Saturday, December 30, 2006

Number Three

I mentioned a while back that we had had two semi-big financial drains (right before christmas!) hit us, and that I was worried about what the third thing would be (since bad things happen in three's). Well, we got home from visiting family and discovered that our furnace wasn't working (right after christmas too!). We got it fixed fairly quickly- we were wearing extra layers for about a day, so it could have been worse. One of the motors died.

There's number three. Hopefully we can take it easy now.

I read somewhere that you should save 1% of your home's value each year to pay for repairs and things. Not a bad idea. If I didn't have to pay so much more in taxes this year, I might be able to do that! :)

Rearranging the household budget is one of my favorite activities (I already said that I was weird) so this will be interesting to try to work in... Better to be prepared than surprised.

Yogurty Yogurt

A few weeks ago I attempted to make homemade yogurt. The result was a nasty rubber-cement consistency that immediately went in the garbage (it was so bad, I didn't even try to feed it to the chickens). I'm not sure if the problem was with temperature or that I let it "yogurt" for too long. Maybe both.

For christmas, my sweet Mr. (who puts up with all my strange habits- and even adopts some of them himself- you should see him herd the chickens...) bought me a yogurt maker. It should actually be called a yogurt incubator, since that's the only thing it does. You still have to boil the milk and mix in the starter, then refrigerate and flavor.

My first batch in the yogurt maker was a big hit. The boys were really excited about it, and could hardly wait until it was done (you'd have thought yogurt was some rare treat). A little tart, because I only used about half the amount of sugar in the berries, and slightly runnier than store-bought yogurt (the Mr. said it was like a smoothie), but very tasty. I think if I use less water in the berry/sugar mix it will stay thicker.

My second batch just went into the fridge.

I'm very happy.

My next batch will be with powdered milk.

I wish I had taken a picture of the yogurt in the little jars when I first poured the berries on top. It looked like some sort of fancy dessert.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Give me (and you) a break...

I've had a couple of experiences lately that have been rather frustrating. It seems that there are many many people in the world who expect everyone around them to accept their weaknesses (or ignore them maybe) but that are not willing to do the same for others.

Why are we so hard on each other? I was reading an article on LDS.ORG that was about strengthening marriages, but the point can be applied in any relationship no matter how minor. I don't think most people go around with the intent of hurting others. Most hurt feelings occur from misunderstandings. If we choose to assume the best in people and talk out problems if they arise instead of choosing to be offended and hurt, life would be a lot less complicated.

Christmas is a nice time of year because so many people are a little kinder. At costco a couple of days ago, I was rounding a corner with my huge costco-sized cart and nearly crashed into a grandfatherly sort of man. I apologized because it seemed like the polite thing to do, and this man looked surprised and said that there was nothing to be sorry for, and gave me a big smile. How hard was that? Not very.

On a somewhat-not-very related note, I ran across this post in a local blog A Liberal Mormon. It seems like a group of people who believe the teachings of Christ (be kind, help those around you, etc...) would be a group that could really do some good, but they choose to be confrontational and their goals seem so misdirected. Apparently the former leader of the group, Reverend Joel Hunter, has resigned because he felt that poverty, aids, and global warming should be added to the group's issues. There's a nice quote from him: My position is, unless we are caring as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as inside the womb, we’re not carrying out the full message of Jesus.

Some people choose to be offended easily, and some people choose to distort perfectly good messages of love and kindness. If only everyone had parents like mine, people would be a lot less crazy. Of course, it's not really my place to say who is crazy and who is not, is it...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Something Scary!

There was an article in today's paper about children suffocating in their car seats. It's a little scary since car seats are so convenient with small babies. You strap them in get them in the car, and then they can stay in the car seat when you're running errands or even after you get home if they've fallen asleep- which is pretty common.

The article suggests only using the car seat in the car, even if it means waking a baby that is napping.

My second son sat in his car seat a lot. I was busy with his older brother, and he was a really mellow baby. He would just sit there looking around, so until he got fussy, I let him stay there. I guess I won't be doing that again. It's a good thing for another reason too, son #2 has a flat spot on the back of his head. The dr. kept saying it would pop out, but it hasn't. Maybe less time in a car seat is beneficial for head shape too.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's a....

Yesterday was my ultrasound appointment. So I thought.

I scheduled it at least two weeks ago, and was a little disappointed at the time that I had to wait so long to get an appointment. I got to the hospital (after arranging for child care) with my mom (since Mr. had not made it back from the hunting trip yet), only to find out that they had no record of my appointment. I think the woman thought I either had the wrong hospital or was trying to weasel my way into an appointment.

I had even called the day before to ask a question, and they asked my name before answering anything (which made me think they had looked me up on the computer). Everything seemed fine then, but there was no appointment made for me when I got there. The next available appointment was three weeks later (by then, the poor kid would be so big, you wouldn't be able to see anything).

It's unkind to shock pregnant women like that, so of course, I started crying (just a little, I couldn't help myself!) the receptionist must have taken pity on me because she said that even though they were double-booked all day, I could come back in an hour and a half and they'd squeeze me in.

The unexpected change made for some interesting child shuffling, prevented my mom from getting much done at work, and pushed my pie baking back to today (the pies are almost done, I just have three lemon meringue left to make).

Finally I got in for the appointment that I really did make, and I have no idea why it wasn't in the computer system... Anyway, everything looked good, all body parts accounted for and all.

And it's a boy.

I'm not sure whether to be disappointed or relieved. Maybe a little of both. I'd like to be able to buy little girl clothes and do hair and all that, but really, when you consider that I have a hard time getting my boys' hair brushed on a regular basis, maybe I'm better off.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dirty Secrets about Santa Clause

This morning I was giving my 5-year-old a hug and was about knocked over backwards by his breath. It was bad. I told him he'd better go brush his teeth because his breath was smelly. He said, "like Santa?".


Apparently last year when he got a chance to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wanted for Christmas, Santa had smelly breath. Santa always leaves toothbrushes in our stockings, maybe he needs to keep one out for himself. Or maybe we could start leaving breath mints instead of cookies (someone needs to look our for santa's dental health)...

Since he's in kindergarten this year, I'm waiting for the day that my 5-year-old comes home from school saying that so and so told him that there's no such thing as santa. I've been trying to think of what I will do when that time comes. I don't want to lie to him if he asks directly, but I want him to believe for as long as possible. Believing is magical, and every childhood ought to have as much magic as possible.

I've had a couple of suggestions. The first is to tell him that santa only brings presents to those who believe (although the mother that told me that wondered if she was just teaching her child to lie to her....). The other was to say, "some people believe and some people don't, but it sure is fun to believe so why don't we?".

There's also explaining about how santa represents the spirit of giving, just like the wise men brought gifts to baby Jesus.

What would you do?

Holding my breath for number 3 to hit.

Warning: This post may contain random ramblings...

"They" (whoever "they" are) say that bad things happen in threes. Well, we've replaced the front tires on the van, and now our fridge is on the brink of death, I'm afraid of what might happen next...

Hopefully whatever is wrong with our fridge is covered by warranty (which runs out the end of this month, so good timing eh?), we'll find out this afternoon when the repairman arrives. Currently the freezer food has all been moved out to the outdoor freezer, but the fridge food has no where to go. It's cool, but I'm not sure if it's cold enough. The milk tasted a little "less than crisp (can milk taste crisp?) but I have milk-tasting issues anyway so it's probably fine.

Speaking of number 3. no we don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet. Because of Thanksgiving, the hospital is backed into the last week of november, so our ultrasound is scheduled for the 28th. I'm not sure whether to be excited or resigned. There is always the possibility of a female child, it just doesn't seem like a good idea to get my hopes up because who wants to be disappointed when it comes to a baby? That hardly seems fair to the poor kid. My brief shock at #2 son being a boy not a girl was brief (I was sure he was a girl), and mostly centered around not being able to buy any little dresses.

My mister said that he thought I should keep a journal to record all the funny things that the kids do during the day. I told him that's why I have a blog, but as he pointed out, my blog doesn't really include much about my kids these days, so here's the update:

My 5-year-old is the VIP (Very Important Person) in his kindergarten class this week. It's been very exciting for him. Yesterday I told him that even when it wasn't his VIP week, he'd still be a VIP to me. He liked that.

A few weeks ago we had parent teacher conferences, he's doing well. He struggles with following directions, but as the teacher pointed out, he's 5, so that's normal.

