Thursday, December 31, 2009

My new mantra

I have been entertaining myself while on bed rest & while "taking it easy" by spending excessive amounts of time on Cakewrecks, where I found my new mantra. I'm going to chant this for the next 8 months or so. Should work like a charm. I might even make myself a cake to celebrate!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baby update

We just got back from the doctor with good news. The baby looks great & I can ease back into mostly normal activity. I am so glad that I didn't wait until January 20th (my next scheduled appointment) like the receptionist tried to convince me to do!

One of my lessons learned from this: Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself at the doctor. I was getting mixed messages from different people at the doctor's office but I insisted on an appointment and I feel so much better after having talked to Dr Smith in person, as well as having another ultrasound. I could immediately see that the baby had grown & could see the heart beat. What a relief! He assured me that they will squeeze me in anytime I feel like I need to check the baby. He's great! If you need an OB and can go to IHC doctors, I highly recommend him (Russell A Smith). He's worth the drive to Alta View!

Thanks to all who have given help, support, prayers, concern & love during the crazy last few weeks! We are so blessed to have such a great support system!

Friday, December 25, 2009

More book reviews

I was too busy reading the last few days to write anything here. For the record, I am doing ok baby-wise. The whole family has had a nasty cold/virus that has wiped us out. On the bright side, since I can't go anywhere, at least no one has been begging to go do anything. We're all just kind of lying around semi-conscious. While lounging around I read two great books by Carol Warburton. My friend Kim introduced these to me and I LOVED them!

They both start with a woman in modern times doing genealogy/ temple work for distant relatives and wondering about their past. The majority of the story is the life of the woman for whom the work is being done. I wish there were more in this series! I read the Edge of Night in one day and Before the Dawn in two days- I kept getting interrupted. I highly recommend these!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 4 book review


I finished this great book today and thought I'd tell you about it. It is by Josi Kilpack and the follow up to Lemon Tart- which I highly recommend, too. This is a great mystery that had me guessing until the very end. I can usually figure these out early on, but this was some good intrigue! I love a good mystery, but most are gory or crude. This has no foul language, excessive gore, or any questionable material. If I still had a grandma, I wouldn't be embarrassed for her to read it!
I read it in two days and couldn't put it down. Fortunately I had plenty of time to read. ;) It was graciously lent to me by the wife of another local author, Frank (wife Heidi) Cole. If you haven't stared the Hashbrown Winters stories, you need to start. They are hilarious!
Well, that wasn't super entertaining, but I think my mind has turned to mush. TTFN

Sunday, December 20, 2009

day 3 of holding still

I can't really bring myself to use the term "bed rest" today. I haven't been resting much, just sitting or lying on my bed. I'm beginning to wish I hadn't down graded our cable, but I am so thankful for my laptop & Netflix 'watch instantly' movies.

This morning I have watched a variety of CES firesides and MoTab broadcasts. BTW, my high school choir teacher directed on of the songs with the bell choir and orchestra today. It was beautiful!

I decided around 4:30 this morning that I needed to keep a journal of this adventure on my blog. I need an outlet or I just might lose it.

Yesterday I enjoyed a movie called "The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn" on Netflix. I really liked it! Sidney Portier & Diane Weist were two of the main characters along with the girl who played the abused best friend in 'Fried Green Tomatoes." I'm too lazy to look up her name right now. Anyway, if you are in the mood for a quiet, sweet movie, i recommend it. I'm sure I'll have more movie reviews to share.

I also started reading English Trifle, the sequel to Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack. If you like mysteries that aren't too graphic & gory- just a good whodunit- I recommend these also. Thanks Heidi & Kim for the pile of books. I'm sure I will cruise right through them! I also translated a talk for my mom so she can speak in sacrament meeting in the Spanish branch today.

The other thing I did was eat yummy treats that people brought us. I'm going to have to watch myself on that one. I've gone from 5k to bed rest in 6 months.

So far things have been uneventful. The bleeding has all but stopped. That gives my hope that the baby is ok. I know people go through much worse to have children and I have been so blessed with easy pregnancies.

Those who know me well will be surprised at my next thought. I am so glad we didn't move this past summer. We had planned & wanted to move but when it came down to it, we both felt it wasn't the right time. In August I felt we hadn't moved so we could do Vittoria's yard sale. Throughout the semester I felt we had been prompted to stay for the help and support I got from my friends here. Now I feel like we needed to stay here where we are so blessed with great friends and a wonderful support system. Heavenly Father does know what we need when we need it. He knows the beginning and the end. Who am I to question his plan for me when I frequently see how he does and gives what is best for me.

That's enough for now. Three little girls need hair-dos for church. I can do that from where I'm sitting- makes me feel less useless.

Friday, December 18, 2009

One more page...

I wasn't expecting anymore baby news for a little while. I guess that's what I get for announcing so early.

