Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thought Provoking

I stumbled across this thought provoking blog post earlier today and was compelled to share.  Please visit the link below to be reminded of a sacred privilege.

Brave Suffragetes

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Very Proud Budgeting Moment

Things have been a little tight financially around here lately and may not let up for a while.  So I've had to learn how to be more frugal, separate wants from needs, and   ugh   make a grocery budget.  I have had a grocery budget all along, however, some cutting was necessary and now we're down to the bare minimum.  I've NEVER been good at this.  EVER!  But lately, I'm getting such a kick out of how inexpensively I can feed my family.  I do the shopping every 2 weeks and this week is grocery week.  I spent over an hour researching the sale ads via the internet, making a meal plan that is coordinated with sale items, etc.  This trip needed to be even less expensive if possible.  I withdrew from our account $40 less than my actual budget.  2 hours, 3 grocery stores, and $160 later---2 weeks worth of supplies sitting on my kitchen floor waiting to be put away.  YAY!!!   I do have one question though---why does strawberry jelly in a 32 oz jar cost $1 more than the grape???????

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Friends and Memories

I  have a friend (surprised?) , we'll call her Shorty since she really is rather short.  Shorty grew up in Wisconsin, but left to pursue her career. About 5 years ago, she moved back up here to live with her mom, who needed a caretaker.  Shorty and I became fast friends, however, I really never made much of an effort to get to know her mother.  Since Shorty was the primary caregiver, she planned most of our time together outside of  her home.  I never even thought twice about this.  Shorty's mother passed away a little over a year ago.  I attended the funeral and have had opportunity since then to learn quite a bit about Shorty's mother.  As I have learned, she was an absolutely remarkable woman.  One I would have been more than proud to know. 

On a related note, my brother passed away about 5 months ago. We did not have a close relationship as we have not lived as adults in the same town or even within 500 miles of each other.  Upon his death, I had opportunity to spend time with his closest friends and visit his home.  I was surprised to find many things out about him that, as his little sister, I would never have known unless I had had a relationship with him as an adult.

The point I guess I'm trying to make is that it is almost never a bad idea to put yourself out there.  To take a risk in getting to know someone or allowing someone to get to know you.  This is a mistake I have made in the past.  I am not good at making new friends and I have a hard time trusting new people.  What have I got to lose?  I have been hurt in the past by some I thought were friends.  Just like everyone else.  How many chances of a lifetime have passed me by because I was too closed off to allow someone to get to know me, or myself to get to know them?  This is a goal for myself I have been working on the past year or so, and it's working out well so far.  I have a close friend or maybe even 2 (which is quite a big deal for me).  Do I say things that are inappropriate?  Yep, absolutely!  Do I ever stick my foot in my mouth?  Yep, absolutely!  Do they?  Yep, absolutely!  Do we talk about it and move on?  YES!!  And the friendship is always better for it. 

Just some thoughts I've been having today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cats and other animals.

We have cats in our home.  3 of them.  I have not historically been a "pet person" or "animal lover", but my husband owned a cat when I married him so I suppose I had to deal with it :):)  As a child, I was like other children in wanting a kitten or a puppy, but didn't really spend alot of time with any pets that our family had and I have been afraid of dogs in particular for as long as I can remember and for good reason. 

In the last couple of years, however, I have become very close with a lady (we'll call her gorgeous, just for fun, but she actually is gorgeous!)  who owns 2 big dogs.  Tucker-a Lab/Australian Shepherd mix,  and Jackson-a St Bernard.  
Now I realized early on that if I wanted to be good friends with "Gorgeous", I was at least going to have to learn how to be around these dogs.  Don't they look horribly scary and threatening?  I think they do!  I first met Jackson when he was 10 weeks old and not puppy sized per se, but St Bernard puppy sized.  We made fast friends and now he is my best buddy.  I look forward to my visits to the home of Gorgeous and her outdoorsy husband and love to see the dogs come running out of the house at full gallop to say hello to their buddy Wendy.  YAY! 

Now what does this have to do with cats you may ask?  Well, I had never been "friends" with any of the 3 cats in my home until lately since I made friends with Jackson and Tucker and realized that Hey!  pets are people too ya know!  And since then, I've had much more fun with the kitties and I think they like me better too!  However, I still HATE that my husband tries to squish with me on my side of  the bed so as not to disturb the cats that have camped out on his side.  UGH!  But aren't they just the most precious kitties you've ever seen?  Well, top 5 anyways? 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Question of Age

Our youngest child and only daughter, age 13, has always always ALWAYS been the first one up in the morning.  Bright and early, bright eyed and bushy tailed (whatever that means) and impatiently waiting for the rest of us zombies to crawl out of bed. 

