Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Be of Good Cheer

An apple blossom in bloom - from the blog "LOST STONES"

Corey regularly listens to online talk radio while he works, and one program in particular by Dennis Prager - the "Male/Female Hour" - is always good. This weeks discussion: "Girls and women have to learn to control their emotions just like boys and men have to learn to control their aggression and libido." Listen to it HERE.

I haven't finished listening to it yet, but so far it all rings true. I want and need help controlling my emotions! It is a real battle women face. And being pregnant doesn't help me - I feel like I'm getting more than my fair share lately... I had 3 closet cry-fests last week.

Today I was over at Mom and Dad's dropping off two kids so I could go to a doctor appointment. I picked up a book from their shelf, "PECULIAR - In A Good Way" by Mary Ellen Edmunds. I read it at the doctor while I waited, and found the chapter "Be of Good Cheer" to be just what I needed to hear. Here's a little of what she says...

"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come." Doctrine and Covenants 68:6

"Be of good cheer" is not a suggestion, it is a commandment!

President Gordon B. Hinckley has shared so much about being of good cheer. At the general women's meeting on 29 September 1984, he quoted the Lord's words, "Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made" (D&C 25:12) He then said: "I believe he is saying to each of us, be happy. The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Of course there are times of sorrow, Or course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice. I see many people, including many women (he probably saw me!) who seem to never see the sunshine, but who constantly walk with storms under cloudy skies. Cultivate an attitude of happiness. cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine." ("If Thou Art Faithful," Ensign, November 1984)

What a fantastic invitation from a prophet! "Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism." He asks that we cultivate a spirit of gladness in our homes, and that we let the light of the gospel shine in our faces wherever we go and in whatever we do. And I love the three suggestions he mentions of things to be joyful about, cause I am and can be joyful about these things! I will focus on them more:


Daffodil from the blog "LOST STONES"

I love flowers. I HAVE TO plant some flowers this year. FYI, I've been looking the past few days at THIS home for sale in West Bountiful. Not too impressive on the outside, but lots of upgrades inside. One of the things I love about this house is the great yard - .33 acres, a garden area, play place for the kids, plus room to kick around a soccer ball (but mostly the garden area - I need to work in the earth and get connected to nature!).


I let Corey's business stress me out too much, but I love that he is passionate about it, I love the righteous desires of his heart. He wants to make the world a better place, he wants to serve others and help them achieve their dreams and better lives with his software. Corey, I love your goodness!


I know God is leading us along. There is an amazing woman in my ward, Shannon Cloward, who had a near death experience several years ago - she calls it her "Miracle up on the Mountain". She was hiking with some other outdoor lovers in our ward and they were up on an icy mountain top - she had her icepick with her, but lost her balance on a steep slope and fell back, tumbling toward an edge and to what she knew would be her death. When she accepted her fate, she had one last thought about her children and who would take care of them. At that moment, she literally felt something grab her and stop her cold right at the edge of the cliff. Her feet were dangling over the edge. It was a miracle that stopped her. That was the last day of her life, and she knows that every day since then has been an extra day to enjoy, a blessing from the Lord. She shared that story in a sacrament meeting talk. She also shared this line that I'm trying to engrain in my memory and life "The Lord knows what he is doing with my life." He is in control, we need to recognize that - we are in His hands, and we can trust Him with our life cause He loves us. HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING WITH MY LIFE, so I will repent again of my murmurings (and female emotions that I need to learn to control!!!) and will try again to live each day with good cheer and to trust in His care. Amen!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FYI - "Keep your car and home safe" Tip

Our church ward has had frequent car break-in's the past few months. We were told to make sure we didn't leave any valuables in our car or in sight of the would-be robbers. People were doing that and playing it safe, but cars still got broken into. After the latest break in, the bishopric learned the theives aren't looking for valuables in the car - and then told us over the pulpit at church what the strategm is of the car theives...

(And this is a really sneaky thing, so nobody get any ideas! Actually, I was impressed they came up with this idea, cause I never would have thought about it. But, that might just be because I don't think about ways to steal... Anyway...)

They break into the car and don't take any posessions in the car, but take the GARAGE DOOR OPENER and the VEHICLE REGISTRATION, which has the HOME ADDRESS!!! Can you believe that?!?! Then, since they know lots of the people in the neighborhood are gone at church and will be gone for a few hours, they are easily able to enter the house and they have plenty of time to take what they want! What jerks!

