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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Good Bye Bryan!

Last week we dropped Bryan off at the Missionary Training Center in Utah where he'll be for 2 months before heading out for the Philippines.

If you'd like to keep up with Bryan's adventures, is the place to go!
Can I say just one more time: WE'RE SO PROUD OF BRYAN!!!

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The Color Run

Absolutely the most FUN 5k ever!

(you'll see later why I covered my head)

SO fun!
My next 5k will be in May ... WALK MS. Anyone want to join me?
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Monday, February 20, 2012


Although little Cali is the only one who got to lay on Bryan's shoulder for a long, long time ... we all got some good hugs and a whole bunch of kindnesses showered upon us before Bryan left.

gonna miss that guy.
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I didn't know you could actually make this yourself!

There are some things I just never considered NOT buying in a store and making myself. Sugared ginger is one of them. But Bryan knows that anything can be made from scratch, so when he saw the horrid price I had paid for a tiny jar of ginger, he went out and bought some fresh root and made me a HUGE amount for a FRACTION of the cost!

As you can see from the pictures, the concoction also created homemade ginger-ale; ginger sugar crystals for topping ginger snaps; ginger syrup and the beginning of ginger candy rocks. Amazing, I know!
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Brad & Bryan spent a day in the desert - Kelso Sand Dunes - before Bryan left for his mission. When they came home they showed me the cool iron - yes, IRON, that Bryan collected from the sand. This stuff is, of course, magnetic and simply amazing!

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this week

We'll be saying good-bye to Bryan this week for his 2 year mission to the Philippines. We've had a great last few weeks with him - and since he's leaving, I decided that this week's posts will be all about how Bryan spoiled us recently. Starting with this yummy thing:

This is the FISH TACO meal Bryan prepared for us. He made a special sauce - creme - of chipotle peppers, buttermilk and cream. That, along with freshly squeezed lime and red cabbage tops the fish in the taco shell. I'm currently fighting a growling stomach - it's nearly 1:00 am and I've got insomnia. Whenever that happens I get super hungry too - and writing this post doesn't help! Anyway, this was SUCH A GOOD MEAL!

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

how to use up 30-seconds

Got 30-seconds but not 30-minutes? I've been loving engaging in online games with my sister who lives many hundred miles away:

I'm a lot better at real board games around the table, but still ... this is fun! We each take our turn when we've got a spare minute or two. What's really fun is when we find ourselves playing at the same time and then just keep going and going.
For me, this is the best use of my spare time when I've only got a few minutes. What do YOU do with your spare seconds?
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Live with Anticipation

I'm reading Ardeth Kapp's new book,
"Coming What We Came To Do - Living a Life of Love".
It's so full of wisdom that it's hard for me to stop reading and do my daily duties! One little bit has really had an impact on me:
"... when [proper] priority is in place, then we begin to plan our lives with purpose. We begin to have goals that cause us to live with anticipation."
We all know what it's like to excitedly anticipate an event ... wouldn't it be wonderful if our whole lives could be lived in anticipation? We'd wake up each morning excited and invigorated! Our energy would zip us right through the tough times and help us to surge ahead toward our goals.
So it's my desire, and my resolution, to obtain proper priorities through prayer and pondering - then to continue to set appropriate goals so that each day of the next two thirds of my life will be lived in happy anticipation!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

a few things of little or no import

A couple of things I've been thinking about that I thought I'd share:
* I had some good shopping last week as I was finishing up missionary shopping with Bryan
(holy schmoly - missions are expensive! he's saved to pay for his monthly expenses, so Brad and I are buying the things he needs - you know, suit, shoes, etc ... CRAZY!)
Anyway, the top left corner shows some mens shirts I picked up at Target for the 3 guys in our family who are not going on missions: $1.48 each! AM I A GREAT SHOPPER OR WHAT?!
* I opened the top drawer next to my bed (upper left picture) and realized that I'm in the midst of reading about a dozen books. Everything ranging from being a better wife to historical fiction ... I need some down time to catch up! (the animal print you see there is an eye mask that was in my Christmas stocking ... it's filled with lavender and I LOVE it!)
* While said shopping was going on I happened across a GREAT deal on some women's boots. Yes. I bought them for myself. But DISCLAIMER: all the girls our home wear the same size shoe, so it's really cheap per person who will wear them :)
* When we were preparing for Bryan's mission farewell address at church and I knew family would be visiting, I really wanted to re-do our family picture wall. We had such an eclectic selection of frames, old and new, housing those pictures and I wanted to make it more uniform with either all black or all white frames. WAY too expensive to replace all the frames, so I spray painted them all black. I'm happy with the result!
* Hope. My favorite word.
* Bryan created this amazing floating bookshelf for our living room. Cool, isn't it!

