Friday, February 27, 2009

Who is John Galt?

I'm right in the middle of reading Atlas Shrugged (so nobody ruin it for me!), and loving it.  As for econmics, it's not something I am passionate about, mostly because I don't understand it.  And even politics - I'm very passionate about the things I understand and know, but I don't pretend to know everything about my party, or who I vote for.  I just know the things that are important to me.  I'd like to understand more - and be able to justify my choices better, and perhaps someday I will, but for now I am content with what I have and know.  Anyway, this book, which focuses on economics and politics and the values and principles within them, arouses passion in many who read it.  And for sure, there are many things that happen in the book that get me fired up - either at the stupidity of the characters or the logic and practicality of others, but truly, this is a very well written story - with a moral.  What do they call those now-a-days?  Anyway, I can't wait to get the end of the book...  For right now, I think I will post little one-liners from the book on Twitter.  Feel free to follow along, or if you've read the book, suggest some of your favorite one-liners.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bow-Chicka-Bow-Wow

Yes, that is what Israel has been walking around saying for the last week.  I crack up every time I hear it.  Maybe I should be telling him it's inappropriate.  Nah.  By the way, I have no idea where he picked it up.  

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

O.MI.GOSH.  You have got to see this!  First of all, if you have girls in the toddler years, you have to subscribe to this woman's blog because she is always giving away the cutest little girls clothes and costumes.  (Or if you are pretty petite yourself, because lately she has been giving away some women's stuff too.)

So, not having any girls in my house (besides me) I rarely enter her contests, but I seriously love these - and I am totally coveting one.  So, go check her out and enter the contest for yourself.

Oh, and one more thing - she has also posted links to where she got directions to make them - so if you don't have to $60-$100 dollars to buy one on Etsy, you can do it yourself.  I think I love her.  She's just so wonderful.  I am totally going to make one for my "baby girl" box.  (Projecting!)  And then I am going to make a matching one for myself!!  FAB-U-LOUS.


Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cool Ranch Doritos

Yesterday I bought some Cool Ranch Doritos.  Yumm.  I've been trying to do better at buying non-junk food.  Because if there isn't any in the house, you won't eat it.  But, yesterday I was just craving a PB&J sandwich and some Cool Ranch Doritos.  So, I bought some and was thinking that today that's what I would have for lunch.  Yeah right.

Apparently, last night, Randal was up until 4 o'clock in the morning working on homework or something.  And this morning, when I got up I went up to the kitchen to put away the groceries I bought last night (I was just so exhausted when I got home last night that I only put away the freezer and refridgerator stuff) I discovered the Doritos were missing!  No empty bag in the garbage, so I know Mr. Somebody didn't eat them all last night while he was studying.  No, he just discovered them, probably ate most of them, and then hid them from me!!!  What a butthead.  Granted, I have done the same to him before.  What??  He can eat a whole entire package of ANYTHING in just one sitting!  (And doesn't gain a pound!)  But, I was looking forward to my lunch today!

So for payback, I am going to make cookies today for my YW's class on Sunday and hide them from him!  

Here's the recipe (courtesy of Grandma Lope) if you feel like making some super yummy cookies and hiding them from your husband today also:

California Rangers
1 cup butter (room temp.)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilaa
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup coconut
2 cups corn flakes

Mix butter, sugars, eggs, milk and vanilla.
In a seperate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix.
Then, add oatmeal, coconut, and cornflakes and mix in gently.
Bake at 350(F) degrees for 10 minutes.

These are a favorite among my mom's family.  I grew up making oatmeal cookies with my dad on Saturdays.  These are just like oatmeal cookies - only on crack.  They're really good.  And it'll be a great payback for a certain Mr. Somebody.

And if I remember to take any pictures I'll post them for you later.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Please Understand Me II


Do you like personality tests?  Yeah, so do we.  Well, let me introduce you to the grandaddy of them all:  Please Understand Me II.  When Randal was doing his Master's degree, he studied a lot about personality types and learning styles and discovered this book.  I kind of wish we would have had this when we very first got married - or even before we got married (not that it would have changed wether or not we got married, but it would have made our communication with each other so much better).

