Monday, October 4, 2010

Gratitude Challenge (borrowed from Sharon Cole)

"We often take for granted the very people who most deserve our gratitude. Let us not wait until it's too late for us to express that express gratitude is gracious and honorable... to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."
~President Thomas S. Monson

There are 27 days left in October. Can you list 27 people in your life that you are grateful for?
I challenge you to express your gratitude to them. You do not have to blog about it.
You can call them, email them, text them, etc...just tell them you how much you appreciate them. 

So as to not complete rip off Sharon's post I won't talk about Bobby I'll talk about my mom.

If you have known me since I was a kid/teenager/young adult, you probably know that from the time I was about 15 until I was about 25 my mom and I could not hardly be in the same room together without biting each other's heads off...then something changed.  I'm not sure what it was, maybe my mom suddenly got smarter, maybe we finally learned each other's language...probably it has to do with the reasoning/thinking parts of the adolescent brain not being fully developed until the mid-twenties...which means I got smarter, but suddenly my mom knew more than ever before and I respected that.  My mom and I started hanging out together, we took a Love and Logic class together, we shopped together, we cooked together and we talked together.  She became my best friend when I wasn't even looking.

The next year, I would become reacquainted with and marry the love of my life and his career would take us away from my family.  I miss my mom every day that we are apart.  
She is an amazing woman.  A pillar of strength in our family.  She is a wonderful mother.  My perfect friend, the kind that loves me no matter what, and isn't afraid to call me out on my weaknesses in a loving way.  She is the kind of grandmother that every kid wants to have, the kind that is fast and loose with the cookies, loves to spoil with presents big and small, gets down on the ground to play, and disciplines with love when necessary.  I am grateful for her in my life and in the lives of my children.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fair Winds and Following Seas...

This morning Capt(Ret) Bradley Eugene Johanson was taken from this earth. His battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) began shortly after his retirement from the US Navy in 2008 and he succumbed to pneumonia and ALS today. Captain Johanson was the Commanding Officer of the USS John C. Stennis when Bobby reported to the ship in 2006 and performed Bobby's re-enlistment ceremony on the bridge of the USS John C Stennis is 2007 while the ship was on deployment in the Persian Gulf. I was lucky to serve as an ombudsman under Captain Johanson's leadership for twenty-two months.

Captain Johanson was a true leader, a man who believed in his mission and lead by example, he was honest with his sailors, he trusted them and they trusted him. He ended his 30 year career with the Navy after a very successful 2007 deployment with the USS John C Stennis, a deployment spent mostly in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Persian Gulf (the Stennis did not loose a single sailor during that deployment), and a docking planned incremental availability period which was completed EARLY and UNDER BUDGET in the early part of 2008, a pretty much unheard of feat in any government agency.

In a Navy where no less than fifteen CO's have been relieved of duty this year, many for inappropriate personal conduct, loss of confidence in the ability to command, or problems with their temperament and demeanor, Captain Johanson had been a ray of light in our Naval adventure. He was a man who was fair, honest, and judicious when he was put in a situation where it was necessary to discipline his sailors.  He believed in the good in people. Captain Johanson was an amazing sailor, he believed in the Navy, in their mission and purpose, and he worked hard to bring out the best in the sailors around him.

I knew Captain Johanson as a sweet natured man, one who always greeted us with a winning smile and a firm handshake and always left us with a hug when we met with him, whether that was on board the ship or in his home. Captain Johanson wanted to know that the families of his sailors were well taken care of, he wanted those families to have all of the information they could regarding the whereabouts and well being of their sailors and he was honest with his sailors and with their families, something I am finding is scarce in today's Navy leadership.  Under Captain Johanson's wing mediocre sailors became good sailors and good sailors became great sailors, his people wanted to be better for him (I am reminded of a quote from A Knight's Tale, when Prince Edward says to William Thatcher (speaking of his knightly qualities), "Your men love you.  If I knew nothing else about you that would be enough").  Captain Johanson's sailors loved him, if I knew nothing else about him, that would be enough.

Captain Johanson was married to an amazing woman, Junay, a woman he met in the Navy and who stood next to him, tall, proud, and an amazing example to all the spouses she mentored, throughout his Naval career.  She, too, believed in the job that her husband had to do, she cared about the sailors doing that job with him, and she was an amazing example to the spouses who were lucky enough to make her acquaintance.  Today is a sad day, indeed, and through my personal sadness, my prayers have been with his family, I hope that Junay is lifted up by the thoughts and prayers of all those who were lucky enough to know them.

The Navy is better for having employed him, the sailors who knew him are better for having known him, I am better for having had the wonderful opportunity to work with him.  Fair winds and following seas Captain Brad Johanson, you will be sorely missed.

