Thursday, September 23, 2010

I've Arrived!

I mean, I must have arrived to be featured over at Serenity Now...right?

I'm thrilled to be sponsoring a Ribbon Blossoms giveaway hosted by the fabulous Amanda - go check it out for your chance to win!

In other news...I spent 11 hours at 2 different ER's yesterday. That's right I got sent from one ER to the next.

Pixie has been having severe abdominal pain in her right lower quadrant. Yeah, that area of appendicitis fame. Between 3 hours at the first hospital, who determined that they were worried by her symptoms, even though her labs came back normal, (but they don't do pediatric surgery there) - and 8 hours at the next hospital they sent us to - well...it was a loooooong night.

After all that and IV's and tests, and CT scans - they determined that appendicitis was not the culprit. Which yes - a relief. What would have been MORE of a relief is if they could have told us what IS causing the pain.

So we still have no answers, but were assured that most of the things that are really serious were ruled out by the CT scan. That's good, but I still wish I could make my daughter feel better! Hoping that whatever it is passes soon.

Thankfully we have wonderful family support - after leaving Pixie and I at the first ER to go pick up the other kids from school, Hubby dropped them at my moms. Thank goodness for school uniforms! My mom had them all put on big long T-shirts and washed the clothes and underwear they were wearing, and they were able to get ready for school at her house this morning and Hubby just picked them up from there and took them to school. Wearing the same outfit they wore yesterday? Not a problem!

Hope everybody's having a good week - I'm off to go snuggle with my daughter.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mother Nature - sometimes we take her power for granted

I'm supposed to be working in the basement. We have a dumpster coming today to put all the crap in that we're getting rid of. Instead I've been glued to the tv all morning, and most of last night.

There is a huge wildfire burning the mountain behind where I grew up. I used to ride 4-wheelers in the foothills. My parents still live in that home. They are safe, as is my childhood home. But I have many friends who have been evacuated, and are uncertain of the safety of those homes. Over 1400 homes were evacuated last night.

4 homes have burned, which is a small number, but still devastating for those families. It appears that the fire has been contained now and some people furthest from the fire have been allowed back into their homes, but many are still unable to return.

Still, what a blessing that things aren't worse - this morning is much brighter than last night where disbelief and fear prevailed. The Unified Firefighters who have been on the mountain since yesterday afternoon were just called the best in the nation by the governor. There have been NO injuries or deaths to locals, and firefighters have only sustained some minor, job-related injuries.

I just wanted to share some incredible pictures that were taken by a dear family friend, and neighbor to my parents, Bob Lieshman.







We sometimes forget the sheer power of Mother Nature. We really are no match for her!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taggeriffic!

The always fabulous JennyKate has tagged me on her blog! She thought I might need a blog prompt because I've been such a slacker! The sad thing is, I actually have a TON of stuff I want to blog about - I just never seem to find the time! Here's how the tag works: Answer the following 8 questions, tag 8 friends, and have them answer 8 new questions.

JennyKate's questions for me:

1. What are you most looking forward to about fall?



The colors, and smells in the mountains. I'm not sure there is anything more glorious than the colors and smells of fall in the Wasatch Mountains. I'm looking forward to many Sunday afternoon drives with the kids in the mountains!

2. What are some current things on your to-do list?

I am trying to get our basement cleaned and a bedroom finished for Cowgirl. I'd actually like to post some pictures of that some day!!

3. Do you go to Starbucks? If so, what's your favorite drink?

Sorry JennyKate - no coffee for this girl!

4. What is your favorite book right now?

I just re-read The Alliance. I read it many times over as a teenager. It is an amazing action/adventure novel that beautifully illustrates the eternal principle of agency. I find it so accurately portrays the absolute truth that no matter what ways you come up with to FORCE a person to do good things, you can never make him a good person. We are only good, if we CHOOSE to be - not just because we are forced to be. I highly recommend it.

5. What was your favorite movie from the summer?

Sadly, I have not been to a single movie this summer.

6. Do you take pictures? If so, what kind of camera do you use (even if it is your camera on your phone)? Show us your recent favorite pic!

I LOVE taking pictures - although I'm not very good at it! I have a Panasonic Lumix, and I love it! I took this picture a couple of days ago when we were in a local craft mall and Monkey found this and took it upon herself to model it for us - it was hilarious!

7. Who is your favorite celebrity?

It is currently soccer season - my ReAL boys are doing AWESOME! I've been to several games, and watch on T.V. when I don't get a chance to go to the game. So for now - my current celebrity obsession has got to be this boy:

Chris Wingert

8. Why did you originally start your blog?

I first thought it might be a good way to get some attention for the hairbow business I was doing with my friend Tanielle - it quickly became apparent to me that my blog would be the avenue to something far more valuable than attention for my business. I've met some of my dearest friends through blogging.

Now I tag: The Polka Dot Daisy, Serenity Now, FrouFrou Britches, Karen's Korner, Emmy Mom, Sweet Pea, Bless This Mess, Adventures in Rollerskating.

Here are my questions for you:

Are you a night-owl or an early-bird? And would you change it if you could?

If you could go back to any moment in your past and make a different choice, would you? If it's not too personal - what was that moment?

Do you believe in prayer?

If you won a $500 shopping spree, but had to spend it in ONE store - what store would it be?

