Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Four Books

As you all know by now, I LOVE to read. If I could have my ideal vacation, I would be by myself, on a beach, with a stack of books. I would spend my days reading and tanning. It would be great. Anyway, I live in reality and I'm lucky if I get to read a book that I actually want to read, i.e. not a textbook. Between school, kids, hubby and home there really isn't much time for me to relax and read. Here are a list of books that are my favorites though:

4. The Standard Works: The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. I have to say that I'm not as diligent as I should be about reading the scriptures, but every time I do I notice something I didn't before. When Jame and I were first married we would sit down after work and dinner and study our scriptures together. It was a special time that we were able to connect spiritually and I miss those times. Now, we try to sit down as a family and read from The Book of Mormon stories so that our children can get a general overview of what is going on. As a convert, I never grew up with the Book of Mormon stories that my kids are growing up with, so it's even more important for me to study my scriptures so that I can answer the "hard" questions that will inevitably someday come.

3. Night by Elie Wiesel. I'm really not a downer person, but for some reason, ever since we learned about the Holocaust and tolerance in middle school, I have been fascinated with that time in history. The story Night is about a young man who lives through the Holocaust. It tells about his time before, during and after he entered the concentration camps. In 1986, Elie Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize. I enjoy this story because it tells about adversity and that the night really is darkest before the dawn.

2. F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers. My brother and I were perusing Target over Christmas break and we stumbled upon this little beauty. It is HILARIOUS!!! As a student, planning on becoming a teacher. I am able to really appreciate this. One of the actual questions is: "Give a reason why people would want to live near power lines?" Actual answer: "You get your electricity faster." Ha, Ha, Ha!! I love it. There was an answer in there that was reminded me of my brother and so, I had to get it for him for Christmas. It was great. Check this book out!

1. The Alchemist. This is definently number one. The book is about a person finding their own destiny. The main character is diverted many times on his way, but his destiny isn't what he originally thought that it was. I learned so much about myself after reading this book. My mother-in-law was kind enough to share this book with me and I'm very grateful to her for that. If you haven't read it, I promise you will learn more about your self after you read it.

*These are just four of my favorite books. Maybe not my top four, but the four that I could think of right now :) There are some books that have the potential to take their place though:

-In Defense of Food
-I Beat the Odds by Michael Oher
-The Pioneer Woman
-The Hunger Games series
-The Outlander series
-The Hymn of the Tiger Mother
-The Last Lecture
-The Work and The Glory series

Monday, January 30, 2012

I LOVE TO EAT!!! Five Foods that Rock My World!!!

Okay, for those of you who don't know already, I'm about 7 months pregnant. When I am pregnant, it is not unusual for me to eat, or try to eat, everything in site. If it looks or sounds good, I'll try it! I really should just put that I love anything that my mom cooks for all 5 items. She is the best cook EVER!! I think that's one of the main reasons that my dad met her. I cook nearly every day and someday I hope that I can be as good as my mom. I KNOW that's one of the main reasons why Jame married ME :) Anyway, here are my 5 FAVORITE FOODS: I can't believe I can only choose 5!

5. Mint Oreos. I know that you would expect this to be higher on the list, but I have to leave enough room for my mom's food :)

4. Blair's Long Johns. These are the most magical donuts! I have fond memories of having these on a Saturday morning while watching cartoons in the living room. They were a special treat that my parents would give us every once in a while. For my birthday one year, I specifically asked for these donuts and my mother-in-law was sweet enough to get me some!

3. My mommy's Tuna Noodle Casserole. She puts a special touch on it. She uses sour cream and cheddar potato chips instead of regular potato chips on top and then she puts cheddar cheese on top of that! It's the BEST!

2. My mommy's four layer dessert. Now, I could literally eat an entire pan of this stuff. The first layer is a pie crust with sliced almonds in it. The next layer is chocolate pudding. The next layer is a whipped topping and cream cheese mixture. Finally you top it off with some more sliced almonds. I want some NOW!

1. My mommy's enchiladas. She makes her own enchilada sauce from scratch, she puts black olives and cheese all over the place. What's not to LOVE! I specially requested this for dinner while we were visiting over Christmas break and Breckin and I at nearly the entire 9X13 pan by ourselves. It was great!!

