Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Scripture

Not a traditional scripture, but as this chap's now our prophet I think it counts. =)

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food...and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: They have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free."

Thomas S. Monson
May 12th 2001


Fleur's Translation:
I hope you understood it because how he put it was pretty dang funny. =D But the main gist is:

1. Have your Year's food (etc) supply and live by the addage, "Eat what you store, store what you eat."

2. Get out of debt - including your house - and stay out of debt.

Do this by:
1. Take a month to write down EVERYTHING you spend. EVERYTHING. You and your husband. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

2. Use this record to create a budget

3. Order the budget like this:
- 10% Tithing. Trust me on this one. Even if you're not LDS you would not BELIEVE how well it works.
- 10% savings. At least. On your gross earnings
- 10% debt repayment (on net or gross earnings, as you wish)
- now live on the rest. Cut back if you need to. Usually you have to give up things you think are necessities but really aren't. It sucks, but it's worth it.



Man, I wish we did that. It's an awesome plan. How can you lose, with a plan like that?

A nice article about the church.

Fascinating story - even most of the comments are remarkably positive. I find it funny that I came across this story when today the Bishop was talking about how difficult it was to get a temple built in Nashville. There was a lot of lying and persecution going on to stop it. It took TEN YEARS from the announcement of a Temple being built in Nashville to the actual building because of all the Hooha.

Then the Tennesseean writes a positive story like this and there are some positive comments - even people who aren't LDS supporting the LDS faith. Thank you to all of them! =)

Mormons have the goods to care for their own.

I wish they'd mentioned the Cannery Missionaries from our ward. Brother and Sister Scruggs are AMAZING. I'm so thankful to them for their work for us. Furthermore, Brother Scruggs is our postman. How awesome is that? =)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

My father just reminded me he was born bum first on Friday 13th. In England Friday 13th is called "Black Friday". =) His mother was tiny as well - only about 4ft. Ok, well maybe not THAT tiny, but she wasn't 5ft tall. So. Yeah. Ouch.


Now check this out:
A woman died during the Black Friday rush at a walmart in Arkansas.

A woman DIED. She's DEAD. Her family will see her smile no more. Her children will not be able to hold her again. People killed her because they wanted STUFF. Not just important stuff. Just STUFF that in a few short months - or less - will be in the trash heap.

Furthermore, a 28 year old pregnant woman needed medical attention. Sheesh people!


I know there's a movement out there to stay at home and not buy anything on Black Friday. I'm not officially part of it, but I must admit that I deliberately try not to go out the day after Thanksgiving just because I want to, in my own mind, reaffirm to myself that my focus is more on family and less on materialism.

That's not to say that I'm perfect in this matter. It's because I'm not that I take every opportunity to remind myself of what is truly important...and what isn't.

May we, as we enter this *gimme* season, remember what it's really all about - and what's it's really about ain't *gimme*.

It's about Christ. He lived his whole life for us, and then gave it up so that we might live with our Father in Heaven again. This season is about birth. It's about hope. May we draw close to our families and seek to drive out the *gimme*s. May we focus on love, service, giving, and the inner peace that comes from believing our Saviour, believing IN him, and following His example.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I've been tagged

Heather at Camian Academy tagged me. =)

The rules of the award are this - answer the four questions, and pass it on to four friends. So here goes:

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
Nope, though I keep in touch with a couple I met when I was nine or ten.

2. What do you value most about your friends?
Their compassion and thoughtfulness

3. Are your friends your sounding boards?
I think so.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends?
Just chattin'. =)

I tag whoever is reading this that wants to do it. =)

Answers to the silly thing.

Here are the answers to the thing I posted a day or so ago. Go check 'em out on You Tube 'cos they're AWESOME.


1 Hold me close and hold me fast
Louis Armstrong - La Vie en Rose


2 Fear and the panic in the air. I want to be free
Muse - Map of the Problematique

3 They say freak when you're singled out
Chevelle - The Red


4 He seemed impressed by the way you came in
The Stroke - Reptillia


5 Far away, this ship is taking me far away
Muse - Starlight


6 I used to rule the world. Seas would rise when I gave the word.
Coldplay - Viva la Vida


7 Another head hangs lowly. Child is slowly taken.
The Cranberries - Zombie


8 Send a heartbeat to the void that cries through you
Smashing Pumpkins - The Beginning is the End is the Beginning


9 Get DOWN - shake it like an earthquake
Family Force 5 - Earthquake


10 Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer, he's a demon on wheels
Ali Dee and The Deekompressors - Speed Racer Theme Song


11 You can run on for a long time, run on for a long time....
Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down


12 Water was running, children were running,
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Cities In Dust


13 Never knew why he would fall victim to five-dollar highs
Fisher - Missing


14 Baby, can't you see I'm calling a guy like you
Britney Spears - Toxic


15 Tell your friends not to think aloud until they swallow
Nickleback - Leader of Men


16 Hope dangles on a string like slow-spinning redemption
Dashboard Confessional - Vindicated


17 I'm obsessive when just one thought of you comes up
Rhianna - S.O.S


16 I'm on the street yeah, I want you, I'm looking for myself
Smashing Pumpkins - 7 Shades of Black


17 This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS
GlaDOS - Still Alive


18 _____ ___ __ ____ __ if we walked down streets of fire?
Josh Turner - Would You Go With Me


19 Big train rolling down the line makes me lonely
Black Stone Cherry - Lonely Train


20 Why don't you __ ____ I know you wouldn't hurt any more than when you left
Sweet Haven - Go Back


21 They're like the latest fashion, they're like a spreading disease
The Offspring - Come Out and Play


22 How does it feel to treat me like you do?
New Order - Blue Monday


23 Open your eyes and take in everything you see
PowerPuff Girls - Love Makes the World Go Around


24 A decade ago I never thought I would be at 23 on the verge of spontaneous combustion woe is me
Incubus - Pardon Me


25 Memories are just where you laid them
Fuel - Hemorrhage (In My Hands)

Thingie

5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:

1. Living in Sinnersdorf, near Cologne, German
2. Enjoying the faaaabulous Weinachtsmarkt am Dom.
3. Being sad because I knew it would be the last Weinachtsmarkt we'd go to
4. Hoping for a baby
5. Possibly getting ready to go to England for Christmas. I can't remember.

5 Things on My To-Do List Today:

1. Clean the kitchen
2. Make Thanksgiving dinner
3. Eat Thanksgiving dinner
4. Clean up Thanksgiving dinner
5. Sit down

5 Snacks I Like:

1. Chocolate
2. crackers and cream cheese with jalapeno blackberry jam
3. Barbeque flavoured chips
4. skips (prawn cocktail flavoured crisps)
5. Triscuits and cream cheese covered in sesame seeds and soy sauce

5 Things I Would Do if I Was a Millionaire:

1. Pay tithing
2. Pay off the mortgage
3. Pay off the second mortgage
4. Create college, mission and wedding funds for the children
5. Find our perfect home and buy it

5 Places I Have Lived:

1. Kowloon, Hong Kong
2. Loughborough, England
3. Cologne, Germany
4. Famagusta, Cyprus
5. Canton, near Detroit, MI

5 Jobs I Have Had:

1. Don Millers
2. Nanny/Day care in my home
3. Librarian
4. Receptionist in a law firm
5. The most rewarding job: Mother and teacher. =)

5 People I Tag:

1-5. The five people who read my blog. You're tagged.

I did it!

I did it! I ran/walked the 5k Turkey Trot. Go me! =) It was WAY WAY WAY harder than doing it on the treadmill. I got out of breath much easier with the outdoor air and it was much more difficult on my calves - though they were hurting before I even began so...yeah.

So I get my $50 to replenish my clothing allowance envelope. WOO HOO!

I wasn't the last one in - I thought I was. I totally thought I was the last one. But Otis and David Peach were. David is top fit and runs like the wind, but walked the end bit with his Dad.

I said to my daughter just before the race started, "I don't know the route, what is it?"

"Not to worry, Mom," she said, "I'll run with you." Uh huh. Literally from the FIRST STEP she was off and running and I never saw her again.

