Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another First!

Kyara has received not only her first college acceptance letter, but her first scholarship offer as well! Yay! Congratulations, Kyara!

Zach and Rachelle will be happy to know that the offer was from Northern Arizona University. It's a couple of hours away from where they live, I think. It's a good school -- it's small, with smaller class sizes. It's not a big party school like ASU. It has a really good journalism department, which is what Kyara wants to get into. She has an amazing talent for writing and wants to develop it more and follow a career that capitalizes on her talents.

She has applied to a few more colleges, and she's still trying to get her transcripts into BYU before their deadline. So, she's going to be inundated with options! It's fun and exciting, and it will be interesting to see where she ends up! It's nice to have the world at your feet, isn't it?

You're making us proud, Kyara Danyelle!

The Tree

Ok, remember how we used to go out hunting for the perfect tree? Dad would drive around to ten different tree lots. We'd look over all the trees, shake a couple out, check it from every angle. If we didn't get a unanimous decision, we went on to the next lot. Every year, we found just the right tree for us! And then there were carols in the car and hot chocolate when we got home.

Well, it was just like that for us this year! Except, instead of ten different lots, we just went to Home Depot. The kids were all for the first tree we picked up, even though it was completely squashed in the back. The second tree looked better, and I had to call everyone back together for a perfunctory, "Yeah, it's ok" before one child asked, "Can we go play now?" Then, as we were paying for the tree, I hear a loud crash and a scream, and I think, "Oh, I'm glad that's not my children!" I glance over and discover, oops, those are my children -- and they're the ones who are old enough to know better.

I order them all to go wait in the car. On the ride home, I threaten to buy a fake tree next year. I turn the Christmas music up loudly to drown out the whining.

Yep! Just like the Christmases I knew so well!

Click to play The Tree
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Click to play Cookies!
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

This is one of my favorite family traditions. Each year, I make a bazillion cookies (26 dozen this year, plus a few dozen for ourselves!). We then deliver to everyone on our street, plus a few friends from the ward. Of course, we wear our antlers and carol as we deliver. Actually, the caroling has devolved into just one verse of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Our neighbors love it and look forward to it. In fact, we usually do this the first week-end in December, but it got pushed back a week. Some of the neighbors were getting a little nervous! Afraid we weren't going to do it this year! They were happy and relieved when our family showed up!

Unfortunately, all that cooking wiped me out this year, so I didn't get very good pictures. Nothing like Lauri's fabulous cookie exchange! She really raised the bar, didn't she? Anneli, bless her heart, was my biggest helper. She stuck with it through to the end. I also missed the best part -- the deliveries!

I decided I'm going to have to do more delegating if I'm going to survive this next year. I'll do my chocolate caramels and prepare the sugar cookie dough, but I'll have to let the teenagers be in charge of the specialty cookies and getting everyone to pinch in for the sugar cookies.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

20 Years of Happily Ever After

On December 10th, Rom and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary! So how did we celebrate? That cruise we've wanted to go on? A trip to Hawaii? Come on, it had to be spectacular for the 20th, right? Well -- I worked at the store so Rom could have a day off and buy me See's. Then, he picked me up an hour early and we went to Chili's for dinner. We finished with their fabulous chocolate molten cake for dessert. Yum! Truly an exotic anniversary!

To be fair, we're also taking off for a few days after Christmas while the kiddies are out of school. We haven't decided what to do yet, but we're going to get away together and remember how much fun we have!

Here's to the next 20, honey!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Best Christmas Party Ever!

Our ward Christmas party was the best I'd ever been to. First, Santa had already come the week before to his own special activity, so there were no Santa distractions. Second, it was held early on a Tuesday night, so it didn't tie up my entire week-end. Third, the food was delicious! Fourth, it was so simple! The decorations were tasteful and elegant but not overboard. The entertainment was so nice -- we had the choral group from Hemet High School perform a capella, which was beautiful. Then, we had the best nativity ever! The curtains opened to a simple scene of the children already posed on stage. No coming and going and goofing off to distract anyone. Bro. Huff then read the Christmas story from the Bible. The children sang a couple of songs, and that was it! It was very moving, I thought. We had excellent attendance -- I think someone estimated it at over 120 people. There was a moment when I looked out over the sea of faces and realized how many of these people were special to me. I know I've said it before, but it's worth mentioning again -- this is the first time I've ever felt a part of a ward "family."

Click to play True Meaning of Christma
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Parade

Last week-end, we went to Hemet's Christmas parade for the first time ever. We sat right in front of our new store -- perfect seats! Rom was even able to join us, since no one could access the store while the parade was going on. It was fun, but way too long! We left a little early -- we could see Santa from the rear window of our van as we were pulling out of the parking lot. Here are some of the highlights.

Click to play Christmas Parade
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

For Kyara

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nine Words Women Use

If you're wondering how Rom has survived 20 years being married to me -- he has simply learned how to navigate the following:


1. FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2. FIVE MINUTES: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3. NOTHING: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Argument s that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4. GO AHEAD: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5. LOUD SIGH: This is actually a word, but i s a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6. THAT'S OK: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7. THANKS: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').

8. WHATEVER: Is a woman's way of saying a bad word to you!

9. DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kyara's Worst Day Ever

Kyara got her first ticket yesterday. It was for failing to stop at a stop sign. She told me it was her worst day ever! I told her I was happy to hear that -- boy, sweetheart, things will get a heck of a lot worse!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Stories

Every year, we read a Christmas story each night of December. Since I'm capturing all our traditions in photos this year, I thought I'd capture this as well! Perhaps I didn't time the pictures just right, because I don't think I caught the right "this is a treasured tradition" feel. I swear, the kids actually enjoy this!

