My Family

My Family

Monday, April 30, 2007

Saying Goodbye...

I'm leaving.
I won't be blogging anymore.










































He he...
Just for a week.
I'll be back from Women's Conference on Monday.

Friday, April 27, 2007

200 Posts!

I feel compelled to give everyone a push in jumping into the "Good Mail" movement.
Therefore, in celebration of my 200th post, and in honor of "good mail", I will be drawing a name randomly from all commenters to send them:
1. 6 stamped panel cards and envelopes (tied up neatly in a ribbon)
2. 6 handmade cards w/envelopes
3. A small, handheld file that will become your "good mail" pouch.

All I request is that you actually do leave a comment.
If you'd like, tell me why you frequent my blog, or what draws you here.
Let me know if there is something you would like to see (or hear) more about.
Most importantly, let me know your name...so I can enter you in a drawing.
I will print out names Monday evening at 8:00pm MST, so make sure you leave your comment by then!
Don't be shy...and if one of my male readers get's drawn, I'll find something appropriate to send you along with this nice little "good mail" packet to give to your wife.

So, if I draw a reader I know in person, I will draw another...so there is the potential for 2 gifts to be sent out on or about Tuesday the 1st!

Opinions, Please

Do any of you have an opinion on a publishing program?
Ideally, I'm looking for something to create address labels, cute stickers, newsletters, potentially webpage headers...and if possible, burn DVD's too.
I know that there are a myriad of options out there...but would like to hear from anyone with experience!
Thanks.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Good Mail

I have posted some about good mail and how happy it makes me, both to send it, and lately, to receive it as well.
If you'd like to learn more about it, go to the Good Mail Blog (and start your own good mail campaign!).

I wanted to give an update on my good mail from the past couple of weeks.

I actually won a contest over at Hollywood Flakes.
Sarah was brave enough to have everyone guess her weight before her new little girl was born.
I can assure you, I will not be that brave, but it was fun to get home from Spring Break and have a box of wind-up Peeps in my mailbox.
Look at the card she created too...
Very cute and fun!

I received a thank you card from one of my dear friends in Utah that had a baby not too long ago.
It was fun choosing a gift for her little girl, as this child has arrived after quite a bit of heartache and sorrow on her part.



Last of all, but certainly not least, I received a thank you ribbon mailing from Kristi over at Everything Pink.
She helped me track down some "panel cards" to make super simple gifts with.
I can already see this ribbon tying up a bundle of them stamped in orange.
I love her paper that she wrote her note on with her name at the bottom...and it was so fun to have so many stamps on an envelope!

Thanks so much!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Party Update

For a first party, I thought everything went well.
The house was nice and clean...which always puts my mind at ease (and we've kept it pretty close to that nice through today!).
I had 4 people show up (out of 16), with 3 more who had last minute issues come up so that they couldn't come.
I also have been able to get 5 outside orders...so I'm thinking I'll come pretty close to making my quarterly quota.
I'll close out the party tomorrow...so I'll know for sure by then...but the most important part was that everyone had a good time!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Just Random

You'd think it was Christmas today with the way I slept last night.
Remember Christmas Eve as a child, when you would wake up EVERY single hour in anticipation?
That was me, last night...dreaming about my workshop tonight.
I'm not nervous (thanks to my card classes I've been teaching), but anxious would be a proper description of my current attitude.
Here's what I'm demonstrating tonight:
I'm debating adding a bookmark...but we'll have to see how the day goes.
These are some of the door prizes:

I'll be baking refreshments here soon...banana bread and fruit pizza.
I'm going for simple, and I think this meets that criteria.

I am so glad that Sanjaya is FINALLY gone from American Idol.
It seriously turned my stomach that he was still on.
Interesting to me to see that the top three were Chris, Phil and Jordin.
I have no problem with Jordin being there, but the other two are questionable.
I loved Melinda's refusal to "choose sides".

My visiting teachers are coming today.
I love them.
They are very diligent, and sincere.
It makes their visit a joy, and not an obligation.

My kids love PBS in the morning.
Except "It's a Big, Big World".
Why is that?
I must admit the plot line is lacking...but Lucy actually likes Barney...well, she's a singer and dancer, so that would explain that.
I love PBS too.
Did you here American Experience will be on The Mormons on the 30th of April and 1st of May?
That will be interesting to watch.

