Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just stuff

It was definitely a weekend of projects. We cleaned out the garage (we can actually park a car in there now! Hooray!!) and then found out we needed a new water heater.....which caused moments of anxiety but it's finally installed and there is no leaking gas (that's right, it was leaking gas for about 3 days. Don't worry, we figured it out after the first day and turned it off, it just took us 2 more days to figure out how to fix it). The hubs was home for 3 days in a row, which is unheard of, and it didn't feel like we got much relaxing down-time at all. Don't you hate that? When you have a few days off in a row together as a family and you are more tired by the time the days are over then when they started?

Oh! And the webpage for the business we started, DIY DeeJays, is officially up and running! It's not perfect yet, I still have to add some pictures etc, but if you'd like to take a look, please do! Let me know what you think! 

And lastly, I'm gearing up for my very first giveaway! I'm super duper excited about it (you should be too, no really, you should!) and it should all be rolling out by the end of this week, so stay tuned =)

Ok, on to another fun filled day. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you know how much I appreciate you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Silly Saturday

Me (noticing Elliot being a total space cadet): "Hey Elliot, you okay? What are you thinking about?"

Elliot (comes back to Earth from outer space & smiles at me): "You mommy, I'm thinkin' 'bout you!"

Sweetness. Total sweetness.
Elliot and his big cousin Kiefer modeling pirate eye patches

Have a great weekend!!!!! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

the time I got in BIG trouble

When I was a kid, I was pretty independent and sure of myself and brave and loud....and, well, I think you get the point. I knew what I wanted and how to get it. How do I know this? Yes, it was a long time ago but I've heard my parents say on many occasion that Caleb (my youngest son) is payback....and since he is all of the things I listed above, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say those things are true.
Me and my awesome Dad.
When I was younger, I did a few things that got me in BIG trouble. But the one that I recall with the fondest memories is the time I told 3 lies in one day. That's right, 3. But for some reason, I only remember the first 2 lies.......but I know there were 3, so you'll just have to believe me =)

1. My mom had just made some fabulous chocolate chip cookies and told me to keep my little hand off. She walked out of the room and what did I do? I went straight to the cookies and ate one (maybe more than one, the details are a bit foggy). She came back into the room and I had chocolate all over my face and hands and she asked "Emmie, what are you chewing on?" and my reply: "my teeth........."
2. I was a little upset that I had been caught red-handed (or should I say chocolate-handed) with the cookies, so I proceeded to grab a hammer (where I found one, I couldn't say) and pound on the water heater/air conditioner/something-that-was-big-and-not-supposed-to-be-hammered-on. My mom walked over and said, "Emmie, what are you hitting (that thing that I can't remember what it was) with?" and my reply: "my hand....."
3. The third lie must have been real good...I wish I could remember!

So, that's my story about the time I got in BIG trouble. As I grew up, the stories got juicier and juicier, but when I was younger something like 3 lies in one day was kind of a big deal. We still talk about the ridiculousness of it to this day =)

Thanks for stopping by! I love your comments!
(Linked up with Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordful Wednesday

My latest obsession: starting up a business.
Not just any business.
A business that I thought of, that I've been researching every-single-free-minute, that I'm really excited about.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to my obsession:

DIY DeeJays.

That's right. Do-It-Yourself DJs.

Here's the deal: the hubs and I happen to own some sound equipment. When we got married, we couldn't afford a DJ (holy cow DJ's are expensive!) so we decided to put this sound equipment to work for us. We hauled it all to the wedding venue, put a wedding playlist on an iPod, enlisted the help of a friend to announce the first dance, toasts etc, and VIOLA! We were our own DJs...and we didn't have to pay anyone a penny.

Over the past few years, I've had a few people ask us about how we did it etc. and I've reminisced about our genius idea. Then I had another genius idea: what if we rented out our equipment? There has to be a need for a more affordable alternative to hiring a DJ right? I'm thinkin' so!

