This winter The Chocoholic and The Princess made some snowmen.  I was at work while they were at home, so they made the snowmen by the sidewalk so they could welcome me home.  And then stupid teenagers knocked them down.  They were so upset!  I told them to make new ones in the backyard and then we would paint them.

To paint your snowmen, just buy some cheap spray bottles, fill with water and then put a couple drops of food coloring in.  You can make a bunch of different colors for really cheap.  The colors will fade off the snowmen over time, so keep the colors so they can be refreshed!


The kids also made baby snowmen.  See what I mean about the fading?


They found a plastic sack in the backyard, so they made “Crystal” with her long hair!


As the snowmen melted, they started leaning, and eventually some fell over.  The Princess decided it would be funny to spray them with red so it looked like they were bleeding.  Yes, I’m so proud.  But it was really cute!



They had so much fun doing this and it was a very inexpensive activity.  And with it being in the backyard, they stayed up for a very long time!
I know I posted this last year, but it was so close to Easter, so I thought I would repost it.  I am going to make a trip to my hubby's closet and see if I can't get rid of a few hideous ties!  LOL

Silk-dyed Eggs or

Have fun!
Experience is what we get when we don't get what we want.
I have been worried about what is going on with our health care.  We live in The United Sates of America.  We are free.  What the Democrats are trying to do goes against everything our country stands for.  The following article gives excellent advice for what to do IF this bill becomes a law (and pray that it doesn't!).

Health Care: Arbitrage Obama And The Dems

Yes, I mean it.

And yes, I've read the Health Bill. Both the 2,000+ page original and The House changes as voted upon.

Here's the bottom line:

•If you refuse to buy health insurance, you will be fined on a sliding scale that amounts to 2% of your AGI. So if you make $100,000 a year, you could be fined $2,000 for "refusing" to buy insurance.

•You cannot buy a catastrophic policy any more. The "cheapest" acceptable policy will cost somewhere around $15,000 for a single person, and over $20,000 for a family. This is, for most people, more than five times the maximum possible fine - each and every year. The law makes it effectively impossible to maintain an existing catastrophic policy as they "renew" every year, and should any change be made you are then forced to buy something "acceptable" in the law (or pay the fine.)

•When the "pre-existing condition" bar comes down you cannot be charged more or denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

•I fully expect 20-50% premium increases immediately, and for the next three years sequentially, in all existing policies. This is precisely what the banks did in front of the CARD act becoming effective, and it will happen here as well. That is the cause of the short-term rocket shot in the health-related stocks this morning.

•In addition the capital gains tax changes will do severe damage to capital formation immediately, and these changes will become especially severe starting in 2014. The market will anticipate these changes and react accordingly, although you certainly wouldn't know it today.

Ok, this one's easy.

When the fines and pre-existing coverage "stop-out" go into effect (now for kids, in a couple of years for the rest) drop all coverage for those affected.



•The fine is 1/5th or less the cost of the "insurance."

•For routine care, you now can negotiate for your care before it is provided. It will be cheaper to do so than to buy the insurance - for routine events. Don't try to tell me it's not either - I've been carrying a catastrophic-only policy now for more than a decade, and as a consequence I've negotiated these fees and costs for routine things and saved tens of thousands compared to simply "buying a full-boat policy." The only reason for me to carry the "catastrophe" policy - the possibility of being screwed if I developed a serious condition and thus got excluded - has just been erased by this law, effective in a couple of years.

•If you have a catastrophe of any form, buy the insurance at that point in time. You cannot be turned down or charged more.

Screw the government. They are the ones who set the standards - we simply have to live with them, and this is the only logical action to take given what they have just done.

Is there a risk in this strategy? Sure. You could have a "zero notice" catastrophe before you (or someone with a power of attorney) could buy a policy. So you have to be able to survive that sort of "short-term" event - but remember, you're going to be banking $10-20k per person during the time you're running "naked." So do exactly that - bank it for a year or two - so you have the ability to cover the instant expense from one of those "aw crap!" catastrophic circumstances. Fact is, they don't happen often and in a year or so you can have a very nice cushion against them.

