Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Well I finally did it. I started a painting project in my new house. Now I'm asking myself why. Why can't I ever just stick to something simple? I know I'll be happy when I'm done, but in the mean time let me just say--why, oh why, oh why? And to make matters worse Waylon decided to help me paint while I wasn't looking and ruined his carpet. Fun, fun. So this leads me to today's SPT....

This week's challenge: find your last receipt from the gas station (or if you are filling up over the weekend, make note of what you spend.) how'd you do? $35.00? $70.00? $100.00+?? what if you could take THAT amount and spend it on something for you?? to make it a little more challenging, let's just say that you can only buy ONE item, and the cost of that ONE item must be within $5.00 of what you spent at the pump.

It costs me about $70.00 to fill up my tank. I would definitely take that money and hire someone to finish this painting project for me. I'm doing Waylon's room in a Huck Finn theme. Do you think I could find someone to paint two faux brick walls and a faux aged wood wall for 70 bucks? I'd love to make his bed look like a raft too, but perhaps that's a bit much. Or is it?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Alice in Wonderland...

Paige, Easton and Jamie were part of the show choir's performance of Alice in Wonderland this past weekend. They put a lot of work into it, with practices twice a week since January. It was a really cute performance and we had a great time watching our girls shine.
Posing before the show "Break a leg"

After the performance
Paige with other royal cardsmen. She was one of the main cards with a speaking part. She was caught painting the roses red so the Queen ordered, "Off with her head!" and she was taken to the gallows.
Easton was part of the royal cardsmen chorus and boy did she ham it up. I predict many more performances for this little card.
Jamie was the cutest unbirthday party guest on the stage (in my opinion). I was so proud of her. She sang and danced and didn't show any signs of being shy. Way to go Jamie.
During all of the craziness with practices and making props I always tell myself that we'll never be involved in another play, but then I watch my girls on stage and think, "I can't wait to see what they do next year."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Daddy Daughter Date...

Easton and Rick went on a daddy daughter date last night. They had a wonderful time dancing, eating hamburgers and wearing the silly socks that Easton made. I love daddy daughter dates. I still have fond memories of dates with my dad. I'm glad that Easton and Rick had the opportunity to create this memory together.

I'm also glad to have the memory of seeing Rick walk around in these frilly pom-pom embellished socks. Too cute.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day SPT...

I found this Earth Day surprise in my yard this morning. I inherited all kinds of beautiful flowers from the previous owner. They pop up and surprise me each spring. So fun.

In honor of Earth Day, today's SPT posed the question "Do you consider yourself to be a part of the green generation?"

Well I can say that I have never littered. Thanks mostly to the crying Indian from the commercial of my youth, and while living in Gilbert I regularly recycled because we had road side pickup. But only recently have I started seriously thinking about what I can do to better care for the earth and its resources. Monday night we had a special family night and talked about what we could each do to conserve energy. We decided to limit our TV and computer use and to be more mindful of turning off the lights and other appliances when we leave a room. It's a start and we hope to add to it as we go.

Tonight in honor of Earth Day, we had an electricity free dinner. We didn't use any electricity to prepare dinner and we ate by candlelight (no paper plates or napkins either). During dinner each person took a turn to tell what they would do to help improve the earth. Rick and Easton missed out on the fun, but had fun of their own at a Daddy daughter dance. They did get home in time to share some of the yummy banana pudding that Paige made though. In keeping with the non-electric theme, she whisked the pudding by hand. Impressive. It was a wonderful evening. A time to reflect with gratitude on this glorious earth that has been created for us and the importance of our stewardship over it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The not so ideal homemaker...

Week one of becoming the ideal homemaker was a great success. I dressed up in full 5o's glam everyday and ambitiously went about my daily chores with a song in my heart. Actually I was very busy this past week and didn't pay much attention to my goals at all. I did get dressed and made up everyday (normal clothes not 50's glam), worked on my never ending chore list, and made dinner every night, but I can't say that I was overly engaged in trying to become a better homemaker. So much for my facets. I guess I'll have to work on becoming a rare gem later when I'm not so danged busy. I still have the dream of a beautifully kept home with soft music playing in the background and the aroma of freshly baked bread filling the air. It's something I hope to achieve someday, something that I will never quit working on, but for now I have to take it slow because life is coming at me way too fast. So no more facets for me, for now (I will list the rest of them later for anyone who is interested) I may not be ideal yet, but I am a work in progress, enjoying the journey every step of the way.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Be careful what you wish for...

