Sunday, December 30, 2007

Photos 2007

My Mom's tree is really pretty. You can't see it's beauty in this photo, however, I will always be able to see it in my memory.

This is a happy Gingerbread Man. I sure would like to taste him.
This GingerSnowman is cute too. I love my Mom's Gingerbread cookies. They really do taste good after hanging up for a long time. She is so talented and between her and my Dad I am so very blessed! They are a wonderful team and do almost everything together. They are fortunate to have the time and abilities to spend most of their time together.

I look forward to the day that I may follow in their footsteps. Being with the man I love and married full time, would be so wonderful! I married him because I want to be with him, and this sending him off to work all the time and not having him around to be a team all the time is for the birds.

Our business will be our path out of the rat race that our society has told us is the right thing to do- Get a job and be gone from your family for many many hours a day, a week, a month and throughout the years. Just so that you can buy things you don't need and never have the time to use. Ramble on and on and on........

This is my favorite! I love the bow on the wreath and the holly berries. I do want to eat this one. However, I doubt I will get one. I'm never around when they come down and being older maybe I have outgrown eating old cookies. My Mom says she know that I am one of the cookies snitchers from the 60's and 70's.

One of the 6 snitchers, apparently our gingerbread men would loose an arm here and a leg there. Funny how I won't admit to it still, but I am sure it was one of my 5 siblings who amputated those gingerbread men's appendages. I would never do anything like that, I would have eaten the whole cookie!

What a cute Christmas Tree. Now if all these cookies had mini m&m's adorning them instead of the red hots, I think my Mom would have lost all of them to snitchers already.

Mom said that the icing got hard for her to do. So small in detail and her hand got very tired. I suggested that she have a party next year with any of the grandkids who would like to decorate and maybe even help with the cutting out. This would be fun.

The only challange is that she only has 17 grandkids and one more joining us this Friday. My oldest nephew is getting married this Friday to a wonderful young lady. I am thrilled for them. So with this amount of grandkids, it would be quite a fun time in her small kitchen. However, we could work out shifts and have a small group come at different times. Or they could come to my house, my kitchen is better set up for a group of bakers. But we would still have to do some shifts.

Or maybe build a house with a kitchen for large family baking and large family crafting and scrapbooking and laughing and reminiscing, etc. A family retreat built just for us! Dream board, I have a new idea for you.... (stop the rambling, now back to this post...)

Pilot Boy walked outside and said he was just walking around. I went out and saw this pretty almost perfect heart. I asked him if he knew he made a heart, and he ran out to see it. He had no idea that he had made this heart. Cool. I really thought that he had made me a heart, but I am happy for the accidental heart he made. He did give it to me.

Here is a better or straight on view of my sons rambling feet. I love you too.

Well off again. Have a great day.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ideas From Fellow Bloggers - Thanks Guys


Many thanks for all your great ideas that I got from December 19th Works for Me Wednesday. I am going to take those I want to work with and put them into this posting to help me remember the things I want to work on. Love to you all and I will try to get thank you emails off to you soon.

Calender Make Overs

Last year I had my parents gather up some calenders for me and then I was going to put family pictures and artwork from the kids in them, photo scrapbook calenders. I never got to it. I have yet to do it this year, however I am thinking that if I put a reminder here, I will get going. I might even do a calender that starts in July and goes 18 months to the following December of 2009. Then maybe I will be better prepared to make a new one in 2009 for 2010.

I am really sorry that I do not remember who presented the next few ideas. I didn't get my brainstorm to link back to the giver's blog until after I began to gather ideas. My deepest thanks to you who are not named. If you recognize any of these ideas as your own, let me know and i will add a link to your blog. Again, my sincere apologies.

Christmas Tag Notes of Love and Respect

On Christmas tags - write a niceness note that must be read before the present is opened. I think if we think in terms of Love notes for the gals and Respect notes for the guys. (I have just finished reading Love & Respect again. And I am trying to keep the things I have learned in the front of my brain.)

Assigning Alias's to Christmas Tags

KME over at Duckabush Blog had this great idea for keeping the To and From on their wrapped presents secret until Christmas Day. She assigned a character name to each family member. Such as- To: Prancer Love: The High King Peter or To: Donner From: Ariel. Check out her specifics at Duckabush. Then come back here for more.


"The idea is simple. Everyone comes over with their own Christmas project in hand. It might be presents to be wrapped, or Christmas cards to write, or a Christmas craft/gift, or just envelopes to be addressed. I serve cookies and tea (although I forgot the tea this time - oops!) and everyone works on their particular project in good company with good conversation." Check out the rest of her blog: Laundry & Lullabies

Crochet Star Ornament

I have crocheting talent, however I have not done anything for several years. I love to crochet, but I have been busy with other things. So I want to make some of these this year. Go to Amy's site By Hook or By Cook for more information.

Making Christmas Last All Week

I like this idea of spreading out the Holidays. Who says all the presents have to be opened in one day or one sitting? I want to find a better way to manage gifts and spend more time serving others and remembering what Christmas is really all about. I also want to savor the season. I can see giving my children gifts that could be used to make other gifts and serve others at the same time. I hope to get back here and clear up my ramblings. But for now I am glad I have the seed of a great idea that should be able to be nurtured and grown for my family. Thanks Mego. Go read this idea in full at A Day with the Demos.

Three Gifts for Christmas

I Love the 3 gifts ideas that I have heard lately. Check out De's Blog at The Fruit House as she explains how their family benefits from this tradition. Thanks De.

Well there are more Ideas to Come so check back. Thanks again to everyone. I hope you get lots of traffic via this posting.

Best to you all.


Check out my Second Posting of Your Great Ideas - Ideas From Fellow Bloggers 2

Check out the rest of my Blog - Today on Practically Perfect Life

Ideas from Fellow Bloggers -2-

Christmas Folder or Notebook

This idea from Sorta Frugal is something that most of us have heard many times. I use a notebook every year. However, it is the notebook I am currently using in my everyday life. So it doesn't have the previous years information nor is it very organized, it is just notes jotted here and there. So a Folder would be good for me. Check out Katherine's idea at Sorta Frugal for the full scoop.