Businesses will be dropping people like flies from business-covered "insurance"; there will be no reason for anyone as an employer to be providing this "benefit" into an environment where insurance prices will double - and probably double twice - in the next four years. If you think not, look at what was done to credit-card holders in front of the provisions of the CARD act going into effect.

This, by the way, will bankrupt the insurance companies in the end. Nobody will buy until they have HIV, Cancer or some other serious illness - then they will buy, and the companies will have to pay - with no lifetime caps or exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

The health care companies that are getting a rocket shot today in the stock market are being bought by fools.

If you have any belief whatsoever in the efficient market hypothesis this is exactly what people will do as the effective dates for these provisions approach, as it will save them ten thousand dollars a year or more - each. The insurance companies will instantaneously lose the "pool" of healthy people who buy against risk - rather, they will have a pool of all sick people who buy against known costs.

Forget it folks - this is the end of the health industry in America, and I will be looking for the recognition in the market (as expressed by technical analysis on the stocks in this sector) that the efficient market will come to the fore.

The intention of The Democrats (and liberals generally) in this legislation is clear and impossible to hide - they intend to completely destroy private health care in favor of a fully-government-run single-payer system. The efficient market guarantees this outcome given the law they passed, and they know it.
…with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” 

Grandpa Joe has been in bed for 20 years (along with the 3 other grandparents).  Charlie’s mom has been working her fingers to the bone doing other people’s laundry to provide for all of them. 

After Charlie starts working delivering his newspapers, he buys bread for his family, and then gives money to Grandpa Joe to buy tobacco. 


And then when Charlie finds the golden ticket, does he ask his mother to go with him to the factory?  No, he asks Grandpa Joe.  Grandpa Joe, who has been in bed for 20 years and couldn’t work, suddenly can walk and dance and get dressed and go to the factory.

I feel sorry for Charlie’s mother. Yes, it’s just a movie.  And now I think I need some therapy!  LOL
Okay, I may ruffle a few feathers with this post, but it is my blog, and I have to put this out there.

I value punctuality a lot. A LOT! I absolutely hate being late. It is something that I inherited from my mother. She trained me to not only be on time, but to be early. If I am only 5 minutes early, I feel late.

I can only remember a few times that I have been late. There is one that sticks out very clearly, mainly because it happened recently.

I had been asked to take a salad to a funeral luncheon. I made it the night before and it was all ready to go. It needed to be there at 4:00. My husband also had somewhere to be at 4:00. I sent him off and sat down to read.

At 4:20, I just happened to glance at my calendar and saw the reminder. I freaked out! I jumped up and grabbed The Chocoholic and we took off. I brought him so he could hold the salad so I could race. It normally takes me 5 minutes to get to the church. I made it in 3. I was speeding and The Chocoholic commented that he had never seen me drive so fast.

And then he asked me if this was the first time I had ever been late. I told him no, there had been a few other times. He said, “Well this is the first time I remember.” And he is 11. That made me so proud, to know that he knows that I am not late.

In our community, being late is commonplace. People joke about being on “Mormon time,” which is 10-15 minutes late for everything. It is accepted as normal. Meetings rarely start on time because there are very few people there. We have to wait until more people arrive before we start.

This really bothers me. What they are saying is that the people who are late are more important than the people who are on time, me included. It makes me feel very unimportant, to the point that I have stopped going to a few meetings because I don’t want to feel that way.

And I wish people didn’t feel the need to make fun of me because I am punctual. No one in our ward has, and no one to me specifically, but in general. Just general remarks about “people who are on time have nothing better to do with their lives.”


I also have worked hard to teach my children to be reverent. We start at an early age and work with them at home to teach them how to sit quietly. We sit near the front of the chapel so they can pay attention better. It’s not easy, but we do it. Then I heard about a comment that Sister Julie Beck (General Relief Society President) said at a regional conference. She said, “Reverent children are weird.”


