Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WWTK - Food!

Today for WWTK, Crazymama wants to know about food:

1 - What is your favorite go-to breakfast recipe for special occasions or company?

This breakfast casserole is hands down the best I have ever had, and we have it frequently for family breakfasts or brunches during the holidays:

Breakfast Casserole
10 eggs                                                 1 pint small curd cottage
½ cup flour                                              cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder                     ½ cup melted butter or marg.
½ teaspoon salt                                     ¾ lb Monterey jack cheese
1 4 oz can chopped green chiles (opt.)  1/3 lb swiss cheese
1 cup sliced fresh or canned mushrooms          
1 cup diced ham or fried bulk sausage

Grate all cheeses.  Beat eggs until light and lemon colored.  Add flour, salt and baking powder.  Beat in cottage cheese until smooth.  Fold in grated cheeses, butter, chiles and other ingredients.  Pour into buttered 9x13 baking pan.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until inserted butter knife comes out clean.  (Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight.)  This is also good if you spread a can of cream of mushroom soup over the top before cooking.

It is seriously delish, y'all.

2 - What is your policy for kids that don't want to eat what you are serving?

Haha, you hit a sensitive subject for me with this one! I'll tell you why after I answer the question.  We have a policy that you eat what is fixed.  My kids are required to at least eat a small portion of the food that is prepared.  If they are willing to do that and they are still hungry afterwords, they can fix themselves a bowl of cereal or a sandwich.  But I don't fix something special for people who don't like what is being served.

It is important to me that my children learn to be able to eat most things for a couple of reasons.  First, I believe it is good manners to try some of everything that is prepared and served at someone's home when you are a guest for a meal.  Second, I married a boy who is his mother's "golden boy", and was (and still is!) doted upon.  Whenever his mom was fixing something he didn't like (and there are LOTS of those things), or that had a particular ingredient he didn't like, she would prepare something "special" for him to have that was just his own.  As a result, when we married, he was THE pickiest eater who had never learned to try, or re-try new things.  I don't want my kids spouses to have to deal with what I did when we were first married!  Luckily he has changed his ways.  He is still picky, but has learned to like (love, even) quite a few things that he used to hate, and even to eat some things that he doesn't like.

3 - Do you take treats to neighbors?  What kind?  

I do take treats to neighbors and friends.  I have 2 usuals:  My famous brownies, or good ole chocolate chip cookies.  I always make the cookies in bar form, because I'm lazy and stuff.

4 - What is your most used spice in your cupboard (besides salt and pepper)?  

Probably cinnamon

5 - What is your favorite fruit?  Do you have a favorite veggie?  

I actually like veggies more than fruit.  My favorite fruit is probably watermelon.  Favorite veggie is a tie between asparagus and summer squash.  At least today!

Bonus question:
6 - It was tax day here in the U.S.  Did you get a return?  How do you spend it?

Being  small business owners, we ALWAYS have to pay.

Want to play along?  Just click the button!  Also, to everyone whom I haven't visited this week - I'm sorry!  Things are crazy, but I hope to get caught up soon!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lots of pennies, less hair and bike riding.

Remember last week when I told you that Cowgirl was getting her hair chopped for Locks of Love, and Bookworm was riding his bike 40 miles to raise money for cancer research, and Pixie was anxious to see if her grade would once again win the Penny wars?   Are you ready for an update?

Bookworm's ride is Friday, and he is excited, but also nervous - wondering if he will be able to ride the full distance.  I have faith in him!  But he also hasn't ridden much at all since winter got over, so we're not sure what level his endurance is at right now!  Fingers crossed!

Once again Pixie's grade won the penny wars!  This makes 4 years running - I think the rest of the school is beginning to feel a little bit humiliated by this group that started out as Kindergarteners, and has continued to beat them every year!!

The penny wars raised $1,009.38!!  A total of 50,000 coins were collected!

I know you're all dying to see Cowgirl's hair.  Here's a reminder of "before":

(windy day!) 

She was interviewed for the news!