Enter DIY DeeJays (I love the name.....what do you think of it though?)
I've already ordered the business cards and started the webpage (which is in the transition of publishing so I can't show it to you, but I will, promise!) I'm currently in the process of getting a business license, designing business cards and flyers, making lists of all the venues and event planners I need to contact to get on their vendor list etc. It's a lot of work and a lot of fun (I've always loved doing research and making lists!) and I'm obsessed with it. Seriously, I talk about it with the hubs every chance I get.

So, what do you think? Do you like the name? Do you think it's a good idea?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have a great day!
(This post is linked up with parenting BY dummies  for Wordful Wednesday!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A few cool things

I love to read magazines. I haven't been able to read as much lately (there is a stack of magazines sitting on my counter staring at me....it's kind of unnerving, I think I'll move them...)due to the craziness known as the end-of-the-school-year (and my kids aren't even in school yet!!) but there are a few quick little snippets I wanted to share from what I HAVE been able to read (I think that was the longest sentence ever, please excuse).

1. Did you know you could lease a dairy cow! Yes! You can!!! For $60 a year, RentMotherNature.Com (in Vermont) will let you pick out a cow (or even a goat!) and they will send you progress reports and get this: deliver cheese TO YOUR DOOR. Wow. How cool is that? Super cool.

2. An extremely awesome idea: Wrap any visible electric cords, cables etc. with a ribbon. Not only will you be organizing an ugly mess but you'll also be adding a little flair to the area. (If you have a flat screen TV mounted on your wall but haven't hidden the cords in the wall or some other place like that, this is a perfect idea!)

3. The perfect solution for all the random pot/pan lids that fly at you when you open your pots & pans cupboard (I hope that's not just me...): Attach a towel rack to the inside of your cupboard door and slide the lids in. They will sit there all calm and collected until you're ready for 'em.

They're random bits of information, I know.
But I thought they were pretty useful and fun
and worth sharing =)

Have a great day!!
Thanks so much for reading!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The day of gardening is finally here!

We're putting in a gaarrden. We're putting in a gaarrden. We're putting in a GARDEN!
Finally. Finally. Finally.
Though, I'm kind of glad we didn't do it sooner (read: couldn't afford to do it sooner) because the weather here has been really really odd (I have a piano student mother who says it's caused by the radiation coming our way from Japan.....but then again, she's on the crazy side) and the weather has gone from sunny and 90 degrees to overcast and 50 degrees and I know a few people who had planted already and lost some, if not all, of their garden due to the extremely unpredictable weather (ps, I just spent about 3 minutes trying to figure out what word I was trying to put there...it was unpredictable but my silly mom-brain had no clue).

So, it's our first ever garden. We built ("we" is a very loose term) a small raised bed (4 feet by 4 feet) and will be planting a variety of peppers, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and onions. I'm pretty nervous. What if I kill everything? What if I am supposed to be pruning something somewhere and I don't know it? What if I'm supposed to be picking something at some point and I don't realize it and it goes to waste? What if I plant them too close? What if, what if, what if!

I guess I just have to do it. And learn from it. Man, there are A LOT of things in life like that......

Ok, off to get my hands dirty =) Have a great Monday!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Silly Saturday!

Elliot: "Hey Mom, can dogs go to church too?"

Me: "Yeah....I guess they can...."

Elliot: "Yeah. And they have their own houses too."

Me: "Yup......."

The profound questions and statements of an almost 3 year old =)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordful Wednesday

Today I'd like to talk about the hubs.
                     The hubs and I met in high school, it's a good story actually.
I was a junior, he was a freshman, and we both happened to be auditioning for a little play called "West Side Story." I was sitting watching the male auditions and this tall, skinny, blonde haired boy got on stage and started singing "I've got the World on a string" by Frank Sinatra.

Before I go any further, you need to know that I l.o.v.e. Frank Sinatra.

Ok, so as this tall, skinny, blonde boy is singing (in his very nice voice) my heart starts to go pitter patter and I lean over to the girls next to me and ask them who he is. They tell me his name (which happens to be Ian by the way) and then proceeded to make fun of me for making googly-eyes at a freshman. I vowed then and there that this 15-year-old boy who could sing like Frank Sinatra would be mine, all mine.