Otis has lost something ridiculous like 75lbs this year. He looks faaaaabulous. If I'd known he was running I would have run with him. But I didn't. So I didn't. Plus, is it ok to run with a man not your husband even if his son is dating your daughter? I don't know. It's kind of funky I think. Soooo I'm glad I didn't do that. Wanda might be like "OI! What do you think you're doing?" and Bert might be like "OI! Bad idea". Sooo yeah. Glad I didn't do it. Plus, I don't think it's ok to say someone else's husband looks fabulous no matter how much weight they've lost so sorry about that. Huh. I should probably delete this whole paragraph. It's just wrong.

ANYWAY so I ran it. And my calves hurt. Well, specifically my right calf. The other one is ok. AND...yeah, I forget what I was going to say.

Bert wrestled the turkey just after I left to run, then wrestled the Andrew, then got himself dressed and made it to the Bishop's house just two seconds before I dragged myself to the end. =) It was SO great to see them.

The Bish shook my hand as I hobbled up at the end, "HOW WAS IT?" he boomed. Yes, our bishop really does boom.

"It was horrible!" I truthfully declared. And I was right. It was. But I did it.

And you know what? I'm going to do it again next year. Not only that, I'm going to do it on Saturday. Every Saturday. Unless it's like FREEZING which it will be in Dec-Feb, but maybe I can manage it anyway. That way NEXT YEAR I'll be ready for it.

My homemade ipod holder didn't work worth beans. Dang. Maybe Santa can bring me one of those ridiculously overpriced ones for Christmas.

Turkey Trot

Today is the annual Turkey Trot. The Bishop started this, I believe, 5 years ago. Or something like that. There's a 1 mile, a 5k, and a 10k. It all begins at the hideously early hour of 7.45am. On Thanksgiving morning.

Guess which one I was planning on doing? =D

Anyway, so I've been sick with this cold and feeling blah. I decided last night that I was going to go to the Turkey Trot this morning but I didn't know which I was going to do, the 1 mile or the 5k as I haven't run at all since Monday and my calves are seized up and killing me.

Then Bert said the magic words.


"I'll pay you $50 if you finish the 5k". Didn't take me but a split second to decide that I was going to run the 5k. =D I've had to use money from the "clothing allowance" envelope to pay for the Thanksgiving dinner so having the chance to put most of that money back in the envelope was verrrrry attractive.

Then I coughed half the night and Bert said "You're not going to be able to breathe when you get out there, especially in the cold air." Oh yeah? Think that'll stop me finishing the 5k? Huh? Huh? Stubborn mule that I am? The challenge is there. $50 or no $50, that 5k is getting RUN. Or, at least, hobbled. Might take me a long time, I might be the last one in, but dang it I'm going to finish it. Even if I cough my lungs up.

Then I realized that I would have to hold my ipod the entire time as I wouldn't be on a treadmill and so couldn't just put it there. I got up early this morning to research those ipod armband thingies.

Of course, the network took that opportunity to go down. *sigh*. So I fixed THAT and then went researching.

They're like $20-$30!!!! What the hey???? That's over half of the $50! I don't THINK so!

What to do what to do? Hmmmm.

Then I remembered one time when Ben was a little kid I made him a bottle holder out of a spare sock. And I thought...HEY! I found an old sock of Andrew's in the washer catch-all the other day and it has no mate and it doesn't fit him anymore anyway.

Hmmmmmmmm......

Fifteen minutes later:







Well, what do you think? It'll be under my shirt so no-one will see it. It will be interesting to see how it holds up. Hopefully I've got the elastic tight enough so it won't fall down cos otherwise that would not only be embarrassing, it'll be downright irritating.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Look what I found

For some reason, this picture was wrongly filed in the "Maus" folder. I do not know why.



Is that not a beautiful picture? Makes my heart explode.



Tonight we had THE most AWESOME family time. We watched Speed Racer and I do not know why that film lost money because it ROCKED!!! (I really liked Waterworld as well and didn't know why that one lost money.) Andrew LOVED Speed Racer. It's totally what he's all about. If that child doesn't grow up and work with cars in some way or another I will be very surprised.

Maus liked it.

He rapped to the end song he liked it so much.

video

You can't spell Twilight without......

....and I can't complete that line because it's copyrighted. But you CAN see the rest of the line here:

http://theboard.byu.edu/index.php?area=viewall&id=44374

You can also read the rest of the story that begins thusly:

As a whisper of cool air acupunctured its way across my neck, I heard his voice whisper, "Stella." And I knew then, like I had always known, like no one in the history of anything had ever known, in a way that was so knowable and so full of knowing that to know something like I knew this was to know all that there was to know about not only that particular thing that you know about but about knowing things in a general way (which in philosophy is called "epistemology"), I knew that I knew two things: First, that I was madly, desperately in love with the man who had just said my name at the beginning of this paragraph.........


Read. Enjoy. Laugh your pants off. Wish you could write so well. I sure do.

Quote of the day

"Nicole, I still can't understand why you hit him with a boiled lobster."

=D

Bert was thrown out of work early - hooray! The first time that's ever happened. =) The director came around and said "I don't want anyone here after lunch". =D

So Bert came home with a treat - Herbie rides again! =) Oh my good gravy, you should have seen Andrew's excitement. His Dad was home AND he had brought a whole new Herbie film. Andrew's rather obsessed with cars. And his father. =)

Anyway, so here they all are watching it. Ben's at Jack's house.

Happy Thanksgiving



Brenden died in his Mom's arms on Friday. May we all have a heart as full of peace and giving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

silly thing

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Give the FIRST LINE from the first 25 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing. If the title of the song is in the first line, leave a blank. Skip instrumentals or audiobook chapters.
Step 3: See if anyone can come up with the correct titles/artists.
Step 4: Officially, Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is cheating, but whatever.




1 Hold me close and hold me fast
2 Fear and the panic in the air. I want to be free
3 They say freak when you're singled out
4 He seemed impressed by the way you came in
5 Far away, this ship is taking me far away
6 I used to rule the world. Seas would rise when I gave the word.
7 Another head hangs lowly. Child is slowly taken.
8 Send a heartbeat to the void that cries through you
9 Get DOWN - shake it like an earthquake
10 Here he comes, here comes ________ _______, he's a demon on wheels
11 You can run on for a long time, run on for a long time....
12 Water was running, children were running,
13 Never knew why he would fall victim to five-dollar highs
14 Baby, can't you see I'm calling a guy like you
15 Tell your friends not to think aloud until they swallow
16 Hope dangles on a string like slow-spinning redemption
17 I'm obsessive when just one thought of you comes up
16 I'm on the street yeah, I want you, I'm looking for myself
17 This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS
18 _____ ___ __ ____ __ if we walked down streets of fire?
19 Big train rolling down the line makes me lonely
20 Why don't you __ ____ I know you wouldn't hurt any more than when you left
21 They're like the latest fashion, they're like a spreading disease
22 How does it feel to treat me like you do?
23 Open your eyes and take in everything you see
24 A decade ago I never thought I would be at 23 on the verge of spontaneous combustion woe is me
25 Memories are just where you laid them

So true it's just not even funny

$1000 in a month challenge, sickness

Emily had the flu, and immediately after had a sinus infection. She finally got some antibiotics for it yesterday when she had time to go to the doctors. Through all that she didn't miss a day of school because she'd skipped a while ago and couldn't miss one more day otherwise she wouldn't be exempt from exams. She was determined she wasn't going to take those exams, thus she kept going to school despite feeling just awful.

So I have no room to complain at all when I have a mild version of what she had. No room at all.

But oooohhhhhhh I ache and my chest and throat hurt and my sinuses hurt and I just sneezed and there was a....well, that might be TMI, but in any case, it was gross.

Poor Emily.

No 5k today. Which means I probably won't run it in the Turkey Trot. *sigh*. =(

Tip 19 of the save $1000 in a month challenge has to be the dumbest one yet. No seriously. Go read it. I've never read more drivel in my life. Who the heck is she kidding? Who on earth can afford to shop at the farmer's market? Prices there are twice what they are in the stores for goodness' sakes! And in this economy there is NO WAY we can afford that.