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012


We attended Stake Conference last weekend and were so spiritually fed that I am still digesting the information. I have often wondered about the part of the Atonement and the point on the Cross when Jesus is left alone - completely forsaken.
Why did He have to be left alone? I know it was prophesied that He would (see Isaiah 63:3) but, along with many other parts of the Atonement, I've never really understood this. Last weekend I felt enlightened as I learned that because the Atonement included Him feeling all that we feel; and because when we sin the Spirit withdraws from us; He had to experience that same withdrawal. And with Him taking upon Himself ALL of our sins, it was so much that the Spirit had to leave Him completely - He had to know what it is like not only to sin, but to be left alone.

I came to understand my own desire to not be forsaken - and that it's up to ME to have the Spirit with me ... only my rebellion and sinning will cause me to be left to my own strength. As long as I'm repentant and improving, I will not be forsaken. I will have the spiritual help I need to continue to grow. And I will never, ever be alone.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Miracle of the Century

My sister in law is almost 43. We have a kinship because we've both experienced infertility and we've both been blessed to add to our families through adoption. But my sister in law has had a particularly painful time with her infertility. She was never, ever pregnant. She and her husband adopted their little gorgeous girl about 13 years ago and did all they could to get more children, but to no avail. This good couple decided a couple of years ago to let go of that dream and move on with their lives. Last week my SIL delivered a sweet, round, precious, PERFECT little girl and Lindsey is now a big sister.
No one can ever convince me that miracles have ceased!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

why I shouldn't multi-task so much

Two words:
Baking; Games
It took me a couple of hours after the mint brownies flopped to realize that I forgot to put the flour in. Ugh. In my defense, the kids and I were playing a rousing game of 5 Crowns. (I lost) So anyway, these brownies can only be eaten with a fork. I've had them sitting outside on the grill trying to get them cold enough to cut into squares so I can freeze them. If that works, the kids will eat them like candy. If not, I'll trash them. I hate to though because the brownies have a pound and a half of butter in them and the mint frosting has half a pound. (did I say YUM yet?)
A few years ago I made a bunch of pumpkin pies. It wasn't until we had company come over to serve the pies and one of my kids bit into a piece that we realized I forgot to put the sugar in. I had to figure something out fast, so we retrieved the pieces we'd handed out and I sprinkled (or rather, dumped) sugar on top of the pie. None of the company said anything about it - I have to wonder if it was to they all gagged it down and decided they'd only visit again if it was a potluck and they could bring the dessert :)

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference" - Churchill

A huge DARN MY HIDE after my attitude yesterday. I should spend the day in time-out.

Yes, my iPad crashed. Yes, all my work everything is on it. Yes, I thought it was backed up to iCloud and it wasn't. Yes, yes, yes ...

I am SO glad yesterday is behind me. And I am so disappointed in myself! I'm the first to proclaim "come what may and love it" and "it doesn't matter what's going on around you, you can still have peace in your heart" and all that wisdom. I didn't practice ANY of it yesterday and feel horrible about it today.

No, I didn't egg the neighbor's house, I didn't spit on anyone, I didn't yell and scream. But I carried a heavy dark cloud and didn't care who was near, I willed my cloud to rain on them too. Mostly it was my family at home who was affected - the people I love the most (of course). How do I undo that? I can't - I've lost that day - it's behind me and I can never reclaim it. I have limited time with my family - we all do. How could I have not just wasted an entire day, but colored it black so that everyone wants to pretend it didn't exist?

I have already prayed for forgiveness, and now I will feast on humble pie for breakfast and beg forgiveness from everyone I came in contact with yesterday ... especially Brad and the kids. I know they will all immediately forgive. I hope I can forgive myself.

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