Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DIY Favicon

Do you know what a favicon is? I didn't two weeks ago, but now I do. I was fiddling around with my design page, and up at the top left is a little thing that says "Favicon, Edit" so I clicked edit to see what would happen if I edited whatever it was. And it was there that I learned that the favicon is the little icon that you see in your internet tab windows, the little square picture. So now look at this...

Go to this favicon generator page, and right there in the middle of the window, you can browse your photos and upload any of them and will turn it into a favicon for you to download and use for your blog! Just a little cute way to personalize things up a bit. I had noticed these on other peoples websites and pages but I never knew I could do it too! So now you can, have fun, and I want to see your favicons when I browse over to your blog!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sue Snyder Salad

Here's a delicioso salad that I got from a dear neighbor Sue many moons ago

(I stole this picture from The Fresh Plate blog cause I didn't have a picture of mine and this one is about the same.)

2/3 or 1/3 cup canola oil (pending how healthy you're trying to be, I usually go 1/3)
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. cilantro
1/8 c. lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp. salt

That was the recipe Sue passed on to me after a lunch where I was in awe at how good this was. I do the salad different everytime, but here's a list of the things I add:

black beans
kidney beans
pinto beans
sweet corn (frozen kind from Costco tastes best I think)
red or yellow peppers
green peppers
yellow onions
red onion
green onion
etc... just experiment, it always turns out delicious!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Supreme Creator

Ok, this is a long post, sorry.

I had a brief dialogue with someone who commented on this article about Karen Santorum's statement that she felt it was God's will for her husband to run for president. (I have no problem with that, I don't think she was saying it's God's will that he win, just God's will that he run...), so I replied to this lady's comment because she claimed there is no God because why would God care about politics and not help people who suffer, thus he is either evil or not powerful (although claiming he's either evil or not powerful doesn't prove he doesn't exist...) Something like that. Here's my brief conversation with Scunnered:

Scunnered - Gaawd. And my overly religious friend just told me "god" helped her heal after a boob job. If "god" gets involved in boob jobs, sports and politics whilst ignoring the suffering, hungry, abused and neglected then "he's" either evil or not as powerful as "he'd" like you to believe. Right?

Tiffanie Hibbert Wride - Incorrect. Read "There is No Death" by Sarah Menet, she talks about why people suffer with hunger, abuse, neglect, etc. Sarah was severely abused by her father, was an atheist for the same reasons you share, but after committing suicide (unsuccessfully), she learned by experience to think differently. She talks about your question, start on pg 99 and pg 115

Scunnered - Incorrect??! Tiffanie, please! No wait, as there is no way I'm purchasing the said book, could you please enlighten me? How does she justify (because that's really all she's doing) her god ignoring those in need yet scurrying to the aid of my friend after a boob job? Please share!

Tiffanie Hibbert Wride - Right - also, in view of all the world's problems, why would God heal a boob job because of prayer but not protect two children from being burned alive, which is the story of Josh Powell's kids that's been in the news recently - would people agree that those things are evil? My answer - absolutely yes. If we believe in evil and that some things are wrong, then we are both appealing to the same "moral" standard defining right and wrong, but who is behind those morals and defining them. Who says killing is bad? Can someone murder and say "well, that's just your opinion?" No, it's truth, it's God's standard and God's truth. It's an eternal truth.

We are all free to choose things that are evil/wrong/bad or to choose things that are good/right/true, and this life is where we experience some of the consequences of our choices, and after this life is over, death is inevitable, we'll continue to receive the blessings and peace or the punishments and misery of our choices and actions here on earth.

Don't know if your library has the book. Happy to continue this discussion here. You can read my review on amazon for that book if you want to hear more of my thoughts

Scunnered - I'm not talking about Josh Powell, I'm talking about young victims (his and others). Is it 'gods will' that they be raped, abused and tourtured while praying and nobody comes to their aid? How about Fraulein Friesel who prayed to 'god' for 30 years to help her...was THAT gods will with the promise of a better life after death??!!! Why did my friend deserve his aid after her boob job more than Fraulein Friesel??