In class he had filled out his own report card which asked a bunch of questions, each of which was followed by a happy face, a straight face, and a frowny face. He circled smiley faces on all but the first question, "I like going to school". I asked him why he circled the frowny face and he said, "It's a lot of work. I don't like going to school, but I go anyway." What a good kid. He likes being at school apparently, he's just not so fond of having to leave home.

This morning (he's done this before too) while mister and I were trying to wake up, this sweet 5-year-old set the table with bowls and spoons and cups for all of us, then poured cereal and (not-quite-cold-enough) milk for himself and his younger brother.

In the nearly-3-year-old department, I've gotten tired of constantly running to the kitchen to stop him from getting things out of the fridge. He's still eating like there's no tomorrow. I've set "snack times" and am not letting him eat if it's not snack time. I'm still running to the fridge to stop him from helping himself every two minutes, but I'm not feeding him all day long anymore.

Yesterday I made a huge lunch for both boys and didn't think they'd eat it all, but they did. I've been reading the Vegan Lunchbox Blog. We're not vegan, or even vegetarian (meat, yum) but it's a fun blog to read, and it nearly always inspires me to make lunch a little more fun. Fun lunches get eaten better than boring ones do. We had a dish of yogurt, peanut butter sandwiches, craisins, and carrots cut into little disks (the 5-year-old called them carrot quarters) with ranch dressing to dip. They ate everything and wanted more. The food was all arranged in our favorite "snack plate lunch" fashion which comes from the days when my grandma would cut up apples (skins off) and cheese and crackers and arrange them on a plate when we were sick. I still love snack plates...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Going public...

My sister posted on some of her experiences with health care today on her blog. She is a legal aid attorney and I would guess the majority of her clients have no health insurance, or very little. It was an interesting read. Check it out here.

The post got me to thinking, since private industry has done so well with health care, perhaps it is a good idea to privatize education. That way, every year our classroom premiums can go up, and if our children need speech therapy or are struggling in some area the school system can just cut off service to keep costs "down" for the rest of the children (not to mention profits up for the rest of the shareholders).

Maybe then wal mart or some other big box chain will open up "education centers" in their stores, and parents can take their children to wal mart to be educated while the parent gets their shopping done (hey, Smith's Marketplace already has that Freddie's Playland area, it's perfect!!!).

In a discussion with my family about privatizing education, my mom (who knows PRACTICALLY everything- since she had a real education, not a wal mart one) pointed out that private business is about making money. That's obvious, right? The whole purpose of business is to make money, so why would we want someone's bottom line to be the driving force behind our children's education?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thank You

To all the wonderful, highly qualified democratic candidates who ran for local positions, Thank You!

Thank you for giving us a choice in who to vote for. Thank you for your time and effort.

It was a little frustrating at the voting booth to have so many races that were uncontested. I wish I had thought to just not vote in those races. It meant a lot to me to have a choice, and in so many cases, choices that I truly believed were better qualified.

And lastly, thanks to Pete Ashdown for putting so much into his senate race. I'm saving my signs for next time.

It will be interesting to watch what happens nationally with some changes in power. I'm hoping for sensible compromises and a government that stops fighting itself and works together.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mean Voters....(getting yelled at)

I'm not used to getting yelled at. I don't deal with it well. When someone yells at me it makes me feel all unsettled, which is one reason why I generally don't yell at other people (that, and I'm just not a loud person).

I went to pick up my son from kindergarten today, and since it is voting day, the parking lot was full. I generally don't worry too much about pulling in behind the line of cars that block a row of parked cars because the parked cars are generally teachers who won't be leaving during the two minutes I'm blocking them in. I have been blocked in before, by a woman who visited with several other mothers while I waited for her to move her vehicle. It was irritating, but I waited for her and it was only a couple of minutes.

Anyway, there were no parking spots available today, so I pulled as far forward as I could hoping that the only cars I was blocking belonged to teachers. I saw kids coming out, so I hurried to go get my son. It wasn't his class, so I waited for one minute until his class got out. Then we hurried to the van.

When we got there a man in a small sedan was part-way backed out, and I thought he had hit my van with the way he braked suddenly. He jumped out of his car and started yelling at me "is this your van! Is this your van?!" He also said something about me blocking him in. I apologized and said I was just picking up my son from school. I understand his frustration with being blocked in. For that I'm really sorry.

There were no parking spots, and everyone just pulls up behind the parked cars- in a nice little row- when they pick up kindergartners. Having all the voters there made it a mess.

So as I was starting to pull out so he could get out (remember, I'm trying to hurry because he is obviously upset about the whole thing), he managed to maneuver his car around mine, causing me to brake suddenly- I didn't expect him to dart out like that- I didn't think there was even room for him to get out.

A raise in my blood pressure might do me some good, maybe I won't feel so dizzy when I stand up, but I don't think this man was benefited by the raise in his blood pressure. He could have said "I'm really frustrated that you blocked me in. I'm in a hurry and don't appreciate your idea of a parking spot". Then I would have said, "I'm really sorry, there weren't any parking spots and I thought I saw my son come out of the school, so I was trying to get him to the van before anyone needed to back out, I'm sorry it took longer than I had anticipated".

Then there wouldn't have been any raised blood pressure, or near-crashes, or general unsettled feelings on my part.

Next time someone does something that you find upsetting, try speaking calmly instead of yelling. Everyone will feel better.

Zero Energy Homes

My poor Mister now has even more to plan for if/when we build our "dream home".

I've been reading about zero engery homes, where the home is built to be extremely energy efficient and then solar panels are used to provide much of the electricity the home needs (and sometimes extra, which is sold back to the power company as credit).

I wonder if my current favorite house plan would be adaptable....

Here's a story from MSNBC about a Zero-energy house that was build in california.

And Here is an interesting website with a list of things that you should consider when trying to make your home more efficient.

Monday, October 23, 2006

What is a Liberal?

There's a post on Woods Cross Citizen that talks about a local candidate distancing himself from the national party. The thing about the post that interests me is one of it's comments...

The Angel Liberal said...
James 1: 5
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Let's remember the true meaning of liberal, not the Sean Hannity assassination of the word.

Alma 1: 30
30 And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were thirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.

Alma 6: 5
5 Now I would that ye should understand that the word of God was liberal unto all, that none were deprived of the privilege of assembling themselves together to hear the word of God.

D&C 46: 7
7 But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.

Think about it.

Brings new meaning to the term "bleeding liberal" doesn't it.

I was talking with my dad the other night about how we in our suburbia get so comfortable. We have nice couches, and we drive nice cars. We don't have to think about people who are starving or people who don't have places to live because we don't see it. We get caught up with soccer games and pot luck dinners and all the little things in our lives that seem so important, but we forget about taking care of others who are not as blessed as we are.

Perhaps we all ought to be a little more liberal.

Depression and Brussel Sprouts

No, sorry children, there is no known link between the two...

This time of year always makes me a little sad. The gardening season is over. Then there's politics.

It depresses me that there are so many qualified candidates who don't get as much support because they are democrats, while crazies (aka less-qualified-but-still-nice-people-in-general-probably) end up getting elected. I'm remembering Rob Bishop. How in the world did he get elected?

Paul Neuenshwander has some jumbo signs up with the word REPUBLICAN across the bottom (in case anyone forgot who they should vote for).

Here's hoping for sane voters (and by sane, I mean those who agree with me) this year.

In other news, I tried brussel sprouts for the first time ever last night. I was pleasantly surprised. I really expected to gag them down. They tasted a little like cauliflower, just a bit stronger.

I wouldn't mind eating them again (as long as they are cooked well, and not too big- I've heard they can be terrible if you aren't careful about only buying small ones).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Still here...

Every morning (at least on weekdays) I wake up, get the kids ready (usually with a lot of help from the Mister) and head to school. Kindergarten that is.

Between shuttling the 5-year-old (we are walking less than we used to) to and from school, and the 2-year-old's play group, and volunteering as a computer mom and a reading mom, helping with homework (no, it's no mandatory for kindergartners to do homework, but he gets "pluses" for doing it, which earns him small prizes), and youth council, and church responsibilities, and Mister's school (which is a huge part), I'm too tired to blog much.

I'm feeling pretty good, a little tired, but not sick anymore. My pants don't really fit anymore, which makes dressing interesting.

I'll try to blog if anything extra special happens. :)

Oh, the 2-year-old did finally advance to the next shoe size today (and he is still eating constantly).

Thursday, September 28, 2006


My two-and-a-half-year-old is on a bingeing spree.

