Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I'm doing better--thanks for the encouraging words!

The kitchen is clean, the living room is passable, you can w
alk in the boys' room without tripping and impaling yourself on some random toy, you can't smell the bathroom from the other end of the house, my room is recognizable, and you can safely eat off the table without contracting salmonella. So it is apparent that I'm doing better! (The house seems to be a reflection of my mood. Clean: well-adjusted. Dirty: cranky.) This week promises to fly by with our ward's Trunk-or-Treat tonight, FRG to-do's tomorrow and Thursday, Halloween activities galore on Friday, fun stuff with friends on Saturday, and the pure exhaustion of nursery on Sunday. Busy is good. Clean house + busy = handling this well.

Savanna has started to enjoy the use of her bedroom door. Several times a day, she goes into her room, shuts the door behind her, and plays in solitary happiness for sometimes quite a while. She also loves to open the door and call, "Reee! Ree!" or come out to say to me, "Hiiii!! Hah-you?" then run back into her room and close the door. When I put her in her carseat, she says her version of "sit", which is usually "tist". When anyone in the house is sad or upset, she comes over, puts her hand on your shoulder or head, puts her head to the side sympathetically and smiles, saying with unbeatable sweetness, "Hi! Hah-you?"

Jaxon is going through a ridiculous amount of diapers -OR- hardly any at all, due to his preferred mostly-liquid diet of late. I can hardly get him to eat ANYTHING. He doesn't even want to eat his usual favorites, save for maybe two bites. Sometimes, once I get him to try a bite (by prying open his lips and putting a bite in there....it's not as barbaric as it sounds....), he'll actually eat whatever I gave him. But he's just not hungry. Because he is uninterested in eating, his...ahem...bodily functions have caused him some difficulty (straining) or shock (oh my, the diaper is full). (See why I get near to tears when he just will not eat his dinner, no matter what?) He actually informs me of what he is doing. We've asked him if he wants to use the toilet, which usually illicits panicked shrieking, so we're not pushing it. I did ask him yesterday, though, and he said, "No. I need a lid." He's scared he'll fall in. I don't blame him. His butt covers about one twentieth of the seat. I think he might eat better when Phill comes home. It seemed to start when Phill left.

Lately I'm considering homeschooling Reed. But not out of any noble feelings--rather, out of frustration over my own little failures as a mom, because I feel like I don't spend enough time teaching him. I do notice that my concentrated moments with him, doing sight words or reviewing letters' sounds and names, or reading a book together, seem to do more for him than his hours at public school. But he likes school now, I think I can conclude! He is constantly talking about a particular little girl there, which makes me smile. He is learning a lot--including the use of the term "like". "Mom, today school was, like, so short. The day went so fast." ?! It's so funny/weird to hear a 5-year-old talking like that! I know my words are littered with "like", but not nearly as much as they used to be....anyhow, it's mostly funny.

I'm still on track with my exercising, which is a miracle to be able to say! Over two months! My pants aren't fitting as tightly, and for the first time in my life, I've lost weight in a healthy way. In the past I always exercised too much or ate too little or did both, which is symptomatic of what I struggle with. But this is the first time that I have maintained a (sometimes precarious) balance with my efforts! I attribute it to making my scripture study more of a priority. Something about being in line gospel-wise is keeping me in line self-esteem-wise. Go figure. :) I've lost about eight pounds. Yay!

Lastly, of course not leastly: The reward for Best Neighbor of the Year 2008 (which went to Camilla Davies in 2005 AND 2006, Andrea Frisby in 2007) goes to Sarah Reber!! (For her incredible work in the field of Helping Rae Stay Sane While Phill Is Gone, the expert study of Being Ready to Babysit at the Drop of a Hat, and great accomplishment in the art of Friendship.)

This just in: Jaxon spotted holding Savanna's hands and pulling her belly-down through the tile hallway. She is smiling.

Also just in: Reed is telling me that at school today they practiced what to do in case "a angry person" were in the school and they needed to hide. Feeling a tad sick and thinking how rosy-glowing home-schooling sounds right now.

Anyway, I should go change the diapers on Jaxon and Savanna's cute booties. You'd think the two coordinate their stink-schedules.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Waa, waa, waa.....just some good old boo-hooing!

