RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Friday, December 9, 2011

5k Friday and Gingerbread houses

This morning I went to the gym and actually jogged my 5k.  I'm very happy with myself :)

Last night we went to Pack Meeting and watched the kids make gingerbread houses.  Even Chloe pulled herself out of bed and went.

Brian jumped in and helped a little.

Graeme had a plan, if I didn't know better I'd swear he had blueprints hidden somewhere.  He was very focused!

Almost done!

All the way done!

This is Chloe's house after the tremendous candy rainstorm that came through.

Kai thinks tall.

And this is Graeme's ski lodge.

This is all three houses all the way finished.  Left to right: Kai's, Graeme's Chloe's.

It was good big fun and everybody's at school today.  Hooray!

Monday, December 5, 2011

I am a Christian

I had kind of a shock yesterday in Primary.  We were discussing the political atmosphere in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas in ancient times (you know, Jews vs Christians) and one of my students looked at me and said:

"Well, we're not christians, we're Mormons."

Immediately all the other kids joined in with similar comments.  I was really, really surprised!  We've spent this whole last year studying the New Testament, learning the teachings of Jesus Christ!  Plus, one of these kids has a dad in the Bishopric, one of them has a dad in the High Priest Group leadership, one of them has a mom in the Relief Society Presidency and they all come from strong, faithful families.  No wonder the world doesn't consider us christians, our own children don't consider themselves christians!

It made me wonder: do my children know?  You can bet we'll be having this discussion in FHE tonight!

But for the record, I belong to the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, sometimes referred to as the "Mormons".  I believe that JESUS CHRIST lived on this earth, died and was resurrected.  I believe that JESUS CHRIST is the Son of God who atoned for my sins.  I believe that JESUS CHRIST is the Savior of the world and is my own, personal Savior.  In short,


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Walkin' on Sunshine

Well, it only took me 9 years, but I've finally figured out why Graeme is the way he is.  Why he's always moving and has a hard time paying attention.

No, he doesn't have ADHD and he's not stupid.  In fact, he's very smart.  You know that song, Walkin' on Sunshine?  Well, I think Graeme's heart beats to that song.  I think it's woven into his very soul.  His little body quivers with it.  And it REALLY explains his behavior.  Oh well, I can certainly think of worse things to drive a person :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

5k Friday

Okay, I'll confess.  There was no 5k today.  I'm sick.  Not nearly as sick as Graeme and Kai so it's not much of an excuse, but there it is.  The boys are getting better, the van is fixed and the grocery shopping's done for another week so I'm going to call it good and try not to think about the cat's limp, the car's flat tire and the fact that I'm sick.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just Breathe

Croup is a horrible, scary childhood illness that I knew nothing about until this morning at about 4.  It is my new least favorite nasty little virus.

I've heard the phrase "croupy cough" my whole life but that in no way prepared me for the overwhelming terror I felt at 2:30 this morning as I sat on the bathroom floor with Kai in my lap coughing, wheezing and gasping for air.  This was far beyond my meager 12 years of parenting experience.  He's had a fever for a couple of days but no other symptoms, not even congestion.

We tried giving him some albuterol and it did nothing.  FYI, croup is a viral infection of the throat and albuterol is designed to open restricted bronchial airways.  Who knew?  Anyway, Brian rushed him to the ER where they diagnosed it as croup and gave him a steroid which almost immediately returned his breathing to almost normal.

I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am for modern medicine and for doctors and nurses willing to work all night.  And Brian's going to give Kai a blessing tonight.  Good thing, too, otherwise I'm not sure I'll be able to put him to bed.

Friday, October 14, 2011

5k Friday and Where does happiness really come from?

I went to the gym this morning, bright and early and had a great workout.  I did four miles total so I feel really good about that.  I haven't been super diligent about going to the gym for the last few weeks so every effort I make to go is a good one in my book.

