Thursday, April 30, 2009


About ten years ago, I wrote a list of 100 things I want to do before I die.  It contained a whole gambit of things from "Swimming the English Channel" (never going to happen), to own a house, to read all of Dicken's works (I'm close).  

Another thing was to get something I wrote published.  It was a simple goal.  I would have been happy with a letter to the editor of my local newspaper.  Well, today, that dream has been reached.  I just found out that an article I submitted to the New Era will be published in the May 2009 issue.  Wahoo!  I'm thrilled.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just So It is Out There

Before I die, I will run a 1/2 marathon.  Until then, I will run/exercise regularly, trying to work up enough courage to do so.  

Also, I wish I could still eat like crap but not gain weight.  Weaning a baby (OK, weaning a toddler, yes I had weaning issues) has messed up my eating habits.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chinese Chicken Salad

I have made this salad several times in the past few weeks.  It really is a great, fresh tasting salad and several people have asked for the recipe.  
1 cup canola oil
1/2-3/4 cup rice vinegar, seasoned.  I like Marukan brand
1/2 cup sugar
salt and pepper

1 head of cabbage--shredded
2 bunches of cilantro, cut up into pieces
5 cooked and shredded chicken breasts (or if you want to save time, I often use rotisserie chicken) 
1 bunch green onion
2 packages slivered almonds

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm Scaring My Kids by Making Them Eat Canned Fruit

I don't ever remember eating canned fruit in my house.  When I asked my mom about it, she said that both she and my dad always preferred the taste and health benefits of fresh fruit, so that is what we always had.  So, as a result, I always buy fresh fruit and that is all my kids have eaten.  

Well, being a Cub Scout leader, I discovered in the wolf book an idea of having the boys build "tin can stilts".  Dentist husband suggested I buy the bigger sized (29 ounce) canned fruit to make them, since they are easier to walk on.  I have eight boys in the troupe, so I went to the store and bought 16 cans of canned peaches and pears.  I opened up the 1st can and served them with dinner.  

You would think I was making them eat poison.  Their reaction was one of disgust and horror.  They couldn't believe I was serving them fruit from a can.  Fruit in syrupy, sticky juice.  "EWWWWW!" 

I then started having one of those, "Oh no, I am spoiling my kids.  I am raising princes and princesses.  What if we have a major financial crisis and we have to eat canned fruit and vegetables from our food storage to survive and they die because they refuse to eat it."  So I gave them that shpeel.  I really laid in on thick and even pointed out all of the poor people who would beg to eat canned fruit.  It kind of worked and they did choke it down.  

Now, I just have to force 15 more cans down them in next two weeks. And, truth be known me, I don't like canned fruit either, but I will not let them know it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm Glad I Did It

I was not going to exercise this morning and I had convinced myself I was not going to feel guilty about it.  It is OK to miss doing it.  I woke up tired and grumpy and even announced out loud that "I am NOT going to exercise!"  

I took an extra long shower, put on make-up and headed out the door to do errands.  Everywhere I looked, there were people exercising.  While at the bus stop, my cute neighbor (Hi Lisa) came over to my car in her exercise clothes to chat.  Standing in line at the post office, there were people in their exercise clothes.  I almost hit some poor lady pushing an exercise stroller up a very steep hill.  Still, I was NOT going to exercise.  I walked in the door and turned on the TV and Jennifer Lopez was talking to Rachael Ray about being fit.  "Universe, stop talking to me !  I don't want to hear it!"  

But, I did hear it.  So I succoumbed.  I got on my exercise bike and just did it.  It is now almost 12:00 here and once again, I need to get into the shower and get ready for the day but I did it. Did I enjoy doing it? No.  Did I grumble under my breath while doing it?  Yes.  Am I mad at the universe for guilting me into doing it?  Yes.  Am I glad I did it?  A very begrudging,  yes.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kindergarten Physical

This little guy just had his Kindergarten physical.  I hate Kindergarten physicals.  I am glad they test a lot of things on my kids to make sure they are healthy but when you get not so great news, it is no fun.  I like to remain blissfully ignorant of problems.

When my oldest started Kindergarten, I didn't know all that went into a physical and it was during that physical that we learned he had heart mummer (which turned out to be benign and he outgrew it) and that he major problems with his vision, which after patching briefly and now wearing glasses, he is fine.  Yes, I am glad we got the news early, when we could correct the problems but I still hated it.  