I feel like having survived Phill's deployments should make me an expert at Waiting It Out Patiently and Cheerfully 101. But guess what? When he's gone these days (usually for drill or for some Army schooling), it's still not easy! I still feel so much less cheerful, so far from my usual self, so stressed, frazzled, moody, introverted and hermit-like. And cranky.

I wake up and tell myself, "Today is a good day! You can do it! Today will be fun!" and sometimes I genuinely believe it for the first few hours. But there's always at least one moment in each day when I find myself feeling like I just miss him and nothing really distracts me from it for a little bit. Sometimes it's when the children are doing something cute, hilarious, sweet, or all three--that's actually worse than when I'm feeling like I'm going to simply curl up in a ball on the floor if I'm interrupted for the sixtieth time while in the bathroom for pete's sake....pee's sake, actually (couldn't resist).

Saturdays are the worst without Phill. The entire day stretches before me, impossibly long and empty, while I wallow in self-pity and have nothing with which to fill the blank canvas that is A Saturday Without Phill. Today I told myself, "I'm going to wake up and work out and shower and clean the house and then go to the store and then take all of us to the park and then rent a movie and then marvel at how I didn't feel crazy all day when I put the sweet babies to bed and discover that they drift off in only minutes...." .....okay, so my expectations were hilariously high today. But I didn't even do a minimally good job! I did NOT clean. I stayed in my pajamas until 2:00. THEN I worked out (10 points) and showered (5 points). Then around 5:00 we finally went to the store and rented a movie. And when I came home and cooked dinner I realized that it was too dark for the park and too late for a movie after dinner
(big surprise, Lazybones). And also that my sweet little lovelies (who as it turns out were a little more on the sour side today--my grey mood was catching) all have runny noses and groggy voices and sore throats. As do I.

Oh, well. See? That's really all I can say! Oh, well, get up and get moving.....rest a little and then move forward. Start again tomorrow. Only 2 weeks left. Now I've spent far too much time griping--in fact, internally griping the whole day. I'm going to get up....and instead of finishing my movie....I'm going to go to the kitchen and clean the dried milk off the floor (I know that's so disgusting. I know it. My cheeks are burning in shame.), wipe off the chili-crusted table, pick up the toys from the living room for the splajillionth time, and maybe, just maybe, I will do a load of laundry while all of that is happening. Ah. No more griping for me while there's work to be done.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Run for your lives!

Reed dictated a sentence for me to write, after trying to write it himself and getting about 60% of the letters involved in maybe 30% correct order (I was impressed!). So I wrote him the sentence, and after laughing uproariously, he drew an illustration to accompany it.
It's a ghost. A voraciously hungry ghost, I think we can conclude. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just because....

Happy-makers: An abbreviated list of things that bring me joy

In no particular order
1. Good health

2. A great book

3. Laughter (good, hearty laughter, the kind that makes tears roll down my cheeks)

4. Lists
5. A clean house

6. My kids laughing
7. A ream of computer paper
8. Pilot pens
9. When Phill offers to get things down from the high shelves in the kitchen cabinets for me
10. When Reed doubles back from a dead-sprint to school, just for a hug
11. When Jaxon tells me he picked up a piece of trash off the ground-"Mom, I found this on the world. I picked it up off the world."
12. When Savanna pats Jaxon on the head as he naps on the couch and says "Baby....Baby..."
13. Sitting on the loveseat with a good book, some good chocolate, and a cup of ice water.
14. Going pee in peace.
15. When I come home to Phill, the kids, and a cleaned-by-Phill house after being gone at a freezing-cold yard sale that yielded not enough money for all the work involved. (true story last Saturday)
16. Seasonal movies (just the good ones, though)
17. Cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie or show with Phill
18. Phone calls from family
19. Getting back in touch with long-lost friends
20. Lunch with a friend
21. A good haircut
22. My kids getting good haircuts (for cheap? even better)
23. Weird/cool finds at yard sales or thrift stores
24. The Farmer's Market in Ancestor Square
25. Frei's Fruit Market in Santa Clara
26. Main Street in Santa Clara
27. Historical sites
28. Phill acting silly just to make me laugh
29. Making my friends laugh
30. Making my kids laugh
31. Sleeping in
32. Waking up early and accomplishing a lot before noon
33. Libraries
34. Bookstores in general, but most especially old bookstores or bookstores that aren't mass-produced
35. Yummy soups (especially on cold days)
36. Understanding the scriptures
37. New car smell
38. Phill coming home from work (and the kids running and yelling, "Daddy!" repeatedly and frantically)
39. The support of my family, but specifically my sisters, who band together when any one of us needs extra "lift". :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Art of Family

