Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Surprise for me!!


I have this good friend Crystal. I met her in 3rd grade, and now at almost 30, we are still friends.(see post on the wedding I went to) She currently is living in the Virginia/DC area. And this year for my birthday she had something sent directly to me from amazon.com. I was kind of surprised when I got an amazon box in the mail but hadn't ordered anything. Well, yesterday after I picked up my dad from the airport, I came home and found another amazon box with my name on it, that I didn't order!!! So I open it up and I find two books. One is called Kitchen Playdates by Lauren Bank Deen that has some amazing recipes and ways to do things with kids. The other one is the above cookbook. Ratatouille Whats Cooking? A cookbook for kids So, I first emailed her and said Thank you!!! (these are our Christmas presents) and then sat down and looked through them. OK, you all know I'm kind of crazy about french stuff and the Eiffel tower. Well, the last recipe in the book has a picture of an Eiffel tower made out of SUGAR WAFERS!!!!!!! It is an Eiffel tower sundae. It is just stinkin cool. And it also has a recipe for a real ratatouille. Which, if none of you have ever had, should really really really try sometime. It is so yummy. We will be using these books for sure!!! Thank you Crystal!!! I highly encourage you to look into these books. They would be great Christmas gifts!!! Especially if they are anything like me and are crazy about French things and love recipes!!!

I miss this

When Matt and I were first married, his mom gave us the piano she had. She had told Matt that when he had room for it, he could have it. I used it to teach piano, to practice, and to help Matt practice for his songs that he would sing for church or for the chamber choir he was in at the JC he was going to at the time.

When we moved to Germany, we brought the piano with us. It was an old piano, really heavy, missing a wheel or two. And with us moving so darn much, we decided to get something different that was lighter, didn't need to be tuned, and took up less space in the small homes that the military gave us to live in.

While we were in California, Matt was asked to sing solos fairly frequently. And of course in Germany he sang and danced for his job. I would help him practice and if it were for church, I would accompany him. I LOVE accompanying a good singer. I am not a concert type pianist. I love to play for an amazing soloist, that just sings, and knows that I will follow him/her as they go. I love how it feels to be a part of that voice (cause I have a choir voice) and to allow the piano to have those same emotions. Since Matt has been in this school, he hasn't sung at all. In fact, when the choir sings, he just gets up and sings with them, without going to choir practice. The choir director is just fine with it. In fact, she asks for him to do it sometimes. Our choir is pitifully small.... So, since we aren't going to be here for the Christmas program at the end of the month, she has asked him to sing before we leave. And of course I will accompany him. I am so excited! First, for a new song to learn. Second to play for him. We haven't gotten to do this for so long. Its one of the things that brings us together, and when I really feel unified as a husband/wife team. Maybe I'll have someone record him and I at church in a few weeks and post it. Is that against the rules?? He is singing an arrangement of Silent Night. One that start out with four flats, and then changes to 3 sharps. It really isn't that hard, its just always a bit of a trick to go from so many flats to sharps. Sharps always seem harder for me. Don't know why. So, maybe in a few weeks I'll post a video of him singing in church, with my playing. I'm actually excited about it. I don't get nervous playing for people anymore. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So

I SO wanted Mel B to win the disco ball trophy tonight. But I do love Helio. And seriously, if Marie hadn't been eliminated, I would have died. Hooray for Helio!!

Tonights show was so much fun to watch. I'm sad that I'll have to wait for next season. And the tour is going to North Carolina, but it is WAY too much money for me to go. So sad. And this is the last post on Dancing with the Stars. Aren't you all sad?? I am. I just need Burn Notice to come back, and I'll be good to go.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My kids are strange

My kids are weird. They like to eat stuff, and are excited about eating stuff, that normal kids would run away from. This was my 2 year old a few nights ago:

Lucy: Mom, can I have your broccoli??

Me: Sure

Lucy: OH Fank you mommy, fank you!!!!!

Tonight I made a spinach casserole that is kind of like a quiche without a crust. It has onions in it, and of course spinach. My kids ate it up really fast. Andrew even ate the onions, even though they were a little bit "spicy" as he said.