The drama unfolding:

Cowgirls' grin while she's getting it chopped cracks me up!

We had 16 students and 4 adults donate a total of 252 inches of hair!!

I'll update you on how the bike ride goes next week.  Bookworm has been busy collecting pledges for each mile he rides.  The 8th grade has set a goal of raising $12,000!  I'll let you know if they reach it - it's quite a lofty goal!  

If you'd like to help, you can donate here.  All donations go directly to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation to help fund cancer research.

I'm proud of my school and proud of my kids and cancer sucks and I can't wait until we kick it's butt.

Linking up here:

Monday, April 16, 2012

He said what??

I thought it was high time for another embarrassing story.  Only this time it was my son who was embarrassed.  And I thought I'd extend the experience for him by putting it online for all the world to see.

A little background:  The director of our charter school (we'll call him Rick) is also our neighbor and friend, and he is my son's scout-master. The assistant director/part time math teacher (we'll call him Dan) is also a family friend, whom I went to school with and then reconnected with a few years ago, and had him come apply at the school.  He is also my son's geometry teacher.

Last week I was in the school doing prospective teacher interviews for our new campus with the new director for that campus.  Since the new school isn't yet built, we were using Rick's office.  The interviews went long, so my kids were left sitting in the lobby for about an hour and a half after school got over!  I finally had to leave the last interview before it was done.  I stepped out of Rick's office and headed through the reception area and out to the lobby, but then Rick and Dan who were sitting in the reception area, asked me what I thought of the interviews.  So I poked my head back in and we talked for about 5 minutes about the candidates.

When the kids and I were finally in the car and headed down the road they asked me what took so long.  I explained to them that I thought I they only had 1 interview scheduled for me, but it ended up being 4!!  Then they asked me what positions the people were applying for.  After I told them that, they asked who I was talking to at the end forever, before we finally left.  Here is how the convo went:

Me: "Oh, I was just talking to Rick and Dan for a sec."

Son (you must read this part out loud to appreciate it): "Wow, that sure was a lot of sec's!!"

Me: "Son!!"

Son:  "Oh my gosh!  I didn't mean that!  Oh my gosh, wow, I can't believe this."

He was mortified to have said that to his mom.  And dies a little more everytime I repeat the story!

So I repeat it frequently.  You are welcome.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Proud Mama of kiddos doing their part in the fight against Cancer.

For anybody who has been around my blog for the long term, you know that each year our school does a big fundraising, multi-activity event called Pedals for Hope, to raise money for cancer research.  It kicks off with an assembly where they start their penny wars - a fun competition where each grade tries to raise the most money in pennies.  Grades can sabotage other grades by putting monies of larger denomination in each other's collection jars.  So however many pennies they collect count FOR their total, but then whatever they have had put in their jar that is larger (quarters, dollar bills, 20's) counts AGAINST their total.  Between the students collecting pennies, and then adding larger amounts to each others collections - we always have quite a fun and successful "war".  Pixie's grade has won every year. She loves to remind her brother and sister of that fact.

The next thing is the Locks of Love assembly.  Anyone who has a minimum of 10 inches of hair to spare, can chop it off and donate it.  It's a big to-do, with all the hair donors sitting in chairs lined up on the stage, hair stylists lined up behind them with scissors, and then chop, chop, chop to the applause of the rest of the student body!

The culminating event is the Pedals for Hope bike ride, where the 8th grade students, who have been collecting sponsorships and other donations ride their bikes along a riverside trail for way more miles than I could even think of riding!  In the past it has ranged from 40 to 100 miles.  This year there is a number of hours allotted, and mile markers along the trail, and students ride as many miles as they desire, and are able, during the allotted amount of time.

How does this make me proud as a mom?  First, I have Cowgirl, who has hair that reaches more than halfway down her back.  These were taken before school this morning.

Tomorrow she will be donating 12 inches in the Locks of Love assembly.  Pixie did it last year, and they both did it together 2 years before that (it takes them a minimum of 2 years to grow it back long enough to donate again).  You can see the before and after pictures here and here.