I have a very hard time letting my kids make good messes. You know, painting, arts and crafts, etc....but I absolutely don't want to stifle their creative development or extinguish their imaginations. So I have been slowly easing up in that area--first, I started letting Reed draw more often. Then once I had set some ground rules (have a set place to store drawings when done, instead of leaving them all over the house to be stepped on and torn, pick up your drawing utensils so your sister doesn't take them), I decided he could draw whenever he wanted, so long as it was at the table and following the ground rules. (MAN, I am uptight.) But I keep feeling like he needs at least a few chances here and there to do more than just draw. And he needs a good place for his work to be displayed. (The fridge is not cutting it.) So today I decided to relax, sit down at the table, and do artsy stuff with the kids.

For three hours.

I didn't start out thinking it would be that long. I had 30 minutes in mind, thinking it wouldn't be long before they wanted to m
ove on to something else. But construction paper and new markers are apparently enough to entertain (if Mom's at the table) for a long time! Savvy even sat in her chair for about 40 minutes and colored. (On herself, too, sampling the markers. They must have tasted good because she ate off the tips of about four.)

We decided to make an artline (which I have named in reference to a clothesline....it holds...art.) Hee hee...

We strung some ribbon between two push-pins (ladybug ones that are really cute) and put clips on the top to hold the drawings. When we were done, we had tons of pieces to hang up and tons to go in the boys' Batman folders I bought for further art-storage.

(Part of the original purpose of The Great Art Project was to make a chain of links to count down the 3 weeks that Phill will be in San Antonio for BNCOC.)
The artline before we began our project....

The artline after.The table (during)

The reason I tend to be so uptight about letting them loose with art supplies.....
See the lovely colors on her chin?
And....the reason I let them run with it today....look how quietly focused he is.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Meme

I've been tagged. Memed. Whatever!

* Link to the person who tagged you (I got tagged by Emily!)

* Post the rules on your blog
* Write six random things/unspectacular quirks about yourself

* Notify each person you have tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

* Let the tagger know when your entry is posted

Six Random/Unspectacular Quirks About Me
1. When I work out on the treadmill, if my music is just not enough to get me through my minutes, I begin to alphabetize the words in front of me: Calories. Distance. Fat. Scan. Speed. Time. -OR- I watch the time for number formations I like: 25:52 (I like the symmetry of that one), 12:34 (one two three four), 33:33 (obvious), 13:24 (a difference of two between 1 and 3 and 2 and 4). Far-reaching, but my mind likes it, and it sort of soothes me.

2. I hate long nails on men. Long meaning more than a teensy bit of white showing.

3. I tend to dream almost every time I sleep, and very vividly. The downside to this is that I have lots of nightmares (four a month sometimes?), and the nightmares are 9 times out of 10 so believable and surprisingly horrible that I wake up breathless or crying until Phill wakes up and reminds me that I'm just laying in my bed in my home safe with my family, as opposed to whatever awful scenario my neurotic subconscious concocted.

4. I love walking down the coffee aisle at grocery stores, and have been known to surreptitiously pick up a bag and press it to my nose for one humongous inhale if no one is around. (And sometimes when people are around....)

5. A lot of my best memories I can envision with vivid detail, but most especially the light conditions of said memory. For instance, I remember playing Concentration/Memory with my mom when I was 4, sitting on her bedroom floor while baby Kate was napping, and the weak morning light was streaming in through the windows and illuminating all the dust in the air. I thought it was beautiful, and I thought they were teeny tiny creatures. (Somehow my mom didn't share my enthusiasm over the "creatures" and kept saying something about dusting....)

6. My friend Rachel (yes, her name was Rachel) and I used to watch old musicals and then re-enact them (we were 7 years old, I think) in her bedroom. She had this awesome bed that was in a closet without doors, and her mom had hung beautiful gauzy curtains around it (oh man, I was fiery jealous of those). We used to re-enact the musicals on that "stage". I seem to remember a saloon in one of those scenarios? Probably doing the can-can and being really sassy? Anyway, we always jumped and hid with embarrassment (and in the saloon re-enactment case, shame) when her sibs would knock on the door.

