, she would sometimes have to touch his poop, but that he could wash his hands with soap when it was all done. He continued to whine as he picked up his poop, as he entered the bathtub to wash off himself, and as he cleaned out his underwear. But…Mommy stuck to her guns…she walked him through each step, but made sure that he did everything. After he was all cleaned up she let him know that from now on he would have to do it.

Fast forward to two weeks later…..SUCCESS!!!!!!! Despite a few tire tracks (which he still cleans himself) the boy has learned! Mommy is amazed at the change, and is asking herself why she didn’t do this sooner!!!

The End!

P.S. After much denial that baby sister was showing signs of wanting to use the potty (she will be 2 next week!) Mommy finally gave in, and bought some princess panties for baby girl. She is doing fabulous, and Mommy feels this time around is going to be much different. Here is to hoping.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Caden James!

Yesterday I lived in the moment of celebrating my sweet little boys birthday. When Caden woke up we baked mini cupcakes to bring to his Pre-school class. We sang “Happy Birthday” and he blew out some candles on one of the cupcakes. I have been so exhausted lately that we decided that we would have a “party” for Caden and Sydney together on Sydney’s birthday (Sept. 29)…so I wanted to still make this day fun. Shawn even worked from home so he was able to come to Caden’s class. I think Caden was excited to have his whole family there.

After school we headed home. Sydney was tired so we put her down for a nap. Since Shawn was home, it gave me the opportunity to take Caden out to lunch all by myself. I asked Caden where he would like to go, and like every other child I know said “O McDonald’s” (yes, for some reason he always adds the “O” to it…I think it is cute.) It was so fun to go and not have to worry about anyone, but him. We sat, ate, and then he played for a while. Finally it was time to head back home.

Shortly after we got home…he ended up falling asleep. This doesn’t happen very often. I wish that Caden took regular naps, but he doesn’t anymore. Most of the time I don’t like him to take naps because then he won’t go to sleep at night, but when I walked into the room and saw this…I just let him sleep. My “baby” had wore himself out.

The day ended with us making the drive out to Joe’s Farm Grill where Caden got his free meal for his birthday. Nancy, Noah, and Maya joined us for the celebration. We ate, and then went to Nancy’s to swim. I don’t think we could have asked for a more perfect day!

Today my mind has reflected on the past, and how much it has changed over the last 4 years. For years ago today, I was sitting in a hospital bed holding a baby that me and my dear husband had just brought into the world. I was tired, in pain, but could not contain the joy I had for this sweet little spirit that I barely knew.

I say he was "little", but Caden was never "little". He was born weighing a whopping 9lbs 7oz! He has never looked back. He has always been big for his age, and now is no different. He is only 4, but weighs almost 48 lbs, and is over 44 inches tall. People always think he is atleast 5 or 6 years old. If it was my plan he would have been, but Heavenly Father is the one in charge.

Over the years I would come to learn that he was full of life and determination. I think that some time in the future when you look up the word “strong-willed” Caden’s picture will be in it. He knows what he wants, and you will be hard pressed to get him to do something that he doesn’t want to do.

I have spent so many days full of laughter at the silly things that he has done. For those of you who have been reading my blog for quite some time know about Caden and “His Prayer.” Little did I know when I uploaded it onto Google Video, to put on my blog, that it would end up becoming an email phenomenon a few months later. His little clip has been viewed by over 4,000 people in just about a month! I have always found it funny ( I mean-- I am his mother...we always think the things our kids do are funny! ), but never imagined it being spread to thousands! His prayer is just a glimpse of what a character he really is.

Now Caden isn’t always an angel. In fact, sometimes my heart aches at some of the choices he makes. I wonder what makes him be so mean sometimes. Why he doesn’t always listen, and seems to want to make my life such a challenge! (I can only imagine what life will be like when he becomes a teenager!) I just hope that I can be strong enough to guide him in the right direction so when he does grow up he will be a person that I can be proud of.

Having children has changed my life. It has helped me to become a better person, and truly understand how much you can love someone. I am so thankful to have Caden in my life. I look forward to his coming years as he grows and gains more understanding. At the same time, I will never let go of the little boy that tugged at my heart and changed my life forever.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Caden goes to Pre-school!