We now know that there are multiple universes with multiple earth-type planets...why do you think everything is all about us? Also, can't you see the ugliness in people raping, killing, every single day....we are no different than animals. Why do you think after a life of drinking beer and watching tv that there is a better place 'in the sky' for humans? Sorry to tell you this but just like every other living thing: When it's over, it's over. We go back to the earth.

Tiffanie Hibbert Wride - If we are just like every other living thing, then your argument becomes meaningless because there's nothing to get upset about and nothing "morally" wrong about killing, rape, or any supposed "ugly" action. It's not ugly, it just is. People suffer too cause that's just how it is. Animals suffer way more than humans. Lions will kill their cubs, crocodiles kill wildebeests, and seems like there's nothing to be upset about then if there's no God, cause that's just how just is. Right? Or am I missing something in the logic there?

People who believe in God have to explain why people suffer - People who don't believe in God have to explain everything else.

Wind and rain didn't carve the Rosetta Stone, there's a human idea, plan and designer behind a physical computer, and there's a Designer with a master plan behind each body, world, and galaxy without number.

There is a Supreme Creator
(That's a good youtube video, watch it)
~ ~

So that's that. I don't think it helped her at all, but it does always help cement my own beliefs to have a discussion like that and hear someone else's point of view (especially when it makes absolutely no sense). Also in the comments, an atheist Ralph goes off about how there is no God but there is just no logic in his argument.

It's long, but I'll post those comments here too:

Ralph - Christians believe God planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death." Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.
If you think about this implication for a few moments, you will begin to realize how impossible "God's plan" is. If the concept of "God's plan" is true, you can first of all see that God wants us to be aborting children.
Every single abortion is planned by God, so God must be doing it for a reason.
Second, you can see that both the mother who requests the abortion and the doctor who performs it are blameless. Since it is God who planned the abortion of the child (God chose the "exact time" of the death), the mother and doctor are simply puppets who are fulfilling God's plan.
You can also see that all the Christians who are fighting against abortion are missing the point. They are actually fighting against God's plan, and their fight is completely futile. God is the all-powerful ruler of the universe, and his plan is for more than a million children a year to die in the United States through abortion. Each one of those abortions was meticulously planned by God, so fighting against abortion is a totally wasted effort.
If you are a Christian, what you are thinking is, "God does not intend for us to perform abortions!" But if you believe what the Bible tells you, then you are obviously incorrect. God is actually the direct cause of every abortion on earth. If you find that notion to be uncomfortable, I would agree with you. Unfortunately, that is the logical outcome of God's plan.

NHConstitutionalist - Your deductive reasoning would be correct. In which case we can do away with the premise of free will. Every vile act that has been committed is no ones fault, an Interesting concept. But, that leads to the question; why do Christians believe in original sin, baptism, and the the reason Jesus died and was resurrected if individuals are not accountable for sin, given it was already predetermined what actions they would perform?
Since I don't follow those beliefs, I guess I'll simply have to take responsibility for my actions.
That aside, I'm inclined to believe God is not responsible for our behavior nor is He involved in politics as it is that is considered to be what is rendered to Cesar. If I believed in the devil I say it was more his realm. Oh 7734 I'll say it anyway, given the condition of this world I'd be inclined to think he certainly has his hot bony fingers in it.
Thanks for your insight, I had to smile ... The devil made me do it.

Ralph - If you believe in "God's Plan" then everyone is a puppet..God and his pan knew and sanctioned the abortions.
BTW..where are the Christians who are Christ-like and were ordered by their God to sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor?
Have you sold all you own to feed the poor? About 30,000 children die from hunger every day!
Where is your God? Sleeping? Where are God's followers????
Your religion, like your God are frauds!