So. There you have it. I'm sure I've done this tag before, but it's always fun to come up with new facts.

I tag:






Wednesday, October 15, 2008

thoughts on....

Sharing, Honesty, and Inspiration

I've had lots of blog-worthy thoughts bouncing around lately, but I've been struggling to try and condense them into something understandable.

Like so many thousands of others, I became aware in August of Christian and Stephanie Nielsen and the trials they and their family are currently enduring. I didn't know of her blog until their plane crash. I have tried to find words to express everything I've felt towards them, her blog, her example....but all I can seem to do is pray for them, cry for them, and think of them while I work out, beating up the treadmill and working out my various struggles along with my legs.

My workout has become even more mentally necessary lately. I've been quite emotional--mostly for hormonal reasons--but also just because I've an emotion-full person and tend to be largely affected by the surroundings of my personal world. That is to say--anything I care about affects me. And I care about a lot. I try to retain some measure of sanity by keeping my family as the priority, but darn it, sometimes there's too much to put on the back-burner. The back-burner gets crowded and some things get pushed to the front.

I am re-reading (for the third time) the Harry Potter books. At the end of book four, one part of the book had me riveted like never before--the part where Dumbledore is siphoning thoughts into the Pensieve. I guess that's how I've been feeling lately, that need to unload and organize and de-construct and cry and laugh and generally initiate some sort of catharsis. (After all, that's the name of my blog, isn't it?) And if it's creatively written, well, pin a rose on my nose.

So I guess I'm going to siphon off some thoughts/memories. Feel free to stick around, but also feel free to disconnect and go play at the park with your family. I understand the need for disassociation sometimes.


A couple of weeks ago, the Girls Weekend in Pleasant Grove offered an opportunity that had slipped my mind: A chance to visit my maternal grandmother (in Provo). (This is hard to write. I'm shaking a lot now and my stomach feels strange. I procrastinated with good reason!) My grandma was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer in the summer of 2005. We got the phone call a few days before Jaxon's birth, while my mom was visiting me, and for a couple of hours, we just cried and held each other on the couch, Reed patting and hugging us and saying, "Is okay....is okay. You sad? I give kiss. I give hug. Love you." With a prognosis of six months (?), there was this feeling of waiting, of cramming in all the loving words and visits and conversations possible in this short time left. But in a way that has been nothing short of miraculous, my grandma is alive--nearly four years later. In November of 2005, our family gathered in huge numbers for Thanksgiving, primarily for the purpose of gifting my grandma with a binder full of loving words, letters, and art from our family. I videotaped her opening the gift, because Phill was in Iraq and I wanted him to have some reference of my memories.

I can remember the hush that fell over us as she lifted out the binder with difficulty. How do you condense into a binder the love of a huge family for a tender, kind, righteous woman? The binder was 5 inches thick and bulging all around. There were many of us, myself included, who had not yet decided how to contribute. Later on that day, I interviewed some of my family members, asking them for little messages for Phill. Most of them went like this: Happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's, Father's Day, birthday....happy every holiday until you are home! But my grandpa's message was a little longer, a little more telling of his true person. He mentioned how we had enjoyed a beautiful day all together, mentioned the eternal nature of families, expressed his testimony. Then he said (and I paraphrase, but only just; his words are pretty clear in my mind) in reference to my grandma's cancer, "When she goes I suppose it will be terribly lonely. But if it is the Lord's will, I will submit." I remember wishing, aching, for that same ability to submit, to have complete trust that the Lord would make everything right. I still struggle to submit. I struggle every day to surrender and have the kind of trust and faith that brings complete peace.

As the last couple of years have worn on, my grandma has become a little less lucid, consumed bit by bit, by this illness. When I called her on Christmas of 2006, she asked how my girls were doing--and when I reminded her that I was Rachel, not Abby, she said, "Oh, yes, of course. I know that. I know you. You know I know you, don't you?" And as she becomes a little more confused with the passing of time, that question has again found its way into my mind, along with the quiet answer that yes, grandma, I stil
l know that you still know me. Nevertheless, conversations and visits are hard, because not only does her mind wander now, but her body has become so tiny, so weak, and her beautiful dark eyes sometimes look so lost.

