The following is straight out of my journal. 

September 13, 2008 Saturday

The Teenager wanted black highlights in his hair, so I did that tonight. And when we washed it out, they were blue. Blue. Darker than royal blue, but lighter than navy blue. Blue. I at first freaked out, but decided they weren’t that bad. He is trying so hard to find his place and be cool.  I should have listened to my gut.  Turns out it was the Holy Ghost trying to tell me something.

September 14, 2008 Sunday

I came very close to walking out of church today. And it scared me. Let me start at the beginning. Last night, I wanted to strip the blue out of The Teenager’s hair. But I didn’t. I didn’t listen.

Today, we got to church and The Teenager prepared the sacrament, but when he was getting ready to sit down, the Bishop told him he couldn’t pass. Not with hair like that. I got mad. And madder. And madder.

Who was he to say The Teenager couldn’t pass? The Teenager was in shock, and then embarrassed, and then mad. He came and sat down and didn’t lift his head the rest of the meeting. I was mad. I took The Princess out during one talk because she “had to go to the bathroom.” And then the Bishop stood up to give a talk. I was so close to walking out. So was The Doctor. I was furious. The Teenager is a good kid. So what if he had blue hair? Who’s it hurting?

After sacrament meeting, the Bishop called The Teenager into his office. The Doctor waited for him while I went to Primary. He came down a little while later and told me that the Bishop had said that The Teenager was still worthy, and can still prepare the sacrament, but he can’t pass. The Doctor said that if the Bishop won’t let him pass, he can’t prepare either. He won’t separate the two. I agreed.

When we got home, I was still mad. But then our home teachers came over. And I know they were inspired to say what they said. They had no knowledge of what had happened. But they taught us about the 9th Article of Faith:
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
So do we really believe this? Our prophet has said that priesthood holders should dress conservatively and modestly so as not to draw attention to themselves. They are to do their priesthood duties quietly and in the background. In other words, if The Teenager has blue hair, when he passes the sacrament, everyone will be looking at his hair, and not concentrating on the sacrament.

I felt like a bomb had hit me. What had I been doing? I had been ready to leave. Not just leave church, but leave the church. I was that mad. What if I did leave? It would affect my children, their children, and on down the line. Was I ready for that responsibility?

After the home teachers left, we gathered the kids and talked about it. We told them we needed to repent. They knew we were angry, and it scares me to think about how this could have affected their lives, let alone my own. We talked about how the Bishop speaks for God, and when we disobey him, we are disobeying God. That was scary for me to think that I was defying God today. I cried about that.

The Teenager was still angry. He kept talking about how much money he has spent on hair color, but I know he is more upset because he doesn’t know who he is, who he wants to be, or how to rebel. We talked off and on throughout the night, and he just kept saying he didn’t want brown hair. That was the recurring saying all night long. I told him it doesn’t have to be brown, it just has to be a color that hair is naturally. Finally at one point, he said, “Well, can’t I have it brown with blonde highlights?” YES, YES, YES! So I will get him an appointment to get it colored.

The Doctor called the Bishop tonight to apologize, and guess what? The Bishop didn’t even know we had been mad. I had sat there in Sacrament Meeting, my jaw clenched, my arms tightly folded, ignoring him and he didn’t even notice. So who had been affected by our being mad? Not him. Just us.

It’s not the little things that will pull us down, but the simple things like blue hair. I have heard stories about how people get offended and quit coming to church, and I always thought so little of them. I never, in a million years, thought that would ever happen to me. But it did. And I feel like I passed a huge test today.