From what I know, no one has had things stolen from their house, but some have taken extra precautions and had the locks on their house all changes and their garage opener code and system, which can be a little costly and just a big hassle.

So, now at church and everywhere we go, we are taking our garage door opener with us in our purse or to work when we get out of the car.

A Day with Transportation

Corey left for North Carolina yesterday which means... ta-da! I have a car! Now, Corey doesn't work very far from home, so I really could have a car more often, but I really can't get to much done anyway with Hyrum needing to catch the bus for afternoon kindergarten. I usually just tell myself there's enough cleaning and things to do around the house, I don't need to go anywhere... (...Maybe that's my problem, being resigned to sit inside all day and wait for the car to return...)Anyway, things today were blessed and free from incident.

I spent the morning on craigslist and looking at random things and exploring possibilities, from moving/renting/buying, to cars and scooters, to furniture and carseats. One thing I was looking for was a Little Tikes kitchen like the one we bought in Virginia, but alas, as is the case everytime I check, there was nothing out there. (I really miss the huge selection of the DC Craigslist community, it was great.) But I did see a post for three Little Tikes chairs with a white table. It was in Orem, which is out of the way obviously, but it was only $10, so I called and it was available, so I drove down there with Wesley and Abi after Hyrum left for school. We were able to fit it in the car fine - it was a regular kitchen table that had the legs sawwed short, so it's nice and big which I didn't know from the pictures. I spent the rest of the evening cleaning the new toy room which right now is my favorite room in the house.

I am excited to clean, organize, and plan more tomorrow what to do to the house. I have decided that I need to buy bookshelves, so I might see if Beka can come over tomorrow and I'm going to go see if they have the $200 shelves at Costco like the ones we bought in 2004 when we moved to Provo for Graduate school. There's nothing on the online classifieds that is going to work, so I'm going to have to purchase wholesale. After BYU, we took those shelves with us to Virginia and later sold them there before our trip to Brazil. I miss those shelves, but I will find them again, and when I do, I am going to buy 3 of them and have a great time filling them up with our books that are in random places all over the house for the past year and a half, like the hall's should-be "linen" closet. (That was a run-on sentence...) So, we might buy, we might keep renting here, we might rent somewhere else, we might not... if we do move, the bookshelves could get banged up or something, but I am tired of living like I'm leaving, and so although we don't have money for decorating with our bank-draining rent, I am going to buy them anyway instead of food, and we will just continue to have ramen noodles for dinner the rest of this week like we have had for dinner 3 of the past 4 nights. Corey's gone and the kids love them, they are happy, I'm happy. Hooray for Oriental Top Ramen!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lookin' Divine in 2009!

Ok, so I talked to Beka about this this afternoon...

I'm starting a health/weight challenge for myself and anyone who wants to join. It will be a 9 month challenge, which will be from now through Christmas. We can make it a weight loss challenge for personal best to meet your personal goal, or a competition for who looses the largest percentange among us, ...maybe everyone will be a winner! I haven't figured out that part yet, or the prize... more on that in a second, but I hereby state that I will be a size 6 and 130 lbs by Christmas. Right now I'm 160 lbs and I still have the last trimester to go. I've been walking in the mornings (at 5:45! Mon, Wed, Fri) with a great neighbor girlfriend, but I need to do some weight training at the gym. So until July, I'm just going to be working to minimize the pounds I gain, and after this little one is out of the oven, watch out cause I am gonna win! You all have a 3 month head start on me, so try and get ahead if you can!

So the Prize - it can be a cash prize, I'd donate $500 to the cause for myself or to divvy up with other Divine'09 ladies. Or we can all pitch in like $5 for each pound we loose, most pounds lost takes the pot? Or we can each buy one of our favorite things to end to each person in the game that reaches their goal? Any ideas?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Kids Love Capes

Ethan in Brazil in March 2007 - this was a cape that came in a big chocolate easter egg that we bought him for his birthday while we were there. Another cape - that made 6! The more the merrier. A child's imagination is unlimited with a cape on.

My cousin-in-law in Arizona, Sara, sent an email with a picture of her kids enjoying a hike. They both had white capes tied around their necks, and she said "I don’t know why they had to wear capes for this experience..."

That last sentence just made me laugh and reminded me of Brazil. As we got ready for our 4 month trip, I packed 5 capes for the kids. We only had limited space in the luggage for toys, and I knew the number of games played with capes would be high, but wow - they seriously all used the capes everyday. Capes were the best thing I brought there for the kids. Here is Hyrum on the back right swing dressed as his own super character he created called "Blackness".