This morning he had oatmeal for breakfast. I always thought of oatmeal as a food that really fills you up. 10 minutes later he was hungry again. I gave him a large banana. A little while later I heard the "mom, I hungry" from the basement, and up he rushed to find his next meal. I gave him a piece of bread with jam, followed by another piece of bread with no jam. A little while later he had a few pieces of cheese and some grapes. It's not even lunch time yet.

This has been going on for several days now, and my "snack food" reserves are being depleted. I may have to start feeding him a second bowl of oatmeal around 9:30.

For a boy who hasn't been above the 10th percentile in height since he was born, he sure better be having a growth spurt. I don't know what else to feed him!

Another Reason to Eat Locally...

There's a website called the 100 Mile Diet. The goal, obviously is to support local agriculture and avoid the waste that occurs when food has to be shipped all over the country. According to the website, When the average North American sits down to eat, each ingredient has typically travelled at least 1,500 miles.

The article linked in my title is found at and talks about the recent problems with spinach and E Coli. Scientists were able to track the outbreak to "somewhere in california". Since california produces a huge percent of our food, that's not a real shocker, nor is it really much help in controlling future outbreaks. The question is asked, why is such a huge spinach crop grown in california when spinach is such an easy crop to grow in most any climate? We can grow spinach in Utah, but instead we ship it all the way from california. If crops were grown and consumed locally, any E coli outbreak would be easily contained, because we would know where the outbreak came from.

I also found in interesting in the kidshealth article that we know that raising cows in such large quantities can lead to a dangerous spread of E Coli. We also know that eating high amounts of beef leads to health problems. Obesity in children is an epidemic. Despite what we "know", we can't stand the thought of paying more for our hamburgers, or the idea of cutting back on how much we eat.

Moderation in all things is good and well, just don't mess with my triple cheeseburger. It's the American Way!

Friday, September 22, 2006


It seems like a lot of people get defensive when it comes to "illegal" immigrants taking "their" jobs (as if they themselves were trying to get hired at mcdonalds or as field workers). All sense of charity that so many in the country felt toward those in asia after the tsunami, or toward victims of hurricane katrina seem to go out the window. Where have we been told that acts of charity should exclude any particular group of people?

If we show a little kindness to people who are not in the US legally, are we doing something so very bad? It's so easy to group people so that we don't have to remember that they are human. If we can just call them all "illegals" it justifies our treating them poorly.

Have you ever stopped to think about an individual? There but the grace of God go I. How did I get so blessed to live the life I do? How would you hope other people might treat you if you had been born into a slum in south america somewhere? What if you were so desperate for a way to support your family, that you sneaked across the border? Would you want to be treated as less-than-human?

My dad posted this letter on his blog. It's from a young friend who was here in the US illegally, and got into some trouble (speeding tickets I believe) and was arrested and deported. My dad saw something in him beyond what most other people saw. He showed love and compassion, and look at the result...

I believe there is a reason for everything, there is a purpose for me being here in Peru and there is a purpose for everything that had happened to me in the course of my life.

I cannot understand why since I have being a little boy had a sense of belonging to something bigger and the presense of the spirit was always around me for diferent reasons I guess the lord want me to take care of a lot of things so he put me in the family I belong. for some reason it is my call to help my brothers my mom and my dad. is not something I decided to do it is just natural to me to do because the lord decide it was my call and for some reason I know it is.
I cannot say why but that is how it is I cannot complain because of that the lord always blessed me more than all my brothers and my family. I was always happy even in the bad times and always was able to help them even with money to go to the US. I can say that the lord always give the tools to do wath he wants me todo till the point I was not worry about money or food, because even when I used all my resourses to help others the lord somehow returned to me ten times more what I give to others over and over so I can say I always did good here in Peru even when things where so hard and jobs were so low and all it was because of the lord and his miracle ways to acomplish his purposes.

I feel very blessed George I love you and respect you a lot even more than my natural father. we are so a like that I know you understand my feelings, how I think my goals, dreams and plans. and that is why I feel very happy and atached to you. I can say that I see my self in you only that you are thousends better than me but I hope some day be as you are. and put others first than my self, just be focus on the gospel and the kingdom of the lord. so far this life is just temporary and a tiny piece of sand compared to the eternity of the kingdom of our heavenly father.

In my short 30's I can say I have being through a lot but at the same time I can say that my life had being full of privileges compared to others I have a lot. I'm rich as you said. in fact I feel I'm wealthy. I'm so happy because of the knowledge I have about the gospel. I'm priviledge to be a member of this wonderful church while other people are lost in the darkness of this world, I have the light and the guidance of the spirit the Malchisedec priesthood. I'm married to a wonderful woman will be soon sealed in the temple and will give the priesthod to my brother Renzo, as you can see and rich and blessed.

I know some people think they are not priviledge because they have being born in south america in a third world country where things are so hard and there is too much poverty, but I feel blessed because I know the road to the kingdom of my heavenly father it is not easy so i do not pretend to live in a fantasy world where everything is easy and you have everything that way you cannot apreciate what you have.

I'm looking forward to be there with you and my kids when they called you grandpa. I will let them know about you and let them know what I learned from you and how you helped others. I will show George Jr. how to be as his grandpa. and I will always set the example talking about you. they will go to missions and will bring souls to the lord. and all that will be possible because you helped this lost soul and rescue it from the darkness when others saw just another ilegal in trouble you extended your lovely hand to me helping me not expecting anything in return just showing the pure love of jesuschrist you have in your heart.

I will see you soon in the temple when I'll be sealed with Vanezza and you will be in my heart and toughs when i'll be giving the priesthood to Renzo. remember that all that is going to be posible because you decided to help just another ilegal in trouble who will never deserve all that you are doing for him. you have changed my life forever you are the biggest miracle in my life.

How dare I ever take my life for granted. I have so much. Everyone has struggles, but mine in comparison to so many people around the world, are miniscule. I don't worry about having food to eat. I even get to eat in nice restaurants sometimes. I don't worry about shelter, and I have the luxury of sitting on a leather couch. When it is cold, the heater comes on automatically. When it is hot, the air conditioner kicks on. When I am sick, I can see a competent doctor without much hassle. On and on I go, living my life concerned with my own concerns, when they are nothing.

I feel blessed because I know the road to the kingdom of my heavenly father it is not easy so i do not pretend to live in a fantasy world where everything is easy and you have everything that way you cannot apreciate what you have.

Amen Miguel. May the Lord bless your life. May I be an instrument in blessing the life of another.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Great Diaper Debate...

I thought about using cloth diapers when my 5-year-old was born. I thought about it when my 2-year-old was born. Now, here I am again, thinking about it.

My problem with cloth diapers is the cleaning them part. I could use a diaper service, but then I still have to have a diaper pail full of poopy diapers (and I think they still like you to rinse the worst of the poop off).

My other concern with cloth diapers is that they just don't absorb like disposables...

What to do...what to do...
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Well, I stumbled across gdiapers.
I'm really interested. The Mister has complained about the horrible smell coming from our outside garbage can (although now that I think about it, he may be blaming that on the dog poop, not the baby poop...hmmm) and this would certainly keep the baby poop out of the garbage.

The worst part of the whole diaper clean-up would be cleaning the snap-in liners, but that could be done with wipes...

They're slightly more expensive than disposables, and I'm not sure what the shipping charges are, but I can get the liners shipped automatically every few weeks or once a month...

If anyone feels the desire to get me a baby gift at the appropriate time, I'd like some of these (unless I have a girl, because I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of buying adorable little girl clothes if they so desired (not that anyone has to buy baby gifts for a THIRD pressure...)).

If the liners are just wet, they're even compostable. Pretty cool.

I may just buy a starter set to try on my two year old...

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Official Announcement

For those who haven't heard the rumors yet, or for those who have but would like to hear it from me....

The Mister and I are expecting baby #3 early april sometime. Check back because I might get a picture from the ultrasound (my dr. has a machine in her office) posted.

It was really neat, on the ultrasound you could see the little hands and legs moving around. I've never seen so much movement at that first ultrasound before.

It appears that we are having a gummy bear. Stay tuned for the gender update in two months (maybe).

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Picture's Worth 1000 Words...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A new website I found

It looks kind of interesting...