They often will come to me and ask for carrots. Andrew will ask to eat celery. And when I say that we're having pot pies for dinner, they literally do a dance they are so excited. They love the stuff inside of them. I finally started buying the smaller Marie Calendar ones so they each could have their own. They each can almost finish one on their own. Andrew will eat baked sweet potatoes and ask for more. They love salmon. I have no idea why they are like this. I didn't do anything to make them like this. I guess I was just lucky. Hopefully when I have the next one they will be just as excited about eating broccoli and spinach. :)

A new one

My friends Joe and Emily just had their firstborn, Joseph Noah. They both have videos and pics on each of their blogs. If you're baby hungry, go and look at those pictures!! And then cry when you read her story. Cause I did. Félicitations!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

Wednesday afternoon, I got a phone call from a friend and church and she was calling to invite us over for thanksgiving. They had bought two small turkeys that they were going to deep fry, and needed some help eating them. Well, talked to Matt, and we decided that we would go to our friends house instead of Cracker Barrel. (but maybe next year!!)

Yesterday morning, I set to baking my fabulous corn bread, my more fabulous apple cranberry crisp, green bean casserole, and a pumpkin spice pie (courtesy of jello pudding mixes). On top of this, I have been suffering from the worst allergies I have ever had. I haven't had a voice since Monday night. My nose wasn't yucky, but now it is. My throat is killing me. And on top of that, Andrew and Lucy are both having some of the same issues!!! (cannot wait to leave allergy ridden San Antonio!!)

Our meal was good, the turkey was really good. (even the white meat was really really juicy.) All the kids had a great time running around and playing. I brought my camera, but didn't even use it. Oh well. Not much to take pictures of at thanksgiving other than food and people eating. I felt really yucky most of the time anyway. And all of a sudden it got really really cold here. Wednesday we were wearing sandals and t-shirts, and we wake up Thursday morning and it is really cold. Highs in the 50's I think they said. Crazy weather.

All of my brothers and sisters are at my parents for thanksgiving this weekend. Except me. (I'll have to start getting used to that) My youngest brother is speaking at church this Sunday for his farewell talk before he leaves for his mission in about two weeks. (the little stinker is going to Paris!!!) My other brother is there with his fiance that I have never met. And I can't even go to the wedding because they are getting married right when I'm moving and on the opposite side of the country. Well, not really opposite, but way closer to the rocky mountains that I'll be. So, a little sad for me. But I am realizing how stressful it is for me to go home. I have to go to each of Matt's parents homes, find a time to see my sister in law in San Diego, see my grandma who lives near LAX, and see my parents, and whatever siblings are around, and at the minimum see my best friend. And that is just too much. I end up not enjoying myself, and driving around way too much (on California gas prices). And this is why I don't want to go home at Christmas anymore either. We just can't this year, and I doubt we'll be able to afford to go next year either. But who knows where we'll be after that.

I hope all of your thanksgivings were relatively stress free, and that the food was yummy, and that there weren't any disasters of any sort. And I hope you were smart enough to stay home on black Friday.....

I was going to do a list of things that I'm grateful for, but I just took a few benadryl, and my mind is a bit foggy. So, you'll have to wait for that list on another day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Help!!

I am in the process of looking up moving trucks and companies to see which is the best choice for us. We wouldn't mind doing a Uhaul type of thing. The only problem is that we may not have a house available right away. So far, Penske trucks rentals are the best choice. The stinky part about that is that we would have to move it into a storage unit if our house wasn't available, and then rent another truck to move it into our house once we were able to move on post. Anyone out there have any suggestions? Have you moved 1600 miles? Let me know what you think. All four of you out there that actually read my blog....

I love Payless


Last night I needed to go to Walmart. Next to our Walmart is a Payless. I don't usually go in. But they carry wide shoes for kids, so I go in and check out what they have. Yesterday I found these cute brown shoes for Lucy. They didn't have a price on them. It is also Buy One Get One half off time. I had also found Lucy some cute athletic type of shoes. Those were $10. I get up to the register, and the cute brown ones ring up for $5, and because of the BOGO thing, I only paid $2.50 for my cute shoes!!!!! Total of just over $13 for two pairs of shoes. Can't get better than that. Aren't her new shoes so cute?