We had a little scare with a LOT of blood last night. After a late night trip to the ER and lots of tests, everything looks to be ok. I was shocked that there was still a nice, strong heartbeat on the ultrasounds, but so far we are ok. The source of the bleeding was near the baby, but the baby seems to be ok for the time being. I have my orders to hold really still for a while.

I find myself entering the wonderful world of bed rest for a time. I am only 8 weeks along, so let's hope this is a brief bed rest!

To answer some questions I've had, I feel ok. After the initial blood loss I've been ok. The pain is gone & the terror has subsided. As you may have read previously, I am familiar with blood loss, so Tim made me steak for lunch and I'm feeling better already. We have the best neighbors & friends & family and have had so many kind offers of help, so thank you all! Special thanks to Aimi and her mom for coming to stay with the girls last night & cleaning my kitchen. It hasn't looked that good for years! Thanks, Daphne, for coming over to do hair before school this morning. Thanks, Dad for helping Tim give me a blessing.

I will keep you posted if anything changes. Maybe I should use this time to catch up on months of blogging that I didn't get to during school.

Thanks again for all of your concern, help & prayers!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snowglobes

For Aubrey's kindergarten class party we made melted snowmen snow globes.
Here are some of the finished snowmen.

This close up shot kind of shows the "parts" at the bottom.
A snow globe is a tricky thing to photograph, sorry.

We rounded up baby food jars and filled them with distilled water, 1/8tsp glycerin, 1/2 tsp glitter (crystal colored w/ a dash of silver).

We also added two googly eyes, carrot nose (carrot- shaped craft buttons found at Michael's), pompoms and beads for the mouth & buttons. I made little fleece hats for the top of the jar.
(7 inch piece of fleece, sewn in a tube, cut into 5 inch lengths, top tied with embroidery floss)
We attached this poem to the outside of the jars where the sticky was left from the label.
"I made a little snowman,
As perfect as can be.
I thought I'd keep him in my room
And keep him warm like me.
But when I woke next morning
My mind was in a muddle.
He's run away, I don't know why
And left me with a puddle."

Lydia was a good helper, so I made her a hat that matched the snowmen!




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The next page of the story...



Next craft show- due around Aug 2nd, 2010.

My doctor said there's only a 5% chance of repeating the craziness of Lydia's delivery. I like those odds...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lydia's birth story- you don't have to keep reading!