On a related subject, where does happiness really come from?  A couple days ago I was watching The Biggest Loser (which is normally a show I very much enjoy) and I was shocked and disappointed at what I was seeing and hearing.  On this particular episode they had brought back three former Biggest Loser contestants to help and motivate the current batch of Biggest Losers.  Which I think is great.  The problem came when Bob (one of the trainers) started making a bunch of comments about how this one former contestant was such a mess when she was on the show and how now she's so thin and beautiful and happy.  Then several of the current contestants started talking about how they had never before been truly happy (they were always faking it) and how great it was going to be when they were thin and "beautiful" and happy.   As if true happiness comes from being skinny and as long as a person is fat, true happiness is completely unattainable.

I don't know about you, but I couldn't disagree more with that particular sentiment.  As it happens, I know skinny people who are unhappy most of the time and I know fat people who are happy most of the time.  When I was a Junior in High School I was incredibly thin and unhappy most of the time.  When I was a missionary I was a normal weight and happy more often than not.  Now I'm obese and even though I have bad days and even weeks, my happiness runs deep and is never far from me.  I believe that happiness is a state of mind, not a state of body.  My fat doesn't make me sad, it's my inability to accept my body just the way it is that sometimes takes my mind off my happiness.  I believe true happines is a complex thing and wells up from a number of sources.  Faith, obedience to God, gratitude and service are key.  Time and experience factor in.  Good relationships and plenty of human contact, accomplishments and stress management and yes, even exercise and healthy eating help but being thin and "beautiful" are a passing part of this existence and NEVER bring true and lasting happiness.

So, to put my money where my mouth is, here are my top ten reasons why I love my body just the way it is:

10:  I have great hair and nails.  My hair is strong, soft and thick and my nails are also strong and grow like weeds :)
9:  Everything (mostly) works exactly the way it's supposed to!  My body is a marvel of biological engineering capable of fixing and reproducing itself with only fairly minor assistance.  Honestly, brilliant people study the human body their whole lives and still don't know everything there is to know about it.  And I have one of my very own!
8:  I'm tall.  Okay, I struggle with this one because it's really hard to find pants that fit properly (apparently only short girls are fat) but I am starting to discover that being tall commands respect so I'm really trying to own it.
7:  I have FIERCE curves.  I look like a woman and no one will EVER mistake me for an adolescent boy!
6:  Unlike my children, my body always does exactly what I ask it to do.  Even when it can't it at least tries.
5:  I am strong.  I mean REALLY strong.  You try carrying around 100 extra pounds everywhere you go and see how long you last.
4:  I have beautiful and capable hands.
3:  My body does everything it can to protect me.  It stores fat just in case a famine comes along, it entertains me, it transports me places, it warns me when I'm doing something dangerous, it even lets me know when something is wrong.  My body takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!
2:  My body is loaded with talents, skills and creativity.  I am beautiful and unique inside and out.
1:  But here's the most important one:  my body is a symbol of God's love for me.  He offered me this body and this human experience and I made the right choice and accepted it.  How great is that?  And if I choose to dislike even one small bit of this priceless gift from a loving Father in Heaven what am I saying to Him?

Let's face it, I will probably never be thin and "beautiful" again.  But are those things really necessary for me to be happy?  I don't think so.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A walk

This morning I went for a walk.

I saw color: green, brown, a touch of red, one whole tree with leaves yellow like the sun.  I saw flowers, grass, bushes and trees moving in the wind.  I saw the mountains solid and unmoving.  I saw rocks and grasshoppers and houses and dogs and cows.  I saw beautiful things.

I heard my footsteps.  I heard the wind moving through the leaves and grass and past my ears.  I heard insects and dogs and children and cars.  I heard beautiful things.

I smelled Fall.  I smelled grass and trees and dirt.  I smelled cows and hay.  I smelled the canyon on the wind and the coolness that is no longer Summer and is not quite Winter.  I smelled beautiful things.

I felt my legs moving and my heart beating.  I felt the sun on my face and the wind pushing and tugging at me.  I felt beautiful things.