If I were to give a talk to a bunch of women and say, “Irreverent children are weird," there were be a huge uproar. But it’s okay to make fun of me. I try really hard not to let it get to me, but I guess tonight, I am feeling it.

I don’t make fun of you. Please don’t make fun of me.

Again, this is not directed to anyone in specific. Just to the general public. And I hope I didn't offend anyone.  I just had to get it off my chest.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
TWENTY years ago I...
1. Had just moved from Idaho to Utah in the middle of my junior year.
2. Had left a boyfriend behind and was missing him terribly.
3. Was watching my mom fall apart every night because she was working crazy hours.

TEN years ago I...
1. Had just moved into our first house and was having fun decorating and making curtains.
2. Was scrapbooking and enjoying myself.
3. Was getting ready to graduate from college.

FIVE years ago I...
1. Was having fun playing with my new baby girl.
2. Was scrapbooking and enjoying being in our new house.
3. Had no idea that The Doctor was about to lose his job and change our entire lives forever.

THREE years ago I...
1. Was dealing with a husband who was not very fun to be around.
2. Had my first child in junior high.
3. Had no idea our car was about to break down and I would have to go back to work and my life would never be the same.

ONE year ago I...
1. Was working a lot and was miserable.
2. Was adjusting to The Doctor being happy because he had his degree and was working.
3. Hadn’t scrapbooked in 2 years.

So far THIS YEAR I have...
1. Been able to cut back on working a little bit.
2. Had a child start high school, another start junior high, and my baby started kindergarten.
3. Scrapbooked once.

TWO DAYS ago I...
1. Went to work.
2. Went to book group.
3. Tried to explain to The Doctor why I go to book group, even though we only talk about the book for 15 minutes (out of the 2 1/2 hours I was gone!) and I hadn’t even read it.  He just doesn’t get it!

1. Worked at home.
2. Did laundry.
3. Listed a bunch of stuff on eBay and Craig’s List.

TOMORROW I will...
1. Not have to work at all.
2. Take a nap.
3. Go on a date with my hubby.

In the NEXT YEAR I hope to...
1.  Lose 40 pounds.
2.  Quit working (big dream!)
3.  Scrapbook again on a regular basis

1. Kiss my hubby.
2. Tell my kids (and my hubby) that I love them.
3. Thank my Heavenly Father for my hubby and my kids.
Could you go a week without wearing any makeup at all?  A whole week…even to church?

I remember Oprah did a show on this.  She used several women who were obsessed with their makeup. 

One woman was near the end of her pregnancy, and would wash her face every night, and then redo her makeup right away so that if she were to go into labor at night, she would have it done to go to the hospital.
It’s amazing though, how celebrities look like real people when you see them without their makeup on.  In fact, some of them look downright homely. 

I was raised that I should always try to look my best.  And to me, that means makeup.  I don’t like how I look without it.  That could be because I have been wearing it since I was 12.  I don’t feel that I wear an obsessive amount.  In fact, I hate liquid foundation.  It’s just too heavy.  I use a mineral foundation, and I love how it covers, but it is still light.  I also use blush, eye liner, mascara, and lipstick. 

So, do you think you could go a whole week without it?

I don’t know if I could.

When we finally got pregnant with baby #4, we both knew that we were done.  It didn’t matter if it was a boy or a girl, we were done.  We waited until she was born to make sure I was thinking clearly, but it didn’t change…we were done.  So The Doctor got the big “V.”

But that wasn’t the monumental moment. 

After she was born and I knew for certain that she was a girl (ultrasounds can be tricky!), I gave away all my boy clothes and toys.  Can you imagine how much room that saved me in my storage? 

And then, as The Princess grew up and out of each stage, because we were done having children, I was able to get rid of the bassinet, the swing, the car seat, the baby clothes, the crib, the baby toys, etc.  No more storing them. 

But that wasn’t the monumental moment.

The moment came the day that I was able to go around the house and remove the outlet covers.  No more pulling them out just to plug something in.  They were empty and ready to be used at any time.