Talking Time Out for Use in the Car

Desiree over at her Blog Clappy Shoes has great advice for driving with kids by using a talking time out. I will be incorporating this into my car travels. See her Blog for more information.

A Solution for Itchy Skin

As I was reading at Flexible Dreams, Amy points out how she gets rid of her winter itchies. I hope this will help me too.

10 Ways to Reuse Wrapping Paper

Need some ideas to recycle wrapping paper? Check with Tickled Pink for some great ideas.

Gluten Free Cookies

One of my Cub Scouts is allergic to wheat. So I am hoping that this recipe will be one that I can use to have a treat other than veggies and fruit at our meetings. So if you need Gluten free cookies check out 3 recipes over at In The Life Of A Child BlogSpot.

Simple Tradition - Ornaments

Daddy on the Road, Mommy on the Run have some great ideas about Ornament collections as a simple tradition they enjoy. Many of us have the same tradition, I really liked how they presented their method.

Shiney Hard Cookie Icing

I want to try Amy's cookie icing. So I will be heading to her blog at Too Many Recipes to try it out.

Stocking Stuffer List

If you need ideas for stocking stuffers. Check out MemeGRL's Blog. Her friend Heather made this list for her and I for one will be benefiting from it. Thanks Heather and thanks MemeGRL!

This is all I have for now. Thanks to one and all for your great ideas. I hope everyone has been able to find some fun things here that they can use. May you all be blessed for your kindness in sharing your traditions and ideas with me and those who frequent my Blog.


Check out my First Posting of Your Great Ideas - Ideas From Fellow Bloggers

Check out the rest of my Blog - Today on Practically Perfect Life

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Creative Wrapping by Santa

Santa was pretty funny at our house this year. He wrapped two very small presents and labeled them Mom & Dad. Then as we opened them, we came to a second wrapping of a different paper that said Pilot and Angel. So we handed the presents off to them and they opened the gifts to find their 'big' presents. They got i-pods this year.

The kids were pretty disappointed until that point as we were a little lean this year and all they opened were dollar store gifts, shampoo, things they knew we already had like the Cabella's 'Swiss army knife' look alike and hair pretty's that had not yet been used.

They know that the business is in a stall right now, but that does not make it any easier when it comes to Christmas presents. We have never spent a lot on them. By a lot, I have heard of people spending a thousand on each child. I think a hundred is more than enough. But this year we did go about one fifty because we chose to go with a particular i-pod. But they didn't get any new clothes, socks or small gifts, other than those they gave each other.

This did not hurt them. They were appreciative and we received many hugs and kisses and thank yous and I don't believe its. It was fun for Hubby and I.

For the very most part, the day was perfect. I was proud to be their Mom. I was grateful for them for acting in loving and helpful ways. It was a day we all dream about, where the sister can be next to the brother without killing each other! (... and the lamb shall lie down with the lion...)

It was also a busy day as the day progresses. We had to rush at the end to spend as much time together as we could because Dad had to leave for work at 4pm. It was either be gone from the house for work on Christmas Eve from 4pm until 6am on Christmas morning or stay home Christmas Eve and go to work Christmas day at 4pm and come home on the 26th at 6am. For me, there is no choice but to have him here on Christmas Eve and go to work on Christmas Day. It is the better of two bad work scheduling opportunities.

Some year soon, we will have him home with us on both days because the business will take care of that. It will be a time of much thanks and opportunity to help others. We can not wait for that time to come. The beginning will be coming in February or March--- hurray! We can not wait.

Time to head out for now. Ha det godt!

('Ha det godt' or 'have a good day'- in Norwegian. I'm not sure why, but ending this way is just flowing naturally from my fingers. I used to end this way all the time. I speak Norwegian and even lived in Norway for 16 months on a church mission. My family heritage on my Dad's Mom's side is from Norway. So I guess the Norwegian is trying to burst out of me for now. So, ha det godt. Have it good. )


Monday, December 24, 2007

How was Your Christmas Eve?

You know that times are changed when you volunteer to do a project and find you don't have the 'old' technology in your home to do it. I am in manner trying to tell you that I am a techno junkie, however, I have apparently have joined the technology age enough to have given up some of old machines and do-dads.

I went to my Mom's...

OK, here is the way my afternoon went. I went to my Mom's to do a couple of things for her and for myself. I needed a copy of some files off her computer. I did not take my travel drive, so I copied the files to a disc. I tested it there and all was great.

I then told her that I thought I had a typed copy of a story my Dad told us kids from back in Christmas 1974, that I had taken from a cassette I had made back then. I couldn't find the story. I typed it back in 1980 or so and it has never been put on the computer. So I borrowed back a cassette I gave my Mom a month or so ago that I found of another of my Dad's stories, from 1977.

Then when I left her house, I didn't know it, but I forgot to get the Cardamon I was going to borrow, so I could make Julekake.

I returned home...

I got home and went to make the Julekake and realized I had forgotten the Cardamom.

So I decided to go to task number two. I went to work on the family recipes. I put the disc I copied from my Mom's computer into my computer and my laptop won't read the disc. It appears the disc is empty. I used to use discs all the time, and either I have forgotten how to copy or maybe the disc writers are not compatible. Maybe, even though I tested it, maybe I still messed up on the saving of the files. Weird.

So, I decide to go to task number 3. I decided to get the last cassette I just found of stories from my Dad transposed to the computer. I am holding the cassette, the kids and I listened to it on the way back from my Mom's.

It is a treasure and in a few years it will be priceless. I am grateful that I can still hear my Dad's voice and someday, when he passes on, I will still be able to listen to him. I hope to get more of these treasures made. So anyway, I am holding the cassette and realize that I do not have a cassette player in my house! I have always had one since the 70's and it is unbelievable that I do not have have a player here.

So I will not be transposing the tape tonight. I could go sit in the car, which really would be fine- no interruptions, peaceful and quiet. However, we are in the middle of a severe winter storm, with blizzard like conditions and I have no desire to be freezing out there in the driveway today.