Then there is Bookworm.  Not only is he riding next Friday, but out of designs submitted by the entire 8th grade, his was the one picked to be the T-shirt design for the 2012 Pedals for Hope t-shirts that all the riders will be wearing.  I know he is really proud of it, and I am proud of him!

All money raised goes to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the only National Cancer Institute - designated Cancer Center in the Intermountain West.  HCI is considered a world leader in cancer genetics.  It's scientists have helped identify gene mutations responsible for colon cancer, melanoma, neurofibromatosis, and most recently, hereditary paraganglioma (a rare cancer afflicting the interface between the endocrine and nervous systems.)

You can help.

We all know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease.  I'm proud of children who are doing their part to help win the battle.  If you'd like to donate you can click here.  All donations go directly to the Huntsman Cancer Institute on behalf of our school.  You have until next Friday (April 20th).  I would love if you felt you had any amount that you could donate.  Cancer needs to be stopped.

I'll be updating you next week with the final total and pictures of Cowgirl with her new, short 'do!

I'm linking up here:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WWTK Wednesday - IF

I'm not usually one to do multiple blog posts in one day.  But I couldn't pass up this week's edition of WWTK - so even thought I posted already - I'm doing it again!

This week's questions come from Mamarazzi - here we go!

1 - If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?

I'm going to have to go with Hawaii Five-O.  I mean, not only is it in gorgeous Hawaii (where I've never been, and may never go), but then you've got these guys to look at when you're done appreciating the island scenery:
Not the chick - the other 3.

Plus I want to be a tough chick who carries a gun and can beat the crap out of bad guys.

2 - If you could be guaranteed one thing in life, besides money, what would you ask for?

That is a tough one, but I think I would choose wisdom in raising my children.  Seriously people - I don't know what the crap I'm doing.

3 - If you had to name the most terrifying event in your life thus far, what would it be?

It was terrifying at the time, but ended up being no big deal.  But basically when my son was born, he was a really fast breather (all of my kids have been as newborns).  The staff got all worried and ordered a spinal tap to check for infection, which was terrifying in and of itself.  But then when the doctor came to talk to me and I asked him (as a first time mother mind you), "What does it mean if there is an infection?"  He bluntly answered, "Well he could die." in a tone that was like "duh!"  He had a lovely bedside manner.  I was pretty terrified although it ended up being much ado about nothing.  There is a lot more to the story, but it still pisses me off every time I think about it, so I'll save that for another day.

4 - If you could possess one supernatural ability, what would it be?

So I've said this before, and I don't know if this is the kind of supernatural ability  Mama had in mind when she asked the question, but I have always wished I could be like Jeannie and "blink" things to happen.  Like blink my house clean, blink myself from one place to another, blink a red light green, you know - stuff like that.  That would freaking rule.

5 - If you could "uninvent" one thing in the world, so that it would no longer exist, what would you choose?

I'm going to go with cigarettes.  No offense to anyone who smokes, but I get sick to my stomach when I get even the slightest whiff of cigarette smoke, and I can smell it from a block a way - seriously.  I hate having that smell sneak into my outdoor fun and make me gag.  Plus, people who smoke around their kids make me really mad.  Really mad.

And there you go!  That was fun - you should totally do it.  Click the button and link up here:


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pour Your Heart Out: Kindness Begins With Me.

This post is something that has been on my mind for months.  Something that I have been afraid of posting for fear that I might offend someone I like, or alienate another blogger, or just generally make people mad, and not like me.  But it seems that each time I start to think about this post, my feelings are stronger, and it's time for me to pour it out into words.

It's about being mean.  I keep seeing it all over online and it truly troubles me.  It especially disappoints me when I see it from fellow Christian bloggers.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I am guilty of an insult spoken in anger or irritation, or a snicker with a friend when somebody does something silly, or foolish.  And it's not right, and I need to work on it.  But I do try in earnest to be a kind person.  I know how self-conscious I can be, and how it stings to think other people might be judging me, or making fun of me.