Now I feel my Father's love in all this beauty trying to break through the ugliness that is living inside me.  I hope it succeeds.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Prove Me

About a month ago life was very good.  I was feeling good about myself, my life, my faith, my calling.  I was listening to an album that a good friend gave me last Christmas (The Collection, Hilary Weeks) and one of the songs just jumped out at me.  It's called "Prove Me" and this is how it starts:

A fearless heart
Unwavering faith
The kind of courage and conviction
That it takes
To leave your home behind
Or part the Red Sea
I wonder
Did God plant that kind of strength in me?
Just a seed now, but maybe it will grow

She goes on to ask God to refine and test her until all her flaws and earthly imperfections are washed away and her will turns to Him.  She ends the song with:

Until I trust without hesitation
When humility has chased away the pride
Until the day through Your grace
I'm welcomed home
Until then
Prove me

At the time I thought, as I have many times before, how great it would be to be that faithful.  But this time, deep in my heart, I finally spoke those quiet words: "prove me".  The response to my timid request was swift and unexpected.  I was presented with a situation that has brought me to my knees and more.  Several times I've hit rock bottom.  I've felt like I had taken all I was capable of taking and I simply couldn't go on.  Each time, as I considered giving up, I again heard that voice, my voice, deep in my heart: "prove me" and I got up and went on.

I'll admit, I haven't handled this well.  I haven't put my trust in my Heavenly Father without hesitation and my pride is big and ugly and ever-present.  I hang onto my flaws and earthly imperfections and my will is all over the place.  But I haven't given up.  Right now, I feel like the kid whose Little League coach is visiting him in the hospital after a big game.  The coach says: "you got hurt pretty bad, are you okay?"  "Yeah, coach.  I'm okay but I sure made some stupid mistakes."  "Well then, let's talk about it and see if we can figure out how to fix those mistakes next time."  I'm wounded and hurting but boy am I glad He's willing to help me and give me all the next times I need.  I'm bracing myself because here it comes again:

prove me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

5k Friday - on a Thursday

I know it's not Friday, but I won't be able to do my 5k tomorrow so I did it today.  It was very hard because I haven't done it for two weeks (various excuses) but I did it anyway.  4.2 treadmill miles and I jogged 3.1 of them.  Hooray for me!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beautiful garden

Graeme and Kai and I spent a couple of days weeding while Chloe and Brian were at girls' camp.  When they got back we finally planted corn and beans.  So here's proof of what I did instead of doing my 5k on Friday.  Oh, and the peas should be ready to start picking in a few days.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Holy wind, Batman!

I was making lunch yesterday and suddenly Graeme started yelling:  "Hey! our garbage can is blowing down the street!"  I raced outside right into the full fury of a strong microburst.  (It about took my shirt off, I hope the neighbor wasn't looking out his window!)

Sure enough, every recently emptied garbage and recycle can on the street was literally blowing away.  My neighbor and I raced to grab as many as we could and a few of the older boys on the street took care of the rest.  (We have such wonderful youth in our ward, they weren't even told to come help, they just noticed there was a problem and took care of it) 

I got my hand smashed by a lid blowing closed but otherwise everybody was fine.  Crazy, crazy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

5k Friday - a day late

I meant to post yesterday and just never got around to it.  Darn it!

Yesterday morning the boys and I were getting ready for the day and Graeme looked at me and said:  "Mommy, you look much better now than before you started exercising."  Awwww!  That was all the motivation I needed to go exercise some more!  So I went to the gym and ran my 5k.  I jogged the whole thing!  I ended up doing 5.2 miles so I feel good about that.  And I gave in and bought some new clothes that aren't too big or worn out so all in all I'm feeling pretty good today :)  My oldest sis did her 5k also.  Anybody else?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just the two of us

Today's a big day.  Graeme had scout camp and a baseball game, Chloe had school and a birthday party and Brian had work and a meeting this evening.  So Kai and I took ourselves to Willow Park (Zoo) for a little fun.

Kai took this picture, he thought the pelican was the coolest thing ever.  He didn't believe me that it was a pelican until we found the information sign confirming it.  The only thing better (in Kai's mind) was the wallaby but it stopped hopping and laid down in the grass before I could get the camera out.