My testimony has been strengthened.
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are commanded to keep the Sabbath day holy. 
This is what our leaders tell us:
Your Sabbath day behavior is a reflection of your commitment to honor and worship God.  By keeping the Sabbath day holy and going to the Lord’s house to worship Him, you demonstrate your willingness to keep your covenants with God.  While there, you can partake of the sacrament to remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement, thereby renewing your covenants and showing that you are willing to repent of your sins and mistakes.  On Sunday, you can enjoy a rest from your labors and can be renewed by your association with friends and family.
When a community or nation grows careless in its Sabbath activities, its religious life decays, all aspects of life are negatively affected, and the blessings associated with keeping the Sabbath day holy are lost.  You should refrain from shopping or participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate the Sabbath.  As you endeavor to make your Sabbath activities compatible with the intent and Spirit of the Lord, your life will be filled with joy and peace.
I love Sunday.  Why?
I can’t work.  I have work sitting on my desk, but I can’t touch it until tomorrow.  And I don’t feel guilty about not doing it.
I can’t go shopping.  If I don’t have something for supper, we make do or we do without. 
I can’t do yard work.  If I don’t get it done on Saturday, it has to wait. 
I can’t clean.  If the floor is dirty or the bathroom mirror streaked, too bad.  It has to just stay that way.
It is the only day that I can sit around and look at messes and not feel guilty.  Now, I’m not saying that I get all this stuff done during the rest of the week.  I just feel guilty for not doing anything about it.
Sundays are the best.
Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.

How do you define true love? 

1.  In February, I got prepped for 2 crowns (on a side note, don’t ever do two at a time.  Just don’t.)  A week later, I went back to get the permanent crowns put on.  My teeth were so sensitive, they had to numb me just to get them cemented on. 

By the time I got home, I was in such pain.  I was miserable.  I was trying to think of what to make for supper and what I was going to do for the Stake Conference Children’s choir practice that night.

The doctor got home at 5:30 and immediately sent me upstairs to bed to lay down.  He fixed supper and got the kids taken care of.  When he woke me up, supper was on the table.  I was able to eat and then go to the choir practice rested.

2.  The Doctor teaches high school for his full time job.  That means he is home during the summer.  Last summer, he self-appointed himself to make supper every night.  The kids loved it because I then helped them with the dishes each night.  But I loved it more because I could relax in the afternoons!

3.  The Doctor also teaches at a local university on weekends.  This means that on some Saturdays, he has to get up early.  If the Princess wakes up before he leaves, he convinces her to stay downstairs and eat breakfast and let me sleep until he leaves.

4.  When I get a new book, especially one that I have been anticipating, I start reading and I can’t put it down.  When the last Harry Potter book came out, I went to Wal-Mart and bought it at noon.  I went home and started reading. 

And I didn’t stop.  For 12 hours.

Yes, I read the whole book in 12 hours.  But the most important thing is that I didn’t do anything else.  I didn’t cook, pay attention to the kids, anything. 

And my sweet hubby let me.  He took care of everything.  I didn’t ask him to.  He just stepped up and did it.  Because he loves me.

5.  He tells me everyday that he loves me.  He tells me how beautiful and sexy I am.

So to me, these define true love. 

So I decided to exercise this morning, right after we finished our scripture reading.  The Artist is getting ready for school then, but I figured I can still yell at him while I am working out.  I did The Biggest Loser Boot Camp.  I love that it has 3 levels, but I can customize it.  I did just the level 1 today, and I was dying.  But I made it through (along with The Princess and The Chocoholic! They were so cute!).

But that is not why I am blogging about it.

Usually when 1pm hits, I am a zombie.  I am so tired, I can’t keep my eyes open.  I try to sit down and work, but I am fighting the sleepies the whole time.  Usually I lose the battle and end up taking a nap.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my naps!  But I would like to be able to work while all the kids are at school so I can focus on them when they get home from work.

Well, today, I worked all afternoon.  I don’t recall yawning once.  I remember reading a friend’s blog (Hi Kristen!) about how she never needed naps after she lost weight and I thought, “How sad!”  LOL  Now I am thinking it’s not so bad.  I can get so much more work done, and so much more scrapbooking done!  I am psyched about the possibilities!

So I am going to keep trying.  I know there will be days that I will fail.  I just have to tell myself to keep trying and make it a habit.  Wish me luck!

When my kids were little, life sometimes got overwhelming.  I am sure you all can relate.  We all can.  We are not perfect.  We all have faults and trials.