- If you are an atheist - there is no objective morality. So not only are abortions acceptable but also infanticide.
If a new male lion takes over a pride he will kill the male babies since they are not his offspring. The logical implcation is that it would be ok for the boyfriend of a divorced woman to kill her children so that his genes will be the ones passed on.

Ralph - Your God is the master of the book of Exodus.
In the book of Exodus chapter 12 verse 28, God writes about one of his early massacres:
So the people of Israel did just as the LORD had commanded through Moses and Aaron. And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.
Here the death of the children is directly at the hand of God.
In Isaiah chapter 13, God paints this word picture:
Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows.
They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.
What a lovely image.

onthethirdrail - Master of infanticide... but Ralph atheists are fine with killing hundreds of thousands of babies each year... so what's your beef with God?
You see Ralph, you have no moral ground to stand on. You want to say baby killing is wrong but your all for it - you cut your nose off to spite your face.

Ralph -You will find men like him in all of the world's religions. They know that we Atheists represent reason and science, and, however confident they may be in their beliefs, they fear that we will overthrow their gods. Not necessarily through any deliberate act, but in a subtler fashion. Science can destroy a religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistence of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now.

NHConstitutionalist - Ralph ... I don't believe it. I'm just thunder struck. We Thor followers hold monthly meetings or as the gods allow. But it's good to know, now we can claim minority status and get our special privileges.

onthethirdrail - Ralph, You *believe* you use logic and reason but in actuality your believe are just as faith based as anyone elses. Tell me how do atheist prove:
1) the law of non-contradiction
2) The uniformity of nature
3) Cause and effect
You can't - you have to take it on faith.
The only rational position for someone who rejects God is hyper-skepticism

Ralph - You insult me if you think I would worship an invisible mass murderer called 'God"

onthethirdrail - Hmmm... Interesting response. It sounds like your just emoting. Logic and rationality - not so much.

~ ~

So, what do you think?

We watched the movie "The Conspirator" on Saturday with the kids (Hyrum is into President Lincoln right now) and I don't know for myself all the true facts behind what the movie presented, but I liked the part where the lawyer Frederick Aiken had to defend Mary Surratt, but didn't want to cause he felt/thought she was guilty, so a mentor told him "Prove her guilt then" so as he went to search for proof that she was guilty he rather found reasons why she couldn't be guilty.
Same thing with God, I think if people listened to their reasoning, they'd realize that things that they want to use for proof of their case don't have any ground to stand on WITHOUT there being a God. They don't have proof, their facts don't stand up to scrutiny. CS Lewis was an atheist, but he was logical about it and a great thinker, and he was able to realize that by his saying "God is unjust" because people suffer, that statement proves God exists cause you are appealing to a moral standard, thus there are morals, cause if there aren't morals you don't have a case! Does that make sense? He explains it in his book "Mere Christianity", the first couple chapters set up the reasoning that logically there is a God since there are things that are good and bad. It's an excellent read, a little deep for me, I have to read it slow and piece it apart and put it back together, but I love CS Lewis, he's an amazing thinker.

One more thing - Melodie is doing a paper on Helen Keller, and last night we looked for a memorable quote she said, and when I read this I thought THAT IS AWESOME and thought it was another tally for "There is a God" side:

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller

Isn't that awesome! Amen I say! Yes, there is suffering! So do you want to be one of the people who sits around in the suffering and complains about it, or are you going to rise above it?
Also this one:

"I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace." - Helen Keller

So, if anyone doesn't know if there is a God, they could look at Scunnered's arguments, but to me a big red flag is that she sounds angry and bitter, she doesn't have peace or sound happy... I don't want to be like that. Seems like those beliefs she has aren't serving her very well right now in my opinion. And since "right now" is all she thinks she has, I'd like to suggest to her that she change her Belief Box asap and try to find peace. If she does in face have peace then I'm happy for her.