And Wesley is at such a cute age right now - he wears Superman Pajamas with a cape everyday. Ethan got them a year ago for his birthday in March, and Wesley's been promptly assumed ownership of them. He's been on a real Superman PJ cape wearing kick the past while - I think we're going on the third straight week here, not counting Sundays. (sidenote - I do make him change his underwear regularly!) Sometimes if he spills cereal or something on the Pj's, he'll take them off and I'm able to wash them the same day for him to wear later. He is my "Wesley Superman".

I also just thought to myself that capes would be a great thing to put into my kids 72 hour kits! It would help keep them kids happy in future emergencies - let them pretend to be the hero in any pending crisis we're facing. ...and could double for a bandage or tourniquet if needed, too!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Banana and Prune Waffles for Breakfast

I love my K-Tec blender! It's awesome! I got it 4 years ago for Christmas from Corey's parent's. We had seen it at the Utah State Fair. I use it everyday. It's like the blenders that Jamba Juice uses.

For several days I've had some bananas that are overly ripe - I've been meaning to make banana bread. But waffles always cook faster than an hour for bread to bake... so this morning I made banana waffles. As I was adding the last ingredient, white sugar, I thought I'd like to try something more healthy but equally sweet... prunes should work! I still had the banana and egg puree in the blender, so I threw in about 15 prunes and hit the top speed It pulverized the prunes small enough that I was sure the kids wouldn't notice any suspicious particles in their waffles. So I cooked the banana prune waffles and served them with butter and a little bit of syrup. Usually my kids can eat two full waffles, a waffle having 4 quarter squares - I can't cook them fast enough before they all want another serving. But, lo and behold, when you put prunes in it, (oh, and I also put in a cup of bran!) all that fiber and un-processed sugar actually fills them up and they are satisfied. Wesley barely ate one quarter of a waffle, Mel was able to eat two quarters, Ethan just over one quarter, each of them coming up to me after saying "I'm full!" The waffles didn't taste bad, cause there was no complaining about taste or looks, the waffles were just so thick, I love it! I love feeding my kids food that actually fills them up and nourishes them. While we are at BYU, I was on a little spinach health kick there and I'd buy a huge bag of spinach at Costco every week. I'd blend up the spinach and put it in everything - spinach waffles (we called them Shrek waffles), spinach eggs, and I had lots of green food items to present on St. Patrick's Day. Blend the fruit and veggies! It's a great way to trick the kids into eating healthy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Trip to California - Part 5 - California Adventure

On Thursday, Corey's parent's treated all their kids and grandkids to one more day of fun at the Disneyland Resort at California Adventure. None of us had ever been there before, and it was great.

We first headed to "a bug's land". Wesley and Hyrum were crying with terror at the "It's tough to be a bug" movie - that has 3-D action, water that sprays, and a huge robotic Hopper Grasshopper. I had to leave the theater with them cause they were screaming so loud. I was laughing. The other attractions were more to their liking.

Corey was still feeling sick, but came along (thanks sweetheart!) It was great to have him there with us.

Ethan and Grandpa Wayne on the Pill bug Bumper Cars.

Me and Wes

Hyrum and Corey

On the Lady Bug Boogie Ride

This is how the 1 year old's - Alixis, Isaac, and Abi - spent most of their day - waiting in their strollers while the other kids went on rides. Poor little kids.

Joseph and I had fun at the Paradise Pier - Just like at Disneyland, at California Adventure I ignored any warnings against expectant mothers riding roller coasters. I loved "California Screamin'! Joe and I went on it 4 times. Ethan was so sad he wasn't tall enough. Melodie handled it okay. The Maliboomer was awesome too, and also had a sign saying "Expectant mothers SHOULD not ride". But note that it did not say they "may not" "must not" or "cannot" - so it seems like they are allowing passengers to use their best judgement and personal discression. Atleast that's my excuse! :) I usually just trust they won't stop me from getting on and risk offending me - no one wants to guess at someone being pregnant, right? "Don't guess at that ever ever ever ever ever ever..." -Brian Regan

Wesley still wasn't able to ride most of the wimpy boring rides - not the Orange Stinger swings or the Jumpin Jelleyfish, pathetic! He enjoyed the Golden Zephyr. And we all liked the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction - way cool 4-D ride where you got to play digital boardwalk games with a laser gun, it was really neat! I wonder what other rides in the future will be like. Pretty amazing technology...