We had to feed the fishes and birds but it was hard convincing Kai to go one piece at a time, he wanted to throw the whole handful in at once!  He's very six :)

The sno-cone stand opened while we were there so we got one to share.  Yum!  Blue raspberry flavored sugar water!

I kept trying to get a picture of him coming out of the slide but he was just too darn fast.

So I made him go back and sit there so I could take a picture!

Even though I only have three kids, one-on-one time with each of them is incredibly rare so I really cherish these special moments.

Monday, June 20, 2011

And now for something completely different......

I just have to comment on the ludicrous nature of television programming today. 

There's a new show on ABCFamily called "Switched at Birth".  This is not a made-for-tv movie, it's a full-on series about two families who took home the wrong baby girls.  Said girls are now teenagers and (apparently) just now finding out that they're not who they thought they were (insert dramatic music here).

Is it just me or is this a really stupid idea?  I mean, sure there's all kinds of drama when everybody finds out, but then what do you do next week?  "I'm sorry Sarah, you can't go to the prom after all.  You were SWITCHED AT BIRTH!"  Or how about this: "Oh, now I understand why our baby had somebody else's name on her hospital wristband!  She was SWITCHED AT BIRTH!"  Or even better:  "I'm sorry, but you're not my real daughter.  I'm going to stop paying for your expensive designer jeans because you were SWITCHED AT BIRTH!"

I may have to swear off TV for awhile until they get their collective act together :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

5k Friday

I haven't been to the gym much in the past week (see the previous two posts :) but I went today and did my 5k.  I only jogged 2.5 miles (because I was going to heave all over the skinny girl on the treadmill next to me, that's why!) but I ended up doing 4.1 miles total so I feel pretty good about the overall experience.

I'm still gunning for running a 5k in real life.  I will succeed!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bear Lake, Lagoon and Blessings

Okay, end of pity party :)

Last weekend our kind neighbors gave us free tickets to Lagoon and it was our first opportunity of the year to go up to Bear Lake.  Needless to say we did both!  Here are some fun pictures in no particular order.  As for the blessings part, my sister and her family who live in Arizona are safe and well.  Their house is in the Monument fire zone and they were evacuated a couple of days ago.  They were told that their house is undamaged but most of the surrounding houses are gone.  Please pray for them and their neighbors.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pity Party

WARNING: I'm in a foul mood and feeling pretty sorry for myself right now so if you're happy and having a fantastic day, feel free to go look at something else :)

It's the first Monday of summer vacation and Brian's home sick from work so instead of sleeping in (like a normal person would have) I got up at 7am (okay, 7:05) and went to the gym where I beat the crap out of myself for over an hour.  Chances are pretty good that I'll do the same thing the rest of this week.  I just wish it was making a difference.  I'm so tired of being fat and having no self-esteem to speak of that I can't hardly stand it.  I'm trying so hard, why isn't it making a difference?  Why can my neighbor who lost 30 pounds on the HCG diet (I've lost 40 the old-fashioned way) bring me a skirt that's "much too big" for her assuming that it will fit me?  I don't want to be the "fat friend" anymore.  I want to be the "skinny friend who runs marathons".  You know?

Friday, June 3, 2011

5k Friday - Graeme edition

Yesterday was the last day of school.  I was sitting in my car waiting for the kids and the song "Walking on Sunshine" came on the radio.  Suddenly Graeme came out of the school (all the way on the other side of the playground), did a little leap of joy, and proceeded to dance from the school to my car.  The best part was, he was completely in time with the song that I was listening to!  It was such a happy, spontaneous thing that I just smiled the rest of the day.

So why does that matter?  Because Graeme is 9 years old today and there have been countless little, joyful experiences like that in his life and I'm sure there will be countless more in the years to come.  The question is:  will I be around to enjoy them?