There were days that I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I would get angry and upset and my poor dear hubby would get the brunt of it.  When it would get really bad, I would run away.

I never had the money to run away somewhere fun.  Most times I would walk.  Usually to the elementary school, where I would just sit and think.  Sometimes I would drive.  Out to where there was little traffic, so I could drive and think.  Once I went and bought a book and sat in the parking lot and read for 3 hours.  And thought.

I usually thought about what a horrible mother I was and how much better off my kids and hubby would be without me. I was so hard on myself. 

I never stayed away for long.  I think the 3 hours in the parking lot was the longest.  I always went back.  Reluctantly.  I think 3 days would have been better.  But I couldn’t do that.  So I went home and went back to real life.

I’m not sharing this so you can feel sorry for me.  I am sharing this so you can know you are not alone.  I used to feel that I was the only one that felt this way.  I was supposed to be the perfect mother.  It was what I had always wanted, so why did I feel so awful?

It took me years to discover that most moms struggle with these same feelings.  I wish I had known that.  It would have made life much easier.  We need to talk more as mothers.  Share our faults and struggles so others can learn from them. 

So if you are ever doubting yourself as a wife, a mother, or even just as a woman, call someone.  Call me.  Call anyone.  Just talk about it and discover how “normal” you are.
I really hate to exercise. 

No, I take that back.  I don’t mind exercising.  I just hate to sweat.  Really hate it.  My face gets red and it doesn’t go away for a long time!  And I smell.  I don’t mean a feminine smell.  I have to use the strongest  deodorant on the shelves to keep it in check.

So when do I exercise? 

I already get up at 5:30 to make lunch and breakfast and have family prayer and scripture reading.

If I wait until the kids are at school, then it’s 8:00.  So I exercise, then shower and get ready for the day and it’s 10:00 and half my morning is gone, which is the best time for me.

If I wait until after The Princess goes to school, then I am in my funk all morning with hair not done and a greasy face.

Once the kids get home, it’s homework and supper and running around.

Then at nighttime, I am so tired because I have been up since 5:30.

I know these are all excuses.  I know I just need to get off my backside, because it’s getting bigger.  The backside.

So when do you exercise?  What works best for you?
Most people will be about as happy as they decide to be.
A Woman's Lifeline (As quoted from M Russell Ballard.)

"Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a queen.

"Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

"Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an ugly duckling (Mom I can't go to school looking like this today!)

"Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides
she's going out anyway.

"Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she doesn't have time to fix it so she's going out anyway.

"Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but says, "At least I am clean," and goes out anyway.

"Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am what I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.

"Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

"Age 70: She looks at herself and sees wisdom, laughter, and ability and goes out and enjoys life.

"Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

"The moral is, maybe we should all grab that purple hat a little earlier."
As most of you know, I have been working on losing weight.  I talked about it a little bit here.  But let’s start at the beginning. 

I was never overweight growing up.  I was very comfortable with how I looked.  I never, ever dieted.  I was just who I was.  When I got married, I loved how I looked.

When I got pregnant with The Teenager, I put on 45 pounds.  I just ate and ate and didn’t care.  After he was born, I lost 20 pounds, but within a year, I put 10 back on.  When I got pregnant with The Artist, I put on 35 pounds.  After he was born, I lost 20 pounds, but put 10 back on.  When I got pregnant with The Chocoholic, I put on 25 pounds.  After he was born, I lost 20 pounds, but put 10 back on.

Anyone seeing a pattern here?

I really thought that losing weight took a lot of effort because that is all I ever heard from women.  I knew I was heavy, but I was okay with it.  It never really bothered me that much.  I would say, “I would give anything to be skinny,” but obviously I wouldn’t because I was still fat.

My mom and my aunt both were overweight and they talked me into doing Weight Watchers with them.  I honestly was amazed at how easily the weight came off.  In 3 months, I lost a total of 39.5 pounds.  I realized that just by changing my eating habits, I could lose weight and look better.  And that is what Weight Watchers is…a lifestyle change. 