That was monumental to me, not to mention much more convenient!

Life is full of changes and many of them make us sad and uncomfortable. But they always make us grow. I do look forward to the growth if not the growing pains.
When I found out I was having a girl, I knew that it was time to get rid of my boy clothes.  I didn’t have any problems getting rid of them.  I had bought most of them from garage sales, and the rest were the cheapest clothes I could afford to buy.  They had been through 3 boys and I was tired of them.  I gave them all to my sister without a backwards glance.

The Princess had beautiful clothes.  I bought a bunch when I was pregnant, and she was given so many as gifts.  Dresses and sleepers and tights and shoes (I never bought shoes for my boys when they were babies!  Not until they started walking!).  Lace and ribbons and bows and ruffles and pink, pink, pink!  It was so much fun to dress her.

I have said it before – you buy clothes for boys because you can’t let them walk around nekked.  You buy clothes for girls because they are so cute and make you say, “Awwwww.”

But as The Princess grew out of her clothes, I struggled with letting them go.  They had barely been used and were in such good condition.  I finally gave them to my sister the hopes that my sister would have a girl.  But she didn’t.  So she gave them all back to me because she didn’t know what I would want done with them. 

So then I had to deal with those emotions all over again.

And then I had a brilliant idea.  I got out my digital camera and went to work taking pictures.  Of every single outfit.  I love that we have digital cameras now and can take all the pictures we want without spending the money to develop every single picture.

to blog

After I took the pictures, I was able to let go of the clothes without a problem.  I had already pulled a few of the clothes out that I wanted to keep.  Those are boxed up, waiting for my daughter to mock them when she grows up and I pull them out for her little girl.  (Sorry, Mom.)
The wall between my living room and kitchen does not go all the way to the ceiling.  When we first moved in, I was so excited to decorate it.  My mom and my aunt helped.  But it’s hard to get up there.  We had to get a ladder and it was very awkward. 

So one we got everything up there, I let it be.  And I didn’t touch it. 

For 5 1/2 years. 

Sorry, Mom.

So, one day I looked up.  And then looked closer.  I was horrified at how much dust I could see.  I pulled the ladder out and started pulling everything down.  After I got all the “stuff” off, I looked down at the ledge. 

And then I saw it.


I can’t believe I am showing this, but this is for everyone who thinks that my house is spotless and clean all the time. 

Look at the following pictures carefully.


Yes, the grey is the dust and the light is what the ledge should be.  The worst part is that the top of that ledge is textured, which made it next to impossible to clean off completely.  I vacuumed, I scrubbed, and it still looks bad.  But it looks better than it did!

I was, and still am, so embarrassed.  But I am all about being honest here.  And it doesn’t get much more honest than this.

Now, I wish I could say that this will motivate me to clean it more often.  Sorry.  I foresee several years before I clean it off again.  So don’t look up when you come over!
I have a question. 

You know how when you “Google” something, and it gives you the results, it has the sponsored link, and right below it is the same link, but not sponsored?

My question is this…which do you click on?  Knowing that if you click on the sponsored link, that website will have to pay money to Google. 

I am always debating what to do.  So I want your opinion.  Now is the time to speak up and let your voice be heard!  Well, read anyway!
When I started having kids, I put weight on…and didn’t take it off.  After the 3rd child, when we tried to get pregnant again, it didn’t happen.  We tried for 3 1/2 years. 

I had never been regular, going anywhere from 3 weeks to 9 weeks between periods.  I was finally diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, which causes you to not ovulate as often as you should. 

Several times I was told that loosing weight would help, but it took a few years for it to sink in.  Finally, in August of 2003 I joined Weight Watchers with my mom.  I did really good at it and ended up loosing 39.6 pounds!  I wanted, and needed, to lose more.  However…I got pregnant! 

But that wasn’t the monumental moment. 

I still remember the first week after I joined WW and how hard it was.  I was used to eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  I remember the first time my stomach growled in hunger.  I hadn’t heard that sound for years. 

