Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Announcement!

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting as frequently as I was. I finally made a change I have been wanting to do for a while.

Remember the survey I asked you to take for me a while back? I loved the responses I got from that. Thank you for those who took the time to answer it! It really helped me get from where I was to where I am. I was being indecisive (what's new?!) and the survey results convinced me.

I officially made one of two changes this week.


I have a new blog! At one sneaky moose, I will blog about my home and craft projects. Over here I will blog about my family moments. That way you can read whichever you'd rather about my life. And as a bonus, I'm not going to make it private. I thought about it but decided not to.

Preparing my new blog took a little bit of time. Which platform? Name? Header? Layout? And just keeping my head above water. I figured a lot of it out and still have a lot more to go. Working kinks and just learning the Wordpress platform in general. I'd love it if you joined me over at

If you do not have a Wordpress login, you can leave me a comment (how sneaky) and before publishing your comment, check the box to follow the posts. Or if you use Google Reader (or another similar reader), you probably know how to put in my url to subscribe to my RSS feed.


Nope. Not telling yet. And probably won't for another month at the rate I'm going. But when I do announce it, it will be on my other blog because they go together.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Teaching the Act of Giving

A man just came to our door expecting to see someone he knew. He introduced himself, explained his situation, and asked for help. We chatted a little bit. I gave him a handful of quarters (maybe only $3 or 4) and had Kaelyn pick out some candy canes for his kids. We also gave him a drink. He wanted to work for $10 or $20. I guess I could have taken that option but I didn't know what.

I don't know if he was honest. I was grateful to have an opportunity to teach Kaelyn that we can give. Especially we can give of things that we want (hence the candy canes) but don't need. I hope it will bless his life.

One thing I learned from my parents is that there are two choices in this situation. Our choice is whether or not to give. God will bless us for giving freely. His choice is whether or not to do what he said he would do with what he asked. What he does is between him and God and not between me and him.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I’m on Pinterest!

You may or may not know my love for Pinterest. That love is great. And deep. (But not the greatest and the deepest—just so you’re not confused or anything.) I signed up several months ago (June? July?) and don’t regret it one little bit. I love all the inspiration that I’ve... well, haven’t used yet but I’ve found ideas that I had floating in my head and turned it visual for me. Which is perfect for Jared. Except he probably thinks Pinterest feeds my ADD mentality. It’s like the dog from Up. I’m determined to finis---squirrel!

Uh. Moving on.

For some really strange and unknown reason, I’m delaying going to bed. I read a blog post that told me to check out this other blog. I do what I’m told. (Cue hystarical laughter.) So I went. I read her little blurb on herself. Her goal is to revamp her house with a budget of $500 or less per room. So I’m guessing lots of good ideas for home DIY on her site. Her latest post was about Pinterest. She just joined the bandwagon. She was getting all giddy with seeing how many pictures from her blog had been pinned. (And it’s totally Pin-worthy too!)

So just for kicks and giggles, I went to see if any pictures from my tiny unworthy blog was on Pinterest all the while mentally preparing myself for, well, not disappointment because I wasn’t expecting to actually see anything.

ACK! A PICTURE! LOOKIT!! I’m so giddy. I can’t even imagine seeing hundreds (which is, I’m sure, what hers were) of my own pictures up on Pinterest. AND, the person who pinned it... I don’t even have a clue as to who they are. But she wants to try homemade detergent for cloth diapers apparently. AND SHE PINNED ME. Happy dance!
Giddy, I tell you. Spazztastic.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 10 of 30 Days of Me

I have a goal to finish these up. It was only September when I started.

Day 10: A picture of me taken over 10 years ago and a current one.

Still can’t find my older pictures. I know they are around here somewhere so that is frustrating to me.

Here one of the oldest ones I have (February 2006). And a current-ish one (November 2011). (Yeah, that piece of bang bothers me too.)



Monday, January 2, 2012

A Recap of Christmas

I wanted to quickly clarify something in my post yesterday. I purposely left my to-do’s vague for my blog only. Trust me, I have a much longer and detailed list. I just didn’t think they needed to all be put up for public viewing unlike last year.

Our Christmas tree is still up. I should probably take it down soon. But since it is artificial, what’s the rush? (Okay, seriously, Suki. You’d better have that tree down by Chinese New Year.)

The evening before Christmas Eve, we went down to my grandparents house to have Christmas Eve with my family. Despite it being the day before. It’s what worked for people. We opened presents from Nana & Papa as well as did all the Secret Pal presents.

Many moons ago, Secret Pals meant that we picked a name (in SECRET to be kept a SECRET hence the name SECRET pals) 13 days before Christmas. Then every day (for the 12 Days of Christmas) we did something (in SECRET) for our SECRET Pal and, of course, gave a gift to them on Christmas day. Nowadays with us all grown up and –sniff- saving China, we just give gifts. (Can you tell that most of my siblings don’t keep their SECRET pals a SECRET?)(And now the way that secret is spelled is starting to look really weird to me.)