She also says clothes at Target fall apart after a couple of washes. WHAT is she talking about? I have a pair of trousers I bought at WALMART that I've worn for absolute YEARS - they're the only ones I haven't worn the inner thighs out of. At least I think it was Walmart. I'm pretty sure I bought them there - it's so long ago I can't remember - but in any case I didn't get them from NORDSTROM, I never buy stuff at the mall. Unless it's an embroidered t-shirt on sale at Christopher and Banks...but the last time I saw one of those there was nearly ten years ago. *sigh*

Anyway, so this tip is stupid. It was so stupid I even posted a comment. But it was a negative comment and now I feel so bad about it and wish I didn't comment at all. As my mother says, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Wish I'd remembered that before I clicked "Post".

I'm going now to wallow in my guilt and achy cold with a green smoothie.

Monday, November 24, 2008

$1000 in a month challenge

So here we are back with the $1000 in a month challenge.

Tip number 14 is "Use self-persuasion to share how much you’ve saved so far". I have no idea what this means because every time I try to access the page it wants me to sign in with my user name and password and I just don't think this site is worth signing up for.

Tip number 15 is Forget going to a bar, ask people over for dinner. Yes yes, done that for years. Saved countless tons of money no doubt, but it's not new so on we go.

For those of you reading who DO go to a bar or buy alcohol or whatever, stop it. Then add up the savings. It will be a ridiculous amount. So much more you'll be able to pay off your cars or house or big screen tv or whatever.



Tip number 16 is actually quite useful. Cancel any large purchases this month.

This is actually a good thing to do not this month, but every month. If you really need something, write it down in your little notebook that you use to write down absolutely everything you spend money on - you have one of those, right? (Says she, who's tried to have one for years and keeps forgetting). Anyway, in a different section of that notebook write down what you think you need, how much it costs, and the date.

Then wait.

Do not buy it. Don't you dare!

Then at the end of the month review and if you really NEED it, go ahead and get it. If you don't need it, take the money you were going to spend on it and pay down the credit cards, the second mortgage, the car, the mortgage, or put it in savings or whatever.

Works like a charm.

Money saved for me: I don't know, I do this all the time and often don't go back and get it but as I said, I haven't kept up on the book thing so I have no idea how much I've saved. Pity really.



Tip number 17 is Buy generic for the stuff you don't care about.

What a stupid tip. Why not just "Buy generic"? For everything. All the time. Never buy brand name stuff, unless you can get it for a really great deal at the second hand shop. Buy generic food, medicine, clothes, shoes, haircuts, and so on and so forth. We've always done this, so I have no idea how much I've saved over the years.



Tip 18 is very difficult, but it's a goodie. No Christmas Gifts This Year.

I'm feeling ok about this one because I've already bought stuff for my family so no guilt there. =D I do feel the need to buy gifts for Bert's family. However, I always try to stress to the children the "homemade or low-cost gifts within the family" type gift. The years when I've bought a lot of gifts for the children leave me feeling sick to my stomach.

The children do get some money from grandparents so it's not like they're deprived or anything. =) You can tell I'm feeling guilt about this particular tip, can't you?

This is the beginning of my Christmas list this year:
1. Make a solid budget
2. Listen to the Crown Podcasts every work day for a year.
3. Cut off cable
4. Cut off the Internet, unless we can get it for free.
5. Get rid of either the cell phones or the land line.
6. Go through the lessons to learn more about foster care.

I really really really hope I get these gifts. =)


Savings on number 18: $150

Total to date: $321.84

5k everyday

5k
510 calories
44 1/2 minutes
Ran 2k
Ran 1k
Ran 1/2 k
Walked the rest of the way.

Calves hurt. Out of breath. No weight loss. I'll be dadgummed if I get discouraged. I'm going to run that dingity dang 5k all the way through one day, just see if I don't.


Someone suggested this recipe:
Pack a blender with spinach
Dump in 1/2 or 1 banana
Add 4-5 strawberries
Stick some juice in there
Blend it, baby, blend it!

So I thought "I'm a gonnna make that today for breakfast."

So I did.

And I looked at it and I thought "Hoooooo boy."

In honour of the brown-green sludge like look, I chose a green straw. No I didn't, it's just the colour I happened to grab out of the jar, but it sounded good. =D

And I took a tentative sip. I have to tell you, this thing looked NOT GOOD.

And I went.....


"WOW!"

Holy cow! Who knew something that looked so gross could taste so good?

And you know what? I have another serving left in the blender. Nobody better take that serving cos it's MINE all MINE!!!

So lesse. That's two servings of vegetables, two servings of fruit. All I need now is a salad and I'm all set with my minimum daily requirements of veges and fruit.

Slap me a high five someone I'm tickled pink!


The Ingredients




Ben says, "It looks like toxic radioactive sludge. The kind that gives you superpowers or something." He's right.



I had to shame Ben into trying some. I offered it too him. He couldn't drink it. He was like "I can't!" "BEN!" I said, "For goodness' sakes, you've eaten FISH EYES, you can drink this." I encouraged him with, "Go on, Do it. Do it. Go on. Do it." =D =D
In a manly show of strength, he took a tiny sip. It was absolutely amazing to watch his face expression change from a thought that it was going to be disgusting to absolute shock and delighted surprise at how it really did taste.




Make some yourself. Go on. I dare you. Then laugh in delight that it looks so awful because no-one else in the family will want any which means it will be yours all yours and you can laugh "MUHAHAHAHAHAHA Miiiine all miiine". =D =D You can even pretend to be the martyr, "Oh I'm suffering so because I have to drink this awful stuff for my health" and in reality it tastes amazingly good. Hahahaha. =D

Stealth health. =D



On a later note, Ben has just said "You know, Mum, you totally have the makings of a rabid squirrel-slash-dog." Yes, he actually said slash. There was a slight pause and then, "In a good way."

I have no idea how to take that. =D

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sibling bonding

This is how my boys bond.

video

Look at The Drew Manchu rocking out there! Ben's playing pretty dang well. =) He said he wishes I'd got the solo because apparently he was really rockin' then.

You can tell we haven't done our chores today by the embarrassing state of the table there.



I like this picture of Maus that Ben took:

5k everyday

5.25k
500 calories
50 minutes

Ran 1km
Ran 1/2 km three times
Walked the rest of the way.



You'd think with all this massive amount of running I would have lost weight.

Me too.

So I was just a tad bit downhearted when I got on the scale this morning and I've gained weight.

Great.

*sigh*

Friday, November 21, 2008

This so totally applies to me. =D



"Never have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few. It's time bloggers knew the sad truth."

Yeah baby! =D =D

Here's some more awesome stuff.

Interesting - but true?

This was sent to me via Libergroup - the LDS homeschooling group in my area. It looks fine, and is certainly inspirational, but part of the Temple President's blessing is mentioned and I just think that's kind of odd.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This was forwarded from my Aunt in California. As many of you know most of my family is in California and fought for Prop 8 (Marriage between and man and woman to remain sacred). Well, there have been a lot of people fighting the LDS church and others for passing Prop. 8. This story is awesome and just goes to show how wonderful the Gospel is and amazing the love of our Heavenly Father! Enjoy!


This was written by a dear sister in our Stake. She was Kara's seminary teacher for 2 years, she is awesome..... ...I know you will enjoy reading her story about the LA temple today and what happened on Thursday!

My dear family, brothers and sisters, friends and leaders:

My heart is overflowing with joy and gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His tender mercies and mighty miracles in our behalf. I just have to share this with you. As most of you know, I am a Temple ordinance worker and work the morning shift in the LA Temple every Saturday. Today, I had the priviledge (sic) of translating sister Martz-the new assistant Matron's-message during our devotional.

She started like this "The prophet Joseph Smith said that no unhallowed hand would be able to stop this Work from progressing. These past few weeks when mobs have combined and armies have gathered against the saints, the Lord has protected His house". She went on to say that those, like her, who were inside the Temple when mobs were surrounding it, did not realize how scary and terrifying this looked on TV to the rest of us, because inside the House of the Lord all was calm and there was peace abundant.

After Proposition 8 passed, the Temple began receiving threatening calls and mail from those opposing it. They were warned that more than 5000 people would come to the Temple and burn it to the ground, and stop Its work. The first Thursday when the mob came, the new LA Temple President called the Salt Lake City Temple Offices for
instructions. He was instructed to call the local police and to insure the safety
of those attending the Temple by closing the gates.

The assistant Matron said today, that it was a tender mercy from the Lord that the mob chose that Thursday to come since they had only one person coming to receive his own endowment that day, which he received in time to leave before trouble started.

