Monday, August 13, 2012

dinner at my house? I'll make your favorite...

Feeding my family has become somewhat of a challenge. Well, really it has always been a challenge. Not because of my lack in cooking abilities; I cook surprisingly well for someone who had a mother that did not cook. The problem lies in my family. Don't get me wrong-I love them dearly and love to cook for them. But lately everyone has been SO picky! I go to great lengths making a healthy, delicious meal, and then my children will tell me that they don't like it, nor will they even try it. It drives me nuts. Luckily, my husband is pretty easy to please. He has the typical male attitude of "Me hungry. You make food. Me eat food. Thank you." Yeah, he'll eat anything.

So I concocted a new rule: You must always try everything on your plate. Then, if you don't like it, you may have something else.

The new rule has actually worked out quite well. It is getting my kids to try new things and oftentimes, they end up liking what they thought they didn't.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where the heck have I been?!?!

Well, I've been in........drumroll........


Yes, I got in. And I have been running at full speed ever since. My fundamentals final is on Monday. I can't believe how far I've come! My feelings about the journey have been all over the place: amazing, exciting, scary, stressful, harder-than-I-ever-thought-it-would-be, sad, a little insane, and at times, what-the-hell-was-I-thinking???!!! But, I'm proud of myself. I have accomplished so much in such a short period of time. And it's fun. I love listening to the body with my stethoscope, or seeing the inside of a body during a procedure. I'm heading to Maternity next, and I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

give it up for SpongeBob!

Trinity has been WANTING to tie her own shoes for quite some time now. I mean REALLY wanting to. She was the only one in her class that still had Velcro shoes (granted, there are only five kids in her kindergarten class). So you get what I mean when I say she was DYING to tie her shoes! We tried to teach her a few times, but she just wasn't quite ready, so we told her to be patient and that she would tie her own shoes one day.

A few weeks ago, Trinity and Natalie were watching the ever-infamous SpongeBob. Sometimes he grosses me out, sometimes I think he is really funny. Other times I wonder if he really is appropriate for their age. Oh well. I'm not perfect. Anyway, we were watching an episode that we had all seen before, but had only mindlessly watched in the past. This time, Trinity was actually learning something. You see, SpongeBob had forgotten how to tie his shoes! He went around all day terribly upset, until he finally stopped to pay attention to what his pet snail, Gary, had to say to him. Gary turned out to have an awesome record, which played an awesome song, about tying your shoes! "It's called the loop de loop!" Trinity stared at the TV with huge eyes, soaking in every moment. Then, she got up, went to her daddy's shoes, and tried to tie them! I saw what she was doing, so I went over to help her. She got it! Then she exclaimed, "SpongeBob taught me how to tie my shoes!" We all busted out laughing. It was the funniest thing-a cartoon-teaching our child how to do something useful!

That whole day she practiced and practiced. The next day, I went to Walmart and bought her some tie-shoes. My happiness came from the fact that the shoes were on clearance for only $7.00! :) Steal of a deal! When I picked her up from school, I gave her the surprise. She was ecstatic. She immediately put them on, and then continued to do something else funny...she would be walking around, shoes tied and all, then suddenly stop. She dropped to the ground, untied her shoes, and then tied them again! I guess it was such a novelty to her that she wanted to do it again and again! The next day she wore her new shoes to school and showed everyone and anyone who would watch that she could tie her shoes. Her teacher even said that she continued to "STOP, DROP, and TIE!" I love this little girl so much, and really am happy that she can now tie her shoes! Thanks to SpongeBob for teaching her!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

couponing 101.

So, I have been trying to figure out how to save money. Turns out I'm not very good at it. I don't buy useless, unnecessary items. I don't go shopping all the time, just to go. (Oh yeah, I totally used to do that.) But I have been married for over 10 years now, have 2 children, and I really think that I have "grown up." I try to save money anyway I can, I am always looking for ways to make money, and I never ever buy things that are not on sale, unless we are talking about the $4.99 kids clothing line at Target (You can't really complain or get much cheaper than that!), or something that is really needed, like medicine. I don't buy things on a whim, and I try to make a list. But I still pretty much suck at saving money.

