I have complained so much in last 2 1/2 years, that I decided I need to sit down at the close of 2009 and decide what I am truly thankful for.

I have complained that my husband drives me nuts and I have even been angry at him. How thankful I have a husband who loves me and forgives me.

I have complained about my children. How thankful I am that I have healthy, happy children.

I have complained about having to do laundry. How thankful I am that I have clothes to wear and a washing machine and dryer to do my laundry in the comfort of my own house.

I have complained about not having enough room in my fridge and freezer. How thankful I am that I have enough food to eat and place to put it.

I have complained about my husband not ever being around. How thankful I am that he has not just one job, but 3! And jobs that he loves and that pay the bills.

I have complained about my having to work...boy, have I complained! How thankful I am that I have a job, and that I have such an accommodating boss.

I have complained about my house being messy. How thankful I am that I have a house, and that we have things to leave out.

I have complained about the dishes not being done. How thankful I am to have food to eat on those dishes, and a dishwasher (both the automatic one and the 4 human ones!) that can clean those dishes.

I have complained about my aches and pains. How thankful I am for medicine that I can take to make those aches and pains go away.

I have complained about my calling in church. How thankful I am for my musical talent, and that I get to share that with little children and teach them to love singing.

I have complained about my trials. How thankful I am to a Heavenly Father who loves me enough to give me trials to help me grow and strengthen my testimony.

I have even complained about how many blogs I have to read! How thankful I am that I have so many friends!

Yes, I have much to be thankful for. Thank you for reading my little blog. Now bring on 2010!
"...the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

2 Corinthians 4:18
You all remember President Obama and his recent reference to 'American arrogance'. Well, here is...    
Our European "arrogance" in alphabetical order below:
1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France. A total of 2289 of our military dead.
American Cemetry Aisne-Marne, France.jpg
2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium. A total of 5329 of our dead.
American Cemetary at Ardennes, Belgium.jpg
3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France. A total of 4410 of our military dead. 
American Cemetery at Brittany, France.jpg
4. Brookwood, England American Cemetery. A total of 468 of our dead.
American Cemetery Brookwood, England.jpg
5. Cambridge, England. 3812 of our military dead.
Cambridge, England.jpg
6. Epinal, France American Cemetery. A total of 5525 of our Military dead.
Epinal, France.jpg
7. Flanders Field, Belgium. A total of 368 of our military.
Flanders Field, Belgium.jpg
8. Florence, Italy. A total of 4402 of our military dead.
Florence, Italy.jpg
9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. A total of 7992 of our military dead.
Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.jpg
10. Lorraine, France. A total of 10,489 of our military dead.
Lorraine, Fraance.jpg
11. Luxembourg, Germany. A total of 5076 of our military dead.
12. Meuse-Argonne, France. A total of 14246 of our military dead.
13. Netherlands.  A total of 8301 of our military dead.
14. Normandy, France. A total of 9387 of our military dead.
Normandy, France.jpgNormandy.jpg
15. Oise-Aisne, France. A total of 6012 of our military dead.
Oise-Aisne, France.jpg
16. Rhone, France. A total of 861 of our military dead.
Rhone, France.jpg
17. Sicily, Italy. A total of 7861 of our military dead.
Sicily, Italy.jpg
18. Somme, France. A total of 1844 of our military dead.
Somme, France.jpg
19. St. Mihiel, France. A total of 4153 of our military dead.
St. Mihiel, France.jpg
20. Suresnes, France. a total of 1541 of our military dead.
Suresnes, France.jpg
Apologize to no one. Remind those of our sacrifice and don't confuse arrogance with leadership.
If I added correctly the count is 104,366 dead and we have to watch any American elected leader who apologizes to Europe and the Middle East that our country is "arrogant"!
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond belief. We are not fearful of our darkness, but of our light."

Nelson Mandella
I can't justify spending so much time and money on neighbor gifts when I am already feeling guilty about how much I have spent, and how little time I have spent with my children. Plus the fact that does anyone really another sugary treat on their hips?

Next week, I still have to work. All my kids will be home, and I have to leave and go work. So when I am home, I don't want to be frantic. I want to play with them and read to them and have fun with them.

So to all my neighbors, please know how much I love you. I really do. Thank you for understanding.

Merry Christmas!
I heard a story of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable, and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.
She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year. Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming,taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.
Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."
From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond, "Don't worry we already crucified him." For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
You HAVE to go this website and make a video for your kids! I made one for The Princess and she was in heaven. I wish I had video taped her reaction while she was watching. It was priceless.



Portable North Pole

Thanks Jessica for sharing!
This is what I am dealing with this morning.  Snow.  Lots of it!
Snow so deep, that when I drove my car out of my driveway, it was brushing on the bottom of my minivan!
And of course wind, which means drifting and hanging off my roof!
Look at how deep the tire tracks are!
I am supposed to drive into my office this morning, but I think I will wait a couple of hours and let the roads get cleared!  Meanwhile, I am going to go make myself a cup of hot chocolate.  Have a great day!
I know, I know. I posted this last year. But I just had to repost it. Gather your kids around and enjoy!
Please excuse me if I don't post for a day or two. I am wiped out!
Thank you NaBloPoMo. I have cleaned out most of my drafts folder. Don't be surprised if I do a bunch of random blogs for a while!
Remember...only 25 days to Christmas!
You are free to choose, but you are not free to alter the consequences of your choice.
I like Star Trek.  Not the original.  I just laugh at that one.
But I love Star Trek: The Next Generation.  And Voyager.  The Doctor and I even went to a Star Trek convention when it was in town many, many years ago, 1994 to be exact.  Marina Sirtis was there.  Answering questions and signing autographs.  For those of you who aren't in the know, Marina played Deanna Troi, the ship's counselor. 
During the Q&A session, I had a question, and she answered it!  It was so cool!  We bought the script for the new movie coming out, Star Trek: Generations and she signed the script and a picture of herself. I think she is a very beautiful woman.  