I'm reading THE ROBE by Lloyd C. Douglas for book club...hosted here next Tuesday.
I haven't had the time I have wanted to sit down and read it in big chunks...but I'm making progress.
I read it once before (about 10 years ago), but don't remember much about it.
I chose it for this month.
So far, feedback from the other book club members has been good.

Do you think it's odd that I am 25 weeks pregnant and can still lay on my stomach?
(With no problem or uncomfortableness people...what is up with that??
In all 6 other pregnancies this has never been the case!)
Weight gain has been nil this pregnancy too (3 lbs.).
That would not be a complaint there dear readers...just an observation.
(If I follow my general pattern, I will gain 20 lbs. in the last 6 weeks and be mortified due to my ever increasing weight week by week.)
If I didn't feel movement so often, I would be a little more concerned...but I am feeling good, strong movements, so that puts my mind at ease.

I think that will wrap it up for now...
I'll let you know how the party goes tonight.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Going, Saying, Doing

In my teenage years, music was a powerful influence in my life.
I would spend much time pondering the meaning of lyrics, and if they were meaningful to me, I would then memorize them so that they would always be a part of me.

As I have "matured" (and had multiple children) the luxury of pondering over the lyrics of a song is gone.
In fact, I am lucky if I can catch the words of the chorus...let alone the general meaning of the entire song!
I'm more influenced by the meaning of the song than how it sounds, and without spending the time to understand a song, I don't gain the same level of power from a song that I used to.
It is because of this fact that I have not made music a high priority in my life.
(Although I hadn't ever spent the time to contemplate why...behold the power of writing!!)

Sunday, however, I was deeply touched during our rest hymn.
(Funny, how even with kids crawling and walking all around me on the bench I was able to catch the power of these words.)

270
I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Verse 2

Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I’ll say what you want me to say.

[Chorus]
I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I’ll be what you want me to be.

It made me think a lot about not just the spoken word, but of the written word, and how often lately I have felt compelled to send someone a note so that they understand that their life is having an impact on mine.
I truly believe that the Lord has a purpose in giving me the ability and desire to write...and although I have struggled to find the specific path He desires me to take, I am finding that if I daily try to do His will, I end the day feeling as if I have accomplished something.
It may not be a "big" thing in anyone else's eyes...but when I say what He wants me to say, I know I have been an instrument in His hands, and I want to do more.
I truly do want to be what He wants me to be.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Four Things

I was tagged by Andrya over at Birthsongs!

This is my first "official" tag from someone else...so I'm super excited about it.

Four things you may not have known about me:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Maid at a local motel (age 15)
2. Saturday clerk at our Sears catalog merchant (ages 16-18)
3. Librarian in the NAU Education Curriculum Library (ages 20-21)
4. 3rd grade teacher (ages 23-27)

Four movies I have watched over and over:
1. Pride and Prejudice (the A&E version)
2. The Importance of Being Earnest
3. Return to Me
4. You've Got Mail

Four places I have lived (other than here!):
1. Clifton, Arizona (early elementary school years)
2. St. Johns, AZ (2nd grade-HS graduation)
3. Thacter, AZ and Flagstaff, AZ (college)
4. Mesa, AZ (first 7 years of marriage) and 5. Kearny, AZ (3 years...then we moved here...) Holy mackrel! Am I a true AZ native, or what?

Four TV shows I love to watch: (This is really hard...there isn't much I watch!)
1. American Idol
2. Extreme Makeover, Home Edition
3. Oprah (depending on the topic...and only sporadically at that)


Four of my favorite foods:
1. Real Mexican food...just about anything!
2. My husband's Italian carbonara
3. Lately, strawberries and vanilla yogurt
4. Desserts in general...cheesecake and ice cream top the list there.

Four people who I think will respond:
1. Wendy's Tiki Hut
2. Sally Girl
3. Please Don't Wipe Your Boogers On Me
4. Dairies of a Proud Papa

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Look what I made!

It's called a 2-4-6-8 box...and it's made out of a half sheet of cardstock.
I'll be demonstrating how to make it at my first Stampin' Up workshop on Thursday night.
I love it...and thought it would be perfect for a little "thinking of you" gift for Visiting teachers or others you think need a pick me up.