For the past few months I have seen too many posts that I can only categorize as mean-spirited.  I'm not talking about venting on your blog because you have a personal conflict with your neighbor, or you got in a fight with a co-worker, or somebody wronged you and you need to get it off your chest by blogging about it.  I'm talking about being mean.  Not good-natured teasing, or being funny, but just down right mean.  Posts that mock someone else, or a group of someone elses.  People that are real, actual people.  People who have their own trials and triumphs, their own families who love them, and whom they love back - real people.  Not characters in a book or a show, but fellow members of the human race.  They feel.  They have joy, they have heartache, they are trying just like you and me to make their way in this world and find contentment.  Some might not be too bright.  Some might not be too attractive.  Some might have poor hygiene, and wear really ugly, unflattering clothes.  But so what?  I don't know why they dress that way, or don't take better care of themselves.  Maybe they're too poor to shop at the stores you and I do, or maybe they're just too depressed to care, and it's all they can do to even get dressed at all.  Maybe they grew up in foster care and were never in good homes and taught how to properly care for themselves.  I don't know their story, so who am I to ridicule them?  Especially in such a public forum as a blog?  It opens it up for more people to pile it on through comments, as they feel the need to get in on the action and make fun too.  It's called "mob-mentality", and people feed off it and join in the fun of making fun.  Isn't that what we call "bullying" when we're referring to what happens with kids?

I've seen posts ranging from mocking complete strangers that someone crossed paths with, to calling out people they actually know for having an ugly house or yard.  I wonder how it would make me feel to go online and come across a blog that had a picture of me posted, or a picture of my house and yard, and was making fun for all to laugh at, and join in the ridicule?  As I've had these thoughts, it's made me reflect back on my own blog, and question whether I have been guilty of this type of unkind behavior.  If I have, I sincerely apologize to whomever I may have directed that unkindness toward (whether they ever saw it or not, I'm sorry).

The most recent one I saw was sort of the final straw for me:  I read a blog last week who's author had taken the local "born in 2011" newspaper insert, and proceeded to make a list (including running mean commentary) of, in her words, "the best of the worst" baby names that people in that small community had named their children last year.  I noticed in the comments a person who happened to actually be the older sibling of one of the babies whose name was made fun of, questioning the use of this blogger's time  in ridiculing her parents.  Do you think this blogger felt bad, or apologized?  She didn't, instead she responded with a sarcastic remark, and again proceeded to make fun of the name of this woman's little brother.   I felt sickened.  And also a little betrayed that this blogger is a "Christian".

"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" ~ John 13:34

Regardless of religious affiliation, we all share a bond called womanhood.  We all have at least some common threads that connect our hearts.  Whether it be the joys and heartaches of motherhood, the struggle to conceive a child, the pain of losing a child, the journey of marriage, or college, or our career paths - we all share a connection by virtue of being women.  I don't care what the feminists say, there is something unique in our characters as women that connects us.  So wouldn't our time be better spent by building each other up, instead of tearing down?  Couldn't more satisfaction come our way by warming each others hearts rather than joining together in laughing at the expense of someone else?

Again, let me make it clear that I in no way view myself as perfect.  I'm certainly not always as kind as I could be, and I have many, many more flaws that I need to work on.  I absolutely don't think the people that wrote these things are horrible people.  I'm very certain that they do much good in their lives.  But this meanness is something I just couldn't witness anymore without saying something.  And I have made a commitment to myself (and now to you since I'm putting it in writing!), to be more mindful of the things I publish on my blog.

I learned a song when I was a little girl in primary, and my children have learned it themselves.  It is a simple song meant to help young children learn an important principle, but I find that as an adult I can still benefit from it's sweet message:

I want to be kind to everyone,
for that is right you see.
So I say to myself, remember this:
Kindness begins with me.