For example, did you know that Randal and I are both oldest children?  Oh yeah.  We have butted heads a lot.  And according to this book, Randal is a Field Marshall (ENTJ).  Otherwise known as "the leaders of leaders" or "superleaders."  "Intellectually, they are prone to practice strategy far more than diplomacy, tactics, and especially logistics."  He receives fulfillment by directing others and seeing his directions carried out and improving surroundings or environments.  Whereas I am a Champion (ENFP).  A champion of causes.  I get excited about things and want to draw others to my cause - whatever it may be at the time. "Intellectually, they are prone to practice diplomacy for more than strategy, logistics, and especially tactics."  We are known to be "fiercely independent, repudiating any kind of subordination, either in themselves or others..."  So, you can see some of the conflicts that could come up between us.  But, since Randal has studied this book - and gotten me to read some of it too, we have learned how to better communicate with one another (and all the other people we come in contact with).  You and your spouse may not need help communicating, but this is a fun book to learn more about personalities and more about communicating better with all kinds of people.

So, if you like personality tests - or if you want to improve your relationship - or if you just want to improve the way you communicate and interact with those around you, I highly recommend this book.  

Monday, February 16, 2009

30 Years...

And counting!  Happy Anniversary!  
(By the way, these are my parents.)

So here are some things I learned about marriage from my parents:

1 - There will be some things about your spouse that don't thrill you.  That's ok though - there are lots of other things that do.
Ever heard of "Hambone"?  Ask my dad about it sometime, just don't do it around my mom or let her know you did it.  But on the up side, my mom has been in love with my dad since she was 15.  They're soul mates.

2 - One or both of you may be crazy at some point or another during the relationship.  Just stick with it and be supportive.  And don't ever point out just how crazy the other is.  That doesn't help.  And it does get better.  
My mom had a lot of health problems for a few years - that will make anyone crazy.  And my dad was bishop for 6+ years - I think you have to be a little crazy to be able to survive that and still have everyone love you.

3 - Courtship is always important.  And romance is never dead.
Did you know my parents eloped?  They did.  They called their parents up one week and told them that they had a three day weekend coming up so they were going to come down (from BYU) and get married then.  If they could come, great!  I love that story.
I remember every Monday night during FHE business time, we would ask our parents if we were going to have a babysitter that weekend.  We had really fun babysitters, but more importantly, my parents were always going on dates, and they continue courting until this day.  
I also remember one year when I was in college, my dad and a couple of other guys in the ward surprised my mom and their wives with a vacation.  The husbands packed their wives bags and kidnapped them.  I thought that was so cute.  
And if you ever go in my parents bathroom, look on the wall across from the tub and shower.  There are some super cute pictures of my mom making silly faces with sweet little sayings by them - like "I love you" and "you are 1 hot..." something.  I can't remember exactly what it says - or maybe I've blocked it.  Anyway, they are still in love.  And because they nurtured their relationship all these years - they still know and like each other even though all their kids are adults and they have to spend time together.  
Oh, one more thing: I remember one year for some special day (anniversary, or v-day, or mother's day) my dad got my mom flowers - every Friday for an entire year.

4 - Your spiritual partnership is also always important.
My parents always say couple prayers together.  It's a great example and I can't say anything better than that.

So, although my relationship with my husband is almost the exact opposite of the type of relationship my mom and dad have (my dad is Mr. Rogers - he is so nice and easy going - and well,  Randal has other good qualities), their marriage is a great one that I try to pattern mine after.

I love you guys!  (And sorry I didn't get a chance to call you all day - I thought about you though.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's hard being fabulous

Actually, it's not.  [*wink, wink*]  And actually, that has nothing to do with this post, I just didn't want to do a cliche "Happy Valentine's Day" title.  Although, I do hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day!  Mine lasted almost all week!  Who knew having kids would do that?  Israel had two Valentine's parties this week, one at play group, and one at preschool:

The one at preschool was pretty cute.  The kids sang songs and recited Valentine's poems.  And wouldn't you know it, my kid is the absolutely cutest kid in the class.  And the quietest one too. Strange.  Anyway, it was fun to be able to see what goes on at preschool.  Approved.  

