Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beautiful Day

Today was our Stake Conference. What a wonderful, spirit-filled meeting. It was probably one of the best meetings I have attended in my life. Ever.

The testimonies were pure and touching. The messages were powerful and inspiring. You know the spirit is there and is strong when even 4 young children are able to sit reverently and attentively through the entire 2 hour meeting.

We were privileged to have a General Authority visit our stake. It was such a treat to hear from Elder W. Craig Zwick and his lovely wife. I definitely left the meeting with a renewed commitment to living the life my Savior wants me to live.

Something was said in one of the talks that reminded me of one of my favorite songs. I haven't listened to this song forever, but on returning home had the desire to hear its message again. I couldn't find my c.d., but found this neat video on Youtube that someone put together using the song and clips from some videos that have been made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The name of the song is "His Hands", and I hope you enjoy it.

I hope everyone is having a beautiful Sunday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FYI

Today my awesome friend Amanda, and my equally awesome friend Shortmama are hosting little linky-fests at their blogs.

I wanted to participate in both but have not been able to put a post together for either one, due to the fact that I am making lots of phone calls and answering lots of emails dealing with stuff at the school, and I also have Ashie for a while.

That's what I wanted to inform you all about. You may know that my dear friend Tanielle's dad had heart surgery yesterday. Today he is having some serious complications, so please keep them in your prayers. Just wanted you all to know.

If you want to join in with Shortmama's From Muffin Top to Skinny Jeans, go here. For Amanda's awesome Decorating Dilemma's Party, go here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Holy Crap, my daughter's eye! And Consumer tips installment 1

Hello friends! Did everybody have a good weekend? We had a pretty nice Saturday at the park...I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

Last night Pixie was complaining that her eye was hurting. There wasn't any noticeable swelling or redness. I told her the best thing to do was get some sleep. She is the WORST at staying in bed, and always has excuses to get out of bed and talk to me. So when she kept coming out to tell me her eye was really hurting, I wasn't very sympathetic, or patient. Imagine how guilty I felt this morning when I saw this:


She's pretty stuffed up too. Hubby thinks that it's allergies, I'm leaning more towards virus or eye infection. What do you think? Poor girl. I kept her home from school, in case it is a virus. I win Mother of the Year for sure on this one. Just call me Jerk Face for short.

In other news, I decided it might be fun to occasionally pass along any consumer wisdom I might gain in my daily life experience (because you know I lead such a fascinating life.) It won't be weekly or anything, but if I discover anything useful, I'll pass it along to you!

So for my first installment, I thought I'd share a little side by side mineral makeup comparison. If you're like me, you sometimes see things on infomercials that really intrigue you. You want to believe the claims, but you don't want to be made a fool of by shelling out the cash and being disappointed in the product. This is how the Bare Minerals Makeup informercial affected me.

I've never been much of a makeup wearer. Eye makeup yes, lipgloss - sometimes. Foundation...the first time was for my engagement pictures where I went to a department store and had a makeover. I don't like the heavy feel or look of it. So I haven't worn it since. But the bare minerals makeup definitely sparked my interest. It appeared to even out and soften the skin-tone, without looking like makeup.

When my cousin J came to live with my parents I saw that she used BM makeup. She looked great (of course she's 19), and said she loved the makeup. So off to the mall we went for me to get color-matched and drop a buttload of money. This stuff is pretty pricey. I did like it, but when I recently ran out of the foundation, the thought of dropping $25 for a tiny little round of powder gave me heartburn. At least I imagine that's what heartburn would feel like, but since I never get heartburn...I'm not really sure. So I've been without the foundation for a bit.

Cue Avon Lady. My hilarious neighbor and friend "N" recently started selling Avon. I've noticed their mineral makeup and decided to give it a try. Here's why:

The makeup on the right is $25. The Avon makeup on the left? $11. And for this catalog, it was actually buy any 2 for $9.99. So really I paid under $5.
Notice a difference in size as well? Yeah, so I went for it.

These are obviously different colors. Once is the "warmth" bronzer for cheekbones, and one is the translucent "finishing" dust for sealing it all after the look is complete.


So, my recommendation? Go with the Avon. I like it just as well. Possibly a little better. I like the coverage a little more I think. But that could be due to the fact that the shade is a little darker, and perhaps that is a better color for me.

The makeup is great, the coverage is equal in quality, and lasts just as long. From now on it's Avon Smooth Minerals for me!

