Saturday, May 30, 2009

What's for dinner??

I know I haven't posted in a while. A while back a friend of mine posted this. I had been thinking along the same lines as well. So this last week I've cut back on computer-play-time. A lot. I've only allowed myself to get on once a day (unless I needed to pay bills or something) and only in he evenings when everything was done and the kids were in bed. But by then I didn't have a whole lot of time before I needed to go to bed. I got a ton done this week but I was exhausted!

I have missed posting more often and reading everyone's blogs. I finally caught up on reading (from our little anniversary trip, which I'll be posting about soon). But I found myself leaving fewer comments for the sake of time. Sorry if I neglected you!!

Anyway, as much as I miss checking blogs and facebook and all that more often, I feel much more balanced. It's been nice. Sorry to those of you who missed me so much. But you'll just have to get used to it. :)

And on to the title of this post: I'm trying to come up with some new dinner ideas. I'm a little bored with what I've been doing lately. So please share a few of your favorites with me!! I am a vegetarian and am trying to eat healthy (fell off the wagon for a while there, but I'm back at it again! you can expect a post on that soon as well:) but I've found that I can adjust most recipes to be both healthy and meatless. So please share anything and everything that you or your family love!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mommy, you're a loser!

The kids (Payson, mostly) have randomly been asking to go bowling lately. The only thing I can think of is that they were inspired by Grandma and Grandpa's Wii.

So this afternoon we went! We weren't sure how it would go because of how young they are, but I'm pretty sure it was a big hit!!

My freaking adorable kids, waiting for their balls to S.L.O.W.L.Y. reach the pins.

Final Scores:

Jack 98
Payson 69
Mommy 106 (with bumpers, mind you)
Daddy 179

Um, did anyone notice that my not-quite-two-year-old bowled a mere 8 points under his mother?? The boy got a spare!! Actually, I believe he got multiple spares!!

And in case you're wondering about the title, any time I didn't bowl a strike or spare, Payson would casually say to me, "Mommy, you're a loser." I swear I try to teach my kids manners!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Do you wanna win or what?!

Just want to remind everyone that there are MULTIPLE ways to be entered for my little giveaway!!

leave a comment telling me who you are and how you know me or my blog as well as one random or silly fact about yourself and i'll put your name in my drawing.

*many of you have already done this*

become a follower and get another entry!! (those of you who are already followers need not fear! you'll automatically get that extra!)

*i know a lot of you already are and a few of you have become one! you're awesome!*

then for each comment you leave on any future posts of mine from now until the winner is announced you will receive an additional entry!!

*a lot of you do this anyway. you're loyal readers and i love you all to pieces! p.s. thanks for all the encouraging words on my last post. i seriously feel a million times better!!*

spread the word and link to my blog on your blog and i'll throw you in twice!

Now I've checked this one! NO ONE IS SPREADING THE LOVE!! So, I'm going to add a little more incentive. You pass the word about my little giveaway and you get not 1, not 2, not 3 or 4, but 5 additional entries!!

Is that incentive enough?? Remember, I'm watching!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Struggling

Good news, bad news.

Good news: Jason was cleared by his doctor last week. He's back to full duty at work. He's completely healed. He's so thrilled! He hated feeling like he couldn't do things. But as long as he is comfortable using his arm, the doctor said he can do anything he wants. He's mostly excited to be able to throw a ball again.

Bad news: Jason was cleared by his doctor last week. He's back to full duty at work. I know this shouldn't bother me. The problem is this: While Jason was on restricted duty and working in the office the company started to struggle along with the rest of the economy. They did so many lay offs! Thank heavens we were spared!

Schlumberger's only remaining client, Encana, made some changes while Jason was on restricted duty. They are forcing all the men to live at "man camps" while they are on rotation. This means that for Jason's two weeks on we don't see him at all. I am so angry about this I could scream! This was the reason we moved to Wyoming! So that we wouldn't be apart! There are precious hours at night that we could be spending together as a family, but because of Encana's contract it's just the kids and me.