So there is my brush with fame.  Other than the whole Oprah thing, of course!
Have you heard of the Topsy Tail?  This hair tool first started selling in 1991.  My dad made one for us girls because as we were looking at it, it looked so simple. 

So after I had a girl, I asked The Doctor to make one for us. 
 2009-11-06 13.49.09[1]
All you do is straighten a wire hanger, bend it to make a loop, and use tape to hold it together.  It sometimes gets snagged in the hair, but with practice, you get better.  We love using it, and making cute hairstyles with it. 
For this hairstyle, I put the hair in a pony tail, used the topsy tail to turn it inside out, divided it into three sections, braided each section, then pulled them up and bobbypinned them in place.  Super simple.
Here we did lots of inside out ponytails using it.
Finally, this is like the first one, but I did one big braid and then tucked it up underneath.
So go make one for your little girls and have fun!  And I am more than willing to help you if you want! 
When I was growing up, my mom will tell you that I needed a Band-Aid for every little scratch and scrape.  Now that I have a little girl, I understand my mom's grief.  But Band-Aids fix everything!  Every girl knows that, right!
One thing that I always wanted were Band-Aids with pictures on them.  But we could never afford them.  So now, for my kids, I buy Band-Aids with pictures on them.  Not so much for my older boys now, but definitely for The Princess.  It is so fun to put a pink Band-Aid on her.  The best ones are those with Princesses and Barbie on them, but Hello Kitty and Dora works too.  But not "boy" Band-Aids.  Those are not acceptable to her!
Disney Princesses bandagesBarbie bandagesHello Kitty bandagesDora the Explorer bandages
Aren't they cute!?
The Doctor was hired to teach high school in July, 2008.  After 3 years of being without steady work, we were so excited.  He was working at Wal-mart to bring in some money until he started teaching, and when you work at Wal-mart, you get a 10% discount. 
Now, the kids had wanted a Wii so badly, but we just hadn't had the money before.  But this Christmas was going to be different.  We were able to buy a Wii for them...in July.  We bought it so early so we could use the discount.  I had to keep it a secret from my kids for 5 months.  That is a long time!  But it was so worth it!
We played it up for the rest of the year that there wasn't going to be much for Christmas because we were trying to get caught up on our bills.  Every time this year that I have said I hoped they like what I am getting them this year, The Teenager has said, “Is it a Wii?” The last time he said that, it was just a couple weeks before Christmas.  I got mad and teared and up and told him how much I wanted to get him one, but we just couldn’t and please stop saying that because it was making me feel really bad. Oh, I played him good! And because I have such good kids, they totally understood and were okay with it.  I felt a little twinge at being deceitful, but hey, Christmas is the only time it's okay to lie, right?
So usually, we set up Christmas in our family room so my pink decorations don't get ruined.  But this year, we set up the Wii, we bought the kids each their own banana chair to sit in, and had it all ready to go in the family room.  We opened presents in the front room and saved the video games for very last.
The first round was all Wii games and I faked it really good. I was all mad at myself for not looking carefully. They bought it. The next round was all Wii games again. The Chocoholic started saying, “We’re getting a Wii.” The Teenager got mad at him and told him we aren’t getting one until next year.
Anyway, so The Teenager was getting mad at The Chocoholic and I couldn't hold it in anymore.  I started to cry and smile really big and when they looked at me, their eyes got wide. The Chocoholic started shouting and they all jumped up and ran downstairs. That is when they saw the banana chairs. They were screaming and shouting and we got it all on video. It was so awesome! After 5 long months of waiting, it was exactly the reaction I was expecting and wanting. It was perfect.
I am going to give you the best piece of advice on potty training that you will ever get.
Wait for it.
Here it comes...
Yep, that's it. Wait. Wait until your child is ready. Because if they're not ready, all you are going to get is sore knees from cleaning up after them!
I knew someone who started at 2 and set the timer for every 15 minutes and every time it rang, she went and got her child and took them to the bathroom. It took her months to train him.
I am not the type that is willing to clean up mess after mess after mess. It's just not worth it to me. I left my boys in diapers longer than most...3 1/2 years on average, but when they were ready, it took 2 days and we never had accidents after that. Well, never is pretty strong. How about 1 every 6 months or so? Even I have accidents that often! LOL
Seriously. For instance, with the Teenager, I had the potty out, he knew what it was for, but he just wasn't interested. Then one day, he turned to me and said, "I have to go potty." We ran to the bathroom, he went and I gave him candy. He wore a diaper to bed that night, but stayed dry, and that was the last diaper he ever wore. And it was that way with all 3 of my boys.
Now The Princess was a little different. She was 2 1/2. But again, she was the one who was ready. We had 2 accidents the first day, and very, very few after that.
I know that not everyone is willing to wait so long to train their children, but that is what worked for me.
I love my mixer.  It is made by Bosch and it is hands down the best mixer ever!

I can make 6 loaves of bread at once.  I quadruple recipes for cookies and this mixer can hold it all.  It is tough and strong.  Also, unlike the KitchenAid mixer, the motor is on the bottom, so it makes it so much easier to add ingredients.  I just flip the cover off and dump it in.  I love it!
The only thing that could make it better would be if it came in multiple colors.  Because I would definitely buy one in navy blue.  Or burgandy red.  Better yet, pink!
The greatest accomplishment isn't in never failing, but in never giving up.