One more little tip: This brush collection from Bare Minerals will run you a total of $70 if you buy them individually off the website. I got them as part of a package when I bought my first BM makeup at the mall (I still paid too much), and can I just tell you...they are CRAP? Seriously, they shed like crazy. I always have loose bristles I have to brush off my cheeks, and all over the top of my shirt after every time I put my makeup on. Just sayin'. I'll be lookin' for a $10 set at Walmart, methinks.
Have any tips to share? Or any questions about products you've been wondering about?


Hope this Consumer tip was helpful to someone! Have a great Monday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The things I do for family....

Better late than never, right? I promised MiMi I wouldn't miss the party today...because I have great material! Get ready for a LONG post with a series of curse word moments!

Remember I told you our family recently went to Idaho for my cousin J's wedding? Well, let me tell you a little about the journey...

So the plan was to leave on Thursday as soon as we could. I had to be at the school for a couple of meetings in the morning, but was planning on being done before noon. I ended up not being out of the school until almost 2. I had been trying to be completely ready so we could just go as soon as I was done. I had my little checklist and had been doing laundry, and gathering up what each person would need for our short little weekend.

I wasn't sure if there would be an iron in the hotel we stayed in on Thursday night, and we had to be to the temple by 8:30 Friday morning. So I was making sure Hubby's and Bookworm's shirts were ironed, as well as my skirt and the girls' dresses. I made sure we had all 6 pairs of church shoes, tights, pantyhose...I didn't want to find ANYTHING missing come Friday morning when we were getting ready for the temple.

We finally hit the road a little after 2. We headed north and about an hour into our trip the battery light started going on and off. Fearing it may be the alternator Hubby decided we should pull off and check it before we got into the middle of nowhere. We pulled into an Autozone and they checked it out. The guy said it seemed fine and maybe we just needed to spray some cleaner stuff on the battery terminals to clean off the build-up. So we did. We hit the road again.

Well, about 10 minutes after getting back on the freeway Monkey pipes up "I have to go pee really, really BAD!" Of course she does. So off the next exit we go. Finally we're on the road again and seem to be making good time. By this time our battery light is on again.

A couple more hours down the road, we hit the Utah/Idaho border. Suddenly I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I'm afraid to speak my thoughts aloud. I mentally go back over my packing up process. I had checked off each of the items on each family member's list. But one item I had just listed as "church clothes". I went back over the ironing, the gathering, the making sure the guys' church shirts were clean, and hung nicely in the garment bag, as well as my skirt and the girls dresses. But I could not for the life of me remember packing my husband's actual suit. I finally asked out loud "Um, Hubby? Did you grab your suit?" Of course he hadn't. And neither had I. Guess what else he didn't grab? His tie. Which prompted Bookworm to pipe up, "Oh yeah, I forgot my tie too." Crap.

So we get to the hotel where my parents, brother, and my aunt and uncle and cousin are waiting for us so we can go get some dinner. The service at the restaurant took SO. LONG. Finally we had to give our credit card to my brother so he could pay for our dinner while we ran across the parking lot to the mall before it closed. We took my parents car so they could take our kids in our bigger car when everyone was done eating.

Now we live in Utah, the home of the headquarters of the LDS church. Our department stores are filled with all varieties of suits and slacks and dress shirts and ties from infant size up to grown men sizes. The selection at the Magic Valley Mall in Twin falls was very slim. My husband bought some mediocre slacks that he will never wear again, some dress socks (even though I ASSURED him I had packed his - he didn't trust me at this point) and a crappy tie and a belt. The tie will also probably never be worn again. We spent over $100 there, and still had to run around the mall to 3 different stores because there were no "youth size" ties to be found. We finally had to purchas a man's tie, and my son had to improvise to make it look like a good fit.

We got back to the hotel to the news that all the electrical on our Expedition had gone out on my brother while driving back to the hotel. Nice. By this time it's close to 9 p.m., but we had promised the kids they could go swimming before bed. So into the pool they went with my brother and dad, and Hubby and I took my parent's car to the Autozone. There we dropped over $300 for a new battery and alternator. We got back, and I grabbed the kids out of the pool while my husband went to work on the car in the hotel parking lot. We are so ghetto. Upon popping the hood he found that they had given him the wrong model. Back to Autozone he went with my brother. By the time I got the kids showered and ready for bed (almost 11 p.m.), he came into the room and reported that the tools he had were not the correct size, the bolt was stripped and it was too dark to try to keep working. He had switched out the battery which would hopefully get us to my mom's hometown after the temple, where he would have access to a shop and Cousin Cowboy's tools and be able to work on the car in better conditions.