I have so many conflicting feelings right now. On the one hand, I understand too well that we are lucky to have a job at all in this economy. Last year we were without one and it was scary. We prayed and prayed and tried to listen to the Lord and felt like He provided this opportunity for us. This was what He wanted for us. And we did it. I don't doubt that we did the right thing at that time.

Since we've moved to Green River I have felt many times that this is where we are supposed to be. This is where the Lord wants us. And even though this isn't what I would have chosen for my life, we've been happy. Yes, we complain about the weather and the small town and being away from friends and family. But the reality is we're perfectly happy here, especially knowing that this is what the Lord wants.

Now, because of the changes at work, I feel so confused. I am grateful for Jason's job. I'm grateful that we are able to pay our bills and live more comfortably. It has made life so much less stressful! But now there are things that we are sacrificing that I am not comfortable with.

For one, Jason is now required to work on Sundays. He gets one Sunday a month off. (This was the case before as well, but we were able to work some things out with his supervisor and he was able to get most Sundays off). Most of the men who live around here work some Sundays. The jobs out here require it. It's the norm.

Growing up, I worked one Sunday. It wasn't required at my job and I had been taught that Sunday's were for the Lord. One Sunday at work they needed people to come in pretty badly. They offered double pay. It was optional. This wasn't a new concept. They did this on quite a few Sundays. But this particular Sunday, my parents were out of town. I didn't have to face their disappointment. So I went. It didn't feel right. I knew that what I was doing was wrong. I felt the Lord's disappointment in me. I didn't like it. I haven't worked on a Sunday since.

My dad always told us a story growing up of when he was a teenager and was applying for a job at a pizza place in CA that was owned by an ex-NY-cop from Jersey. He turned it down because they wanted him to work on Sundays. Ultimately, the employer was so impressed with his dedication to his religious beliefs at his age that he offered my dad the job anyway with a promise that he would never have to work on Sundays. As I grew to understand this story more, I knew that it didn't mean that if I refused to work on Sunday I would get the job anyway. It simply meant that the Lord would bless me somehow.

My teenage indiscretion strengthened my faith in this principle. I haven't worked on a Sunday since. And for as long as I've known Jason, he hasn't either. Until this job.

Initially it really bothered me. But it was either that or no job. We accepted this job knowing that we would need to somehow address this issue. After the training period we worked things out so that he didn't work most Sundays, and I felt more comfortable. Now that things have changed I'm back to feeling wrong about it. I have a hard time believing that Heavenly Father would want us to be in a position that requires us to neglect His commandments.

I talked to my dad just a little while ago about how I was feeling. He reminded me of some important things. In Genesis 3:19, after Adam and Eve have partaken of the fruit the Lord says to Adam, In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return unto the ground; He reminded me that Jason, as a priesthood holder, is given a higher commandment to provide for his family.

As I thought about all of this, I was still confused. I didn't feel that the Lord would give us these two commandments (to provide for our families and to keep the Sabbath holy) and make it impossible. Then I remembered a well known scripture. 1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the things which he commandeth them.

So now I am juggling these three things in my head. I know the Lord has commanded us to keep the Sabbath holy. (In fact, this was our lesson in Sunday School in my parents ward this last week, and I felt some very specific thoughts from the spirit). I know that the Lord wants Jason to provide for out family. I know that the Lord wouldn't ask these things of us without providing away for us to do both of these things.

I may not always live the way I'm supposed to. I make plenty of mistakes. But I do have absolute faith that when I do what the Lord asks I am blessed. And I have absolute faith that if we choose to obey His commandments, no matter how hard, we will be taken care of.

As I'm writing out all of these thoughts I am remembering a specific point made in Sunday School this past weekend. We will not only be blessed spiritually for obeying the commandment to keep the Sabbath Day holy, but temporally as well.

I feel so much better right now. Between talking things out with my dad (since I can't talk to Jason), searching the scriptures a little, and writing out my feelings I don't feel any of the anger and frustration I did when I first sat down to write this.