So, the top three things are things that my mommy makes that can't be duplicated to perfection by anyone, myself included. I guess she's gonna have to live forever so that she can keep feeding me!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Location, Location, Location-Six Places

If I were to have unlimited means and resources, here are the 6 places that I would go. Some of these places I have been before, but I would like to share these places with my family. Some of these places I dream of going...

6. Washington D.C. I would love to go to D.C. again. They have created some new monuments since I have been there and I would like to see them. I went twice while I was in high school and we went to many of the big attractions. I've seen the Lincoln Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial, The Washington Monument, Union Station, two of the Smithsonian Museums, The Holocaust Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, oh and a little place there called The White House. Frankly, after spending nearly three hours in the basement of the White House waiting to sing for the First Lady, it looses some of it's appeal. I would like to share some of the things that I saw with my family, but I think that we'll skip The White House.

5. San Antonio, Texas. Jame served his mission in Houston and for a while he HATED Texas. If that was the only taste of Texas I got, I'd hate it too. However, San Antonio has a charm all it's own. The people there are incredibly friendly, the Riverwalk is beautiful, especially at Christmas time when they have lights all around it. The Alamo is interesting if you like that sort of thing. The food is AMAZING!!! When I was visiting my mom and dad we sat around and talked about all of the food that we missed. When I was in college in Wyoming and my parents were still living there they once overnighted some tortillas from a very special Tex-Mex restaurant. Yea, the love me! I was on cloud nine for like a week! If we ever had the chance to move back to the San Antonio area, I would take it in a heartbeat. I love that place!!

4. New York City. I dream of going here someday. It's on my Bucket List to be in New York City on New Year's Eve in Times Square. I just thrive on excitement and to me this is one of the most exciting places that you can be. I don't know how my husband would like it, but I'm sure he would come along with me just to make me happy. I would love to see Central Park and go to a Broadway show. I would also love to see the 9/11 Memorial and go to the toy store FAO Schwartz. Hopefully, one day we can make a little trip out there.

3. Ireland and England. I wish that I could have been there when they had the Royal Wedding, but hopefully someday I can go. I love the culture in London and the variety of people. I would enjoy seeing all of the historical landmarks and teasing the Queen's guards. I have had a kind of fascination with all things English and I think that this might satisfy my curiosity. I would have to take a little side trip to Ireland to make my husband happy. He has a dream of going to "the home land" someday.

2. The Holy Land. When I was young, my grandparents took a trip to The Holy Land. They went to Jerusalem and Golgotha among other places. They saw where they believe Jesus' tomb is and they walked the same streets that he walked on. My grandmother also told me that she got trapped on a camel while they were there. The camel just wouldn't let her off :) I remember playing with the Nativity that they got there that was made out of olive wood. Ever since I was little I have wanted to go there. Maybe I should start saving my dimes like they did :)

1. Italy. I don't know what it is about Italy that makes me want to go there. Maybe it's the ease of life, maybe it's the beautiful waters. Maybe it's the history and the cobblestone streets. Most likely, it's the food. The rich, savory food. If you know me at all, you know I LOVE food!! Especially now that I'm pregnant. Perhaps now would be a good time for me to go :)

There it is, 6 places I dream about either going to or going back to. Thanks for reading my list. Now where do you want to go?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Seven Wants!!!

I feel very fortunate that I really don't need for anything. My husband has a great job that provides for all of our needs and allows us to have some of the things that I want. Most of my wants are simply dreams that I hope to obtain one day. I learned from my parents that you take care of your kids needs and wants first and then you worry about your own. Seeing as we're about to outnumber the amount of my parents kids by two, we have a lot more wants around here. But if I was going to dream, and dream big. Here are the seven things that I want:

7. Opportunity. I hope that someday my kids can have all of the the opportunities that I had and more. When I was in high school I was given a myriad of opportunities.
My parents always made our needs and wants a high priority. I appreciate that about them. I was able to got to Washington D.C. twice, swim all year round, travel to swimming events, travel to Renaissance festivals, I went to three proms and I was able to focus on my studies and extracurricular activities. I hope that I can provide similar opportunities for my own kids.

