Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pay Off!

Rom and I give our children a cash incentive to do well at school. The rule is $20 if you make honor roll in elementary school, $20 if you have at least 3.0 with no more than one C, and $50 if you hit the almighty 4.0. We've been lucky; so far, we'd only had to pay the $50 once, Kyara's freshman year in high school. Well, Johnette has finally broken the streak. She got a 4.0 on her report card. It was too funny -- she showed it to me and said, "Look, Mom, I only got one 'bad' grade!" She had one A; the rest were A+. My husband cheerfully paid her $50.

It looks like this is going to be a bad year for us. Anneli missed the $50 by just one B, and she is determined to get straight A's this semester. Gabriel is likely to get honor roll this year. Romney is improving in his new school and could be a contender again. Gavin, thankfully, is too young for honor roll. I think we better pray the business does well this year!

Bragging? You bet I am!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So Sad!

Blogger deleted all my blog lists! Now I have to figure out who I was keeping tabs on. :(

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Johnette's First Dance!

Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but my sweet Johni turned 14 on the second of this month! We didn't do anything spectacular for her birthday -- just cake and ice cream, and she got Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins as a gift. The real initiation as a 14 year old came last night.

Johnette looked so cute for her first dance! She has such a flair for fashion. She went with some of the girls from the ward. Dances are so strange now days. The girls all stand in a big circle and dance together. Johnette felt kind of shy, but they were sweet about encouraging her to join in. I guess the boys kind of dance to themselves, too, on the fast songs and then zero in on the girls for the slow ones.

Johnette was asked to dance by two boys! Not bad for your first stake dance, I'd say. The great fear of these dances is that no one will ask you to dance. I can't wait for her to get more confidence, lose the shyness, and really start having fun! She is such a hoot, and I know the guys will be lining up for her.

Next dance, I'm insisting that Romney go with her. They can help each other get over the awkwardness. I'll have to take pictures next time!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting My Feet Wet

Well, I said I was going to start taking my writing seriously, and so I've begun! On my writer's blog, I've posted the beginning of a new short story. I would love to have you check it out and give me your impressions -- did the opening effectively "hook" you, were my descriptions effective, did it leave you wanting to read more?

Check it out at:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Welcome New Year

I love the feel of a new year! I don't know why that single turn of the calendar page makes such a big difference, but it does. It's like shutting the door on everything that didn't quite work out the way you wanted. Everything is possible again.

I don't think I do traditional New Year's resolutions any more. Instead, I take a little time to get the feel of the new year and decide what is going to be important to me. I've decided that this year I will focus on two things.

1. My health. It seems like I've been approaching my health the wrong way for a long time, and I've been paying for it. It's been one step forward and two steps back, and I don't like where I've ended up. My new plan is to take one step back and two steps forward. I hope.

CFS is all about energy. In the past, my routine has been to build up a little energy, and then rush out and use it all up. Build up a little more, then rush out and use it all up. Kind of like yo-yo dieting, what I've discovered is that each time I do that, it's harder to build my energy back up.

My new plan is that I am going to steadily build my energy up without interruption. I'm going to severely limit my outside activities -- nothing beyond the absolute necessary. I'm going to focus on eating healthy and gently exercising every day. I'm going to listen to my body and rest, rest, rest!

2. Now that I've announced it to the world ... I'm going to focus on my writing. I want to finish my first novel, and I want to learn the art of the short story, and I want to get something published. Writing, as my dear husband has observed, is something that energizes me. So, this is the year of taking it seriously.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Big Announcement!

Many of you know that I have been working on a novel. My goal this year is to finish it and to become a published author. So, as all serious authors do, I have created a writing blog for those of you who want to follow me on my journey!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Proffitts Plus Biggest Loser 2010!

All right! The Proffitts plus extended friends and family are starting a Biggest Loser contest! Contest runs four months. Contestants each contribute $25, and the winner gets the pot. (of money. we're not buying actual pot.) Romney is signed up for it; although I'm not an official contestant (Rom nixed it -- he thinks I'll overdo), I'm going to be working with the rest of you all to try to get rid of the weight I've put on over the last couple of years.

We just started yesterday. Enrollment is still open if anyone else would like to join us! Danyelle is organizing the event for us. You can e-mail her at .

Happy New Year! Woohoo!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thanksgiving and Christmas

This year, we decided we would spend Thanksgiving with the Howells and Christmas with the Proffitts.

John and Terri had a timeshare in Palm Springs this year. They invited us out before Thanksgiving dinner. We arrived pretty early (OK, early for me!), and the kids enjoyed some time swimming in the pool and playing air hockey. It was a gorgeous day, just warm enough. Ana had the most fun, throwing herself into the activities and spending time with her cousin, Sarah.

After some time at the timeshare, we moved to Stephanie's house for dinner. It was a huge gathering! Melanie was supposed to leave the day before, but her flight was canceled. That meant that we had all the Howells siblings, minus Ike, for the dinner. Dinner was very nice, but I gotta tell you -- I missed our traditional Thanksgiving meal horribly! Can you believe it -- Costco rolls and Sara Lee pie? Blasphemy. I won't even start on the stuffing.

Christmas was a little different this year, too. We stayed home for Christmas Eve for the first time I can remember. Rom took the kids out caroling a bit, and I stayed home and rested. We had soup in mini sourdough bowls for dinner, and that was nice. We were able to use my Christmas dishes I had bought about five years ago and hadn't yet used.

After dinner, the kids opened up Christmas jammies and gifts from their exchange. It was funny; Romney wasn't in the Christmas mood at all, until he opened his pajamas. I hadn't even blinked, and he was already changed into them. He brightened considerably, and his Scrooge imitation magically disappeared.

We were in bed early, surprise, surprise! We got up at 8 am to open gifts. Then, we went to Mom's for dinner.

I think I realize why I love our traditional dinners so much. Yes, it is rich, sumptuous, delicious food. But it is so much more than that! This was the first year I really noticed how much love goes into making that meal. Dad rubbing coarse sea salt on the turkey for four days in a row before cooking. Mom's incredible rolls. Papa's old stuffing recipe. Mom's famous cheesecake. Dad cutting up the turkey and pausing to give me a bite of stuffing fresh from the bird. Dad giving me a taste of Mom's orange rolls, a wonderfully successful experiment this year. And Dad always announcing, before dessert, that Mom really outdid herself with the cheesecakes this year.

A lot of my favorite traditions have fallen by the wayside since I'm not quite up to them anymore. But I think I've learned that if I focus on the love at Christmas, Christmas will always be perfect.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Happiness Project

Happiness Project

I've joined the Happiness Project, and I've signed a pledge to become happier in the year 2010. Here's how it works:

Each month, Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project," will propose an area of life to tackle in your happiness project and suggest simple, manageable resolutions to help you boost your happiness.

The areas for each month are

  • January--Energy
  • February--Love
  • March--Work
  • April--Money
  • May--Mindfulness
  • June--Order
  • July--Spirit
  • August--Fun
  • September--Family
  • October--Friends
  • November--Attitude
  • December--Boot Camp Perfect
Click on the image above if you want to join me for a happier 2010!