So on my way north, it was with no notice that the words came to my mind, "You will visit your grandmother." So I called them, made plans to see them Sunday on my way home, and continued on my way.

When I stood in their apartment building Sunday, I found myself shaking with both nerves and excitement. My grandpa gathered me in his arms as I stepped out of the elevator, and I walked into their home. The last time I had seen grandma had been months before, so her appearance was a bit of a shock. Her soulful eyes, those eyes that can be so kind and also so full of thought, had become even more the most riveting part of her face. She weighs less than I do. Much less. But her hug was still warm, her hands were still soft, and her voice was still full of love and even recognition.
Yes, grandma, I still know that you still know me.

During my visit, I marveled at the way my grandpa talked. The way he managed to throw in details for my grandma to reference what he was talking about--"That reunion we had in June with the such-and-such relatives who are related to us thus-and-thus"--with no thought, in a way that made me realize it has become second-nature for him to do this now. Second nature for him to serve her. Second nature for him to care for her, to think of her, to remind her, to love her. And I marveled how not once during the visit did she forget Phill's name and his occupation. Though she often mixed up names of the great-grandchildren, and although she couldn't always remember which Boatright daughter I am, not once did she say, "Who?" when Phill's name came up. Twice, she said, "Please remember to tell him thank you for me. Remember to tell him thank you for his service."

I found myself trying to block feeling like I needed to say goodbye, trying not to say things in a final way, trying to pretend that it was likely that this would only be another visit. But something in me kept whispering that this was one of the last, if not the last. I tried to hold back tears, but found that they kept pushing up against my eyelids, begging to be let free. I cried a few tears when expressing my testimony and detailing some of the ways I feel I've been growing lately. I cried a little when mentioning how much I miss my sisters. But still, I fought the urge to say wildly, "Oh, grandma! I need you! I love you! I don't want you to go, I don't want to ever have to say goodbye!" And the feeling persisted, the feeling that I needed to express the most painful of those thoughts. After two hours, the time came for me to leave. I stood up to hug my grandma, intending to bend over and hug her as she sat nestled in her chair. But instead, she wanted to stand and hug me. As I wrapped my arms around her small body, her arms wrapped around me, and her hands gently began to stroke my hair. My wall came down, and the tears flowed free, finally with my permission and resignation. As she stroked my hair, she said softly, "Do you remember when you were little, and I would sit on the couch and play with your hair?" And I remembered a time when I was indeed little--I don't remember specifically, but it was in Washington, I was maybe 4, and I had just taken a bath and my grandma was running her hands through my hair, and telling me that I was beautiful. I'm certain she did that with all of us girls. Being soft and tender with us, as always. As she was doing now. I said, "Yes, Grandma. I remember." And then I couldn't stand it anymore and said, "Oh, Grandma! You are soft....I love you." That was all that I could say, that was all that made it out in anything coherent. But it was enough, it was enough that she knew specifically the aching in my heart, and she said sweetly, "I love you. Don't worry. It won't be so bad. It'll be alright." And with that, she couldn't stand up anymore, and she sat back down in her chair.

I don't know if that was my last visit to my grandma. I don't want to proclaim the end before it has come. But I said what I needed to say, and I heard what I needed to hear. I know my grandma knows me. She knows I am hers. She knows I love her. She loves me.


I've been thinking in huge amounts lately about what to share on my blog and what not to share. Some of that train of thought has started with my getting to know of the Nielsens through Stephanie's blog, and some of it has been the result of my considering the question "to share or not to share" as I think of blog-worthy topics.

I read an article (found under News on the Nie Recovery site), where her sister addresses the content of the NieNie Dialogues.
Perhaps the most important gift Stephanie gave the mom blogging community was the inspiration and motivation to be better mothers. In over three years of Nie Nie's posts, there was nary a negative word about her kids. How is this possible? "She was tired, and she had her days, but she figured that was a given," Courtneyexplains. "What Stephanie wanted to get across most was how enchanting motherhood was, and how magical it can all be. Sometimes people interpreted this as her wanting to portray herself as a perfect mother, but that wasn't it at all. She just wanted to give motherhood a good public relations makeover ... to show how beautiful children can be."