I have made a donation in his memory to the MDA for ALS research, and you can too.

The Kitsap Sun article regarding Captain Johanson's passing, it includes information on the public services for Captain Johanson.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Picture Me This...

So, in another life, in a different me, when I was MUCH younger, I used to really enjoy photography. My mom was a wedding photographer for a while, I took some photography in high school, I even worked for Duke, a very well known studio in Phoenix, although I was not a photographer for them, I worked in sales, but I did get to learn a lot about photography there, the creative side, the technology, and the business side. I really enjoyed photography, and I was pretty good at it.

Now, fast, about 15 years, and I don't remember much of anything about photography, aperture? f-stop?, nope, don't remember what they do...I can still focus a camera and I remember some things about composition, but not much. I used to love to play with pictures in the darkroom, but photography now tends to mean mostly digital, which opens up a whole world of photo manipulating software, software that does the same types of things to pictures that I used to do in the darkroom, but requires a different sort of education.

Why all this talk of photography, you ask? Well, because with my impending birthday, my Sweetie bought me a new camera. A Cadillac of cameras if you ask me. A Nikon D90 with all the bells and whistles, two lenses and a flash. He probably thought he was just getting me a camera, you know, something to take pictures of Punk and Bug with. He knew he was getting an AWESOME camera, but I don't think he realized he also bought me a project! I have ordered a book specifically about my camera and some books on the ins and outs of digital photography, I'll need to read them all before I can do much more than take amazing snapshots with my camera. I'm even thinking about taking a digital photography class when I get to Phoenix. And when I finally figure out my camera, I will have to figure out our new age "darkroom", photo manipulation software, which will require purchasing software, more books and probably a class for that too.

Hopefully I'll have figured out this year's birthday present in time to photograph next years birthday celebrations!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day Twenty-Five - My Day in Detail

Good thing this topic landed on we actually DID something today.

Got up this morning, got Punk out of his crib and put him at the table with a bowl or yogurt and a "circle toast" (Eggo waffle), put "Yighting Keen" (Cars) on the TV, got Bug and nursed him, put Bug in the swing. Put a load of laundry from the washer into the dryer (a good Oxyclean soak does amazing things to small children's clothes), started a load of colors (so we would have something to wear. I took a shower then put this new product on my hair, got Bug out of the swing, got Punk out of his chair to let him play, moved the laundry. Got back in the shower to rinse out my hair, put part two of the product on my hair and then blowdried it. Put Punk in the shower, checked on Bug, then straight ironed my hair. Bobby got home. Dressed Punk, dressed Bug, dressed me. Left for the Naval Hospital. (Oh, FYI the hair product worked okay so far).

Got to the hospital, parked, went up to the seventh floor. Checked Punk in. Waited in the waiting room to be called (pleasantly surprised that they now have a well baby waiting room at the hospital) while I filled out the.longest.survey.ever about my big kid's development. We were called, Punk was weighed and measured (26lbs, 2'11.75", 24th percentile for weight, 78th percentile for height). Doctor came in, checked Punk out, talked to us about his development, declared him practically perfect (apparently I need to work on his fine motor skills, we've never had him stack blocks or string macaroni and these are apparently important developmental tasks, who knew?).

Went down to the second floor, checked Bug in for his well baby appointment, checked Punk and me into immunizations. Punk got his MMR shot, I got a Tdap (pertussis [whooping cough] booster).

Were called back for Bug's appointment. Bug was weighed and measured (10lbs 13oz, 22", again, tall and thin). Doctor came in and checked him out, he's perfect.

Back to immunizations for Bug's turn. The second he got the first shot he turned red and screamed forgetting to breathe (no worries, I'm a mean mommy and blew in his face to make the breathing resume). Nursed Bug in the waiting room while we waited out the required 10 minutes post shots.

Visit to the Naval Hospital, two well baby appointments and six immunizations between three people, about 3 hours.

Back out to the car, and back home...

Punk was asleep when we got home and is exhausted, but still up because we are going for an early bedtime tonight rather than dealing with the aftermath of a late nap. Bug is a miserable little monster, so he got his first Tylenol and is FINALLY sleeping in the swing as I type.

Oh, we ordered Papa Johns for dinner (because Bobby said, "It's been a long day for us all, let's order pizza so you don't have to make dinner").

Tonight is the premier of Biggest Loser (which I will probably watch from my couch with chocolate ice cream), and (not the premier of) Parenthood. Should be a nice relaxing evening from here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day Twenty-Four - Where I Live

Well...vaguely here...