Weight Watchers teaches you how to change your eating habits so you eat healthier and make better choices.  For me it was the best choice.  I have talked to people who did NutriSystem, and yes, they lost weight while they were eating the company’s food, but as soon as they had to go back to eating their own food, they couldn’t do it.  They didn’t know how to make better food choices. 

Anyway, I would have lost more weight, but I got pregnant.

And here is where it all went downhill.

I knew that this was our last baby.  The last time I would ever be pregnant.  The last time I could “eat for two.”  And rather than continue to eat healthy, I chose to eat whatever I wanted and enjoy it.  Stupid.

I only gained 25 pounds.  After The Princess was born, I lost 20 pounds, but…I put 10 pounds back on.  And I just sat there.  I tried to do Weight Watchers on my own with my mom and my aunt.  We had competitions and tried putting money in a pot and whoever lost the most got the money.  It didn’t work.  I went back to Weight Watchers.  And didn’t lose.  And then The Doctor lost his job.  I gained 10 pounds in 2 weeks.  Food is my drug of choice.  And I kept eating. In the next 2 years, I put on another 15 pounds. 

Then came the HCG diet.  The Doctor really wanted to do it.  I know it is controversial, so I did a lot of research on it before I agreed.  And he did really good on it.  So I decided to try it.  I lost 20 pounds on it during my first round.  And on my second round, I lost 10 pounds.  I would have lost more, but I quit halfway through.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.  On that diet, you can’t eat any carbs…no pasta, rice, bread, etc.  No sugar, no pork, no dairy. 

I didn’t care that I lost the weight quickly.  I was miserable.  I know my limitations.  And after doing that diet, doing Weight Watchers felt like I was indulging!  I know that I can do Weight Watchers.  I am going to continue to lose weight.  I just need to figure out how to incorporate exercise. 

That’s a whole other post!
No one can ruin your day without your permission.
1. When you go to Wal-mart, what one thing do you get every single time?
It used to be a Twix bar.  I love Twix.  I haven’t been there lately because we are mainly buying fresh fruits and vegetables, and I don’t buy those at Wal-mart.  I do always get cash back at the register.  Then I don’t have to go to the ATM.
2. What is something that people are currently "into" that you just don't get or appreciate?
I don’t get the giant funky jewelry.  The giant beads on the watch bands and bracelets.  How do they get anything done with those weighing their arms down?
3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel "ho-hum" about?
I love blogging.  I have always written in my journal, but I am writing things on my blog that I haven’t written in my journal.  For instance, my post on how much I love office supplies.  I have always felt that way, but I never wrote about it.  So it’s been fun to document more about myself.  And my blog is more about me than my kids.  I feel bad sometimes because my husband won’t read it.  But I have to remember that I am blogging for me, not him.
4. Favorite song to sing in the shower?
“Hum Your Favorite Hymn”
“If on occasion you have found, your language is in question,
And ugly thoughts are in your mind, then here’s a good suggestion:
Just hum your favorite hymn, sing out with vigor and vim,
And you will find it clears your mind,Hum your favorite hymn.
Before you say an angry word, remember you’ll regret it.
For once it’s said, the harm is done, and some folks won’t forget it.
Just hum your favorite hymn, sing out with vigor and vim,
And you will find it clears your mind, Hum your favorite hymn.”
5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:
Chopped hard-boiled eggs.  I love them on salads!
6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences):
Be yourself.  This is your blog.  Don’t write for anyone else but you. 
7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?
I don’t think they had any alternates.  I have never asked. 
8. What in your life are you waiting for?
I am trying not to wait for things, to just enjoy the moment.  However, I am waiting for June so we can go to Disneyland!
9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?
My new camcorder that I ordered from!
10. Today--what song represents you?
I couldn’t think of a song, so I asked my hubby.  He suggested “The Climb” which is sung by Miley Cyrus.  I cannot stand her, and I have switched the radio channel every time this song comes on.  He told me to read the lyrics and I started crying.  This is exactly how I am feeling right now.
I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"
Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going
And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on
'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!
Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa
11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?
That I am pretty funny, and I write pretty well.  I have always enjoyed writing, just not for a grade.
12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you're wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you're feeling today?
I bought some new shirts last week that are a smaller size.  I put one on today, and I feel so skinny in it, because it doesn’t feel (or look) like a tent.  And of course it’s pink!  I love wearing pink.  I feel so feminine in it.
When I was in high school, I dressed for style. 