Speaking of never giving up, happy 40th anniversary to my mom and dad! I love you both!
December 22, 1999
We had picked up The Teenager from school (who was in kindergarten at the time) and as we were waiting, The Artist slipped and hit his head on the cement.  We checked him over and everything seemed fine. 
We then went to the grocery store and while walking around, The Artist suddenly went limp.  The Doctor was holding his hand and got a little mad because he thought The Artist was goofing off.  But when he picked him up, his eyes were rolling back and he was twitching.  He was having a seizure.
I screamed to the clerks to call 911 and they responded so quickly! They helped us get to the office and took care of the other kids (and me!) while The Doctor and some others were taking care of The Artist. I was trying so hard to keep it together for The Teenager. He was a basket case! I called my mom on my cell phone and she said she would be right there.
The Doctor was trying to keep The Artist awake, but he went unconscious. The paramedics came and gave him oxygen and that woke him up and got him crying. We gave them the information and The Doctor left with them in the ambulance. On they way out, he went unconscious again. He later told me that they weren't real concerned because they didn't even put their lights on. I stayed and waited for my mom. She and my dad picked us up (we just left our car there) and they took the other 2 kids home and my sister watched them, and we raced to the hospital. And here is the really dumb part. On the way, I had the thought that I should have grabbed my camera so that I could take pictures! That is the scrapbooker in me!
When we got there, I ran in totally crying. They took me back to him and he was just screaming at the top of his lungs. They had tried to give him an I.V. twice in the ambulance, but his veins kept rolling. So here he is, laying on a hospital bed just in his diaper, screaming, they have heart monitors stuck to him, people pricking his toes for blood, and I can't even pick him up!
They kept monitoring him and decided to do a CT scan, but he needed to be completely still for that. So they tried one more time and got an I.V. in him. He didn't like that either! They got that in and left the room, and I was singing to him and he was so tired! He fell asleep, but woke up when they had to give him the sedative to get him asleep!
They took him in and only one parent could go in, so I sat out in the hall and cried and prayed. When it was over, the radiologist looked at the scans and said that everything looked fine. There was no bleeding, no swelling, nothing like that. So that was a relief. We took him back to the room and sat and waited for him to wake up. I went and told my parents what was going on, and they came into the room and my dad and The Doctor gave The Artist a priesthood blessing and said everything would be fine. Then they gave me a blessing to help me calm down and relax. My parents left to go get our car and we waited for The Artist to wake up.
He woke up fine, just kind of groggy. It took a while, but he eventually sat up. Then they had to take all the stuff off him! The nurse rolled all the stuff up in a ball and asked him if he could throw it in the garbage. He missed, but the nurse gave it back to him and he threw it and it bounced into the garbage and he laughed! That was the sweetest sound on earth! They also gave him some Christmas stickers, which he loved because they had a train on one, and Santa, and reindeer, which he loves! Those made him smile too! We got him dressed and paid the copay and went home!
I have never been as scared as I was today. One thing to note – on his head where he hit it, there is no bump. If he had gotten a big goose egg, he probably would have been fine. But it went inside his head, and that is probably what caused it. I just hope that he doesn’t have any lasting problems from this.
Nathan slept in our bed all night and kept kicking me, but there was no way I would have left him alone! About 5am he woke up and wanted to eat and watch TV! We turned on the TV, and when Pokemon came one, he shouted out loud because he was so excited! Tom got up to go to the bathroom and Nathan told him, "Get dressed. Now." We knew then that he would be just fine.
I love to get comments on my blog.  I read blogs because I love to know what other people are thinking, but I also like to know what they are thinking about what I am thinking.  Did I lose you there?  So when I spend time typing out a post, and then I don't get any comments, I feel bad, like my opinion was boring.
However, I am not a great commenter myself.  I love to read the blogs, but I don't always take the time to comment on them.  Sometimes I honestly have nothing to say.  But usually it's just because I am lazy.  I also feel sometimes that no one really wants to hear what I have to say. 
And then there are the blogs that get like 90 comments every time, so by the time I read it, I don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said a million times.  I am pretty sure Pioneer Woman never reads the 10,000 comments she gets on each post.  So what's the point of commenting then?
How do you feel about it?  How often do you comment?  And if you are one of those that get tons of comments do you read them all? 
Have you seen these? 
More than 200 dancers were performing their version of "Do Re Mi", in the Central Station of Antwerp. with just 2 rehearsals they created this amazing stunt! Those 4 fantastic minutes started the 23 of march 2009, 08:00 AM. It is a promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they are looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music".
This one is so cool because you can tell the girl is genuinely surprised.  I was crying at little bit at the end!
Then, as I was searching for more videos, I discovered this site: Improv Everywhere.  It is awesome!  Here is a sampling.
This next one, German Mirror Prank is hilarious!
Finally, I'm sure you've all seen the video about a mom's day sung to the William Tell Overture.  Well, here is the dad's song.  Awesome!
I want to document this experience because they were very important to me, and I don't want to forget them.
In the summer of 2007, due to many things in our lives, I had to start working.  I was miserable.  I had been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years.  I didn't, and still don't, understand why it couldn't have waited 2 more years until The Princess was in school. 
Anyway, I started working during the summer, so my boys were able to baby-sit The Princess.  I worked M-F from 1-5.  I would get home and just grab my kids and hold them and try not to cry in front of them. 
When school started, I was faced with a dilemma.  What do I do with The Princess?  I really didn't want to put her in day care.  I wasn't making enough money to even be able to do that.  I just prayed that something would work out.
I had talked to a sister in my ward during the summer about the situation, and she volunteered to watch The Princess for me.  She had a little girl the same age.  But by the time school started, she told me she could only watch her one day a week.  That left me 4 days that I didn't know what I was going to do.  After she told me, I cried the whole way to work.  I just prayed and prayed, asking for help.
Just before I left work that day, my boss called me into her office.  She then asked me if I would like to work from home at all.  I just about cried.  So we agreed that I would work one day a week from home.
After I had been home for a while, I "got the thought" (translated: Heavenly Father inspired me) that maybe people would be willing to trade piano lessons for babysitting.  I was giving lessons to 3 different families at the time, and when I called them, all 3 agreed to trade!  I truly know that I was being blessed.  It happened so fast and so easily. 
I owe so much to those sweet sisters, none of whom even needed to trade, but were willing to do it to help me out.
Thank you from my very soul.  You are angels in my eyes.
1. Please share one middle school memory. It can be good, bad, ugly, funny. Pictures or words, I don't care, just share.
Junior High was very painful for me.  From 7th grade to the middle of 9th grade, we lived in Great Falls, MT.  I had girls who were so mean to me.  One time I was walking to school and they were walking behind me and eating apples, and they then threw their apple cores at me.  I hated living there.  I will never go back.
2. What's your favorite Beatles song?
Not a Beatles fan. 
3. If I asked you to describe your most comfortable outfit, what would it be?
Stretch jean capri's, my Chicago t-shirt, and no shoes.
4. Would you rather host a party or be a guest?
Be a guest.  I stress out so much when people are coming over.  I clean like a maniac and yell at my family to help.  It's not pretty.  Plus I like leaving when I want to, and not having to be "up" until everyone else leaves.
5. Do you think we will move completely from traditional books to digital ones, and if we do, are you OK with that?
Hmmm.  As huge as the Kindle's and such are becoming, I can't imagine sitting down to read with an electronic tablet.  I love how books smell, and being able to turn pages and put my bookmark in my place.  I just honestly don't see that going completely away.
6. Do you learn best by reading, listening or experiencing?
Reading.  I have to read the directions.  I can't have someone read them to me.  Even when my kids need help with their homework, I have to take the paper and read the question.
7. If you are (or when you were) single, what is the kiss of death for you concerning the opposite sex? (That is, what is one trait or behavior or habit or anything at all that immediately turns you off from considering that person a potential match for you?)
I hate being lied to.  I always have.  If a guy lied to me, that was it.  I was done.
8. Snacks. Salty or sweet?
Both.  But if I had to choose, it would be salty.  Cheetos, Bugles, Wheat Thins, yummm!
9. Look around you in a four foot radius. What object is around you that you didn't realize was there or forgot was there? How long has it been there?
I see 2 checks written out to 2 of my boys for their birthdays in October.  I was supposed to cash them, but I am such a slacker.  Maybe tomorrow.
10. What is your favorite Tom Cruise movie?
Top Gun.
11. You buy a bottle of shampoo and discover that you don't like what it does to your hair at all. What do you do with that full bottle?
I give it to the kids to use.  They don't care!  However, if that happens with conditioner, I use it in place of shaving cream.  I love how it leaves my legs feeling afterwards!
12. Your favorite Fall comfort food?
Soup.  Specifically Homemade Chicken and Noodles.
We do not have any credit card debt.
It has taken us 17 years to get to this point.  We spent the first 13 years of our marriage with credit card debt...a lot of credit card debt.  At one point I had it down below $5,000, but then we had a medical crisis, and I coped by shopping.
When The Doctor lost his job in 2005, we cashed out his 401K, paid 40% in taxes, but we were then able to pay off both cars and all our credit cards.  We were out of credit card debt for about 6 months, and then I coped by shopping.  So we were in debt again for the next 3 years.
This past spring, we were finally able to get them all paid off.  I am really proud that we did it this time on our own.  We just buckled down and paid them off.  It is such a freeing feeling.  This summer when we bought our new cell phones, we put them on the credit card and then paid them off after, and I hated knowing that we had that debt again.  I was so relieved to pay them off again!
I wish so desperately that we could have done this sooner.  I am going to do everything I can to teach my children to stay out of debt. 
Favorite quote of George Albert Smith