View Larger Map

Bremerton, Washington...for now.

Interesting facts about Bremerton, WA:

Sir Mix A Lot (of Baby Got Back fame) sings a song about the special class of women here in Bremerton occasionally referred to as Bremelos.

MXPX (a punk indy rock group from Bremerton who had some sucesses a couple of years ago) sings a song called "Move to Bremerton"

There are four "mothballed" aircraft carriers here at Naval Base Kitsap's a very strange sight to see them all parked together and eerily empty...I don't have a picture though...hmmm...I should take one before we leave.

Bremerton is a small town with BIG Navy influences. When the carrier that is stationed here is gone the traffic is lighter and there are a lot more women alone in WalMart at two in the morning (huh, Rachel?).

I haven't always loved living here (and as such have spent much of our time here in Phoenix when the ship is gone), but if I'm honest, it is a beautiful place. The people in the Manette Ward (the ward we attend) are amazing people and have had an amazing influence on my life (and I'd be willing to bet they have NO IDEA the influence they have had), and if we found ourselves here again...that would be okay.

Day Twenty-Three - A YouTube Video

Some of you know that my Jetta likes trouble...this YouTube video is a bit of trouble my Jetta (okay, it's now Ryan's Jetta) narrowly avoided in my driveway while I was in Massachusetts visiting the BFF in August of 2007. That is Jackson's (he's a friend of Duane's) car in flames, the Jetta suffered only some soot marks and one flat tire from the incident.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day Twenty-Two - A Website

Do you know etsy? It is an awesome online marketplace (kinda like ebay) for handmade and vintage items.

They have an AWESOME variety of stuff from different crafters/sellers, and if YOU are crafty it is an awesome place to get ideas and to purchase patterns.

I purchased my awesome placemats there, I have also purchased diaper covers, baby wraps, tag blankies, and even hot chocolate!

Thanks to my BFF Rachel, I have spent a lot of time looking at the huge assortment of felt food that can be found on etsy lately. This stuff is SO freaking cute and a lot of the pieces are stuff that would be super easy to replicate (and there are a bunch of patterns for sell to make the stuff yourself too)!

And I can't even wait to place my first order for matching infant/toddler ties from this seller...I just can't decide which one(s) I like best (and Bobby would probably kill me if I bought them all). How freaking cute are my Punk and Bug going to look in those?!?

If you don't know etsy you should definitely get acquainted!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day Twenty-One - A Recipe

My friend Ashley posted about an Eclair Cake that she made here, and while her cake certainly looks good, it made me think of one of my favorite desserts that I make (and since I knew this topic was creeping up, I thought I would share it here), it is a Cream Puff Cake that can easily be turned into an amazing Eclair Cake (I've done it before by adding a layer of chocolate fudge sauce between the pudding mix and the whipped cream topping).

The Cream Puff Cake is one of my favorites because it is SO good AND it is easily adaptable to different people's tastes AND it is easily adaptable for diabetics (so it can be Pops and Grandpa friendly and still taste good enough to be served to a crowd). The basic recipe is:

1 cup water
½ cup butter
1 cup sifted flour
4 eggs
3 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. cream cheese
3 ½ cups milk
1 tub Cool Whip

Heat water and butter to a rolling boil. Add in flour all at once, stir vigorously over low heat until mixture leaves the pan and forms a ball (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and let set for 10 minutes.

Beat eggs in thoroughly one at a time. Beat until mixture is smooth and velvety. Pour mixture into a 13x9x2 glass baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let cool (when this bakes it rises high and gets puffy, it will settle as it cools).

Combine pudding, softened cream cheese and milk (this works best if you whip the room temperature cream cheese and add the milk in SUPER slowly making sure it is incorporated without clumping then add the pudding). Pour over the crust in the dish. Top with Cool Whip and garnish with grated chocolate or bananas.

* Don’t be afraid to mix this one up, use different pudding/fruit/chocolate mixtures to make it your own!

To make this recipe diabetic friendly use sugar free pudding, and use Cool Whip Free, Cool Whip Lite, or Cool Whip Sugar Free.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day Twenty - A Hobby

As totally old lady as it sounds (of course...the older I get the less weird it gets I guess), I love to cross stitch. I love to take a blank piece of cloth, spend a few days putting some stitches in it and have a beautiful picture come out on the other side, and I love to give the pieces I make away...which means that the most complex and most beautiful things I have ever done belong to other people. I have always loved to cross stitch, when I was in my late teens and early twenties I carried a cross stitch project with me pretty much everywhere I went (it wasn't uncommon to find me sitting in the corner at a party stitching) that I have children it is much more difficult to get time to play with needles and thread...but I still try to get some cross stitch time in occasionally.