6. My own home. I already know what it will look like and how I would want to decorate it. Although it is nice to be able to call someone to fix something that has broken and I don't have to pay for it. It would be nice to be able to decorate a home the way that I want to and paint walls the colors I want them. If I have to wait though, I would like to be able to have a bigger space for our kids because we are about to grow out of our small apartment here.

5. To be a positive example to my kids. As a mother, I feel the incredibly responsibility for how my children turn out. I know how profound my influence on them is and I have seen the fruits of it already. The other day when we were leaving to go to school Ashlyn mentioned that we had not said our prayers yet. We had gotten into such a routine of getting ready for school, saying our prayers and then going to school, however this morning we were running late and our daily prayers had simply been forgotten. I was grateful for the reminder from my daughter and so we said our prayers while driving to school. I hope that I can still have an positive influence on my children when I'm not around

4. A weekend away with my husband. The hubby works very hard. He usually puts in nine to ten hour days at work and then he comes home and entertains our children and helps me. I think he needs a break! I want this for him as much as myself. It would be nice to be able to have the means and the time to just be able to go away and spend time together and maybe get eight glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep :)

3. More time. I would love to be able to have more time to watch my kids grow up, spend time with my family, learn all that I can, read all of the books on my ever-growing list, play, craft, sleep, eat, etc. There just never seems to be enough of it. I would love to find a way to accumulate more, but there are only 24 hours in a day, so why not make the most of what I'm given?

2. A graduate degree. I know that I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but right now I would love to just be done with school and begin working. I hope that one day I can get my Master's degree in Special Education and I'm actually working on it right now, along with my Bachelor's degree. I just hope that someday I can have that little piece of paper with the recognition that I worked hard academically and now I am being rewarded. Hopefully, it won't be too long.

1. Happiness. I am happy about 90% of the time and that's not too bad. However, thanks in great part to my mother, I am a worrier. I would love to know what it feels like to not have to worry about anything. At least not the temporal, unimportant things. I suppose it is just a weakness that I am going to have to learn how to overcome. I look forward to the next life when I won't have this characteristic trait. Right now, however, I try to make the choice every day that no matter how the day turns out, I am going to be happy. Sometimes I wake up and stub my toe, or we start running late, but I don't have a whole lot of control over what happens to me. I do have control over how I react to it. I choose to be happy!!

*On a more materialistic note, here are some additional things I want:

-A pink Kitchenaid mixer
-A craft room
-The Pioneer Woman's two cookbooks
-An Iphone
-Some cute fabric to make flowers out of
-Mint Oreos
-The Willow Tree Angel Nativity set

*Just so you know, my birthday is in June :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eight Fears!!!

I really had to think about this post because there really isn't that much that I am afraid of. I have read a lot from one of my church leaders, Russell M. Nelson, about fear and faith. He has such a great perspective about fear and how fear is the opposite of faith. He says, "He teaches us that we need not fear, but rather, have faith. We have a purpose here on this earth. Have faith in the plan and know that the Lord loves you and will always provide for you. He will deliver you from bondage when you exercise faith." Here is a little video clip that was shared about fear and faith:

With this in mind, some of my fears might seem silly and unreasonable to you, but they are things that I'm afraid of.

8. The dark. I have always been afraid of the dark. I always have to have a hall light on or a lamp on so that in case I have to get up in the middle of the night I can see and I don't have to worry about anything lurking in the dark waiting for me.

7. Being alone. Jame is not allowed to die before I do, because I don't think that I could handle being alone. I am an extrovert by nature and so I need social interaction like I need air. I thrive on it! I actually will call my mom at least three times a week because I need it so badly!

6. Murderers and Thieves. When I was young, my parents let me watch Unsolved Mysteries and so ever since then I was afraid of logical things like murderers and thieves. I was never afraid of monsters or ghost, but I have always been fearful of things that are REAL and can REALLY hurt you.

