Tuesday, September 30, 2014

40 lbs.

I bought a giant box of apples from Bountiful Baskets because they were a steal! (24 bucks!) There is no orchard anywhere near here, so 62 cents a pound is the best deal I've got. When I received the box, I felt that I'd been a little too ambitious. However, those apples are all but gone now. I got a lot of yummy stuff from them.

9 pints of apple butter
15 trays of dried slices
10 c. chopped and frozen for later use
5 c. apple sauce (mostly eaten by the kids)
4 apple pies, which I delivered to my visiting teaching sisters

I don't want to look at apples for a while now! :)

It's been a little crazy since salsa season and apple season ran together. My garden is finally producing a ton of tomatoes (go figure) now that it's October. Utah, your crazy growing season is going to drive me nuts for a few years. Thankfully, the frost we had a few weeks ago did not kill my tomato plants. All the rain is mind-boggling, though. It's like a NC winter.

Speaking of 40 lbs., at this time last year, I was very pregnant with Katie and weighed 40 lbs. more than I do now (at my due date, which was Oct. 20th of last year.)  Time sure flies! I've been contemplating weaning Katie, but she is terrible at using both bottle and cup, so I haven't really tried yet. I'd love to lose the last 5-10 lbs. and be able to find my bra size. She doesn't do well with dairy either. It seems to stop her up a lot more than it did to the boys, even if she just has a little cheese. I can't just give her water, because she's a growing girl. I'm not anticipating another baby any time soon, so I don't feel like I'm in a big rush to quit. She's going to be my "baby" for a while yet. I never thought I would nurse past a year for any of my kids, but I feel like I should keep going this time. After almost 3 years, what's another few months?

And on a completely unrelated note, my ward just split and my closest Vernalite friend moved away. I lost my VT companion and 2 of my 3 ladies to the new ward. I'm really bummed about that, so I've been dealing with it all by working myself hard and trying to stay busy. I know that friends always move away, but it's still depressing when it happens. I'm grateful that there are numerous ways to stay in touch, but I'm not very good at them. I guess that will be my goal - once again - to stay connected with those I care about.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


A recent episode of Downton Abbey got me thinking, and not in happy way. Yes, I gave in to temptation and watched Season 5 Ep. 1. Someone put the link right in front of my face, pretty much, so I clicked and watched it.

The episode left me with a bad feeling about the world we live in. Though D.A. has never been known for its virtuousness, morality was at least looked on with the same kind of standards I hold. Early seasons made it quite clear that fornication is wrong and something to regret. Same for adultery and homosexuality. However, things are starting to change. Fornication is perhaps not so bad. No one really calls it that anymore in our day, perhaps because it sounds so ugly - which it is. Our society sugarcoats things to make them sound better or justifies sin by making it legal. It's only 1924 in the most recent season of D.A., but those attitudes are already creeping in. I hate it. Some things did need to change because they weren't right: the classist system, women's rights, etc. Standards of morality are defined by God, so they shouldn't be changed by man.

This obviously isn't the only show to do this - to get a lot worse over time. I've lost count of how many shows I've stopped watching because of their moral decline. Compared to when I was a teen, my standards for entertainment have gotten a lot higher, but I don't think they've been high enough. One day not too far away, my kids are going to stay up later and watch some of these things with me. Aside from something being too difficult to understand, I really shouldn't be watching anything that I wouldn't feel comfortable watching with my kids sitting next to me.

I resent the fact that members of the Church (no one I know closely, but still) have taken the time to write blog articles about how movies of certain ratings are okay as long as they teach something good. I say baloney. Ratings aren't everything, and they aren't always accurate, but I'm never going to set foot in the territory where I need a blog post to justify watching a movie of a certain rating. If society (which is already messed up) gives it the worst rating possible, there's no way that any good message is going to come through. I'm pretty sure the bad stuff will be stuck in my mind forever, clouding any good message I could have gotten from it.

I'm not sure what shows I currently watch will soon be dropped from my list in the future, but I guess I should quit being so bummed about it. The best thing I can do is drop the show as soon as I can, then forget it ever happened. And there are always books! Because really, most TV/movies are garbage.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


I'm pretty sure I have the most generous family on the earth. My brothers came to visit last Friday. We came home from shopping (they had beaten us here) to see two cars in the driveway. One of those cars is ours now! It's a 2000 Corolla. My family had nicknamed it the Bondo, so we renamed it the James Bondo. James drives it to work, so I can use the 1997 Corolla however I please. My brothers not only drove that car cross-country for us; they gave us a new computer! It's a beast, especially when compared to the laptop that's 5 years old and falling apart. Because of those two purchases, there is a very good chance that we can be debt-free by next year. That makes me feel really good.

I finished scanning in ALL of my family's photos! Total count: 2,800. If you include all the photos I've taken digitally: 4,444. That's after deleting all the ones that weren't good and not scanning every single photo either. If I'd done that, those numbers would be double! I finished Brinson's wedding gift (a photo book), so now all I have to do is wait for a few last-minute photos from my Dad so I can finish a giant scrapbook for my family. Whew! I don't mind waiting on the mail, because I've been working a little too hard on this project (like 4 hours a day), so I could definitely use a break for a few days.