Which made me think about what I have posted, and what I will post. To be completely honest, there is a lot I choose not to share. Obviously, to have some measure of privacy in the very public forum of blogging, one has to pick and choose what to share. But I want to be perfectly clear when I say: The things I don't share are not withheld to paint myself in a favorable light. They are most often withheld for reasons of embarrassment, reasons of wanting to protect, or for the simple reason that sometimes I just don't feel like saying anything! So what Courtney says speaks to me. I too, have my days {OFTEN!}--as all of you do, and as all of you know, as I've expressed here and there. But I also want to be a happy voice, an inspiring voice, and sometimes for me to be an honest voice, it means I don't post anything at all. And sometimes it means that I share sad things or difficult things. Am I making sense?

I want to inspire. I want to be a good example. Just as I want to commiserate and be relate-able, and just as I want to be someone my friends and loved ones feel they can lean on and be understood by, I want to lift up others with my words. I guess what I'm saying is that I want to be authentic. If I post it, I mean it. And if I don't post it, I don't mean it, or I don't feel it post-worthy for the environment of my blog.

And speaking of wanting to inspire, wanting to lift up others, I conclude with my (hopefully organized) thoughts of Stephanie Nielsen.


I found out about her blog through someone else's, as is usually the case. I at first assumed this was just some sort of fad-ish following and figured it was simply a woman who had tons and tons of friends who happened to also blog.

Boy, was I wrong. Openly weeping as I read of the plane crash, thinking of their four children, and then beginning to feel close to her as I read her previous posts, I found that she was indeed a phenomenal woman, a veritable force in the blogging world, and a clear happy voice in the midst of it all. I found myself praying for her, praying for her children, and then praying all the more fervently for her sisters and family. I found myself doing what so many, many others were doing--feeling inspired by her words, energized by her example instead of intimidated and insecure. I marveled at the way so many are united in caring for her and her family; so many who are now thrilled at the chance to give back to her some small measure of what she has given.

I have no dream of having thousands of readers. In fact, the thought terrifies me. But I have every aspiration of being comforting, helpful, kind, amusing, and thoughtful with my blog. What started as a way for me to write has become my link to all of you, and quite literally a creative catharsis.

I think my blog just solidified its mission statement. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Note to Reed:

If you would like your future dates/girlfriends/friends who are girls to have any staying power at all, it's best not to tell them a) "You smell like a monkey." or b) "Your hair is like a monkey."

They will most certainly not be as forgiving as your kind mother.


Friday, October 10, 2008

The River

Several days ago, we put on our suits and went to the river for family night. It was sooooo much fun! We spent the whole time wading in a section that was just the perfect depth for the kids, and they had glorious fun with mud and river rocks. I think it was sensory paradise for them! The weather was perfect and the water was warm. I really love doing simple family activities that cost very little (OR NOTHING!) and keep the kids really happy and entertained. This definitely fell under that category! We've been making an effort to do more as a family--more than just sitting around the house, that is. We've gone to the library together, which I do with the kids, but Phill came this time, and it was a lot more fun (probably because I had more time to steal away and look for my own books.....). We also went for a walk in Santa Clara, which is right next to us, and is a town I absolutely love. I sometimes daydream of living there. Today we are going to be sorting through all our stuff to contribute to a yard sale this Saturday....more on that below the pictures.


The 172nd B-Co. Medical Logistics Battalion (Army Reserve) here in St.George can use your support!

The 172nd Bravo Company Family Readiness Group provides help for the families of the soldiers, as well as the soldiers themselves. Any funds donated to the FRG go towards supporting them, whether it is to help out struggling families, provide a gift for a new mother, or send packages to soldiers who are deployed.

Do you need to do a little Fall Cleaning? Have some junk you need to clear out? Bring your items to our yard sale! Need some gently-used items at a low cost? Perfect solution….come to our yard sale!!

Saturday, October 11th, 9a.m. – 2p.m.

@ the home of Marsha Stark

(2459 W. 1720 N.)

Please bring items to be donated no later than the morning of the 11th. We will also have raffle tickets for $3 to enter a drawing for prizes starting in value from $20.00 from local businesses, as well as a FREE photography session! (from guess who--yours truly--and Lara, would you like to donate a session?)

For more info call: Rachel DeVault (435) two three eight zero three zero four

-or- Marsha Stark (435) six eight zero eight five seven four

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thanks! (and Help!)

