Friday, January 30, 2009

Step...Step...Step


Did I mention that I work out at the Gym and that I dislike exercise with a passion?  I however, love time to myself and I get that while I work out and the kiddies are playing to their hearts content in child watch.

Therefore...I workout...a lot...well, enough to break a sweat...while I am reading the Ensign.

I have proof.  Those are my feet and yes according to the machine I am actually moving.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Butter

I've been complaining about my butter being cold.  It tears holes in the pancakes and you know how that upsets the natives!  

Apparently Land O' Lakes is aware of my dilemma and has issued this video to solve my problem.  (must be the connection I have...wink, wink.)
video

I leave my butter out in my handy dandy butter dish 24/7/365, but with it being so cold this winter, it has turned into a cold unspreadable lump.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thanksgiving already?


Is there Triptaphen in Mexican Food?  I know there isn't, but did I ever get sleepy after a plate of Nachos at Maria's Mexican Retaurant.  Zzzzzzzzz

Today was Parent Teacher Conference at Miss Boo's Preschool.  It is always gratifying to know that your child is excelling in school.  Even at 4 years old!  And yes, there was the usual comment about her language skills.   Code for "Boy, she sure can talk"!  I expected it, I would have known they were lying if they didn't say something.  Miss Boo has a fondness for the sound of her own voice and values her opinions immensely.  

I wouldn't have her any other way.  But, that is today and we will see how I feel after the week is over and she has been at home all week due to parent/teacher conferences.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pruning





Time to pull myself out of the funk I have been in.

It all started with the turnover of the HOA (homeowners association). Every time I thought about the turnover I would get the biggest knot in my stomach. After much contemplation I realized that I was worried about being thrown off the board and I wasn't ready for that. I liked being in "control" (I believe that is a figment of my imagination) of what was going on in my neighborhood and truly frightened that if I wasn't on the board the neighborhood would fall into disrepair. Boy, do I think a lot of my abilities!

Reality Check was in order!

After MORE contemplation, the right kind, not born out of survival mode I realized that being on the Board is one of the things that causes me undue stress almost daily. Our home teachers shared a message on pruning the bad branches out of our lives. Bro. Klein used the term "sucker branches" that are pretty, have all their leaves but do not produce anything and take unnecessary nutrients from the rest of the tree that is bearing fruit.

Since I have made the decision that I do not need to be on the Board and that there is a better use for my time and mental health, I have felt at peace and a need to get things in order with the work I have done for the HOA. 

Originally, I tried to get Mr. Finn to make the decision for me, but he was wise and let me make it, knowing that I would be able to let it go more easily and most importantly...NOT BLAME HIM! Ha! Poor guy, he gets a bum rap sometimes.

Maybe now I can shake the yuckies of the past several weeks and get on living. My apologies to my children who have to be with me 24/7 and had to live with the sorting out phase of all this. They are troopers and I love them with all my heart. They are my good branches and they need my attention and focus at this time in their lives. I am a mother first!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Clarification

For those that spoke to me by phone yesterday.  Margaret, Sandy, Mom Enid, Natalie and Mr. Finn.  The Blah Blah Blah wasn't about the good conversations I had.  They were the sunshine in my day.  I just felt very BLAH!

My children were even wonderful all day.  They let me have QUIET TIME!  And even have phone conversations without interruption, or at least lots of interruption

Friday, January 23, 2009

BLAH


BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

BLAH, BLAH

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH 

BLAH

Ever had one of those days?

Windy Day



Sixty degrees, my foot!  

It was supposed to be 64 degrees yesterday.  I was so excited.  I told the kids we would be going to the park so they could enjoy this warm weather in the sun.  Sometimes I forget where we live!  

WIND CHILL!!!!!!

It was more like 40 in the sun.  The kids got worn out quickly because they were cold.  Oh well, at least they were able to play outdoors for a bit.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sum of a Day


Miss Boo got a "fancy" dress










Received an envelope full of pictures from my favorite Aunt Lois of our trip to Canada.





my assistant...efficient at stuffing envelopes. I wouldn't have gotten them done without her help. Busy day, busy time of the year for the HOA.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Fruits of my Frugality...


This is the sum of my shopping extravaganza yesterday.

1.  Summer Shirt for me.  I am missing the sun and tend to buy bright things when it is gray and cold.

2.  Skirt for me.  I need skirts for church and this seemed to have some "CHA".  Remember, I need more in my life.

3.  Sunday shirt for The Dude.  He picked it out himself.

4.  Christmas Tie for the Dude.  He loves snowmen.

5.  Sunday Tie.  He thought it was really nice.  Now Daddy will have to teach him to tie it.

6.  Underwear.  For the Dude, of course.  He loves to buy new underwear.

So, that is 6 items for the handy dandy price tag of $19.38 and that includes tax.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cheap or Frugal?