Day Nineteen - A Talent

Ummm...I have no talent!

Okay, that might not be completely true, but I don't really have any of the "normal" talents that you think of when you think of "talents".

I'm not a great chanteuse, I don't have a green thumb (more like gray), I don't play any musical instruments, and, while I can dance, I'm not an excellent dancer or anything. I'm a pretty good cook. I am a pretty decent friend. I'm the best sister my brothers will ever have. My husband says I'm a good wife, and I keep three people alive everyday (Bobby's on his own). So, while I don't have the "normal" talents, I'll take the ones I have and keep trying to improve on them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day Eighteen - My Wedding

I don't know exactly what this wants me to talk about but I'll tell you how it went (since you probably weren't one of the 20ish people who were there)...

Bobby and I were engaged for 17 days and were married on August 6, 2005. That morning I got up, a friend of mine came over and did my hair, I did my makeup...about 11:30 or so Bobby showed up at my mom's house (looking spectacular in his blues), I put my beautiful off white babydoll floor length dress on, my mom took some pictures of the two of us (yes *gasp* BEFORE our wedding). Then me and Bobby jumped in his car and went to the church where we set up the chairs in the Relief Society Room for the ceremony. People got to the church about 2, we started the ceremony soon after. Elizabeth Sheffer played the piano for the wedding (she played our song, "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts), and Bishop Doug Cole officiated at the wedding. Our vows were based on The Family: A Proclamation to the World, they were appropriate, they were simple, they were true, and they were short...our ceremony lasted eleven minutes, it was perfect. We signed the marriage certificate, our fathers were our witnesses and we were married, for time.

Last year, on November 21, 2009, I woke up in the morning, I did my hair and makeup, I put on a black skirt with purple flowers and a black shirt, dressed my Punk in his Sunday best and straightened Bobby's tie, we got in the car and drove to the LDS Temple in Mesa, Arizona. We went in and changed into white clothes. Then we went to the sealing room, Bobby and I were sealed as husband and wife, we had friends and family there with us, again, words from The Family: A Proclamation to the World were referenced, then Punk came in and was sealed to us as well...that day we became a family, for eternity.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day Seventeen - A Piece of Art

I have a favorite painting, it's called "Something More Than Color" it looks like this:

It was done by my cousin, Eric Hudspeth, who is an amazing artist (check out other paintings, sketches, and sculptures on his website) and the original hangs in my grandparent's home in MO. I hope to someday find a way to get my hands on it, but if I don't end up with it, that will be okay too, I'll make due with the digital replica saved on my computer.

Day Sixteen - A Song That Makes You Cry (or Almost)

I thought this was fitting for today (and it still makes me teary to this day, it used to make me sob)...

Nine years ago today our world changed...and in a lot of ways that is too bad, because any negative change spurred on by the catalyst of that day is a victory for the enemy. Because I never want the enemy to be buoyed up by a change I make, I try to make sure that the changes in my life spurred on by the tragedies of September 11, 2001 are only positive ones.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day Fifteen - My Dream House

In light of the fact that we just put our first home on the market, this seems fitting.

It's funny, this house isn't perfect, we need more than one bathroom, we need at least one more bedroom, I hate my "hallway kitchen", and there is pretty much no's the first home Bobby and I owned together. We have spent most of our marriage (at least the parts of our marriage when he was home) here in this house, we made two babies here, and we brought them home from the hospital to THIS home, and the fact is that I'll miss living here in this place that has so many wonderful memories for our family.

Someday, though, I hope that we will have our dream home. In Phoenix, near our families, with more than one bathroom, at least four bedrooms, a huge kitchen open to the living area, plenty of storage, and a large yard. More than what the house looks like I hope that it is a place that our boys LOVE to be, a place they can bring their friends and that everyone feels comfortable. I hope that when we move into that house, the one that will be our last, that we have made the decisions that allow us to enjoy the home and each other with minimal stressors from the world for the rest of our lives.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day Fourteen - A Non-Fiction Book

I talked all about it here.

Day Thirteen - A Fiction Book

I'd be remiss if I didn't go with Ender's Game, after all, my brand new nephew is named after the title character (yep, Ender Scott H.).

It's a FABULOUS sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card in which children are trained as soldiers in the event of a repeat alien attack. It's sci-fi for people who HATE sci-fi. If you haven't read it you should pick it up (you can pretty much find it at every used book store on the planet, or you can borrow one of the 5-10 copies my parents always have), you'll love it, everyone does.