So, I dread the physical and don't sleep the night before.  Silly?  Yes.  Fortunately, for this little guy, he passed with flying colors and is even on the growth charts (we make very small people in my house and my kids finally make it on the growth charts around Kindergarten).  Five shots later, he is set for Kindergarten.   

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wedding China

I think I am part of a final generation of people who actually registered for wedding china.  I have noticed that most of my husband's younger siblings and their friends have not done so.  I think this is partly because Target is the "register" place of choice and they don't carry such a thing and also because life has gotten just way more casual. 
So, I did register for wedding china--Alsatia by Noritake.  

Originally, I had registered for a different pattern and as I was leaving the store I saw this and immediately fell in love.  The salad plate is what makes the pattern and every time I see it, I have "that" feeling.
Anyway, we have been married for over 11 years and never used it.  So, this past week, I hosted a dinner for my dad's brothers and sister and their spouses and got this out.  I had enough for the group but not 12 of each, which is what I think is a must-have number.  

So, this past week, I went on-line and ordered the pieces I was missing.  Hopefully, within a few days, I will own 12 dinner and 12 salad plates as well as a gravy server and a round vegetable bowl.  This pattern is discontinued, so I will need to take very good care of it.  

And, now that my kids are older, I need to make sure and use it for those special dinner occasions. 

I am the only one out there who owns china?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I love my two year old but sometimes. . .

Today has been one of those days.  My darling, precocious, delight of our lives, two year old pulled out all of the stops today.  I'm exhausted.

5:30 am:  Woke up and demanded to be read to
6:00 am:  Took off her pajamas and wanted to take a shower with her daddy
6:30 am: Refused to put on her clothes
7:30am: Removed her diaper because it was "too yucky" (it had nothing in it)
8:00am:  Demanded to eat my cereal
8:04:  Demanded a hot dog for breakfast
9:00 am:  Dumped out a bottle of bubbles on the carpet
10:00 am:  Washed her hands at the sink, getting water all over the kitchen
10:30 am:  Took off all her clothes, removed all of the cushions from the sofas
11:00 am:  Dumped out all of the Easter grass from the Easter baskets all over my great room
12:00-12:45 pm:  Took a nap (1.5 hours shorter than normal)
2:30 pm:  Dumped water all over the kitchen floor
3:00: Drew all over her shirt with a magic marker
4:00 pm:  Got play-do in the carpet
5:00 pm:  Took off her clothes again
5:30 pm: Went into her sister's room and pulled dresses off hangers and spread paper and envelopes all on the floor.
6:00 pm:  Dumped her hamburger (dinner) on the floor
7:00 pm:  Found more play-do
8:30 pm:  Was an angel for her father, who wanted to know what I had been complaining about all day.

I need a Calgone moment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family In Town News

My brother and kids (minus one niece who away at Emerson College) came into town for 11 days.  They have come the last three years to ski.  We live super close to four great resorts and always when they come, it is a great time.
The crew (minus one nephew) who went skiing.  My poor 16 year old nephew banged up his knee on the 2nd day here and he is a star on his track team at home (and now is track season), so, he decided he better not ski the rest of the time.  Instead, Dentist husband removed his wisdom teeth.  Not much of a Spring break for him but I have to say, he was very good natured about the whole thing.  
Dying Easter eggs.  Since eggs were only 59 cents a dozen, everyone dyed 12.  It was chaos-organized chaos but chaos none the less.
Easter morning.  You can't really tell in this picture, but my skirt is the same fabric as my girls--all purchased from Hannah Andersson.
The whole crew (my parents came into town for five days) on Easter Sunday.
So, now everyone is gone and my house feels very empty.  I love having visitors.

Oh and for you celiacs (three of my brother's kids have it) out there, my favorite local Mexican restaurant, Barbacoa is gluten free with the exception of their tortillas.  Check out their web-site, pretty cool.    

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Words from Teddy Roosevelt

I just finished reading David McCullough's "Mornings on Horseback" about Teddy Roosevelt.  It is a wonderful book.  In some of the closing pages, David McCullough puts in a speech given by Teddy Roosevelt at a Fourth of July celebration in Dickinson, North Dakota.  It expresses how I feel we all need to be as Americans.  

". . .It is particularly incumbent on us here today so to act throughout our lives as to leave our children a heritage, for which we will receive their blessing and not their curse. . . . If you fail to work in public life, as well as in private, for honesty and uprightness and virtue, if you condone vice because the vicious man is smart or if you in any other way cast your weight into the scales in favor of evil, you are so far corrupting and making less valuable the birthright of your children. . . .

It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it.  