So with 3 tasks stalled in their tracks, I did the only thing I could do- - - - I went upstairs and took a nap!! heeee heeee : ) I needed one, I had been running around town with all the last minute crazies doing a little finishing touches for myself, getting stuff my Mom needed and letting my kids get some last minute stuff. It was fun, but I was truly exhausted.

So since Hubby is not working tonight, I took a nap so that I can stay up with him for as long as I can. He has a hard time sleeping at night now, so usually he sleeps during the days and works or stays up at night. Doesn't work for me, but it does work for him. So we compromise, I sometimes nap and stay up with him and sometimes I don't. He tries to sleep some nights, but it is usually just a nap here and there. Enough.

I am awake now and I have a lot to do to be ready for tomorrow. But I am sure that everything will work out fine. It always does. The snow is really coming down. We had a wonderful very close lightning. I saw the flash while my eyes were closed and then heard the thunder right after. It was sooooo cool! Then the snow was flying.

We probably have 6 inches and has been snowing for about 3 hours. And it is still coming fast. Love it!!! Pilot went out to shovel and found it was useless as the snow was coming so heavy. I tried to tell him to wait, but he gets so anxious. He will learn as he gets older.

Well I am going to go. We just let the kids open their Christmas Eve present and so we are all going to sit and watch Pirates 3, with popcorn and the works. This is the first time we have done a movie, it is usually pj's. We decided to go a different way this year as the kids are getting older. So ha det for now.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my furnace.

I am thankful for my fresh water.

I am thankful for electricity.

I am thankful for my garbage can.

I am thankful for my sewer system.

I am not always thankful for my phone.

I am thankful for the Internet and my old laptop that is still clicking along.

I am thankful for my home.

I am thankful for natural gas.

I am thankful for these things because they keep my physical self comfortable.


I am thankful for prayer.

I am thankful for my scriptures.

I am thankful for my church.

I am thankful to and for my church leaders.

I am thankful to and for My Heavenly Father.

I am thankful to and for My Brother Jesus Christ.

I am thankful to and for The Holy Spirit.

I am thankful for the spiritual knowledge I have be blessed with.

I am thankful for these things because they keep my spirit on the righteous path.


Thanks to my Dear Heavenly Father for everything physical and spiritual! Thanks for these blessings. Thanks for my dear family members. My husband and children. My parents and siblings.

I Thank Thee, Jesus, for taking upon my sins and giving me the opportunity to repent and become clean again. May I return to thy presence in Heaven.

God Bless,


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hectic Times

It seems that I have been living in a whirlwind for the last couple of months. I know that many of you have been too. It seems like there is never enough time to get what I want done. I am pulled in so many ways these days. I wish for a simpler life almost everyday. I know what I want to do, however, now is not the time.

Getting ready for Christmas has been simple this year. Since I quit my job in June and then the Business basically went into a hibernation state, our money has been really tight. I made my last paycheck last through our August Business money needs, and a few more seminars, but now that is gone.

Christmas will be lean, but that won't hurt us. Christmas is about giving, not receiving, so we will be fine. We have plenty of food storage and lots of sugar left over from our Summer Shaved Ice Business, so we can give a lot of sweets away as gifts. I can not wait until February when the business can again be worked. I just hope the finances can hold on until then.

Our Christmas decorations are in boxes in the storage shed and silly me put them in the back. I was thinking that I would certainly have gone thru everything by now. But alas, I don't need anything in the shed, until I see it. Of course, there are mementos from times past, like yearbooks and trinkets, that I would like to keep. But I really don't miss them until I see them, and then it is "how could I give THIS away?"

Moving into a smaller home has been good for us. But the one challenge is that we do not have the room to store or keep all the things we had before. We have what we need in the house now and not much room for anything else. I have a 10 X 15 storage unit full of stuff to come here and I do not want to look at it. I have no desire to sort it, because I will find too many things that I will have to have.

But if I do not sort them, I will loose important things, like letters and things that can not be replaced- family heirlooms. You see, I did not take the time to organize my packing from the Old House, because we were in a hurry. So I don't feel like I could just toss that stuff, just because it has almost been a year and I have not looked at the boxes. Big mistake on my part. If I had only organized that stuff before I put it in storage, I could be tossing boxes and not be overwhelmed by the task that is looming ahead of me. Rats! Pack Rat Syndrome is a killer!!!

Christmas baking has been slow. It seems that every time I bake, my family can not leave the goods alone! I have not been Scroogie enough to keep the goodies from them. I will have to do that soon, as I have less than a week left. But I am sure that things will work out.

House cleaning and organizing has been my focus for the last week and a half. It has been challenging and fun. I only have the closets (coat, linen, laundry and pantry) left. OK, I have the two bathrooms to organize too. But they will not take more than an hour at the most. I am saving them until last, because that will be like spreading icing on the cake and then you're done!!!

Because our dressers are in the storage unit buried beneath other 'treasures' (or junk, if you are not the man in 'one man's junk is another man's treasure'), I have improvised a cubicle storage for now with our packing boxes. It is unique, doesn't look so sophisticated, but it is functional and I will be happy to use it for now. This is not the first time I have used boxes for furniture.

When I moved to St. George, Utah many years ago, I did not have any furniture. So I got boxes from the Grocery store and made end tables which I covered with material for table cloths. I have two folding chairs and a card table. I found an good old sofa by the dumpster in my apartment building and covered that with new material. My mattress was raised off the floor by sitting on a couple of pieces of plywood resting on some blue water barrels that were trash from a business. Again, I used old material and sheets to hide my under workings.

It was not the Trump Palace, but it worked for me. Most visitors were amazed to find out how I was able to decorate and not spend very much money. And the greatest benefit was that the boxes could hold my sewing and craft items out of sight! Double benefit, functional and storage.