Le Prince D'Egypte

For those of you who don't speak French (or can't figure out what my title says) it says Prince of Egypt. On my mission, the music from this movie was some of my favorite. And of course it was in French. I was at Walmart last night, and I saw it there for $7.50. I bought it. Something that the kids can watch on Sundays instead of things like Cars or Toy Story. (we love those movies too, but I try to have more spiritual things to watch on Sundays) So, I put it on today. Matt even sat down to watch it with the kids. Just listening to the music made tears come to my eyes. Partly because I remember things from my mission, and partly because I just love the music. One of the last songs has the line "There can be miracles when you believe". I don't know the title of the song. Anyway, it just kind of hit me. Been feeling very very overwhelmed with the fact that we're moving and his family will be here at the same time. Also, I just have a hard time getting our bathrooms and other stuff done in our home. I know it sounds simple, but if I believe that I can do it, and focus on just doing one thing at a time, I can do it. Which is a miracle for me. Anyone want to come over and help me pack???

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The wedding

I never blogged about the wedding!!!
This is a picture of me (not looking my best), my dear friend Andrea, and my other dear friend Crystal. We had a great day!!! I had almost 12 hours without my kids between my father in law and my dad. Andrea looked amazing. Her cake had the best frosting ever on it!! I wish I knew what it was. It was also great to spend so much time with Crystal. We haven't been able to spend time like that since Andrew was born. Andreas apartment was within walking distance of the church, so she walked with her bridesmaids to the church and had people clapping for her. I just wish we had had time to go to the beach. The church was in Santa Monica, and the reception was so close to the beach. The roads were all hilly (first clue of how close you are) and then that occasional glimpse of the beautiful water between the expensive apartments and homes. And that smell!!! I just love the smell of the beach. Even when I walk out of LAX, I can smell it. Yeah, I miss the beach.



What???

Again, this is going to be about Dancing with the Stars. I mean, its Tuesday night. What else am I going to blog about?

I think every single Mormon person in Utah is voting for Marie. How else could she have gotten so far? Seriously, Jennie is much better of a dancer. No question. But this is what happens when uneducated America gets to choose. Not that I don't like Marie. I just think she might be a little over her head. And I just love Mel B. Yet another reason why I still like the Spice Girls. I would love to go and see the Dancing with the Stars tour. I know, totally retarded, but I just love it!! I wonder if it goes to North Carolina???

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Some good stuff

Recently, I have been trying to eat more organic foods, and trying to use organic products. Also, to eat some gluten free foods so that my kids are used to them. Since my sister has a wheat and oat allergy, and my best friends son has celiac disease, I thought I would get us used to some of those foods. If/when they come to visit, I don't want to have to make several different things or have them having to put out extra money to have the foods that they need at my house.



A few of things we have tried (and loved) are:



Fruit and Grain Bars from Back to Nature. I think they taste better than any nutrigrain bar. They are smaller than a nutrigrain bar, and cost more. But I think they are worth it.



Back to Nature macaroni and cheese dinner. These also are more expensive than the Kraft mac and cheese. But they taste better, and you cook it the exact same way.



Cascadian Farm Granola Bars. They are above and beyond better than any Quaker oat granola bar. To me, these granola bars are like eating rice krispie treats with oats and other things in them. My kids like them too.



Cascadian Farm cereals. They have really good cereal. One of them has Clifford the big red dog on it, so they like that one.



Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake mix. This is so so so yummy. My kids eat them right up, and so do Matt and I. It is $2.99 for a 22 oz. bag of it at our commissary. I'm sure they are more expensive at a regular store, but if you have gluten issues, or just want to eliminate some of the gluten in your diet, try it! Their gluten free bread mix is really good (my best friend makes it as their bread on a regular basis in their bread maker). And I would assume that their other mixes are just as good.

Also, my sister sent me this recipe, and it is so yummy!!

Quinoa Lazagna

one 15 oz can tomatoes
two 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. oregano
1 cup onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
3 cups quinoa cooked (in the recipe it says to rinse it before cooking to remove the bitter taste, but I never do and it tastes great. Rinsing it just takes away some of the good vitamins)
1/2 lb ricotta cheese
1/4 lb mozzarella cheese (I always use more, because i like it cheesy!)
1/4 lb Parmesan cheese or use Romano cheese

In a large pan, lightly saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, but do not brown. In another pan, brown ground meat and drain fat. Add cooked meat to the onion and garlic mixture and heat briefly. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, salt and oregano. Reduce heat and gently simmer.