The LAPD and the FBI responded quickly to the Temple Presidency's summons and patroled (sic) the grounds and kept the mob from entering the same. Most of them had
never been there before and expressed their surprise at how beautiful and peaceful all around was. They were invited to come back during the Christmas season to see the lights and they promised they would.

On Thursday, November 13th, sister Campbell, a secretary in the Temple, was opening the mail and upon opening a large manila envelope found inside a smaller one. When she opened this one, a white powder flew all around her desk. She thought this could be related to the demonstrators and feared the worst-ANTRAX. (sic) She contacted the President, who in turn called the Salt Lake City Temple office again for instructions.

The FBI, the LAPD, and even the SWAT teams were once again in the grounds to investigate, and the Temple once again had to close from around 11:30 AM to 5PM. They closed the gates and were instructed to keep all the people there wherever they were found at the time.

Those in the parking lot had to remain in the parking lot. Those entering the Temple had to remain in the first floor and those already upstairs were taken to the Celestial Room. Then, the miracles began to happen: A brother serving as a recorder that day is a Microbiologist by profession and used to deal with hazardous substances every day. He was the first to say the white powder in the envelope was only talc, and put every one at ease. Then the sister coordinator upstairs was impressed to call upstairs to the sealing area, and said "They said we can't go down
but no one said we can't go up, and I have many people in the Celestial room with their ceremonial clothes on ready to work. Could they do some sealings?"

As it happened, there were four sealers present that day and they ran four sealing sessions non stop while the Temple was closed. Downstairs, someone else thought to invite those in the Lobby to do some initiatories, which they promptly did for all those hours too, brothers and sisters alike. Among those waiting in the parking lot there was a large group of young men and women with their leaders who had come to do Baptisms for the dead, and who waited patiently all those hours and decided when the Temple was reopened to go ahead and fulfill their assignment instead of driving back home.

The Temple reopened in time for the 5:30 PM session. The next day when recording the
ordinances, they discovered that they had performed 2000 sacred ordinances on Thursday, only one less than the day before when three stakes had been visiting the
Temple. Once again the assistant matron reminded us of the words of the prophet
Joseph Smith, "No unhallowed hand can stop the Work from progressing. ..".

But, this is not all, a prophecy was fulfilled also. When the new LA Temple President was set apart by President Uchdorft (sic) of the First Presidency, he received a blessing and these words were pronounced: " The time has come for the
LA Temple to come out of obscurity and become an Ensign for Righteousness to the world under your presidency."

The pictures of the Temple have been shown on TV, newspapers and the internet, not only in this country but worldwide. People of other faiths have called and sent letters to the Temple thanking the Church for defending marriage and protecting the family, and commenting how impressed they are by how beautiful and majestic the Temple looks . One minister of an African American church, who by his own admission had harbored ill feelings against the mormons before said " I am impressed by your integrity and Christ like behavior, and even if I am not ready to consider you my
brothers and sisters in Christ, we can be first cousins!".

I asked the assistant matron if I could share her comments and she said to go ahead. I can only add my own testimony that I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has the power and authority of God on earth. God Lives and Jesus, His only
Begotten Son and our Savior is coming soon to redeem His people. I am grateful to know this and I pray we stand firm, steadfast and immobile while the prophecies of the signs before His Coming are fulfilled. "Be not afraid, only believe" He has said, and also " What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." I testify that this is true and testify it in the Holy Name of Whom I strive to serve, even Jesus Christ.

Be faithful and safe is my humble prayer.
Your sister in Christ,
Patricia H.
Arnazzi

5k everyday, sickness, Twilight

5k
44.30 minutes
504 calories
ran 2k
ran 1/2k twice
ran 1/4k twice
walked the rest of the way.


In other news, Andrew was pretty dang sick. He ended up with a fever of 103.5 and was vomiting water. Luckily that was the worst of it and his stomach calmed down enough so that we were able to give him tylenol, which brought down his fever and stopped his little body from aching.

Yesterday he had a slight fever and was very interested in food. "Mom, can I have some food? I like food." =)

Today he's back to normal.


Last night Emily and Ben went to a special showing of Twilight. They were TOTALLY unimpressed. They said it was awful. Edward was absolutely pathetic and NOT Edward at all. Both were deeply disappointed, as were the many other people who saw the film with them last night.

I have no idea how the person who arranged this got the movie theater to show it at 10pm the day before it was officially released.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

meme

I nicked this from Ritsumei


1. Did you date someone from your school?
Yes indeedly doodly. At least, from my high school. My Elementary/middle school was an all-girls place. =D

2. What kind of car did you drive?
Drive? I lived in England. There was no drive. I didn't learn how to drive until I was 21 and living in the States.

3. What was the most embarrassing moment of HS?
The whole thing was pretty dang awful.

4. Were you a party animal?
Nope.

5. Were you considered a flirt?
I hope not!

6. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Noooo no no no. I'm not sure our school even had a band or orchestra. It must have had a choir - though, then again, maybe not. I certainly never heard of one.

7. Were you a nerd?
No, I was a goth. I mean the original goth, not the messed-up ones of today.

8. Were you on any varsity teams?
Are you nuts? Firstly, they didn't have such things in my school and secondly, I wouldn't've been caught dead on them.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled?
No way! I skipped once and my parents found out. Ooooh my it was bad.

10. Can you still sing the fight song?
They didn't have such a thing in my school.

11. Who were your favorite teachers?
I didn't have one. What a messed up place it was. Perhaps my History teacher, but I can't even remember his name. Peter? No, that was the name of my boyfriend. Awkward. Uhhhm. I don't even remember his name. Last name begins with an M. Anyway, he put up with an awful lot, poor chap.

12. Where did you sit during lunch?
In the cafeteria with a group of friends.

13. School mascot?
I don't think they had one.

14. Did you go to homecoming, and with who?
They didn't have homecoming. Or prom. No such thing existed.

15. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
Not on your nelly!!!!! Run away screaming!

16. What do you remember most about graduation?
They didn't have graduation at my school.

17. Where did you go senior skip day?
Didn't have one.

18. Were you in any clubs?
Nope. They probably didn't have any of those either.

19. Have you gained some weight since then?
Are you kidding? I was 115lb when I got married. Now I'm 158. It's depressing I tell you.

20. Who was your prom date?
They didn't have prom.

21. Are you planning on going to your next year reunion?
I don't think they're doing one. At least, I haven't heard about it. Which isn't surprising since I've lost contact with pretty much everyone. Furthermore it was in England and there's no way I'm getting back there anytime soon. And, furthermore, if I was going back there why would I go to the reunion? I knew maybe 4 or 5 people from the whole time I was there. Ugh.

22. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself?
Work harder and get better grades.
Actually...just endure and it'll soon be over. I mean, if I'd worked harder what would it have gotten me? None of those grades counted once I came to America. They made me take the GED in order to take college classes. I suppose I would have felt better about myself, but once I came here and started getting 4.0s in classes the English stuff didn't matter.

Hey, what's funky is the school now has a website www.burleigh.org.uk and is now a sports college. Go figure.

On a by-the-by, I couldn't believe how easy American education was in comparison to English education. I've been totally dumbed down since then, though, and I'm older and my mind doesn't work so well so I think I would find getting a degree difficult. Wish we'd had the money when I was younger because getting a degree back then would have been so much easier.



Now, take this Meme and use it for good, not evil, on your very own blog.

$1000 in a month challenge

Tip 12 in the "Save $1000 in a month" challenge" is just plain silly and I'm getting bored of this already.

But anyway, here we go. Use coupons for when you go out to eat.


A better idea is to not eat out. Or at least eat out a lot less - once a month or something. You can use the free coupons that come in the mail. You don't have to pay money for coupons.


Tip 13 is negotiating on your car insurance. Turn the volume down because there's a really irritating slide show with ridiculously loud music that starts automatically.
A while ago I went to this awesome website whatwecouldhavedonewiththemoney.com It's definitely eye-rollingly anti-war, but it was still fun to see what I could have bought with a trillion dollars.