After a slew of events we ended up putting Caden into preschool at our local school. I was a little nervous, yet excited for Caden to go to a “real” school. Last week was his first few days of class.

I tried to get a few shots of Caden on his first day. Caden, true to form, did not want to have anything to do with it. Hopefully one day I will have pictures of him smiling on the first day of school! He really did have a good time, and was happy to be there despite what it appears in the pictures.

After a couple of days of going he informed me that he wasn’t going to school. He went on to tell me that it was “PRE-SCHOOL” not “SCHOOL, MOM!” It is funny to hear his stories each day when I pick him up. He always wants to walk to school, and we have done it a few times, but it is too dang hot here! I can't wait until it cools down!

He has had a few "incidents" at school that have made me chuckle. The other day "Miss Tiffany" had to take him out of the class for a few minutes because he started crying when Mrs. Johnston wanted them to do something. Yes, my child is strong willed, and he likes to think that everything he does has to be his idea. He got over it, and was able to have fun that day. He has to figure out that he can't always control the world!

Then yesterday he refused to stand and say the pledge! What a silly kid! He really is a good boy, but he has quite the stubborn streak in him! When he gets older I know his strong will can be a good thing, but man, it drives me crazy sometimes!

Can you believe his birthday is tomorrow!?! He will be 4! He really isn’t my baby anymore! Excuse me while I go shed a tear!

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Monday, September 10, 2007


We lost our USB cable that I use to transfer my pictures from the camera to the computer. I have pictures from Caden's first days of Pre-school. Once Shawn gets me a new one then I will post about that. Right now I wanted to post this story that my sister sent me in an email the other day. It think that it tells exactly how most mothers feel from time to time, but the ending is beautiful, and reassuring that what we do as mothers is WORTH IT! You guys are AWESOME!

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"

Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more:

Can you fix this?
Can you tie this?
Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being.

I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?"
I'm a satellite guide to
answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?"
I'm a car to order, "Right
around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night,a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table."

That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home.

And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

What Were You Doing in High School?

My 10 year high school reunion is going to be coming up in October. I still am on the fence on whether or not to go. I really want to, but it is $83 PER PERSON! I would hate to pay for it and then find out that half my old friends didn't go because it was so dang expensive! Anyway it has really got me reminiscing on the past, and when I saw this meme on Crazy Mama's blog I thought it would be fun to fill out. So enjoy... and I would love if you wanted to play along too!

1. Who were your best friends? I had a lot of good friends, but Robbie & Julie were what I consider my “best” friends. Some other really good friends were Stephanie Petersen, James Hogle, Tawni Patterson, Larry Dunn, Becky Ostvig, and many others.

2. What sports did you play? I tried to do Cross Country my senior year with Tawni, but then she had to quit because she had bad knees. I should have stayed in, but dropped out because she did too…I know - stupid. Other than that...I suck at sports!

3. What kind of car did you drive? I didn’t drive a car to school because I only lived a few blocks away. But I would on occasion steal my mothers cool station wagon (I vow that I will never own a station wagon in my entire life!), or my Dad’s tine Dodge Colt that we called the “Cricket car” because it when it idled it hummed like a cricket. And I didn't own it, but James had a car that we called the P.O.S. but pronounced it like "THE POSS". We had alot of fun in that car...James was a crazy guy.

4. On a Friday nights what were you doing? Our weekends were usually spent hanging out at James, Robbie or Rick Raymond’s house. We liked playing SCUM a lot, watching movies, or watching "the guys" make fools of themselves.

5. Were you a party animal? I am a very social person, and I like to have fun…but I didn’t “PARTY”

6. Were you considered a flirt? I don’t know if I was considered a flirt. I think I was very friendly…maybe that is considered flirting.

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? I was in Orchestra all 3 years and choir until 2nd semester of my Senior year. I got sick of the crap that our choir director gave us, and didn’t feel like I wanted to hear how bad we “suck” or “know nothing about music” from someone who was gone most of the time, and had her student teacher do all the work. She actually was a good director, but really lost sight of what it was she was supposed to be doing. I missed all of my friends from Acappella, but I just couldn’t stay there anymore!