But that still wasn’t the monumental moment.

I went to that first weigh-in so nervous.  I stood on the scale and just prayed.  When I looked down and saw a weight loss, I squealed in delight!  I was amazed that just by not eating as much, I could lose weight.  I really thought it would take more, that I would have to exercise like crazy. 

That was monumental to me.
"Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees."

J. Willard Marriott
You all know how much I love my sleep.  And not just daytime, but nighttime too.  But I also know that life doesn’t stop just because someone is asleep.

Even if that someone is a baby.

I never understood why people tiptoe around when the baby is sleeping.  Yes, you don’t need to scream and shout, but life can’t stop.  Nothing bugs me more than when I see the sign on the doorbell that says, “Shhh.  Baby sleeping.” 


You have to train your children to sleep through the noise.   During day, you have to keep noise going.  Even when they are babies.  Have the TV or radio going.  Keep their door open.  Go about your daily activities. 

With my children, I could even vacuum in their rooms while they were sleeping.  I would shut the door and turn the vacuum on in the hall, move it to just outside the door, then open the door.  Vacuum away!

The Chocoholic even preferred the noise.  He didn’t wake up when it was noisy, he would wake up when it was quiet! 

Trust me.  Your life will be much easier if you train them to sleep through the noise.  They will be better sleepers!
When I was in 6th grade, we were living in Great Falls, Montana.  In our ward was a guy who delivered dairy products, and always gave my parents nearly expired yogurt. 

We loved the yogurt, but we would get so much of it, that we couldn’t eat it fast enough.  So my mom started throwing it in the freezer.

I now do that on purpose.  I buy a bunch of it and just throw it in the freezer.  When the kids want a treat, instead of ice cream, we pull them out.  Take the lid off and put it in the microwave for 1 minute at power 30.  They come out perfect to eat.  Cold and creamy. 

I love to buy the Light Yoplait yogurt because there are so many different flavors and there are only 110 calories and 0 fat.  And it’s only 2 points on Weight Watchers.  The kids really like them because they feel like they are eating ice cream.

It’s a win-win!
This afternoon the house was quiet.  It shouldn’t have been.  This is what my kitchen looked like:


Why?  Because it was so warm outside!

I broke my long-standing rule that you do homework before you go out to play.  It was so nice and the sun was so warm, that I sent them out.  They didn’t even ask, I sent them.  I couldn’t stand the thought of making them stay inside when it was warm. 

Now, this won’t become a habit, but when it’s the first really nice, warm day after a long, cold winter, that I had to make an exception.  And they were all very happy!
When I ask you what your most monumental moments in your life have been, what would you say?

Okay, so we would all say getting married, having babies, etc.  Those are the obvious ones.

I want to know about the other monumental moments.  The ones that still meant a lot to you, or changed your life. 

I have several, and I thought I would start Monumental Moment Mondays.  Just for fun.
Here is today’s moment :

After baby #2, I started having the feeling that I needed to finish my education.  I had put it on hold to have babies, and really hadn’t planned on ever finishing, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I need to go back. 

So I enrolled at the University of Phoenix, where you attend class once a week, in the evening.  When I started college before I was married, I was majoring in Elementary Education.  Then after we got married, I switched to Medical Transcription.  But when I started going for my Bachelor’s at UOP, I went into Accounting.  I needed 2 years to finish.

2 months after I started school, I got pregnant.  So I spent the first year of my schooling pregnant.  I gave birth 1 week after finishing the hardest class of my program…Advanced Accounting. 

I then spent the second year of my schooling taking care of an infant, driving 90 miles round trip to take my son to preschool (that’s another story in itself), and I had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands (that’s another story!).

But I did it.  I finished.  I got my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting!  I was an accountant! 

I haven’t done too many things for myself, but this one was just for me.  I still smile when I think about it.  It was so hard, but I kept going and I finished. 

That was a huge Monumental Moment for me. 

I have more moments coming but I would love to hear some of yours, whether it be in comments or your own blog posts.