Do you like Green eggs and ham?
Would you could you with me at the play?

Try them, try them and you may.
You all heard me whine about being creativity deprived, well be careful what you wish for (or whine about) because now I have creativity overload. Not only do I have a home to stage, but now I've been asked to help with the props for this years musical and I'm also helping to plan a big going away party for my brother's and good friend's families. Crazy times.
I was asked to make the green eggs and ham prop for last year's production of Suessical the Musical. Now that was a project. It looks simple I know, but I had to become an engineer to figure it out (I wasn't given any instructions, just the picture from the book). I mean you tell me how a crooked little stick and floppy glove are supposed to support a heavy tray of ham and eggs. I figured it out though and it work out pretty good, enough that now I've been given a project for this years production of Alice in Wonderland and told that they have complete confidence in my ability to figure out how to do it. Okay then. It's not nearly as difficult as the green eggs and ham though (luckily since the play is next weekend) so I think it will be alright. Why does life always seem to follow a feast or famine pattern? Oh well, wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I went blog hopping and look what I found...

My favorite books have always been true stories. My favorite TV shows are reality. So it should come as no surprise that I love to blog hop. I have learned, laughed, cheered, cried, gasped and giggled with some of the greatest strangers I will probably never meet. So often I want to leave comments to tell a person that I think they're amazing, or that I understand because I've been through that too, etc., but I'm too chicken. I'm grateful though that an old friend of mine-- old as in we haven't seen each other in a long time not as in age because we're pretty much the same age and I plan to remain in denial about growing old until I'm at least 80ish-- anyway I'm grateful that my young old friend Brenda is not chicken and that she left a nice comment on my blog which led me to her cute blog where she posted this great idea that she found on another blog (she's a blog hopper too) called SPT or self portrait Tuesdays. A concept that was thought up by Lelly (cute name) another one of those amazing strangers that I will probably never meet. Anyway, Lelly posts a little thought provoking question or idea on her blog each week then on Tuesdays those who are up for the challenge, post something about themselves on their own blogs in answer to Lelly's question or idea. I've seen Brenda's SPTs and thought they looked fun, so I decided to join in this week. No more Miss Chicken. So here goes...

This weeks SPT was to provide a photo for the caption: "What was I thinking?!"

I have always loved to decorate-- for myself. But when my mother-in-law put her house on the market I agreed to stage it (decorate for showing purposes) for her. It turned out great and I got a lot of complements on my work, but the best thing is that her house sold, hooray! Well, now my sister-in-law's neighbor has hired me to stage her home. It's a large home that needs a lot of work and I have to decorate using only the items that this dear lady already owns. And to make matters worse, she insisted on paying me handsomely just for my consultation with her. Now I feel like I really have to deliver so she'll get her money's worth. Talk about pressure. What was I thinking?!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The ideal homemaker...

Love these pictures. I think I'll start dressing like this to do my housework.
Those who read my homemaking 101 post know that I am working toward becoming a master homemaker (it's going to be quite a process). Daryl V. Hoole, the author of The Art of Homemaking, suggests that, like a beautiful diamond, there are many facets to the ideal homemaker. She mentions 20 facets and I am going to make working on one or more of them my goal for each week. I'm going to work on the first 3 facets this week because I have already been working on facet #1 and #2 and 3 go hand in hand so I can work on those together. Besides #4 is all about order and I think I'll have to devote next week to that one alone so I can get all of my closets cleaned out-- yikes. These facets might seem a bit much, but I think there is wisdom to be found in them. I've been working on facet #1 since October, trying to make sure that I look "lovely" every day and it has definitely made a difference in my attitude. When you look better you feel better. And this morning after reading over facet #2 I had the word "ambitious" on my mind and it really helped me jump start my day. Being an ambitious, lovely, professional homemaker is quite a different feeling than that of a tired, overworked housewife.