Day Twelve - Something You are OCD About

I'm not really OCD about anything...really. I am particular about how my children are dressed when they leave the house...but even with that, I let Bobby take Punk to the store yesterday in his pajamas because we put on pajamas early and Bobby had an errand to run and I needed the break that him taking Punk would even that, which is probably the thing I'm the most particular about, is something that can have exceptions I don't mind.

Day Eleven - A Recent Photo of You

Okay, well, it's almost a year old, but this is the most recent decent picture of me (we took these last October).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day Ten - A Photo of Me Taken Over Ten Years Ago

I thought I was fat then...I was so wrong. This was taken at the Renaissance Festival in Arizona. I'm pretty sure that Dan Phoenix took the picture and those two lovely ladies with me are Zoƫ Chandler and Andrea Matthews. You would never catch me in a getup like that now!

Day Nine - A Photo I Took

Punk, with his first real illness (a cold), my mom was holding him comforting him and you can see his sad little runny nose.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day Eight - My Testimony

Day eight is supposed to be a picture that makes me sad/angry, I'm not in the kind of mood where it is a good idea to focus on anything that makes me sad or angry, I am instead really trying to focus on things that make me happy or inspire me...

Yesterday we learned about Job in Sunday School. I missed the first half of the lesson because I was nursing Bug, but I learned something I didn't know before when I finally did get to join the lesson.

We often focus on all the bad things that happened to Job, acting as if those things all happened to him in a week. While we don't know exactly how much time passed between the bad things that happened to Job, we do know that Job lived to be 140 years old and that all of the bad things happened to him in his first 70 years of life. It is possible (probable in fact) that all of the bad things that happened to Job were scattered through his first 70 years. We all have bad things that happen to us throughout our lives, we loose family members, we deal with confusion, we suffer losses of jobs, we deal with people who mock us, we all go through the same things that Job did, and while those things might not happen to us all in a week, we will probably face most of the same trials that Job did in our first 70 years of life. Through all of his trials, Job still managed this proclamation of testimony "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God:..." (Job 19:25-26).

As I face trials, some so large that I feel as though I will never overcome them, I will be remembering Job and his testimony and I will hold onto my testimony; That I know that my Redeemer lives, I know that he knows me, I know that he already suffered all the pains and discomforts that I sometimes feel overwhelmed by and that when I lean on him, when I apply the healing power of the atonement in my life I can let go of the pain and discomfort, my trials can seem light to me because of the strength of the Lord. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the same gospel, the same teachings, that Jesus Christ himself put into place when he walked the earth in his mortal body. I know that the priesthood we have access to in the Church is the same priesthood by which Jesus and his apostles performed the miracles of old, and I know that that priesthood power to perform miracles exists on the earth today. I know that we have a prophet on the earth today who presides over the church in righteousness and that by following the teachings of the prophet and the gospel of the church we can draw close to the Lord. I know that the Book of Mormon is true scripture, that the prophets who wrote the Book of Mormon saw our day and that the instruction given is specifically for us, I know that Jesus Christ appeared to the ancient Americans, he loved them and wanted them to know him, I know he loves me and wants me to know him as well. I know that I can be made whole in Christ, if I can just remember to lean on him and trust in him, if I can just remember the example of Job. I seal my testimony, in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day Seven - A Photo That Makes Me Happy

I'm risking redundancy, but here it is, this is the first picture ever taken of my two boys together. When Punk looked at Bug you could SEE in his eyes the look of "It's about time, brother, I've been waiting for you".

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day Six - 20 Of My Favorite Things

One: Bobby

Two and Three: Punk and Bug

Four: Ryan

Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten and Eleven: Mom, Dad, Grandpa Carl, Grandma Bessie, Duane, April and Calla

Twelve: Ender

Thirteen: The Soares

Fourteen: Chocolate Ice Cream

Fifteen: Phineas and Ferb

Sixteen: Food Competition Shows

Seventeen: Ronald Reagan (we'll add political conservatism in here too)

Eighteen: Good Music (i.e., but not limited to): Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty
...and a million more, I don't have time or desire to list right now.

Nineteen: Old Disney Movies (i.e., but not limited to):

Twenty: And, though there is no picture for it, every single minute I get to spend with my family. As a Navy wife those minutes seem to be very few and far between and I am learning to be more proactive in savoring them when they come.

Day Five - Favorite Quote

"We are up against people with absolutely no conscience, no regard for life - people with an entirely different vision of the future than the one we embrace. They are not just our enemies, but the enemies of all who cherish freedom and liberty. Theirs is a small world, let by small-minded men."