Mormons for Equality and Social Justice

Here's a copy of their mission statement:
Mormons for Equality and Social Justice (MESJ) is a grassroots organization of Latter-day Saint individuals who are “anxiously engaged” (D&C 58:27) in working for the gospel values of peace, equality, justice, and wise stewardship of the earth in a spirit of Christ-like charity and concern. We do this (1) by raising awareness in Latter-day Saint communities of the inequalities and injustices that exist in the world today, (2) by actively participating in political processes to resolve these issues, and (3) by promoting and engaging in humanitarian service.

As Latter-day Saints, we come from a heritage of people who had “a vision of a different world, a world where injustice and oppression, poverty and ignorance would be dispelled and a world where men and women would be brothers and sisters” (Alexander B. Morrison, in Church News [14 Oct. 1995]: 4). We have been urged by Church leaders to work towards making that vision a reality in today’s world by being “full participants in political, governmental, and community affairs,” “using gospel principles as a guide and...cooperating with other like-minded individuals” (First Presidency letter, 15 Jan. 1998, in Ensign [Apr. 1998]: 77).

LDS scripture and prophetic teaching speak out strongly for social justice: for peace, equality, democracy, human rights, and wise stewardship of the earth’s resources. Latter-day Saints are enjoined to “plead the cause of the poor and the needy” (D&C 124:75) and to work towards a society in which “there [are] no poor among [us]” (Moses 7:18). We are challenged to “renounce war and proclaim peace” (D&C 98:16). The Book of Mormon teaches that “there should be an equality among all” (Mosiah 27:3) and calls us to stand against racism, gender inequity, and injustice on the principle that “black and white, bond and free, male and female;...all are alike unto God” (2 Nephi 26:33). The scriptures commend democracy, constitutional law, and human rights (Mosiah 29:26; D&C 98:5; D&C 101:77), while speaking harshly against inequity, exploitation, oppression, and violence (2 Nephi 20:1-2; 3 Nephi 24:5; D&C 38:26; Moses 8:28). Scripture teaches us that we are stewards of the earth and its resources, which should be used “with judgment, not to excess” (D&C 59:20).

As Latter-day Saints, we seek the guidance of the Spirit and look to the teachings of Church leaders in our efforts to achieve equality and social justice in our communities and the world at large.

MESJ is an independent organization, unaffiliated with any particular political party. MESJ does not speak officially for the LDS Church, but neither does MESJ adopt positions on social or political issues that contradict official positions of the Church.

Do you?

Do you yearn for the simple life?

The Mr. and I went camping over the weekend, and on the way home, I saw a farm house with a clothesline full of clothes drying in the breeze.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The scene made me feel peaceful. Kind of like the memories of my great grandparent's ranch. Life seemed to move at a slower pace there. Dinners were always home made. People actually interacted with each other instead of plugging into their electronic devices. Life was peaceful.

Back to the clothesline. Someone had to take the time to hang those clothes. Did they have a "regular" washing machine? I know my great grandma used to wash clothes by hand. I've decided that part of me longs for a simpler life. I love that my 5-year-old looks forward to going out and gathering eggs (two chickens are laying now, and one is even using the nesting box!). I love being able to walk him to school. I love days when we are not rushing around trying to be everywhere we are supposed to be. I like simplicity.

I also am grateful for my washer and dryer. I have a drying rack that I use for some things, and I would like to get some retractable clotheslines to hang in the laundry room, it would be nice if I could avoid using the dryer in the summer (except for towels...line dried towels are too crunchy) but the washer and the dryer are both conveniences that I am grateful for.

I'm grateful for air conditioning and forced air heating that keep me at a reasonable temperature without any effort on my part.

The simple life would be a lot more work. Even taking care of the chickens is extra work. We have to keep them fed and watered and cleaned up after. Just think of what a cow and some goats would add. If we really had to work for every little comfort, we'd be working all day long. As it is, here I am sitting in a comfortable chair playing on the internet.

The Mr. and I talked about how with so many conveniences available with so little work, we get in the mindset of feeling like we never really have to work hard. That mind set causes me to waste time instead of getting the work I do actually need to do done.

What I have decided, is that it takes a balance. There's nothing wrong with sitting and typing a post for my blog, or emailing my friends, but if I sit at the computer all day long it leads to an unpleasant cycle where nothing gets done, the house gets messy, and I feel bad about myself for being a lazy slob.

You (or I) can't let all the conveniences we have living in the age that we do keep us from working hard.

Nothing feels better than sitting down to waste some time knowing that the house is clean and there really isn't anything else that you SHOULD be doing just then.

I read a quote somewhere that said "an immaculate house is a sign of a wasted life". I think that's just silly. A house doesn't need to be immaculate, but I think people use that quote as an excuse for their pig sty decor. The quote should be "a clean home is a sign of good time management" or something like that.

Now that school has started and we are back on a regular schedule and vacations are over, my goal is to manage my time better, so that the simple life that I am trying to create for myself can be a happy one. I can feel good about myself because I know that I can really enjoy what I am doing at any given time rather than worry about what I ought to be doing.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Special Day

Happy 7th Anniversary Mister!

We woke up this morning and went about our daily routine, and when I was writing a check, I realized that today is our anniversary. We both gave each other gifts a month ago (mostly so that the Mister could use his on the summer motorcycle rides), so we weren't really thinking about it.

The good news is, we're still not sick of each other. :)

I'm looking forward to many many more years of near-bliss.

I love you Mister.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Political Favors

Since Mayor Briggs is leaving, tonight at the city council meeting they will be interviewing the applicants for his replacement. I believe there are seven. Two of them are from the current city council.

I was given the idea that one of the city council members kind of thought that two of the others (thus making the majority) were going to support him for mayor in exchange for his support on the NSL name change issue.

It appears that may not be the case now.

It really bothers me that politics work that way. People shouldn't vote based on who can help them out the most later. People should vote based on what they really believe, and what the people they are supposed to be representing believe. A post on Woods Cross Citizens blog awhile back has some really good comments along those lines.

This post is about Senator Hatch's flag burning amendment that was not supported by Senator Bennett. Some interesting ideas there.

The day before the first day of Kindergarten

My 5-year-old said to me this morning, "Mom, guess what tomorrow is".

"It's the first day of Kindergarten."


"Are you excited?"

He hesitated. Every other time we've talked about it, he's been really excited, but this time he seemed nervous... "Are you nervous?"

"A little."

I reminded him that I got to stay with him on the first day, and that his teacher (who came over last week and brought him a balloon) is really nice. His worried look left and he ran off to play with his brother.

I'm excited for him. It's going to be weird to have him gone every morning, but hopefully it will be a good experience for all of us. I'm a little worried about the 2-year-old, because he kind of seems lost when his brother is gone. It will be fun to walk to the school to pick up his brother though.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Fallen Off the Face of the Earth

I haven't.

It's been one vacation after another, and I am grateful to be home (although the vacations were all fun).

Here are things that have been going on while I've been away:

My four-year-old became my five-year-old (and he starts Kindergarten on Wednesday).
My chickens are still doing the same things. Just one is laying (although I did get an egg with a double yolk the other day).
I completely slacked off on my running, but I went this morning (it was hard after not running for a couple of weeks).
My two-year-old started saying (very clearly) "Yes! instead of "uh" when you ask him a question.
No update on the worms because they're worms and they don't really do much.
The Mister starts his MBA program tomorrow with an all-day orientation. I'm excited for him, but I'm not looking forward to never seeing him for the next 2-3 years. That could be tough.

I'm sure there are other things, but I can't think of them right now.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Two little worms...

...can become a million little worms in just a year. I find that amazing. My worms (who live under the kitchen sink) will never reproduce at that rate because their home is much too confined. I do think that they have doubled since I got them this past spring though.

Here's an interesting article about how worms can do their part (if we let them) to keep the planet healthy...

Happy Worms

I know it sounds kind of crazy that I keep worms under my kitchen sink. The mister is not overly-pleased with the arrangement, but he puts up with it. It doesn't smell, except when you open the lid, and even then I think it's a nice earthy smell. I fill the worm bin (made out of a small rubbermaid tote) with food scraps and dampened shredded paper every month or so. It would be nice to have a much larger worm bin that would be able to handle all of the food scraps we produce, but anything bigger wouldn't fit under the sink.

Here are instructions for making your own bin. It's fun for kids (and educational), and it will make your garbage can smell better (no rotting food in there).

Worms make very quiet, unobtrusive pets. Plus, their poop will fertilize your house plants.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm sorry gromit, the problem is, I'm just crackers about...