Preheat oven to 350.
In a 9x13 pan, place a thin layer of the sauce, following with a layer of quinoa and a layer of cheeses. Repeat this pattern ending with sauce and extra Parmesan cheese on top. Bake uncovered for about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting.


My son just eats it right up. I used my own sauce, and it was so yummy. Quinoa by itself doesn't have a great taste, but with all the cheese and sauce, it takes over the taste of the quinoa.

I have also really made an effort to recycle. I wish I had a composter, but instead I throw my leftover peels and cores in the front yard in the bushes. Maybe I'm not supposed to do that, but I feel better about making less trash. I have also done better at eating up our leftovers. I grew up eating a lot of leftovers, but I think my leftovers taste better than the ones I had as a kid.

I also recently read an article in Newsweek on food allergies. It was very interesting to me. So far, this is the only thing I've read on it. My kids have had very very few issues with food allergies, but I feel like I need to research it a little bit more. If not for my own kids, for others who might come into my home or be my kids friends at school.

And you know, I've been buying Newsweek at the store these last few weeks. Next year, I think I'm going to get a subscription. Since I don't even watch the news, maybe reading it will make me more aware of things going on in our world. Especially with the Presidential race next year. I don't know much of anything about who is running for president. Better start now!!

I highly encourage that you try some of the stuff above. I find that I prefer to spend a little bit more money for a higher quality product, and have it taste better too. I wish I could afford to shop exclusively at stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes, or Sun Harvest Farms. Maybe when we're officers....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Last night

A girl in my ward invited me out last night to go out. Her husband is deployed, and her mom was coming over to watch the kids so that she could go out. We went to my favorite restaurant La Madeleine. Then we went to watch Elizabeth: The Golden Age. It was so so very interesting. While I was watching it I was trying to figure out who her parents were (I'm pretty sure it was Henry VIII, but I'm going to double check that today.) There were some unnecessary things in it, but just the story of it is fascinating. I've learned more history from historical fiction that anything else. My only history class in high school was a summer school class where we took tests out of the book, had a speaker once a week come in, and watched some epic historical movie almost every day. I have little retention from that class other than someone came and talked about picking cotton, and then a black man came and talked to us, but I cannot remember what he talked about. Haven't had another history class since. Anyway, fabulous movie. I had brought some treats in with us, and we were so focused on the movie that we hardly ate any of it. I'm looking forward to The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm reading that right now. Hopefully it won't be rated R. There is another movie coming out called PS I Love You. It is also a book by Cecilia Ahern. I really enjoyed the book, and it looks like the movie will be good too. I would have linked things, but I have to go to the store and get potatoes so that I can make a ton of mashed potatoes for a dinner our church is putting on for some older shut ins in our three wards. I don't mind making them. I put heavy cream in mine.....So yummy......And since I'm not cooking at all for thanksgiving (we're going to Cracker Barrel) I can make mashed potatoes. I think I'll keep a little bit for me!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Its been more than a year

I was going to post about this at the end of October, but I never got around to doing it. I guess I was busy.

We have now been in the USA for a year. More specifically, Texas. I am more accustomed to living here now, but I can't say that I like it. I can't really pin down what the reason is. When it comes down to it, I would just rather be in Europe. Even if the weather is bad. I would rather be in Paris when its raining than Texas. Or California for that matter. They totally freak out when it rains there. "Storm Watch" is all over the news, and people just cannot drive in the rain at all. At least in Europe they are used to it, and aren't crazy drivers when it rains.

This last year has been extremely challenging for me. I am pretty much a single mom. My husband does very little in our home other than sleep, eat, and study. With sometimes watching a UFC show, sport show or The Office. Friday nights are my only "break" (if you could call it that). This past year I have been camp director at church, which might seem easy. But when you have little kids and you're trying to figure out who will watch them while you're at camp, it can be stressful. Then I got this Relief Society President calling. I must say I will be glad when I'm done.