Lately I have been trying to play the coupon game. I searched and searched for coupons, figured out what was on sale, and even made a menu to go with those sale items. I was pretty excited about saving some money! But I was highly disappointed. I thought about going all over town, to buy certain things at certain places that were on sale and had a coupon, but then I figured that would take up way too much time. Plus, the cost of gas would really cancel out the savings. So I chose to shop at Publix.

I really like Publix. They are always friendly, the store is always clean (including the bathrooms), and they always have BOGO free sales! They also offer FREE antibiotics at their pharmacy, and I just happened to have a little girl who went to the ER last night for what we thought was appendicitis or a UTI but turned out to be an ear infection, who needed antibiotics! Such a deal! The bakery also gives out FREE cookies to the kids, so that kept them busy for a few moments while I checked out my list and got ready to shop.

I started down the first isle. So far, so good. I got my items, and even grabbed some "blinkie" coupons while I was there. But then the kids started getting restless. Natalie started whining about wanting a cupcake from the bakery, and as usual, I became the mockery of the store, with everyone staring at me, thinking "What bratty kids. What a bad mom." No, no one actually said those words, but I know they were thinking it. I've thought it about other people. Someone did say to Natalie that she was "never going to get it acting like that." Whatever. I somehow got her distracted, until she saw the "blinkie" coupon dispensers. She always has to run to each one, and grab ALL the coupons out! I hate it. But, oh well. Then Trini had to use the bathroom. Even though I had asked her to go before we left the house. By this point I was getting confused and frustrated with all of my papers (coupons plus my list) in hand, so I sent her in alone (something I NEVER do) and kept trying to reach the sour cream that was on sale. I finally had to get someone to help me reach it. Then Trini came out and we pressed on. The rest of the trip went the same. Trini had to pee AGAIN, I kept having to look at my papers, and the girls kept running around like hooligans. It took me over 2 hours to do my grocery shopping for one week's worth of food. And that isn't the worst part. My bill was $145.00!!! Looking at my full cart, I knew it was going to be high. I did have some items in there like cat litter and toilet paper, and a SunPass, but I didn't buy anything extra. My receipt did show that I saved almost $40.00 by purchasing items on sale, and I saved almost $15.00 with my coupons.

So what did I do wrong? I know that only time and practice will help me do the shopping faster. But what about my approach? I just know there's gotta be a trick to this thing. I did buy a lot of produce and "healthier" items. Maybe that was my downfall? But the thing is, I HAVE to buy those things. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am in serious need of lowering my triglycerides, and the only way to do that without medication is to eat more fruits and vegetables and less bread and pasta. Seriously, if you have the answers, please tell me! I really do want to save money, but I also want to save my life!

Monday, April 26, 2010


In December of last year, my friend Leisy posted about a little boy on her blog. His name was Gabe. He had cancer, and the prognosis wasn't good. In fact, he wasn't expected to live more than a few weeks. She asked the family how she could help, and they told her to ask people to send Christmas cards to Gabe, because he LOVED to get mail. I read her post, and became inspired.

I bought a couple cards. But I couldn't stop thinking about them. I wondered how I would feel, what I would do, if one of my girls had cancer. So I put together a box. I began collecting items that an 8 year old boy would like. Then a website was formed on Gabe's behalf, so that people could keep up with how he was doing. I was instantly hooked. There were pictures of him on the website, and I finally got to see the little boy who I was praying for, hoping for, wishing for. He was an adorable brown haired, brown eyed angel. SpongeBob was his absolute favorite, so I found a SpongeBob ornament to send him. Then I had another idea.

Trinity and Natalie's school has a theme each year. This year's was "Giving Back." They have been doing all sorts of things, including visiting the old folks' home and cleaning up the trash on the side of the road. With the school putting so much focus on the community and loving one another, I just knew they would love to help Gabe. I presented the idea to the teacher, and she agreed to have all of the students in the Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten classes make a Christmas card for Gabe. I was giddy with excitement. I knew that the simplistic box that I was sending wouldn't do much, but I hoped it would at least lend a smile. I don't know if he ever got the box, but I do know that Gabe's story reached thousands of people, and he received cards from as far away as Japan! Seeing such humanity in this world today is so inspiring!