Earlier that day, I bought my Valentine's gift to myself(and birthday and Christmas and anniversary - I've been saving my gift receiving and cash gifts for awhile).  I got a Wii and a Wii Fit.  OK, we had a Wii once before and Randal decided that he wanted an XBox 360 instead.  So he returned the Wii.  Well, when we moved here knowing the kind of winters we would have, I really wanted something Israel and I could do inside to expend some energy and have some fun.  So I have been asking for a Wii for months now.  Finally, I got it.  And let me tell you, I was shocked at the quality of workout you can get with that thing.  Granted, it's probably not as good as going on and jogging for real, but my AZ blood and lungs and sinuses can't take below freezing temperatures and belonging to a gym is kind of a waste of money for me because it's too hard to load and unload the kids and then after to get ready for the day - we're talking like 3+ hours sometimes.  Not a big motivator.  Anyway, back to the Wii.  I love it!!  In fact, that's what I wanted for Valentine's - just to play video games with Randal.  It was a lot of fun, and just so you know, I kick butt at Hula Hoop and stepping and the table and marbles game, but Randal kicks butt at everything else, including all the Wii Sports games.  Of course all that game playing happened after I gave Randal his present:

Letting him sleep in.  After my games, he went back to his game - WoW.  That night we had friends over and played Settlers of Catan and ate guacamole, bean dip, toasted coconut macaroons (I think they were macaroons, what do I know?), and a to die for caramelized onion and garlic dip.  Oh that stuff was heavenly.  I still have onion breath from it.  (Well, not really, but I did until I went to bed, luckily I didn't wake up with it though.)

After our friends went home, we went downstairs and watched a little tv and then off to bed.  Overall, not a bad V-day.

This is Israel mad because I am taking pictures and not playing Wii with him.  Turkey.  He really like the running game and boxing.  And he likes to watch us make fools of ourselves doing the Hula Hoop.

In other news:  Elijah has started on solid foods (and the constipation has come back, although we're working on that one.)

So far he likes carrots and green beans, but not peas.  He also prefers rice cereal over baby oatmeal.  But, we're trying to cut out the rice cereal (you know, the constipation).

And thanks everyone for the itching suggestions.  I drank some apple cider vinegar - about a teaspoon or two in a cup of water and the itching went away within about 20 minutes, but it was back after only a few hours.  So I've also been moisturizing with straight olive oil.  The combination of the two seems to really be helping a lot.  The itching isn't gone, but it's not nearly as bad as it was - hooray!

And have I mentioned recently that my brother is single and looking?  I'm serious.  If you have any daughters or sisters or friends you think would like him, let me know!  He's a great catch, plus, she'll get me as a sister-in-law.  And I'm a great sister-in-law.  Just ask her.   Or her.  Or her.  And you have to check out this post - it's his potential date questionnaire and I think it's genius!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

What is Wrong With Me???

Remember the hives I posted about?  Well, I don't think they were hives.  It was my head that was itching so bad, so I just assumed that it was something like hives.  I couldn't see any bumps because of my hair.  And before you start freaking it out - it's not lice either!  I made Randal check.  (I was totally freaking out.)  So...  I don't think it's hives because the itching has spread.  I itch all over including my armpits, the inside of my wrists, my ears, in between my fingers, and the back of my knees.  It is making me crazy!!!  I took a shower and throughly washed everything off of my body and hair.  I used the soap that I have been using the past month or so (and that I have used often in the past - Caress Original).  I have rubbed my whole body in the lotion I regularly use (Jergen's Original Scent) and didn't use any product in my hair - just olive oil applied directly to my scalp and into my hair, and I didn't blow dry or use a brush on it.  But I still itch!  I have applied and reapplied the lotion, but I still itch!  

Luckily it's only one place at a time...  then it will migrate somewhere else.  So at least my whole body doesn't itch at the same time.  Right now it's my chest and armpits...  although I think I feel my ears coming on.  Somebody tell me what this is!!!  I haven't changed my diet recently (that I can think of) so I don't think it's an allergic reaction.  I'm pretty sure it's not dry skin because I've been staying good and hydrated, plus the weather wasn't that arid this week.  