Yesterday I moved Hubby's computer to a real desk. But the desk was my son's and the top is only 16 inches deep. So I had to find a piece of countertop to set on top and make the top deep enough to hold the monitor and keyboard. I want to put the monitor in top of a box that the keyboard can slip into, but that will be far in the future. Hubby says that this setup is just fine. The kids like it, as the height of the desk is better than the unit I had it on before.

So now I have my Kitchen Island back!!! I am so glad. I have not used it in the new house and I am so glad to have it in my Kitchen. I have been wanting to use this as a bake station. Now I am not sure if it will be a baking station or a home for my crockpot. I hope the baking station wins out.

I used to keep my crockpot on the counter, but decided that it looked crowded. So into the cupboard it went. I have my breadmaker (who is a Star Wars R2D2 look-a-like) on the counter. It has a clock on it and I hate to reset that thing every time I use it. I do keep my toaster out and butter so that it is soft ready for fresh hot toast.

My crockpot is in the cupboard where I keep my mix master, and they are put away which is good. However, they are a bit heavy to move around. But I can probably deal with that for a bit more time. Heavy things are difficult for me, I once had the strength of giants, but now some days, I have the strength of mice.

I keep my can opener in a cupboard along with my magic bullet and the Coco-motion. I had put them all on the counters before and prefer them tucked away in the cupboards now. It make the kitchen seem more organized.

My pantry needs some tweaking. I want to move some of my 'not used very often' items into cupboards just outside the door in the garage. But I don't have 'cupboards' yet. That too will come with time and money from the Business this spring.

I have put a pretty greet vinyl tablecloth on our dining table that is green with snowmen all over it. I love snowmen! And then I set the table with my Christmas dinnerware. It had looked so nice. I just need to get back my clear dinner plates from the Day Care and then I can use the Christmas-ware as chargers and we can eat off the clear plates and still see the Christmas patterns in the plate below.

Our stockings are hung, actually pinned on the curtains I made to hide our TV stuff. We don't have a mantel over our fireplace as such so they should be happy hanging to the side I think.

Hubby finally installed my fold up wall table for folding laundry on, yesterday. I have yet to try it, I should be using it in about 30 minutes. This should make a big difference in getting things folded and put away. I have been using my bed, and if I get too tired at the end of the day and clothes were not picked up by the kids, then I would stack them on the floor at the foot of my bed. Needless to say, this system was not working.

It seemed like all of the sudden I had mountains of everybody's everything, including towels and stuff for downstairs all mixed up on my floor. So, my table should solve this. I will fold, and then put the stuff on their beds, and then it is up to them to make sure it gets in their closets.

The laundry is in the upstairs hallway. The center of the upstairs. So three steps to the linen closet. Six steps to Angel's room and Seven steps to Pilot's room and then Four steps into my room. The only far distance in the items for the main level, but I have a basket for that. If I am not going down, I will put the stuff in the basket at the top of the stairs and take it down when I do go. Can't be much simpler than that. Going to Work For Me!!!!

Oh by the way, if when you are cleaning and you see some of your 7th graders homework make sure you know where you put it. I actually picked up some of Pilot's homework and knew that he had done the project in class. I assumed that he had turned in the work, so I threw it away. I found out 4 days after the garbage truck came, that the teacher had not recorded the grade! Thankfully, she trusted me and gave him credit for that assignment. But that is not the end of the woes.

Pilot and I can not find his Autobiography Work. I have looked everywhere. He has looked everywhere. He gave it to me to review and see that he really was working on it. I looked at it and he was doing a great job. It is nearly done. I am so proud of him.

But, I can not find the papers! I had them last and I have this great fear-knot in my stomach, a fear that I accidentally set it down and then grabbed a pile of stuff that I was sorting and threw it away!

I was sorting my Cub Scout Stuff and project files and I had two stacks, one to keep and one to toss. Since I can not find his work, I have this sinking feeling that it was somehow, tossed by mistake! I am just sick about this. This is causing him to have an incomplete in his class. So I have to write an email to his teacher explaining what I think happened. Embarrassing to say the least.

And I have no idea what we can do. Hopefully she will let him have some new papers and maybe he will just have to do it again. Boy do I feel frustrated!! He entrusted this to me and I have lost them. Oh Raspberries!!

Well now that this is so long, I guess I will end for now. I wanted to get some of this stuff down in writing before I forgot that I had really been accomplishing so much. It seems like ages since I have had the energy to get things in order. The house is organized but it is not perfect. It still looks lived in and homey. It is not so clean and organized that anyone would feel like they could not move around or touch anything.

I will never, I don't ever want to be a total perfectionist in my upkeep of my home. I want it clean, but livable. I want it inviting and homey. My priorities list does not have 'a clean house' as number one, number one is a family that loves each other.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WFMW - Wrapping Paper Control

Works for Me Wednesday

Wrapping Paper Control

Now that the season of covering presents with pretty paper is overtaking my home, I am finding that the rolls of wrapping paper don't want to stay rolled up.

Since I do not have a bunch of rubber bands hanging around my house, I have to be a bit resourceful. So putting my thinking cap on, I was drawn to my standard old standby solution - Old Socks!!

So, I grabbed a couple of socks and cut inch wide rings from the ribbed tops and slipped them over the tubes of paper. It stopped the problem of cluttered paper and now I have several neat rolls of wrapping paper. I am sure they feel much better because they are not getting wrinkled and their edges are not getting all battered up.

I have a drawer in my kitchen that holds old socks and rags. However, the socks are beginning to overrun the drawer. That is OK, because I use them for many things.

  • I use the Stretchy Cuffs- to hold up my extra long shirt sleeve shirts. (You can hide the sock portion.)

  • I used to use them on baby sleepers around their ankles so the sleeper stayed on their feet and not slip off while they were crawling.

  • I use the whole sock, to cover water bottles (or soda cans) to keep the moisture from getting anything wet.

  • I use the socks as rags in the kitchen and bathrooms, they can be washed or thrown away if the job was yucky.

  • I use them to store cords in, such as for my computer, extension cords, my hand mixer's cord, etc.

  • I use them as bags.

  • I use them for making soft snowballs- for my Cub Scouts snowball fights.