Click to play Christmas Stories
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox greeting

Question for my sisters (and yes, that includes sisters-in-law, because I don't discriminate): Does anyone like the story "Someone Missing at the Manger?" I mean, really? I'm thinking I'm going to replace that one with "The Other Wise Man."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Tag

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real! It's not Christmas without that real pine smell.

3. When do you put up the tree? About a week before Christmas. We try to wait until they start to go on sale.

4. When do you take the tree down? I shoot for December 31st, when we have our New Year's party.

5. Do you like eggnog? In small doses.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? 1970 semi-classic Ford Mustang with a 351 Cleveland kick-a** engine! (By the way, never do this for your teen!)

7. Hardest person to buy for? Rom. If there's something he wants, he usually goes out and gets it himself. I have very rarely surprised him!

8. Easiest person to buy for? My boys. Can't have too much Star Wars and video games!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes! I have a gorgeous collector's set I pieced together from Home Interiors. It is my favorite decoration in the whole house. I also have a couple of cute mini nativities from my friend Lisa.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither! Christmas cards were the first to fall off the list of Christmasy things I can't fit into my overwhelming life.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Poor Rom -- I have to admit it was our first Christmas together. He bought me several CDs, put them all in one big box, and wrapped it. That was it. One gift to open Christmas day! It was awful. He has redeemed himself a million times since!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's A Wonderful Life. I discovered this as a married adult, and I have loved it since. It never gets old for me.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The day after Christmas. I love to hit the best bargains! It's especially great for next year's Christmas jammies.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, I don't think so.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? All the goodies our friends bring to the house! Hence, dieting must wait until the new year.

16. Colored or Clear Lights? Colored

17. Favorite Christmas song? Eisley's "The Winter Song." (See my blog's playlist.)

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home!!!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Most of them.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel -- we got a Christmas tree skirt and matching angel topper as a wedding gift. It's been our tradition since.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Half and half.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Rude shoppers on black Friday.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Wooden ornaments.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Mom's famous cheesecake!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I don't think my husband realizes he has gotten me this already, but I want a digital camcorder.

26. White or Warm Christmas? Warm. I hate the cold, no matter how pretty it is.

27. Favorite thing about Christmas? The lights. Our neighborhood has a few fantastic displays.

28. Favorite Christmas Tradition? I bake a bazillion cookies. We take a plate to every neighbor on our street and wear our reindeer antlers and sing carols for them. We also take a plate to our bishop, home/visiting teaching people, and a few friends from the ward (sorry, Shandee -- we'll miss you this year!).

29. Favorite Christmas Location? Home.

30. Who do you tag? I will stick to the one sister rule. Danyelle, Danya, Shandee, Katie, and Aunt Lynda

Did You Know?

Elder Wirthlin died on Tuesday -- I hadn't heard about it until now. He was the oldest living apostle. I have loved his conference talks lately, and I will miss him very much. What a wonderful man, and what a wonderful life! Here is his most recent conference address, which was beautiful, timely, and just what I needed! Come What May, and Love It.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mom's "Christmas Smell" Potpourri

Mom posted the "recipe" for her Christmas smell on her blog. I thought I'd include it here for anyone who missed it.

"Mix water, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger and few orange slices together and bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer. Keep adding water so it doesn't burn down."

I love it! I think the orange slices give it that extra something special. Enjoy!

In Case You Missed It

If you didn't visit Fail blog today, here's what you missed!

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Monday, December 1, 2008

How I Lost a Sale

This is our store's logo. We have him painted on the front window, really big. I had a customer in the store today, and he was trying out beds. As he laid down on the bed next to the big window, he made a funny comment. He asked, "Do I look like the guy in the window?" His mom said, "No, you're missing the blue blanket." And I said, "And the big, red nose." There was chuckling all around.

But, then, he suddenly said, "Thank you very much." And he walked out the door.


Howells Holiday Kickoff

My friend, Lisa, gave me a cute Christmas-themed scrapbook last year. All I have to do is put the pictures in. So, I thought I would chronicle our Christmas traditions in picture this year so I'd have something to put in that cute scrapbook! Here is our holiday kickoff. The kids and I tidied up the living room so we could pull some decorations out. Rom, Kyara and Romney, sadly, were all working at the time. I saved the garland for them, though. We had a great time, and now the house looks so festive! Time to start our "Christmas smell" potpourri!

Click to play Howells Holiday Kickoff
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Click to play Thanksgiving 2008
Create your own photobook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox photobook

What a wonderful Thanksgiving we had! Our family went to Mom and Dad's. Mike and his kids were there. Suzann and Eberly couldn't make it because Eb was sick, bless her heart! Mom made it up to her by sending home a cheesecake.

The decor was excellent. Mom has such a flair for that sort of thing! It always makes us feel special that she would set the tables so pretty just for us -- even the kids! Nobody broke any dishes, either.

The food was absolutely perfect! Dad's turkey was moist and delicious, as always. He cooks the best turkey, and he doesn't have to fry it to keep it from drying out. Mom's rolls were spectacular, as you can see. The boys loved the pistachio salad. All the side dishes were tasty. I didn't overeat during dinner, so I splurged on the pie. I had a piece each of the cheesecake and the pumpkin pie. Both were fantastic! Be jealous. Be very, very jealous.