I've been googling stuff online (because I don't want to be a wuss and go to the doctor only to be told I need to hydrate better - yet) and a couple of sites have mentioned apple cider vinegar - drinking it and bathing in it, baking soda - bathing in it and applying it as a paste, honey - applying it, tea tree oil - applying it, and witch hazel - which I've tried.  

Last night, I just laid in bed as still as I could and kept repeating in my mind, "Mind over matter.  It's all in your head.  There is no itch."  Eventually I fell asleep, but I wanted to itch the whole time.  I think my mantra worked more like counting sheep than actually taking the itch away.  And within minutes of waking up, the itch was back.  It does seem to lessen if I am doing something physical, like exercising.  But just sitting here checking email, blogging, and reading news, I am dying!  

Please tell me somebody has had some severe itching which seems to have no apparent cause and has cured it.  I need something - I am going crazy!!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All Done

Sorry I've been a little neglectful of you all...  I had a pretty big program I was in charge of at church (New Beginnings) and because my main speaker's daughter was in a really bad car crash and in the hospital with a broken pelvis and rib, I told her not to worry about it, that I would take care of it.  So, I had to prepare a talk on top of all the other preparations (with only 2 days to do so).  Well, I'm all done.  Tonight was the big night and everything turned out great!  I don't want you to feel too bad for me though...  I did have a lot of help and really, everything turned out so wonderful.  So, besides the hives I developed as a result of the stress today, I feel so incredibly great.  (Can you even get hives from stress?)  So, look forward to some fabulous things coming up.  (Hello?  Valentines Day!!)  And if you want to learn more about our New Beginnings check out my YW blog in the next few days.  (It's not posted yet, but will be in the next few days.)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Flash Back Friday: The Mission (Part 1)

I know today's not Friday...  but I thought I would post this for you anyway.

Randal on his mission in Brazil

So, where was I?  Oh yes, I didn't see Randal again until beginning of October 2002.  In fact, it was in Salt Lake City during General Conference.  I had come with my family for the dedication of the Conference Center and he had come with a friend's family for the same purpose.  And wouldn't you know it, we were staying in the same hotel.  He told me he had gotten his mission call - to Brazil - and that he would be leaving the next month.  I was happy for him and we saw each other in passing quite a few times that weekend.  When it came time for him to leave, he called me up and asked me if I could come to his missional farewell in church the Sunday before he left.  I would have liked to have gone, but another friend of mine was leaving on the exact same day and his farewell was on the same day, at the same time.  So, it was not to be.

Fast forward one year.  I was in Salt Lake City again for General Conference, this time I was with one of my roommates and her boyfriend (or was it fiance?  I can't remember if they were engaged at this time or not).  

Wait, let me preface this a little with what was going on in my life at that time.  It was just a month after 9-11, a hard time for the whole country, my younger sister was getting married to a guy a didn't get along with (sorry Brian, we both know that's the way it was), my most recent ex-boyfriend was also getting married - only 4 months after telling me he loved me, I might add, and two other ex's were pursuing another one of my roommates.  It was a hard time.

So there I am up at Conference.  It was great - and just what I needed.  I felt so much better that weekend and loved hanging out with Audrey and Tanner (my roommie and her bf).  We actually did more than one road trip, the three of us, and I never felt like the third wheel.  (They may have felt like I was a third wheel).  I really loved hanging out with them.  But anyway, this is what I wrote in my journal about that weekend:

So, General Conference as wonderful.  You know what is so strange though?  I thought about Randy all weekend  long....  I guess I was just thinking about him because he is such a good guy and all....  I really miss having someone think so highly of me [remember all the nice things he used to say about me?  And remember I was going through a pretty tough time then].  So, I decided to write him a letter.  I don't really think anything will come of it, but I really need write him - I have been thinking so much about him and I feel so bad it has taken me this long to do it.
So, next I wrote him a letter.  But I didn't have an address to send it to, I didn't know what mission he was in (because then I could just look it up online), I didn't have any phone numbers for any of his old roommates or his family or anybody who would have his address.  So, I turned all Sherlock Holmes and went with what I did know.  I knew the ward (congregation for those who don't speak Mormon) he was in and so I went to his church building to find the plaque I was sure they put up for him showing a picture and where he is serving.  But, of course, there was no missionary plaque.  He had left from a single's ward and since he was the only missionary that had ever been in their ward (usually they leave from their family's ward, but Randal was the only member of the church in his family) there was no plaque.  "Well," thought I, "maybe his bishop is around here somewhere giving interviews or something and I can ask him."  So, I found his bishop's office, but no one was there.  His name was on the door though.  So, I found some other people and asked where I might find Bishop so-and-so.  They told me that he does interviews at his home, which is just around the corner, and here's his address.  This is where it get a little stalkerish.