I'm linking up here:

Reclaiming my life, bit by bit

So I've been working on getting the Mind Organization for Mom's program implemented in my life.  I'm taking a little longer than I probably should have, because it was really hard to focus on getting it completely set up during spring break for my kids last week!

I would say I'm doing the system about 70% right now.  That's not due to the program being hard to follow (because it's surprisingly simple once set up), only that I don't quite have all my crap sorted out that I needed to go through in order to get it all "plugged in" to the sytem.  <----- I know that doesn't really even make any sense, since ("sense since"?), you don't KNOW the system.  But I am already seeing big changes in my life.  I am still following the email system I told you about, and it is working like a charm!

I can't wait until I have the program fully implemented (like within the next couple of days...woohoo!), and then give you guys a review and also give a copy of the awesome program away to one of you!

One of the things that doing this has really helped me with, is seeing exactly where I commit my time.  It is all laid out before me as I categorize all the projects I am involved in, and it's been interesting and a little embarrassing to see how much time I spend on things that really aren't as important as they seem when I obsess over them - in comparison with the things that truly are important and meaningful.  It's really helping me prioritize my time and my commitments.  I think it is really going to bless my family.

That's about it for an update on my organization tackling...I'll have much more for you soon though!

Linking up with my girls!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Good Things:

Monday, Monday - what to blog about?  I actually had a great weekend and thought I'd share a few of the good things:

Easter - obviously.  Gorgeous day here in Utah, wonderful church service, followed by a great afternoon with the fam.  

Family Fun on Friday - It was a soccer weekend, date night with the Hubby.  But Friday was about the kids.  We headed to the stadium for Friday Friendly.  It's a free little mini-party for fans with food, prizes, a video FIFA tournament, and fun kiddie activities.  The kids enjoyed the bounce-house, and trying to kick the ball into the goal.  I enjoyed winning one of the drawings.  Hello Subway giftcard, Chile Verde giftcard, RSL Christmas tree decoration, and RSL/Budweiser beer glass (Do you think the glass will be offended that it will be used for drinking mostly milk or water, with maybe the occasional soda?).

New music to love - I have some great new music to share.  It's the highlight of my post - I hope you'll listen!  Saturday when we got to the stadium, Carnival ReAL was going on.  It's a little pre-game carnival with fun booths and games and such.  Saturday they had live music!  We were headed into the stadium, but this song caught my attention.  I asked Hubby could we please go over to the grass and listen for a bit.  We don't often enjoy the same music, but we both dug what we heard from local band, Argyle.  They sound great, and as an added bonus are super cute.  You know I have to give a shout-out whenever I stumble upon some great home-grown talent!  I seriously am proud of the talent we have here in Utah, and I like to help spread the word whenever I can!  I hope you'll take a listen, I think you'll like what hear.  If you do, I encourage you to go over and like them on facebook!

They sound great, right?  Totally using my iTunes gift card to snag their album.

And last but definitely not least:


My boys kicked some Colorado trash!  The Colorado Rapids are basically our archnemeses.  We battle every year for the Rocky Mountain Cup.  There is nothing like a rivalry to bring out my trash-talking, ref-scolding, loudmouth healthily competitive side.    We dominated the first leg Saturday night, the atmosphere was amazing, and the boys played like champions!  It was a great night.

The fans bring down the house.  Always.  Credit

How was your Easter weekend?  Hope it was great like mine!!

I'm linking up here!

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Confessional

It's that time again - one of my favorite blogging days.  Time to link up with Mamarazzi, confess, and get it all off your chest!


I confess...

I have been a HUGE blog slacker this week.  Mostly because my kids have been on spring break and we've been hanging out as a family a lot.  But also because I am feeling boring and lame lately too.

I confess...

I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by the thought of an upcoming craft show that I signed up for.  It will be the first time I've ever done one alone.  Previously I was making cute stuff with my bestie Tanielle, so craft shows were a joint undertaking.

I confess...

Every time I see these pinned on pinterest, I don't think of mummies, I think of Baby Jesus - and that just seems so wrong!