  • You can stuff your Christmas ornaments in socks to help keep them cushioned.

  • I have put them on the door nob to keep from marking the wall, until I could get a door stopper.

  • I use them in camping for lots of things.

The uses are endless. I just don't know what I will do to restock my sock drawer, once my two kids are not outgrowing their socks all the time. (I use both outgrown socks and the lonely sock who has lost it's mate for longer than 1 month.)

Anyway, this Works for Me. Thanks for stopping by.

Have a great day and jump back over to Rocks in My Dryer for more ideas!!



If you'd like to visit my other WFMW here are the links:

Use a Notebook
Kitchen Tools

For More WFMW go to Rocks in My Dryer

For More WFMWTWDIFE go to Rocks in My Dryer

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I am Thankful for My Big Sister

This week I want to tell my Big Sister how much I love her.

I am lucky to have had 2 wonderful sisters as I grew up. One 1 1/2 years older and the other 5 years younger. I am now bless with 5 sisters all together. It is truly something to be thankful for. They are all wonderful talented people. They mean a lot to me and to my brothers, brother-in-laws and my parents.

Today I am thankful for my older sister because she is such a great example to me. She has just accepted a great challenge that she is meeting with a positive attitude. OK, I guess she did not really accept this challenge, it was sort of slipped to her by accident.

She had a run in with a 'slippery character' named Mr. Frozen Water. Mr. Frozen Water used to be unassuming water, but got an attitude and froze up! My Sis accidentally stepped in Mr. Frozen Water's path and he sent her sprawling! Not a very nice thing to do.

So, needless to say her plans changed last Saturday and she went to the ER and they discovered that she needed to have surgery to repair some torn tendons as well as fix the break in her arm bone.

Monday she went in for Surgery, and came out with her tendon and bone pinned together to enable the healing process to begin and do it's thing. She is in good spirits.

Yes- it is her right arm and she is right handed. What fun would she have if she had broken her left arm? She is up to the challanges this will give her. I expect lots of discoveries with using her left hand and arm to do her normal right handed things. Should be for some good stories.

She is a great adapter and I am sure this will enable her to learn some very valuable things about herself and life. I just want her to know that I love her and I am thankful that she is my sister. I am thankful that she is such a great example to me and my family.

She lives in Washington State and I live in Utah- that is a long ways off. At times like this, even though I know she can still take care of herself, I would love to be there to surprise her with dinner or hang out scrapbooking, recipe hunting, writing stories from our childhood, there are so many things we could do if we were together.

I do have to say, that she is blessed with a wonderful husband. He will make sure that all is well with her and he will take care of her too. It is just, as her sister, I would like to be there for her.

  • I am thankful for family.

  • I am thankful for sisters.

  • I am thankful for brother-in-laws.

  • I am thankful for modern medicine.

  • I am thankful for My Heavenly Father.

  • I am thankful for prayer.

  • I am thankful for my life.

Thanks for reading.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

This is Macaroni & Cheese? Hospital Food 1966

Once upon a time, 41 years ago, (June 1966), there was a six year old girl who had to make a trip to the Hospital to have her broken heart repaired. ( Patent Ductus Arteriosis ) Her parents made everything exciting for her, so she would not be so scared. She was even going to the Hospital where she had been born six years earlier.

When Number Two arrived at LDS Hospital, the nurses showed her to her room. It seemed so big! and there was only one bed! A room of her own, she was so excited! Her own sink, her own window, her own everything!

You see Number Two shared a room with her big sister. She had never ever had her own room. So for the next four days, she was going to be living the high life and have this special room to herself. Oh she was elated.

Number Two checked in just before dinner time. On the menu was Macaroni and Cheese. 'Mom, Dad said they are having Macaroni and Cheese. You know that is my favorite!' Mom told her she knew it was her favorite. Number Two was so excited, this surgery-hospital thing was going to be such fun!

So while she enthusiastically awaited the arrival of that favored Mac-n-Cheese, she got busy exploring every nook and cranny in that room. Then Mom and Dad gave her a surprise present. Number Two opened it and found to her amazement her next favorite thing. Something she had desperately wanted forever (probably only a day or two)- it was play money!! paper bills and coins!

After quick thank yous, she was on the bed opening the package and trying not to loose the coins in the covers. She was then buying everything and anything from her mom and her dad. They thought this was so cute. They were glad to see their little one so happy, it helped them feel comforted. They were concerned for the surgery. They had already been through the same procedure with daughter #1, so it was not new, but still scary and still a risk that had to be taken.

Without the surgery, Number Two could possibly have a life span of 18 years, they were told. Without fixing the duct, her blood would be very short on oxygen and her heart would be overworked and it would be difficult for her organs and systems to run properly.

Finally, the long awaited and favorite meal showed up. There was a food tray and a plate with a lid covering it. Number Two did not notice anything else. Her mom lifted the lid and Number Two looked at the Mac-n-cheese. With a look of horror on her face, she looked at her mom and said 'This is Macaroni and Cheese?"

On the plate was a pile of macaroni with a thick orange paste stuck to it! That was not her Mom's Mac & Cheese. In fact that couldn't be Mac & cheese. The kitchen had to have made a mistake!! A really bad one too.

Mom tried to talk to Number Two and explain that there were many ways to fix macaroni & cheese, but Number Two just didn't seem to understand. Finally Number Two took a small taste. 'This is awful mom. It doesn't taste anything like what you make." Mom felt good about the compliment, but sad that Number Two was so disappointed.

Number Two would not eat the stuff. After all it was hospital food, she had not been told that hospital food was yucky, but she found out on her own. There was milk in a small carton, that was cool- except Number Two did not much care for milk. OK, she liked milk with chocolate powder in it. That is a whole other story. Milk.

Mom and Dad spent a couple more hours with her and then they left for home. Promising to be back in the morning. It was OK with Number Two, because she had the nurses and so much to do. Her Great Aunt was head of the nursing department and must have told the nurses to take good care of her, because they were awesome.