I do not undervalue for a moment our material prosperity; like all Americans, I like big things; big prairies, big forests and mountains, big wheat fields, railroads--the herds of cattle, too--big factories, steamboats, and everything else.  But we must keep in mind that no people were ever yet benefited by riches if their prosperity corrupted their virtue.  It is of more importance that we should show ourselves honest, brave, truthful, and intelligent, than that we should own all the railways and grain elevators in the world.  We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.  Here we are not ruled over by others. . . we rule ourselves.  All American citizens , whether born here or elsewhere, whether of one creed or another, stand on the same footing; we welcome every honest immigrant no matter from what country he comes, provided only that he leaves off his former nationality, and remains neither Celt or Saxon, neither Frenchman nor German, but becomes an American, desirous of fulfilling in good faith the duties of American citizenship.  

When we thus rule ourselves, we have the responsibilities of sovereigns, not of subjects.  We must never exercise our rights either wickedly or thoughtlessly; we can continue to preserve them in but one possible way, by making the proper use of them. "

God bless America. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Family In Town

I have family in town, so there will be an absence in my posting for awhile.  They have been here a week already and sad to say, no pictures to show for it.  Just believe me, they are here and we are having a wonderful time. 

Oh and Jane Anne, if you are reading this, what in the world?  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cub Scout Helps

I was asked about two weeks ago to train some new Cub Scout leaders in my area.  I compiled the following information for them and thought I would pass this info on to all of you out in blogland.  I don't consider myself an expert at all but having had the calling three times, I have figured a few things out.  So, for what it is worth, here it is:

Cub Scout Helps:

  1. Sit down with the book and go over it page by page.  Really familiarize yourself with the book.  

  1. Just before a boy enters your troop, go to their house with their book.  Make sure your troop number is written inside the book (so the parents know what to buy when they go and get the patches).  Go over the program with them and their parent.  Encourage the parents to start working on 3a (making a two week health chart) and 4e (the month long chore chart).  These are the biggest obstacles for the boys getting their wolfs.  If they can get them passed off early, when they are still really excited about it, the rest is pretty easy.  Explain to the parents that you will do all you can to help them get their wolf/bear but when it comes down to it, it the boy’s and parent’s responsibility.  I also encourage them to set aside time in the month to work on it.  (In my house, we often use Sunday afternoon or FHE.)  

The boys also need to pass off their bobcat, since we don’t do that in our church.  I encourage the parents to do that as part of a family home evening instead of trying to do it during den meeting because of the child abuse requirement.  I think parents should be the ones addressing those issues with their boys.

I also tell the parents to send the books with the boys to den meeting with either a paper  telling me what they passed off or bookmark the pages so I can easily record them. 

Important terminology:

Beads:  A boy earns a bead after they have completed three achievements.  When they get their wolf or bear, they will have four beads.  Wolf: yellow beads.  Bear:  red beads   In our troop, they are awarded at Pack meeting.  (Some wards give them at den meeting.)  

Arrow points:  Boys earn as part of their elective requirements.  Once they have done 10,  they get a gold arrow point.  After that, each 10 things get silver arrow points.   They don’t have to do everything in the elective to earn an arrow point.  For every item they do (a,b,c, etc) they earn toward their 10.  Also, if they do things in the requirement list that is “extra” (for example, Requirement 1 they only have to do one of things f-l.  If they do more than that, I count those toward arrow points.  

Belt Loops:  In the back of the book, it lists the areas a boy can earn belt loops.  You should have the book that tells the requirements to get each thing, but basically, if they have played the sport, they can earn the belt loop.  Encourage the parents to buy the belt for a place to store the belt loops.  (I have only known a few boys who actually are willing to wear the belt.)  

Den Meeting:

We do it twice a month and take one week off before Pack meeting.  Again, I encourage the parents to help their boy pass things off during the week that we don’t have den meeting.  

We do ours directly after school and the boys are usually hungry.  I always have popcorn in middle of the table waiting for them.  I let the boys play for about 10 minutes and then have them sit around my table.  We start with a prayer and then I try to focus on one of the “character connections.”   We then do the planned activity, and then if we have time, let them play for the last few minutes.  Again, they have been at school ALL DAY and so I want to have plenty of play time and just be able to have fun together.   