Lately, however, I've noticed somewhat of a shift.  Here's an exchange my husband had with my daughter this morning.

husband--pushes open door to her bedroom quietly to see if she's awake

daughter--(sleepily) it's like 6 am , what are YOU doing up?

husband--look at the clock

daughter---UGH!  It's not even 8 yet, go back to bed!

My husband then obediently came back upstairs and got back into bed.  I only have one question about this interchange between my husband and my daughter---why can't I get him to obey me that well? 

funny, funny, funny

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stay on the Path

I have been studying this talk this week by Sister Wixom in this past conference.  When I am at work, I wear headphones and listen to the talks via the conference website at  It brings a little bit of perspective into my "cubicle jungle".  This talk I found an excellent reminder of the importance of righteous parenting. 

Sister Wixom states "if we do not teach our children, the world will".  That is so true and it does not take long either.  How many of us have met a toddler who parrots everything you say?  How many of us have tried something we don't normally wear or eat because someone we admire does it?  I know I have and more than once.  It is the same for our children.  We must teach them correct principles and be the best examples we can for them so they can identify Satan's pitfalls when they occur. 

I challenge anyone who reads my posts to also participate in the online study group I participate in.  I will include a link below.  And if you want to study on your own, do that too!  Our church website is an absolute endless source of reading/listening material. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It works!

I learned something this morning!  I'm up early and--surprise, surprise, I'm hungry!  I wanted something hot, but really didn't want to have to "do" anything.  (I know I'm hopeless, but who really WANTS to cook at 5:00 AM?)  I decided to finally try to scramble eggs in the microwave.  I never tried it before even though it's widely known such things are possible, I firmly believed they would taste blecky.  Well guess what?!  Not only does it work, they taste oddly just like scrambled eggs!  And it only took about 2 minutes in my particular microwave. 

And another thing I never believed but found out recently is actually true--Julia Child was absolutely right.  If you don't dry the meat, it won't brown properly.  So go buy some paper towels! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Have you ever had more than one big project going on in your life at the same time?  And all of them come to a "climax" so to speak at the same time?  That's what has been happening with me the last week or so.  I"m a working mom, a billing clerk, and have been given the wonderful opportunity to work on a very big, very important, very high profile project at the business where I work.  Not only that, I am the only person "on the floor" that is participating.  Others are IT people and manager types.  I am able to participate in executive decisions, explain processes on the floor and many other opportunities with middle to upper management types.  This week is the last week of the project before it is moved to production and I am feeling the stress!  It is a wonderful career boost to be the only one on the floor involved, but, if mistakes are made or something is missed, there's no one to share the blame!  This could be wonderful or disastrous!  Stay tuned! 
The other project I have is one at home of major "dejunking".  My husband and I have a very American blended family and throughout the 6 year period of our marriage, we have had any and every combination imaginable between 1-4 children living in our home.  It's a wonderful experience!  However, it does lean to the accumulation of much furniture which is now no longer needed.  We're beginning to try to minimize somewhat so that we have a little more breathing room so to speak.  It's kind of like when you move and you realize you have about twice as much stuff as you thought you had.  :)  Wish us luck!  And if you're in the market for used furniture, give me a call!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We Sustain You

This week I've been studying this conference talk by Elder Holland.  It has given me a much needed reminder that every act of service we provide, no matter how small, is appreciated and important.  I love listening to Elder Holland.  He has a lovely way of reminding us of who we are and of our divine worth.  If you need a reminder as I did, please take the time for read, listen or watch this talk.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Going to the Temple

Just want to take a minute to say how excited I am to be going to the temple tomorrow.  I do go each month as we are counseled to, however, this month's trip seems especially exciting for some reason.  We are about 3.5 hours from Minneapolis/St Paul temple and it is always well worth the effort.  These are some of my favorite times.  The branch members meet early in the morning at the church house and take off on our adventure.  It's always a day of fellowship, reflection, and communing with The Lord.  I can't wait to go and feel the spirit so close!