After the marriage, we headed back to Autozone to turn in the old battery. EVERYTHING died suddenly. You should have seen my husband using all his strength to crank the steering wheel with NO power steering so we could pull into a parking lot. It was special. Luckily it was only a loose connection and he was able to fix it, and we made it into town where we were staying the night with family, and attending the reception.

With the right tools, and daylight, hubby was able to switch out the alternator and we had a nice little weekend with family and friends. But I have determined that maybe God just doesn't want my family to go on vacations. What do you think?

If you'd like more of wallowing in other people's misery...check out MiMi's!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You know I'm a country girl at heart, right?

Hey there y'all! Haha, I'm trying to be all "country". I don't really live in the "city", more like suburbia. But I'm a country girl at heart. I'm excited to tell you all about our little weekend in Idaho, and the fun my city kids had in the country!

But first I have an exciting announcement! Remember HERE when I told you about Due West? If you don't, seriously...you need to click and go check them out. Okay, I know you totally did not click and go check them out. Lazy. Whatever. Due West is an up and coming country music group. I went to high school with Tim, their lead vocalist. If you like country music, I promise you will LOVE Due West. If you don't like country, I bet you'll still like them. Seriously, click here to check them out. Or just go read my post.

I told you that they were getting ready to release an album, and that I would keep you posted. Well did you notice the fun little countdown clock at the top of my blog? Yeah, that's right, the release of their album is just around the corner! April 27th! I'm way excited to get their album and wanted to share the joy. Is everyone smiling now? Good.

This past weekend we went to Idaho for a wedding. My sweet cousin J got married in the Twin Falls Temple. I was born in Idaho and my mom grew up there. My Cousin Cowboy, who I blogged about here, still lives in the town she grew up in. Cousin Cowboy knows how much my sweet little Cowgirl LOVES horses. It is her heart's deepest desire to live on a ranch and have horses! We promised her some riding lessons a while back, but those buggars are like $40 a pop! Seriously! Well Cousin Cowboy offered to teach her a few things while we were up visiting. She hasn't stopped talking about it since we found out in January!

First he gave short rides to the other kids.

Bookworm tried to act to cool, but I know he really loved it.

Monkey was mostly scared, but did smile a little!

Pixie was a littler braver than she should have been...she convinced Cousin Cowboy to let her do it on her own, much to my dismay!

Cowgirl was a natural. I took some video, Cousin Cowboy said she did great and really caught on quickly.
I don't know why the videos are just black...but they really do work if you push "play"!





I remember coming up to this teeny tiny hometown of my mom's (population 300) when my grandpa and grandma were still alive. We would spend hours and hours roaming my grandpa's ranch. There were sheds to explore, fences to climb, sheep to chase, hay bails to "ride", and so many things to imagine. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of playing on grandpa's ranch. Cousin Cowboy's family ranch looks so, so similar and being there really took me back to those good times. I took a few pictures since my grandpa's ranch is no longer in the family.




It's been a long time since we've made it back there, we haven't really visited since my grandparents passed away. But I think we'll make it a priority to visit a little more often! Come back tomorrow when I link up with MiMi and tell you about our adventures in getting to the wedding!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I love a good party!

Well, it's been a couple of days and I haven't gotten to tell you about my Idaho weekend, and believe me - there's LOTS to tell! But you'll just have to be patient, because today we're partying!
Even with all my distractions, I've been excited about Dishing It with Amanda ever since she first mentioned she wanted to have this fun little party.
Photobucket


The assignment for the first party is simple, she just wants us to share a little about ourselves and our blogs.


I have been blogging for a little over a year. I started in January of 2009. I had never really thought about blogging, and didn't really even know what a blog was exactly. But I happened to find a cute tutorial and it credited a blog and I clicked on the link. I then clicked on a couple of the links in THAT blog, and soon found myself bouncing around this whole other world. I now know that what I was doing was "blog-hopping"!


I had recently started a business with a good friend of mine, and thought this might be a good way to get our name out there. That's why I initially started blogging, but of course that all soon changed, and I just really began to enjoy journaling about anything and everything. My family, my experiences, my faith, tutorials, asking advice....I don't really have a specific thing like decorating, or crafting, or food storage that I blog about exclusively. But I do blog about each of those topics on occasion.