This is a story I have been meaning to document for years, now that my semester is basically over, I’m going to hurry and do it. It is a bit gory and probably TMI, so feel free to stop reading at any point.
On Friday, March 16, 2007 I had a regular check up with my OB/GYN. I was about 37 weeks pregnant with Lydia. I had been feeling really crappy, but not any huge problem that I could put a name to. I had gained a few pounds that week which alarmed me, but didn’t seem to surprise the nurse. I think she thought fat girl had too much to eat. Funny thing was that since I felt so crappy, I was living on Rice Chex and skim milk for weeks. How much of that would you have to eat to gain 5 lbs in a week? My other concern was my blood pressure. It was 136/90 ish. For me that is extremely high, even pregnant. Can you see where this is going?
Those who live near me might also remember I was retaining water like the Hoover dam and was about the same size. I felt vindicated when I had lost 36 pounds within the first week of delivery!
I only saw the nurse that day since my dr was in an emergency C-section. I went home dreading the next 4 weeks of waiting- which would have been my normal time with my previous two pregnancies. My due date was April 6th, I was optimistic that maybe he would induce me by April 10th.
Fast forward to Monday. I felt horrible the whole morning. I knew something wasn’t quite right. I called my sister to see if she would come stay with my girls for a little bit while I went to the doctor to get checked. She came around 1:00 I think and then I decided to go straight to the hospital to see what was happening. I was hoping it was just a little stress about the RS birthday dinner I was in charge of the next night. (Thanks to all who picked up my slack)
When I got to the hospital & told them something wasn’t quite right they humored me and put me in a room for observation. I thought I might be crazy and I think the nurses might have thought so too. When they check my stats, my blood pressure was 168/? THAT was not ok! They started me on magnesium to lower my blood pressure & I tried to get a hold of Tim. He was relatively new at his job and I thought I had his new phone number memorized. I was wrong. I must have dialed the wrong number 300 times. He finally got tired of waiting for me to call with an update and drove over and found me at the hospital.
By now, the on-call doctor decided that I was experiencing toxemia. I had been joking for months that I wanted toxemia so I could be induced early. Careful what you wish for… She gave me the option of bed rest for a few weeks or start an induction. The thought of bed rest with a 2 & 4 yr old at home was laughable, so we decided to go for the induction. They started the pitocin around 5:30 and we waited and waited. Our families came to our rescue and took care of the girls without missing a beat. The details are blurry, but I know Court & Jake brought the girls to see me at some point and Jennifer had the girls when Lydia finally came. Thanks to everyone in between- I was kind of out of it. Anyway, back to the story.
As a bit of information, magnesium and pitocin don’t play well together. The mag was basically defeating the purpose of the pit. I was barely progressing as the night wore on. Sometime around 3:00 in the morning, I awoke to alarms going off. The auto blood pressure cuff had taken a measurement and set off alarms. I tried to page the nurse but passed out before I could hit the button. Sometime later it happened again & I was able to page them and whisper “I need help” before I passed out again. Tim was across the room, but I couldn’t talk loud enough to wake him. Next memory- my room is full of at least 7 people including the anesthesiologist and nurses and who knows who else. My blood pressure had dropped to 68/? I have no idea how they fixed that, but I really think they saved my life.
I don’t remember much until the afternoon of the 20th. They said they were going to reduce the mag & increase the pit to get things moving. Hallelujah! I was feeling better after getting rid of the magnesium and was ready to push around 3:30pm. I asked them to put a mirror where I could see what was happening. I was sure this was going to be my last pregnancy, so I wanted to see the birth. I had never done that before & I am so glad I got to see. I felt much more in control & much more a part of the whole process. A few quick pushes and the tiniest baby popped right out.
After Lydia was safely in my arms, I saw the doctor reach in to get the placenta. After he got it, that’s when I saw the blood start spurting out and the doctor starting to move a lot faster. (I had warned him during my appointments that I tended to bleed profusely after birth. I had changed doctors because of an insurance change. At my six week checkup he said “You weren’t kidding about the bleeding!” Yeah, it’s that bad.) At this point things started going dark and I remember thinking that I really hoped I woke up from this.
My next conscious memory was around 6:00. I remember my mom was holding Lydia and Tim was sitting next to me. I was so relieved that everything was ok! Turns out the toxemia stemmed from a problem with my placenta. It was unusually large and crystallizing. Lydia wasn’t getting enough nutrition and was tiny- 5lbs 3 oz. My other babies were 7-12 & 7. I still wonder if I had waited to talk to my doctor the previous Friday, things might have gone easier. I was also so thankful that we felt prompted to go ahead with the induction instead of waiting two weeks. She might have died or been permanently damaged if she stayed in the womb, not getting the nutrients she needed.
Everything turned out ok. She’s a happy, healthy, BUSY 2-going-on-16 year old. Because of the trauma of the delivery I got to stay in the room we lovingly call the “Do not let me die Suite.” It was huge! I stayed until Saturday, missing a freak snow storm. Most importantly, Lydia and I both escaped relatively unharmed. I don’t tell this story to freak people out (or gross them out). It was a rare set of circumstances & I was fine. I am glad that the day before I went to the hospital, Tim & my dad gave me a blessing. I know that I felt prompted to ask for it so early. Ordinarily I would have had another few weeks before delivery, but I am so glad I had that blessing. I was so protected and cared for! Lydia is such a blessing in our family and I am blessed to be here to raise my family!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Snowy day

Can you believe this! This was 8:30 this morning. I just measured the snow on the back porch and there are 13 inches! It hasn't stopped snowing since 5:30 this morning!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wow your friends with random facts...

Who doesn't love to do that? Here's a spot to find all kinds of info about the US, our economy, population and anything else you can think of. It is called the Statistical Abstract.

There are facts about things like retail rx sales, Mexico/US border lengths, reported diseases- probably any random thing you can think of. Spend some time there and impress your friends with your wealth of knowledge about Population by selected ancestry groupans region.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yummy easy fruit dip

Ok, here's another recipe. This is super easy and very low points if you're counting.

3 cups plain yogurt (I used fat free)
1 small box vanilla instant pudding (I used FF/sugar free)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Mix it all together and dip away!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cranberry cheesecake dessert

Who wants some yumminess? Check out this recipe! I can't get a picture to work, but look at the link. I think I'm making this today!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Peanut Butter cookies- easiest thing ever!

I have had a crazy homework week. (Made crazier by cramming a lot into the last three days since I spent too much time watching Chuck on nbc.com on my handy dandy notebook computer.) All I have for you is a tasty & rediculously simple cookie recipe!

Amazing Peanut Butter Cookies-from Jessica of Little Birdie Secrets
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup milk chocolate chips


Mix together and bake on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

This is her picture, but mine looked pretty much the same, except that I used a cookie scoop and then used a fork to mash the dough ball down and make a design. They were a huge hit and THEY DON"T HAVE ANY FLOUR!! Two of my dearly beloveds have recently been diagnosed with Celiac's disease, so anything fun I can find for them is a bonus.