Now, I never wore name brand clothes…why pay $100 for a pair of jeans when you can get 5 pairs for that price? 

But I dressed nice.  I had nice clothes and I took good care of them.  Some things got hand-washed, and I actually ironed.  I had places to go and I had the clothes to wear.

Then I got married and started having babies.  And gaining weight.  That’s when I started dressing for function. 

When I went shopping, I looked for easy care…stain resistant, easy to wash, no ironing, etc.  I was on the floor the majority of the time taking care of my kids, and I was at home 99% of the time, so what did I need nice clothes for?

Now that my children are older, I’m not on the floor anymore.  but I am still fat.  It’s so hard to buy clothes that are attractive on you when you are overweight.  They make the clothes look so cute, until you get them on.

No wonder I hate my clothes!
When I was little, my Grandma Christensen always had gum in her purse.  It was always the Wrigley’s gum.  Whenever she came to visit, we would ask her for gum, and she gave it up willingly.  Wrigley’s gum reminds me of her.

I love to chew gum.  It has great flavor, it freshens my breath, and it keeps me from eating.  Anytime I start to feel snacky (I know that’s not a word!), I can just chew a piece of gum and then I get the chewing satisfaction without the calories.

But my mom taught me a very important rule for chewing gum, and it’s the same rule for eating at the table:


Nobody wants to see what you are chewing, and nobody wants to hear you chew it!  I see people chomping and smacking their gum and they look and sound like cows.  It grosses people out.  And it’s really bad manners.

Please, please, please close your mouth when you are chewing gum!

When I was pregnant with The Chocoholic, we decided it was time to finally get a house.  We had been married 6 years and felt we needed to bite the bullet and just do it.  We didn’t know how we were going to do it, but The Doctor said we would figure out a way.

The Doctor did a lot, and I mean a lot, of research and found programs and grants and we found a home builder and decided to build a house.

I was so excited!  I started packing and we checked on the house regularly.  I had the baby on December 4th, and continued to pack during the month.  Packing and Christmas are so much fun!

A couple of weeks after Christmas, we got a disturbing phone call.  We had been going FHA with our loan because we couldn’t afford to get a conventional loan (we had no down payment).  Apparently, our builder had failed their inspection.  They had falsified documents to FHA and hadn’t been doing things on our house that they were supposed to.  So FHA was pulling their funding.

Because of this, we could no longer get the house.  Honestly, we didn’t want to stay with the builder because of their dishonesty.  We were able to get our earnest money back, so we weren’t out anything.  Except our hopes and dreams.

I cried for weeks.  I had no hope.  I couldn’t even think about trying again.  It was too devastating.  I used to drive past the house and wonder who was living there.  I had chosen the colors and the carpet and someone else was enjoying it. 

It took us another 2 years before we were able to try again.  But we didn’t build.  I couldn’t do it.  I didn’t want to take the chance. 

Remember my post about the snowmen?  Here is what The Chocoholic and The Princess did on April Fools Day (and all the snow was the cruelest joke of all!).


I had so much fun yesterday with my kids!  I put messages on toilet paper in the toilet bowl, I put saran wrap in doorways, and we filled a cupboard with balls, so when The Teenager opened it, they all came falling down on him!

But the best thing of all was dinner.  The Doctor and I made a special dinner for them.  Included was:

Green peas (taffy);


Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (angel food cake toasted, with icing);


Sushi (angel food cake topped with coconut, wrapped with grape fruit leather, and topped with chopped up swedish fish);


and cupcakes (meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes).


Oh, we also served them “water” which was actually Kool-Ade.  They have invisible Kool-Ade that is completely clear!  It was awesome!  The Doctor and I served them in the living room, and really made it fun.

It was such a fun day!