Seriously, the first time I saw them, I did a double take, and the voice inside my head said, "what the...??"

I confess...

I haven't been to bed before 3 in at least 3 nights.  I don't remember the nights before that because my mind has basically shut down from lack of sleep!

I confess...

As I type this, I am waiting for my friend to come over for my French lesson, but all I really want to do is crawl back into my warm bed and go to sleep.  I'm tired.  Or, "Je suis fatiguee."

If you have anything to get off your chest, I highly recommend linking up and playing along.  Or just go read other people's confessions, whatever you want.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What do my pins say about me?

I thought it would be fun to "showcase" what I've been pinning, when I was thinking about what I should blog about today.  At first I thought maybe I would somehow pick 3 pin boards (I have 18),  and show you my most recent 3 pins on those boards.  But then I didn't know how I would pick which boards to show you.  So then I thought I would just pull up all my pins (I have 1083), and show you my most recent 6 pins.  Here you go!

So basically my pins reflect that I am obsessed with shoes and food? I don't know - I have some cute shoes, and I AM fat - I guess that would be an accurate assessment. What do your pins say about you? Follow me here if you want to see what else I'm all about!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Uplifted and Edified

....those are the words to describe how I feel right now.

After a weekend of General Conference, I always feel renewed.  But this conference particularly was a favorite of mine.  Every single talk spoke to me, inspired me, and re-motivated me to try harder to be better.

I know that there are many in the blogging community who feel that discussing religion is taboo.  It should be avoided on one's blog.  But it makes me wonder, how does one blog and leave out religion when their faith is literally who they are?  If my blog is supposed to be a reflection of me, my thoughts, my stories, my experiences - how can I avoid blogging about the one thing that encompasses all of what I do in my life?

Exactly.  I can't.  So I don't, and if you prefer not to read - that's okay.

I said last week that I was going to share a favorite conference quote every day leading up to conference.  Epic fail.  I shared ONE.  But it's all good, I decided to just share some of my favorite things from this past weekend's session.

The first thing came from President Uchtdorf (I seriously love that man).  He was talking about judging, and gossiping, and the ways we look at others.  He said really the sermon could be summed up in two words.  " 'Stop it'.  It's that simple."  I know he was talking just to me.  Another quote from his talk that I loved, "Don't judge me because you sin differently than I do."  It's so true.  We all have things we're working on, and something that comes easily to me, might be a real challenge for someone else, just as some things that are a big weakness for me to overcome, are easily handled by someone else.  It's not my place to judge anyone, and I find myself doing it far too often.  And do you know what?  It doesn't make my life better, or make me any happier to pass judgement on someone else.  So why?  Why do I?

I also loved Elder Ballard's talk, in which he said, "There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home." (quoting Joseph F. Smith)

He went on to say that the most important "cause" of our lifetimes is our families.  He talked about prioritizing and reevaluating the things we do, to make sure that our families are the "cause" that we dedicate the most energy and effort into.  It was a wonderful reminder to me.  No matter what else I do or accomplish in life, it doesn't mean anything if I have failed my family.

The last one I want to share hit me very profoundly, because it addressed something that has been on my mind a lot lately.  I have shared privately with some of you my frustration with some of the misconceptions out there about my faith.  Particularly the idea that we aren't Christian.  It bothers me.  The name of our church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."  We believe in, and worship Jesus Christ.  Elder Anderson addressed this topic and he referenced when Christ asked the Pharisees, "What think ye of Christ?".  Elder Andrson then said, "In the final assessment, our personal discipleship will not be judged by friends, or foes.... as Paul said 'we shall stand before the judgement seat of Christ' that day the important question for each of us will be, 'What thinks Christ of me?'"  I want to live my life in such a way that when I meet my Savior, there will be no doubt in his mind that I am a Christian.

I loved sitting and listening to the messages of church leaders, and men whom I know to be prophets of God.  I especially loved sharing the experience with my family, and discussing the messages we heard afterward.  I feel uplifted and edified, and am rededicating myself to try harder to be better.