What is your favorite food?

Who has been your biggest inspiration in life?

Which room is your favorite room in your house?

Are you a country-girl, or a city-girl? And I'm not asking where you LIVE but who you are!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gettin' my fruit on!


Hey all! Time to talk Muffin Top with Shortmama! That sounds sorta wrong, doesn't it?

Anyway.

Today's question is "How do you stay on track with the change of the seasons?"

My answer? First I have to freakin' get on track!!

But besides that - I, like Shortmama, am relishing the "soup-eating season"! I LOOOOOOVE soup! I'm anxious for Shortmama to share some of those healthy soup recipes she mentioned as well (hint, hint).

One of the things that I've recently become involved with that I think will really help me stay eating healthier in the winter is Bountiful Baskets.

Some of you might know what I'm referring to. I am ordering through a friend right now, so I don't know exactly how everything works, but what I do know is that Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op, volunteer run, and for $15 I get $50 worth of fruits and vegetables.

Not some unkown, scary produce either. High quality, purchased locally first, then regionally, then from small farmers in Mexico (yeah for small farmers!) produce. We are currently on our 2nd basket and we are loving it. The picture above is an actual photo of a Bountiful Basket...not mine, but it IS an accurate portrayal of what they are.

This week for $15 I got: a bunch of bananas, a bunch of grapes, a canaray melon, 2 bell peppers, a half dozen tomatoes, a half dozen peaches, 2 bunches of celery, a cabbage, a bundle of romaine lettuce, a dozen plums and a carton of strawberries - and I think that's it. But I might remember something else later!

And it's good stuff! And they have other options for breads, and tortillas, and I'm not sure what else, but I plan on snooping around their website some more to see what else I can score!

Shortmama - they do Bountiful Baskets in AZ - if you're interested. Also, they have a $25 option for 100% certified organic that I'm going to look into.

So for now, my weapon for helping me stay on track this winter is Bountiful Baskets - and I'm really excited about it! I have even gotten some stuff that I've never tried before, and I'm venturing into some new recipes as a result!

What are some of your ideas for staying on track with the season change?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What really matters


I can't believe the summer is coming to an end. Not that I'm not ready to welcome in fall - because I SO am!

But it's funny, part of me is SO OVER summer, I really am done with the heat - but at the same time it seems like it just flew by! Does that make any sense?

August was especially over in a blink. But it was my best month of the year. Even with the chaos of back to school, and trouble with my shoulder and the accompanying pain and uncertainty, I have had more peace and been more focused on what really matters than probably any time in my life.

In a meeting at the end of June, our Bishop stood and issued a challenge to the members of our ward. He challenged us to attend the temple 6 times during the month of August. 6 times!!! Along with the challenge he gave us 6 promises - for attending the temple 6 times during the month.

The promises were:

1- We will draw closer to the Lord
2- We will be spiritually prepared to face what is put upon us daily.
3- We will receive answers to those questions that are most pressing to us currently.
4- We will have the Spirit of the Lord be with us.
5- We will feel renewed in our bodies and our minds.
6- We will have a greater understanding of Temples and their saving ordinances.

One of the most valuable things I learned from accepting this challenge was that it really isn't very difficult to make time for the temple. We got a slow start, and missed the first week. But we determined we would just go twice a week for the rest of the month. Then my shoulder wrecked those plans. I missed almost another entire week with that. But we were still able to attend 6 times. We ended up going twice on the 31st! We went once in the morning and did initiatory, and went again in the evening for a session.

Doing the 2 different ordinances in the same day really touched me that day, and promise number 6 was really realized for me on that last day, as well as throughout the month. I sat in church today and went through all 6 blessings in my mind, and as I reflected on my life over the past month, I realized that I truly had been blessed in each of these ways.

Another wonderful thing for us was that there were so many people in our ward attending the temple so often in order to reach their goal, that we saw at least one of our neighbors and friends every single time we went! I don't think that's happened to me 6 times in my entire life before this month, let alone 6 times in 4 weeks! It was such a neat experience, and our ward drew even closer than we already were.

My house isn't cleaner, my life isn't more organized, my wallet isn't fatter - and even though I ALWAYS know that these aren't the things that really matter, it's still hard to take that knowledge and FEEL okay with my life in a disarray. But this month I have had such a peace in my heart, and I truly have been able to let go of the stress and anxiety that I usually feel over these and other issues and embrace the knowledge I have of the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, find joy in temple service, and just ENJOY the blessings I have in my life.

I like feeling this way. I want it to stay. So I've decided to try to attend the temple weekly from now on. I know now that I CAN make the time. And how blessed I am to live in this valley where there are temples nearby in every direction. Today during testimony meeting, someone pointed out that if we had wanted to, we could have met the Bishop's challenge and attended a different temple each time without really having to go out of our way.

We also had a new missionary tell us last week how much he loves the temple, and he's going as much as he can before he leaves on his mission to Romania, because then he won't be able to attend for 2 years. It made me feel a little embarrassed at how many temples we have close by, yet how seldom I go.

So anytime anyone wants to join me - I'll be going each week. I'm so grateful our Bishop was inspired to give us this challenge and I'm glad I decided to take this challenge, because it has blessed my life and strengthened my spirit.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sabbath.