5. Someone stealing my children. I have a very rational fear of having someone take my children. It happens more often than we realize and living in a small town doesn't make us any more exempt from having it happen than living in a big city. When Ashlyn was a toddler and Breckin was a newborn baby I was in a store and I was paying more attention to Breckin because he was fussing. I turned around a second later and Ashlyn was nowhere to be found. The clerks and other patrons and I searched around for her for about 5 minutes and I was just about to call the police over when I found her hiding in a clothing rack. Nothing has scared me more in my life. My children know now that you don't lose sight of your parent when you are in a store. I make them walk along side the cart with one hand on the cart now. They won't be lost on my watch!!

4. My children becoming seriously ill or losing one of my children. My kids are so much a part of my life that I really don't know what I would do if I lost one of them. I would never be the same, I know that. I would never wish this on my worst enemy, and that is all I have to say about that!

3. I will never finish school. I feel like I've been in school forever. I sometimes feel like I'll never be done! Because of my area of study, I know that I will be in school forever, but right now I just want a piece of paper that tells me that I have achieved something!! I love to learn, but I would also really love to be able to put that learning to work.

2. Snakes!! I don't care if they are poisonous or not, I HATE snakes. I can't even watch the on T.V. I purposely avoid the mountains because I just know that I'm going to encounter a nest of rattlesnakes. If every snake fell dead at this very moment I wouldn't be upset. I really don't see their value and I feel that there is great worth in the fact that Satan took the form of a serpent in the Garden of Eden. They are just PURE EVIL!!!

1. Disappointing others. I have this innate need to please everyone. I thrived on the pride that my parents had in me. My mom told me that she was proud of me frequently, but if my dad told me that he was proud of me, that was something because it wasn't something that he told us too often. I think he was trying to keep us humble. He does, however, tell me that he is proud of me a lot more frequently. It's mostly because I do well in school and because he thinks I'm a good mommy and that means a lot. I would never want to disappoint my parents or my family so I sometimes stress myself out trying to make sure that they are all happy. It's a good kind of stress though.

So, that's what I'm afraid of. If any of you have any bright ideas about putting snakes anywhere near me on April Fool's day, I would think again! Otherwise, see you tomorrow :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nine Loves!!!

I feel like there are a lot of things I love. If you've read my blog before you have seen, and maybe been confused by the "Things that I Heart". I know when my mother-in-law first saw the pictures of Zach Galifianakis and Andy Samburg, they were a little confused, but what can I say. They are people whose work makes me happy and laugh so "I Heart Them!!!". Here are some more things that "I Heart!!"

9. Reading. As I've said before, I could and sometimes do spend an entire day just reading a good book. When I find a book that really interests and intrigues me it is hard for me to put it down. I just want to find out what happens next.

8. Sleep. Maybe this is because I didn't get any last night, but sleep is a beautiful luxury. It is a time for our bodies to rejuvenate themselves so that they can complete the tasks of tomorrow. I know that I don't get enough and one day when my kids are all grown up I am going to sleep in past 8. I can't wait!!! Maybe I'll just run away with Jame and leave the kids behind and we'll spend an entire weekend sleeping!!

7. Mint Oreos. In my opinion, this is the best Oreo EVER!!! I think that maybe Nabisco should pay me in Mint Oreos because I consume so many and I also do so many free advertisements on here for them. There is something about dunking them in milk and making the cream even creamier that just makes me happy, no matter how much sleep I haven't gotten the night before.

6. Antique stores. I have actually just discovered this love. My brother also loves antique stores, in fact they joked that on his wedding night he was going to spend it relaxing in the tub reading an antiquing magazine. Addy and I went into an antique store yesterday and I was just in a state of peaceful bliss in there. It is just so interesting to me how well things used to be made and how long they have lasted. I am also interested in the stories that are behind the items that you purchase. It really is a fun little hobby if you give it a try.