Hey!  I am FRUGAL!  Extremely frugal.  Drives Mr. Finn crazy at times.

I on the other hand take immense pride/joy/satisfaction in that skill/fact.

I have been working on it for years and have gotten very good at getting a lot for A LOT LESS....er.

I had lunch with some mothers with kids home today due to the Holiday.  (don't get me started on another day out of school!)  One of them made the comment that I can get things for almost nothing if not free at times.  It made me start thinking about this as I was shopping in Kohl's as to why I am this way.

I have narrowed it down to a few things:
1.  I am genetically predisposed due to my Grandma Rose.  She is amazing!  She lived through the depression in rural Canada on a farm.  She knew and knows how to stretch everything and nothing goes to waste.  I admire her more than anyone in this world.  I still have much to learn from the Master.

2.  It is a natural high for me to feel as if I have gotten away with something.  (That sounded a bit scary, didn't it.)  My goal is to go into a store and have them pay me to take something out.  LOL

3.   I don't want to squander what Mr. Finn has worked so hard to provide for his family.   

4.   I truly believe in what the scriptures say about being a good steward of money or resources or whatever.

Am I a good steward?

This is a question I ask myself. The Bible says that someone who is faithful with a little thing will be faithful with much (Luke 16:9-11). So, if we are honest and do the right thing when no one is looking, we will be able to be trusted when people are looking.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

And The Winners Are...


A week ago, I received a comment from Shannon, letting me know she was giving me a blog award.  I wasn't sure what that could possibly be, but was flattered nontheless.  You should know how I feel about Shannon to truly appreciate why this would be so humbling for me.

She was my most wonderful, faithful, spiritual, funny and interesting visiting teacher for almost two years.  I enjoyed her visits and especially her offer to shave my legs while I was pregnant with Miss Boo.  Who offers something like that?  Shannon, of course!  She is just that way.  Thinks of the things that you truly would need and offers them with every intent of following through.  I love her for that.  I am so grateful that we were able to reconnect through blogging.

The Lemonade award is for people who apply the quote "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" in their life.  I am using Shannon's quote here because I liked her train of thought.   "So I am tweaking it a bit, and passing it on to people who provide the "lemonade stands" in my life - those little cups of cheer that keep me going when I am feeling tired and out of sorts".

As always there are rules: 

1. put the logo on your blog or post 

2. nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude or gratitude 

3. be sure to link your nominees with your post 

4. let them know they received the award by leaving a comment on their most recent post 

5. share the love and link this post to the person that gave you the award.

Drum roll please... 

1.  My first award goes to:  SHANNON.   I know that was a surprise.  You should read her blog and you will understand completely and immediately why she inspires me.  

2.   RACHEL.  I went to school with her and when we were really little, like kindergarten age, we had so much fun playing weird games that we made up.  We were a little strange!  She has grown into an amazing, strong woman that is completely devoted to her family.  I love hearing about her life and her funny stories that make me laugh out loud.

3.  AUNT DEBBIE.  When I am feeling a little lonely, I can count on you to blog almost daily about your life and I feel like when you just lived up the street.   Like I could run over for a visit anytime.

4.  JOLIN.    Your family is a miracle and you write so honestly and with so much faith about it.  It restores my hope in people and their goodness.

5.  Andrea.  She is an artist of photography and I genuinely enjoy her take on life.  I pop in to see what she sees.  I always leave thinking I will be the next Annie Liebowitz.  It is good to be inspired.  

6.  CJANE.  She taught me that you can be quirky, funny and a little nuts and still be extremely likeable.  Her blog is contagious.  It is the first one I read everyday to get me started on a better/good note.

7.  UNKNOWN.  The courage to put this on the web for all to see is amazing to me.  I read it because I love bravery and stories that I know must eventually have a happy ending although the trials are enormous and painful.  I admire the fact that she is using it as a tool to help others with something that no one wants to talk about.

8.  LALANI.  You know why!  I love you for you and your humor.  You are constant and with your consistent blogging I get a good chuckle.  You are good people.

9.  KELLY.  You have ENERGY.  I feel like moving when I read your blog.  Thank you for writing all the time and being honest about it all.  So refreshing!

10. Robin - Ok, this is me.  A little self indulgent, I know.  This was a hard thing for me to start doing, but I find that I look for the positive in the day and it has helped me to become a better person.  I truly do look at my day differently knowing that I am going to have to write about something that is interesting.