These were super easy and fool proof. I don't always have the best luck with cookies, but even I couldn't botch these. It made about two dozen. I took mine to a Relief Society cookie swao this morning where they got rave reviews. Now it's your turn to wow someone with your cookie prowess! For other recipes, visit Little Birdie Secrets for their virtual cookie exchange! Let me know how it goes!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Candy Cane Village boutique

This Friday (10-6) and Saturday(10-5) is the Candy Cane Village boutique in Spring City, Utah.

It is in City Hall, 150 East Center Street.

My booth is super girly this year with fairy wands, tiaras, tutus, and more! There will also be super hero capes and magic wands for the boys.

I also have some of my other baby standards like burp cloths, diaper pouches, neck pillows, Boppy covers and more.

Come get a start on your Christmas shopping! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coming to you...

...live from my kitchen table on my cute new notebook computer I got for my birthday!! Thanks, Honey! I love it!

Now I'd better go do homework- since that's the true reason for this convenient computer! hehehe

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's Yesterday Once More


I checked a Carpenter's CD out at the library the other day and I have been singing at the top of my lungs ever since. I forgot how much I love Karen Carpenter's voice! It is also the perfect range for me so I'm not popping a vein to sing along. (Charming image, I know.) I even taught my kids the words to the back-up vocals so they would sing along instead of asking me to change the disk. Now I hear them singing the chorus when we're not in the car!

I didn't realize HOW loud I was singing until I was in the car by myself last night. It was dark, so other drivers couldn't see me singing (I hope) and I could hear myself. That's when I realized it has been YEARS since I sang that loud. What a nerd! I need to be alone in the dark to let me guard down!

Anyway, I love the Carpenter's and listening to this CD reminded me that I owned the best-of album before my mission, but haven't seen it since...hmmm... I might have to hit ebay today. It also reminded me of Emily Hicken. I'm not 100% sure why the Carpenter's remind me of you, Em. Any ideas? We probably sang some of their songs in choir a lifetime ago. Maybe it's your beautiful voice...

Tara, you are coming to mind too. Another beautiful voice...

So, go find some of your favorite old music. Like the song says "Those old melodies still sound so good to me, as they melt the years away. Every sha-la-la-la..."

Monday, November 2, 2009

I shall return

LOADS of homework+craft show in two weeks+kids off track+sister moving cross-country in two weeks+ housework(ha ha)+children wanting to be fed occasionally=no blogging.

Some day I'll catch up- maybe in December after finals...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lego cake

For historical purposes:


This is the Lego cake I made for my nephew's first birthday.
It was a huge hit with the kids! (The parents didn't turn it down either!)
Not my smoothest frosting job, but we'll let it go this time...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reality Check

Do you ever have those times when you feel like you can't do anything right? I am in a bit of a funk right now.
Logically I know I am a smart, capable, valuable person but discouragement still rears its ugly head. I decided I need to make a list of some of my accomplishments & goals achieved over the last year. Hopefully seeing them together will help me remember all the good things I have done and help me not to dwell only on my shortcoming! You, dear reader, are my sounding board- but you are free to stop reading here! Ü

In no particular order:
Got up the courage to join Weight Watchers, lost 35 pounds
Ran- RAN- a 5K
Got up the courage to go back to school to finish my degree
So far I have Straight A's
Coordinated a yard sale that helped a family with huge medical bills
Helped build a float for the Days of 47 Parade
Hiked with my family and liked it!
Got down to a size of clothing I haven't seen in years
Grew out my bangs- this took more patience than I thought I had
I no longer tremble in fear before teaching Gospel Doctrine each week
Learned to say NO once in a while
Improved my sewing repertoire
Got two street lights installed
Actively participated as a county delegate for the Republican convention
Own my problems & take responsibility for my choices


I hopefully can think of a few more, but that should keep me going for a bit...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween Party book

I promised I would tell you about the great book for school parties, so here you go!

It is called Halloween School Parties: What Do I do? by Wilhelminia Ripple ; illustrated by Heather Anderson.

It has so many great ideas- and not just Halloween. The beginning of the book gives tips about how to be an effective room mother & how to recruit other parents to help in the classroom. Many of the game and activities can be easily adapted for other themes or settings. I highly recommend this book! I got it at the library. It is also available various places online, along with her other titles.

I tried to put a picture here, but it didn't work, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Little Birdie fun

In case you don't remember, one of my favorite idea blogs is Little Birdie Secrets. There is a button at the bottom of my blog for ever and ever for your convenience.

A little while back, they had a funny idea for a personalized gift using melted chocolate & molds. I love that kind of stuff and thought I'd pass it along in time for your Halloween fun- or any occassion. Nothing says love like chocolate teeth!