5. A clean house. Right now, I'm not terribly happy, my house is a mess!! It could be worse, I understand that. However, there are dishes in the sink, donut crumbs on the floor, boxes in my hallway that need to go to the second hand store and my bed hasn't been made in over a week. I HATE clutter and mess. I know that it's only going to get worse when we have four children instead of three, just as things changed when we had three children instead of two and two children instead of one, but is it so much for me to ask that my house just be orderly and clean for just a week or even a day? I don't think so. Maybe I'll take that weekend devoted to sleep and clean the house too :)

4. Halloween. I don't know why, but Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Maybe it's because there really isn't any pressure to find the perfect gift or contribute the perfect dish to a meal. Maybe it's because Halloween is just meant to be fun! I like to dress up and now I have three little people that I get to dress up too!! I also like candy and I always have, so that little contribution to the holiday makes it even sweeter :)

3. Summertime. I love that you can walk outside barefoot, go camping and not freeze, run through the sprinklers, play softball, cook outside, go for family walks in the evening, go to the drive-in and many other great summer activities. Not to mention, my birthday is also in the summer :) I love the ease of it and the memories that I have from having many enjoyable summers with my family.

2. My kids. Well of course I had to put this in the top two :) They are some of my favorite people! Ashlyn reminds me more of myself everyday. She is very sweet, a little bit bossy and incredibly smart and perceptive. Breckin is a very affectionate and sweet little boy, probably the only little boy I'll have, and he is very artistic and helpful. Addy is my baby, for the moment. She is also just like me and Ashlyn. She is sweet and happy. Many people have told me that she is the happiest baby they have ever seen, she always has a smile on her face. My kids are the reason that I live. They make me smile, cry, laugh and worry. I could never imagine my life without them.

1. The hubby. If I didn't have him I wouldn't have my kids :) He has gone through so much and still keeps trying. Sometimes it takes some prodding, but he keeps trying. He does things for me willingly and lovingly. He makes me laugh and cry. He supports me with my dreams. He tries to do the right thing in a tough situation. I know that he is the man that I was supposed to marry. He helps with our children willingly when I ask, he loves us unconditionally, he works hard, he tries to make me relax when I don't really want to but I need to, he tries to distract me with silly stories during labor, he sometimes takes out the garbage and he cooks the steaks in the house. He's good for a lot of things, so I think I'll keep him around for a while :)

*I have to add one more love, I know I only technically get nine, but I have to add one more. My family. I love my in-laws very much. I also love my parents and my brother very, very much! They are the reason that I am the person that I am today. My parents taught me how to work hard and how to be honest. My dad taught me how far hard work can actually get you and how to be logical in the most difficult situations. My mom taught me how to be selfless. She is the epitome of being selfless and giving herself to her family and children. She really is an angel. My brother taught me the absolute importance of laughing, especially at yourself. He taught me that you can't take yourself too seriously and that even in the midst of trials and hopelessness, there is a reason to laugh. I am so very blessed that I was given the family that I have.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ten Day You Challenge

Okay, I know that it's kinda weird to hear from me two days in a row, but I think I'm trying anything productive to avoid doing the homework that I have looming in front of me. Anyway, I came across this little post on one of the blogs that I follow and I thought I would see how many of you were wanting to join in the fun. If you have your own blogs it would be fun for you to just leave a link to them in the comment box so that I can check them out, or you can just read and enjoy. The first challenge is sharing Ten Secrets. Here it goes:

10. I have never failed a class in my life, I have however gotten a D in my life. One was in Algebra 2 when I was a senior and it caused me to be ineligible for swimming for part of the season. I was LIVID!! I couldn't believe it. I just wasn't good at math and I hated it. I had a nice enough teacher, but I just didn't get what was going on. Now, however, math seems to come to me a lot easier. Who knew!?

9. I watch Jerseylicious and The Real Housewives of Orange County. I can do without the other Housewives, but Orange County is the original and it is my guilty pleasure.

8. I have been to see the Backstreet Boys twice and I have seen N'Sync once live in concert. I was such a boy crazy teenager and they were the perfect boys!! I would actually go and see the NKOTBSB tour now if I was able to :)

7. Speaking of being boy crazy, I would reconsider my marriage if I had a chance in the world with Tim Tebow or Bruno Mars! There is just something about the wholesomeness of Tim Tebow, not to mention he plays for the Denver Broncos! There is also something mysterious and appealing to me about Bruno Mars, and I LOVE his music.

6. I HATE mayonnaise!! It is disgusting. All I think of when I look at it or think of it is cellulite.

5. Sometimes I let things go by the wayside and I actually allow my house to become a HUGE mess! It kind of is right now. I desperately need to vacuum, dust, clean the bathroom and a number of other things.