The directions are simple:
Stamp the 8 1/2"x 5 1/2 cardstock as desired for decoration.
Score the paper at 2", 4", 6" and at 8".
Turn the paper and score 2" from the bottom all the way across.
Cut the 2"x 1/2" piece out and discard.
Fold along the scored lines.
Put adhesive along the 3 1/2" x 1/2" piece and glue to the larger side next to it.
Fold the bottom pieces in, one at a time, gluing each one to the next.
Fold the sides of the box in (like a milk carton).
Cut slits near the top and put ribbon through it.

Voila! You have made one too!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Profound

In the van this morning:
Lucy (as we passed a church building): That's Jesus' house.
Me: You're right, it is.
Lucy: People believe in Jesus and Jesus believes in people.

My thought:
That is way profound...I don't think she even realizes the depth of what she just said.
It is true...
Jesus DOES believe in people.
Far more than we can ever understand!

Thanks Lucy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Laughter

Lucy has started chasing Bam-Bam from one end of the house to the other.
It makes them both laugh like crazy.

I love the sound of pure joy that comes from their interaction.
It's a great deal of what makes having a sibling so wonderful.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

On Car Shopping

So, despite what you may think, I'm here to tell you that sometimes, God cares about what car you will be driving.
No sarcasm intended...it's true...and I'll tell you why.

With baby #7 on the way, we knew we had to look for a "new" car.
We have never purchased new, and didn't intend to this time.
We knew we had our tax return and a bonus coming up, and were looking extensively for a full size van with 12 or 15 seats.
(Our current van, while full size, has only 8 seats.)
We received a lot of advice from many different sources, the most repetitive of which was that we just needed to lighten up when it came to seatbelts, and travel with one child unbuckled or buckled in with someone else. (Sorry...we're just not into lack of safety as a realistic option.)
We were thrilled when we located a 15 passenger van in Las Cruces (2 hours away) at the top of our price range.
We were sure we could negotiatie the price to a point where we could pay it off with the money we had.
We made the trip down to Cruces, P drove the van...(imagine it handling just like our current van!), and we made an offer.
Our offer was a little higher than the cash we had on hand, and so we were trying to work out some temporary terms with the owner of this (very small) heavy equipment sales lot.
He told us that he would need to discuss details with the business partner in charge of finance (his wife), which we understood, but weren't necessarily thrilled about since it would mean another trip down to Cruces to finalize the deal.
We were grateful to be "given" a little bit of time to chew on the deal...and when we were told on Monday that we would have to come up with the amount we did not currently have, it was almost a relief to have a bit longer to consider whether or not this was the car we needed to buy.

Throughout that week, I spent a lot of time on the internet, looking for a car that met our requirements.
It just so happened that a friend of mine stopped by the day I was driving myself crazy, looking for just the right deal.
She and I talked quite a bit, and she said she would talk to her DH about the details and see if one of the cars we were considering was better than the other.
Within a couple of days, they had found a used Suburban (1997) with 9 seats, right within our price range.
The only problem was that this particular car had 140,000 miles on it.
We had thought about a Suburban initially, but eliminated it due to our lack of finances, and our desire to stay debt-free (Thanks Dave Ramsey!)
The odd thing was, as we prayed about the two options, logically the van seemed perfect, almost too good to pass up, and yet it was very clear that the Suburban felt more *right*.
It didn't make any sense logically, especially with so many miles on it!

We hesitated to move forward with either option...neither felt just right.
It was acutally VERY frustrating to deal with what we thought were our options with the amount of money we had available and not feel like we should move forward with either choice.
We felt like we were spinning our wheels...and finally went to the Lord and asked for his inspiration and guidance in this process as we felt like we had eliminated all of our logical options.

On Friday, (almost a week after we had looked at the van), I had what I thought was a random thought on the way home from the bus stop.
My thought was this, "When we were looking for P's work truck last time, we considered a Suburban...but the manager(s) at the time felt that a "regular" engineer should only drive a truck, not an SUV. I wonder if a Suburban would be an option this time."
(P has to have a work "truck" at his work site...it is paid for mostly by the company...(we were paying about $20 of the monthly payment out of pocket)...and it has to be fairly new...every 3rd calendar year he has to get a replacement--it's the Runtzheimer program if any of you have heard of it. This just so happens to be the year he needed to replace his truck.)
The thought was so fleeting, that I actually didn't remember it for most of the day.
By the time I remembered it, it was late on a Friday afternoon, but I called P at work and mentioned it to him.
For the first time in this whole ordeal, something felt REALLY right.
P was incredibly optimistic about the idea, and mentioned it to his supervisor that afternoon.
His supervisor was optimistic as well, but P knew he needed to talk to his manager...which wouldn't happen until Monday.
It was a long weekend.