Check out their marshmallow monsters, too!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Bingo cards you customize

I made super cute Bingo cards for Aubrey's class party from this website that I LOVE. Just wanted to remind you it is available! A must-use for room mothers, party throwers and every mother in between! I also need to tell you about a great book that I found at the library for planning class parties. It will have to wait since I'm getting ready for a PTA meeting. Hehehe

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My new nephew

This is my newest nephew, Jason. (My kids have been calling him Crash for months, so we'll have to get used to the name.)
He was born to Hill & Steve on Tuesday night & we are all so excited to see him here- safe & healthy! Congratulations Arveseth family!!!
This is another of my sisters- I know Kat is too skinny to have just given birth. Hill's delivery went quickly enough that the rest of us are a little bitter, but if she looked like this right after giving birth, we'd disown her. She looks really great, but not quite this chipper yet!


He already has excellent taste in fashion!
Abi & Emma wanted him to be a puppy if he couldn't be a sister, but they have welcomed him happily.
The happy family on the ride home from the hospital. If you can enlarge the picture, notice Emma glaring at him in the background. I love the look on her face!
Thanks to all who posted pics on facebook, which I stole & posted here. Hill's labor progressed so quickly that I didn't have my camera at the hospital because I thought there'd be nothing to photograph while I was there!





Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Concussion Reprocussion

Watching Conan's recap of his concussion last night reminded me of my own should-have-shought- medical-attention-because-I-probably-had-a-concussion experience last year.

If you'd like to take a stroll down slight-amnesia lane, look here.

Mommy's crutches

No, I'm not injured. Perhaps some wounded pride, but what else is new!

I have recently discovered that I am the walking wounded. I have been relying, to various degrees, crutches that I thought were my children's vices. Turns out they were mine.

Until two weeks ago, Lydia was a closet bottle drinker. Only at nap time, bed time, and any other time I thought she needed a chill pill. Two weeks ago we were heading to Moroni for the weekend. I purposely didn't bring a bottle, thinking this would be the perfect- albeit torturous- opportunity to lose the bottle. I would handle her screaming and freaking out while we broke the habit. Guess what. She didn't care.

She asked for milk in a bottle. I told her I was sorry, but we only had cups at Grandma's. She then asked for milk in a cup instead. What! No emotional scarring like Jenna had when we tossed the pacifiers! I thought it might be a fluke since the cousins were around for distraction, so I made sure Tim got rid off all the bottles and associated paraphernalia before we returned. I think she has mentioned it twice. I show her the cupboard where the bottles use to be, which now has cups. She calmly asks for a cup and we move on with life.

I ask you, who was the addict?

Crutch #2. The television. I have always been a TV junkie. Downgrading our cable freed up my time immensely! Unfortunately, I noticed my kids picking up the habit. And tuning mom & dad out when the TV is on. I admit to turning on a show (or shows) for them to watch so I can get homework or housework done.

This week we are doing a TV-free experiment. It is only for after-school time this week. (Let's be real about this.) We made a schedule of what we were going to do from the time Jenna got out of school until we sat down for dinner. The girls were hesitant in the morning when I talked to them about it, but we had a wonderful afternoon! They are also intrigued by the promise of a special something Thursday if we meet our goal. (They don't know we are going to the Jazz game!)

We started snack time on the way home by stopping for happy hour at Sonic, played with play dough for an hour, part of that time I read to them to satisfy the 20 minute reading goal for Aubrey, and part of Jenna's reading time. We did homework with no resistance, chores were easier, the table was set for dinner, the kids even picked fresh tomatoes for me to put in our spaghetti for dinner!

Jenna commented that it was so much more fun to make up her own games & challenges during art time than it was to watch other kids do things on her favorite "Ruff Ruffman." Aubrey told me usually she is bored when watching TV. What have I done to my kids!

Now, I don't plan completely ban the television forever, but it was so peaceful in our house yesterday! FHE even flowed smoothly! I was once again ashamed to see that the crutch was mine, no theirs.

If you find me slumped over somewhere, please prop me up on a broom or something and be patient. I'm learning to maneuver without my crutches!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The time is now!

If you are looking to buy a home or refinance your mortgage, this is the time!

We are about to refinance with our awesome mortgage guy (my dad) and the rate- 3.875% on a 5/1 ARM! We will be reducing our monthly payment by more than $300 a month!

Ask for Gary at 801-943-1999. Tell him Corrine sent you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cute little stinker



Considering that she was almost completely bald at this time last year, these pony tails are amazing! (Sorry the pictures aren't great!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby food jars

I am in search of about 30 glass baby food jars for a project for my daughter's class Christmas party. If you have any, let me know. Thanks!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WW and strawberries

So the 4.1 was a good omen- my loss today was 6.4! That is SO not the norm for me. That's my biggest loss ever except for my very first week, which is usually big for anyone. I'm sure part of that was major make up for an unexpected gain last week, but we'll take it! I'm sad to see that cutting back on the Diet Coke and drinking loads of water had a positive affect...