I love the conversations we have as a family. We talked about everything from the prophets and temples to sex change operations. Mike had some hairy stories about his cop adventures. We learned what happens when the Relief Society president uses a bad word at a church function. As usual, Mom and Dad filled us in on how all my other siblings and their families are doing -- loaded with bragging and pride, of course! And there was lots of laughing, too.

My girls and husband did most of the clean up afterwards. I appreciate that so much, and I know Mom does, too. Rom loves doing it -- it's his way of saying "thank you" for all my parents do.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a wonderful day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pursuit of Excellence

OK, I've read "Welcome to Conference," "Let Him Do It with Simplicity," "Come What May, and Love It," "The Way," "Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time," and "Finding Joy in the Journey." If it seems like I've been drawn to talks that talk about comfort and peace during times of trial, it's because I have been! Definitely a pattern here -- and if this theme was repeated so often this last conference, it appears I'm not the only one needing to hear these words.

I taught my lesson yesterday on "Finding Joy in the Journey," by President Thomas S. Monson. I thought it was the perfect lesson to draw our attention towards gratitude as we approach the Thanksgiving season.

"This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."

“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend . . . when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth."

The key to finding joy in the journey is to be grateful -- “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God.” Not just the easy things, or the happy things, or the pleasant things. In every thing give thanks.

I especially appreciated the words of the prophet at the end of the talk, where he focused our gratitude on our savior. Amber had pointed out that sometimes, when something becomes too familiar, we stop seeing the beauty in it. I think that is true of me and my relationship with Christ, sometimes. But, Pres. Monson simply and beautifully refocused my attention on just why I love Jesus Christ.

"In closing, I pray that all of us will reflect gratitude for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His glorious gospel provides answers to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where does my spirit go when I die?

"He taught us how to pray. He taught us how to serve. He taught us how to live. His life is a legacy of love. The sick He healed; the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved.

"The time came when He stood alone. Some Apostles doubted; one betrayed Him. The Roman soldiers pierced His side. The angry mob took His life. There yet rings from Golgotha’s hill His compassionate words, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”11

"Earlier, perhaps perceiving the culmination of His earthly mission, He spoke the lament, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”12 “No room in the inn”13 was not a singular expression of rejection—just the first. Yet He invites you and me to receive Him. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”14

"Who was this Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief? Who is the King of glory, this Lord of hosts? He is our Master. He is our Savior. He is the Son of God. He is the Author of our Salvation. He beckons, “Follow me.”15 He instructs, “Go, and do thou likewise.”16 He pleads, “Keep my commandments.”17

"Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude."

FAIL Blog -- My New Funny Place!

I found a new blog that is just too funny! I've got it linked on the side bar, but here's a little taste of it.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stuffing? Hello?

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.

People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

Why We Started Our Own Business

The boys were just sitting on the bed, chatting with Dad. Then, when I went to take a picture, of course, they moved! And I suck at photography, so I have that terrible back light. They were still too cute!

52 Weeks Blessing

This week, I am grateful for -- PMS! OK, at least, I'm grateful for the realization that I'm in the middle of PMS when I haven't been following the calendar very well. My husband is not an inconsiderate beast, my marriage is not on the verge of divorce, my children are not the most lazy and ungrateful children on the planet, and I am not a universal failure! Thank you, PMS, for perspective.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pursuit of Excellence Reading Challenge

The Hen House is hosting a Pursuit of Excellence Reading Challenge. It sounds really simple -- you read every talk in the current conference issue of the Ensign between now and the next conference in April 2009, posting about some of the talks that impressed you or touched you some way. Then, the Hen House will be giving away monthly prizes to participants! Sounds like a win-win to me.

Check it out if you want to participate! The deadline to sign up to be eligible for this month's giveaway is Wednesday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Surviving on the Mercies of Motherhood

Surviving on the Mercies of Motherhood

People think I’m crazy when I tell them I love childbirth. It’s not that I like pain—I don’t. But there is just something about working really hard to get something really good. My husband and I have the routine down: we do whatever it takes to get through a contraction, then I slump back on the bed, as limp and peaceful as a noodle (as peaceful as a noodle can be) and rest before the next one hits. It’s hard work, but when the baby is finally born, the pain doesn’t matter anymore—and I experience joy beyond description. (Then I swear I’ll never do it again.)

It has recently occurred to me that childbirth can be one huge metaphor for motherhood. We “labor” day in and day out, moment by moment—scrubbing, brushing, wiping, flushing, buckling, holding, washing, folding—it’s a wonder more mothers don’t drop dead from pure exhaustion!
So here’s my theory: Heavenly Father knew how challenging motherhood would be for each of us—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. So He sends us “mother mercies.” You know the moments—the ones that sneak up on you and make you smile or laugh—or teary-eyed. It’s like the time I caught a whiff of my five-year-old and realized he’d put on his daddy’s deodorant that morning. Or when he used to pray nightly, “Please bless that morning will come in five minutes.” It’s the time I found a bar of soap in my bathroom with one (and only one) set of teeth marks in it. Or when my preschooler asked me, “Why did Jesus cover our bones with skin?”
Perhaps these little mercies are like the pauses between our contractions of motherhood—the moments that make us say, “Oh yeah. I really love this mothering stuff.”