Pizza at the Boardwalk.

The Soarin' ride was amazing! On the tram ride back to the car on Tuesday, a man sitting next to us said to be sure to go on Soarin' - it's the best ride at California adventure. "It really feels like you're hang gliding". I didn't know what to expect as we were going in, cause it didn't seem like a large enough building for a simulated hang gliding ride, and how could they do more than one person at a time? It was awesome when we got in - totally blew my mind away. It was late in the day, I would have loved to go again, but it was Awesome! Be sure you go on that if you go to California Adventure. I wished all my siblings and parent's could have been there, it was so cool. Wesley should have been allowed to go on it - there was nothing unsafe for a 3 year old under 40 inches.
Oh well... next time you'll be taller, Wes!

Wesley did enjoy the Pixar parade - he saw Lightning McQueen and Mater!

California Adventure closes a little early in the non - peak season of January, so it was closing up shop at 6:00 - we ran over to the "Hollywood Pictures Backlot" to try and make it on one last ride - The Hollywood Tower of Terror! It was also the one on which I laughed the hardest. We were all able to go on the ride together and it was so funny to hear the kids scream - I was laughing so hard I cried! They were so surprised (it was nighttime which helped with the whole haunted hotel atmosphere.) Way fun.

Thanks to Wayne and JeNeal for allowing us all to create great memories at California Adventure.

Oh Obama...

Just a little bit of politics here for a minute... It's almost time for Rush Limbaugh to come on the radio, which always helps me feel better listening to someone articulate how I feel about the whole situation our country is in right now.

I do not define myself as a Republican, but I do say without hesitation that I am a CONSERVATIVE. While that usually leads me to vote for Republicans, I have not been exactly happy with some of the liberal actions taken by President Bush and the Republicans in Congress with their reckless spending these past 6 years. But all this Stimulus stuff from Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are just insane - it just gets worse every day. How can they complain about the deficit President Bush left the country when they have just made it over 4 times as big, and this was just in his first month of office?! They are spending money that does not exist, it has not even been printed yet. I have a very bad feeling about this...

Obama's radical liberal policies are killing the Stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 20 percent since Inauguration Day, the fastest drop under a newly elected president in at least 90 years. As THIS article states, during a financial crisis (which we were already in) is the worst time to change the foundations of American capitalism. "Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents -- from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined."

Government is not the solution to our problems, it is the problem. We need less government, not more taxes, more regulation, more bills and spending. “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” - Thomas Jefferson

Of biggest concern to me, his secret letter to Russian President Dimitry Medvedev suggesting that the US would forego construction of a missile defence system in Poland in exchange for Russian agreement not to support Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Here come Gog and Magog to destroy Israel, and our government leaders are helping by funding Hamas and a "Palestinian State" with US Taxpayer money.

And HERE for his thoughless gifts to Prime Minister Brown, which I also think is very revealing of him.

And THIS about him wanting to see the Queen after snubbing Brown? I think it reveals his obsession with power, titles of prestige, and prominence. I feel like there is some Helaman 2:4-5 going on. But I also know that Helaman 3:27 is true.

And as a side note that I think is telling (but thankfully will not in itself ruin our country), see HERE for a link about how President Obama uses a teleprompter every time he makes a public appearance, which makes me very un-impressed with him. I believe it is not a quality of a confident leader. ...Which would make sense for Obama cause he's never been a leader or had executive experience in anything. (sigh...)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Trip to California - Part 4 - Wednesday

On Day 5 of our vacation to California, we just took it easy hanging around the hotel. I slept most of the morning - from two days of amusement park walking and riding, I needed a break. Corey was also feeling ill again, so we were both slow going. We let the kids watch TV all morning. I kept trying to rest - around 1:00 I had caught enough zzZs to do something and I took the kids to the pool while Corey tried to work a little. That was pretty much all we did, it was nice to relax a little.

I thought Abi looked so pretty swimming... her blue suit and the blue water made her eyes looks so blue and pretty! Plus the water made the ends of her hair curl under just the right amount, but she still had volume from her dry hair on top - she looked like a perfect little doll.

Hyrum's cute smile
oHyrum and Wes had a good time playing.

Ethan taking a break to warm up a bit. It was a little cool - January in California is like fall in Utah, so it wasn't too bad in the water, but felt cold when you got out.
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