~Admiral Mike Mullen (Currently Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but said when he was CNO of the United States Navy)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

Moms: Take a minute, watch this video, and remember even when it is all so overwhelming that you are doing a sacred eternal work and you are never alone in your endeavors.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day Four - Favorite Book

I love to read, unfortunately with two small children I don't get to do much of really any at all. Luckily I did a lot of reading pre-babies.

My favorite book as an adult, one I read regularly, is "How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life" by Peter Robinson. Mr. Robinson was a speech writer for Reagan and gives amazing insight into the Reagan years. I am struck often that the influence that President Reagan had on me, through his presidency and his public persona, is not really that different from the influence that President Reagan had on Mr. Robinson who knew him personally. That, to me, speaks to President Reagan's ability to be genuine in his public persona. When we lost President Reagan, I mourned, when I read Mr. Robinson's words regarding President Reagan, I rejoice in knowing that we were blessed to have Ronald Reagan as a part of our history and that so many of us were able to be shaped by his influence.

As a child my favorite book was "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton. I could read it in just a couple of hours and I read it at least once a year from the time I was about 10 until I was probably about 22...I should find a copy of it...I think I could get through it during a good nap from the boys...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day Three - Favorite TV Program

This is a super hard one for me. If you know me, you know I love just about everything cooking competition...that means that I am currently DVRing Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen (season just ended), Master Chef, and Next Food Network Star, I also try to catch Chopped regularly.

My love of food means that I also watch Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives on a regular basis and I try to eat at the restaurants featured on the show whenever possible.

One of my favorite shows of all time was the short lived Firefly. The series was masterfully written by Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame) and artfully acted by an amazing cast headed by Nathan Fillion.

Nathan Fillion is currently in an amazing crime drama called Castle (so well written you would think Joss Whedon had a hand in writing the dialogue), you will also find it in my DVR list (crime drama's were HUGE on my list of favorite TV until I had children).

Probably my favorite thing on TV right now is actually found on the Disney Channel. Phineas and Ferb is an animated masterpiece showcasing two step brothers in their quest to have "the best day ever" and to fill the "104 days of summer vacation" while their sister Candace tries to bust them and their pet platypus Perry runs off to fight the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz as his alter ego Agent P. Sounds totally hokey right? Well, it is, in the most endearing way! The show is well written, appropriate for children and still peppered with great jokes that only the parents will really get and new catchy tunes every episode (when my phone rings you will hear either Squirrels in my Pants or Little Brothers and there is a whole library of other musical gems). The characters are endearing, from the silent Perry, to the verbose Candace, and from the mostly silent Ferb (a very "Silent Bob" type of character), to the lovable and incredibly intelligent Phineas. I think there is something for everyone in Phineas and Ferb, it's a totally enjoyable experience from two to ninety-two!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day Two - Favorite Movie

Favorite movie of all time? Gotta go with "With Honors". It was released in 1994 while I was in high school. I saw it at Scottsdale Fashion Square with Monica Randall-Esteve and Sarah Christian. We were in the International Baccalaureate program and everyone I knew spent a good deal of time worrying about graduating with honors. I saw a lot of myself in Monty Kessler.

It's funny how much I have changed and how much my outlook on life has changed in these past 16 years. I finished the International Baccalaureate program, I have that diploma someplace...but I never graduated from college, heck, I hardly attended college when I was there (thus the never graduating). I never had a great career, I never cured a disease, and I haven't run for office (probably never will). My life didn't take the path I planned even a little bit.

All of that said, I am a wife and a mother. I have the most amazing husband, a man who loves me, who loves the Lord and who loves our children. He works hard so that I can stay at home and raise our children and he supports me in all that I do...he believes in me and my abilities and potential more than I do most of the time. I have been blessed with two beautiful little boys. Punk is smart, caring, and has a wonderful sweetness about him, he learns something new everyday and it is such a joy to be his mother. Bug is such a good baby and I am so looking forward to being there as he grows and we get to learn his personality. I may never do anything the world would consider significant, but I know that if I work to be a good wife and to raise smart, responsible, loving children, I will graduate this life with honors for eternity.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day One - Favorite Song

I have a lot of favorite songs. I've got songs that make me happy because they bring back memories, I've got songs that make me happy because my son sings them, songs that remind me of my family, songs that just make me want to jump around and dance, and songs that inspire me. On my wall in my home I have quotes, one of those quotes is the chorus from this song:

This song, "Dream Big" by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband, does several things for me, it brings back memories (the first time I saw Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband was when I was attending college in Provo, UT) but most importantly this song inspires me and reminds me that my dreams CAN come true, a lesson I am trying to teach not only to myself but my two growing sons as well. I hope they always feel like they live in a home in a place where they can "Dream Big" and that their dreams can and will come true with the help of their parents and the Lord.