Number Two visited other kids on the floor and made quite a few friends. Then it was off to ride the wheelchair up and down the hall. That was done for a long time and was most fun. But too soon the nurses told her she had to stop so that the other patients could get to sleep.

She also had been drinking water with ice. This was so refreshing. But that had to stop at 10:00 pm. That was disappointing.

Just before Number Two was ready to get to bed- mind you it was late and she had never before had her own room and the ability to sneak out of bed and read and play all night- she decided to hide her play money so no one would steal it while she was in surgery. So she did. Now she could go to sleep.

The next morning was early and busy. Mom and Dad were there. The nurses were getting her prepped. They had to shave her from under her left breast area back under her arm and up her back. That was cold and tickle-ly. Then it was final trip to the bathroom. Final hugs and kisses. And then a shot to help relax Number Two.

On the ride to the Operating Room, Number Two fell asleep. The hospital staff sighed in relief, quiet at last!!! The earplugs were removed, stressed smiles were replaced with genuine smiles. 'Why' and 'What's that for', became their most disliked words. I am sure they needed vacations to recover from that over zealous Number Two! But I know Number Two was in their prayers.

Number Two came out of the surgery with flying colors. And even a missing tooth for the tooth fairy. Everything went as expected and the heart valve repair was done completely. She was no longer broken, she was normal. She could live to be a hundred.

This was good news for her parents. Their little girl would be around living a normal life. Playing, Helping, Sharing, Working, Talking..... (By the way, her Dad still uses earplugs when he is near her! He has been trying to invent a switch that will turn her 'talking' off for over 45 years. He is still stumped on that one. Go figure!)

After the surgery, she had many visitors. Some even brought her presents of books and dolls. It was fun. Even though she was very sore, she did her best to stay awake and not cry. Her Daddy stayed in the hospital room with her on a cot during the nights. She was grateful he could do that. She is such a Daddy's girl.

The second day after her operation, Number Two suddenly remembered about her play money. It was not in the room, but the hospital had changed her room. One room for pre-surgery, then off to ICU, and then the recovery room. She asked the nurses about the money, but no one knew anything about it. They checked the old room and could not find it. The Money Was Lost! It was awful. And then like a typical 6 year old, Number Two took joy in what gifts she had left and only felt brief moments of sadness when she remembered her lost money.

The day came when she got to have her stitches removed. The nurses told her Dad that the Techs who would be removing the stitches would be there in about an hour, so Dad went down for breakfast. While he was gone, the Technicians came in and took out the 100+ stitches. Number Two was devastated that Dad was not there to hold her hand. She had to be brave on her own. She had many quiet tears, but did not cry.

The Techs told her Dad how brave she had been. That made her feel proud, but she still missed holding her Dad's hand. His hand would have made the hurt go away, she was sure of that. His hand and voice even today, helps her deal with the hurts and challenges in her life. She really is a Daddy's girl, always will be.

She is a Mommy's girl too. She is so lucky to have great relationships with both parents. Such a blessing!

Soon it was time to go home. It seemed to Number Two that she had been in Hospital for a week but it was only 5 days. The doctors did their final exams, the nurses did their stuff. Photos were snatched and goodbyes and thank yous were exchanged. Then it was off to the car in the fun, wheelchair. No fun on this ride though. She was still very sore and did not like to bump her side or back.

The ride home must have been about an hour in the old days. Today it takes about 35 to 40 minutes. Upon arrival home, Number Two was pretty nauseated and the poor front porch found itself covered in throw up. Sorry Mom and Dad. Number Two was put on the couch in the living room, with pillows and blankets. She was where Mom could watch her and Number Two could watch everyone else.

Soon Number Two had bounced back up and was desiring to do all the things she did before the operation. Like running, riding her bike, rough housing, swimming, swinging, etc. However, some of the activities like rough housing did not go very well, and Number Two knew when to stop so she would not get hurt.

However the bike riding was not allowed. If she fell off and split her incision open? Running had the same concern. Was the bouncing harmful? We would not find out 'cause that was banned. (at least while in the sight of Mom)

Swimming was the worst ban. Grandma had a pool and everyone would go there in June/July. Number Two would dangled her feet in the water and lay on her towel to suntan. She didn't get into the pool until late August that year. That was such a crisis for a six year old.

The followups at the doctors office were always positive. All went well and continued to go well. Now it is just a memory. Normalcy had taken over and everything was normal.

Thanks for reading!

WFMWTWDIFE - Chili Mac & Make Do Fajitas

This Wednesday is another themed edition of Works-For-Me Wednesday.

**The idea for this week's theme comes from reader Lysa TerKeurst.**

"It's 5:15 pm, the kids are hungry, you have a headache, hubby is almost home, and the pantry has three things in it. What is your BEST last-minute meal recipe? Share with everybody this week. We'll call it Works-For-Me Wednesday: The What-Do-I-Fix? Edition. Or we could just simplify and call it WFMWTWDIFE. Yeah. That's much simpler."

**Works for Me Wednesday:

The What-Do-I-Fix? Edition**

Here are some of our standbys:

Chili Mac

Box of Macaroni and Cheese
Can of Chili
Can of Green Cut Beans

Of course if you will need to adjust the amounts for your own family size. Remember you have a headache and can't think straight!

First off, grab a large sauce pan and put in some water and get it boiling for the pasta.

While the water is heating up, grab yourself a cool glass of water and a Motrin 600- they almost always work for my headaches. Then head back and check on the water.

Get the dishes out and put them on the table. Enlist the help of one or all the kids to get the table set and drinks (ice water in our case) at each place setting.

Now open the cans of chiles and green beans. Put the green beans in a microwave dish and heat them up. Check on the water and if ready, pour in the pasta and set your timer. Drink a little more water and sit down to wait for the timer to go off.

Now drain the pasta water, return the pan to the stove and add the milk, butter (optional) and cheese powder, mix well. Now add the Chili and heat until the chili is ready. Check the green beans to make sure they are still warm.

Take green beans to the table, place on a trivet. Bring the Chili Mac over and place on a trivet. Grab serving spoons and have everyone sit up to the table.