We had Josh. We gave him 3 gifts: underwear (no joke—it was his own underwear too), stuff with notes on them (pre-cooked bacon, a pack of gum, small donuts, stuff like that), and a weekend of fun with us (the notes were clues but we had to tell him what they meant).

Kimmi had us. She took a picture from when we got married and put the family proclamation over it. And framed it. I love it! It’s really cool and will certainly be added to our collection of pictures and picture frames that need to be hung up.

Most of the siblings pitched in for a gift card for Mom and Dad to go to a Cameron Mitchell restaurant. (At least they did verbally. Pay up, yo! No rush...)

Kaelyn’s noisy toys increased. But at least they are useful. One of her gifts from Nana & Papa was an ABC learning laptop. She ADORES it. She tells me all the time that “it’s loading”. She can already sing her ABCs and she knows that they have a shape related to them. She doesn’t necessarily know which sound goes with which letter shape.

Saturday was pretty low key.

Sunday was busy for a Sunday and for Christmas. We went to my parents ward and participated in a bunch of musical numbers there. Then we drove to my ward where we participated in a bunch of musical numbers there. Then we went home and had a filling lunch of sandwiches with my family before opening stockings with them. Then they left and we opened the rest of our presents. Then I slept. So did Kaelyn. We were pretty cute. We woke up and ate filet mignon for our Christmas dinner.

Yup. Steak.

Jared did an awesome job with my presents!! In my stocking, I got two bars of my favorite chocolate and some other stuff and a gift certificate for a massage!!! Like a real one. Actually two real ones. !!!!! And as a present, he gave me a really cozy comfy blanket. Kaelyn REALLY likes my blanket. I like it more.

My gifts to Jared aren’t even worth mentioning after what he got me. But I’ll say a few of them anyway. He got a good kitchen knife (he has used it a few times and really likes it) and the first season of Psych (which we haven’t watched yet).

Enough talking. Pictures! (And only a small fraction of the number of pictures I took.) (And I don’t have the hang of taking pictures at night, indoors, without flash, on manual. Yet. I will get there.)


Kaelyn found Santa Claus in her Polar Express book from Grandma and Grandpa.


Mariella (Valerie’s third) awake and happy.


Kevin, Gracie, Jamie, and Lilli.


Jamie and Kevin gave Mom and Dad a trailer hitch (Kevin made it!).


I don’t look all too thrilled in this picture. I must be reading it. A double-sided puzzle. Luckily it’s only 500 pieces or I might never touch it.


Jared with his Grinch PJs. Kaelyn helped pick them out. She loves them.


Having a quiet moment and watching Frosty the Snowman.


Showing off some Christmas PJs.


Lindey’s very red mouth due to a candy cane.


We gave the cats a play toy. They love it. Kara (white cat) brought it upstairs that first night hoping for some play time.


On Jared’s side of the family, his sister Tonnie had us. One of the gifts we got was this doll house with a daddy, a mommy, and a baby. She immediately started playing with it. She loves it. Thanks, Tonnie (and family)!


See? Steak. We marinated mine in Italian dressing and left Jared’s unmarinated. I liked mine better.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The 2012 To-Do List

There are so many things I would love to put on this list. Feasible? Maybe. Likely? No. I like to set myself up for success. That motivates me to continue progressing.

My planner has a quote from Thoreau on the cover (I LOVE my planner). Ten 23 Designs sells it as a decal in several different colors. And I fell in love with this quote all over again. We will be getting this. It is perfect and I even have a spot for it. Anyway, this quote guides me.

1. Live my life. God keeps sending me reminders that life is happening now. It’s great to plan for the future and it is certainly important to do that. However, I can make that future a reality and why not go at it now instead of later?

2. Improve myself. Talk about vague! There are so many areas that need improving. I want to be realistic though and not get too specific (i.e. I want to have a sparkling clean house every night before I go to bed) or else I might never get to bed. If I can improve just a little bit, be more consistent in the ways I need to be, be more thoughtful and mindful, I will consider myself a success (with more room to grow—hehe).

3. Improve relationships. This one feels huge and daunting to me. I am thinking anywhere from God to Jared to whomever. As much as I’d like to be one of those people who seem to be unaffected by how others act/think/whatever, I’m not. I guess this goes hand-in-hand with improving myself.

4. Say no. Say what? This will be so beneficial once I get the hang of it. I’m sure of it...

5. Be healthy. Maybe the only reason this made it on my list is because I’m battling a cold. I love being healthy. I love going to the gym. I love hearing Kaelyn ask for fruits and vegetables. I just need to be better at it. I have an idea of where I want to be and I want to be there.

6. Be prepared.I was going to stop at five but I feel very strongly about this one. If something were to happen to us in any sort of way, it would be really bad. We are not at all prepared. Zip. Zero. Zilch. That’s gotta change.