Contraction: Baby spits up.
Mother Mercy: Three-year-old cries in alarm, “Mom! She’s spilling!”
Contraction: Five-year-old climbs on counter to find sweets.
Mother Mercy: He explains he was simply finding desert for “Family Home Ming-Ming.”
Contraction: Patting your squishy tummy left over from pregnancy.
Mother Mercy: Patting your baby’s squishy tummy that you got in return.
Contraction: Feeling overwhelmed and grumpy.
Mother Mercy: Oldest child says sweetly, “Mommy, if you say a prayer, Heavenly Father will help you feel better.”

Think about it—what an interesting phenomenon—in our very hardest moments of mothering, Heavenly Father sends us these little flashes of reprieve to help us keep going with a smile. True, we have diapers and back-talking and tantrums and spills, but we also get kisses and first steps and stick-figure drawings and hand-pulled bouquets.

Look for the Mother Mercies in your own life. I promise they will pop up everywhere—when your toddler trips the alarm at the library (like mine did) or when he pours pop down the bowling alley lane (yes, mine) or when you find your envious child stripped down to his nothings at the park, staring longingly through the fence into the city pool (Whose kid is that? Oh, it’s mine). The Mother Mercies are always there. Don’t miss them!

One Sunday while I was juggling my three little ones, an older sister in my ward leaned over and said, “This will all end someday, believe me.” To which I replied, “Oh don’t tell me that! I’m having so much fun.” Who knew that doing something so hard could bring me so much happiness? And just like the finale of childbirth, I’m hopeful that this mothering thing—this exhausting labor of love—will someday bring us joy we could never comprehend was possible.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Perfect Gift!

OK, everyone, I have the perfect gift for you for Christmas! I'm thinking of doing these for every girl in the family. ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Excitement Prevailed This Morning!

Yes, the most exciting thing happened at our house -- I finally made Shandee's Famous Overnight Bubble Bread for breakfast! There were excited giggles as I came downstairs and put it in the oven. Several times, the kids turned on the oven light to peek at the progress. The worst torture was after the bread was finished, but it still had to cool. Finally, the moment arrived! Everyone was able to have not one, but two pieces each! Happy satisfaction abounded as a hushed quiet fell over six eating children. The verdict? Six thumbs up, I believe! It was so easy to do, I may just have to make this our Christmas morning tradition.

Now, my gift to all of you readers -- I've included the recipe on my recipe blog, The Flagging Chef (see sidebar)! Enjoy!

12 Days of Junkie Giveaway

Tip Junkie is hosting a 12 day giveaway. Tip Junkie is doing an awesome giveaway for the next few days!!! As always everything is completely adorable and made from Mom-preneurs. This is a great way to look and support women, who sell there beautiful products. Her blog is

Monday, November 10, 2008

Book Club Update

So, we met for our book club last week. Surprisingly, everyone felt pretty much the same about our book, My Sister's Keeper. We all hated the mom. We pretty much thought the ending was appropriate, but the epilogue was completely untrue to the story line. Danya enjoyed the Julia character -- she found the objective point of view helpful in developing the story. However, she agreed that the court scene, where Julia is unable to give an opinion, was a let down. We agreed that the Dad was also a let down in court, when he should have stood up for Anna, and he didn't.

The new book for this month is a dip into the sci fi genre. We'll be reading "Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus" by Orson Scott Card. Synopsis: "In one of the most powerful and thought-provoking novels of his remarkable career, Orson Scott Card interweaves a compelling portrait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who believes she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshed and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing. "

I'm a little nervous, because I'm the one who chose the book. I've really enjoyed the book, and I'm hoping others will, too -- although, that's not a prerequisite! It's more important that we get a good discussion out of the book, and I think this will fit the bill. It has an interesting take on history, religion, morality, slavery, and what greatness is.

Join us, and comment when we review!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cute For Christmas!

How cute is this idea? Can I schedule this into my busy life? Anyone else want to try it and let me know how easy it is?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Help! Recipes Needed!

I'm ready to start my all-inclusive wellness plan. That means that I need to put together a menu of healthy, really easy to prepare meals. Here's where I'm stuck! I've been throwing together frozen and prepared meals for so long, I don't have any good dinner recipes! Does anyone have any family favorites that are easy to prepare and good for you? I'm looking for chicken and fish and beans and lots of vegetables. I love to experiment, so unusual dishes are welcome.

Now, I know some of you are currently or have been dieting -- South Beach, The Zone, Weight Watchers. If you've found some favorite recipes, please share!

Either post them here as a comment, or submit them on my website "Chronic Fatigue Community." Then, I'll post them all on my recipe blog, "The Flagging Chef." Thanks for helping!!!

This Is Why They Are Called Prophets

This comment was made 30 years ago. Definitely prophetic, wasn't it? Take comfort!

"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life..'

"This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions.

"Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened....

"Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.

"There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself.

"Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, 'summer is nigh.' Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat."

From "A More Determined Discipleship" by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. An address delivered at Brigham Young University, 10 October 1978.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Moon Survival Challenge


Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Sites

Sick Little Ones

Have you ever noticed how young a sick child looks while sleeping? It's like all those years of growing up washed away, and they are back to being your little one again. It's hard work, but taking care of them is one of the precious joys of motherhood.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Take a Moment to Celebrate History in the Making

I voted for McCain. I know it was a symbolic vote, but I had to vote my conscience. I am very worried about where Barack Obama will take this country. I'm worried about taxes on my fledgling business. I'm worried about the next Supreme Court justices. I'm worried about big government and wimpy foreign policy and higher taxes and an abortion free for all. What an interesting four years this will be.