"Stay safely and securely on the Lord's side of the line."
I am obsessed with my online banking.  I check it nearly every day, and I do it very happily!
I have 2 checking, 2 check protection, a VISA, and my 3 children's savings accounts at Bank #1, and a checking, savings, and VISA card at Bank #2.
Our main account at Bank #1 is for The Doctor's full time job.  From this account I pay the household bills.  Any extra goes to savings at Bank #2.  The other checking account is for his other 2 part-time jobs. This money is what we use to live on.  The checking account at Bank #3 is for my check from my job.  This money pays my student loan. 
When we overdraft (which we do!), I am able to transfer the money from savings right into the account so we don't have to pay a fee. 
I love seeing how much money we have at any given time.  I know exactly where I am at.  It is very comforting to me.
I love MapQuest! I will never get lost again. I love plugging in an address and it showing me how to get there. I use it all the time.
I use it a lot for work too because when I go to a client's office, I can write off the miles, so this tells me exactly how many miles I went, and I don't have to remember to check my odometer when I go.
There is one thing I read on someone's blog about it though. How about the directions start on #5? Because I am pretty sure we all know how to get out of our neighborhood! LOL
4 Jobs I have had:
  1. Stay-at-Home-Mom. This was the hardest job, the most unappreciated, but the most rewarding.
  2. Accountant. If I have to work, my job is the absolute best.
  3. Cashier/Baker at cinnamon roll bakery. I am only now enjoying cinnamon rolls again after not working there for over 16 years.
  4. Cashier at pizza store that my parents owned. We ate so much pizza that it took me years to like it again!
4 Movies I have watched more than once (not counting the ones the kids watch over and over.)
  1. Somewhere in Time
  2. Beaches
  3. North Avenue Irregulars
  4. Princess Bride
4 T.V. Shows I cannot miss
  1. The Office
  2. Amazing Race
  3. Biggest Loser
  4. Survivor
4 People who text me regularly:
  1. My boss
  2. My son
  3. My hubby
  4. My sisters
4 Places I have been:
  1. Cardston, Alberta, Canada...I got to do baptisms for the dead in the temple there!
  2. Great Falls, MT. I lived there for 3 years. I could go the rest of my life and never go there again and be very happy.
  3. The temple in Las Vegas, NV. We got a tour while we were waiting for a session. It was cool.
  4. Disneyland. With my hubby's family. Before we were married. Not ideal!
4 Favorite Foods
  1. Peppermint Ice Cream
  2. Ribs and mashed potatoes from Texas Roadhouse.
  3. Homemade Chicken and Noodles
  4. Clam Chowder
4 Places I would like to visit
  1. Paris, France
  2. Disneyland with my children
  3. The Caribbean with my husband
  4. Australia
I have to admit that I'm not the best at voting.  I always vote in the "big" elections (president, congress, etc.).  But when it comes to the little ones, like the recent one, I've never really voted.  Honestly, I don't particularly care who is on the water board!  Plus all the pressure standing there having to make a decision while there are people waiting in line.  It stresses me out!
But...about a year ago, I signed up for voting by mail.  Permanently.  Whenever there is an election, I get sent a ballot in the mail.  I can sit down and read it over.  If I don't know what they are talking about, I can research it online and form an opinion. 
And the beauty is that they mail me a ballot for every election.  So I never miss it.  I love it. 
I just wish I had known about it when I had little kids so I didn't have to drag them with me!
I told you that I got the new MyTouch from T-Mobile.  And how much I love it.  I love having the Internet at my fingertips.  I can look things up while I am out shopping, and I can get my email at a touch.
However, I find that I don't have time to read anymore because I am on my phone, either playing games or reading blogs or finding apps.  Where I used to take a book into the bathroom (yes, I read in the bathroom!), now I take my phone. 
I have to find a balance.  And soon.  Because I have that huge pile of books that I bought that are calling out to me! 
This was a wonderful day.  It's the day that I had dreamed about for many years.  On this day, my ability to bleed for days on end was taken away. 
Yes, I had a hysterectomy, and I love it!
Just like my mother, I never had regular periods.  I would go anywhere from 3 weeks to 9 weeks in between.  They would last anywhere from 5 days to a couple weeks.  And the last several years, they would be so heavy that I would be changing every hour.  It was frustrating.
I finally talked to my OB/GYN about it, and he sent me for an ultrasound.  They discovered I had fibroid tumors.  He said that most women have them in one form or another, but mine in combination with the other problems led to several solutions, but when he said hysterectomy, I jumped for joy. 
I am not saying that this is the answer for everyone, but it was for me.  We knew without a doubt we were done having children.  My ovaries were left in so I don't have to take hormones, I just don't bleed.  It is so lovely! 
Favorite quote of Heber J. Grant