As for me, the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings me peace. I know there is a God, I know that Christ lives and is the Son of God! I am so grateful for the gospel. Ok, one more thing, as we read the scriptures with our kids last week and we talked about Nephi, my 8 year old Hyrum said "Well, how do we know that Nephi was real?" which is a question we just loved! We talked for a good hour with the kids, then as we kissed goodnight, Corey said "You can know if it's true through prayer and by asking. ...but until then, I want you to know that I know it's true. AND I want you to know that without the gospel you would have never been born. Goodnight!" Kinda funny way to send him off into his dreams, I laughed.

Having kids is hard work, but it is soo worth it. We're grateful for that commandment to have a family, there is no greater joy, it's given me joy that I didn't know I wanted or needed.

Pretty For Church

After the lesson at church a few weeks ago, I made a resolve to take things up a notch for myself and the kids and try to pretty things up a bit, especially for Sunday. So, after her shower we put sponge rollers in Mel's hair, and I showed Mel the adorable little dress I got for Sophia at the DI (love thrift shopping!) and we just had to try it on her. We were barely able to squeeze her chubby little feet into her black sparkle shoes, but they fit and we found a black bow and just oohed and aawed over her, so fun :)

Sunday morning we tamed down Mel's curls and she looked lovely, so fun to see her growing up into a young lady

And then we did Abi's hair and got her all dolled up

Then it was Lily's turn, she sat willingly for the whole primping session, but not for the photo shoot.

She's a sweet and sensitive little thing, she's also an uncooperative stinker at times, which I was alerted to at her 2 month photo shoot. We even went back on a second day to try and get a decent photo of her, but she was not having it. She is the crying infant on the wall.

I love you Lily, you funny and pretty little girl.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lehi In The Wilderness

I have about 20 pages left to read in this book which I borrowed from a neighbor, and wanted to recommend it to anyone who is like myself and just loves this stuff of exploring the "how?" and "where?" and "what was it like?" of the Book of Mormon Geography. I just ordered our own copy so I can highlight a few parts and have it on hand to share - it is very interesting and I should have it soon if you want to borrow it :)

So much of this book is just amazing, but one favorite part is on pages 148-149 talking about Nephi building a ship, talk about a HUGE undertaking! Not as big as Noah's, but still, you're building a boat that you are going to launch out into the unknown ocean, your life and the life of all your family, your wife, children, siblings, parents, are going to be on the line if it sinks. Not one board of this ship can be out of place, and it's got to have room for all his family and their children and families (the authors estimate 75 people (pg. 143)), room for all the food, ship repair supplies, everything you think you might need to live off of while you're out there in the ocean for who knows how long? Hello, what a huge leap of faith!

So here's my most favorite part:

"One could argue that it was no problem at all; for the Lord could have simply supplied Nephi with all the materials, knowledge and skills he needed on request. We refer to this as the 'storybook' version of Nephi's ship. It is a scenario that we think grossly misrepresents how the Lord deals with this faithful servants and significantly undervalues what Nephi actually accomplished through applied faith and works, and it also leads to a mythological rather than factual understanding of the Book of Mormon. Besides, the storybook version makes no sense. If the Lord simply wanted to supply everything for Nephi, one miracle after another, why build a ship in the first place? Why not have them walk across the ocean?

"The likelihood of the Lord-did-it-all theory seems even more doubtful if one considered the context in which the ship was built. Why would the Lord suddenly start intervening in every matter after having Nephi and his group suffer great afflictions for eight years in the desert where they nearly died and having them later almost drown in a great tempest at sea? Nephi seems to have had to suffer through each ordeal the same as any man. The sun shone just as hot on him as anyone else, the rain fell just as wet on him, and the wind blew just as hard.

"Like the desert journey, building a ship was part of Nephi's development under the hand of the Lord. He, too, would have had to learn line upon line, precept upon precept, as all who had gone before him or would go after. The Lord seems to have made a pioneer 'par excellence' of the faithful Nephi, who on his journey acquired all the basic skills necessary for the creation and settlement of an ancient society in the strangeness of the promised land. ... Nephi's journey was, we might say, his university."