This year has also been stressful with having our family so close. For most, that might sound great. And also, you might think, isn't her family in California? That's not that close. Compared to Germany, its close. The problem is that because I live so far, I have to spend lots of time/money to visit home. And because of experience, I know that I cannot stay around my mom for more than a week. Any longer, and it is just bad. Which is sad because they don't get to see us often, and only spending a week isn't very much time. Which makes it stressful for me trying to fit all of Matt's family in on top of mine, not to mention some very good friends that I like to see when I'm home.

This is kind of off subject, but another stress for me right now is that Matt graduates next month. His dad, his dads wife, and their two little kids (the youngest is only about 9 months older than Andrew if I remember right) are coming, and will be staying with us. And Matt's sister called last night and told me that she and her mom want to come out too, but that they would stay in a hotel. So on top of packing and getting ready to move, I'm going to have most of his family visiting. I just might lose it. If we lived in Germany, this would never happen. Luckily, North Carolina might be far enough to keep most of them away. I know that sounds bad. I have just learned that there is a limit on how long I can be around certain people. With my mom, no more than a week. With Matt's family (other than his oldest sister) its about a few hours before I need a break and some air. So having that to deal with in person rather than on the phone has been stressful this year too.

We also make less here than we did in Germany. When you are overseas, the military gives you something called COLA. Cost of Living Allowance. It is to alleviate the exchange rate, and the amount you get is based on your rank and family size. Some months, we got a ton. I was also teaching a lot of piano in Germany. Here, I have had only one student and that one for only a month or so. It has been a little tricky with our finances.

I am hugely looking forward to moving to a new place. To see our friends that we haven't seen in almost two years. To be further away from family. To a house that isn't falling apart like ours is now. To new foods, and meeting new people. To the end of Matt's schooling so that our lives can get back to a kind of normal.

I have learned a whole bunch this year about myself. I wouldn't trade the knowledge that I have gained. But if I had to do this again, I would say no.

The things that I will miss about living here is mostly the people. But most of them move around too, so there is a chance that we will see each other again. I will miss great Mexican food! And I will miss the weather. We will see how I like North Carolina. I am a west coast girl to the bones. It will be a huge change for me to live in the Southeast.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My favorite thing about my husband

This is my husband singing. He was in the USAEUR Band and Chorus for two and a half years. This is him performing for the fourth of July of 2006. I took it with my little camera. The quality of the video isn't very good, but you can hear how awesome he sounds. He really kicked *@# on this song. Before you listen, turn off the music on my sidebar. He has no idea I'm putting this up. He had other solos. This is the best one. When we would watch him perform, I would almost feel like a rock stars wife. It was kind of cool... I loved watching him perform. As much as I want to get officer pay, I would love it if he could do something like this again. Maybe he can join a group somewhere....

video

5 Life Classes

Jen from Lords of the Manor tagged me a few days ago for this Meme and because of sick kids and sick husband plus a Fall Fest at church that I had to help with I am just now getting to it.



5 Life Classes to Fix My Sorry Existence Meme:Devise a list of 5-10 courses you would take to fix your life. It’s more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged you that you’d also like to take. Tag five.



1. Organization 101: I am not organized at all. I have often wished that someone somewhere offered this as an actual class.



2. How to deal with crazy family members 101: Between my in-laws and my mom, not to mention my brother, I need help.



3. French 101, 201, 301...: I think I could be perfectly happy with learning about French grammer for a long time. Doesn't everyone think about the construction of a sentence? I could spend all day doing french exercises in a workbook. I love it.



4. Parenting 101: I just need help....But doing my best!

5. Photography 101: I just want to be able to take pictures better. Something as basic as family pictures or taking pictures of my kids that you can hang on a wall. I just don't want to spend the money at Walmart, Sears or any of those other stores..

6. Time Management 101: I am horrible at this. I have no idea where the time goes in a day. On my mission I did pretty well, but as a mom of two small kids, there really isn't much of a schedule other than nap time and eating time...Not to mention making the time to do necessary things in my house like cleaning, starting to pack....