My schedule has opened up quite a bit, I guess you could say. My friend Chelsie used to come over every Monday, but she's moving. I've been over to help her a few times, but she is going to be gone by the end of the month. Perhaps I will start taking the kids to the library, even though it's Katie's morning nap. She is progressing toward an afternoon nap only. I actually attended playgroup today (for maybe the second time in a year) and had a great time. I need to get out more. I have no more excuses!

With most of the photo stuff behind me, I hope to put a little more energy into cooking, especially with vegan recipes. I really enjoy cooking vegan foods. Not all are complicated, but I do like adapting my old recipes sometimes. I like a challenge. Today's recipe that I made up is for white enchiladas, so we'll see how they turn out. I hope to eventually have a vegan version of most of the "fancy" recipes I used to make. So far, so good.

Aside from a good friend moving, I'd say life is pretty good right now. I'm grateful to have such generous parents and in-laws. If it weren't for them, we would probably have an additional 10-15K in debt, but we don't! Hallelujah!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My 10 Books

It's been a crazy week with my big picture project, which is progressing nicely, and the start of preschool today. It's going to be at my house every week since Katie tends to nap at 10, which is right when it starts. I'm happy that I won't have to pack the kids up to go to anyone else's house! I have the most kids at home during preschool, so I feel it's fair.

Without further ado, here are my favorite books of all time. They are mostly childhood books that I've read many times.

(No particular order either.)

Aristotle's Children: This was my favorite book from college that really changed how I think about religion and science. Because of it, I've never felt that there has to be division between the two. (I am one of those people who believes in evolution while still believing in God. :))

To Kill a Mockingbird: The messages in this book really speak to me. As a native Southerner, I also love the descriptions of day-to-day life.

The Book of Mormon: I've loved it since the first time I read it almost 20 years ago. It has a special place in this list since I have read it more than any of the other books.

Anne of Green Gables (series): I really related to Anne the first time I read about her. My middle name is Anne, and though I'm not a redhead, I do have a strong personality that gets me into trouble sometimes.

A Wrinkle in Time (series): The science fiction/religious and mysterious quality of L'engle's books really appealed to me as a 10-11-year-old. I read everything the library had of hers.

The Chronicles of Narnia (series) and other C.S. Lewis adult books: I love that C.S. Lewis wrote the children's series to teach about Christianity. Ever since reading the first book in 5th grade, I devoured the rest. I still love the stories because of their beautiful symbolism. And, they're just fun! His adult books that I've read are really thought-provoking.

The Little House series: I still find these books fascinating because of how they teach self reliance. It's an art that it slowly dying but one I'm trying to keep alive in my house. I love the idea of living off the land and making the best of everything even when resources are limited.

Harry Potter series: I know that many people love these, and I am no exception. I love the symbols of Christianity in the series, the magical world, and the characters. Really, there isn't much to dislike.

Matilda (and other Roald Dahl): I love Dahl's style of writing. His books are goofy, while still teaching good lessons. Matilda spoke to me because it told me that being smart is more than okay. I am still a nerd, but I'm not as embarrassed by it now. (Another favorite: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

The Secret Garden: I've always loved reading historical novels. My grandma gave me this book was I was 7 or 8. My first time reading it was magical. The mystery of the creepy house and uncle was just awesome.

I probably forgot some. A top 50 would probably cover it a little better, and that would be without giving each book in the series its own spot. Oh well. Bookworm woes.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Life with 3

It's been a while since I wrote about our day-to-day happenings. Every day is a little different, but now that Katie has a schedule for napping, we do similar things at similar times.

6:30 - 45 Kids wake up. Breakfast. Dad leaves for work around 7.

7:30 Finish eating, clean up the kitchen, prep for dinner. This is when I do all the chopping, making sauces, etc. Kids are always grumpy during normal dinner time!

8:00 Dress kids. Cleaning chores. I have 1-2 things I do each day, so I only spend 30 minutes on cleaning outside of the kitchen, which always needs cleaning. ;)

8:30 Work out. Nothing intense here, because I am simply too lazy. I use DVD's and do half an hour.

9:00 Practice piano. Read to the kids. Usually, someone is crying by the end of one of these...

9:45 - 10:00ish Katie goes down for a nap, so I shower and put a movie on for the kids. I also read my scriptures then.

10:30 - 12:00 Work on other chore for the day. This is something not related to cleaning, such as doing the finances, catching up on scrapbooking, blogging, or sewing. I have a big project I've been doing lately, so it takes up a lot of this time. If Katie's awake, then things shift to accommodate her. She doesn't play well with her brothers yet.

12:00 Lunch

12:30 - 1:00 Kenny goes down for a nap.

2:00 - 3:00 Katie goes down for a nap.

4:00 Kids wake up. During nap time, Joseph has quiet time with puzzles, library books, etc. I work on projects or relax with a book.

4:00-6:00 Dad comes home. Family goes out. Our favorite places are D.I., the library, and the park. If anyone has a doctor's appointment, it's usually at 4:00.

5:00-6:00 Dinner.

6:30 Clean up while Dad plays with the kids or reads book.

7:30-8:00 Kids go to bed after protests and demands for drinks of water.

8:00 - 10:30 Down time!

10:30 Tired Mom and Dad go to bed.

The big project is going well. I've scanned in photos for 4 of us so far and organized everything by year. So far, I think I've spent about 50 hours on it with many hours to go. It's a lot of fun to see old pictures of everyone, though, and I can't wait to start making photo books.