Cut to a few months later, and he was :)

We got married 7 years after we met and I still love it when he sings Frank Sinatra.
This was a picture we took while we were supposed to be taking engagement pictures =)

Why do I tell you this story?
              Mainly because I'd like to point out what an old soul the hubs is.
I mean, what 15 year old boy sings a Frank Sinatra song for a high school audition?
This old soul of his was one of the many things that attracted me to him......but for some reason, the older we get, the more annoying the old soul part of him seems to be :) 

honeymoon! (Cozumel)
Sometimes he talks like we're 80 years old! Sometimes he talks about "really immature" people and I ask how old they are and he says "oh, like 26" and I reply: "ummm....you're 27........they can't be that immature can they?!"
His reply? "Trust me. I know these things."

Because he's an old soul. He just knows this stuff.

Yeah. He also enjoys things that people in their 70's enjoy. NOT THAT THIS IS A BAD THING (Grams.....) it's just kind of weird. He gets along way way way WAY better with people older than 60 than he does with people his own age. He's an old man trapped in a young man's body.

But really, no matter how weird or silly or odd I think it is. I kind of love it......

(This was a writing prompt from Mama Kat and I am also linking up with parenting BY dummies for Wordful Wednesday!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Loyalty, my first FREE printable!

On Sunday I heard an awesome quote (and you know I love quotes).
I made it into a printable and will be framing it and putting it up in our house.

And to top it all off, I thought I'd make it available to you to download and print out as well, ya know, cause I'm super nice =)

Here it is:

Download Printable here
This is my first time ever making a printable to share, so I'm still figuring all this out. If I had more time (read: if I didn't have children) I would make it in different colors for you to enjoy and pick out the one that fit you best....but alas, I didn't do all that (this time).

If you have any problems downloading it, let me know and I'll try to fix it (keyword: try)

Have a GREAT day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Motivate Me

I really really really like motivational quotes. Anything motivating at all is good with me. I've been working hard on losing weight (25 pounds gone, yeehaw!) and have decided that putting some motivational quotes on a post-it note would do wonders for my, well....motivation :)
While reading an article in Better Homes and Gardens titled "Working in Workouts" (which was of course followed by a few pages of ridiculous exercises done by a very in-shape-looking woman) there were a couple quotes that got me started and from there I decided to find some more:

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

You're stronger than you think.

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

Instead of giving yourself reasons why you cant, give yourself reasons why you can.

Progress has little to do with speed but much to do with direction.

I love the last one, I'm not a very patient person and focusing more on the fact that I'm moving in the right direction instead of how fast I'm getting there is definitely something I need to do more often.....

What about you? Do you have any motivating quotes? Care to share?
Have a great Monday!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Silly Saturday!!!

Me to the hubs: "Does my hair look okay? I just put it back in a couple messy buns"

Hubs: "Yeah, it looks great"

Elliot (with a grin on his face): "Mommy has messy buns!" (giggle giggle giggle giggle)

Have a GREAT weekend!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happiness...a choice

It's been a long week. With unexpected car break downs, overbearing mothers of piano students, pottie training, dried snot on all of my clothes (from my boys...........not me.......ok, maybe some of it is from me) I'm kind of pooped (sorry, pooped is all I can come up with, we're pottie training here people).

Today while talking to Elliot (my almost 3 year old) for the millioneth time about how it is not nice to hit/kick/pull brother I asked him if we could all just be happy and he said "No Mommy, I don't WANT to be happy." And I had this realization.....

It's a choice.
We have a choice.
A very very very important choice.
Do we choose to be happy? Or do we choose to be unhappy?

In this instance, Elliot chose to be unhappy. Unhappy that he was getting talked to for the millioneth time about doing something that he wasn't supposed to be doing. But alas, he cheered up a mere 2 minutes later and proceeded to run laps around the house with the dog and his little brother happily following along.

So, with all of the drama and stress and sickness etc etc etc that has been running through my life this past week I have a choice as well. I don't think I've been choosing wisely though, I think it took my little sweet man Elliot to point out to me that I have a choice.

I'm gonna choose differently. Starting now =)   (See, a smiley face, that's happy!)