I am going to tag Shell, LeeElle, and Emily. I'll see you in class!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I love this stuff


I love polish pottery. I fell in love with it while I was in Germany. It was everywhere! The above picture is of my stuff that a friend bought for me when she went to Poland last March. I myself have been to Poland twice to buy pottery. I loved both times. I have pictures of the second time, but I just want to talk about my pottery right now. It is so much cheaper in Poland than anywhere else. My pattern is the daisy pattern you see on the bowls. I have dinner plates, dessert plates, small bowls, casseroles, large serving bowls, a small pitcher, small canister, salt and peppers, butter dish, and even little buttons. Plus what you see above. I always wanted blue and yellow in my kitchen, and daisies, and this pattern fit perfectly into what I wanted. I have other pieces in different patterns too. They sell it at most PXs and they have pretty good prices for pottery in the states. At the online stores, it gets really expensive. The reason I love this is that you can bake, microwave and put it in the dishwasher. It cooks food better than any pyrex dish that I own. And you don't have to grease it. A little bit of hot water, and it cleans off perfectly. This is one of the reasons that I want to go back, is so that I can get more of this amazing stuff. You put it in a cold oven, and you can heat your oven up to 350 and it will cook anything amazing. Sometimes you can find it at Marshalls, Ross, or TJ Maxx. I actually pulled out a bowl that I'd had for several years and realized that it was polish pottery once I was in Germany. But my husband broke that bowl. Lucky for him it wasn't my favorite bowl. If you have a chance to get some of this, do it. It might be a little pricey, but you will never want to cook with anything else ever again!!! I actually don't have the stuff above yet. I have to go pick it up from my friends neighbor who has since moved to College Station, TX. She brought it with her and I can't wait to get my stuff!! Some of the above are gifts, but the bowls and utensil holder are mine. And the magnets. I cannot tell you how much I love this stuff!!!

Porn For Women

Before you get the wrong idea, just scroll down.











Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Finally!!!!

We got our orders yesterday!! That means that it is official that we are moving, and that we are for sure going to North Carolina. For you non-military people, orders are just papers that are official military documents that give you dates and places for a soldier and all that are attached to him or her. You don't go anywhere without orders. Which also means we can start the process of getting on the waiting list for houses on post. I have about 6 weeks left in Texas. YAY!! I am just not a fan of Texas. I do enjoy warm (hot) weather, and I will miss that since NC can get very very cold in the winter. But, I have a good friend there, and we will be so far away from our families that they won't be able to visit very often. For some, that is a drawback, but for me, I like my family more when I don't see them very often. We get along better.

Dancing with the Stars was very good last night, once I got to watch it. I have to say, that I wasn't surprised that Jane got voted off. I can't help but wish that they would do something like that for us regular people.

Today at the park, there was a Texas grub. What is a grub? Well, it is yucky. It was at least 3 or 4 inches long, an inch wide, and had tons of legs. It looks like a huge roly poly/pill bug, but about 300 times bigger and yuckier. Andrew picked it up and brought it over telling us that it was a really big caterpillar. Uh, no. OK, just thinking about it is giving me chills and a yucky feeling in my tummy. I hope never to see a bug that big ever again. I should have taken a picture so that I could share it with all of you. Aren't you sad.

Monday, November 5, 2007

My DVR has failed me tonight. It only recorded 27 minutes of Dancing with the Stars. And now I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow night to watch it online. It better get tomorrow nights show.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Well

So far, I have escaped the nasty bug that has hit everyone else. Don't know how I did it. I was the one cleaning up all of the messes....

I have something to put out there. Growing up, my mom would almost completely redecorate our house every month. In fact, every month my mom had a different theme. I am not joking. She had stupid little knick knacky things to put up, things to hang on the walls, center pieces for the dining room table and the kitchen table, and the island in the kitchen. Not to mention matching table cloths and place mats. It seemed as if every season threw up into our house. Luckily our rooms escaped the decorating fever, but it was every where else. I hated it. I hate it so much, that as an adult, when someone mentions decorating something, I want to run away. My mother continues to give me dust collectors to "decorate" my home for the different seasons. My sister feels pretty much the same way. We don't mind a little, but does every space need to be covered?? Anyway, we've told her we won't use it, we don't want it, but it still keeps coming. She even spent money on sending me decorations when I lived in Germany. I usually give them away to people that would use it.

