Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
I'm not too embarassed to say I only rank as a Junior High blog. Heck, I've never aspired to much fanciness here on this blog. Junior High was actually a good time for me, so ... maybe it stuck with me, grammar and all.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Can't really write here, either (can't see what I'm writing, argh.) But I thought ya'll ought to know I hadn't abandoned you.
I had PRK vision correction on November 11th and while everything seems to have gone really well, I still can't read. I hope I'll be back to my old readin' and writin' self real soon!
Stay tuned! And, thanks for your patience!
Monday, November 10, 2008
- My PRK tomorrow! I can't wait to be able to see without my glasses. I'm legally blind now, so I think it will be life changing to be able to see without glasses or contacts! Not looking forward to the painful recovery, but hey ... I think it'll be worth it!
- The Primary Program on Sunday. My boys have bigger parts than they've had in the past and they are both feeling really confident and happy to participate. Can't wait to watch them!
- My bathroom remodel to be complete. It should be done any day now, really. And it wasn't a big fancy remodel, but we'll have a new paint job, new floor, a new toilet and new light fixtures, so it'll feel updated. Going without a toilet on our main floor stinks!
- Christmas! I love Christmas and everything about it.
- Our Anniversary (17 years) on December 27th.
- A little vacation we're taking with the boys to Yellowstone the first week of January. We're going to rent snowmobiles and zoom through the park. Cozy up to roasted marshmallows by the fire at night and play lots of board games. Sounds fun! Can't wait!
- My book The Devil's Daughter getting published one day.
- Losing Forty Pounds. I've been waiting for that for a long time and I get that's it not really something to wait for, but rather something that you go out and DO for yourself. *sigh* Guess that's why I've still not lost it!
- Umm, to lose weight? Oh yeah, I said that one already!
- To be healthier.
- Sewing lessons.
- To really get the hang of this homeschooling thang.
- A new iPod with some music (Pink, Natasha Bedingfield, Nellie Furtado)
- A new camera, because both of mine have fallen victim to various acts of sabotage during the past few months.
- To grow closer to Heavenly Father. I'm trying, but sometimes I get in my way.
- To have see my sister again. I miss her so much!
- Pushing Daisies
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (on DVD)
- Angel (again, on DVD)
- My Name is Earl
- Stargate Atlantis
- I sang in Church with three other women. It was awesome. I got to sing the descant part in the Children's Songbook version of Beautiful Savior, so for once I got to sing high and out, which I really like to do but rarely can (because I'll overpower the other singers - but not this time!)
- I had several brain farts trying to put together a baby quilt for Chenny's baby. Finally after like two hours of trying, I managed to get it assembled. Oy! I was spatially challenged yesterday.
- I took a nap.
- I gave the FHE lesson. (On seeing a child of God when you look at yourself in the mirror. I needed it!)
- I baked a cake. Yumm!
- I read a couple chapters in the Book of Mormon. I've been on a reading kick lately and am so enjoying it.
- I worked on Stacy's book for a while.
- I got caught up on my email.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
- We had problems with our main bathroom toilet leaking. We pulled up the toilet and discovered a horrible rotting mess underneath it. We had a plumber come take a look at it. His verdict? Mold. And he couldn't touch it.
- We called our insurance (thanks to my neighbor friends! because I hadn't even thought of calling them) and they sent out an adjuster. Turns out it is totally covered and all we need to pony up is our $500 deductable. Sweet! So we'll get our bathroom totally redone, new floors, paint, new fixtures and such, and all the work will be paid for with our insurance (we have to pay for the fixtures etc., but the 'base work' like the repair work and the floor and painting we will not have to pay for.)
- I took David away for the weekend. The boys and I managed to keep it an entire surprise ... I drove up to the hotel with David and he went "oh!" He figured I was taking him out to dinner to a place I wanted to keep secret, but he had no idea how it was really going to turn out!
- We went shopping at the Gateway on Friday night. I have been having a terrible time for a year now with my skin. It's mostly hormonal, but I have also been having a hard time finding a good skin care regimin as my old one no longer worked on my 'new' skin (a la hysterectomy and hormonal changes). So I went into the Apothecary store at the Gateway and after some discussion with the sales girl, decided to fork out $125 in skin care products. Bless my husband's heart, he didn't blink an eye. He wants me to be happy and if this stuff was going to help me, then he'd pay that and more. I had a hard time with it though ... that was a lot of money and I've never spent that much for that sort of thing before.