As I said in this post, learning to trust God and turn our will over to Him is a journey that all of us need to have, we all need to experience our own personal Gethsemane where our will is broken, he will "wrench your very heart strings." I heard that last quote was something Joseph Smith said, just googled it, here's the quote:

"You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God."
- Joseph Smith

We must be tried as Abraham. It's part of this growing experience, this university education we're all receiving here on earth.

(...and on a political side note...)

Speaking of the serious business of sailing ships, here's a great online article about why Mitt Romney's experience is needed in DC.

"See testimonial of Master Mariner, Arthur Grant at the end of this article as he describes the many qualifications required to captain the largest ships of the sea. Santorum’s hope to take over the Ship of State is a stretch by any measure or imagination. In fact, in the opinion of this writer, Santorum’s dream would be humorous if it were not so scary. Please carefully read Arthur’s testimonial before you consider supporting Senator Santorum for any higher office.

"The piloting of a ship as an excellent metaphor to executive leadership experience. Obama’s pre-POTUS leadership perfectly fits the metaphor of rowing a small boat in a lake; Santorum’s to a small motor boat (more years in Congress than Obama); Governor Romney’s, by comparison, is equal to that of the Master Mariner (captain) of the large freighter, oil tanker, or aircraft carrier. The stark differences exposed by this simple metaphor are not minor — they are vast and they are critical!

"Of the many weaknesses and other disqualifying attributes possessed by Santorum, none compares with his lack of executive leadership experience. Anybody can run for President. Rarely has any man ever been elected President without extensive executive leadership experience. Santorum hopes to be the exception — as was Obama — how has that experiment worked out? It is my opinion, supported by the team at this site, that Santorum’s complete lack of leadership experience alone should disqualify him outright."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lily's Lunch

I made Lily a pb & honey sandwich for lunch.

I laughed when I saw her eating it with a fork.

I was glad to see her eating the bread though, usually she just licks all the peanut butter and honey off the bread, and then the bread looks gross and she thinks I'm a crazy to insist she eat it.

She's still got that cheesy grin when the camera comes out. She's a cutie

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Diet Tips

I am so glad to see that amazingly fit people have to start over sometimes. We all need to re-boot now and then, and it's a good thing, not something to get frustrated over. Think New Years Resolutions! It's great to try again to refine ourselves and become better.

So, Zuzka and diet... Z just started over in January with her exercise program and I'm excited to be one of her workout warriors and to be off to a new fresh start again - but working out isn't the hard part for me, it's food. But guess what - Z falls off her wagon now and then and has started over with her diet before, just like me, and that is ok! Isn't that nice to know? So I just started over (again) myself with diet and I feeling totally on my game right now, it's exciting. Mentally on my game and emotionally. Of course I'm only on diet day 2, but it's gonna be good.

Probably the biggest help for me this time around (working off baby weight from my 8th) was while watching Biggest Loser a few weeks ago... the nutritionist took them to the grocery store and told them all this:

When you go shopping, pretend your cart is your stomach. You want to fill it up first with fresh produce, your veggies and fruit, so put those in your cart first, then your proteins and healthy oils, and last the carbs.
(shopping basket if you're not feeding a big family)

That tip has totally helped me to stay on target when I go grocery shopping so I don't make things harder for myself here at home. Fill it with the produce first! Before I'd wait till the end to do that cause I don't want to squish the tomatoes or grapes, but that let me to overloading on unnecessary stuff - better to get the essential veggies and fruit first and really load up on them.

Another diet tip - You've got to create the right environment in your home/office if you want to lose weight. In my own words, here's great advice from Dr. Phil's book The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution

It's not about motivation or will power - you've got to create the right environment for yourself or you will not succeed. Make a Plan! Dr. Phil gives this example in his book: Imagine if you were traveling on a plane and the pilot suddenly passed out and YOU were the one who had to land the plane safely or you and everyone would die. You would be HIGHLY motivated and have a lot of "will" to want to land that plane, right? Yes. But without the proper skills and knowledge, that will power isn't going to get you there and you are going to crash and burn.