Now you get to pass it on! Don't worry if the person you want to give it to already has it - go ahead and let them know they're doubly appreciated! And if you visit any of the blogs linked above, leave them a kind hello. Because comments help us all have a lemonade kind of day! (And this all makes me want to have fresh squeezed lemonade from the Dominican Republic even though it did give you the runs every now and then!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

CHA


The Dude ran into my room with his hand in a fist. 

I have CHA, he says.

You have what?  I ask, only slightly sure of what was in his hand.

I am bringing you some CHA in my hand.

Being the good Mommy that accepts gifts from grubby little hands, I open up my hand and accept this token of CHA.

He does his little jump+hop+kick and as he is running from the room with a grin upon his face, I hear "CHA, CHA-CHA".

He knew I needed a little more CHA in my life.

C  =  cheerful
H  =  happy
A   =  attitude

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Sack





With great anticipation, Miss Boo has awaited her day of Happy Sack at preschool. This is quite an event for a four, soon to be five year old in this classroom. They have 5 minutes where they are the CENTER of attention and everyone, did I say everyone must listen and not TALK. She is allowed to present whatever items she brings in her sack and can talk and demonstrate everything to her hearts content. If you know Rosey, you know this is the best day of her life to date.

The Dude and I arrived early to witness the event. She was insistent that we be there with a camera to take pictures of her presentation. She was so excited when we came into the classroom. It might be noted that I don't go into her classroom except this time once a year. It is truly a special event. The Dude was more interested in the "new" toys, but did obligingly watch her when she was looking at him with that look that means you better be doing what I say or else.

She did a really good job. I think she is ready for her 2 1/2 minute talk in Sacrament Meeting. LOL She took about that much time to explain the trophy her Daddy gave to her for being the best at "flying". I will have to ask Mr. Finn for a better explanation. She explained in great detail it was because she was good at knocking down the robots in her video game. The audience was fascinated. Wouldn't you be if you were 4/5 years old?

When she was finished, one boy told her he really liked her football and trophy. She replied with, "You Do?" and beamed from ear to ear. Then Connor (the infamous) said he really liked her Care Bear. She said, "You do?" and beamed again.  I think we have a theme going here.  What do you say when it's all about you?!  I think she handled the attention quite well.

It was refreshing being part of that class. I almost felt four years old again, except for I was beaming with pride of my little Miss Boo with the big personality that was having her moment in the spotlight.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary!



If it is seven years of bad luck, then what is eight years equal to?

Mr. Finn and I are celebrating 8 blissful, uneventful, peaceful and not to mention positively joyful years!  

REWIND

Mr. Finn and I are passing by that 8 year marker of time spent growing, learning and still loving each other after all these years.  That sounds more like it now doesn't it?

We have had ups and downs, highs and lows, and yes, even joy.  It took a long time for us to become Mr. and Mrs. Finn, but I am glad we DID.

While I was serving a mission in the Dominican Republic I received a letter from Mr. Finn.  He knew it was mission rules for return letters to be sent, so he knew it was an "in" with me.  He wrote me a couple of letters a week that I looked forward to and even some packages to make the dominican experience more enjoyable.  He even sent me a puzzle that asked me to think about marrying him right before I left the mission field.  

I was thinking about it, but I also had a Mother that didn't like him.  Who doesn't like Mr. Finn?  LOL  Even with all his charm, we ended up in an argument (a.k.a. knock down, drag out fight) in front of the Star Wars ride.  Disneyland, the happiest place on earth!  Hmmmmm!  

Then, ten years later we ended up on the same page...finally.  

By the way, his story is much different and mine is quite abbreviated, but I wanted to get a bit of it down for posterity.  At least get it down before early onset hits.  

Happy Anniversary my dear Mr. Finn.  


Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's all about the Fine Print!




I finally got Mr. Finn on board for getting my eyes fixed.  By LAZIK surgery!  He was/is afraid I will go blind.  Completely RATIONAL, I know!?!  I was pretty excited until I realized that I will have to have "cheaters" to read for the rest of my life.  I thought that wasn't a big deal as I have to take my glasses off to read now.

And then, I started paying attention to how much I read during the day.  It could get a bit frustrating to have to look for glasses to read the little things.  Labels on bottles, etc. 

It brought to mind a memory I have about my Grandma Laverne.  She always had big magnifying glasses laying all over the place.  Now I get why they were there, so she could read all that fine print.  I wish she were here so I could ask her if that was annoying.  I'm sure she would say it was just the way it was.  She was this funny, crazy little lady with tons of spunk.  She passed away over 20 years ago on Christmas Day.  I miss her! 