- We enjoyed an evening of walking around the plaza and ended up at Barnes and Noble to buy some books (of course. No birthday excursion is ever complete with the purchase of copious amounts of books.) While at the store, I set my bag of very expensive lotions at my feet. My arms were full of books and I was feeling tired. I walked down the aisle to look at more books. When I turned back to retrieve my bag ... it was gone.
- I cried and cried. We looked everywhere. The sales staff was less than helpful. It seems that stolen things is the norm there. They sort of looked at us like we were nuts for thinking our bag could be safe (even though we were in the same aisle).
- We were really surprised at the difference between downtown Salt Lake City and the suburbs. If I had left my bag at the Jordan Landing store, I'm sure if someone saw it, they would come up to me, and say "Excuse me, is that your bag?" and/or they would turn it in to Customer Service. Downtown, however, whoever did it decided in a split second to grab the bag and, well, split.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I'm a Porsche 911!
You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tami's said she was a Guardian, and man, it sure seemed to sum her up pretty darn well. So I did the test myself. And was not disappointed.
This personality test, called the Kiersey Temperment Sorter places individuals into one of four temperaments--Guardians (40-45% of the population), Idealists (15-20%), Artisans (30-35%) and Rationals (5-10%).
I am an Idealist.
I found it simultaneously flattering and comforting to read what it said about 'my type'. It helped me feel good about the way I am, even the ways I am different from other people (and therefore sometimes sticking points for me and my self-esteem) and the ways that I feel I excel.
The description is fairly lengthy, but in summary Idealists are:
- Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
- Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
- Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
- Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
This is the blanket they asked me to make for his blessing.
This is the sweater and dress.
The bonnet has a big pink "boy" at the nape of the neck,
Friday, September 26, 2008
- One of my favorite ways to deal with stress is to pluck my eyebrows. For some reason I find it really relaxing. *U* So if you see my eyebrows getting thinner and thinner and eve sometimes my eyelashes too, you can bet I'm feeling a lot of stress and anxiety over something!
- Unlike Jennifer, I'm an extremely good navigator. Well, Jenn didn't say she was a bad navigator only that she was directionally dyslexic. I, on the other hand, am really excellent at remembering how to get to places or 'sensing' which way to go. I'm my own personal Urim and Thummin. Come to think of it, this is also one of the gifts I am given in my Patriarchal Blessing ... that I have the gift of discernment so that I will be able to 'tell others the way that the Lord would have them go.' Hmm.
- I'm afraid of going DOWN on escalators. I have a really hard time stepping out onto the downward running first step. I HAVE to stand on the right and grip the rail and I always have to wait for at least three or four stairs to pass before I can step out.
- When I set my alarm, it has to be for exactly :00, :15, :30 or :45. If I miss by even a minute, I have to go all the way through the numbers again. It can't be for :02 or :47 ... that just won't work for me.
- I love to tickle but I absolutely cannot abide being tickled myself. Try it, and you're likely to get bopped in the nose, buddy.
- I am not terribly spontaneous. I need to have plans. I'm not a 'fly by the seat of my pants' kind of girl. HOWEVER, if I make double-date type plans, I'll almost always find ways to get out of it because I get anxious about it. I talk myself out of it. So if we're going to do something as a group of friends, it's almost better to get me just a day or two before the thing, because otherwise I'll probably back out. Then again, if you only give me a day or two's notice I'm likely to say no because you didn't give me enough time to plan for it. :P
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
In the meantime, I've been busy with something else.
I've decided to homeschool the boys this year.
This is not a whim of any sort ... it's been my plan since before they were born. However, their twin dynamic was such that Charlie would never allow himself to excel because he wouldn't even try--not if Xander had already tried and already succeeded. Xan is one of those brothers everyone hates to have; he's an overachiever in every sense of the word.
So I sent the boys to public school for a time so they could have an opportunity to be their own men, to figure out who they were separate from one another.
But then the whisperings came that grew in persistence, telling me that it was now time to bring them home.
I was thrilled to discover a virtual academy that operates like a charter school, (meaning free to me!) and provides the supplies, the curriculum, teacher support and state testing (which I like because I'll have proof that I am not breaking my children.)