I started out with high ticket selfish items, but then as I worked my way down the list I realized I could buy so much more wonderful stuff. So here's my list of purchases:

Honolulu estate $7,999,000
Dracula's Castle $140,000,000
Lear Jet $11,595,000
Yacht $100,000,000
101 Hollywood movies $150,000,000
101 South Pacific Islands $38,900,000
Jewlery $8,500,000
2 Mansions in Beverly Hills $165,000,000
Air Force One $325,595,000
Manhattan Townhouse $18,000,000
Jackson Pollack painting $142,700,000
Picasso painting $113,400,000
100,000 Starving children fed from birth to 18 $2,160 each
100,110 Families housed $60,000 each
6,096 days of meals to the poor. $1 each day
37,723 Disabled Veterans helped $10,000 each
34,205 Goats bought to help poor families $150 each
24,978 people had sight restored $33 each
Help Prevent the Next Katrina $14,000,000,000
Levees That Can Do the Job $40,000,000,000
14,998 hostpitals built in 3rd world $41,300,000
2997 Women's Small Business Kits $40 each
1998 miles of train tracks $150,000,000

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nancy's book

Ok, so a package arrived in the mail yesterday. I saw that it was from Nancy Weidrich. I thought, "What on earth?"

And then I was like...

"NO WAY!!!!"



Yes way.


That was the front. Obviously. =) Sorry about the fuzziness of these pictures. Emily wants to get on the computer so I'm rushing. =)

Here's the back.





Oh yeah, and here's the inside page. =) =)





WOO HOO!!!! How awesome is that? I've never been thanked in a book before. =)

So, here's the book. Enjoy. =)

Treadmills and throwing up

After yesterday's excitement on the treadmill, my legs were aching pretty badly. I thought about just walking for 30 minutes today....but then as soon as I got on the treadmill the challenge was there and I just couldn't let it go.

Today's workout:
Ran 1 km, twice
Ran 1/2 km, twice
Walked the rest of the way.

The 1/2 KMs were meant to be another full one but I just couldn't make it. =D

My legs were sore this morning. Ho boy. I said to myself that I would just walk tomorrow.

Buuuuuut it's later in the day now and maybe I'll run it. If I'm not throwing up (More on that later).

Now here's the funky thing, I TOTALLY understand how people get addicted to exercise now. I've never had that feeling before. I've exercised, but I've always HATED it (except this one year I did yoga. My gosh, that stuff is GOOD.) Anyway, after I'd exercise Bert would say "But don't you feel great?"

NO! I never felt great! I hated it. I did it, yeah, but I HATED it.

I don't know. Maybe I just needed to run hard and long enough. Maybe it's the fact that I've always wanted to run 5k and was never able to. Now, however, that goal is within my reach. I can see that in a couple of weeks I'll be able to run 3k straight through. And a short while after that, I'll be able to run the full 5k. The fact that I'm walking/running it now is an absolute miracle to me and it feels SO GOOD. I'm really looking forward to getting on the treadmill tomorrow.

Bizarre.


So anyway, today just 5 minutes after walking in the door after going to the library and Kroger and being just fine, Andrew starts whining and when I feel him, he's HOT. Wow! I guess my first clue should have been that he didn't want the cookie in Kroger. I thought it was just because it was oatmeal raisin. Apparently not.

Anyway, so he was burning burning burning hot and aching all over and just didn't know what to do with himself. Then he threw up. Twice. Now he's passed out on the couch but I have no doubt I'm in for a long long night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

$1000 in a month challenge

Tip 8 of the Save $1000 in a Month Challenge is to never pay retail for clothes or eyeglasses again.

Ok.

DUHHHHH!

This is just getting silly.

I cannot remember the last time I paid retail for clothes. Not only do we have a limited wardrobe - except Emily who buys her own clothes and has SO MANY she can't fit them in her dressers or closet, I joke not. They're piled in her room. It's ridiculous.

ANYWAY!! Not only do we have a limited wardrobe, I shop sales to buy 'em. I think I can count on one hand the amount of new outfits Andrew has worn. We get 'em from second hand shops, goodwill, etc.

Ben has had hand-me-downs from his friends most of his life. It's only been in the past year or so that he has objected to this - he had np with it before then. =D SO when he needs clothes we shop sales.

I do the same for myself. Not that I buy a lot of clothes. Some of my favourite clothes were the maternity ones I bought second hand. In fact, here's a little secret - the pants I'm wearing now are my maternity pants. I joke not. I got them from a second hand sale at a church. They are SO cute and really comfortable. The only problem is I've blown out the inner thighs and I don't know how to fix it. I need to just patch it or something but am totally clueless about what to use and how to do it. Anyone have any ideas?


Look at this quote from the website:

"Retail stores: Because I’m Indian, I love Ross and TJ Maxx. I just bought a Ralph Lauren coat at 50% off the other day. Even Target can have cool clothes. The funny thing is, as young people, we think shopping there is “weird” because, let’s face it, it’s mostly moms who shop there, and who wants to be caught buying a pair of pants at Target?"

This is the most bizarre attitude. Emily (age 18) thinks its funky too. She shops the sales at Target all the time. If she sees something she likes she waits...and waits...and waits...and can usually get it for between $5 and $10.

One thing I DO need to do is shop at Goodwill more for myself. I'm torn between wanting to look really smart - and not wanting to pay for it. =D I think I err on the side of extreme frugality. =D I would like to look very nice though, so I suppose I'll just have to take a day a week and check out Goodwill and snap up something nifty if I see it. Massive problem with this: I hate shopping. I'll usually wear ALL my clothes out and have to go buy something because everything I own is stained or has holes in and then I'll just take a deep breath, leave the children with Bert, and go buy several new outfits. It's like taking your medicine in one big swallow and then not having to do it again for a couple of years... =D

Bert does not appreciate this way of shopping. He says it would be easier on the budget if I just bought a little bit at a time. He's right of course, thus I believe I will have to suck it up and have a "Goodwill day".

Here's another thing: I think Goodwill is too expensive. =D Some of their stuff I look at the prices they put on it and I think "HELLO???? This is a second-hand shop! Please price accordingly." But then, as I said, I'm a massive cheapskate.

challenging myself

Four days a week (Tues - Fri. It used to be Mon-Fri but now I have to drive the Benjamite to his tutorial during my exercise time) I run on the treadmill.

I say "run", but what I mean is I run and then have to walk for a bit because I can't breathe and then when I have my breath back I run again. I have done this, traditionally, for 2 miles, 30 minutes and 300 calories. That is to say, when the treadmill readouts show I have completed ALL those things, then I'm done. Usually, they all happen right about the same time.

However, today I noticed that Emily had changed the distance readout to KM. And I thought, "I wonder how long it would take me to run a 5k?" So I challenged myself to do it. I walked a bit, then I ran 1/2 mile - this is an amazing feat for me as I have previously only been able to run 1/4 mile. Then I walked for a bit. Then I ran another 1/2 mile. WOO HOO! Then I walked for a bit and said to myself "Ok, that's it. I'm done running".

Then I looked at the readout and it was just over 3k and I thought "I wonder if I can run a full km?"

So I did. I ran a whole km right though, no breaks. GO ME!!!

Then I walked until I hit 5k.

I RAN/WALKED A 5K TODAY! Wooooo HOoooooo! I'm so proud of me.

I'm tired and I ache. PHEW! But I did it. It took me just over 46 minutes.




Hey, guess what? Tomorrow I'm going to do it again.

5K
Everyday
Except Sunday
And Monday.

I can do it. It will kill me, but I can do it.

And if I don't dang well lose weight I want to know the reason why!

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Tolerate everyone....well, except those who think different to you...."



"Either keep your mouth shut, or get what the Mormons are getting.

Because the Mormons are just the beginning."

$1000 in a month challenge

Time for Day Ten of the Save $1000 in a month challenge.

This one is just to check what perks your credit card(s) is (are) offering and use 'em.

Ok this is getting boring.

What if you don't use credit cards, eh?

Well anyway, Bert and I DO use one. I use mine exclusively for petrol, so I don't have to either leave Andrew in the car when I go to pay, or take him in whereupon he'll hit me up for a drink or snack or something.

We chose this particular credit card because it gives us lotsa lotsa air miles and we're going to need 'em for when (Yes, I'm counting my chickens.. =D) Emily gets into BYU-Provo.

Savings: I don't know. However much a flight costs from SLC to Nashville. I suppose I'd better go check. Hold on to your pantyhose while I do some research.