"That which we persist in doing will get easier, not that the nature of the thing gets easier but that our ability to do it gets easier."

1 Nephi 17:2-3

"...And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.

And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.

And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the cammandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them..."

Heavenly Father will not take away our trials before it's time, but he will give us the strength to endure them. It's not what we want, but it gives us hope.
I am going to let you in on a secret. 
First, it's no big secret that  when I am leading the music in Primary, I forget the words.  A lot.  I know the words, I just blank out when I am in front of all those people! 
However, sometimes I like to stop singing to see if the children know the words.  I will stop and listen to them singing.
...that is usually because I have forgotten the words again, and I am trying to cover.  I am so ashamed! 
And now you all know.
Okay, I am really feeling pressure to come up with cute or witty titles for my posts.  Serious pressure.  I am ready to stop putting a title on them alltogether, but then how would I sort them?  LOL  Some posts lend themselves to a cute title, but others, I sit and stare and wonder what I should name them. 
How do you come up with a title?  Do you feel pressure too, or am I just a nutcase?
From my journal
January 1, 2000 Saturday
I decided that I had better get Christmas put away today, or I will have to do it next week when I won’t have time! I asked The Teenager to go down to his bedroom and get the Christmas stuff and bring it to me. But he was just devastated. He was crying and saying that he didn’t want to put Christmas away. I talked to him and explained how if we left it up all year it wouldn’t be special and we will get it out again next year. He just was in tears. I told him to go and get his stuff.
After a few minutes, he hadn’t come up. I went downstairs all ready to get mad at him and there he was coming out of his room with two of his toys in his hands and great big tears running down his face. He thought that he had to put away all his Christmas toys! I felt so bad! I told him that we were just putting away the decorations, and he could keep the toys and you could see the relief wash over his face!
Lesson learned: be more specific when telling your children what to do!
I was watching a documentary the other day and the parents were seperating. They had a lot of struggles with their daughter's health, and mom said she realized that she just wasn't in love with her husband anymore.