As for the strawberries, my friend Clairesse told me about a great sale on strawberries at the West Jordan Macey's- don't know if it's the same everywhere. $6.98 ish for a flat! For some reason I thought if one flat would be good, two flats would be awesome! I wanted to make freezer jam, now I'm swimming in it!

Out of the 5 lbs I have done so far, I have filled 21 jars- probably a little more than that since I pour the end of each batch into one jar and my kids have been eating it heartily! My plan is to use them for neighbor gifts for Christmas, but I'm not sure I have that many friends!

I am looking for other ideas of what to do with the remaining 11 pounds, so if you have a favorite way to preserve strawberries, let me know. I read in the Ball Blue Book about dry pack freezing them to eat whole at a later time. This sounds good because it doesn't involve 2 parts sugar to one part berries. Anyone out there tried this? Did you freeze them in jars? Ziplocs? I'd love to hear your advice!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

4.1

I wish that was my weight loss this week, but WW isn't until tomorrow.
That IS, however, the score I got on my first college paper at the U.

If you didn't know, it has taken me years to get up the courage to go back to school, fearing the degree of difficulty of my remaining upper division classes. The school nerd in me REALLY doesn't like getting bad grades, so being a mediocre student for me is just as bad as failing. I don't hold other people to that standard, that's just my own measuring stick for myself.

So, back to the 4.1. Did I mention that was out of a possible 4? Who knew you could get extra credit? I told Tim that I did so well because unlike some of my classmates, I have never learned to write in txt language. Punctuation, capitalization, complete sentences- a dying art to some, normal to me.

The paper was analyzing an article about a study on the validity of the 5-second rule. It was an unusual topic, but if you are interested in my amazing (haha) paper, you can read it below. While I did manage to write a descent paper, I can't figure out how to post it here any other way. Ü

There are many means of gaining knowledge and understanding of the world around us. Much of our basic knowledge in taught to us from such a young age that we don’t remember ever NOT knowing it. This knowledge or tradition is such a part of us that we can ignore obvious truths or logic when the tradition meets our needs. However, just because we choose to ignore a fact doesn’t make it any less true. This is illustrated by examining the “five second” rule.

Some say the five second rule goes back to Genghis Khan; others place it in medieval times. Whenever it began, it served to make people feel justified about doing something they knew was probably disgusting or unacceptable. It is reborn on playgrounds, school cafeterias, home kitchens, movie theaters, any place we need to justify picking something off the floor and eating it or encourage our child to do the same. If we want the food item badly enough, we will eat it off the floor. Our tradition of the five second rule trumps logic because it meets a need- the need to eat the yummy thing!

Some traditions are so ingrained that we don’t recall ever being without that information. I don’t remember being taught the five second rule. My first memory of the application of the five second rule was in elementary school. I don’t remember being appalled by it at the time, so I’m guessing I had heard it before. Either that or I agreed that the food that hit the floor was worthy of being rescued. This tradition made it acceptable to scavenge recently fallen food. Our measure of scientific experimentation- no one we knew had ever died from eating a Hot Tamale off the floor- was all the proof we needed.

Other rules that have been tested and proven equally reliable come to mind. Crossing your fingers behind your back makes it OK to tell a lie. Cake consumed on your birthday is fat free. We make many false “rules” to help us justify bad behavior, knowing full well that they aren’t true. As a culture, we agree to abide by these rules together so we all feel a little bit better about ourselves.

As for the five second rule, we continue to use it to avoid ridicule for doing something otherwise unacceptable. When we say it on behalf of another person, we give them permission to do as they wish without being judged. A gift, from me to you! We justify it because of our personal experience. I have never met someone who contracted a horrible disease by eating a cookie that they had just dropped. I do know lots of children who were sad because they dropped a cookie and were not allowed to eat it off the floor. We allow others to do something gross because the positive effects far out-weigh the negative by our measure. The slight chance of a negative outcome is worth the risk. Unfortunately people take this same gamble with higher stakes- failing to use a seatbelt, drinking and driving, having unprotected sex and so forth.

As consumers of information, it is ultimately up to each individual to honestly examine the data we are given in order to make an informed decision. In the case of Matthew Cole, his lack of fatal illness from eating off the floor does not negate the Clemson study findings. Bacteria still gathers on the floor whether or not Matthew chooses to acknowledge its presence. Likewise, we are confronted with vast amounts of knowledge, truth and tradition. Our choice to accept or reject it does not change the validity of any given tidbit.

There are many ways that we gain knowledge. Tradition is a strong source of information, correct or not. Our application of what we learn can protect us from harm and help us succeed if we choose to apply correct principles. It may be necessary to take a step back and re-evaluate the traditions we hold onto in order to make sure they are the best choice. We must decide for ourselves what is truth and what is error. So, how do we gain our knowledge? We pick it up, one morsel at a time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In the still of the night...