Though the doctors only gave Gabe a short time to live, his parents decided to give chemo a try. It worked for awhile, and his tumor began to shrink. He got to go to Disney World through the "Make A Wish Foundation." And he had the chance to visit with several friends and family members. In an interview given to Gabe by his dad, he was asked what having cancer has taught him. He said "nothing." But I know that his cancer has taught many. It has taught me. Life is precious. Your children are precious. Appreciate what you have, while you still have it. Death is not the end. You can do hard things.

Gabriel died early this morning. He was 8 years old. Hours before his death, he asked his dad for a Priesthood blessing. He asked for one for his mom, too. He then hugged everyone in the room, and said that he was tired and wanted to take a nap. A few hours later, he passed away.

I don't know why I felt compelled to help this little boy. I have never met him, nor have I met anyone in his family. Maybe I needed to learn something. A few weeks ago, Gabe's dad posted a talk about faith, healing, and God's will. All things that are very prominent in my life. Recently in Relief Society, we had a lesson on prayer. One sister made a comment about how maybe the purpose of prayer is to help us align our will with God's will. I would like to end this post with that same talk that Gabe's dad posted...

Will of the Lord
Young men and older men, please take special note of what I will say now. As we exercise the undoubted power of the priesthood of God and as we treasure His promise that He will hear and answer the prayer of faith, we must always remember that faith and the healing power of the priesthood cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose priesthood it is. This principle is taught in the revelation directing that the elders of the Church shall lay their hands upon the sick. The Lord’s promise is that “he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed” (D&C 42:48; emphasis added). Similarly, in another modern revelation the Lord declares that when one “asketh according to the will of God . . . it is done even as he asketh” (D&C 46:30).14
From all of this we learn that even the servants of the Lord, exercising His divine power in a circumstance where there is sufficient faith to be healed, cannot give a priesthood blessing that will cause a person to be healed if that healing is not the will of the Lord.
As children of God, knowing of His great love and His ultimate knowledge of what is best for our eternal welfare, we trust in Him. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith means trust. I felt that trust in a talk my cousin gave at the funeral of a teenage girl who had died of a serious illness. He spoke these words, which first astonished me and then edified me: “I know it was the will of the Lord that she die. She had good medical care. She was given priesthood blessings. Her name was on the prayer roll in the temple. She was the subject of hundreds of prayers for her restoration to health. And I know that there is enough faith in this family that she would have been healed unless it was the will of the Lord to take her home at this time.” I felt that same trust in the words of the father of another choice girl whose life was taken by cancer in her teen years. He declared, “Our family’s faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes.” Those teachings ring true to me. We do all that we can for the healing of a loved one, and then we trust in the Lord for the outcome.

**If you would like to read the talk in its entirety, click here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

amazing thoughts.

It's no secret that I struggled to get pregnant. While my friends and neighbors were all having one, two, and three babies, I was left with none. It killed me inside. Terry had just been diagnosed with MS the year before, and now I was diagnosed with PCOS, or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. So I had a diseased husband and was diagnosed as "infertile." Let me tell you, if you think I have been depressed now, you should have seen me back then. The day that I peed on a stick that read "positive" results was the HAPPIEST day of my life. Literally. Sorry honey-I love you dearly but getting pregnant topped getting married for me!

But my journey to my miracle baby Trinity is a long story, and I will write about it some other day. Right now, I just want to share something that I read on another blog. Rather, I want to remember it. I don't know if I will be able to have more children. I haven't tried. But I do know that the two that I have are a blessing from God, and I feel so lucky to have them.

I started following "The R House" blog awhile ago. A girl from my old ward found it, and shared it on her blog. From there I went to see it for myself, and then I realized that I actually knew Mrs. R's husband from BYU. Then I read their story, and I was sad. I understood how they felt. But they are survivors. And not only do they survive, but they also thrive. If you have ever been touched by infertility in any way, you will love the inspiring thoughts that Mrs. R shares. She recently had a guest blogger post, and that is what I am sharing here. It reminds me of myself, and it is comforting, I think.