It brings to mind another story about her or maybe just a factual one.  She used to dye her hair auburn.  I don't think I ever saw her gray!  A woman after my own heart!  LOL  Anyways, Grandpa had a culdesac (you all know what I am talking about.) so after she was done with her hair, she would throw the rest on his hair and his eyebrows.  I remember visiting right after it had been done and was talking to Grandpa.  I couldn't help but notice the dye job, it really accentuated the eyebrows and his lack of hair.  The only thing I could think of to say was, "So, Grandma dyed her hair today?"  He gave me the funniest look and said "Yup!".  He never had much to say, I wonder what he was thinking.  

If he were a woman, it would have been thoughts of "Oh No! Does it look that bad?"  "What does she mean by that?"  We are so neurotic I think.

Back to the subject at hand.  Because I should be wearing bifocals at this stage in my life it changes the way I can have my eyes fixed.  They can be done differently so I can see both ways, but it can cause nausea and lack of balance.  You basically have to use one eye to see far away and one to see up close.  It can take a while for your eyes to adjust, but some never get used to it.  The other option which I spoke of earlier, makes them so I can see long distance and use cheaters to read.

I want to be able to enjoy this time while my kids are little, swimming, biking and playing with them without the hassle of glasses.  Is it worth the other?  Anybody have any experiences they would like to share.  I have a couple of months until it will happen, so all thoughts are welcome.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bread recipe

I had a request for the Banana Bread Recipe on my previous post. It is truly "Manna from Heaven", just see for yourself. I got permission from Enid to post her "secret" recipe on my blog and she being so willing to please me (just kidding!), actually because she is so willing to share what she can, gave me her blessing.

Banana Nut Bread

2 1/4 cup Flour
1 2/3 cup Sugar
1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Shortening
2/3 cup Buttermilk
3 Eggs
1 1/4 cup Mashed Ripe Bananas (I find frozen black bananas taste better, make sure you defrost them first) (When you are saving the bananas, just leave them in the peel and throw in freezer, makes for easy storage.)
2/3 cup Chopped Nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour loaf pans. Beat Bananas first in mixing bowl. Add all ingredients except flour into mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Add Flour and beat 3 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans. Bake 45-50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and wrap in plastic wrap to keep moist. (we know how yucky dry banana bread is!)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Manana Bread


The Dude discovered Banana Bread today. I make it every year from the black bananas that appear on my counter every week. I chuck them in the fridge and once a year I make Enid's recipe for Banana Cake and...Voila, the neighbors are gifted with the many loaves a year full of bananas will make.

And, for the first time when offered a bite of this delicacy, I received a "sure" versus "eeww, yucky"! I felt like I had received some kind of minor award to have a child of mine try something I had baked outside of a chocolate chip cookie.

We had to run the christmas tree that has since worn out his welcome to the local gathering spot for trees. Ryan was so excited by his new discovery of banana bread and goes running out the door shouting, "Dad, Dad, I have Manna Bread!". We corrected his pronunciation to which we were quickly re-corrected by the 2 year prodigy. Ha! I told Mr. Finn that we should be so lucky as to have an Israelite amongst us. The Dude LOVES Manna Bread and makes sure to tell us often.

That brings me to my next thought. I was thinking of this sweet little boy and the joy he has brought to our life and that led to Miss Boo and all of the huge blessings we have received in the last year. While I was living the year, it felt really hard and unbearable at times. I guess that is normal!? I don't remember many of the details, but I do feel differently about life today and that is a blessing of all the trials of the past year. If we don't grow while we are hurdling those obstacles in front of us, we are squandering our time here on earth.

I pray I will be a better steward of my time in this new year that I have been blessed to live in. If you are still here, your work is not done and much is to be accomplished. I truly believe that and with that "pearl of insight" I challenge everyone to live as if you have been gifted 2009 as the year to accomplish that one "thing" that you just haven't had time to start/finish.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I want to be a Fruit Snack


My New Years Resolution is to be more like fruit snacks.  Yup!  I said it!  Fruit Snacks.

One wonders what could be so great about a fruit snack that I would aspire to be one.  Well, I will share the secret with you.

1.  A fruit snack is always welcome by my offspring with great enthusiasm.

2.  A fruit snack is squishy in a good way and publicly accepted for its very squishiness with above stated enthusiasm.

3.  A fruit snack has many different colors and all are yummy.

4.  A fruit snack can be found anywhere, even in my bed and doesn't get the disgust of, let's say a pretzel.

5.  A fruit snack is close to perfect and most imperfections are overlooked for it's inner goodness.