Now, I obviously don't know the whole story, but it hit me hard. There have been several times in my marriage when I have felt the same way. And it is usually when we are going through trials.

When The Doctor was out of work and then working but incredibly unhappy, he was really depressed. He was moody and snappy and not very much fun to be around. There were times that I really wondered if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man. I knew that deep down I really did love him, but I didn't like him very much.

I can hear everyone gasping and choking. But I'm sorry. It's true.


Because we were sealed in the temple, I knew I had more to work towards. So I muddled through. And yes, at times, it felt like I was wading through a pool of muck and mud. But I did it because I knew that things had to get better.

And you know what? They did. It didn't happen overnight. But things eventually got better. We are still together and we are still in love.

I think that a lot of people want the same love that they felt when they were first married. You know, that gagging, sugar sweet lovey dovey stuff. Well, that doesn't last. Ever. You grow and mature and the love I feel for The Doctor today is deeper and more intense than I felt 17 years ago.

And that's a good thing.
...this goes along with yesterday's post. I thought it was quite funny.

"I know I'm fat. Don't try to sugarcoat it, or I'll eat that too!"
Hi.  My name is Camille and I am addicted to food.
I love food.  I love the taste of it.  I never eat because I am hungry.  I eat because it tastes good.  I never NEED a second helping, I just take it because of the taste. 
I am an emotional eater.  I eat when I am happy and when I am sad.  I eat to celebrate and I eat to mourn.  I eat when I am bored, when I am stressed, when I am mad. 
The thing is, I can't ever be free from food.  If I was addicted to smoking, I could stop and never ever have another cigarette.  If I was an alcoholic, I could stop drinking and never have another one. 
But I can't stop eating.  And I can't stop grocery shopping.  I am around food all the time.  It's in my house!  I have 6 tubs of cookie dough in my freezer because The Teenager was selling them for a fund raiser.  I can hear them calling my name right now. 
And with the holidays coming up, there will be so much food and candy and sweets around.  I really don't know what I am going to do.  My mom can have one bite and it will satisfy her.  Not me.  I have to eat the whole thing, whether it's a bowl of ice cream or an entire large bag of Cheetos. 
Before The Princess was born, I went to Weight Watchers and lost 36 pounds.  I loved how I looked and felt.  I know what to do.  So why can't I do it again?  Where is my motivation? I see women who look so cute in clothes and I say, "I would give anything to look like that."  But obviously I wouldn't because I am still eating and still gaining.
"Sorrow comes primarily from selfishness, which is the absence of love."

Henry B. Eyring
Yes, I am insane. But I am giving NaBloPoMo another try. We will see how it goes, but my goal is to post every day in November. Wish me luck. I am going to need it! On the flip side, I just may get my drafts folder cleaned out!
Just watching this made me tired! Watch to the end...it is amazing!

"God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how WE need to love God."

Deiter F. Uchtdorf
I used to lie a lot when I was growing up.  It was so easy.  However, I'm not very good at it.  My eyebrows raise and I feel like a deer in the headlights!  Our new favorite show is "Lie to Me."  I am learning so much and my kids are finding it harder and harder to get away with lying.
Not that they were any good at it to begin with.  I can always tell when they are lying.  Many times I will let them lie over and over just to give them the chance to tell the truth.  It's so hard.  And I absolutely HATE being lied to.  It really makes me angry!
Last week The Doctor and I went to Barnes & Noble.  I love bookstores.  We were going to just look around, but I ended up with an armful of books.  Big armful! 
When we were checking out, The Doctor applied for a teacher discount card, but the discount is only books for the classroom.  So we paid and went home.  When I got home, I looked at the receipt and they had given us the teacher discount on all my books that were definitely not for his classroom. 
The books sat in their bags (yes, I needed multiple bags) on the floor for 5 days while I debated back and forth in my mind.  I even tried to put them on the shelf, but I couldn't even take them out of the bags.  Finally, I decided that I am not going to H-E-double-hockey-sticks over books! 
So yesterday I took them back to the store.  When I explained to the clerk what had happened, she smiled and said that last week was their Teacher Appreciation Week and instead of the 20% off classroom books, we got 25% off all our books.  They do this several times a year, and we had just happened to buy the books when it was going on.  She thanked me for being honest and sent me on my way.
As I walked out of the store, my heart was light and I had a spring in my step.  I came home and put the books on my shelf and I can read guilt free. 
So tell me your experiences with lying...did you resolve it?  Any regrets?  Let's dish!
Fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too.

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. 

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Okay, so as much as I have whined about having a 16 year old that is driving, can I just how LOVELY it is!


He needed to go to his work to turn some papers in, so I gave him the keys to car (and nearly had an anxiety attack as I did so!) and let him go. After about 5 minutes, I realized that I didn't have to drive him everywhere. I sat back and relaxed and realized how nice this will be.

If I need a quick thing from the grocery store? I will just send him.

Someone needs to go to scouts? Just give him the keys.

I could really get used to this!
My kids are off track for two more weeks. Fortunately we bought a "Mom & Me" pass to a local place that has a bunch of those giant blow up things. Do you know what I am talking about? The pass is only good from 11 - 3, but it's perfect to let them get some steam out. So as I sit here listening to the screams of dozens of children...oh wait...okay that's better, as I listen to my Pandora radio on my phone with my earphones shoved into my ears as tight as they will go to block out the screams of dozens of children, I feel the need to ponder life.

I cannot fathom the fact that I have a 16 year old. I remember being 16. I felt so grown up and mature. Didn't we all? Apparently all teenagers live under the same delusion!