"I’ve struggled with the loss of my dreams of a big family. The thought of just two kids hurt pretty badly. I’m a mother; I’ve got so much ‘mothering’ to give. Did my answer of “no” to more kids mean I wasn’t the mother I thought I was?

I found the answer one day while reading my scriptures. Genesis 24:60 reads:

“And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions.”

I read on. Genesis 25:21

“And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren.”

She conceived and bore Esau and Jacob.

And that was it.

She had two children. I read on.

Rachel had Joseph and Benajmin. She was infertile.

Sarah had Isaac. She was infertile.

Hannah had Samuel. She was infertile.

Elisabeth had John. She was infertile.

All through the scriptures, there are stories of women; righteous women, good, loving and faithful women who were infertile.

They had no more than two children each. Some only bore one.

But they changed the world."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

the flood.

"The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
and the rains came tumbling down.
The rains came down and the floods came up,
and the house on the sand washed away.

The wise man built his house upon the rock,
and the rains came tumbling down.
The rains came down and the floods came up,
and the house on the rock stood firm."

At least, that is our goal, to build our house upon a rock. But sadly, we have been building our house upon the sand. Now I know that this song makes a reference to our Savior Jesus Christ, but that is not the way in which I am referring to it. You see, my apartment flooded this past week. Yes, flooded. No, there were no big rainstorms. Instead, my lovely commode, which is always giving us problems, overflowed. And it kept going. And going. And going. And going. Like the Energizer Bunny. It happened in the master bathroom, located in the master bedroom, so I did not realize what was happening because I was here, on the computer, in the living room. I don't know how long it ran. I only know that Terry came home from school late that night, and immediately asked "Why is the floor all wet?" He was talking about the area right in front of the front door. No where near my bedroom. I had no idea where the water was coming from, so I got up to look. The outside of my front door was flooded too. I figured something had happened outside and that the water had just come in. Oh how I wish that was what had happened.

Then we walked into our bedroom and saw that the toilet was just pouring out water. AHHHHHHH! It was INSANE! The whole bathroom was flooded, and the water had seeped into the carpet in the bedroom. Almost the whole entire bedroom was wet. It then went down the hall, towards the girls' room and the other bathroom. Then the water started seeping into the carpet in the living room. So the water had literally seeped through the wall, into the living room/front door area, to the outside. We then knocked on our neighbor's door, who are also in charge of maintenance, and apparently the water had seeped through the walls into their apartment too! It was such a mess. And here is the worst part: I had not put any clean clothes away for a couple weeks. You know, I was lazy/tired/always on the go and didn't have time to do it. Basically, "building my house on the sand." Plus there was all kinds of other stuff on the floor, like boxes that we just can't unpack because we just don't have any place to put their contents. And LOTS of this stuff got wet. It was a NIGHTMARE. Sheer hell. And you know what? I figured I deserved it for not getting all my chores done. I'm good at putting myself down.

Well, we got as much picked up as we could. We started doing laundry. And the carpet cleaners came the next day at 8am. We were exhausted, because we couldn't sleep in our bedroom. Terry took the couch and I slept in a little twin bed with Natalie. Soooo uncomfortable. We got about 4-5 hours of sleep and then Terry and I had to go to the VA for appointments. But first, we met the carpet cleaners that morning and he helped us move everything but our dresser into the dining room area, along with all of the contents in the living room. They planned on cutting the carpet and replacing the pad underneath. I'm still a little worried about mold and getting sick, but I guess we will have to deal with that later. That night we came home to an apartment full of huge, super loud fans, plus an enormous dehumidifier. But the place had started to dry. We were able to sleep in our own bed that night, and though the fans kept us up all night, we were grateful that our feet were no longer soggy.

That day I went with the girls' school on a field trip to see the movie "Oceans" for Earth Day. It was a cute movie, but the kids from other schools were totally loud and annoying. Later that day the girls and I hung out with our neighbors Todd and Leslie, so that we could get away from the fans. Now here we are, all dry, and just waiting until Monday for the new padding to go under the carpet. Until then, we are still cramped and crowded with junk, but I have been inspired to throw more things away. I never want to go through this again. But if I do, at least I will have less stuff in my way. Look out Ebay, here I come!