Not cheese, well, I do like cheese quite a bit, but tonight I'm referring to corn on the cob right out of the garden, sliced tomatoes, and steak on the grill.

I don't think there's a meal I enjoy more all year long.

I LOVE corn from the garden. There is nothing like it, and I wish we had room for more. We currently have two children who can eat an ear of corn as fast as their dad, so the six ears of corn we had tonight didn't go very far (I did get two for myself though).

As an update on the egg/no egg, we did get one yesterday, and one again today.

Also, since I am talking about self-sufficiency (which only sounds like "efficiency" which this is really about), I looked up tankless water heaters online today. I had always assumed that you had to have one at each location in your house that you wanted to have hot water at. Apparently, you can just get one (or two depending on your hot water usage) and locate them in the typical hot-water-heater location. The kind I saw cost about $700 each. For the house we would like to build someday, we would want two just in case we happened to have two showers going at once.

Here's the link for them...


Monday, July 31, 2006

Kindergarten, No Egg, and Unions

I finally worked up the nerve to email the Principle of the Elementary school that my soon-to-be-kindergartner will be attending (he didn't get in to any of the charter schools we applied to). I requested a specific teacher and gave my reasons why I thought this particular teacher would be the best for my son. I also said that I understood that it would be impossible to match every child and teacher according to parents wishes, and that we would be fine with any teacher that he was assigned to.

I heard back this morning that the teachers have already been assigned, but that he's in the class I wanted him to be in! This is the teacher that I said, "if he gets her, I won't transfer him to the charter school if he gets in later". I'm feeling somewhat conflicted about that now. The charter school has uniforms and a really impressive curriculum. The charter school will also be brand new, and it is likely that there will be some problems during the first few years. The neighborhood school is established with all sorts of extra programs, it is within walking distance, and he's been assigned the the teacher I wanted him to have (I think, although now I'm hoping I didn't mix up the teachers....).

It seems the best course of action is to do nothing. It's working out fine so far. I'm just hoping that he doesn't get accepted to the charter school later, or I'm going to have to choose, and that will be hard.

No Egg
I checked several times yesterday, but there was no egg. This is the first day that there hasn't been an egg for the past 6 days. (well, that would be yesterday, hopefully we get an egg today.) Once the other two chickens start to lay, we'll really have the eggs rolling in.

I don't shop at walmart. I have been having guilty feelings about shopping at Target, because really, I don't think it is much better than walmart. Not as big, so not as bad in that way, but still bad.

There are some things that I wouldn't know where to buy (shower curtains for example) without going to some big box store. There are some things that you just can't get, or are not practical to buy at Costco. So how do I decide what my requirements for shopping will be? I would prefer to buy at locally owned stores, but there are just not that many locally owned stores that sell the things I buy regularly. There is a store that sells children's clothing, but it is kind of a boutique and is very pricey.

I think that Fred Meyer/Kroger/Smiths Marketplace (whatever you want to call it) allows workers to unionize. I'm not sure about Shopko (although I don't love shopko, I could handle shopping there if I really needed to (unlike Kmart, which I try to avoid because it is crowded and dirty)).

So is the union issue that big of a deal, would that make a store more worthy of my business? I feel conflicted on the issue, and am not sure what to do about it. I'd like to be responsible with where I spend my money though.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Vote for Pete

I had the opportunity of attending a meet and greet with Pete Ashdown on Thursday evening. I was really impressed with him. There were some people there, who in my opinion, were a little aggressive in their questioning, but he handled everything really well. I wish that I had taken notes so that I could include specifics here.

I think it's time for a change in Washington. Vote for Pete. If you aren't convinced that he will represent Utahns better than Senator Hatch, check out Pete's website and educate yourself.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


We have returned home safely from our week-long camping trip at Baumgartner Campground. It was really fun to be around the Mister's family. There are some family members who we don't get to see as often as I would like. They are really great people.

This evening Nat called to let me know that she had gathered three eggs while we were gone. WE HAVE EGGS!!!! I'm pretty sure it's just Red who is laying. She is the biggest of the three.

Nat gathered one egg on sunday, one on monday or tuesday and one today.

The camera is missing, since I packed it in a really secure place for our camping trip (we don't have pictures from our camping either because of my packing job), but as soon as I find it, I'll post some pictures of them. They are tiny and brown and very cute. Maybe we will have a miniature omelet or something.

Here is the picture!
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

No Time to Rest

While I was at girls camp, the Mr. worked on the deck. We found a flyer for it at the grocery store "free if you can haul it away".

For "free" stuff, the Mr. can be pretty determined when it comes to figuring out the "hauling away" part. Here it is (and notice the side rails in place in two spots, I did those...)Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Since we had so much dirt piled on our driveway from digging out for the deck, we decided to fill in all the flower beds and create a new bed in the front yard around the pine tree. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This morning I cleaned out the chicken house. This was the first cleaning it has had since the chickens moved in, about 10 weeks ago. I scooped out all the sawdust/chicken poop (fertilizer, yea!) and dumped in into the compost bin so it can "finish" a little more before it gets used in the garden. Then I refilled the house with fresh sawdust (thanks dad!) and spread the rest on the ground in the run. The girls were enjoying digging in it. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Home Again Home Again, Jiggity Jig...

I arrived home friday afternoon, and my little family had left for Idaho the day before. The house was really quiet, and perfect for nap-taking.

I have a lot that I could write about girls camp, but I am so tired from too many late nights, that I just don't have the energy. It was overall, a very good experience, and I'm glad I went.

While I was gone, the Mr. got most of our new-to-us deck reassembled in our back yard. It is going to be really nice when it is all finished.

Now, I'm off to bed. I'm beat.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

More Yard Work, Fun, and Going Away...

Yesterday, the Mr. and I spent all morning in the yard. He mowed, de-pooped, and weed whacked the yard. I weeded the garden and spread grass clippings in more of the garden to help keep everything from drying out so fast (and to keep the weeds down).

The yard is looking really nice again. I still need more grass clippings, but several beds got a new layer. The rest will have to wait a week or so until our neighbors mow their lawns again.

On thursday we went to the grocery store and saw a flyer for a "free to good home" deck/gazebo type thing. It's 8x14 feet and 8 feet tall. There's an old rickety wooden swing attached to it, which will probably have to be taken down. We finally got ahold of the owners yesterday and it was still available. We went and looked at it, and it needs some TLC (sanding and new paint or finish or something) but is otherwise in decent condition. The Mr. looked at it for quite awhile trying to figure out the best (easiest) way to take it apart and haul it to our house.

We (meaning the Mr.) will dig out a spot in our backyard next to the house, redo the sprinkler lines a little, put in some cement block footings and install the thing this week (hopefully).

I'm leaving for girls camp on monday and will get home saturday morning. I'm really hoping it's all installed by then. The Mr. is taking the kids to idaho for the weekend, so I won't see them until they come home saturday night. I'm looking forward to sitting on my new deck saturday afternoon. If anyone wants to help the Mr. this week, let him know. He has a huge project now. We've decided it will be our anniversary present this year (and we might even buy one of those small fire pits to put on it. Wouldn't it be nice to sit out there in the evenings and roast marshmallows? ).

In other news, Mr. has a new bike and my bike is all fixed up so we put the kids in the trailer and went for a short (3 mile) ride last night. It was a lot of work going up the hill. You can adjust the gears and make it easier to pedal, but then you have to pedal three times as fast to go anywhere. We need to do it more often so that it isn't so hard.

Anyway, I won't be posting this week since I'll be spending my time with a cabin full of 12-year-old girls. I'm trying not to be too excited about it if you couldn't tell. I'm sure it will be fun, I'd just rather stay home. My family is going to miss me (and I'm going to miss them).

Friday, July 07, 2006


My posts have been a little on the heavier side lately, so here's something from the home front...

My 2-year-old is a good sleeper. He has always been a good sleeper. My 4-year-old has not always been a good sleeper, although he goes to bed pretty well now (and sometimes he even wants to sleep in).

When we moved the 4-year old from the crib to a toddler bed, we had all sorts of sleeping problems. He could get out of bed, so we tried doorknob cover. Not only could he open the doorknob with the doorknob cover on it, he could take the thing apart (which was difficult for ME to do). We tried standing at the door holding the doorknob while he screamed and banged and tried to open the door (this was awful, and I don't recommend it). Finally, short of buying a locking doorknob and installing it backwards, we used a rope. Please don't call DCFS on us. We untied it as soon as he fell asleep. We were desperate (and exhausted). We tied one end of the rope to the doorknob and the other end to the cabinet door in the hall. That way he couldn't get his door open, and he eventually gave up trying and went to sleep. It seems like we did that for a couple of months before he started going to sleep without throwing fits. NOT FUN AT ALL.