BUT -- I am taking the next 77 days until Barack Obama actually takes office to celebrate this amazing moment in history! From slavery, to the civil rights movement, to this moment -- it is really breathtaking. Martin Luther King's dream -- that some day, every child in America could grow up to be whatever he or she wanted to be -- has finally come true.

I love this country!

Thank You, California!

Although officially, Prop. 8 is too close to call (they are waiting until all the mail in and provisional ballots have been counted), it looks like the amendment has passed! I can tolerate same-sex couples, but I am not being forced to condone their behavior. I don't have to worry about what kids are being taught in school. I don't have to worry about lawsuits against our church. My freedom of speech and religion will remain intact -- and it didn't cost same-sex couples one single actual right.

Congratulations to all who put in hours of work in one of the biggest grass-roots efforts ever! It has been worth it. It's amazing to be a part of history.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gavin's Lost Tooth

Well, the last of my bunch has lost his first tooth! Hooray, Gavin! He didn't even know it was loose. He was just sitting there, watching TV, and it came out in his hand. No fuss, no drama. Just wrapped it up and put it under his pillow. And here is my latest toothless wonder!

Gabe is starting to wonder about the tooth fairy. He's curious, he says, because some of his friends are getting $1-$2 a tooth, and we're only getting 50 cents. Hmmm. Should I tell him it's because he doesn't brush his teeth enough, so that's all they are worth?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I'm Finally Swayed to McCain

OK, I'll vote for McCain -- for this young man, and all the men and women who serve in the military.


We had a fun, busy Halloween week! Tuesday evening, we had a chili cook-off and trunk-or-treat at church. Thursday, we went to the Family Fall Festival at the boys' school. Last night, we went to Shari's annual Halloween get-together. Then, Rom took the kids out trick-or-treating while I handed out candy at the door.

Our neighborhood is "THE" spot to trick-or-treat! People arrive by the carload. I ran out of candy by 7:30 pm. I enjoyed the kids and the costumes -- although, I'm a little disturbed that so many moms let their girls out looking like that! I mean, it appeared they were looking more for tricks than for treats, if you know what I mean!

Poor Kyara, she had to work, so she missed out on all the festivities. Rom disappeared with friends until after 10:00 pm -- NOT GOOD, MISTER! But, he came home safe and happy, so I guess all's well that ends well. Johnette had her friend, Dana, come trick-or-treating with her, and then they watched Howls' Moving Castle afterwards. (An interesting Halloween choice. I would have chosen Nightmare Before Christmas, but Howls' is wierd, too.)

An overall good night, if I do say so, myself. I am now going to raid various treat bags.

Click to play Halloweenies
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Romney is nearing the end of his first water polo season. It has been so great for him! He really loves the game, and he does very well with it. He has a great coach who sees a lot of potential in him, which is why Rom plays 3 to 4 full quarters every game! He's such a spazz, it's nice when he comes home so tired! Thanks to Janell Brown, team photographer mom, for taking such fantastic pictures! By the way, he's lucky #13 in all the pictures.

Click to play
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You've Got Talent!

Thanks, Shandee -- this was fantastic! I can just see the young men in our ward doing this! I think Rom would want to be the front man.

See Johni Run. See Ana Run.

Ha! You don't actually get to "see" them run, because I suck at taking pictures of people moving!

Johnette and Anneli are both on the cross country team! This was their first actual meet. They both did amazingly well -- they trimmed at least a couple minutes off their personal best. I was very proud that they did not stop to walk at all!

Cross country is such a tough sport! Several of Johnette's friends tried to talk her out of it, but she is such a tough cookie. A couple of friends tried out with her, but they dropped out less than half way through the run. I guess they didn't see the fun in that kind of torture! I love that the girls are learning discipline. They're also developing a sense of teamwork -- after their race, they could have gone home, but they wanted to stay to cheer on their other teammates.

Congratulations, Johni and Ana!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ana and Johni's Choir Concert

Johnette and Anneli are both in the choir at school. Johnette is the president, and Anneli is the treasurer. Their teacher is VERY into it! I think this is what gives her life meaning. She requires complete dedication. When two students missed this required concert, she booted them from her class!

Poor Ana -- this concert just happened to fall on the same day her cousin Hannah wanted her to go to the beach! I'm glad she went, though, because she would have been heartbroken to be kicked out.

The girls did a great job! The choir sounded very good -- much better than last year. There were some technical difficulties, but the mic on our side was working perfectly. Maybe that's why they sounded so good! It is cute to see them perform with their smiles and little bouncing dances. Johnette in particular can't keep still.

This man also really loved the concert. I don't know who he is, and he was admittedly a little creepy, but he was really rocking out at one point. I think it was during their "Happy Days" medley. Johni thinks it's even creepier that I took a picture of him when he wasn't looking.

It was a fun day! Congrats to my girls, you're doing a great job!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Which Twilight Heroine Are You?

Good grief! Always the mom? Well, that kind of sucks.

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Book Review - My Sister's Keeper

OK, so I just got this book last week, but it was so good, I couldn't put it down. It was a very gripping story! When the story begins, Sara and Brian have the perfect family -- a four year old boy, Jesse, and a two year old girl, Kate. They feel like their family is complete. Then, Kate is diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and she is not expected to live very long.

To improve Kate's chances of survival, Sara and Brian decide to have another child. They fertilize several eggs in vitro, and then they select the one that is a perfect match for Kate. When Anna is born, they harvest her cord blood for Kate, and that sends her into remission ... for awhile. As Anna grows up, Kate's leukemia keeps coming back, requiring more and more invasive procedures for Anna as she donates her blood and bone marrow to keep her sister alive.

