Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goals for the New Year

I've never been one to set New Year's goals - mostly because I used to think people who set goals for the new year want to fail.  But over the years (mostly in the blog sphere) I've watched as some very reasonable goals have been set and then saw those who diligently worked to accomplish said goals without dropping the ball.  When I was at the hospital, I saw how they gave me daily goals and we reached them.  It gave me a sense of accomplishment no matter how small.  I set a few goals for 2010 and feel I am headed in the right direction for our family such as what to teach for family home evening.  We are using Preach My Gospel and have been looking through the Friend and Ensign for paintings, coloring pages, and photos that go with the section we are teaching making it more kid friendly. I've been able to find more family history information and photographs. So as you can see, I need goals to keep me moving forward, doing more of the right things, and feeling happy inside.

It didn't hurt that this scripture has come to my mind over and over again the past few weeks:

Mark 12:30

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

and this one too:

Doctrine and Covenants 4:2

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heartmightmind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

So what does heart, might, mind, and strength mean exactly? One of my teachers in the MTC said this:
Heart: Emotionally
Might: Spiritually
Mind: Mentally
Strength:  Physically
I think that helped me understand how to break down that daunting task and figure out a way to apply it to my own life. So I sat down with a little notebook and began to write down my goals - one or two for each area.  I hope that this will help me to love and serve God better.  My daughter helped me with some suggestions and it really helped me to see her enthusiasm.  She is working on her Faith in God book. 
Anyway, I'm not going to share what my goals are just yet incase you decide this is the direction you want to go in your goal setting too.  I'll just give you some clues.  I'd love to hear your ideas too so please share!

Emotionally: For less worry and more peace of mind I am going to _________________________________.
Spiritually: I want to read _________ and mark each reference to _______________  in ___________ colored pencil.
Mentally: Complete a minimum of ______ ________________ lessons a week.
Physically: Find and purchase __________ snacks with more carbs to prevent headaches and ____________ _____________ each week to prevent colds.

I promise to share the answers after my birthday!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The photo

I got permission to share this photo.  Yep, we enjoyed our snow crab, thanks to my sister.
And here she is enjoying every last bit she could handle. And by the way, I love her glasses.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2011

We spent the night of the 23rd at my parent's house.  Our old military friends - Amy and Allen H* visited us and brought us the cutest books.  It was so good to see them.  We enjoyed Ham and cheesy potatoes, etc that night. The next morning, Christmas Eve, we put together a breakfast casserole and then opened presents. My daughter received an American Girl baking set from Grandma and some cute clothes.

Here you can see my mom opening the gift I made - scrapbook pages.  They are a tradition but no one knows what information or photos I have tracked down until Christmas Day.  This year I had some wonderful help from my cousin in Denmark.  I love a mystery but more especially a family history mystery. I tracked down even more info and already have a start on next year's pages!

My Dad and sister went on to say how much they enjoy the pages and how they think they are the best Christmas present ever.  I am really glad to know.  It's difficult to work that hard and be the only person who appreciates it.  My mom said that she brought her book to church and shared a story from it with those she was teaching. My sister says she uses hers all the time.  Her kids have taken them to school for assignments.  She has taken it to church. They all laugh and cry as they read through it. Because of their encouragement I will continue on. It would be so much easier to buy them a set of ugly slippers.

I've been struggling with food for, oh about 4 years, because of my food allergies.  The dietician that met with me after my surgery encouraged me to eat more carbs and have more snacks around. I get so tired making it all from scratch. So my mom decided to help me out.  She gave me this nice rice cooker that also steams. Tomorrow I am making quinao (use the white rice setting) with asparagus, tomato, fresh mushrooms, and lots of spices. I can hardly wait!
And on Christmas Eve we ate snow crab.  It's my family's tradition. It's a lot of work but fun.  I have a great photo of my sister but I need to ask her permission to show you.  My sis and her family and then my mom's neighbor whose husband was just transferred to England and she is staying behind to pack oh and we can't forget the R family.  Anyway, the house was packed and people sat and ate for 2 straight hours.   It was the best company anyone could ask for with great food too!
My mom's decorations in her formal dining room. 