It's not hard to complete the "rest of the story".
P received approval in mid-March, and we were chomping at the bit to go and buy our car!
However, again, we had to be patient.
Our weekends were booked until the first one in April.
We debated, and came VERY close to going over to AZ to get our car on a weeknight...(10 hour round trip with all the kids in one night...talk about insanity!)
However, we felt prompted to wait...and so we did, although it was probably not with the level of patience the Lord would have approved of.

When we headed over for P's work training on Monday night, our plan was to drive both the truck and the new Suburban home, and sell the truck privately...in hopes of making about $2K more on the sale.
It was a bit odd to hear P tell me Thursday morning that he felt he should discuss trading the truck in as part of the negotiation for the Suburban.
I did trust though, that he was following the promptings he had received, and so off he went to the dealership...
The deal was finished after 7 hours...and we saved $2K in taxes because we had a trade in. Amazing coincidence?
I don't think so.
No headaches left over trying to sell a truck before we had to make 2 payments in May.
We wouldn't have even considered trading the truck in had we made the weeknight whirlwind trip.
All the pieces in the right place, making for a (long, drawn out) spiritual experience.

If we play our cards right (or pay our bills right), we'll be to the point where we can roll our debt snowball onto the Suburban payments and pay it off by the time P needs a new work truck.
That means, in 3 years, the Suburban won't just be for personal use on nights and weekends, but it would actually belong to ME!!
Woo Hoo!!
The van will meet our needs when the baby comes...seating 8 of us for daily errands and runs to the bus...and the Suburban, with its 9th seat, will be our vehicle for family trips...on nights, weekends and vacations.

It really is a perfect solution.
So perfect, I could not have thought of it on my own.
I'm glad God cared...and allowed us this opportunity.
I'm also glad we listened.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Spring Break

This past week was our Spring Break.
We spent it in Arizona...and it went by incredibly fast.

Here's the run down:

Monday-
Bug and Miss M rode with my sister (she had been here to spend General Conference weekend with us) to spend Tuesday and part of Wednesday with their grandparents.
It was their first time ever spending time away from the rest of the family, and also the first time spending time alone with their grandparents.
That same night, P and the other 4 kids and I headed over to Phoenix for a 2 day stint in a downtown hotel.
P had job related training for 2 days in the building across from our hotel.

Tuesday-
Sent P on his way to work, got a phone call from him about 10 minutes later.
He was on the observation deck, waving away at us looking out of our hotel window.
It was a very fun way to start the day.
Angel Face, Tiny, Lucy, Bam-Bam and I headed out for breakfast.
(Have you ever noticed that the more expensive the hotel is, the less you actually get for free? No continental breakfast there.)
After an hour drive over to Mesa, and a call to my sister to look up an address, we finally found a Denny's and had a yummy, filling breakfast.
Next on the agenda was a trip to Target...a refreshing change from our local Wal-Pit.
(I always joke about needing to breathe Target air...and I got my fill this trip!)
I needed a new card for my TracFone, due to the fact that I had burned through a ton of minutes on roaming, so I felt quite justified in spending more time there.
The kids loved the toy aisles, and were impressed that there were different toys available.
After Target, we headed to visit Auntie Susan...who still teaches where I used to teach.
The 4 kids that were with me had no memory of me teaching (I stopped while Angel Face was still in-utero), and were pretty impressed to see one of the rooms where I taught school.
We enjoyed meeting Susan's class, and after about an hour, headed out.
I was able to catch up with a roomate of mine from college...it had been about 3 years since we had seen each other, although we keep in contact via phone quite regularly.
The kids were able to run and play there, and so when we headed back to the hotel, there were no complaints.
We ate dinner with Auntie Susan, and amazingly, bumped into my favorite college professor from NAU in Flagstaff...while eating at Cafe Rio in Phoenix.
Talk about divine intervention.
We headed back to the hotel, went for a quick swim, called to check on Bug and Miss M and headed off to bed.