When Anna is 13, her sister's kidneys start to fail. This time, Anna is expected to donate a kidney, even though the doctors feel there is only a slim chance that Kate will be strong enough to survive the surgery and that she would recover afterwards. Anna decides enough is enough, and she hires a lawyer and goes to court to become medically emancipated and have the right to decide for herself how her body will be used.

It's not a perfect book -- the character of Julia is pretty useless, thrown in there as an excuse for housewife porn (OK, not graphic, but still unnecessary). Campbell's super secret medical condition is built up way more than it really is. The romance between him and Julia is silly. The author should have stuck with the cliche: worldly, hardened lawyer reluctantly accepts case, little girl helps him find his heart and humanity again. It would have worked better. I don't think the medium the author chooses for her narative works well -- she switches back and forth between the point of view of different characters. Her man perspectives don't work; it's like Lucille Ball when she has that Chaplin hat and moustache on -- you know she's supposed to be a man, but there's too much femininity going on to be convincing.

Although the book is about Anna's lawsuit, and although the family revolves around Kate and her illness, I think this story is really about Sara, the mother. When Kate is diagnosed with leukemia, Sara chooses at that moment whom she will love and dedicate her life to. The rest of the family members -- Jesse, Brian, and Anna -- pale in importance. She doesn't define herself as being a good mother the way most of us do: happy, healthy, productive children. Instead, she puts all her success and worth into keeping Kate alive.

As a mother of six, I do not find Sara to be a sympathetic character at all! One of the things I love most about being a mom is discovering the uniqueness of each child. There are hidden treasures that you have to dig for at every stage. It is amazing to watch them grow and change and become. Sometimes there's crap you have to fight through, but you fight through it out of love for your child, and the reward afterwards is amazing. Sara missed all of that, even with Kate, the focus of her attention.

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read further if you haven't finished the book or plan to read it later.

There was one moment when I thought Sara would be able to redeem herself. It was at the very end of the book, the last entry written from Sara's point of view. At that moment, she could have reflected on the irony of the situation -- how she mourned the fact that she may never see Kate go to her prom or graduate from high school or walk down the aisle someday, but now it was Anna who would never have those experiences. She could have reflected that she was so worried about what she might miss with Kate that she missed everything about Anna, and Jesse, too, for that matter. She could have shown some regret or remorse. Instead, she got what she wanted. Anna donated her kidney, and Kate was saved. It's fitting that Anna's life should end there. After all, that was the only reason she was born in the first place.

I thought the epilogue was a cheat. It didn't follow the entire story line that the author so painstakingly created. It's like a magic fairy wand erased all the consequences of the last 25 years. The real epilogue should have gone like this -- Kate should have died during the surgery or shortly thereafter, Jesse should have continued in his hoodlum ways (maybe a drug overdose?) and drifted further from his family, and Sara should have lost all three of her children as a consequence of her having so myopically tried to save just the one. THAT would have been a very satisfying ending to me! Sick, aren't I?

Please feel free to comment! One thing I love abot my book club, and what I expect when I go to our discussion, is that there are so many different perspectives. I'm looking forward to hearing from someone who was able to find sympathy for the mom. I'll write about the discussion after we have it, too!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Most Beautiful Video

This is the most beautiful video I've seen, especially during this mud-slinging debate on proposition 8. This is the heart of why I support proposition 8.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

52 Weeks Blessing

OK, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone here (figuratively, not literally, chill out PETA!). Today I am grateful for my book club!

We read amazingly interesting books and then get together to have the most amazing conversations about the book. For September, we read the book, "Infidel" (pictured). It really opened our eyes to the shocking way women are treated in the Islamic communities she talked about. We had a great discussion on women's rights, religions of the world, freedom of speech, and what we can do.

I love the variety of books we explore. So many of the titles I never would have picked up on my own. Most of the time, I love them! Sometimes, I can barely make it through. Every time, we have a thoughtful, honest discussion that brings meaning to our reading, regardless of whether you liked the book or not. Sharing so many opinions really opens our minds to different perspectives.

Plus, I love the women in our book club! We laugh, get off topic, and have fun!

Our next book looks to be excellent. It's "My Sister's Keeper," by Jodi Picoult. I looked up a summary of it, and I shouldn't have -- I found a spoiler I wouldn't have wanted to know. I can't wait to get a hold of the book, enjoy a good read, and get ready for another great discussion!

I'll post about our discussion next month. If you want to read the book, too, and share your opinions, I invite you to join us! I'll even share your thoughts at our book club!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Moms Town Blog Party

I thought I'd post this in case anyone else wants to sign up.

You're invited to MomsTown's first Blog Party. Come meet your virtual neighbors. Let the neighborhood know what you're up to and find out what other moms are doing around town.

The Blog Party is an opportunity for you to link your blog to MomsTown. This little
soiree gets underway in the next couple of days, so send your link to

All we ask is that you also place a reciprocal link to on your site. The purpose of the Blog Party is to get the word out about you and the other moms in the community. This is an opportunity for you and other moms to really get the word out about your business, your blog, and you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Prop 8 Website for Young Adults

I found a great website that supports prop. 8 aimed towards youth and young adults. I know many of you have kids in college that may want to get involved. This is a super easy way to do it!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by my sister Lauri, so here goes -- seven wacky/unusual things you may not know about me:

1. I'm shy! I'm surprised to find out that people like me. It makes me give a startled jump when someone comes up and gives me a hug. I like people; I just don't realize they feel the same way!