We applied to the K12 school, but initially did not make it in via the lottery. However, in June we were notified that the boys did get a spot. I hesitated to mention anything about it here, because honestly, I kept expecting to wake up the next day and change my mind.
But each day only brought a return of peace of mind and an assurance that homeschooling my boys was in fact the right thing for my family. So here we are, two weeks into our K12 school experience and ... I'm still happy with our decision!
In the meantime, I've found that I can't handle very many other (read: none) extra curricular activities. I haven't been blogging or reading my favorite blogs. I haven't been reading anything other than homeschooling books (oh joy!) and I haven't been spending any time with friends. This is not bad, this is just an adjustment. I don't anticipate I will always feel this consumed with my homeschool, this is just a learning period.
But I wanted to apologize for not visiting your blogs and for not writing more often myself. Whatever few brain cells I've got have all been going to this schooling thing. I need to start saving some for my other activities! Wish me luck!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
They have both earned their knights and are both feeling really excited and happy for their big day.
Yesterday I took them to the Salt Lake Temple to take their baptism pictures. It was a sweet experience with lots of wonderful teaching moments.
I love my boys with all my heart. They are my guiding lights, my own personal north stars.
Monday, August 25, 2008
He's talking about the ability we all have to make changes in our lives, to do the things we want. If we sit back and do nothing then the magic does not happen but if we put our minds to it, we all have magic in us, we can change things around us. ~ Kari
In my current state of mind, his words are a soothing balm telling me that I do have the power within myself to accomplish what I need to. I may be overwhelmed, but he is telling me that even when I don't know it, the I can find the resources I need within myself to succeed. ~ Anne
What Master Therapass words mean to me is that we all have potential. He told Kyja that the real power lies in who you are, what you do and what you may become. It’s all about how we take possibilities and make things happen in our own lives. Whether we believe we have magic in us or not, what we do with the circumstances that are placed before us will determine whether our lives are magical or not. ~ Cathy
His words mean to me that magic isn't what everyone may think it is. Magic is different for every person. The words tell me that I may not be able to do magic like everyone else but I have my own special magic inside of me. That even though I am different, I have special things in store for me too. I would look at magic differently. I would look harder at others and see their own unique magic. I would see myself as some one that has a certain destiny set out for me. I wouldn't view myself as totally different from everyone else any more. I would see myself as someone that could accomplish something with out special magic just as well as someone who has magic. ~ Laurel
I found these hard to judge because they all, in my opinion are totally correct. In the end though I had to settle on just one winner (though you are all winners to me!) and so I picked ...
We do have the power to change the world, by utilizing the power within us. It may not 'seem' like magic - at least not the magic of fairy tales, but it is magic nonetheless, because it has power, it is unseen, and it can move mountains - even if those mountains are simply ourselves.
Congratulations Kari! And thank you Cathy, Anne and Laurel for reading my blog and entering my contest!
Thanks especially to Scott for offering up a book to our lucky winner. Even if you didn't win, please stop by your local book store in September and pick up your own copy of Farworld: Water Keep ... or, easier still, simply click here.
Kari, shoot me an email and let me know who you would like the book autographed to and remind me of your address. ali at aworkofheartphotography dot com.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Man Rules. Take note all you girlies and Learn them.Its the Law
These are our rules! Please note.. These are all numbered '1 ' ON PURPOSE!
1. Men are NOT mind readers.
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
1. Sunday sports It's like the full moon. Or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
1. Crying is blackmail.
1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.
1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.
1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
1. You can either ask us to do something, or tell us how you want it done. Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.
1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' We will act like nothing's wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.
1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really ...
1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as RUGBY or Motor sports.
1. You have enough clothes.
1. You have too many shoes.
1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!
1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials..
1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;
But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Go here to read all about it and find out how you can win your very own autographed copy of Farworld: Water Keep!
Seriously, you're gonna want this book. It's AWESOME!!
Thing is, it wasn't much stuff at all.
But, it somehow managed to be TOO much stuff anyway.
And, as usual, it's fodder for my stream-of-consciousness thinking here.
So, how do you know what is too much for yourself? Or, when to say 'when'?