Wednesday-
Up early to pack all of our stuff and get it out to the truck before P needed to be at work.
It was stuffed into the cab so no one could access it easily...
Off for a quick breakfast (McD--yuck), and to see my sister.
We spent long enough there to watch a movie and give Bam-Bam a breathing treatment...(paloverde blooms wreaked havoc on 5 of 8 of us!).
Then off to Target again...(ahhh...fresh retail air...).
Chocolate (that I hoped wouldn't melt), a new lunchbox for P (that I had forgotten the day before), and a few other things rounded out the trip before we headed to Sonic for lunch.
We met Susan after her school got out (early release on Wednesdays), and we transferred car seats and chocolate to her car so that we could all make the drive to Superior (about 45 minutes away) to pick up Bug and Miss M.
That drive was calm, most kids napped the majority of one way...and then we headed back to pick up the truck.
P met us there...he had gotten out of work early, and he suggested we make a run up to the Chevrolet dealership to look at the Suburban we've had our eye on to replace his work truck.
We had planned on seeing the Easter pageant at the Mesa Temple that night, but we did have some extra time on our hands, so we headed over to the dealership and put all 6 kids into the Suburban to see how they fit.
After about a half hour there, we headed out for dinner, and went to meet my sister who had been saving seats for us on the temple grounds.
The pageant was beautiful...even with squirrely kids, and the kids even got to meet "John the Baptist" (he 's a good friend of my sister's roommate).
That night we headed to our friends home...they have 7 kids, and we lived near them in our early marriage...initially before kids...until we each had 3 kids.

Thursday-
Ahhh...just a relaxing morning with the Allen's.
We had stuffed eggs the night before for an egg hunt...but the kids were having such a good time together that we kept putting off hiding the eggs.
P headed out to the dealership to start negotiating for the Suburban...and I figured we'd see him by early afternoon with our new car in hand.
About 1pm, P called and said that because my credit score was higher than his (???), they were putting the car loan in my name, and I would need to come in to sign the paperwork too.
That was a bit unexpected, and so I ran in to take a quick nap before heading out...
We left about 3ish, thinking we'd be back within a couple of hours...
Rachelle graciously offered to watch the older kids, and we took Bam-bam with us.
They had a ball, dyeing easter eggs, finally doing the easter egg hunt and playing on a water slide.
While the negotiations went well, it was 7 pm before we were ready to actually drive away from the dealership....(Holy cow...7 hours??? I think it's a new form of torture!)
We had decided to stay over with our friends again (thank goodness for their hospitality!!) rather than try to drive to Kearny (an hour away) to stay with Grandma and Grandpa.
By the time we got something to eat and picked up some food for breakfast and made the drive back, it was nearing 9pm.
We stayed up chatting, and headed to bed LATE....

Friday-
After a quick cruise in the new Suburban with my good friend who had watched the kids the day before...we packed up and headed to Kearny.
We were caught in the backlog of an accident...but knew an alternate route to get around the pass where the accident had occured.
Although it took about an hour longer (wait time and drive time), we were able to get to Grandma and Grandpa's without any further incident.
That night we headed to a ward party and Easter egg hunt...
fun because we had lived there for 3 years...
The ward has changed quite a bit...but it was fun for the kids.
We were all exhausted by this point, and headed home to get the kids in bed for the first time before 10pm (New Mexico time) the whole break.

Saturday-
Left about 10:30am, (AZ time) and made a beeline for home.
Nice ride.
Dinner early, a trip to the grocery store,
a batch of strawberry freezer jam, and off to bed.

Whew! What a "break"!

An Easter Bouquet

This is a picture I snapped of the tulips that I bought for Easter.
Fresh flowers remind me of spring.
Tulips and lilies in particular, bring a special sort of spring-time sunlight into my home.

How grateful I am, at this beautiful time of year, for a springtime celebration of new life and resurrection.
I was called to fill in for Sharing time in Primary...and was a little concerned because I had so little time to prepare.
I shouldn't have worried.
The promptings I received allowed me to talk freely and effectively about some of the people who were around Christ on his last days.
Even the youngest children were extremely reverent and interested.
I ended by talking about how blessed we are to know this story, a true story, that gives us hope and vision for the future.
How grateful I am to have the opportunity to teach...the truth of Easter, and Christ's sacrifice and triumph.
It touched my heart again.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Sorry...

So I get irritated when my "blogger" friends don't blog regularly.
I'm hoping no one is too irritated with me.
It been way too long since I have blogged
Sorry.

This week isn't going to be much better.
I'll be here on and off...
But not back full force until Saturday or Sunday.

I'll miss you, I'm sure.