8. Were you a nerd? I don’t think I was a nerd, but I didn’t hang out with the “popular” people. I think that we were cool.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled? Nope

10. Can you still sing the fight song? I can remember the alma mater “Carry on” , but for some reason can’t remember the fight song….I know if someone started it…I could finish it.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? I would have to say Mr. Nichols. He was our orchestra teacher, and a good one at that. He took a sabbatical our Junior year, and I really missed him. It was nice to have him back our Senior year. He really is good at what he does. I think that he teaches at Dobson now.

I also liked Mr. Vaughn…I don’t even remember what I had him for, but he always had me laughing. Every day when we came in he would say “ I am in a foul mood today” …he also used to be a football player for the Detroit Lions, and they made a movie called the Paper Lion that I swear we watched atleast once a month. He also had the funniest stories to tell about a girlfriend that had “halitosis”…those were good times.

12. Where did you sit during lunch?
During our sophomore year we all hung out around the campus Taco Bell because none of us could really drive.

My junior year I ate lunch with Jules in the choir room, and then my Senior year I was already home before lunch because I only had A-3rd hour. I think I missed out on a lot because I didn’t have a full schedule my senior year.

13. Name the school full name? Mesa High School

14. School mascot? Jackrabbit

15. School Colors? Purple and Gold

16. Rival high school? Mainly Moutain “Pew” View, but also Westwood

17. Did you go to Prom? I went my Junior year with Russell Stradling and my senior year with my boyfriend Brodie (he went to Mountain View).

18. If you could go back and do it again, would you? I liked high school and the memories that I have from those times, but I do not want to go back to that drama filled life again.

19. What do you remember most about graduation? I remember that after we graduated I ran around and took pictures with my friends, but jetted out of there so I could get to Brodie’s graduation to surprise him. (Theirs had started an hour after ours) Then we all ended up going to Big surf, and then somewhere for a pancake breakfast.

20. Where did you go senior skip day? I honestly don’t remember….must have been real fun.

21. Favorite memory? It actually was during my sophmore year during a major rainstorm. A bunch of us ended up at the lot where a house was under construction by Rick and Stephen Browers house. We ended getting soaked and played in the mud.

22. Were you in any clubs? Not really

23. Where did you go most often for lunch? I didn’t really leave campus that much (I guess that I was a nerd)

24. Have you gained some weight since then? Hasn’t everyone! I wish I could say no, but I can’t.

25. Who was your Senior prom date? Brodie, my boyfriend at the time.

26. Are you planning on going to your 10-year reunion? I am thinking about it, but haven’t decided yet….I only have until the 20th to make a decision.

27. Who was your home room teacher? I think the last time I had home room was in Junior High

28. Who will re-post this after you? Those who want to.

29. Who was your high school sweetheart? Well….like I have said before. I was dating Brodie. We met in August right before our senior year, and dated until he left on his mission. I really thought I was going to marry him, but I am so glad that I ended up with Shawn. Looking back I wish that I would have dated around more. Julie and Robbie & James, and Stephanie (they all ended up marrying each other) did it right. They had feelings for each other, but still dated other people. Why wasn’t I that smart? I think I missed out on alot of fun because I was exclusive with one person.

30. Do you still talk to people from high school? The main ones are Julie and Robbie, but I still keep in contact with a lot of people. I keep up with others through Christmas cards, email, and now with blogging I have found some old friends!

31.Did you win prom queen or king? No….I was not that cool.

32. Where did you work in high school? I worked at Organ Stop Pizza. I loved it…that was actually where Brodie and I met…when he got a job there.

33. What were your grades? I had pretty good grades until my senior year…then I skated by. I slacked way too much. I still ended up graduating with honors…I don’t know how, but I did.

34. What was your dress style? I don’t know. I wasn’t a skater, and not a nerd… I think that I looked nice.

35. What year did you graduate? 1997

So dig into your brains, and relive your past...It would love to hear what high school was like for you!

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“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” Georg C. Lichtenberg

While we were in France we had the opportunity to attend the local church branch. That is one thing that I love about the church…it doesn’t matter that I was half across the world. There were people there that all had the same beliefs as me and welcomed our family. We met the nicest couple while we were there….Tiare and Mithona. Tiare grew up in France, but her mother was Canadian, which meant that she spoke perfect English. It was so nice to be able to have a real conversation with someone. We would walk to church each week, and she was nice enough to give us a ride back to our hotel each Sunday. They truly were the nicest people, and they have the cutest little girl Elena! The kids just adored her! They even had us over for dinner one of the evenings that we were there. I was excited when I found out she had a blog so now I can check in on her cute family from time to time. We are even due to have babies at the same time!