4. I secretly wish that I could sew as well as my mother did and still does. I wish that she had taught me what sides are the right sides, what a basting stitch is, how to thread a sewing machine. It has been a whole lot more difficult to try to figure these things out on my own.

3. When I was young I wanted to be a gymnast and a ballerina. Maybe it was my inner girly girl fighting against my outward tomboy, but every time the Olympics would come around I would watch and then go out into the front yard and try to reenact what I had seen. I did hurt myself more than once and I knew that it was way too expensive for my parents to pay for lessons for me so I thought I might just teach myself. I am still no gymnast, but I did take a ballet class when I was in Laramie and I found it quite fun.

2. Before I have a serious conversation with someone I talk myself through it first. I often do this in the car by myself or with Addy falling asleep in the backseat. I find that I am much better prepared for the conversation when I do this. My mom talks to herself too, so I don't think I'm completely crazy...yet :)

1. I spend way too much money on books. I have all of these books I want to read and the best intentions of reading them, so I find them on Amazon, at the second-hand store, or on sale at Target or Wal-Mart and then I never touch them again. I have gotten better about checking the out from the library lately because I have talked myself through a purchase before I make it, but still it sometimes gets a little out of hand.

Well, there you have it friends, 10 secrets about me! I hope I can stay up with this and keep you updated on the other Challenges. I also hope that you will share your challenges with me!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm Addicted!!

Okay...I have to admit it...I'm addicted to reading!!! I never thought that I would be again, but I am. When I was young, I remember sitting in my grandma's library downstairs with a pile of pillows, a blanket and a good book that I had searched for on her numerous shelves of books. I would stay down there for hours, neglecting my brother and his pleas to play with him. I would devour one book after another and in between I would wander upstairs for some Ramen Noodles or a PB&J sandwich. Otherwise, you wouldn't see me for the entire day. Well, it has started again. I spent the ENITRE weekend lost in stories. The first book that I read was A Stolen Life by Jaycee Duggard. It was a little graphic for me, but her optimistic attitude through her entire ordeal was remarkable. It was also so interesting to me how similar we were when we were young. We actually had a lot in common and I can remember reading her thoughts and thinking, "I felt the same way at that age." However, the events in her life and my life are drastically different! She still has hope though and that is remarkable given what she went through. After that bit of dramatic reading, I went on to read The Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond. If you don't know who the Pioneer Woman is, you need to find out. She is so comical and interesting. The book is about the drastic changes that she made in her life so that she could be with her love. The way that she describes her husband makes me super envious!! I have a great husband, but her husband is pretty perfect!! It was a really good book and I found myself super entertained.
Even though I read a little over 600 pages over the course of the weekend, I still managed to clean the house a little bit, do the laundry, run some errands, get two papers done in addition to the other homework I had to do, and go to church. I did not have the time to make my fabric flowers or do some of the other crafts that I had planned on completing, but it was totally worth it. Now I have BIG plans to read Tim Tebow's book and Michael Oher's book. I don't know what's going on right now, but I'm really into biographies. I read the inside jackets of Tim Tebow's book and I was interested right away. I also have read a book by Leigh Ann Tuohy, Michael Oher's adopted mother, and I think that it would be interesting to hear the story from his side. That and The Blind Side is one of my favorite movies!! So, now I guess I'm off to the library to pick up some new books. Let's hope that I can fit in some homework into my busy reading schedule :)


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Addy's First Birthday

Addy is now one year old and it is so amazing to see the little person that she is becoming!! She is such a joy and a blessing to our family. Right now, she is walking everywhere and opening drawers and pulling out EVERYTHING!! She loves her brother and sister very much and just wants to be a part of their lives and the party that they seem to constantly have going on. She points at everything and everyone. I can tell that she is going to be just as inquisitive and smart as her sister. Addy brings joy to my life everyday and she is one of the three reasons that I have become the person that I am. I could never imagine my life without her. I am so grateful that I am able to spend all day with her and watch her grow and learn. For your viewing enjoyment here are a few pictures of my sweet girl on her 1 year birthday