Enter child number 2. We recently moved him from his crib to a toddler bed. No problems. When the crib was up, he'd go into his room after lunch and try to climb in. Sometimes he'd come up to the Mr. or I and say "bed" (with the bink (pacifier) hanging out of his mouth).

My 2-year-old is napping. I didn't even put him down, after lunch the 4-year-old said to the 2-year-old, "Can I put you down for a nap?". They walked off to the bedroom holding hands. My sweet 4-year-old tucked in his little brother and said "night night". And that was that.

Having a good sleeper is really nice.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Walmart: The Evil Empire...

Let me start out by saying that I am not completely anti-capitalism. I think if a business is run well, with a product that people want to pay for, that business should prosper and grow.

I also believe that employers should act responsibly toward their employees. Share holders and CEO's may have their place, but a few should not be allowed to become wealthy on the backs of the many people struggling just to survive.

I think what WP said about walmart representing the worst of what America is is true. We (as a large "powerful" nation) have the capability to do so much good, yet we have 37 milllion citizens who live below the poverty line (that's as of 2004 so it is probably even higher today). Again, as of 2004 46 million Americans were without health insurance. We as a nation seem to be closing our eyes to the people right here on our own soil who are not making it, and it is only going to get worse if we continue living the way we do.

Do I blame walmart for all of these problems? No, but I do believe that Walmart and other big box stores (yes, I do think other big box stores are also bad, but walmart is the biggest, and therefore the "baddest") share a large part of the problem. Getting rid of all the big box stores would not solve everything, but it would be a good start.

What's Wrong With WalMart?

In 2004, there was a report released by the Committee on Education and the Workforce (of the US House of Representatives). The report said that low wages at walmart end up being subsidized by federal taxpayers because the walmart wage is not a living wage (and I would say that this applies to any store which does not pay a living wage).

"A typical Walmart Store with 200 employees cost federal taxpayers $420750 per the following ways:
$36000 a year to pay for free and reduced lunches for walmart families
$42000 a year in housing assistance
$125000 a year in federal tax credits and deductions for low income families
$100000 a year for additional child tax credits
$108000 a year for federal health care costs of moving into state children's health insurance programs
$9750 a year for additional costs of low-income energy assistance

Now, I completely support government programs to help those who are needy, but I don't support big businesses getting wealthy while employees are being supported by the government. You might say that the employees should get more education and find better jobs so that they didn't have to work at walmart. I would tell you that that is a very egocentric view of the world. You or I, or anyone reading this post might be in a position where getting a good education and looking for a decent paycheck is standard. That's just what we do, because that's what our parents did. That's the kind of life we were taught to work for. Not everyone is so fortunate, so to apply our natures onto everyone is not realistic. Not everyone lives the kind of life where higher education is considered. You live the way you are taught to live, and very few people have the wherewithal to overcome their lifestyle-imposed limits.

Walmart sells cheap stuff. The cheap stuff has to come from somewhere. According to a frontline PBS documentary, As the single largest customer to most of its suppliers, Wal-Mart openly uses its bargaining power to negotiate lower prices from suppliers. Specifically, in its negotiations with suppliers, Wal-Mart requires that prices go down from year to year. If a vendor does not comply with Wal-Mart's request for reduced prices, they risk having their entire brand removed from Wal-Mart's shelves in favor of a lower-priced competitor or a less expensive store brand. This can put pressure on suppliers to shift jobs to factories in third world countries or reduce the quality of the product. Here's an interesting article on walmart's effect on US manufacturers.

We love to buy cheap stuff. The cheaper the better. We shop around to get the cheapest price on our food, our clothes, and everything else we buy. I myself am guilty. I love a good deal. It scares me a little though, that for a "good deal" we are destroying our economy. I will not shop at walmart. I try to limit shopping at any major big box (except costco, because they are responsible employers).

I encourage everyone to shop locally. Support the small locally owned businesses, sure you may not be able to buy as much, but at least you'll be able to sleep at night (and your pajamas will be much better quality).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Every time I drive by the big open field just off of Parrish Lane in Centerville, I sigh and wonder how much longer it will be an open field.

Fields don't pay taxes, or at least not enough to make them valuable.

Apparently, Walmart is supposed to start building this month. It's been delayed so much that I kind of hoped it would never happen. Walmart will change Centerville, and not for the better.

Here's a Clipper article by Summer Clarke:

CENTERVILLE — Even though Wal-Mart missed their anticipated April start city officials are fairly confident — this time —the big box retailer will start construction in the coming weeks. Wal-Mart is currently bidding out the project to a contractor and has received all the necessary city approvals, according to Cory Snyder with the Centerville City Planning Commission. “When they submit their construction bond we will give them a building permit,” he said. Snyder believes Wal-Mart is fairly close to starting construction; however, he did not have the exact date for the groundbreaking. “It’s within their hands and time frame now.”

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'm flattered, really.

Here's a link to a letter to the editor I wrote last month. I think I posted it on my blog already (it would be in the May archives if you really want to go looking for it).

May 25th Letter

This past tuesdays opinion page had this.

I think it's really amusing. It must be a rite of passage or something, to have someone reply to your letter to the editor.

The Chicken Man

We pulled the rest of the peas up tonight. They were dried out and we want to plant more corn in their place. After we (meaning the Mr.) pulled them up, we saw MILLIONS (practically) of earwigs. I strongly dislike earwigs, even thinking about them makes me shiver. The Mr. suggested letting the chickens out, so we secured the dog in the house and he brought one at a time. They had a good time, and cleared all of the visible earwigs out of the garden. Someday I'm going to have enough raised beds that one or two can be empty at any given time to let the chickens poop in and eat bugs.
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After they had finished most of the bugs, they started to get bored and wander off (yum, that lettuce looks tasty!) so the Mr. and his brother herded them back into their coop.
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Once back in the coop, the Mr. held one chicken and let her eat from his hand. While he was feeding the one, another hopped onto his back (don't worry, it didn't poop on him- I was surprised).
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Garlic Chicken

I think I might have to start feeding my chickens garlic. Apparently, It makes their poop less smelly (although with the sawdust, this hasn't been a huge problem) and could possibly reduce the cholesterol in their eggs.

I have read that putting a crushed clove of garlic in the water helps keep chickens healthy too.

On a different chicken-feeding note, we have discovered that the chickens LOVE grape leaves. They ate the leaf I'm holding in this picture in a frenzy.
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Culture of Fear

My family has been talking about Al Gore's movie (I haven't seen it yet) on global warming. Kind of a side note from that we got onto the "culture of fear". Here's an excellent quote from my sister:

Part of the problem with the culture of fear is that when we're all worked up about some of these issues in which the threat is imaginary or greatly overstated, or contrived for some manipulative purpose, it's a lot harder to identify and respond to any real threats that might come along. That's why levees don't get shored up and schools don't get funded and people can't afford health insurance. Then we end up spending all our time and money trying to clean up the mess that we could have prevented, if only it had been seen as more popular and good for business at the time.

I would like to see a government that protects families by investing in healthcare, nutrition, education, and housing. Actual threats to the stability of a home that are well within the government's power to do something about. But that's crazy liberal talk, I know.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

If I were a Republican

Here's who I'd be voting for in today's primary election:
County Commission Seat B- Louenda Downs
County Sheriff- Todd Richardson
House Rep. #20- Paul Neuenschwander

I did actually get to vote on proposition 1, which is the school bond. I voted in favor.

Now we'll just have to wait until tonight to see if Davis County agrees with me...

(feel free to post who you'd be voting for (or who you actually voted for if applicable))

Davis County Watch goes PINK

Here's a really long post I made at Davis County Watch. Tyler is taking time off to be with his wife, daughter, and new baby.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Feeling Lucky?

I am.

The Mr. and I participated with our youth group in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. For helping out, we each got a t-shirt, a free breakfast, and two raffle tickets.

I just found out that I won the "date basket". It has movie passes, gift certificates for dinner, and DAVE MATTHEWS TICKETS!!!!

I'll update this post tomorrow after I pick up the basket and can tell you exactly what it contains.

I'm very excited though. A part of me worries that there was a mistake, so we'll see.