I also thought that blogging about my goals would be a good way to hold myself accountable for things I wanted to work on. I still think this, and it has been tremendously helpful, although I've been such a slacker blogger lately that no one really knows if I've been making good progress on my goals or not! The title of my blog was actully like the seventh thing I came up with that wasn't already taken by someone else. I wanted a title that reflected the changes I wanted to make in my life...but everything I thought of was already spoken for! I finally tried "This is the Year" and it was available!


My favorite thing about blogging is definitely the friendships. I truly have found some friends for life and that is the most important thing I have gotten from blogging. And I'm so excited for a chance to meet even more new, wonderful friends!
If you want to join the party, please head over to Amanda's and check it out!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What I've been up to....

I'm not sure where to begin, but thought I owed you guys SOME sort of explanation for my ever increasing slackerness (my word), when it comes to blogging.

Because I know my absence is what has consumed your thoughts, day and night. What? You didn't even notice I was gone? Fine. Whatever.

As many of you know, I serve on the Board of Trustees for my children's Charter School. Not only am I a board member,but I am also a founder. This means that I helped create the school, get it approved by the state, and put in lots and lots of my time (for free) to get the school up and running. It has truly been a labor of love that has been a big part of our whole family's lives for the past 6 years. We are currently in our 4th year of operation. We have an amazing school. But in the young life of our school, we have endured our fair share of growing pains.

This past month has been especially tumultuous. We recently went through a transition in leadership that was sudden, and unexpected, and was very stressful for our staff. Our director was recruited away from us by a University, and resigned unexpectedly (but on really good terms with us, it was just a great opportunity for him). We replaced him with someone we hoped would help our school reach its full potential. Unfortunately things didn't turn out as we expected, and we again find ourselves looking for a director who will be the right one to help us fulfill our charter, and live up to our mission and vision.

This is a time of high anxiety and stress. Our staff is uncertain, they're anxious about their jobs, and the direction of our school. We (the board), have invested so much of ourselves into this school. We feel so much pressure to find the right leader. One who will uphold the values our school was founded upon, as well as help us fulfill our charter promises to the state, and uphold the mission of the school. Parents are always nervous when big changes happen with the school. My absence in the blog world has been due to the many, many meetings we've had as a board, with the staff, with legal counsel (so we can make sure the school is always protected in decisions we make, and action we take), with emails and interviews and all sorts of responsibilities that would normally fall to the director, but which the board has had to pick up due to this transition.

This has taken a toll on my family as well, and the time I would normally spend blogging and visiting has been something I've felt needed to be dedicated to my family, and the care of my household.

I wasn't able to blog about the changes taking place during the time decisions were needing to be discussed and made, since I have a public blog and I know some people affiliated with our school do know about my blog, and may read it. It has been so hard not to be able to use this as an outlet for all the stress and anxiety!

Things are far from settled with the school, but the stress is diminishing each day, as we put more and more processes, and people in place to get things running smoothly. And we have an amazing staff that is setting their anxiety aside to continue with the wonderful education they have provided our children all along. The kids all LOVE going to school there and the dedication of our teachers never ceases to amaze me.

I know this is getting long and boring...I just have a lot all built up that I haven't been able to share! Even now there are things I will never be able to blog about, but at least getting some of it out feels better!

During this time we have also had some health concerns with Cowgirl we are dealing with. We don't have any real answers yet, and hopefully it's nothing serious, but the uncertainty still takes it's toll. I will let everyone know how things are with her as we have more tests done, and hopefully get some answers. The symptoms aren't anything that are disrupting her life horribly and we are optimistic that it's nothing very serious. Still, I'm kinda paranoid, so if I let myself, my mind will wander to the worst possible scenario and then I get kinda freaked out. So I just try not to go there!

Last night we returned from a little family weekend away in Idaho. I'll be sharing more about that the next few days. I'll have pictures from the wedding tomorrow, and I can't wait to share about Cowgirl's riding lessons...she was in her element! I almost felt like I should leave her there on the ranch, because it seems to suit her so much better than here in suburbia!

I really miss my blog friends, and reading about your lives and activities. I hope to be back blogging and visiting a lot more from now on, but please be patient with me. I can't promise anything!

I hope you are all well, and I'm off to start making the rounds! I can't wait to see what you've all been up to!