Same thing with diet.

You've got to have the skills and knowledge to succeed. One of those keys is ENVIRONMENT. You've got to have the right environment at home. Buy vegetables and buy fruit, buy healthy food and DON'T BUY THE JUNK food or things that you know you crave or are a weakness for you. I can resist the foods on the grocery shelf when I'm shopping much more than I can if it's in my pantry, so don't put it in your pantry!

You can make healthy food taste and look wonderful!

I just got the book South Beach Diet - I'd heard about it before and knew it was similar to Zuzka's recommendations. I'm not doing the diet recipes exactly as outlined in the book, but I'm eating more like Zuzka talked about once, where you can eat carbs before or after a workout, and then eat fruit, veggies, and protein for the rest of the day. It's working great so far, I just finished one week and I'm on my game right now. I have about 7 inches on my waist (abt 15 pounds) I'd like to lose.
abs 70 % diet 30% gym
Let's get that fat off. And remember, it's possible to get there with Z's intense 10-15 minute workouts, because:

Must Have Lego Book

The kids got this book for Christmas from Corey's parents, and I must say "It is AWESOOOME!" (see minute 5:23 - 5:28)

We have a small bedroom that is now known as the "Lego Room" and it's got 2 tables and 2 desks and a motherload of legos all scattered on the floor, and the kids go in there and just work work work now that they've got all these exciting new ideas in their heads from this book (mostly my kids ages 6 thru 11 ... Joe's starting to think himself too old for Legos... sad day)

But most of the other kids are doing all sorts of creative stuff like:

Mel made Wall-e (isn't he cute!) this was her own idea, but was inspired by the robot section in the book. I like the book cause it gives them ideas, and then I mostly like to see the stuff they make up on their own. Do you like the lego Family pictures Mel made for her girl's house below?

The wife and hubby kissing on the left there made me laugh. :)

Bedroom furniture with vanity! (This is Abi's with help from Mel)

Hyrum made Indiana Jones' office

This is Indy's living room - not sure if it's a tv or fireplace, but many valuable artifacts on the mantle there. So the book is great, keeps the kids going and going with lots of creative ideas and imagination.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Getting Our Stories Straight

I just listened to a talk called "Zoram and I: Getting Our Stories Straight" on tv and I LOVED IT, so I had to share. Read it here or watch it here or get the MP3 to listen here

I guess I loved the talk because it brought beautifully together many things I've been thinking about, such as Josh Powell and the story he believed and told himself (this article).

Also, Corey recently read a manuscript called "The Belief Window" for a book that Hyrum Smith is working on with Spencer Johnson (author of "Who Moved My Cheese") - and I love and totally believe the idea that we can change our attitude about our lives by changing how we view the story of what happened, or by changing what we believe as in the Belief Window or the Belief Box in our heads, which Virginia Pearce explains in this book "Through His Eyes":

This book is kind of like a little work book to get you to look inside your head about what you believe, and to only put things back in your head that you want there - I wrote in a journal as I read and I wrote out my beliefs and sorted them into these three three categories she suggests:

- not true at all -
(Lies we tell ourselves like "I'm a failure if my house is messy" and "If something goes wrong in my family, it's always my fault")

- true -
(with a small "t" like good advice, like "I believe I should make a contribution, be responsible, do my share of the work and a little bit more" or "I believe if you plan well and work your plan, you can be successful")

- True -
(with a capital T" - Eternal Truths that are true and always will be no matter the circumstance, such as "I am free to exercise my agency and I am accountable to God" and "I will not be here on this earth forever")

So the idea of a "Belief Box" from Virgina Pearce's book and the talk about Zoram and "getting our stories straight" went hand in hand I thought, so watch or read that talk, and then read the book too, it is excellent!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pico De Gallo