My problem is, all the stuff is GOOD stuff. All of it worthwhile and valuable. But more than that, I can honestly say pride plays a big role in my willingness to take on that one-too-many thing. I see many friends who appear to do way more than me (of course, what goes on behind closed doors I'm not privy to,) but still, they seem to be able to do it all. And I would like to appear that way too. Except I don't seem to have any closed doors. All my insanity seems to happen on a public stage. I can't appear to do it all, while privately having a nervous breakdown. Oh now, I just fall apart in front of everyone. Nice.
Then again, maybe it is nice. Keeps me real, right? What you see with me is definitely what you get. I am what I am. I is what I is. And all that.
Ok, so I've accepted that everyone has a different invisible line at which point our internal line-sensors say STOP! DO NOT ACCEPT ONE MORE TASK/RESPONSIBILITY! I know where mine is, I can almost always identify it by that sinking feeling in my stomach when someone asks me to do something.
What I'm not sure how to do, is to actually say NO, because saying no would be admitting (before the public display ensues) that I am not capable and we all know I am highly capable. At least, mostly. Particularly if there isn't already a whole line-up of things on my to-do list before you ask me. Oh yes, I am capable, and willing, but only if I have not yet crossed my imaginary TOO MANY THINGS line.
This last time this happened, I felt the line zap me as I crossed over it, like an invisible electric fence. Except I just ignored it and said YES anyway. Too bad I did, since a few days later I was reduced to tears, subjected myself to that public display I alluded to earlier and failed to produce the thing I was supposed to anyway. So I might as well have paid attention to my line and said NO and I wouldn't have embarassed myself and all would be well.
Except maybe my pride wouldn't have survived. But did it, anyway? In a way, yes. Because I did TRY, right? Will I be able to feel good about myself if I don't even try? If I just say NO because I feel I might cross my line?
I don't know. But I think it's high time I tried. I've got to find my sense of pride in something else rather than in being everyone's Girl Friday, because honestly? I suck at that job.
So, I'm learning to know my limits AND to be willing to honor them. Do you? Know your limits? Stick to them? Good for you, if you do. Care to share how you manage?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I first heard Abel Keogh speak at the 6-7-8 Writers’ Conference in June of this year. He was engaging, charming and personable. He spoke about his book, Room for Two, and what he learned about promoting it. I was intrigued by Mr. Keogh and immediately wanted to read his book.
You can imagine, then, how quick I was to jump at the chance to read and review Room for Two for you. I was eager to do it, and it did not disappoint.
Room for Two tells Mr. Keogh’s own true story. It’s sometimes tragic, certainly sorrowful, but in the end, full of hope. For a taste of what this book has to offer, here’s how the back cover reads:
"Sweetie, I'm home." I tried to put as much kindness into my voice as possible. I didn't want to have another argument - at least not right away. Silence. "Sweetheart?" A gunshot echoed from our bedroom, followed by the sound of a bullet casing skipping along a wall. Everything slowed down.
At times I found the reality of Mr. Keogh’s experience hard to bear. Sometimes I didn’t want to continue reading. But I’d read in other reviews that the book was inspiring and after becoming somewhat depressed from what I’d read, I needed to get to the inspiration part! I’m happy to report, it did not disappoint.
Not only is Room for Two an intriguing glimpse into the heart and mind of a young widower, particularly that of a man whose wife had taken her own life—and that of their unborn daughter, but it offers all of us an opportunity to try to discern for ourselves what we are made of and how we will view the challenges we face in life.
There’s a wonderful little lesson that Mr. Keogh shares—a remembered conversation with his mom. I don’t want to give it away, but it is a gem that makes the entire book worth reading.
If you enjoy true stories, particularly those that feature the triumph of the human spirit over the tragedies of life, you will love Abel Keogh’s Room for Two. You can buy your own copy by clicking here. You can also go to Mr. Keogh’s own site for more information about him and his story.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
I love, love, love this book!
Since I received a calling a few years ago to be our Ward’s Preparedness Specialist, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for this topic. I was released after only one year, just as I felt I was beginning to get a handle on all the myriad aspects of preparedness. I should rephrase that. I was just starting to understand all that needed to be done, and still, after a year, only just getting my toes wet. What I wouldn’t have done for this book by Barbara Salsbury!
Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury, managed, in a mere 354 pages, to encapsulate all the essential elements to proper home preparedness.