Today I have a gigantic list of things that need to be done but I took that hour and a half to go to the gym and run my 5k.  I did it for Graeme.  I didn't want to do it, I was tired and had other things to do, but I thought of Graeme's dance yesterday and how badly I want to be here for him as long as I possibly can.  It seems counterintuitive to say that spending time away from my children is the best thing for them, but in this case it really is.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be thin, but I'm starting to realize that being as healthy as I possibly can is a much better goal.

So I went to the gym and jogged my 5k, walked another mile and lifted weights.  For Graeme and all the other really important people in my life.  Who matters to you?  Who do you want to live for?

Friday, May 27, 2011

5K Friday

I'm back, baby! And man does it feel good!

That's right, I went to the gym this morning and ran my 5k.  In fact, I also walked before and after so I ended up doing 4.2 miles and I didn't feel like I was going to die!  It's good to be healthy again :)  Now I'm off to do my grocery shopping where I will walk another couple of miles.  Hooray!

So what's your plan?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Last One

Kai's Kindergarten graduation was Monday night and I just don't know how I feel about it.

They were all adorable, of course.

They sang and did sign language and acted.

And while I'm excited to have all the kids in school all day next year........

I can't believe that this was our last Kindergarten graduation!

I feel so old :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

I had a really great weekend!  We cleaned the house for the first time in three weeks; a little embarassing that it had been that long, but what can you do.  It stopped raining long enough on Saturday for me (and the rest of the neighborhood) to mow the lawn.  Seriously, I think there were only two people in the whole neighborhood who didn't mow :)

 The garden is coming up in spite of all the rain.  We have onions, radishes, spinach, and ....

peas!  Hooray!

The strawberries are even starting to flower.  They should be fabulous this year, what with all the rain, if they can just outgrow the grass!

This is the kids' idea of a relaxing Sunday activity:

Kai says it's bigger on the inside than the outside.  It probably is although it's pretty huge on the outside!

The best part is that I'm finally feeling better!  I went to the gym this morning and did 5 miles between the elliptical and the treadmill.  Hallelujah!  I guess I just don't appreciate good health until I've been sick!

Friday, May 20, 2011

5k Friday

I didn't make my 5k today, but in all fairness I've been sick as a dog since Sunday night.  I did 2 miles grocery shopping so that'll have to do for now.  Next week I'm back to my usual routine or else!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You know you're sick when......

.......combing your hair means you have to sit down for a few minutes and wait for your head to stop spinning before you can do anything else.

Man, I haven't been this sick in a long, long time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I found her

Saturday was the worst and best day of my life.

We were so busy!  Brian took me to market at 8am, then he ran home to take Graeme to his soccer game by 8:45.  Meanwhile, a neighbor came and took Chloe to softball practice at 9.  After the game and practice, there was a neighborhood cleanup scheduled and then Brian had to come back and get me at 1pm.  Crazy, right?  Well, we made it to market on time and I was doing my thing when the phone rang at about 10:30.  It was Brian and he said:

"Chloe's not home and I can't find her."

I can't describe how I felt hearing those words.  My heart stopped and I couldn't breathe.  I think Brian was surprised by the visceral nature of my reaction.  I was literally hysterical.  All I could say was:  "find her!"  All the worst case scenerios were rushing through my brain.  I couldn't see and my only coherent thought was that I had to get home and find her!  The problem was that I didn't have a car.  So did I ask a friend to run me home?  Look for a bus stop?  Call a cab?  No, I called my Mom.  Here I am, all grown up with kids of my own and what do I do in that moment of extreme stress?  That's right, I turn back into a small child.  Anyway, even though they live an hour away, Mom and Dad dropped everything and were going to come get me.  I am so very grateful for that.

An agonizing half-hour later Brian called back and said:

"I found her."

The three most wonderful words in the world!  It turns out she was still at softball practice, they were just in a different part of the park and Brian hadn't been able to see her before.  The relief I felt was so intense, it took me more than an hour to stop crying.  The people who stopped by my booth must've thought I was nuts!  When I got home, I just hugged her and hugged her.  Those moments when I thought she was lost were without a doubt the worst in my life and when she was found once more I was happier than I have ever been.