In the wee small hours of the morning, my husband heard screaming somewhere outside. He could hear a woman screaming things like "HELP" and "GET OFF ME." Not good things!

He got up and listened at the window but couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from. Being a good citizen & a caring individual, he called police dispatch to report it. The dispatcher asked him to hold on for a minute. When she came back she apologized, saying that they were actually causing the disturbance.

Turns out they were trying to arrest a belligerent woman a few blocks away and she was putting up quite a fight.

Classy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pint-sized PMS

Lydia just had an absolute freak out when I didn't do her hair the way she wanted it. "No, Mom, like Emily (Coates)!" I didn't know she had such strong opinions about one pony tail vs. two pig tails.

Then to add insult to injury I put in a yellow bow when she obviously had planned to wear the pink flower clippies. HYSTERIA! She started pulling on the bow and almost undid the whole hair-do. I did compromise & change clippies. She still sobbed on my shoulder for a few minutes.

Do you know she's only two? Neither does she!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Something awkward

Here's something awkward for your entertainment. Check out awkwardfamilyphotos.com

That should keep you busy until I have something clever to say!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Can't fight this feelin' anymore

It's September for two days and *POOF* I have the overwhelming urge to CRAFT! What I lack is the time, in a BIG way. What's a girl to do? How do you fight this urge (those who have it) or how do you embrace it with quick & easy crafts?

I had my mind all made up not to do the boutique in Spring City in November this year because I knew I would be so busy with school that I couldn't justify the time commitment. The flier came in the mail to sign up & I've lost the will to fight.

I have a few projects in mind that I can work on in the car while I am waiting to pick kids up from school. I had planned to use that time to study, but Lydia has other ideas. I can do a mindless task while we wait, but trying to remember what I read while talking to her isn't not working.

Anyway, I'm just rambling now. Let me know what you're working on these days. I'll put some pics on when I have a few completed projects.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Go Utes!

I can't wait for ThUrsday!

Shopping at Smith's

I know how you miss my shopping adventures, so I'll tell you about Smith's this morning. I didn't take a picture, so imagine it for yourself.

Here's what I got: 3 boxes Cinnamon Life Cereal, 1 box ice cream cones, 2 Betty Crocker Cookie mixes, 1 18 oz peanut butter, 1 Country Crock, 1 Pillsbury crescent rolls, 1 milk Chug, 3 2L Pepsi products, 2 2L Diet Coke, 1 Hair bow, 1 32 oz veggie tray, 1 head lettuce, 1 cantaloupe, 5 jumbo packs Huggies, 1 jumbo pack Pampers, 1 bag Fritos, 4 boxes Jolly Time popcorn, & 1 Push Pop for my little helper.

My total came to $120.xx, after my Fresh Values card, $5 off General Mills promo, $5 off coupon from Sunday's paper, $5 off from Happenings book, manufacturer/Smith' s coupons, & B1G1 Free popcorn, I paid $58.42 with tax!!! Remember- that includes 6 packs of diaper!!

I also got a $10 off next purchase from the Baby Club, and a 15 cent gas coupon. Woohoo!

Friday, August 28, 2009

One Prozac cake, coming up!

My sister asked me to make a cake for her co-worker for a going-away party. The above picture of the generic for Prozac was our inspiration. How did we do?

I made one round 8 inch cake and one square.

After leveling the cakes with my favorite cake leveling tool, I cut the round cake in half and "glued" the pieces with homemade butter cream frosting like so:
Here's the frosted cake.
Lydia kept "helping" and trying to cut the cake for me. In this shot you can also so the afore mentioned candy pill border.
This cake was so fun to make! Thanks for the challenge, Court. Hope you like it!

Jagged little pills


These are going to be the border along the bottom edge of my Prozac cake I'm making for my sister's work. (She's a pharmacy tech and it's a going-away party for a co-worker._
They are tropical Mike & Ikes with one end dipped in white almond bark coating. This is a fun cake project!

Another opportunity

There will be another opportunity to help the Frandsen family tomorrow (Aug 29) at a yard sale in their new neighborhood. It will be located at 10114 South 3490 W. It is easy to get to from Bangerter and 9800 South. 8 am- 2pm.

In addition to the yard sale there will be amazing barbeque available. For more info, see Vittoria's blog.

If you had items you didn't get to donate to our sale, they are taking donations too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Days of School 2009

Jenna started second grade last Tuesday. We had to take the traditional picture on the porch. This was the closest I got to all three smiling at the camera at the same time- there were about 10 attempts.
Jenna is loving school so far and every time I ask her about any part of it her response includes "AWESOME!" That's a good sign! She gets to be a class representative for the first 6 weeks of school and is very excited for the responsibility. She'll have a great year!