Say a blessing on the food and Thank God that you do have a family to take care of and ask him for strength and endurance, and especially to take that headache away!

Eat and maybe leave the dishes for morning. Unless that would give you a bigger headache!!
Or maybe Dear Hubby and kids would lend a hand and get the dishes done for you. : )

If Chili is not your thing- try:

Tuna Mac

  • Mac- made per mac-n-cheese box instructions
  • add a can of drained tuna
  • add a can of beans or use frozen peas
  • sprinkle cheese on it
  • we sometimes stir in some sour cream

Mac and Dogs

  • Mac- made per mac-n-cheese box instructions
  • cut up some hot dogs
  • add ketchup or catsup if desired
  • I usually add green beans, but my kids and husband don't -they like the green beans, it's just they forget to go the one more can, step : )

Tuna Casserole - stove top style

  • Cooked and drained macaroni, put mac back in pan
  • add cream of mushroom soup
  • sprinkle cheese on it
  • add frozen peas or favorite vegetables
  • add tuna and tuna water
  • add water or milk if needed

Heat thoroughly and serve with buttered toast.

The above recipes are favorites of my kids - 10 & 12 years old.
The next recipe is my favorite. My Hubby like almost everything. He is a joy to cook for.
I usually make this basic meat mix and store 5 or 6 in the freezer for CCDD's ('crazy cooking dinner days').

Make Do Fajitas or whatever you feel like

Make the basic meat mix:

  • 1 can green cut beans, drained
  • 1 can mild green chiles, diced, (I never drain, but the cans I use have hardly any liquid)
  • 1 can button mushrooms, bits & pieces - do not drain, use this liquid to saute in
  • 1 can or equivalent cooked Pork, Chicken or Turkey (shredded or chunks)*
    pepper to your taste (I do not usually add salt, but of course you can if you need it! )

In a large wok or frying pan, on medium heat, add the can of undrained mushrooms. Add the meat and get it separated and warming. When the meat is broken up, I then add the green beans and chiles. Pepper to taste. Then I kind-of stir fry it all around until it is hot. Now if I made a large batch, I remove what I need for the current meal. Then I separate the rest into freezer bags and smooth flat and toss them in the freezer for the future- headache days!

Serve meat mix in warmed flour tortillas. Add a salad.

Sometimes we have these burrito style or taco style. Add lettuce, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes.

We also have this with bread and butter. It is also good over rice.

* I will always look for meat on sale and then buy a lot. When I get home, I put the meat straight into the crockpot and cook it until is is pull apart tender. I usually use Pork boneless country ribs and boneless & skinless chicken breasts.

Sometimes I don't even salt and pepper. And other times I will add salt, pepper, and lemon pepper. Just depends on if I have a headache or not! When the meat is done and cooled, I divide into 'works for me' portions in freezer bags, label and stick in the freezer.

Crazy Cooking Dinner Days

Stove Top Casserole

  • cooked egg noodles or macaroni
  • frozen meat mix
  • cream mushroom or chicken soup
  • cheese
  • sour cream added at the end
  • seasonings if desired (i.e. lemon pepper, garlic, chili pepper, red pepper flakes, etc.)

Serve this with a piece of buttered bread on a plate.

(I have made this meat mix with tuna, it works too. If you add a can of cream of mushroom soup then it becomes a tuna helper meal. You could also add water and egg noodles and then it is more like a stove top casserole. Cheese too.)

Faux Chop Suey

  • Frozen meat mix
  • can of Chinese veggies
  • can of bean sprouts
  • can of water chestnuts, sliced

Combine ingredients in large fry pan or wok. (I don't have a wok, but I have a large pan that is a combo fry pan and sauce pan.) Heat thoroughly.

To make the sauce, I use a cornstarch and water mix, that I add to my heated ingredients. I add water to the meat mix if needed. Also add some soy sauce.


I make a packet of chicken gravy, add soy sauce and mix this in my meat and veggies. All is per taste for you and yours.

Serve over rice. (Rice is good cooked and frozen for just these kind of days)

My Mom always did Macaroni & Cheese and Creamed Tuna over Toast.

Mom's Mac-n-Cheese (Soup-Type)

  • cooked and drained macaroni
  • cover mac with milk
  • add grated cheese
  • season with salt and pepper if needed

Heat until cheese is melty. Then ladle into bowls.

Mom's Creamed Tuna over Toast

  • make a white sauce
  • add tuna, drained
  • add frozen peas

Heat until peas are hot. Ladle over buttered toast. When we were kids, we would break up our buttered toast into bite sized pieces. It was always a like your plate clean meal. (Mom hated that!)

If you have hard boiled eggs, use the eggs in place of the tuna. The peas taste good with the eggs too, or you can leave them out. Crumbled bacon is good with the eggs and a little grated cheese. Serve this over toast. Yum!

The things from my childhood are definitely comfort food and calories don't count when you have a headache, now do they?

These fast recipes work for me! Hope this helps someone. Thanks for reading and now....

Have a great day and jump back over to Rocks in My Dryer for more ideas!!



If you'd like to visit my other WFMW here are the links:

Use a Notebook
Kitchen Tools

For More WFMW go to Rocks in My Dryer

For More WFMWTWDIFE go to Rocks in My Dryer

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Business Update

Well, Mikel and I have nearly completed one half of our 6 month 'waiting out sentence' imposed by the Big Company of Alticor. If a business launches in February, we will be ready!!

I love that we can still use our Leadership Development materials. I am so grateful that when we decided to join back up with Amway- Quixtar, that we also joined TEAM. Actually, we would not have rejoined that business if it was not for Team.

We have known that the Amway business model is really a great business. It is not a get rich, quick scam, but hard work is necessary to achieve your dreams. We just know that this type of business is better fitting to our personalities and desired lifestyle than working an 8 to 12 hour shift, 40 hours a week until we retire.

When a breech of trust was unable to be resolved, our great Leaders in Team and the adopted Leaders from my business, made a very difficult decision to put honesty and integrity- their characters on the line and stand up for everyone who wants to build a profitable and honest business.