UPDATE: I picked up the gift basket today (Sunday), it is indeed real. Here's what it contains:
$10 in coupons for Dee's Family Restaurant
4 bowling passes
One free large pizza
2 movie passes
Two Dave Matthews Band tickets (YEA!!!)
$20 at Robintinos
Dinner for 2 at Su Casa
Dinner for 2 at La Puente
2 free "concrete's" at Nielson's Frozen Custard
2 free entrees at Applebee's

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Utah Amicus

Go HERE and check out the posts titled: Tolerance: Episode One; Tolerance: Episode Two; and Tolerance: Episode Three.

I found them comforting. It's nice to know that there are people running for public offices who are sensible (and I'm referring to Rob Miller, not LaVar Christensen).

Davis County Watch

If you have looked at my profile recently, you may have noticed a new blog. This is not a blog that I started. It belongs to a neighbor of mine whose wife is going to be having a baby soon, so he has asked my "good" friend (just kidding Nat) and I to fill in for him.

Tyler (the blog owner/neighbor) is what I would consider SUPER ULTRA CONSERVATIVE Republican. He has invited me to "make my case" since that will be entertaining for him. Or something.

I don't particularly feel like I have a case to make. Everyone knows how sensible I am, after all.

It should be fun, so stay tuned. When Davis County Watch turns bright pink, it's show time for yours truly.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Welcome to Orchard Hills

Three of the city council members would like to change the name of the city. Three is a majority, so they could do it. Thankfully they've put the decision on hold (or maybe not so thankfully, since that gives us less time to gather signatures to get the issue put on the november ballot if they go ahead and do it later).

The whole name change issue is ridiculous. Why spend a large amount of tax money to do something where the only direct benefit is allowing people in big houses up on the hill to feel like they live in a more luxurious city? It's frivolous. I'm feeling a bit frustrated with some of the local officials. I don't feel represented.

The good thing about the possible name change, is that it is getting people interested in what is going on in our local government.

Yard Work Mania

Monday night Mr. and I spent several hours outside working in the yard. He mowed and weed whacked everything and edged the lawn. I went to Smiths Marketplace and picked up some perennials and some ground cover (all on sale) and a few 6-packs of annuals. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The lawn looks great, no dead spots (at least no major ones- well there's the area that we don't have sprinklers in, but we're going to do something else with that one of these days, so it doesn't count). I pulled all the junk out of the front flower bed. I often trim the roses and just let the branches fall into the flower bed, so that along with the dead tulip/daffodil leaves made the whole thing pretty messy looking. It's all cleaned up with the new perennials and annuals planted (although it could use more annuals until the perennials grow a little more).
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I also planted some ground cover in a small strip of earth between the fence and the sidewalk. It used to be weeds, but this spring we cleaned it up and filled it with bulbs. Hopefully the ground cover will fill out and keep the weeds down.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Our yard looks like someone cares about it. Now we just need to get a new front door (we painted the screen door red last summer, or the summer before that, I don't remember but it looks bad again and I don't think it will be worth repainting...).

If we could get the inside finished, we'd be in a good spot to sell (but it's not finished, and we're not ready to move for a few more years, so nobody get excited).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Protecting Kids

There was a story on the news tonight about the Utah Kids Registry website (click the title to go to that site). The site acts like the Do Not Call Registry, but it is for emails, Instant Messengers and cell phones to prevent pornographic materials from being sent to children.

You can register any email address or cell phone if you live in Utah and you either have a minor living in your home or a minor could have access to that email or cell phone.

We registered all our email and cell phones and instant messenger accounts. It's good for 2 years, and after that you have to re-register.

It was on the news, because apparently the porn industry is suing the state of Utah over it. It makes me mad that the porn industry would be angry about measures to keep porn away from children. Even cigarette companies have made their advertising less child friendly in recent years. My final argument for the ridiculousness of the law suit, is that if we can sign up to NOT have people calling our homes to sell us time shares in florida, we should be able to sign up to keep companies from sending us unwanted pornographic material.

Go Utah!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Big Race

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Today was the day. The Mr. left around 5:15 this morning for the 6:00 race. I took the kids in to watch for him finish at 8:30. His time was 3 hours and 18 minutes. I am so proud of him. He's been wanting to run more regularly for as long as I've known him, and now he's really done something that he had to train hard for. Go Mr.!!!!!

For more information on the race itself, click on the title.

He looked pretty beat when he crossed the finish line, but he wasn't bleeding, which is more than I can say about a lot of the other finishers, including his brother (who finished 20 minutes ahead of him).

You can tell how happy he feels about his accomplishment in this picture. Taken about an hour after he finished running.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Utah Amicus: Beth Holbrook

The Utah Amicus: Beth Holbrook for House District 20

She seems like a good person. I spoke to her on the phone a couple of times prior to the Davis County Democratic Convention.

Garden Update

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe garden has been neglected lately, so yesterday while the 2-year-old napped, the 4-year-old and I went outside. He rode his bike (and he is really getting good without his training wheels), and I weeded and tamed the tomatoes. There is still a lot to do, but we spent several hours outside. When the 2-year-old woke up, we sat and ate peas. Every once in awhile, he'd get one that was a little old, and would say "Yuck!".
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAs I was outside I noticed these mushrooms growing in the lawn by the tomato bed. I don't know what kind they are, so all mushroom experts can chime in. There is a row of them all the way through the lawn.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingHere is one of the potato plants that I put in buckets. The other bucket has two plants in it, but they are not as big. I think I will have to start using unfinished compost to fill the buckets because the plants are growing too fast and I don't have any spare dirt. They need to be covered so that I will get more spuds. It will be neat to dump the whole bucket out in the fall and have it be filled with potatoes. This is my first attempt growing potatoes so who knows how it will turn out.

One of the neighbors is a little jealous that my tomatoes are bigger than his. He said if I get tomatoes before he does, he's sneaking over with some plant killer (I haven't thought about using anything non-organic for such a long time, that I have forgotten what the stuff is called....). He was joking (or at least he better be!). Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A few weeks ago we came home from vacation and found that the tomatoes had died. Not completely, but they weren't looking good. A gardening friend suggested that they might have early blight. I mixed up some compost tea and sprayed the plants well, It seemed to help, the plants didn't get any worse, and after I cut all the dead stuff out, they looked pretty good (a little skinny, but good). I've recently learned that while we were away, the overnight temperatures were below freezing. My tomatoes probably never had blight. Just a bit of frostbite.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Things parents do...

As a child, I remember the terror. As soon as the music was heard, I would run as fast as I could to get money. Oh, what if I MISSED THE ICE CREAM TRUCK!!!! HURRY!!!!

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My four year old asked last year what the truck was that played music. I told him it was the ice cream truck, and that it drove around to sell ice cream to children. He of course, wanted to buy...

His father and I have convinced him that buying from the ice cream truck is not smart. If you ask him "why don't we buy from the ice cream truck?" he says, "too much overhead".

The poor kid. It's not like he's missing out on ice cream or anything. I myself am a huge ice cream fan, and just this afternoon we were sitting out on the porch eating ice cream cones. That's when the ice cream truck drove by.

I felt a little guilty, as I watched the children down the street race to get money so they could buy something.

Guilty enough, that I might keep some money on hand by the front door for next time. I don't know how much popsicles are going for these days, but with the price of gas the way it is, I'm guessing they're not cheap.

Also, is it just me, or does it seem like a really bad idea to teach your children that when they hear a vehicle playing loud merry-go-round versions of christmas songs they should run out toward the street and purchase edibles from strangers? It looks like, good idea or not, I'm going to have to break down and let my children enjoy the thrill of the ice cream truck. Just not too often though, because of that overhead you know.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Since I have recently discovered a great fondness for chickens, I found this email forward funny...

The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on "THIS" side of the road before it goes after the problem on the "OTHER SIDE" of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his "CURRENT" problems before adding "NEW" problems.
Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens!
We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of he road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am for it now, and will remain against it.
To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
To die in the rain. Alone.
Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side." That's why they call it the "other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like "the other side." That chicken should not be free to cross the road. It's as plain and simple as that!
In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.
Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together - in peace.
It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
I have just released eChicken2006, which will not only Cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet explorer is an integral part of eChicken. The Platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^( C \..... reboot.
Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
I invented the chicken!
Did I miss one?