Facet #1
An ideal homemaker is lovely to look at and lovely to be around--she has a wholesome attitude and a pleasing appearance. She has the courage to be happy and strives to live above the grievous faults of moodiness, sulkiness, and complaining. She is gracious and thoughtful and consequently adored by her family and admired by all who know her. This facet means true beauty in her diamond.

Facet #2
An ideal homemaker is ambitious and enthusiastic through application of the law that how one feels emotionally greatly determines how she feels physically. She finds that a creative approach to homemaking gives her the "pep pill" she needs and causes her to be an especially sparkling diamond.

Facet #3
An ideal homemaker is devoted to the great career in which she is engaged. She is a professional in her field by being a homemaker every day and letting her devotion and sense of duty, rather than her moods, dominate her. This makes her truly genuine as a diamond.
I'm excited about this challenge to become the ideal homemaker. I know that the happiest times of my life are when I am anxiously engaged in a great work, that of taking care of my home and family. I absolutely agree with Ms. Hoole when she says, "Running a home challenges any other role in requiring intelligence, ingenuity, and abilities unnumbered. It can offer the most noble accomplishment and can bring the greatest joy and satisfaction of any type of work.
The lovelier you are, the more educated you are--either formally or otherwise, the more talented and capable and accomplished you are, the richer can be your life and that of your family if you're truly a homemaker, not just a housewife."

Friday, April 11, 2008

S.L. Anonymous...

They say that addictions usually start because of your peers. They are the first to offer you the substance or at least entice you with their own love of it. Such is the case with my new addiction. I've never been a soda drinker, okay so that's not true, I loved it growing up especially during my college years. Our dorms had caffeine free diet Dr pepper and I drank one or more everyday and then went back to my hard core Pepsi when I got home, often drinking it for breakfast. But I weened myself off of it and haven't liked it (except for an occasional Dr pepper) for all of my married years. But sadly I must now admit that I am an addict. It all started when I began scrapbooking with my dear sister in-law who I will call "Melissa". Melissa and I would love to get take out while scrapbooking and one day she introduced me to her favorite drink of choice. Nothing hard core just strawberry limeade, what could it hurt, so I ordered one too. I wasn't hooked right away, but after a few more get togethers for scrapbooking or play dates at Holly's, I found myself craving it more and more (the play dates are strictly for the kids. Us ladies would all rather be home scouring bathrooms, but we have to be good moms, it's a sacrifice but...) And now I've learned of this cursed thing called happy hour. Half priced drinks between 2 and 4. Is Sonic trying to kill me? And the shameful thing is that now my kids love strawberry limeade as much as I do. Don't be fooled by the name, this stuff packs a punch. Carbonated, sugar filled poison, that's what it is. I've had three jumbo sized ones this week. I never drink jumbo sized anything. I know, I know it could be worse. At least it's caffeine free and it contains fruit. That must count for something. But never the less, I'm trying to be healthy, and after watching Miss USA tonight and seeing those perfect, flat stomachs and remembering my goal of wanting to be the mother of 6 with a 6 pack (if that is humanly possible) I realize that this guilty pleasure must go or at least be curbed a bit. So I'm making this confession in hopes of being accountable to someone. Although that probably won't work because I know none of you would love me less if I got myself another strawberry limeade tomorrow. So wish me luck on this one, I'm gonna need it. I'd drive to Sonic right now if I could.

By the way, during the Miss USA pageant I was commenting on who I thought was pretty and Waylon said to me, "Mom you can't say that girls are pretty because you are a girl and only guys can say that girls are pretty." Okay, he's 3. Where does he get this stuff? So I told him to tell me who he thought was pretty because he is a guy. He liked that, and thought that every one of them were pretty. He also said, "Mom I think you're hot and pretty too." How sweet that my 3 year old thinks I'm hot. Can you tell that he has older siblings?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Homemaking 101...