During one of our conversations at church we talked about how small their branch was. (For those of you who aren’t members of my church, a branch the name we use for a congregation that isn’t large enough to be a ward –which is what most people are familiar with). They only had about 30 members. I told her about our ward, and how small we were compared to other wards in our stake. This is something that our ward had been dealing with for quite some time. Our primary and youth program were really suffering. We just didn’t have a lot of young kids/teenagers in our ward. We have known that something needed to be done, but never knew if it would happen.

Only a few days after my conversation with Tiare, Shawn got an email from our Bishop. The following Sunday they would be dissolving our ward! I was shocked, saddened, and curious all at the same time. I think the main reason why I was shocked was because I never thought that our ward would no longer exist. I just assumed that we would encompass more people into our ward. I was sad because some of my really good friends were being put into another ward (where you live is what determines where and when you will attend church). I was curious to see who would be in our new ward and what it would be like.

I was disappointed that we weren’t going to be home when all this took place. It is funny how attached I had become to our ward. We moved into our home 4 years ago, and I had grown really fond of it. As much as we complained about how small it was…I think we also found comfort in the coziness of it all. Everyone knew everyone, and we were a tight knit group. It was and has been hard to get used to.

We were able to come home in time to be here the first time our two wards meshed. My feelings have been so mixed. One of the best things that came out of it was that Shawn got released from the Bishopric!! I know we have been blessed having him serve…but I am so thankful to have his help with the kids during church. It definitely was nice to have him back!

They spent the whole last hour of Relief Society (just for women) by having us all stand up and introduce ourselves. There are a lot of fun ladies in the ward. The thing that I have to get used to is that most of these ladies are old enough to be my mother. Not that that is a bad thing, but I was hoping to meet some more young mommies like myself. It will be nice when I feel like I know everyone better.

One thing is for sure…it may have not been what I had envisioned in my mind, but Heavenly Father really knows what he is doing. He knows our needs and he was mindful of the situation that our ward faced. We needed to be put in this new ward. I know that, but as is with all things…change is never easy. I will defiantly miss my little comfort zone that I had in our old ward, but am looking forward to growing into my new one.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Look

I have to admit that Halloween is a fun holiday for me. I love getting the kids all dressed up, and all the fun that Halloween entails. So I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit, and have a Halloween themed blog for a bit. What do you think?

Also...I know it looks as if I have no husband, but he was the one taking the picture of me and the kids last year for Halloween. I think I am going to have to put pictures of us in the sidebar so people don't think I am a single mom! I do love my husband dearly, and he is very much a part of our lives!

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France Highlights & Observations

I think it would be impossible for me to document each and every day of the 16 days that I was in France without totally boring you to death. Instead I found 13 different things that can give you a little bit of an insight of what we were able to do, and the things that we observed while there.