I still don't have an answer to the confusion. I don't know if the way to handle it is to leave Jason's job, to demand Sunday's off, or what. And I'm still pretty scared about it. I don't know what it will take to get us there. I don't know how hard it will be. But I don't doubt at all that in the end we'll be okay, spiritually and temporally.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

{{ giving away some love }}

i'm thinking i've got THEE greatest blogger pals around reading up on my absolutely average life, SOOOOOOOOOOOO....

you deserve a prize.

and not just any prize.

something sensational.

something made by me! maybe something like this?

so here's how it's gonna work:

leave a comment telling me who you are and how you know me or my blog as well as one random or silly fact about yourself and i'll put your name in my drawing.

spread the word and link to my blog on your blog and i'll throw you in twice!

become a follower and get another entry!! (those of you who are already followers need not fear! you'll automatically get that extra!)

then for each comment you leave on any future posts of mine from now until the winner is announced you will receive an additional entry!!

the winner will be able to choose colors and the saying on their frame.

the winner will be chosen randomly and announced on June 1st. that gives you until midnight (mst) on May 31st to enter as many times as possible!!

good luck to you all!! i can't wait to learn a little about each of you!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You've just won the Super Bowl! What are you going to do next?!

I'm going to DISNEYLAND!!

Okay, so maybe I didn't win the Super Bowl, but guess where we're going!!

So I grew up in beautiful, wonderful, sunny Southern California. Not far from Disneyland. I went as a newborn and multiple times a year after that. When we moved to Utah we still went about once a year. I couldn't even count how many times I've been.

(Random Fact: Did you know that when I was a kid they actually had "Mormon Night" at the Magic Kingdom?!)

Then I graduated high school. :( Stupid growing up.

Long story short, I didn't make it to the family trips from ages 18-20, and then at 20 I got married and was no longer included. I know, right? My parents are horrible.

So this will be my very first time returning to the Magic Kingdom since I was 18!

The kids have (obviously) never been. And neither has Jason. So I'm EXTRA excited!! You see, for me, watching them experience all the magic and excitement for the very first time is no different than experiencing it that way myself.

So when is this trip, you ask? Ugh. November. Still more than 6 long months away. My parents got were able to book their condo in Newport Beach Thanksgiving week. One of the most crowded times of year for Disneyland.

free lodging vs. cRaZy BuSy theme park?

Free lodging wins. It's already a spendy-enough vacay.

So here's the itinerary so far...because I know you're all just DYING to know:

  • We're leaving early the Saturday morning before Thanksgiving and heading to my parents house in Pleasant Grove.
  • We meet up with the 'rents and caravan to "Vegas Baby"! (I know I'm lame. Don't hate.)
  • Grab some In-N-Out (Jason and the kids have also never enjoyed this sinful-deliciousness.)
  • We'll probably drive by the strip and hit a few coasters before hitting-the-hay at a Motel 6 or somewhere else that's dirt cheap.
  • We'll crash some Las Vegas ward early in the morning for church and then head to Newport Beach to unpack and get to bed early.
  • Up bright and early for a MAGICAL day of family fun at The Happiest Place on Earth!
  • Sleep in.
  • Hit the beach.
  • Shop Main Street in Huntington Beach.
  • Maybe visit some old amigos in Westminster.
  • Get to bed early!!
  • Up bright and early for another MAGICAL day of family fun at The Happiest Place on Earth!
  • Happy Thanksgiving! Who knows if we'll cook a traditional meal at the condo or eat out. Guess we'll see!
  • Off to bed early again!
  • And once again, up bright and early for a 3rd MAGICAL day of family fun at The Happiest Place on Earth!
  • Still up in the air. My mom seems to think we'll be done with the Parks at this point. I want one more day. We'll see what happens.
  • Possibly head to Vegas?
  • Come home with FABULOUS family memories and a ridiculous amount of photos and stories to post!!
Jealous? You should be. Because as I sit here typing I'm thinking of everyone who I've watched travel off to my Disneyland (yes, MY Disneyland) so far this year and those who have yet to go before I do and I'm simply green (with envy, of course).