St Paul Temple--Saturday, October 16--Be There, or Be Square!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finally! "Family" photos

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to schedule a photo shoot with a very busy beginning photographer.  She is a sister in our branch and she made the entire experience totally fabulous and positive!  She's getting really good and really busy though, so I'm glad I was able to get the members of our family who 1- are in Stevens Point and 2- will consent to having their picture taken to agree to the shoot with me.  Here is a link to her photography site.  If you are in or around the Stevens Point, WI area I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically encourage you to at least attempt to schedule some time with her!
I love this one of myself and Jessica.  I look pretty just because she's beside me!  

Isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever seen?  Adam almost looks like he's even enjoying it!  What an excellent big brother!   
Isn't she gorgeous?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

Yesterday I tried  a new recipe.  Mexican Lasagna!  I was so excited to try this new recipe as it had been served at a Relief Society function by another sister and was a big hit!  I painstakingly, not even concerned with the future health of my fingers layered the beans, cottage cheese, and noodles in the dish and placed it in the preheated oven.  When time came to consume my glorious creation, I loved it!  Next time I think I will add some green onions so there is more "flavor", but other than that, it was great!  When I asked my darling husband how his dinner was, his response was less than spectacular.  "It's okay".  I was crushed as this is usually his "I don't like it but don't want to hurt your feelings response".  How can my husband be such a good husband for me and not like any of the same foods?  I almost never get mexican food, rice, anything remotely spicy.  Thank heavens for lunches and dinners with the girls!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Compliments and Self Loathing

In the past, and present for that matter, I have sometimes had trouble accepting compliments.  I believe it is a side effect from several things.  A teasing, taunting big brother who regularly called me "dummy" (who doesn't have one of those?), and some poor friend making decisions in early adulthood being just a couple.  When someone says something nice, it just makes me uncomfortable.  "No I'm not pretty YOU"RE pretty."  "Yes, my fried chicken is delicious, but not nearly as good as it should be."  Perhaps it's not my brother's fault at all.  Maybe in my mind, there's just always room for improvement.  I remember as a youngster always feeling I would grow up to be something fantabulous and wonderful, and, upon reaching the age of 30 (I'm looking at my 41st birthday later this week) thinking "this is it?".  I remember an episode at church one Sunday.  I was serving in the Relief Society Presidency and we were a relatively new Presidency so the Stake Relief Society President and her counselors had attended our branch in hopes of providing some assistance or maybe just to get a feel for the atmosphere.  In a meeting after church, there were some lovely things said about my lesson teaching technique and I just remember sitting in the chair with my hands up in a defensive mode.  It was like they were hitting me with their compliments.  After that day, I made a firm resolve to do better at that, so I came up with the lovely retort, "thanks, but I don't agree".  I'm sure that made everyone get in line to say something nice!  However, lately I've noticed myself without even thinking being able to say "thank you, yes that lesson did go nicely didn't it?" or something along those lines.  This is all thanks in large part, to a lovely lady named Helen, a lovely friend named Vicki, and a Heavenly Father with endless patience and understanding.  I find it interesting that, at least in my case, I don't realize how much I'm struggling with an issue until I begin to get better.  I'm that way with physical illness too.  I believe it is a strange phenomenon, but most likely, I'm just like everyone else.  Funny how that works, isn't it!  And I would just like to add that I absolutely love the way Heavenly Father lets us know he's aware of us.  There are tons of things if I just pay attention.  All of these little, seemingly meaningless events that mean so much to me each day.  I find it mind boggling how things both physical and spiritual are given to us at the precise time that we're ready for them.  Most of the time unable to see that they were given at the perfect time until later.  I find great comfort in the fact that someone who knows me so intricately and loves me so completely is the one who is taking care of me and guiding me to where I need to be.  Thanks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My First Post

Okay, here it goes, my very first blog post ever!  I have a few friends who blog and I so much enjoy reading their posts and getting a view into their lives.  I thought I could do it too!  However, I thought my blog would be a little different in that all the things I want to share, but don't know quite who to share them with,  would be written here.  If you're reading this and you're a part of my life, don't get nervous.  All outside of family (and some in family) names will be changed to protect the innocent.  I am an avid member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and enjoy attending and participating in church service.  Does this mean I am a "polly perfect", "molly mormon"?  No!  I am actually the anti polly or anti molly.  I'm hopelessly flawed, I stink at crafts, I can't sew anything more complicated than a button (and sometimes that gives me trouble) I don't garden, can, or lots of the other things associated with those stereotypes.  I do, however, love The Lord, and am doing my best to be the best person I can be.  So here we go on our blogging journey.  I hope it is a positive experience for all of us!