Looks to be about $400. Divided by 12 to get a monthly savings, that's about $33/month.

So here we go.


Day 1: $0
Day 2: $18
Day 3: $25
Day 4: Completed
Day 5: In the works
Day 6: $46.84
Day 7: $0 thus far
Day 8: $4
Day 9: $0 thus far
Day 10: $33

Total Monthly savings thus far: $126.84

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Scripture

John 13: 34-35

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.



Fleur's Translation:
Be kind to your fellow man.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

PETA

Huh. Fascinating stuff.


Who knew?

It was all certainly news to me.

You learn something new every day I suppose.

$1000 in a month challenge

Today is tip nine in the Save $1000 in a Month Challenge.

Today's tip is to only buy new things when replacing old ones.

The general idea is to not bring anything new into your house if you first don't get rid of something else.

IE: You go Christmas shopping for your children and you find you have bought ten toys for them.

You then go to your children and say "Dudes, give up ten toys. Come on. Hand 'em over." You don't have to use those actual words. =D

Or, if you are overrun with toys you can give them a multiple of that amount - two or three times. So if you're buying them ten toys, have them get rid of their twenty or thirty least-loved toys.


This also works for you. If you want to buy a pair of trousers, first you have to go to your closet and say "Hmm, which item or two of clothing do I want to get rid of in order to buy that pair of trousers?" If you don't want to give anything away, you don't get the trousers.

This not only saves your budget, it keeps your wardrobe/closet neat and tidy. =)

Friday, November 14, 2008

That works

You know the Bible 97%!
 

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Take More Quizzes

My Schedule

Just FYI.

Because this has been my schedule for a few weeks now and I mostly keep to it so I'm feeling pretty dang proud of myself. Here's hoping I can stick with it at least through the end of the school year because I find it's pretty productive.


5.30am - up, brush teeth, make sure Emily's up and almost ready to leave.
Read my scriptures (two chapters a day because I'm behind in my Sunday School reading)
Read the Joseph Smith manual (One section a day. When I'm REALLY ahead I skip it)
Write in my Journal
Make Ben's homeschool and chore list
Make my to-do list
Check the calendar
Check what we're having for dinner. Get started on it if I need to ie soaking the beans or whatever.

7am - Exercise. I get on the treadmill for 30 mins each day and try to push myself each morning. It's killing me, but I persevere. I'm looking forward to the weekend because I've pushed my calves pretty hard this week. =Þ
Shower
Prayer
Make Bed
Wipe sink or toilet or mirror
Start laundry

8am - Check to see if the birds need some more seed.
Water plants
Quick pick-up
Breakfast
Dishes
Family Scripture Study

9am - 15 minutes in the zone
15 minutes sorting out papers (I have about two piles of very important papers that I should have looked at yesterday in EACH ROOM. It's bad.)
30 minutes picking up

10am - Andrew's homeschool
Prayer
Song
One lesson out of Teach your kids to read in 100 easy lessons. We're starting again on this. I think I got to lesson 10 last time and Andrew had had enough. This time around (six months later) he's much more interested in it and the lessons go very fast. If he gets bogged down we'll stop again and wait for another few months. We don't do the writing portion of the lesson. He's SO not there yet.
Read a BOB book. Only just lately we've been reading two because Andrew's favourite book is "Mac" so we've been reading that every day for the past three days. =D
I read a book to him - whatever he fancies
Workbook time - We're using Rod and Staff and I LOVE it. HIGHLY recommended. Andrew was so thrilled the day before yesterday when he finished the first book and started on a new one, "Bigger Steps". =) He was so excited that he finished SEVEN pages. I plan on him doing one page a day, but if he wants to do more that's fine.
After workbook time we're meant to go outside or play with playdough or paint or whatever. These days Andrew just wants to get back to his cars. =) That's ok with me. I do feel very strongly that he's not outside enough though, and I've made a commitment to myself to get him outside at least an hour a day - two hours is better.

11am - lunchtime.
I make lunch
We eat it watching "Spongebob". I know. I'm evil. *sigh*
Andrew goes to bed
I do the dishes ha ha at least that's the plan. =Þ
I also sort out the laundry if I didn't squeeze it in earlier.

Noon - Ben's homeschool.
This is the time I set aside to help Ben with his work. We used to do Math and English together but just lately he's been doing it himself upstairs. He's been doing really well at it so...alright! =) You go, Ben! =) So although this is labeled "Ben's homeschool" time, what it really is is "Keeley's study time" where I work through the lessons in Ben's Math and English books. =) Keeps me on top of what Ben's up to just in case he has any questions.

Except today. Instead of studying I'm faffing on the computer. Dang.

2pm - Get Andrew up

And this is where the schedule gets kind of nebulous. Some days I run errands, others I catch up on work I haven't completed from earlier in the day, some I read quietly (hahahahaha! Just fantasizing there =D), and on Fridays I take Andrew to his gym class.

I ALWAYS schedule an hour in the afternoon to do my calling (I was just recently called as Compassionate Service leader). If I don't do this it gets away from me. If I'm not making calls or checking up on people, I'm looking through my list so I don't forget anything. I have a really bad memory and it's a nightmare of mine that someone is relying on our help and I totally drop the ball because I forget. Checking on this every day also reminds me that I'm trying to develop a heart of service. I haven't got it yet, but I'm working on it and pray the Lord helps me get it. I'm just plain lazy is my problem.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays Andrew has swimming at 6pm so we eat earlier in the evening. However, the late afternoon usually looks like this:

5pm - Make dinner if I didn't do it earlier in the day
6pm - Eat.
Do the dishes.
Do a quick pick-up downstairs

7pm - Andrew in the bath.
Finish up whatever laundry is hanging around
Quick pick-up if there's time
Prayer with Andrew
Snuggle up in bed with him and read him a story or five
Read my own book for a while - or if I'm too tired, just turn off the light and snuggle.
We almost always fall asleep together right around 8.30pm.


It's an early night for me and between you and me and no-one else, I really would like to come back downstairs again afterwards. It's kind of frustrating that my evening is shot. OTOH, because of the early evening I'm able to get up earlier the next day. =)

Also, Andrew just LOVES that "snuggle and read" time, so it's all worth it. =) Children grow so darn fast - Emily's 18, for example, when she still should be about 4. Before I know it Andrew will have outgrown the need for "snuggle and read" time and I'll have all the time in the world to faff about on the computer in the evening. So I'm trying to treasure these tender little moments. =)


There's a ton of stuff I've missed out of that nebulous "afternoon" black hole, but other than that, there's my schedule in a nutshell. =)


Ok, I'm making this a TAG thing! =) =) Muhahahaha, evil person that I am! I tag:

1. Ritsumei
2. Cristina
3. Kudos 2U
4. Tristi
5. I don't know who else reads this blog. =D =D But if you do read it, then you're tagged. =)

Post and let me know you've posted so I can come check it out, k? =)

Various Andrew Happenings

First, I washed the sheets yesterday. Andrew saw them in the hallway waiting to be washed and immediately saw them as the ultimate playground they are. I didn't wash them for an hour or so because he was having so much fun with them.





Andrew's been obsessed with cars almost since birth. For the past year or so he's been lining them up ready to race. He'll make long lines with his cars. Just the past couple of days, though, he has discovered another wonderful thing he can do with them.




Cars in a square! =)




It's been a busy week for Andrew, what with learning to read and everything.

video



As a bonus, here's the car that my parents brought back from Spain for the Drewmeister. He LOVES it. You think it's shrill on the video? That doesn't come close to how loud it is in real life. =) It's a good job we all think it's incredibly cute. Look at the complicated maneuvers it makes! Look at the wriggling side mirrors! Look at the flashing lights! Look at that convertible hardtop action! Bert said he only wishes the hardtop worked so well on the car he's working on in his job. =D

video

Andrew wanted to take a picture of the car by himself. He did rather well. =)





In other news, the dog has been acting weird. I do not know why.

Just Faffin'

Ok, I should SO totally be doing my chores now. It's 9.10am and I'm sitting on my bum at the computer. I'm so bad.


DUDE! Bert just came in to ask if I wanted to ride The Bike. (You know, the one he put the engine on that I haven't taken any pictures of?) So I DID and it was AWESOME! That thing is so much fun. =) =) I'll have to take pictures and videos tomorrow for your enjoyment.