2. I am secretly considering voting for Obama. My vote here in California is symbolic, anyway. I've never really liked McCain. I've already fallen for the old bait and switch when I voted for Schwarzenegger, because he was supposed to be better than Gray Davis. Um, WRONG! I may actually cast my vote for history. Then, if Obama gets elected, he'll most likely be as big an idiot as Carter, and Mitt Romney can then smoke past him in four years!

3. I used to skinny dip at public beaches. Off season, of course, but still during the day.

4. I have eaten pickled pig's feet, fried pork skins, rabbit, escargot, blood sausage, and chocolate covered ants. I've also licked a live snail (yeah, thanks, Cari!).

5. I am a mensa-qualified genius. I've never actually joined because I think it's stupid to pay money to hang out with people who think they're smarter than everyone else.

6. I am a closet World of Warcraft fanatic! I have a level 61 Alliance night elf hunter. I twink. I've also dabbled with a Dranei paladain, a human warrior, and a dwarf rogue. I suck at being a rogue. I've even had a Horde Tauren, but the horde is too evil for my taste.

7. I met my husband in July and was married in December. Sometimes, when we were engaged, I catch myself looking at him thinking, "I don't even know this man!" It was very surreal, romantic, and exciting! We'll be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year.

OK, now I'm going to tag Danya, Shandee, Amanda, Aunt Lynda, Mom, Jim, and Anneli!

Hilarious New Post!

Stressed out about the economy? You just need a little perspective! Check out TAMN's philosophy that she just posted on her blog. Loved it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why I Support Prop. 8

This is another great video that expresses why I support proposition 8.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why We Love Children

Thank you, Aunt Vicki!

Why we love children!

1) NUDITY I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

2) OPINIONS On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'

3) KETCHUP A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'

4) MORE NUDITY A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'

5) POLICE # 1 While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary ! school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report. My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'

6) POLICE # 2 It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked. 'It sure is,' I replied puzzled. The boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'

7) ELDERLY While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'

8) DEATH While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.' (I want this line used at my funeral!)

9) SCHOOL A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

10) BIBLE A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. 'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out. 'What have you got there, dear?' With astonishment in the young boy's voice! , he an swered, 'I think it's Adam's underwear!'


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Best Week Ever!

Rom had a huge water polo week this week! First, they had a game on Monday. Their opponents, Tahquitz High School, did not have a junior varsity team, so he got to play one full quarter against their varsity team. Nice! They won that game.

Wednesday, they played a team in Temecula. It was a fun and exciting game -- made more exciting by the fact that Romney got "red-flagged." Apparently, none of the parents had ever seen this happen before, so it created quite an uproar. It's essentially like fouling out of a basketball game. If you get three personal fouls, you're out for the rest of the game. So, it means that Romney is getting aggressive (good), but he doesn't have that innocent look down (bad). This is the game were Rom finally took his first shot at a goal. Although he didn't make the goal, the goalie looks like he paid for it!

This weekend, there was a Freshman/Sophomore tournament in Temecula. They won both their games handily on Friday, which put them in contention for at least 4th place. They then won their game early today, putting them in the championship game. This was the team they most dreaded, Vista Murrieta. This school had a lot of kids feeding into it from water polo clubs. It was a tight game (their first all weekend). They won by two points! Go Dawgs! Romney played the entire game! Every minute of all four quarters. As you can imagine, he came tired but happy and excited.

I love to watch Rom play water polo! It is amazing how fast he has caught on to the game. He is fantastic on defense, and he got several steals over the weekend. He's not as confident on offense, but that's certainly coming along, too. It is fun to watch him progress and improve each game. He's a hard worker, and his coach loves him. Too fun! It definitely makes me proud of him.

Conference Observation

We have been watching General Conference today. As David A. Bednar got up to speak, Gavin said, "I know he's the youngest of the prophets, because he has the most hair."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Makin' Him Proud!

Go, Shel-li! Go, Shel-li! (me doing the Cabbage Patch) Go, Shel-li!

Yesterday, I covered the store to let Rom have a much needed day off. We chose Thursday because it is typically our slowest day of the week, so it would be pretty relaxing for me. Um, NO! I had much more traffic than we've had of late (very good news!) My first sale was in the morning -- a cheap, full size mattress for a bunkbed. No problem, easy sale. Sadly, it came right back an hour later, as she discovered she needed a futon mattress for the bottom bunk. Oh, well -- good customer service, and she promised to tell everyone about us.

My second sale was just before she got back. They had seen an ad a couple of weeks ago. I honored the price, sold them a mid-range mattress, and they were happy.

I was starting to wane by about 4 pm. Typically, nothing ever happens after 4 pm, so normally that would have been OK. However, I apparently am a customer magnet. I got another customer at about 5 pm. They chose a latex bed, a little more expensive than my last sale. I even sold them a mattress pad to boot (that's called "upgrading" and "add-on sales" in salesman lingo). While they were there, another customer came in. They had a good look at beds, but the wife said she had to check with her husband to find out how much she could spend (good sign, eh?).

Finally, the crazy lady Rom had been helping two days ago came back, and I finished the sale with her.

That's right -- four sales in one day! By moi, the clueless, inexperienced mattress lady! Rom was so proud -- he said he finds that as sexy as I find him when he's doing manly home projects around the house. He took me out to dinner at Chili's to celebrate, and of course -- we finished with their fantastic Chocolate Molten Cake, my all time favorite.