Thank you to all of you who commented on my photos! You gave me a good dose of self-esteem medicine. :) And I'm glad to see a positive response for posting photos of myself. I think all of you should post pictures of yourself. Kaysha, I may just hunt you down and SNEAK a photo of you. I really mean that. I may just accidentally show up at Costco at the same time....Wal-Mart.....Children's Place.....keep looking over your shoulder, woman!

Okay. I need some help.

I am addicted to white bread. I HATE wheat bread (for sandwiches) and even when it's homemade, I don't like it (for sandwiches). I LOVE wheat bread as toast or with hummus, but as for sandwiches? I just love that horrible white-flour-and-yeast combination. Sue me.

Anyway, I've discovered that although I possess a rather unhealthy addiction to white bread, I
love wraps! Even the whole-wheat ones are good. I've tried using whole wheat tortillas for wrap-ish lunches, but they're just not very pliable or yummy.

Lo and behold....I was at Lin's last night and saw these beautiful wraps--very pliable, labeled as wraps, specifically made for healthier lunches, etc....FOR
ALMOST FOUR DOLLARS FOR SIX!!!! Are you as disgusted as I am?! Six wraps, let's see....that would be gone in one lunchtime. One and a half for me, half for Savvy, one for Reed and one for Jax, two for Phill....yep. Gone in one lunchtime. So if I ate those ridiculously expensive wraps for each lunch for one week, that would cost us $28. Multiply that times four if I wanted to make it a habit, and you have nearly $120. Our entire month's budget is $400 (toiletries and cleaning supplies and diapers and wipes INCLUDED....it's HARD to stick to it, and we often don't). I'm not about to spend more than one-fourth of our budget on wraps. We spend maybe $7.50 a week on bread, $10.50 at the top (the Farm Bread brand at $1.50 a loaf). When I consider White bread that I love: $10.50 a week or Really Yummy Wraps that are Way Better For Me: $28.00 a week, I just don't think it's worth the extra cost. Maybe I'm being stingy? Am I?

So what I'm wondering is: Do any of you have a good recipe for wraps? Whole-wheat preferably, but tomato-basil and spinach welcome, as well as other kinds I haven't thought of. Christine? Heidi? Crystal? Abby? Mandy? Call on your recipe archives?

Meanwhile, still dreaming of the incredible wrap I had at Costco a couple of months ago.....turkey and Havarti cheese and some other delicious stuff. That thing was the size of a ferret--it most certainly wasn't healthy in its gargantuan proportions. But it was good enough that yes, I'm still craving it long after its digestion.

Monday, October 6, 2008

If this is vain, well, then call me vain. :)

To those who have already seen these on all the other forums of which I'm a part, I apologize. When I take what I think is a good photo of myself, I tend to feel like it's a bit of an event.....

I've been meaning to practice self-portraits. I'm proud of these. :) These are as of today, and I feel like I look healthier than I did just a couple months ago.

Phill Made the Papes!! :)

Phill has drill the first weekend of the month, every month. (Usually.) One drill of the year for their soldiers has always been to work the St. George Marathon. This basically means they catch people--literally catch people who make it across the finish line and find that they just can't move their legs anymore!

Anyway, this year a couple of the soldiers' pictures made it into The Spectrum! And Phill was one of them!!! It's actually a GREAT photo of him, really shows his true nature.

Go here to see his photo (#68); the other one (with soldiers in it) is #77.

And although we were considering doing the marathon together this year, that's obviously the furthest we got--thinking about it. :) But we've resolved that provided we can register on time, we will do the next one together. Poor Phill, he'll have to go so slow to avoid losing me in the crowds. He did his 2-mile for his P.T. test yesterday in 13:12.

Pfft. Ridiculous.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Thoughts on Conference....but not what you'd expect!

Abby, thank you, thank you, thank you again for helping me have some logic and perspective when I called almost in tears today. I am certain I picked you for my older sister!

Not logical:
Expecting my three children under the age of six to sit silently through two two-hour Saturday sessions of conference.

Asking of them just to sit through at least the Sunday morning session, having provided them with necessary hand-busying activities.

Not logical:
Yelling at my children while I listen to lovely messages about faith, hope, charity, etc.....

Being better prepared with not only materials, but a more concrete game plan.

More peaceful impressions to follow tomorrow, I expect. In the meantime, apologizing and catching my breath. Glad to have all sessions recorded and at my fingertips for quieter times.