Thanks for reading, sorry I've been MIA a lot this week.........tomorrow is Silly Saturday though, that's always something to smile about!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My best friend

Date: Summer 1999
Place: Band Camp
Time: After "lights out"

We were roommates. She was on the top bunk and I was on the bottom. We both played the trumpet. We were both super awesome and full of energy and giggles.

Late one night, the most feared horrible creature of all time came into my view.....a spider!!!! Dun dun DUHN!

Little did I know, but this super awesome girl who also played the trumpet (and was full of energy and giggles) who was sleeping on the bunk above me was a master spider killer! (Ok, I know there are those of you who are against killing things, even spiders, but this had to be done....sorry). 

She totally saved the day (well.....it was night) and I was so scared of a return assault by the spiders to avenge the death of their brother (or sister) that I slept in the same bunk as this super awesome girl who also played the trumpet (and was full of energy and giggles).

Today, I call her Beaner. Back then, her name was Lorena. Well, her name is still Lorena, I just don't call her that :)


And that my friends, is the story of how I met my best friend.
Great right?!

(ps Hubs, you're my best friend too)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sick Day

Today is a rough day.
The boys started getting sick on Sunday. Before that, it was the hubs. Today, it's me.
I'm the sick one.
And while the boys are still all stuffy and sound like someone is pinching their noses as they talk, they are pretty much back to full energy.......and then there's me.....runny nose, stuffy head, tired, achy.......ugh. This is definitely one of those days when I wished I had a wife to do the dishes, vacuum the floors, do the laundry, feed the kids and animals (yes, those are two separate groups), teach piano lessons, write up lesson plans for my drama class.....I think you get the point.
I guess my head is so full of snot I don't have much to say, I just wanted to say something. So, I guess that qualifies as something.

Oh! Anyone have any ideas on current songs that deal with contemporary issues? (Think "Imagine" by John Lennon but newer) I have to teach one random class on this at school next week and I'm looking for input.

I hope you all are having a great day and staying healthy =)
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Honesty (Gospel Principles Lesson 31)

I teach the 2nd second of every month in Relief Society, the Women's Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka, Mormons). The following is an outline of what I will be teaching tomorrow. The subject is Honesty and the lesson can be found here. P.s., this is really wordy.......it isn't really meant to be read, more heard =)
Some may regard the quality of character known as honesty to be a most ordinary subject. But I believe it to be the very essence of the gospel. Without honesty, our lives and the fabric of our society will disintegrate into ugliness and chaos. –Gordon B. Hinckley

1. We all need to know what it means to be honest. Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving –James E. Faust
 A.  So, what is honesty? 
Elder F. Sheldon Tanner said: Honesty and integrity are not old-fashioned principles. They are just as viable in today’s world. We have been taught in the Church that:
                     When we say we will do something, we do it.
                          When we make a commitment, we honor it.
                              When we are given a calling, we fulfill it.
                                  When we borrow something, we return it.
                                     When we have a financial obligation, we pay it.
                                         When we enter into an agreement, we keep it.
  This is something that I am reminded of on a constant basis. My awesome hubby is not a member of the LDS church (or any church for that matter) and he frequently brings up the fact that the LDS people he knows follow these teachings and he is grateful to see someone practicing what they preach. I am grateful he notices =)

B. Complete honesty is necessary for our salvation. 
“If we accept salvation on the terms it is offered to us, we have got to be honest in every thought, in our reflections, in our meditations, in our private circles, in our deals, in our declarations, and in every act of our lives”                 -President Brigham Young
2. Forms of dishonesty: Lying, stealing and cheating. The manual goes over these, but I’d rather not focus on the ways we can be dishonest or the pain and discomfort it can bring us and others. 
               I’d rather focus on what it means to be honest and why it is so important. 
A. Honesty is a moral compass to guide us in our lives.
**At this point, I'd like to share a story I read by James E. Faust about a medical student who was about to take his first exam. The test was given on the honor system, no one would be in the room to make sure there was no cheating. As soon as the instructor had left the room and the medical students were to begin taking their test, this medical student noticed other students pulling out cheat sheets. He promptly stood in front of the room and stated he had left his hometown and put his wife and 3 babies in an apartment so he could be here and had worked very hard and that he would turn in the first person who cheated. They believed him and the cheat sheets went away. It's a great story, you can read it here. (The story starts about 1/3 of the way into the talk)

B. In reality, we are only in competition with ourselves. (That's a pretty great statement if you think about it!)  
            Others can challenge and motivate us, but we must reach down deep into our souls             and call forth our God-given intelligence and capabilities. We cannot do this when             we depend on the efforts of someone else.