The Zen Mom

Are You a Slacker Mom? I must be having a slow day or something (I might be trying to avoid catching up on my filing), but I did this online quiz that popped up on a parenting website. I answered all of the questions and really, I had no idea what kind of mom it would say I was. I sometimes feel stressed out, and I am not always the most patient mother in the world, but here it is:

Your quiz results make you a Zen Mom

How do you do it? Even when explosions are all around, you are able to take a deep cleansing breath and chant your mantra "this too shall pass." You are a calming influence on your kids in a hectic world.

I think in the future, when I'm feeling less than calm, I'm going to chant to myself, "zen mom, zen mom".

Sunday, June 11, 2006

If I had an entire weekend to myself, I would...

What would you do if you have an entire weekend to yourself?

I've always liked being with my family. I like to go out and do fun things, but I have always liked doing those things with my family. This past weekend we all went camping. It rained all day on friday, and we were glad to have the little trailer to keep us dry. Saturday was a beautiful day, the kids played and rode their bikes and the Mister and I talked and did a sodoku puzzle (I haven't gotten into those before, but it was kind of fun- especially since we were doing it together- see even doing puzzles are more fun when you do them with your family).

We packed up and came home after lunch, so it was a short camping trip, but a fun one. We came home in time to clean up and my sister and her family arrived to babysit so the Mister and I could go out to dinner and a movie. We haven't done that in a really long time, so it was very nice.

Back to the original question though, what would I do if I had a whole weekend... I might soak in the tub, and condition my hair. I've found that leaving conditioner in your hair for long periods of time (while soaking in the tub) makes your hair feel really good, and we all know that having nourished hair is practically equal to having a nourished soul. I might paint my toe nails with more than the one coat of severely chipped brown paint they currently have (whoa, I could even do a clear top coat or something!!!). I might watch the whole A&E Pride and Prejudice (who doesn't love Colin Firth after all). I might spend at least some time cleaning the house. My closet and bedside table fall by the wayside when I'm trying to clean up toys and meals, so it would feel good to have "my space" organized and feng shui'ed or something. I'm sure I'd also spend some time shopping. It's really hard to shop and try on clothes with a 4-year-old who likes to race down the isles and hide in the middle of the round clothes racks and a two-year-old who is some sort of a Houdini when it comes to shopping cart seat belts. (It's times like those that make me praise online shopping with free returns if something doesn't fit right.)

At the end of a relaxing weekend of focusing on only myself and my own needs, I would race to pick up my children and squeeze them, and tickle them until their laughter was the only thing I could hear. I'd wrap my arms around my husband and let my children wiggle themselves in between us until we were a big pile of family, because that is the thing I love best.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Embarrassment at the Grocery Store

The woman in line ahead of me spent over $100 on groceries. What, you may ask, was she purchasing? Bags of lettuce, oranges, apples, strawberries, wheat bread.... there might have been a frozen pizza (not even the good kind, which makes me feel a little better). Anyway, you get the idea, it was a weeks worth of I-feed-my-family-healthy-food groceries.

Really, I normally buy healthy foods for my family. I try to have at least one or two types of fresh fruit on hand at all times. I haven't bought lettuce at the grocery store lately, because we're eating it out of the garden. I have been buying wheat bread, because it is too hot to bake (today, incidentally, would have been a great day to bake bread had I planned ahead a little).

I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. I am not a health-food snob. My kids eat their share of candy (hi grandpa :) ). I even provide it sometimes. Overall, though, I try to keep their diets as healthy as is reasonable. So after watching the bags and bags of fresh produce run over the scanner, I began to feel a little guilty. My grocery cart included the following:

Pre-cooked beef sausages
Frozen hash brown patties
four bags of licorice (they were on sale, okay? I'm saving all but one for future camping trips)
a small bag of frosted animal crackers (I forgot an after-swimming treat today and the crackers were on sale)
Ice cream cones (also on sale)
a jug of orange juice (high in calcium)
a bunch of bananas

No this is not my usual shopping-for-the-week grocery list. We're going camping for the weekend, and we are in charge of breakfast and I already had eggs at home.

I'm not sure where the need to explain to everyone "why" I happen to be buying that particular assortment of groceries comes from, but I restrained myself. When the gentleman behind us was smiling at my two-year-old, he picked up the bag of nasty-shortening-dipped-bits-of-something-crunchy frosted animal crackers (after having examined my purchases with a disapproving eye, I'm sure) and waved it in front of my two-year-old's face, I restrained myself. (What was the point of that anyway? I think there's a rule about not touching other people's groceries while in line at the grocery store. If there isn't, there should be. Now the "treat" that was supposed to be for after swimming lessons was 2-year-old's number one interest. Thank you sir.)

I have found a similar, though slightly lessened, embarrassment occurs during the summer when we are eating a lot of fresh produce out of the garden. A typical grocery store trip at that time looks like this:

Boxes of cereal (or boxes and boxes of cereal if they're on sale)
Bread, if I haven't been baking it

I don't really think most people look at other people's groceries to check on their "healthiness". I am just weird that way, and really, I'm not looking at other people's groceries to be critical, but I'm waiting in line, and I've already scanned the headlines of the magazines so I'm up to date on celebrity gossip, what else is there to do in between child wrangling? You check out everyone else's groceries of course.

Just don't touch.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


It's swimming lesson time again. It always surprises me how well my 4-year-old does. He loves swimming. He passed level one his first time through. This is his second time on level two, and since he won't be doing a double session, he may need to take level 2 again before he moves on to level three.

Here are the level two passing requirements, to give you an idea of what he's working on:

LEVEL 2 - Fundamental Aquatic Skills
1. Exit water using ladder or side
2. Float on front & back, unsupported
3. Enter water by stepping or jumping from the side
4. Move in water while wearing a life jacket
5. Tread water
6. Explore swimming on side
7. Open eyes underwater, submerge head to retreive object
8. Perform rhythmic breathing (bobs)
9. Glide on front and back
10. Roll over from front to back, back to front
11. Swim on front and back using combined strokes, 15 ft

Here he is working on #3.
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The two-year-old and I are also taking swimming lessons. It's a parent-tot class and is only twice a week, so on the other days we get to watch the 4-year-old swim.

Two-year-old loves the water, and has no fear, which causes me some amount of fear. He'll jump in with no warning and no one to catch him. It's difficult to be near a pool with him, so I wasn't sure how this class would be. It's held in a section of the pool that is about 4 feet deep, so I'm holding him the whole time. It's much easier than if we were in a shallow area. We've been practicing "swimming" across the pool. He'll kick, sometimes do big arms, and try anything in his power to avoid floating on his back. He will blow bubbles some of the time. He's doing really well, and is having a lot of fun, although in classic 2-year-old fashion, the water is usually "too cold".

Peas Please!

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I love peas. The last several years I haven't planted enough. They never made it into the house because we (meaning I) would just sit out in the garden and eat them all. This year I planted almost a full raised bed of peas. It's a good thing too, because I am no longer the main "pea gobbler", as my 4-year-old has named us.

My 4-year-old loved peas, but the big surprise is my two-year-old. He can't get enough. He wanders over to the peas whenever we're outside, and comes back to me with a handful for me to open.

A few days ago I had picked a bucket of peas and left it on the kitchen table. I came into the kitchen to see what mischief the boys were up to (it had gotten a little too quiet if you know what I mean), and they were sitting at the table "gobbling" peas.

They really liked the salad mix from the garden too.

Maybe the tomatoes this summer will convince my 2-year-old that he really does like tomatoes... Currently he won't eat them.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Strong Drinks are not for the Belly

No, I haven't taken up coffee as a morning ritual. My garden has been suffering. Some sort of bug, or combination of bugs have launched a full scale attack. Half of the beans I planted are chewed down to stubs. My zinnia sprouts are no longer (and they were sent to me by a friend from Illinois, so I'm not happy about that). The bell peppers have been munched on a bit. Finally, the volunteer melons that had sprouted have been eaten.

One of my gardening friends recommended coffee. Those of us gardeners "in the know", know that used coffee grounds (UCG) are a great fertilizer. They can be flung about the yard, and do wonders for lawns. Well, apparently unbrewed coffee grounds work to keep bugs off of plants. I could either sprinkle the coffee around the plants, or I could "brew" some and spray it directly on the leaves. I mixed up some coffee that I have had under the sink for a couple of years (you have to love those business christmas gifts). I knew it would come in handy some day. I spent a few minutes this morning spraying everything with coffee that I brewed by dumping some in a jar with hot water and letting sit for a day.

We'll see if it works. It smells nice though, the smell of coffee brings happy memories of my great grandpa.
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