Some successes I have had:

  1. Frisbee golf (fulfills the Ultimate belt loop)
  2. Making take home pizzas (8 c for wolfs, 9c for bear)
  3. Airplanes (see attached page)
  4. Trash pick up :I brought home gloves from my husband’s office and we just went over to the park.  (wolf 7d, bear 6g)  
  5. Bike obstacle course (wolf 9 d and e, bear 14)
  6. Planting bulbs:  (Wolf elective 15c Bear 6b--its a little bit of stretch)  If they plant the bulbs in gravel instead of dirt, they boys can’t overwater them and the grow wonderfully. 
  7. Touring the fire station.  The men at the one close to our neighborhood are wonderful with the boys.  
  8. Home Depot has a wonderful man who teaches classes about tools.  He is wonderful.      He also taught the boys about plants in the spring last year. 
  9. Bird feeders: Wolf elective 13, Bear 5 a and b (see attached page from family fun):  The boys loved making these and all summer, I noticed birds eating from them.  
  10. A tour of the Police Station.  (Bear 7b)  

Some failures:

Early on, we did a lot of field trips; one time to the land fill and one time to the recycling facility.  Both times, we drove for a long time and the tours were just not that great.  I wouldn’t do it again.  

For the collecting things I gave every boy four quarters to start a coin collection.  None of the boys finished it and the boys didn’t find it all that exciting (even though I was very excited about it. :) )

For wolf requirement 5 a (make something useful out of wood) and elective 7a (learn how to walk on stilts), I had the boys make stilts.  The pattern I had was not so good and they were too heavy for the boys to learn how to walk on them.  I would do it again, if I had a really good pattern but the whole thing took a ton of time and was not very fun.   

The scouting store has a lot helps available but personally, I have found that if I just work directly from the cub scout books, I have had a lot more success. 

Recording Info:  

See included paper.  I spent years looking for a paper system that I liked and was easy to read.  This is my favorite.  I circle the required things and “x” the electives.  So, when figuring out arrow points, it is easy to read.    

It is important to keep a record of what the boys have passed off with you.  Boys will lose their books and you want to know what you need to work on to help them pass things off.  

When the boy is a few months from moving to the next age, I e-mail the parent with a list of what remains for the boys to pass off.  The parents seem to like this and usually the parents are great about helping them get everything done before they need to move on.        

Combining the Faith In God with Cub Scouts:

I have not been super good about doing this except coming up with a Joseph Smith first vision family home evening lesson (see included) that I taught the boys and then sent home with them to do with their families.  When the boys are Bears, if they do the Faith in God requirements, they can earn their Religious square knot patch.  I am hoping to work more on this with the boys this Spring and hope to have most of my Bears get it now instead of during Webelos. 

My sister-in-law does a point system that encourages the boys to wear their shirts and bring their book every week.  After they have acquired so many points, she lets them them buy stuff from her with the points they have earned.  (She just goes to a dollar store and sets a bunch of things out).  I've never done that, but am considering adding it this summer.  

Friday, April 3, 2009

It is true, I am raising a Princess.

I was cleaning out toothsome #2's room the other day and discovered a strange lump between her mattresses.  When I pulled it out, I discovered it was plastic peas from her fake food kitchen set.  

I went and found her and holding it and said, "Toothsome #2, I found this between your mattress."  She looked at me with very sincere eyes and said, "No wonder I have been having a hard time sleeping lately."

You see, I have been suspecting it for quite sometime, but it appears that indeed, I am raising a princess.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why I Haven't Gotten Much Done

When I was getting ready to leave California from my Girl's Weekend, my roommate grabbed a book on her shelf and said, "Here.  Read this on the plane ride home."  It was a book called "The Covenant" by Beverly Lewis.  My roommate said she had read it in her Book Club and warned me that there were a total of five books in the series and once I started, I would likely want to read the rest.  

The books chronicle the lives of five sisters who live in an Amish community.  All of them choose similar but different paths to finding happiness in their community.  I have to admit, the first book didn't grab my attention as much as the follow up books.  The author really seemed to get into her stride in the later books and I have to say, today, as I finished the last one, I was sad to say goodbye to these woman.  

I have always liked books that look at similar people making different decisions and still finding happiness one way or another.  I am Mormon and know about living in a religious-like community where we all strive to do our best and often chose different paths within that community.  I have often marveled at my three close friends from my BYU days, and look at how we got where we are today.  We all took very different routes.  All of them very acceptable but different within the boundaries of what we believe.  Three of the four of us served missions.   Some of us have worked after having kids while others have not.  We all met our spouses in very different ways (ironically, none of us meeting our husbands at BYU where we all met). 

So, I enjoyed these books.  They are not masterfully written but the author is a good story teller.  And, assuming this author has done her research, an interesting view into the Amish way of life.