ANYWAY, in the mean time I'm exhaustively obsessed with all things Disney. I've made a list of all Disney movies (mostly animated, plus a few extras) and highlighted those that correspond with park attractions or characters we may meet. The kids have seen many of these, but I want them to be familiar with ALL of them. And Jason...well, Jason has A LOT of catching up to do. So we're watching a Disney movie as a family once or twice a week. We own a few. My parents own a bunch. So we buy, borrow, or rent. We pop some popcorn or grab some treats and curl up on Mom and Dad's bed and watch a Disney flick. It's been really fun family time!

I'm also ordering cds left and right. The kids love the few they have and listen to them constantly. This is how I keep them from watching tv during the day. :) But I'm ready for some more Disney variety. Just this week I found steals on 6 of my favorite Disney cds and ordered them. Can't wait for them to arrive in 5-10 business days!!

And to top it all off, I made this:

(Excuse the blank walls. Still have to figure out what I want to put there. And the scary stack of totes. I was going through and packing up old clothes and had pulled them all out of the closet.)

That's right. I made a paper chain countdown. I made it a few weeks ago. At that point it was 214 links long. Yep. I spent 3 long Sunday hours cutting and taping strips of paper...while watching Disney movies with the fam, of course. :)

This RADICAL chain hangs in Payson's room. It actually makes it completely around her room. Each night we have a routine: Baths and ready for bed, family scriptures and prayer, bedtime story and personal bedtime prayers, take a piece off of our paper chain and place it in the basket (don't ask me why we're keeping all the pieces), kisses, and bed. Is it wrong that I look forward to taking the piece off the chain as much as the kids do?

Along the chain we've marked other holidays and trips and events and birthdays. Payson asks me what's coming next all the time. It's like her own personal calendar. She loves it. And I love getting the kids all excited to meet Mickey and all their favorite characters.

I waste time throughout the week looking up Disney facts, hunting for bargains on Disney movies and music, and searching for the best trip tips. It's pretty ridiculous.

Like I said, the trip is still over 6 months away! But for me, it's like Christmas! And my favorite part of Christmas is Christmas EVE. The planning, the excitement, the anticipation. So even though I can't wait to watch my kids discover my favorite childhood memories, I'm loving every second of waiting for it to come!!

Now, if you've made it this far (because I can't believe how LONG this post got!) I want everyone to share their favorite Disney character, Disney movie, or Disney memory!! Come on! Play along!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

...i stole it...

Sara posted this brilliance over at her blog and I couldn't resist stealing it from her:

"Many scrapbookers knew Aleida Franklin. She was a wonderful wife and mother and a brilliant artist. I didn't know Aleida personally, but she taught me something I will never forget. She emailed me last year to tell me she loved my blog and to ask if I like my short hair-cut. This lead to a series of emails which eventually led me to remark that I really loved how often she posted pictures of herself with her children on her blog. And she replied to me, "Have you ever seen a photograph of your own mother and thought to yourself how fat she looked? Or how she wasn't wearing make-up? Or wasn't dressed in a glamorous outfit?" Of course my answer was no.

She then responded with saying that she made it a goal to take a picture of herself with her children at least once every month. And that to use excuses about how we look, as women, is ridiculous, since our children will never care what we looked like, but only that we had physical evidence of the bond between mother and child.

Aleida tragically and unexpectedly passed away last September, leaving 2 small children and a grieving husband. After she passed I thought of how those children must feel to have those precious photographs. I have made it my personal goal to follow her wise suggestion and I now take photos of myself with my children....double chins, make-up free, bed-head and all."

I am one of those moms. Guilty as charged. I hate having my picture taken because no matter how awful I think I look I somehow manage to look worse in photographs. Ugh.

But this woman is right. I have never looked at a picture of my mom and me and criticized her appearance. Never. I just look at the memory and think about how great my mom was/is.

So here I am trying to be better:

It may not be a professional shot and we may not look perfect (although we are all ready for church, so we look pretty darn nice, if I do say so myself!) but none of that matters. All that matters is that, hopefully, one day my children will look back at these photos of us together and know how much their mother loved/loves them.

Feel free to join in and pass the idea along!!