Here's the thing.  I constantly tell my Primary class how important they are and how much God loves them (and I know that to be true) but until Saturday I'm not sure I really understood.  As I was getting ready for church yesterday it hit me so hard I had to sit down.  That overwhelming grief I felt when I thought Chloe was lost is just a fraction of what our Heavenly Father feels when any one of us is lost.  We are His children and He loves us perfectly and eternally.  I wonder how much more His joy is when a lost one is brought home?  I'm sure the heavens ring with songs of rejoicing when those wonderful words come:

"I found her!"

Friday, May 13, 2011

5k Friday

Okay, I'm pretty sure that not even my mom is reading my blog anymore, but I'm going to give this a try anyway.

I have this goal.  I want to run (not walk) a 5k in real life.  It's not that far, only 3.1 miles, and I can do it on a treadmill pretty much anytime I want to.  And I can walk it (in real life) anytime I want to, but I really, really want to run that whole 3.1 miles in real life.

So I've been going to the gym three times a week and doing other exercise at home two or three times a week and every Friday I run that 5k on the treadmill.  And I guess it's getting a tiny bit easier :)

But here's the thing, in order to take that next step (jogging in real life) I need some moral support/competition.  So if you're reading this, I want you to commit to do a 5k every Friday.  You don't need to jog it; you can walk it, swim it, roller skate it, ride a bike (it) or even crawl it if that's what floats your boat.  I don't care what you do all the other days, just do that 5k every Friday.  Buy a cheap pedometer or drive out a route in your car or just time yourself (it takes me 40 minutes jogging, 45-50 minutes fast walking or just over an hour slow walking).  You don't even have to do a specific route, I did 1.5 miles just grocery shopping today.

Anyway, once you've done your 5k, either leave a comment on this post, write a quick update on Facebook or email me (let me know if you need my email address).

Again, if anybody's reading this, please help me out.  Thanks!

Monday, May 2, 2011


A couple of weeks ago Brian and I had the opportunity to go to Martin's Cove (Wyoming) and learn about the Willey and Martin handcart companies.  I've heard pioneer stories my whole life but I was deeply moved to be in the place where those people suffered and sacrificed so much.  And I've thought about them often since returning home.  The words of the women, especially, speak to my soul and evoke tender feelings of love and admiration and gratitude and pride.  They were women without peer.

I can't begin to express my gratitude that their trials are not my trials.  I doubt that I will ever be required to walk from one side of this country to the other.  I pray that I will never have to watch my children die from starvation and exposure.  I hope to never face a blizzard, unprotected, in the vast Wyoming wilderness.  So how did they survive?  How did they live through trials of such magnitude?

As best I can tell, they just kept going.  In the absolute, literal sense of the word, they persevered.

I have trials, and while they aren't pioneer trials they're pretty huge for me (no pun intended).  Right now I'm trying to lose weight and I've been trying for two years.  I'm down about 35 pounds with about 100 to go.  I feel so discouraged because I'm giving it all I have; I can run a 5k on the treadmill whenever I want to but I can't seem to lose weight.  So clearly I don't have pioneer trials but maybe I've got just a teeny bit of that pioneer spirit because surprisingly I'm not giving up.  I've come too far and no stinking blizzard is going to turn me back now.  I will persevere, I just wish I could persevere a little bit faster.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


We don't have church until 1pm and the sun came out for a few minutes so the kids got to color eggs...

 and search for candy....

in their pajamas!

Here's my gorgeous daughter (when did she grow up so much?) in her new dress that her ultra-talented (and modest) mother made for her.

It's the first dress I've made for her without a tie in the back.  She's so tiny that I had to cut off about 8 inches of fabric to get it to fit her this well.  It kind of freaks me out how much older she looks in it, though :)

I didn't make the boys' clothes, but I think they both look handsome anyway.

I took them both to get haircuts so they're both mad at me for getting it cut so short.  The way I see it, the shorter the hair the less often I have to pay for haircuts so when they start paying for their own haircuts they can choose how short it will be.  (Although, as long as they live in my house it won't be below the collar!)

I love Easter, it renews my hope.