So far, I haven't lived anywhere long enough to decorate at all. We might hang a few pictures on the walls, but that's it. I don't really have a color scheme, nor do I have much idea what I want other than I want it to have a french feel to it. Mostly the Eiffel Tower (my kids already know what that is. I had to change Andrews pants underneath it. Great memories....)

At church, when I see women spending time to worry about a tablecloth and a vase with flowers or whatever they might put on that table, I think they are crazy. Yes, visual aids are great, but do we need to spend five minutes worrying about a tablecloth that really doesn't matter at all? After we die, are they going to ask if we had a tablecloth without stains or holes on the table during our Relief Society lesson? My opinion is No. It will not matter one tiny bit. Nor will it matter if we decorate our home for every darn holiday on the calendar. Will it matter if our home is a clean, nice looking home that people want to be in? My opinion is Yes. Does having a tablecloth improve the quality of our lesson? No!! I want to try and eliminate those things in our lives that really don't matter that much in the long run. I feel that a lot of my childhood was focused on things that really don't matter in the long run.

I felt that a lot of what I heard from my mom is that our house had to be just so, and I would really get in trouble if the bathroom wasn't cleaned exactly how she wanted. My mom could have dealt with it much better than she did. It was a normal thing for her to get angry and for all of us to run for cover. It was always important to her that we had Easter and Christmas dresses. And that we matched. Um, I hate that, and will never do that to my children. How about we just look nice? Why stress out about it and sew late into the night for that one Sunday that we all match. Just not worth it to me. To be honest, I'm not sure yet how I'm going to deal with the chore thing and when they don't do all that needs to be done. Right now, and I do this already sometimes, I get down on Andrews level and tell him that I don't like cleaning up either, that it is hard for me to do it, and if we do it together we can do it. Or that we have to do it, even if we don't like it. It has only worked once so far, and those few minutes of hearing him tell me (after I had picked up his room some) that he was cleaning up his room, and look mom, I'm doing my part and you did yours. That was one of the best feelings I've had in a long time.

I guess the point of this post is to remind myself that so many things don't matter, but if you deal with them the wrong way (like losing it over the little things) they will matter. It is such a hard balance for me. I find that when I stress over things I don't treat those around me very well. So, do I keep my home spotless, be stressed out and mean, or do I let it be cluttered and treat my family nicely? I guess I need to learn to do both at the same time, but for now, I'm OK with a cluttered home as long as the important things are cleaned (like the bathrooms) and I treat my kids like they should be treated. It is also OK for those that enjoy decorating or doing whatever it is that they like to do, but for me it isn't worth it if those around us get treated badly because of it, or if more important things are neglected. Anyone have any ideas on how to balance all of this? Have you succeeded? Because I need some help!!

It might seem to you that I'm a basket case and you wonder how I function. You know, some days I wonder that same thing....

Lucy woke up crying a little while ago while I was typing my post and she had thrown up again...sigh... will this never end?? I am done with this bug!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Unbelievable

So, the morning of Halloween, Lucy started to throw up. Between 9 and 2, she threw up at least 10 times. So much fun. She was better after her nap, and hasn't thrown up since. Last night while I was giving Lucy a bath, Andrew runs into the bathroom and throws up all over the floor. He throws up at least 6 times. I kept both of them on the living floor on a towel. Lucy was harder to keep on the towel than Andrew. So, I slept on the couch with the lights on so that if Andrew woke up he wouldn't freak out. I haven't been feeling my best, but its probably because I was up way too late again. Matt got home from work, and told me that he didn't feel very good, but that he had gotten a flu shot yesterday, and that was probably why. Um, flu shots don't make someone throw up. Right now, he is laying on the couch. And if he throws up, it is going to be up to him to clean it up. I've cleaned up about 15 throw ups in the last two days. The funniest thing about Matt throwing up is because I told him that he better make it to the bathroom if he needed to. He said that he has only thrown up once from being sick. 20 minutes later he was hugging the porcelain. So, I am just waiting for my turn. I can hope that it will pass me, but I don't think it will. And I don't know how Matt got it when he isn't around the kids near as much as I am. The only good thing about this sickness is that it is very short lived. With any luck, Matt will feel much better by the time he goes to bed tonight. If I'm not back here for a few days, you will all know why....

Jen and MommyK: hopefully this weekend I will be able to get to your tags. Thank you MommyK!!