I thank them everyday for standing up for the right. I am grateful that I can be among their community who are praying and spreading the message of Team. We want to change the world and bring back responsibility, ownership of choices, high morals, honesty, integrity, respect, etc., to our communities.

So we basically divorced Alticor. Alticor fired our fearless leaders and Alticor thought it would have very little impact on their business. However, they did not count on over 30,000 IBO's resigning from the Amway-Quixtar business opportunity. We looked at all the options and decided to follow where our true Leaders would Lead us.

So we are not longer 'property' of Amway. This is another big mistake the company made. They have called us Team Community Members 'their property', cattle, and other fun names. They told us to: 'Just Go Team, Go' or the same words, different order. It is not even worth my time to research what exactly they wrote. It was offensive.

The Big Company approved all of our training materials, praised our leaders, praised our businesses and the growth the Team experienced. They did this for nearly nine years, then all of the sudden one day last summer, they told my leaders goodbye and fired them.

Then they started to write letters saying the Team Business Methods were not legal, they were no longer approved by the Company. They told us we could be in serious trouble if we continued to associate with our leaders. They threatened some of our people. They made ultimatums.

They have made it impossible for us to continue to make a living at what we love best. They have tried to control our lives. But we have news for them, we will prosper in just a very few months and they will be left in our dust. It will be sad but life will go on and those who see the vision of the future, will join us or another worthy, honestly run business and we will all achieve our dreams.

It takes a community to change the world and we are growing a large community of very special people.

The Team and my Church are not affiliated. However, there are times when I can not tell the difference between the two. I am sure that everyone in Team can say that about their own religions. Team is helping people discover or rediscover the good in human kind. Team helps us to develop ourselves to be the best we can be, therefore we become the best person we can be in all life's situations.

I can thank Team Leadership and Learning Service for many of the great things that have happened to myself and my family over the last 9 months. What precious experiences we have had as a couple and a family. We have a thirst for knowledge.

I have always loved to read and I love picking out self-help books. I love that through the Team Program, we are exposed to many books about leadership and self improvement. I love to listen to CD's that tell processes and stories of change in people and how they can now influence others. I love to see the DVD's. I love to go to the meetings and associate with such fine and hungry people.

There is a greatness of being with like minded people. I love attending Church because most of the people who are there, are there for the same reason I am. We are like minded in our spiritual path. I like attending Team functions, because we are like minded in our personal growth and financial prosperity paths. I am blessed to be a part of Team. I can not say that enough.

I am excited that in a few months, my community of like minded business owners, will have an opportunity to again purchase products over the Internet and save money, time and at the same time depending on our efforts we will make money too. We will do this as a Team, Together Everyone Achieves More.

I am sorry that Amway has chosen to head down a different path of business. My leaders have been trying for years to get Amway to listen to the Independent Business Owners and learn from those of us in the field what things work and what doesn't work. However, I believe that the Amway Owners/ Managers are living a "WIIFM" (what's in it for me) method of operation.

There are many things that people have heard about Amway. Some of it is true and some is not. I had to make up my own mind on what I was going to believe. I do know that at one time the company was doing things right, with great character and the company flourished.

I do believe that somewhere, some people got involved and became greedy. That is when the company started to have massive problems. Today they are floundering and trying to put any and all blame on the Independent Business Owners. They do not want to take responsibility for their own business mistakes. This will be their ultimate downfall. Having a scapegoat is not the solution, owning up to making bad judgement calls is the beginning of the solution. They have done much mudslinging on the Internet- they seem to not be worried about who they hurt as long as their objective is met. This is really sad.

Even though their name conjured up a bad taste in many people's mouths, I knew when we signed up with Amway that the business plan was genius. The plan is still a great one. But for the plan to work, it would need to be continually tweaked. The plan, with adjustments made to reflect new information and technical abilities, is really a great method for helping me and my family achieve our goals and dreams. The plan will return. Better suited for the present and future.

I have always tried to defend the Amway name and business, but I have not been able to do so since August, when they tried to take away my Leadership Materials. They tried to shut Team down and have not succeeded. They will never be able to stop the good, we as the Team Community (ies) can do.

I believe that God will be with us, because we want to make the world a better place. Our world, our America, our Canada- my family, my friends, my neighbors, my city, my state. We just want to be able to help people rediscover their goals and dreams. We want to help people have a purpose in life and leave legacies. All good stuff.

OK, I am done for now. Maybe I will get my thoughts better organized in the future. Or maybe I will just let them come as they may.

Have a great day.


OK, so I went to the Dentist today. I have to say that I do like my Dentist. He is a great guy and does such a great job. He is fun and has a great ability to make people and kids feel at ease. So for my Dentist the standard, hating dentists does not apply.

He was joking with his Assistant and the banter was so fun. I chose not to watch a movie while they worked on me, because I knew the conversation would be entertaining. I was not disapponted! I love how they understand me when I babble with all the tools and implements in my mouth. It is more like going to the spa, than going to the dentist's office. Thanks guys!

I will have several more visits as I am replacing all my silver fillings with porcelain. My old fillings are beginning to deteriorate and I am having to have them replaced. That is one of the great blessings of growing older. You have to start getting replacement parts!!

So my trip to the Dentist was good today, but my son on the other hand, was petrified to go get his cavity filled. He is so afraid of the shot. But with a little pill and some nitrous, he made it through and even said he could go again if necessary. I hope he will do better in his preventative maintenance.

His cavity was very small and so it did not take very long to fix his. This was good and he really did well. He went in during September to have this filling put in and came home without any work being done.

He would not get the shot he needed and the Dentist decided to reschedule. I was unable to be there, but I am not sure if I could have done anything different from what his dad did.

Then we went on our vacation / business trip in October and the next opening they had was today. He has been dreading it for three months and said, it was not that bad. What will I do with him? I guess I'll keep loving him. OK, no guessing- I will always love him.

Our next visits are in March for all for of us to have our cleanings and 'inspections'.