When I went to his bishop's house, I just kept thinking that I look crazy and like I'm stalking Randal and what should I do and blah blah blah.  You know how girls go on and on, right?  But, I rang the doorbell anyway.  When his bishop answered the door, I told him who I was and what I was doing there, and he said, "Oh good, my intereview didn't show up tonight!"  So, he took me into his office and sat me down and started "interviewing" me.  Asking me how I knew Randy and about myself and so on.  After sometime, he finally did give me the address.  So, I went home and mailed my letter.  It was October 20th.

On February 11th, I finally got a letter back.  I got a tape too.  So began our courtship.  What?!?  Well, I consider this the time when we really got to know each other.  We would talk for hours on these tapes that we would send back and forth, and after a couple of letters, we began emailing each other every week.  I would often drive the 20+ minute trip home during my lunch break at work, just to get a letter from Randal that had come that day.  It was a fun time.

Friday, February 06, 2009

My Good News Minute

In church every Sunday, when the women all get together for the 3rd hour of church, we have a "Good News Minute" where us ladies get to talk about ourselves.  You know, brag about our kids, our weight loss, our great hair day - whatever.  Well, this last week, my "Good News Minute" was that I was not turning 30 this year.  Yes, that's right - I still got one more year to get in all those things I said I would do before I turned 30.  Like get pink hair and become a Yoga instructor.  So, this is it!  Yikes!  Well, age 29 started off pretty good.  Let me tell you about it...

First thing I did was eat a breakfast of pumpkin cookies and milk.  Yumm.  Then, I cleaned my kitchen.  The dishes and counters weren't too hard.  I got those done pretty fast, but I finally swept and mopped my floor.  I won't tell you how long it had been.

Then Israel and I made cupcakes (or coopcakes, as he calls them).  Only the finest ingredients here at our house.

We even used the dinosaur cupcake papers to make them extra special.  Israel was a big help.  He watched the cupcakes while they baked so that they wouldn't get burned or anything.

Then, Israel had to go to preschool.  So we let the cupcakes cool down and I went to lunch with Deborah.  Ahh, Fuji, my love.  I got the classic spicy tuna rolls.  They were yummy, as always, but Deborah's dynamite rolls (I think that's what they were called) - they were amazing.  Next time.  Oh, and we got edamame and salads.  I don't know what the dressing is they put on their salads, but it is so dang good!  I also got soup.  It was such a great lunch!  Thanks Deborah!

After lunch, I still had some time to kill before I went and picked up Israel, so I went shopping.  Target and the mall were the destinations of choice.  Well, that's pretty much the only choices I had.  Ames is really small.  And I use the term "mall" loosely.  There's a JCPenny's and a Gap and Claire's and an Auntie Anne's pretzels and some other stores.  Anyway, got some cute stuff. 

Then, I picked up Israel and we finished my cupcakes.  I frosted and he sprinkled.  He did a pretty good job.

Then we ate them.  Israel did so without the use of his hands.

And ended up looking like this.

See?  He really enjoyed himself.

And what's cuter than kids and cupcakes?

Kids with cupcakes all over their face, of course.

When I checked the mail yesterday, I had this from my Grammy Fuller.  She has been giving us giant cards with our names spelled out with money for as long as I can remember.  When we were little, it was coins.  Now that we're adults it's just our initials, but it's cash!  Now a boring grandma would just send you a card with the cash inside, but my Grammy puts a lot of time and effort and love into these.  They are covered with encouraging stickers and the best part of hallmark cards cut up to form one giant super special card.  And it always includes a note that makes me cry.  My grandparents love me.