Special Recognition in the "Favorite Song" category has to go to my favorite hymn, "How Firm a Foundation" (which is hymn number 85 in the LDS Hymnal). "How Firm a Foundation" speaks directly to me and to my family situation, and reminds me that the Lord is with us no matter where we are and He will buoy us up in any time, place, or situation we may find ourselves in as long as we have faith and lean on Him.

Stolen Blog Journal Ideas from Kenna...

So, I totally stole this stuff from Kenna, but I am really trying to blog more and I think that this will help motivate maybe there will be something new here to read about me and mine everyday for the next 30 or so's worth a shot! THANKS KENNA!

Day 1 – your favorite song
Day 2 – your favorite movie
Day 3 – your favorite television program
Day 4 – your favorite book
Day 5 – your favorite quote
Day 6 – 20 of my favorite things
Day 7 – a photo that makes you happy
Day 8 – a photo that makes you angry/sad (decided against this post and went with a post including my testimony instead)
Day 9 – a photo you took
Day 10 – a photo taken over 10 years ago of you
Day 11 – a photo of you recently
Day 12 – something you are OCD about
Day 13 – a fictional book
Day 14 – a non-fictional book
Day 15 – your dream house
Day 16 – a song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 – an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)
Day 18 – my wedding/future wedding/past wedding
Day 19 – a talent of yours
Day 20 – a hobby of yours
Day 21 – a recipe
Day 22 – a website
Day 23 – a youtube video
Day 24 – where I live
Day 25 – your day, in great detail
Day 26 – your week, in great detail
Day 27 – my worst habit
Day 28 – whats in my handbag/purse
Day 29 – hopes,dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 – a dream for the future

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back in Bremerton - A Grocery Question

We are back in Bremerton after an amazing trip to Phoenix to greet Ryan as he returned home from his mission to Bolivia. I've got to go grocery shopping...after 10 days of being gone it seems like I'm pretty well "starting over" with the grocery situation, what are your grocery shopping "staples"?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Things I Want - Edited 8/9/10

In no particular order and for no particular reason...

This headache to pass. It did.

The Baby Jogger City Select. Decided against it for right now (but might change my mind later).

Someone to tell what the best decision for our family is going to be for the next two years of our lives, so I don't have to have mommy/wife guilt about whatever decision we make. That is what prayer is, we keep praying.

A time machine, to tell the 2005 me that buying a house right then is a VERY bad idea... Still wish I could have done this, but will make it through okay anyhow.

More of these...there are never enough. I have 19...I'm probably good for now (besides, they don't make many more than I have in boy/neutrals).

A Ford Flex. Again, decided against it for now, but reserve the right to roll up in one in a couple of years.

A new baby that sleeps...I know, pipe dream. He's actually not a bad the swing.

New clothes (preferably without having to shop for them). I picked up a few things to get me through until I can fit into my pre-pregnancy stuff, but still get me out of maternity clothes and I feel better now.

An aircraft carrier stationed in Phoenix (no more far fetched than a sleeping newborn, I suppose). Really, just a pipe dream.

An In&Out Burger, Filibertos, Cucina Tagliani, Chick-Fil-A, and a Cool Cuts for Kids in Kitsap county. But then what would I do when I visit Phoenix?

More friends who live within 500 miles. I have good friends in WA, I should probably spend more time appreciating them and less time lamenting the distance between here and Phoenix...besides, the distance shrinks with Facebook, blogging, email, Skype and phones...I really shouldn't complain.

Okay, I think I'm done whining for today...maybe.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our New Addition

On July 4, 2010 at 5:52a.m. our new addition, Alexander (Xander) Carl, joined our family. Bug weighed in at 7lbs 14oz and 19" long (almost two pounds smaller than Punk!, Bug is our "peanut").

Punk is a happy, excited, loving brother. Here are the first pictures of the boys together.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

AZ SB1070

I'm sure you've heard the hoopla, I'll bet you even have an opinion, my question is: Have you actually read the bill?

Have you read it?

If you haven't read it and would like to have, not just an opinion but an informed one, you can find it here and it's really not very long...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sling Recall...

You have probably seen this information regarding the Infantino Sling Recall.

If you know me you know that I am a babywearer. I think it is a great way to get more done, keep baby close and to get more exercise (after all, walking with a 10-20lbs weight on your front has to be better than walking without it). I am glad that Infantino has recalled their "bag carrier" and I wish that more companies would recall theirs as well. The truth is that MANY commercial carriers do not allow you to carry your baby in a proper safe position.