At first, I thought there was no way Salsbury could adequately cover all that her table of contents promised to cover in such a relatively ‘short’ book. But her writing is so succinct, her handle on the subjects so complete, that she is able to share them in a understandable and complete fashion. Even the chapter on indoor gardening, “Growing Your Own Groceries: Mighty Mini-Gardens,” was filled with enough information that I felt I could go out and do what she suggested.
Salsbury tackles subjects as diverse as how you can store a McDonalds in your cupboard to a unique way to use your thermos in an emergency and the documents you must have in your 72-hour kit. My mind has been opened to all the possibilities and with Salsbury’s excellent grasp on the subject and her ability to convey all she knows in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand fashion, I feel like I can really do this!
I wish I had this book when I was our Ward Preparedness Specialist because I think, with its help, I would have been able to educate my Ward members on a lot more subjects and encourage them to not feel afraid about the small steps they could take. I would have recommended to them, as I do to you now, that you invest in this book.
You can buy Prepardness Principles yourself by clicking here. I encourage you to do so. Even if your interest in food storage is minimal, all of us can see the value in being prepared for any emergency that might come our way. In this day and age, I think all of us would find some comfort in being prepared.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Thank you Barbara Salsbury for this excellent, informative and helpful book!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
He was fairly bursting with the great news of the upcoming release of his new book Caught in the Headlights—and his enthusiasm was contagious! So I was equally thrilled when Candace contacted me and asked if I would be willing to review Barry’s book. Willing? Absolutely! Ecstatic is a better word.
I am happy to report that Barry’s book is something to be proud of—no wonder Barry couldn’t wait to tell his friends at the conference about its release. I want everyone to read this book and I didn’t even write it!
The press release for Caught in the Headlights reads:
“From goals such as happiness, self-esteem, protecting our pride, or the perfect physique, Phillips takes a closer look at those aims prized by society and explores how we can pursue higher goals. A thoughtful, funny, and at times profound look into the real reasons we all have for the things we do, this book will entertain, enlighten, and inspire.”
I was surprised by some of the goals Barry included in the book—like the perfect physique. But when I read his take on it and how his quest for that perfect bod really became a search for _____ I understood why it had to be there. Of course it had to be there. Too many of us are way too caught up in how we look and not enough concerned with the quality of person we are on the inside.
Others, like Pride and Forgiveness, resonated with me.
On Pride, Barry said:
“Pride is about comparisons. You never become happy with what you have or what you have accomplished because you always need to keep ahead of everyone else. Rather than being happy for another’s success, you despise them for it. It’s as though you are playing a zero sum game and if anyone else gets something, you are diminished. Even if another’s success is not related to you or your world at all. And if they are in your field, your world, or your sphere, then the pain of their success is almost too much to bear. Pride brings a fear of losing that which we value most—the love and admiration of everyone we see. Of course, as we just talked about, if you are prideful, you don’t’ have their love and admiration to begin with. You just think you do.”
You have to read the book for yourself to find out what it is that Barry believes we really need when what we desire is to be proud. Here’s another little taste to pique your interest—on Forgiveness:
“One of the hardest things I’ve had to do is to truly forgive someone. That may surprise you, and I know it did me. It seems so easy to do, until you are faced with a situation where you’ve really been handed a raw deal. The truth is, most times we can usually find something we could have done better ourselves in a given situation. But that doesn’t matter. Even if you are completely in the right with no fault of your own—like the woman with the frozen turkey—the requirement is the same. Forgive.”
In addition to Pride and Forgiveness, Barry offers truly insightful thoughts on Happiness, Self-Esteem, Freedom, Control, Tolerance, Success, The Big Event, and of course, The Perfect Body. The only thing I didn’t totally love about Caught in the Headlights were the poems at the end of each chapter. It’s not that that they were bad, they just didn’t thrill me. What did thrill me were the original cartoons at the beginning of each chapter—they were really funny!
You can buy the book here, or check out your local bookstores. You can also check Barry out at his site and blog. Oh, and if you’re a Glenn Beck fan, you’ll appreciate knowing that he gave his stamp of approval on Caught in the Headlights—and you know, if Glenn likes it, it’s gotta be good! And, for what it’s worth, I approve of it too—buy this book, and buy a couple more for co-workers or friends—this book is a keeper.