Yesterday was Aubrey's first day of kindergarten- back to the porch. (This was only my second pic, a vast improvement over the week before. Can you tell that's Jenna's favorite new shirt?)

Aubrey also thinks school is awesome and didn't even want me to wait with her today before school. When I asked her if she wanted me and Lydia to walk her to her class, she looked at me with a puzzled face and asked "Why, Mom?" Ok, never mind. I still parked across the street to watch until the bell rang. She's just so teeny, I'm afraid she'll break or something.

Lydia sure misses her sisters! She's not used to being here so much with just mom. Mom's not used to entertaining a 2 1/2 yr old alone. I've always had another baby in the house by the time each girl was that old. It's different- in a good way!
Aubrey's friend, Tanner, is in her class, too!
This was her class all lined up to start their first day. They were all pros. The only tears I saw were from the adults!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vittoria's Yard Sale update

The fundraiser for Vittoria was an overwhelming success. Even though Vittoria's outcome wasn't what we'd hoped, we all got to participate in many miracles. Our neighborhood and ward have been deeply impacted by this opportunity to unite and serve. Friends and strangers alike gladly stood in the rain to do whatever we could to make this a success.

Right now our total in sales & donations is $10,100.00. There are still a few available auction items, as well.
I wanted to give everyone a peek at the yard sale we had on the 15th for Vittoria. It was an amazing day (week) of miracles and unity from our area & from strangers far and wide.

The night before we had a sorting/pricing party. Thankfully the VanAmens brought their shade canopy, which served as a giant umbrella through multiple heavy rainstorms! By the end of the evening my garage was completely filled and part of my backyard was filled with furniture. Thanks to all who came to help!

Saturday started early & wet. At 6:15 a whole crew showed up to set up & hang signs. People just kept coming and coming. Thanks to all of you- I don't even know who half of you were! It was amazing! We kept calling around for more and more canopies and tarps and before long we had everything arranged. We filled two entire yards and driveways, canopy to canopy in some places. I've never seen anything like it!
The most amazing part was the size of the crowd. Undeterred by the rain, from 7 am- 5pm we had shoppers. Most of that time it was packed! People would call friends and tell them to come. Others told us they had heard about it on the radio- from many stations. Some were there to buy tools and then came to shop in the other areas. Strangers would stop on the corner and ask if this was the sale for the girl who needed a heart and hand us cash, not wanting to buy anything. I'm crying again just thinking about it!

We had a visit from the Kearns Royalty- princesses for Vittoria! Some of the kids had a treat & lemonade stand.
This was tool central. Thanks again to Shaun & Napa & all of the helpers who made this possible. We sold $5500 in tools alone! I've NEVER seen so many men at a yard sale before- willingly!
Counting the tool money
We had an awesome bake sale that featured all kind of treat as well as ready-to-cook meals assembled by Kelli and her sister. These beautiful cupcakes and heart cookies were made & donated by people who don't even know the Frandsens.

Again, thanks to all who helped in any way! There are too many to thank & the Frandsens also sent their thanks. And to the Frandsens- thank you for allowing us to serve and also to have a connection to an amazing little girl. We will never be the same! Your angel has become all of ours in a small way. You are in our prayers as you adjust to a new time in your lives. We love you so much!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A new ingredient

I made baked ziti for dinner tonight, which is very adventurous for me. I gathered all my ingredients and started cooking. To me, in my sleep-deprived state, these two cans appeared to have the same thing- from these angles anyway.
After opening the can on the right- without reading the label- I realized that it wasn't quite what I needed for my pasta recipe. However, the girls are thrilled that we are now making pumpkin cookies for family home evening! In my defense, that is the reddest pumpkin I have ever see, Western Family!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Silent E

Silent e-Auction, that is. We have a few baskets left from the fundraiser and we are going to e-Auction them here. I don't have all the pictures yet, so check back for the others. All of the proceeds will go to the Frandsen family! We are so close to the $10,000 mark- help us get over the top! To bid, please email me with your name, phone number, which item you are bidding on and the amount of your bid at beanandtim(at)gmail(dot)com.
Go Utes & Go Cougars- each basket contains an adult (L) t-shirt, baseball cap, car flag, Pez dispenser, key chain and ice bucket for your beverage of choice.
Bidding starts at $70 per bucket.
Utes bucket now at $75.
Sweet indulgences bubble bath & lotion- 3 bubble bath/soaps and two lotions, star basket. Opening bid $10

Bees basket: Vouchers for 6 tickets to any remaining Bees game this season (games thru Sept 7), youth (L) t-shirt, souvenir batting helmet, 6 passes for bowling at the AMF Ritz. Starting bid $30.

One last summer blast!

Includes basket, water bottle, Chex mix, Goldfish crackers, popcorn, water bombs,

beach ping pong, sun glasses, Jolly Ranchers, large tote bag, other snacks, & other toys.

SOLD

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