Be jealous! For our family has a motorized bicycle and it's FUN! =)




FOR TODAY Friday November 14th 2008...
Outside My Window...It's cloudy and chilly, but not freezing. The trees are losing their leaves and the ground is sprinkled with red and gold. The leaves on the trees are a beautiful autumnal rainbow. And there is a bike in the garage that is uber fun to ride.


I am thinking... that motorized bicycles are way too much fun for a middle aged woman. =) Oh, yeah, and while I was riding it I had on the purple fuzzy slippers my Mum and Dad gave me. Hahahaha. =D =D
Kooky much? =D


I am thankful for...my awesome family. THey are SO much fun. Ben's growing and has occasional flashes of amazing mature maturity. Of course, he often lets his brain leak out his ears, but I'm also seeing flashes of brilliance. Hooray! =) =)


From the learning room...Andrew's reading is coming on in leaps and bounds. Moving Ben's homeschool from the kitchen table to the table in his bedroom was a VERY good move. He's able to concentrate and get the work done without the distractions of a 3 year old.


From the kitchen...the dishes need doing. Dang it.


I am wearing...purple slippers, black socks, black pants, white shirt, blue jumper/sweater.


I am creating...a blog entry. =)


I am going...to do some chores then homeschool the Drewmeister then have lunch then study a bit then take some videos to a chap at the Temple then take Andrew to gym then buy the week's groceries then take Ben to Cody's for Video Game Night then feed Andrew then put him in the bath then bed then I'm going to play Age of Empires on the computer and no-one is going to disturb me AND!!! if Bert has spare cash we're going to have chinese food and if he doesn't we're going to have loose California rolls and I may even beg Bert to pick Ben up so I don't have to.


I am reading...Miserly Moms. It's pretty good.


I am hoping...that we can get out of debt PDQ. This is what will happen. Listen and prepare.

1. We will have a ressession. Get frugal, people.
2. We will pop back from the ressession. Don't go hog wild!!! STAY FRUGAL! Now that others are buying, sell the house you couldn't sell in the ressession and buy one that's smaller that you can pay off as fast as you possibly can. Make sure you have a fuel efficient very reliable car - but don't buy a new one! While the economy is good, Live frugally so you can pay off ALL debts, save as much money as you can, and GET IN YOUR FOOD STORAGE! At least a year. Don't argue with me now. When you see the economy pop back up say to yourself "Ah HA! This is what Keeley was talking about" and STAY FRUGAL, PAY OFF DEBTS, SAVE, and GET IN YOUR FOOD STORAGE. Trust me on this, because...
3. Economic meltdown.

It's coming. It's not "If", it's "When". Hang on to your hats, it's going to be a bumpy ride. However, if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.


I am hearing...Ben making up funny little tunes and doing his own version of faffin'. =)


Around the house...chores need doing. Must. Pry. Self. From. Computer.


One of my favorite things...is food. And warmth. Love 'em. =)


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:Uhm. Stuff.


Here is picture thought I am sharing...



Chill out, man. Or as the Dad from "Better off Dead" said, "Mellow Off!" =D

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

$1000 in a month challenge

Day 8 of $1000 in a month challenge is switch to the a-la-carte method.

I downgraded my netflix subscription from the $8.99 one-at-a-time unlimited thing to the $4.99 one-at-a-time two a month subscription. I don't think the family will even notice. =)

Savings: $4/month

Day 1: $0
Day 2: $18
Day 3: $25
Day 4: Completed
Day 5: In the works
Day 6: $46.84
Day 7: Don't spend money on Tuesdays - write down everything you would have spent and tally it up each week.
Day 8: $4

Monday, November 10, 2008

Difficult times

The events happening in California are worse than I imagined. Here is an article about it:

http://www.ldsmag.com/ideas/081110hate.html

I found the link to it on Candace Salima's blog


I have no doubt that this situation will worsen. I have no doubt that in due time all LDS people will have to face something like this. And those that are not LDS will have the choice to say "This is not only illegal, it's wrong." or to take the easy road and join in the persecution because "Mormons are the easiest target."

Hopefully there will be more like those Hispanic ladies Paul Bishop mentions in his article. His mention of those ladies reminded me of a previous post of mine. May we all have such courage when the time comes.

Bellevue Tutorial and confidence

So off we tootled, at 7.30am to get to Ben's tutorial. I thought it was an hour away, but it took us 35 mins. Mandy (who we were following) said it usually takes longer. Apparently getting on to 97 is AWFUL, but today we just zipped on no problem.

Did I take pictures?

No.

Because I forgot, that's why. My brain is shot.


Ben was pretty dang nervous. He didn't get much sleep last night.


Anyway, so everyone was really lovely and welcoming. Everyone smiled, shook my hand, said "Hi!", said hi to Ben, smiled at Andrew and said how sweet he was. =) It was all very welcoming.

Mandy gave me the grand tour, for which I was very grateful.

Ben disappeared with Matthew (Mandy's son) at warp speed. =D As a special treat I bought him lunch. On subsequent Mondays he will have a home-made lunch. They were having hamburgers, baked beans, chips, dessert and juice. ($4). Ben said he wanted just the hamburger ($2) so I gave him $2 for snack cart emergencies in case he was hungry. =) He was rather tickled.

So I got him signed up and wrote all the cheques. Then Andrew and I checked out the preschool room. The room is officially for 4-5 year olds, though there are a couple of 3 year olds in there. The main thing is the children need to take care of their potty needs themselves. Andrew's not quite there yet with the wiping or the pulling up of pants. =) He'll be more than ready by August, though, if this whole thing works out with Ben and we decide to send Andrew along as well.

Anyway, so we walk into the preschool room just to observe for a bit. Andrew has NO fear at all.

I have been pondering about this. As parents we are sometimes afraid our children will be too clingy and so push them off early into this or that and create fears. I know other parents have looked at me and thought I was creating a needy child because I have always kept Andrew close to me. I carried him a lot when he was little. I hold him a lot. If he's nervous and wants to be near me, I put my arm around him so he feels safe. I keep him close.

When he started nursery he cried a lot. I didn't make a big deal out of it, I just stayed with him. No biggie. What did it matter? He had only been on the earth for 18 months, for goodness' sakes. Bert and I would trade off sometimes. If one needed to do something with his or her calling, the other would stay with Andrew. We never gave him the impression this was a burden for us. We never gave him the impression that it was something we were all excited about either. We were just *there* for him when he needed us to be.

It took six months. We didn't care. We were pretty laid back about it. He started needing us less and less until one day he ran into nursery all happy without a backwards glance. And that was that. =) For him Nursery hasn't been this scary thing because he's had the support when he needed it, and then we let him soar when he was ready.

What is the result of this gentle, close parenting? The result is that when Andrew and I walked into the preschool class there was no holding back or fear. Andrew has had a firm foundation built where he knows that he is safe and that he will not be abandoned. He has absolute trust. So he went running in absolutely jam packed full of confidence and excitement. He got stuck in playing cars with all the other boys with no problems whatsoever. It was great to watch. =)

And what was the other result of gentle, close parenting? After a few warnings ("Andrew, in five minutes it's time to go." "Andrew, in three minutes it's time to go." etc) he put the cars down and said goodbye and left with no problems.

(Hahaha, the inner me is saying "Uhm...this was a good day. You KNOW he has screaming fits sometimes." =D =D Hahaha, that's true, but we're ignoring that fact because I'm on a roll about gentle, close parenting right now. =D)


Another thing about Andrew that I so love for him is that he is absolutely full of confidence; not bravado or boasting, but secure, peaceful confidence. "I'm fast" he'll say. Not boasting, just stating a fact. "I'm strong." etc. Ben commented that if he'd gone to preschool his whole life that would have been beaten out of him long before now.

Ben said "A bigger kid would have pushed him over and said, "No you're not." and that would have been the end of that." The way Ben said it made me think that something similar has happened to him at least once. =( It makes me so sad. =( It was right around Andrew's age that Ben came home from preschool and said that he couldn't paint or draw. *sigh* =(

I'm so glad Andrew hasn't had that. Because he hasn't had anyone put him down, he thinks he can do anything he sets his mind to. And because he thinks it, he probably can.