As I search to try to find myself in this new life of mine, I keep receiving the prompting that I need to focus on being a homemaker. Not a housewife, but a master homemaker. When done right it can actually be very rewarding. So I dusted off this book, The Art of Homemaking, that was given to me several years ago by my mother in-law. Let me clarify that my mother in-law didn't give it to me and say, "Here I think you need this." Because that would have been unkind and I don't want to give the impression that my mother in-law is unkind. I got it from her when she and my father in-law were downsizing and invited us to take any books from their library that we wanted. I was curious about this book and actually found it to be very interesting and helpful. It is very "old fashioned" as it was written in the 60s (very June Cleaver) but sometimes I think we could use some tips from the master homemakers of the past. The book starts with a poem that I love to read when I'm feeling overwhelmed by my daily chore list. It's by an unknown author and it really puts things into perspective.


Grandmother, on a winter's day, milked the cows and fed them hay,
slopped the hogs, saddled the mule, then got the children off to school,
did a washing, mopped the floors, washed the windows, and did some chores;
cooked a dish of home-dried fruit, pressed her husband's Sunday suit.
Swept the parlor, made the bed, baked a dozen loaves of bread,
split some firewood, and then lugged in enough to fill the kitchen bin;
cleaned the lamps and put in oil, stewed some apples she thought would spoil;
churned the butter, baked a cake, then exclaimed, "For heaven's sake,
the calves have got out of the pen!"--went out and chased them in again.
Gathered the eggs and locked the stable, back to the house and set the table,
cooked a supper that was delicious, and afterward washed up all the dishes,
fed the cat and sprinkled the clothes, mended a basketful of hose;
then opened the organ and began to play, "When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day."


That makes my dirty dishes, my baskets of laundry that need folding, and my other neglected chores not seem quite so bad.

The author also introduces the concept that the ideal homemaker is like a diamond, perfectly cut so as to bring out countless beautiful highlights. She says just as each diamond is cut a little differently in order to make many facets, so is each homemaker a distinct individual with her own special traits and talents. But in both diamonds and homemakers, certain qualities must be present if each is to sparkle brilliantly and thereby be valued and cherished.
She goes on to list the facets of an ideal homemaker. There are 20 of them, and though parts of them can seem a little funny or strict for today's world, I think wisdom can be found if we take what we can from them.

So because I am trying to focus on becoming a master homemaker, I am going to take a facet or two at a time and make working on them my goal for the week. If you want to try it with me check back on Monday, that's when I'll start. Remember it's a little June Cleaver, but if you read it with a modern eye I think it can be very beneficial.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Thoughts on General Conference...

It was another great conference weekend. The talks always give me the boost I need to go forward and try harder in my life. Before conference started, I prayed that I would hear the messages that I needed the most at this time in my life. I forgot to take notes during the Saturday sessions (can't wait for the Ensign articles) but I did take notes today and I want to share a few of the points that I wrote down.

~ Succor, strengthen, lift feeble knees
~ Focus outwardly/ lose self in service
~ Blessings come through obedience
~ Prayers are answered in the wisdom and timing of the Lord
~ The Lord will help us manage our resources
~ Delight in the things of the Lord
~ Delight in your role as a nurturer
~ We don't know the rest of our stories
~ Be worthy of God's delight
~ Wear out life in the service of the Lord
~ Seek personal revelation
~ Sweetest experience is to feel the Lord's promptings
~ Live worthy of inspiration
~ Homes should be sanctuaries where the spirit dwells
~ Ask in faith then-- ACT
~ Let us not be men pleasers but true servers of God
~ God has not given us the spirit of fear...
~ Fortify ourselves in Jesus Christ
~ To prosper in this time, spiritual light must burn within us
~ Live courageously
~ The person we are when we depart this life is the same person
. we will be when we enter the next
~ Joy comes in moments... Live in the moment
~ Cultivate gifts and interests
~ incorporate faith, love and counsel into your life
This is just a small portion of what I learned today. I feel edified, uplifted and excited to continue down my life's path. I know that God lives. I know that my Savior Jesus Christ lives and that if I stay close to them and hold fast to their teachings I will have joy. President Monson reminded us that we are at war against sin, but that it is a war that we can and will win. I know that I will win the war waged against me and that my family will win if we fortify ourselves in Christ. Just as Sister Tanner remarked, I too Glory in my Jesus.