And the cheese ball made just for me.  My mom rolled it in minced green onions. It was the hit of the party and I finally hid it so I could take some home.  My parent's enjoyed the one rolled in walnuts.  I made sure that my mom's friend's didn't use the same knife on mine.  

We drove home late Christmas Eve.  Then the kids got up at 6:40 am.  What happened?  Seriously, last year it was 8:45 am! Santa brought my daughter the American Girl kitchen table.  Perfect companion to the baking set from Grandma P. And Grandma V and I split the cost of Lanie.  You can't just have one - they need a friend apparently.  I was such a tomboy - I have so much to learn about dolls.

And my son got church clothes from Santa, this pirate ship from Grandparents P, and the battleship from Santa.

So can you see the cute apron on his monkey? OR the matching aprons below for my daughter.  I made one for each doll to match the apron she made for the county fair and won 1st prize. I almost forgot them.  At the last minute I stuffed them in their stockings.  

Oh and cute matching pajama pants.  I found an 18" doll pattern at Hobby Lobby and it was on sale for 99 cents. She loves the matching pajamas and I had fun making them.

Just a cute close up detail of the table - storage for all the fun stuff.  I love the cupcake holder.  So cute!

 And here they are trying to figure out all the in's and out's of this fisher price toy.

And I purchased fingernail polish for my daughter.  I don't know if you can see the glitter I went with this time.  Her colors almost match mine exactly.  

I hope you had a Merry Christmas.  I hope that you were surrounded by family and friends.  Of course, I've experience Christmas time in the mission field with companions I'd been with a whole 2 days and not a family member anywhere.  This Christmas I struggled with my health after surgery but I felt pretty good considering. I've experienced Christmas time where we couldn't afford a single gift and were blessed only because of the generosity of others for necessities we badly needed.  So I hope that if you were lonely, poor, and in bad health that next year might find you better.  That the Savior will wrap you in his arms and you might feel of his redeeming love.  That you might always have a friend in him when there is no one else.  That others will follow his example and provide for your needs the way he would if he were here.  I am truly grateful for his blessings this year. I hope you can reflect on your blessings too.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A tale of two sports cars

So about a week after my Mom and Dad drove up to show me their car, my brother drives up to show me his new car.  It had about 8,000 miles on it and was calling his name because my Dad wasn't about to let him borrow his new car.  He got a screaming deal on it and I mean screaming.

And of course he wanted me to take a few photo for him too. You're probably sick of looking at my garage doors by now, right?

I think this means they need scrapbook pages too.

Great yet simple ideas are already forming in my head. 

Of course this is all in natural light - not at all the way the big car companies light their cars for brochures but regardless, for Chris it's the memory of his first really nice sports car.

Can you see the mountains reflecting in the passenger side window? Love it!

 He took us for a ride.  Boy was it fast. He even took my father in law for a drive.  Jim said that was the most fun he's had in a very long time.  And my little brother wasn't afraid to open it and show us what it could do. Now if he can just keep from getting a ticket, that'd be great.

And my Dad is relieved he doesn't have to share his corvette.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Corvette - a love story

When my parent's were dating my dad owned a corvette.  It was deep yellow and it was a stingray.  If I remember right, it was a 1971.  My dad loved my mom so much that he sold that yellow corvette and bought a little yellow pinto so they could afford to get married. 

Fast forward about 37 years. 

My parent's had taken their dog for a walk on the air force base.  They have a cool doggy park I guess and since my dad is retired military they still get to enjoy all the privileges. 

My mom wanted to go to the Lemon Lot ( a place where deploying soldiers stick their cars up for sale for a tiny cost). 

Welcome home to the new baby! I think it's a '98 and in fabulous condition.

And my dad wasn't going to buy it.  My mom bought it for him.   

I just think it's a heart warming story of love and sacrifice. 