That night, I got a babysitter to come over and watch the kids (first one since Elijah was born).  Then Randal and I went to dinner at The Cafe.  Let me tell you, this place almost always surprises me with how good it is.  I've gotten things a couple of times that were just ok, but most of the time, I'm thrilled with the super duper yummy food (yes, that is a technical term).  Last night, I got steak tostados.  OH.  MY. GOODNESS.  I think I might have to go back and get them again.  They were that good.  I forgot to take a picture though.  Plus it was really dark so it probably would not have turned out well.

After dinner, it was back to the mall.  We were going to try and see a movie, but with it being a school night for our babysitter, we had to get home relatively early.  So, we walked around the mall and I got some more cute things.  Then we decided to try and still fit in a movie - so we went to Wal-Mart.  Alas, no movies really stood out.  So, we got ice cream sandwiches (Skinny Cows, thank you very much) and headed home to watch Smallville, Supernatural, and the Office.

Overall it was a great birthday.  I only wish our birthdays lasted a whole week instead of just 24 hours.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Biggest Loser

Anybody else watch the Biggest Loser yet?  It was a great episode.  We got to see how the contestants who went home did and see how they faired alongside their partners who had been at the ranch this whole time.  Well, let me just say I am so proud of Sione!!!  I won't give you all the details, in case you haven't watched it yet, but during his first workout back on the ranch, he was incredible!!  I seriously had some tears in my eyes.  Let me tell you, if you haven't gotten into Biggest Loser yet, this is the season to start.  It's been a great season so far and looks like it'll continue.

And, I'm just dying to know what everyone else who watched it thought of the ending?  Was it fair?  What about the "reunion?"  Anyway, LOVED it!  The show was a good one this week and the contestants who went home are looking pretty good - both of them, although one looks WAY better.  Right?

And on a side note...  Here at home, my diet and I are doing pretty good.  I've lost about 10 pounds, but sort of hit a plateau - already??  Yeah, well, I've been a little stressed out and I tend to eat away my pain.  It's so bad, I know!  But my goal for the next week or so is to get a workout schedule in place.  And then stick to it!!  Maybe I should ask for a gym membership for my birthday.  Or a Wii - with the Wii fit.  Or an elliptical trainer, or a stationary bike.  Hmm....  yeah, I think I'm going to try for the Wii.  :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Superbowl... hmmm, maybe not...


So, I thought I would blog about the awesome Superbowl party we had at the Smith's house, and that Marvin made The Bacon Explosion (if you haven't heard of this, you've been living in a hole - Google it!).  But I won't.  It's been done already.

Instead I will just give you all this lovely little reminder:  My birthday is in just 3 short days - February 5th to be exact.  I was going to post what my horoscope says for this week, but I don't like any of them...  So, I will just make one up and send that out into the universe.  How's that for projection?

Aquarius:
This week looks to be a good one!  Your planets are aligned and everything seems to go your way.  But watch out for attack turtles on the 4th - dodge them all and you may find a bit of good luck coming your way.  The 5th seems to be an especially good day with lot's of friends (bloggy or otherwise) wanting to get in touch with you.  Just sit back and bathe in the love and adoration.  
In your love life, expect lots of love and affection - more specifically in the way of pampering.  Don't be surprised if your special someone offers you a foot rub or even full body massage.  Be sure to keep those massage oils close at hand!  It seems as though everyone wants to give give give when it comes to what you want and desire.  
In all things home and family, watch out that you don't get too accustomed to rest and relaxation, because chances are this stretch of everything just getting done on it's own won't last for long.  
Especially creative days are Friday and Saturday.  Do something involving color and get those water thoughts and creative juices flowing.  You'll be rewarded and full of energy.
Mars and Venus seem to have collaborated with the people on the moon (hehe, just had to stick that in there!) in your favor.  This week will be an especially productive week for all things health related.  When Mars, Venus, and those Lunatics (you know, Lunar people) combine their forces in your behalf, you can bet those few pounds you've been working on will just melt away.  Lucky you!  
Overall, this week, is YOUR week.  Take full advantage and be rewarded.  It's seems it truly is the Age of Aquarius!