Yesterday for The Teenager's birthday, I took cinnamon rolls over to his play practice, and as I passed them out to 43 kids, nearly every single one of them said thank you. I know because I consciously paid attention to it. In fact, I only recall one not saying thank you. I was so impressed! I wish I could call every one of their moms and tell them. They should all be proud. I know I have worked and worked with my children to teach them manners.

Speaking of manners, we are still working on them, only it's elbows on the tables and napkins on the lap now. I haven't just started teaching them these things, but I am getting more strict about it. I mean I have a child that will be taking girls out and trying to impress them!

Speaking of taking girls out, I want to take a poll. When I was dating, my mom taught me to always ask the boy what he was going to have, so I would know my price range. Did any one else learn this? What other rules/tricks did your parents teach you? Ask your hubbies too, because I want to know what I should be teaching my boys.

Okay enough rambling. Thanks for sticking around to the end!
Why is 16 such a magical number?  Why can't they spread it out more?  Driving and dating?  Really?
Today The Teenager turned 16.  He has been waiting for this day ever since he understood why girls were cute and cars were cool.  Age 15 was nice for him because he got his learner's permit, but Mom and Dad still had to be in the car.  Well, not as of today.  I took him down to the DLD and he got his license.  He is a good driver, I am not worried about that.  I am worried about those little lapses in judgement that we all have (ahem, driving down Lancer Lane trying to catch air at the intersection of 3200 W.!).  I just hope and pray that Heavenly Father will send many angels to sit by his side and keep him from doing anything too stupid!
But it doesn't stop there!  In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we don't date until we are 16.  And so The Teenager has been anxiously awaiting this day.  And I have been dreading it.  Let's talk about lapses of judgement, well..., let's not.  I don't want to go there!  LOL
Anyway, Happy 16th Birthday to The Teenager.  And by the way, I am so NOT old enough to have a 16 year old!  I swear I am still only 19!
I don't remember who said this, but it stuck in my heart.

"In His own time and way, he gives deliverance...in stages."
I am a very organized person.  I have to be.  I don't remember things!  I like to see things written down and I like to check things off.  I love lists.  I have lists for everything.  For all my lists, I have used a paper planner for years.  Specifically a Franklin Covey planner.
We're talking years here.  My first one was my senior year in high school.  And I still have all the pages from them.  I have no idea what I am going to do with them because I write in my journal every day, so what is the point?
And now that I have the MyTouch cell phone, it has the Google calendar in it, and I have a to do list app, and a shopping list app, and a notes app!  Plus spreadsheets!

I haven't used my paper planner since I got the phone.  I never, ever thought I would go electronic.  When people started using palm pilots, I hated them.  They just didn't have the functions that I needed.  But I have converted.  I love my phone, and I love having everything in one place.
However, it is frustrating sometimes because I can't type in it as fast as I can write something down.  So when we are at church and they are making the announcements, I am typing as fast as I can!  It's weird to bring my cell phone to church, and I am trying really hard not to update my Facebook status in the middle of Sacrament Meeting!
So if you see my "playing" on my phone in church, please know that I am either updating my calendar or reading my scriptures.  Because I have the scriptures on my phone too!  Whoo Hoo!
"Never suppress a generous thought."