Lots of well meaning people have been running up to babywearers and letting them know that their carriers are unsafe (in all cases I have heard of this has been with people wearing their babies in ring slings, mei tais and wraps which are not unsafe). I found this information posted online that explains WHY bag carriers are inherently unsafe, please be nice to your babywearing friends the odds are that they already knew bag carriers are unsafe and would never use one. Their carriers are probably very different and hold the baby in a totally different and safe position. But, by all means, if you know someone who has the Infantino or another bag carrier, pass along this information to let them know that their carrier is potentially VERY unsafe.

Babywearing is near and dear to me, I want all of my friends to wear safely because I want all babies to BE safe.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Okay, Navy bases still require that vehicles have DoD tags in order to be driven on base...fine, stupid, but fine (Air Force Bases no longer require this and it's a stupid thing to require, I mean they require that the driver have military ID, do we authorize PEOPLE to have access to Navy bases or to be authorize vehicles, but I digress). If you are driving your vehicle you have to take your registration, insurance and driver's license in to get a DoD tag, if you are driving a rental they only need the rental agreement and your driver's license, if you are driving a borrowed vehicle (as I will be when I go to San Diego next week) they need some mysterious form, no one seems to be able to give me the number of the form so that I can try to find it online, so I call the phone number on the Naval Base Coronado website for Pass and goes straight to voicemail for the supervisor (what are the odds that guy is really going to call me back), so I call the general information line...they give me a number for pass and decal, that number is not pass and decal BUT they know what I'm talking about, they give me a number for pass and decal, no one answers that number the first 10 times I call it (and there is no voicemail) when I finally get someone they are NOT pass and decal either and they have NO IDEA what I am talking about (in fact they tell me that I cannot get a temporary pass for ANY vehicle unless I am the military member, even though I am a dependent with a valid ID, but whatever) she does give me ANOTHER FREAKING NUMBER for pass and decal...which I call and I get a guy who knows what I'm talking about and has access to the form but acts like I am asking for him to email me his arm when I ask him to fax me the form so I can get it filled out and notarized before I get there...hopefully he faxed it (it's going to my mom's work and I don't have any idea if he actually got it to her yet or not)...ETA: The form was actually received by my mom...yay.

I swear, if I get to San Diego and they give me a hard time about getting a pass for the stupid truck after all the crap I went through to get their stupid form (why isn't this form just available on the website???) I am probably going to loose any semblance of cool I ever had and get banned from Navy bases forever...

Oh, and in case you ever need to talk to an actual person at Naval Base Coronado Pass and yourself the telephone runaround and call them here: 619-545-7413!

Friday, January 15, 2010

An Answer to Prayer

So, we had a big difficult wonderful change happen in our family this week...Sirius has found a new home! I know there are plenty of people who think that rehoming a dog FOR ANY REASON is just evil, but with the amount of travel that we have been doing the past year and half and how little time we have for Sirius even when we are home we decided last July it was time to start to look for a new home for our "little" Sirius. I have been scanning craigslist pets wanted adds, checking into programs through our vet, local rescues and even the humane society through which we originally adopted Sirius...I just haven't been able to find the perfect fit for Sirius until this week.

This week I got an email from Troy. A longtime dog owner who recently got out of the Navy and was looking for a large breed adult dog to be his first pet since he got out of the Navy. He is single, lives on 4.5 acres in a house that he rents from his parents (also dog owners), he was looking for a dog to take on hikes and runs with him and to spoil rotten. Troy and I "talked" via email for a couple of days, he told me about himself, I told him about us and Sirius and we agreed to have Bobby go out and check out Troy's place and bring Sirius along for an introduction. The introduction went well, Bobby showed Tory all of Sirius' commands and Sirius sniffed out Troy's house and helped himself to a spot on the lawn. Troy LOVED Sirius and Sirius loved Troy. It went so well that they decided to do a one night trial run and see how things went. The next day I got an email from Troy where he sang Sirius' praises ("he is such a lovable good dog!"). That day Bobby also got a call saying Troy would love to keep Sirius and asking if Bobby could bring over Sirius' toys. Bobby got all of Sirius' toys, food and treats together and took them over to Troy. The first thing Troy said to Bobby when he got there was "So, Sirius snores," Bobby said, "Oh, yeah?", to which Troy replied, "Yeah, he slept in the bed with me last night". Troy is loving having Sirius, we are loving knowing that Sirius is in a happy loving home with someone who has all the time and energy that Sirius needs.

Bobby will take Sirius' igloo and inside bed over to Troy on Sunday and Troy is happy to have us check in with Sirius via email every month or so. It's just been such an answer to our prayers and I am so glad to say that I think this placement is going to be an exception to all of those that say rehoming NEVER works...

Thank you so much Troy!