Go, Shel-li! Go, Shel-li!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Interesting Video

This is an interesting video. One of the main consequences of the California Supreme Court justices' 4-3 vote that concerns me is that children must now be taught same sex marriage in school. I definitely feel that it encroaches on my rights as a parent to teach my own children my values.

The Most Violent and Exciting of Pool Sports

Here is a brief introduction to water polo.

Water polo, essentially, is like a combination of soccer and basketball except it's in a pool. Not only do players need to tread water, they must be able to lift themselves to waist level in the water to gain enough leverage to launch the ball at the net.

And the pacing is much faster.

A match consists of four seven-minute periods. The shot clock lasts 30 seconds. Each team has three time outs during regulation and one during overtime. If there is a tie at the end of regulation, they have two three minute overtime periods. If the score is still locked, there is a sudden death overtime where the first team to score wins.

The best water polo players can dive into any position. The drivers are fast swimmers who move the ball down the pool. The two-meter, hole, or set player plays closest to the goal. Like the center in basketball, they are big guys close to the net. The offensive set players in theory have the best chance at scoring. It is also the most heavily defended position, and the players defending at set have a high risk of being excluded for fouls. Utility is the most versatile position, with players switching from offensive to defensive roles. The goalie is clearly a key defensive player, but he also calls out information to the offense at the other end of the pool.

Water polo is a fierce and intensely physical sport, especially under the surface of the water. Most of the fouls that occur are never called by the refs. One key skill is to be able to look as innocent as possible.

For fouls, think basketball in the pool. There is a good deal of contact, but only serious holding or kicking are grounds for exclusion. Three personal fouls and a player is red flagged and out of the game. Fouls can also lead to free throws and other penalty shots, usually if the refs feel the shot would have gone in if not for the foul. Offensive fouls are possible too, when the offensive player holds, hooks or pushes off of his defender.

And are the caps with the ear guards really necessary? Consider how the refs would be able to tell who was on what team. The caps are it uniform-wise. Every team has two sets of caps, one light, one dark. The home team always wears dark caps.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"How to Make Love with Your Clothes On"

101 Ways to Romance Your Husband

1. Cuddle up next to him on the couch, whispering provocative things meant for his ears only.
2. Laugh at his jokes.
3. Just before he gets home from work, put on his favorite "mood" music.
4. Make a list of all the things you admire about him, leaving it as a gift next to his plate at breakfast.
5. Put your best decorating efforts into your bedroom.
6. Take him to the local mall just to sit and watch people go by. Make up stories about their lives: who they are, what they do for a living, etc.
7. Give him a super deluxe massage, complete with flickering candles, soft music, and warm rubbing oil.
8. Ask him about his favorites: colors, foods, movies, music, things to do on Saturdays, sports teams, etc.
9. While together in the company of good friends, brag about his latest accomplishment.
10. Catch his eye in a crowd and wink at him.

To be continued ...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cream Cheese Cookies

This is the best recipe! It is SOOOO simple and the cookies are so delicious! I make these for dessert when the missionaries are over for dinner. I also make them for family home evening treats. I also love to use them as "fillers" for my cookie plates for Christmas. It's also a stand by if I've volunteered to bring a dessert to potlucks.

Click to play Cream Cheese Cookies
Create your own postcard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox postcard

I think I'd like to put together a lot of super simple recipes to make a missionary or college bound cookbook. Do you have any family favorites that are just so simple even a 19 year old boy out on his own away from his family for the first time could make? Share!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quality #6 - Wisdom

"Wisdom is the knowledge and experience needed to make sensible decisions and judgments, or the good sense shown by the decisions and judgments made from an accumulated knowledge of life that has been gained through experience.

"The quality of wisdom is more than intellectual, and it is in no way related to how much schooling you have. Exercising wisdom requires cutting through the noise of life and tapping into your core beliefs to make thoughtful decisions. Wisdom results from inhabiting all the qualities that came before it.

"A wise woman recognizes when her life is out of balance and summons the courage to act to correct it. A wise woman knows the meaning of true generosity. A wise woman knows happiness is the reward for a life lived in harmony, with courage and grace. A wise woman knows how to summon her courage and do what is right, rather than what is easy."

Suze Orman, "Women and Money"

Monday, September 15, 2008

52 Weeks Blessing

Today I am grateful that my husband of almost 20 years still brings me flowers for no good reason except he loves me!

On our very first date, Rom brought me a dozen big, bright red gladiolas. Now, it's not unusual to give flowers on the first date. But it impressed me that he didn't go conservative. No daisies or wildflowers; no cliche roses. He went with big, bold, bright red gladiolas! I thought, "This guy has balls!" (Yes, I was that crude back then.)

It was certainly a portent of things to come. Rom has never been cliche or boring, nor has our marriage and continuing whirlwind romance. He still knows how to wow me and sweep me off my feet. And I'm still loving the gorgeous bouquets of flowers that he brings home to me just because.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Denver's MVP

Congratulations, Ref! You are officially Denver's MVP for single handedly winning the game for them! Personally responsible for not one, but two touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers, you proved yourself completely indispensable to the Denver Broncos today. Your mother (or at least Jay Cutler's) must be proud!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Emergency Preparedness

September is National Preparedness Month, and so my husband did what every good man would do. He stocked our emergency food storage with the essentials.

Yes, that's right, he bought a year's supply of fine Belgian milk chocolate! And in so doing, he has officially elevated himself to The Best Husband Ever!