1. Dining: When we first arrived in France we had a hard time adjusting to their eating schedule. We never could figure out when they actually ate! Everything seemed to be closed when we were hungry. It turns out that most places didn’t really serve breakfast; they ate lunch around noon, had a “snack” at 4 and then didn’t eat dinner until 8 pm! We had the hardest time with dinner because that is usually when the kids go to bed! Eating out was also hard because they don’t really cater much to kids. Only 2 or 3 of the places that we ate at the whole 16 days that we were there had high chairs! They had glass EVERYTHING, but luckily Sydney only managed to break one glass throughout our trip. It also would take at least 2 to 2 ½ hours to eat! It would have been nice with just Shawn and me, but it was torture for the kids!
2. Bathrooms: When we went to the Lake we encountered the weirdest bathroom that I had ever seen! I so wish that I would have taken a picture. There was a sign on it that explained how you had to wait to enter after the last patron. It supposedly “sanitized” the place after each use. What it really did was just spray a lot of crap all over. I could barely walk in there, and I didn’t want to touch anything because it was all wet! It took me twice as long to change into my swimsuit because I couldn’t let anything touch the floor, and I couldn’t set anything down otherwise it would get soaked.
3. Smoking: The nice thing about the Phoenix metro area is that a lot of the cities have a No Smoking in public places law. I have to say that it is so nice to go out and not have to have smoke around. In France…it is the opposite. It seemed everyone and their dog smoked! Everywhere we went there were people smoking even when we ate! Yuck!
4. Ducks, Swans, & Doggie’s: Being by the Lake which is also surrounded by a park, we encountered many ducks & swans and “DOGGIES”. I would buy bread through out our stay and part of our day was spent feeding the ducks and swans. Sydney was especially fascinated with the numerous dogs that were out and about. As we walked through town, she was like a broken record, pointing and saying “Doggie!” over and over again. I actually thought it was so cute.
5. Lost items: During the first part of our trip, Shawn actually lost his wallet. He took the bus everyday into work, and made the mistake of trying to figure something out on his laptop while riding the bus. When Shawn sits down…he takes out his wallet. Well…he was so wrapped up in his work that he forgot it when he got off. Luckily the contents (minus the cash that he had in his wallet) actually got mailed to the police station! Shawn was pretty sad he lost his wallet. He had that “baby” for about 16 years! Also, On our flight home...they lost our STROLLER! That was a nightmare that I will have to tell in another post. (Don't worry - it does have a good ending...we did get it back)
6. Fete du Lac: This was a big light/firework show that Annecy puts on every year on the lake. Instead of spending over $500 to travel to Paris we decided to stay in town and see this show. We ended up scoring a great view by the local hospital. The show was pretty good, and the kids even made a new friend while we were there.
7. Clothing: When I actually started looking for a cute outfit for the kids to take home from France I was shocked. The first few stores that I walked into didn’t have an outfit that was less than 40 euros! Right now the US Dollar is not strong, so it would have cost me almost 50 bucks for a little outfit. I had pretty much given up getting them something because I wasn’t about to spend that much! On a whim one day I stopped in a store, and found a cute dress for Sydney that was only about 18 euros. That is still a little bit more than I would pay for something in the US, but now she has an outfit from France!
8. Ice: I don’t think they believe in Ice. There were a few places that actually had ice in their drinks, but not many. This is not really a bad thing, but so different from what we are used to. We have ice in everything!
9. Swimsuits: While at the beach it was interesting to watch the different people. I was a little surprised that a lot of the little girls had nothing but little bikini bottoms on. Not that they had anything really to show, but it was a little strange to see so many little girls without tops on.
10. Monoprix: This is what I would call the equivalent to a small Wal-mart. They had food, and clothes, and all the little necessities. I spent a lot of time there getting fresh fruit for breakfast and snacks for the kids.
11. Rain: The first week of our trip was wonderful! We had great weather…then the second week it rained for 3 DAYS STRAIGHT! That wouldn’t have been too bad if I was alone, but with the kids it got kind of tiresome. To top it off…we only had one laptop, which Shawn had to bring to work. That left me with only French television (not that they would be watching movies ALL day, but it would have been nice to have a break some time!) . So we spent a lot of time building forts, playing hide the duck, and other imaginative games within our small hotel room. Caden even started making up his own words to the French cartoons! The hotel had a little play area in the lobby that we spent a little time at too. Caden liked building things with the wooden blocks.
12. Laundromat: While we were there I had to do laundry so we spent a couple of hours at Laundromat. The kids actually had a lot more fun that I thought they would. They liked watching the machines fill up with soap and spin round and round. I did encounter a really smelly person there (mega b.o.) I about died when he sat down next to me. I don’t know why people don’t use deodorant!
13. Attractions: There are a lot of beautiful chapels in Annecy that we were able to visit. They also have the Palais de l'Isle (it is situated in the middle of one of the canals), which used to be a prison. They now have turned it into a historic museum of the city. You can self guide your way through and learn all about Annecy. They also have a beautiful Chateau that is located at the top of a hill. We made the trek up there only to realize that they only take cash…and we didn’t have any! So Shawn took a few pictures from the gate, and we headed back down. The town is just full of history, and beautiful things to see!

You can see more about our trip here, here, here, and here.

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