Today we were doing reading and I pulled out the second "Bob" book. Andrew said he wanted a different one. I said, because I'm a complete narb, "These are pretty difficult, I'm not sure you'll be able to read them." Can you believe I said that? Sheesh. Anyway, what was Andrew's reply?

"Yes I can."

"Alright." I said, and pulled out the fourth Bob book. And guess what? He read it. The whole thing. Almost entirely by himself. He needed help with "the" and a couple of other unfamiliar words, but once we'd worked through those words once, he knew them. This is what he read:

By himself:


He's three and thinks he can do anything:

And I think he can too:



Mac
Mac
Mac had a bag.
The bag had a dog.
Mac had a bag and a dog.
Mag had a rag.
Mac can tag Mag.
Mac got the rag.
Mac sat on the rag.
Mag sat on the bag.
The End.


=) Is that not just awesome?

My little man can read. He didn't learn to read at school. No stranger taught him while I wasn't around. It was him. And me. And Heavenly Father. But mostly Heavenly Father and him. I was kind of in the backseat watching the miracle take place. =)

$1000 in a month challenge

Day Seven!! =)

Today's challenge is to not spend any money. One day a week - don't spend ANYTHING. Of course you'll be spending money on your mortgage payment and utilities or whatever, but for just one day a week, don't spend any money.

Today I dropped $187 to start Ben off at his Tutorial ($40 sign up, $40 book fee for English, $7 materials fee for Physical Science, $10 for....something else, I forget what, $60 monthly base fee, $30 tutorial class fee.) and wrote out six other cheques for $90 for the subsequent months remaining in the school year.

SO, today isn't a good day to start.

However, I hereby declare Tuesdays "Don't spend a dime" day.

Day 1: $0
Day 2: $18
Day 3: $25
Day 4: Completed
Day 5: In the works
Day 6: $46.84
Day 7: begins tomorrow

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Meanwhile...

In other news, we fed all four missionaries again today. Spaghetti again. =) We put the big container of red pepper on the table. Elder Osmund opened the wrong end.



WOW! Now *THAT'S* what I call a hot plate. =D It was an absolute classic maneuver. =) Made my day. =)

Not to worry, we didn't make him eat it. I have him mine and I had a marmalade sandwich. =D

Later edit: I clicked on the picture and realized he had spaghetti on his chin. How awesome is that? =D =D Poor guys. We feed it to them every time (we always have spaghetti on Sundays). They must dread it, and fear for their white shirts. Poor guys!

Also, take a look at this jumper my Mum made for Andrew.



Yeah. She made it. Handmade it. That's not a print on the front. That's her knitting. Jealous? =) You should be. We've been getting works of art like this my whole life. She's a genius. And you know what? She doesn't think she is. Amazing woman. I am one lucky Mama, and my children don't realize what they had. =)

Also, note the black eye that's almost gone. It was a good 'un. =)

Sunday Scripture

My last post was pretty dang sarky. After I posted it, I had these words go through my mind:

3 Nephi 11:29

For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

Then I went to the Temple on Friday evening - 7.30pm session. It turned out that, unbeknownst to us, the 7.30pm session the first Friday of the month is a Spanish session. The previous session had started late so all the sisters were in the dressing room. The tiny room was filled with Hispanic sisters.

I was reminded of the People of Ammon who converted and came over to the land of the Nephites. The Nephites gave them some land upon which to live.

And here were these Hispanic sisters, filling the dressing room, eager to serve the Lord. Not only that, they had brought their own names - many names. Lots and lots of names. As I stood in line one of the sisters handed me a pink slip with a smile.

How can I describe to you how I felt? I had been thinking of these beautiful sisters, comparing them to the People of Ammon...and then here one of them was asking unworthy me to do the work for her great Aunt. I nearly bawled. My heart was so full. I felt so deeply, deeply honoured. My goodness, it makes me cry writing about it.

When we went in, the room was filled to capacity, and then some. The brother setting up chairs quietly whispered, "Don't tell the fire marshall..." =) I could not have believed that they could fit so many people in that room - but they did, and we were all comfortable. =)

When I have gone on a Thursday night, there have been maybe 5 or so sisters in the session. This session was FILLED with these righteous sisters and brethren, eager to serve. My gosh. I felt humbled to be there.

I was given a headset. When the session started I couldn't get my headset to work. I fiddled with the volume, turned the dial to see if I was on the wrong channel, looked all over to see if there was an "on" button. In the end I thought that when a Temple worker approached me I would ask for another unit.

Then something quietly whispered, "Plug in the headphones."

Ahhhh yes, good readers, I'd forgotten to plug in the headphones. =D =D I plugged them in and lo and behold the unit worked fine. I think the Lord must have had a little smile over that one. =) I certainly had a quiet giggle at myself. When I told Bert later, in the Celestial Room, he had to ask me to stop because he was afraid he was disturbing the Spirit by giggling. =D =D

ANYWAY, so I was thinking about those sweet Hispanic brothers and sisters in the Temple and I was thinking about how judgmental we are. I bet some of them have had people say mean things to them, or assume they're illegal. When the session was in Spanish I had this amazing "DUH!" insight that every language is the same to the Lord. What does it matter that the session was in Spanish? It doesn't matter to the Lord. We are all equal in His eyes.

Have I been feeling superior because of my English language? If so, I must deeply and sincerely repent.

I thought about my previous post and realized that it was also judgmental and I should repent about that. These people are children of God and he loves them. LOVES them. He cares deeply about them. Who am I to think or say sarcastic things? This is not my job!! My job, as a child of God, is to love them as he does, to care about them.

This does not mean that I have to believe what they believe - not at all! But it does mean that I must be kind.

I think the Lord wanted to hammer the point home, because Sacrament meeting today was all on being judgmental. I joke not. =) First of all we sang "Should You Feel Inclined to Censure."

Should you feel inclined to censure faults you may in others view,
Ask your own heart, ere you venture, if you have not failings, too.
Let not friendly vows be broken; Rather strive a friend to gain.
Many words in anger spoken find their passage home again.

Do not, then, in idle pleasure trifle with a brother's fame;
Guard it as a valued treasure, sacred as your own good name.
Do not form opinions blindly; Hastiness to trouble tends;
Those of whom we thought unkindly oft become our warmest friends.



The talks were absolutely fantastic. Bert spoke. =) One of the other speakers said something that absolutely touched me - it was absolutely wonderful. Can I remember it? No. DANG!!! Because it was fantabulous. =) I'm so very sad I can't remember what it was. *sigh*. =(

But it was AWESOME!!!!

The choir sang a beautiful song, "One by One", about the Saviour visiting the Nephites.

The closing song was "Truth Reflects Upon Our Senses":

Truth reflects upon our senses; Gospel light reveals to some.
If there still should be offenses, woe to them by whom they come!
Judge not, that ye be not judged was the counsel Jesus gave;
Measure given, large or grudged, just the same you must receive.

Jesus said, "Be meek and lowly", for 'tis high to be a judge
If I would be pure and holy I must love without a grudge.
It requires a constant labor all his precepts to obey.
If I truly love my neighbor I am in the narrow way.

Once I said unto another, "In thine eye there is a mote;
If thou art a friend, a brother, hold and let me pull it out."
But I could not see it fairly, for my sight was very dim.
When I came to search more clearly, in mine eye there was a beam.

If I love my brother dearer and his mote I would erase,
Then the light should shine the clearer, for the eye's a tender place.
Others I have oft reproved for an object like a mote,
Now I wish this beam removed, Oh, that tears would wash it out!

Charity and love are healing; These will give the clearest sight;
When I saw my brother's failing, I was not exactly right.
Now I'll take no further trouble; Jesus' love is all my theme;
Little motes are but a bubble when I think upon the beam.

Blessed Savior, thou wilt guide us til we reach that blissful shore
Where the angels wait to join us in thy praise for evermore.



I hope and pray that I will remember these things and apply them in my daily life so often that they become part of my character.


Fleur's Translation:

Be kind. Don't judge unrighteously. If you do, it'll not only make the other person sad, it will make you a sadder and smaller person.

Also, if you're getting mad and yelling or whatever, then this is from Satan, who really wants you to be mean and nasty and wants you and all those around you to be deeply miserable. Jesus is ALL about not arguing meanly. He's about being kind, understanding, and loving.