And of course we (as in Tyler and I) got to go for a ride.  My parent's drove up one Saturday to show us their new car without telling us what it was.  Super fun!
And because my Dad wanted me to take some photos of it for him. Makes me laugh since he owns a great camera but he knows I love details and odd angles so this was fun for me.  Love ya Dad.  So glad you are enjoying your new car!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies

I think my daughter loves Christmas even more than I do.  She's been reading the Gingerbread stories for the past few months.  She gets them from the library at school.   
On Sunday she wanted to make gingerbread cookies.  I still had molasses left over from Halloween so they got busy baking while I stayed on the couch to relax and heal.  And Tyler says the recipe is delicious.  They rolled them extra thick so they'd be a little chewy.  Add a little frosting and sprinkles and  it was gingerbread cookie success!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tree details - up close

I know you're sick of it but I LOVE my new lens! And the color lights on the tree this year.

I was telling my husband recently that when I was little - like 5 or 6 - I used to think that the decorations on the tree would come to life after we went to sleep - it was a party tree for sure.  That's why I love the cartoon when Mickey cuts down the tree with the chipmunks in it.  Anyway, I thought if I stayed by the tree and was still enough, they'd think I was asleep and I would be able to see them move.  Funny the things we remember from way back when.  It's been almost 30 years since I last thought about this. 

So which branch would you like to be on? I'd like one near the bottom because it's bigger.  More decoration friends could visit. Or would you like one at the top for a better view?  

Of course now I like my view because I get to look at the tree, not from the tree out.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Victorian Wall Calendar

So click on the calendar and then download it from there - all 11x17 inches of it.  Add your photo to the frame and print. Just print it at AlphaGraphics or Kinkos or someplace and display as is or in an 11x17 frame.  Merry Christmas from me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grandma's Candy Train Tradition

I wish I could find my star filter but this is pretty cool as is.

Grandma had the kids over the night I had surgery and they made these along with a few other kids from school. 

Just messing with the depth of field here.  

My daughter's:

My son's: 

My 4 year old son took this photo so I had to add it. Sometimes it just helps to have a great lens.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cookies 2011

And these two photos just seem to call to each other.  I think I need to make some GF cookies. Hope your Holidays are wonderful so far! 
 Hopefully by this time I will be mended and moving around well, although I may still be moving slowly.  It'll be interesting to see what I thought would happen and what has really happened. I'd like to be mended enough to go to a Christmas party soon - oh wait - two on the same day. At least, as of the 5th, all the presents are ready to go!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


As you know on Dec 7th, I had major surgery.  I was really surprised to see stitches in my abdomen - just no as big as if everything had been done abdominally.  So I guess it is going to take the full 6 weeks of recovery. Anyway, the night I came home from the hospital I had to get up every 2 hours - Dr's orders. All night long my little girl coughed. 

The next morning my husband let her stay home from school while he took our son to preschool.  So I figured if she was sick enough to stay home, she needed to see a DR because she has been sick since the first week in November.  I figured bronchitis and they'd give her something to help her sleep and sleeping would help her heal.  My father in law took her in for me along with my note, insurance card, and payment.  Next thing I know her pediatrician calls me (I love that lady - she is amazing!).  

"Has your daughter ever been diagnosed with ASTHMA?"  
Uhm, no.  
"Well, I think she has cold weather asthma." 

I was stunned.  This caught me completely off guard.  I mean it totally made sense - I have asthma, my sister and brother both have it too.  I was diagnose this past summer with reactive airways.  So anyway, they sent her home with a chamber and inhaler.  She slept so peacefully. She's had a bit of a cough during the day- everyone encouraged us to get her to drink way more water and it's helped significantly.  Good news is that she can outgrow it.  No, the good news is that she can breath again.  I feel awful because she has had this ever since I can remember whenever the weather turned cold and cold medicines just didn't help. The humidifier helps only a little. But I can't change the past so here we are moving forward and making this a winter we can all enjoy more. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow decor

My Grandmother painted this for me.  Again this is one of my favorite treasures.  Out of all the things she painted for me or taught me to paint, this is my favorite.  She must have known clear back in 1977 that I would live someplace like this and love the snow.  Okay, so it's going to be a while before the trees are that big.  But we spend so much time sledding it's not even funny.  The older I get the more I treasure things made by my grandparents and parents.  I wish my Dad would play his bagpipes more. I need to record him playing.  I love the quilts Great Grandma M* C* made for my children. LOVE THEM! And I love that the colors in this little painting still look great in my home.