I learned how to make this delicious little condiment during our time in Costa Rica. Our housekeeper/maid Shirley came and cleaned the house we rented several times a week and also cooked for us from time to time. Often when we'd eat the delicious food, we'd ask " Wow! How do you make this?!" or "What is in this?!" to which she'd reply "Limon y sal." Lime and salt. Oh. Well, wow! It's good! Same thing once in Brazil at a BBQ (aren't we such the travelers) the meat was amazing and we were asking "Wow! What did you put on this meat?!?!" The answer: salt. Well, hey, I can do that! And we haven't had it for a while, but I do cook up a pretty savory Brazilian steak, want to come over for a bbq?

Ok, so back to Pico de Gallo - I watched her make it a few times, no real recipe to follow, just chop up the stuff, squeeze in the lime, sprinkle on the salt. Here's how I usually make it:

4 tomatoes
2 limes
1 onion
1 bundle of cilantro

I doubled this recipe as you can tell from the picture, minus I didn't have enough cilantro on hand, which I'm sure Ethan will be happy about because he "hates that stuff" (...not sure if he's really my child)

So chop it up, mix it all up, sprinkle on salt to taste, and enjoy it on your frijoles or deviled eggs, which is what is on our dinner menu tonight :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

13 Years

Today is our Anniversary. 13 years of wedded bliss. Yesterday Corey and I went skiing to celebrate - his parent's watched 7 kids, my parents watched Sophia. It was fun.

I told Corey to go easy on me, since it's been 2 years since I'd hit the slopes, and before that it had been 10 years since I'd skied. ...and this is where he led me to on our first run...

And this is now I looked for most of that run...
I told him I got to lead next time, and I did, and we followed the signs with arrows that pointed to the "Easiest way". It was much better that time. Much more fun to ski if you are able to stand on your two feet.

For dinner we went to a fancy restaurant where we went on our 1 year anniversary. We didn't make a reservation, but we will next time we go there on a weekend. Got there at 7:30, they had one reservation slot for 9, so we sat and talked and twiddled our thumbs and let Sophia suck Corey's fingers and I took lots of pictures of her, I kept thinking "Mel is going to love these pictures!!!! Sophia is so cute!!!!"

The food was amazing, desserts were wonderful, but my favorite part of the meal was these things.

I don't know what they were, but they were delicious! And I love Corey, looks like our "Happily ever after" is gonna work out!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chore Boards

At a "service auction" in August, I auctioned off a service of making chore boards. Rachel won that auction bid, and even though it almost took me 6 months, I finally got it done. She has twin girls, Lacy and Claire, and she decided pink for Lacy, purple for Claire. Melodie helped me finish them and even donated the cute paper we used for the background, which I thought was perfect cause it helped tie them together even with different colored letters. I should have taken pictures of them with the ribbon, they were darn cute. I might ask for another paper like this from Mel for Sophia's board - the picture doesn't show it but the paper was glittery, very pretty.

As for my kids' chore boards, they are not used regularly for the Accountable Kids system right now with the kids in school, but the boards do serve as a holding place for their "paid chores" cards, which we started after reading the book "The Parenting Breakthrough" (to teach them how to manage money)-

Still figuring it out, but right now they earn 50 cents for practicing music for 30 minutes, 25 cents for 15 minutes of Spanish, and 25 cents for 15 minutes of work. It's kinda nice cause, as you can see from our December paid chores experiment, most of the kids are slackers (that's Joe's card on the left) so we didn't have to pay them much, and with the money they do have, they've paid for Christmas and birthday presents for friend's parties, bought their own shoes, Joe paid to go to Airborne with a friend, stuff like that, things that I would pay for for them before, now they are learning a little bit of money management - and they're learning the Circle of Fifth's at the same time! (Corey's such a great music teacher - the kids are doing awesome - Joe plays the clarinet, Mel plays the flute, Ethan and Hyrum the soprano sax, it's great)

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