-Camilla Kimball
I just love that The Chocoholic was born in December so that everything happening here was happening in December!  LOL
December 20, 1999.  We took him back to the children's hospital to have another renal exam.  This time it wasn't so easy to put in the catheter.  He was crying  and I was crying and it wasn't pretty!  Finally they got the catheter and the I.v. in.  They strapped him down on the exam table where he proceeded to cry and cry some more.  They gave him a sucker and that calmed him down for about 15 minutes.
When it was over, we met with the pediatric urologist.  We were told that 90% of the time, hydronephrosis happens in boys, and 90% of the time, it is in the left kidney, and 90% of the time, there aren't any problems.  In fact, in the years before ultrasounds, we would have never known he even had this.  But it's that 10% that need intervention that are truely helped by all this.  When the doctor looked at the scans of his kidneys, he smiled.  When we were there last time, the split was 60/40, meaning that one kidney was doing 60% of the work.  But this time the split was 55/45.  The doctor said, "He is fine and I hope to never see you again!"  I cried all the way to the car.  What a relief that was.
So our experience with hydronephrosis came to an end.  All that stress over nothing.  But it could have been worse, and I am so glad that he is healthy!
After The Chocoholic was born, the pediatrician examined him.  The kidneys weren't swollen, and he had peed on the nurses just after he was born, so he felt everything would be okay.
Less than 2 weeks later, we went to the children's hospital for an ultrasound.  The right kidney was completely normal, and the left kidney was 1 cm. longer.  But they weren't concerned at all.  The pediatric urologist scheduled us for a renal exam and bladder x-ray the next month.
Boy, weren't those fun.  Ever watched a 1 1/2 month old get an i.v.?  And a catheter?  I just cried while they were doing it, mainly because they were having to hold him down to do it all!  But he was so good about it!
The renal exam is to check for blockage. They laid him on a "table" that had the “cameras” on both the top and the bottom, so he was inside, kind of. It was open on both ends.  They put sandbags over his feet, then one over each arm. He had to lie still for the pictures. Then they brought in this tube that has radioactive symbols and warnings all over it. They opened it up, and it's lead lined, with a tiny needle inside. They injected it into his I.V., then we waited. They had a computer screen that was showing the particles as the collected in his kidneys. It took a picture every 15 seconds. It was kind of cool to watch as the kidneys began to show up. The right kidney "dumped" the particles almost right away into the bladder, but they stayed in the left kidney a lot longer. They watched that for 20 minutes, then they gave him a diuretic to make him pass the remaining particles into his bladder. It took the left kidney quite a while to pass them. That took 25 minutes. He slept during the whole thing. When they were finished, they took out the I.V., which woke him up and made him cry again.
Then we went into a waiting room to wait for the bladder x-ray. This is to check for reflux, if the bladder is pushing the urine back up into the kidneys. I fed him while we were waiting. When they called him in, I had to lay him on a table and the nurse gave Tom and I both lead vests to wear so we could stay with him. I held his hands, and she hooked up a bottle of saline to his catheter. She just held it up in the air and the saline flowed into his bladder. It took less than a minute, and his bladder was full. She then took some x-rays of his bladder. Then she called a dr. in to watch him "void." They took out the catheter and took x-rays while he was "voiding." After they were done, she left to go get something, and he peed again. I think he peed 3 times in all! But the good news is there was no reflux!
So we were told to come back in a year and they would do it all again to see what was happening. 
I bet you didn't anticipate a part three, did you?
When I was pregnant with #3 (The Chocoholic), I was really nervous because I wanted a girl so badly.  I had even been feeling like it was a girl.  I know, we are just supposed to want our babies to healthy and strong, but I wanted a girl desperately!  The night before the ultrasound, I had my husband give me a Priesthood blessing and afterwards, I felt such a calmness.  I knew I could handle it and would be okay. 
We had the ultrasound at 20 weeks, discovered that he was a boy, and I was strangely calm.  I was disappointed, but I knew it would okay.  As we were sitting in the exam room waiting for the doctor, the nurse came in and said, "So are you the couple that is having problems with your baby?"  We said no, and she quickly hurried out, but then I started to panic. 
When the doctor came in, he said there might be a problem with one of the kidneys of the baby.  There was some extra fluid in the left kidney, and the tube to the kidney was slightly dilated.  He told us to come back in 2 weeks and they would check it again.
The next afternoon, I was watching Oprah and they were talking about parenting tips and she had on a couple who had 10 boys, ages 22 to 4. I started to cry. Just a little bit. Then harder and harder. It just really hit me. I was totally sobbing. I had to call and tell Tom something, and I could barely talk. I finally calmed down and then my mom called me to see if I had watched it and I started to cry again. It doesn't mean I don’t, or won’t, love this baby, but I just needed to cry.
Two weeks later we had the ultrasound and the kidneys looked the same.  My OB told me they will just wait and do another ultrasound at 34 weeks and if it was the same, then we would let the pediatrician know and go from there.  It wasn't serious enough that anything had to be done right away.  Except stress about it!
I went to the doctor at 34 weeks and had another ultrasound. The baby's kidneys were still dilated. I will try to explain it without pictures!
There are 2 sections to the kidney, the place where it holds urine and the working part. The place where it holds the urine would normally be 1cm wide. The baby's are 1.25 cm. This means that the urine is not draining into the bladder like it should. The doctor said that sometimes a little flap grows in the ureter, which blocks the urine. If the working part starts to shrink at all, then he would send me to Primary Children's Hospital to see a pediatric surgeon/specialist. He told me this isn't something that we should take lightly, but we also shouldn't stress about it.   LOL  Tell a mother something is wrong with her baby, but don't stress about it!
They gave me ultrasounds every week to keep and eye on it and finally in December, I was induced and delivered a healthy baby boy. 
But lest you think our story is done, stay tuned for part two!
"Very often in our anxiousness for the joys of the future, we run away from the very things we are wanting and needing today. And appropriate examination of the passing moment will prove it leads to eternity. We need to constantly remind ourselves eternity is in process now."

Marvin J. Ashton
We are all going to get old.  We are all going to get wrinkles.  People who have had plastic surgery and Botox are not natural looking.  They just aren't!  For instance:

Who do they think they are kidding?  Not me!  They look awful.  They just do.  I'm sorry.  Just grow old gracefully!
I cannot believe I have made 300 postings. It has take 1 1/2 years to do it!

In honor of my 300th post, I have created a (yet another) new blog. Here I will be posting pictures of my cute kids and family.

Unfortunately, this one will be private. I will be limiting it to family and friends that I know personally and have met IRL. I am so paranoid about our privacy now. I'm sorry to those that read this blog that are friends, but I haven't met yet. I have to protect my kiddos. I am sure you understand.

So, if you would like to read my other blog and see pictures of beautiful children, shoot me an email and I will send you an invitation.

tacpaskett at comcast dot net

I have kept a daily (almost) journal since the 8th grade.  I never used anything fancy, just a simple spiral notebook.  I need to go back and type them up, because the ink is starting to fade.  Yes, add that to my list of things to do! 
2009-09-16 12.28.39
Anyway, in 1998, I started typing up my journal.  I am on the computer a lot, and it was just easier.  I print them out at the end of each year and bind them so they are similar to my handwritten ones. 
2009-09-16 12.29.00
I love to go back and read them.  I have gone through and done some editing...even so far as ripping entire pages out.  There are some things that my posterity does not need to know!  LOL 
2009-09-16 12.27.51
These are my journals on my shelf in my scrapbook room.  Would you like to hear a random entry?  Too bad!  LOL  I used a random date generator on the Internet, but every date it gave me, then journal entry for that date was so boring! 
Last year I typed up my Mom's old journals and I loved reading them.  She went through struggles just like I am.  She yelled at her kids and felt bad about it, just like me.  I wish I could have read them years ago.  I think I might have felt better about myself as a mother.
So go write in your journal.  If you haven't started one, start today.  Your kids will love you for it!