C. Honesty is a principle, and we have our moral agency to determine how we will apply this principle. We have the agency to make choices, but ultimately we will be accountable for each choice we make. 
             Making the right choice, to be honest, is always the best choice....even if it’s hard.

**I have a personal story I am going to share here, about being honest and how it was really hard (and scary) for me to do so. 

**Here's another story (stories are a great way to teach!) about a boy who was participating in a gym class challenge. His goal was to beat the record of the fastest time to climb the rope. He had trained for years. He was so fast. It's a great story about a boy named Bobby and his honesty and how it affected others. This story can also be found here (the same talk I referenced above, about 2/3 of the way down).

D. Honesty is at the heart of at least four of the ten commandments—do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not lie, do not covet. Which would mean it’s pretty important right?
I love this: Honesty allows us to be unashamed before anyone. The honest are blessed with peace of mind and merit God’s love and care.

3. It is our responsibility to teach honesty to our children
       A. Many of our youth have either lost the knowledge of what is right and what is     wrong or were never taught these basic values. President Harold B. Lee’s classic statement that 
“the most important of the Lord’s work that you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home” 
is most certainly true today.

**2 more stories: One by James E. Faust and one by Joseph B. Wirthlin. Both can be found here (Titles of the stories:  "On My Honor" and "Two Inches Away")

I liked this quote about the rewards of being a person of honesty and integrity:
“The rewards of integrity are immeasurable. One is the indescribable inner peace that comes from knowing we are doing what is right; another is an absence of the guilt and anxiety that accompany sin. Another reward of integrity is the confidence it can give us in approaching God. … The consummate reward of integrity is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. … Let us live true to the trust the Lord has placed in us.” -Joseph B. Wirthlin

In closing, President Gordon B. Hinckley summed it up best: 

I am confident the Lord will continue to bless us as we remain honest, faithful, and true to ourselves...We cannot be less than honest, we cannot be less than true, we cannot be less than virtuous if we are to keep sacred the trust given us.
Those who are living the principle of honesty know that the Lord does bless them. Theirs is the precious right to hold their heads in the sunlight of truth, unashamed before any man. On the other hand, if there be need for reformation in any member of this Church, let it begin where we now stand.
The Lord requires his people to be honest. May we desire with all our hearts to be honest in all our relationships and in all the things that we do. God will help us if we seek the strength that comes from him. Sweet then will be our peace of mind and our lives. Blessed will be those with whom we live and associate. And God will bless and guide us with his loving care.

Thanks for reading. I hope you learned something or were inspired by something or found something that you can use for a lesson you may be teaching =)
(Happy Mothers Day!!!!)

Silly Saturday

When asked if Elliot wanted a haircut:

Me: "Elliot, you've got a whole lot of hair, do you want a haircut?"

Elliot: "No, I'm just frust-er-ated"

Have a great weekend! Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

War Dogs

I love dogs.
Seriously, I love them.
(You can meet my dog, Sam the Corgi, here)

Today on my MSN homepage, there was a story about War Dogs and a really interesting picture of a dog and his (Army)Owner jumping out of a helicopter. I had to read the article, mainly for the pictures (FYI, I only like cookbooks with pictures, I know you wanted to know that). I was half expecting to read about horrible accidents and inhumane treatment of these brave dogs and I was pleasantly surprised.The article spoke about the strong bond between dog and owner, the safety precautions that are taken with the dogs and how they are treated like members of the organization they serve and not just equipment that can be left behind.

I'm the type of person who feels more sorry for the animals that die or get hurt in movies than the people (I know, it's horrible......but I'm trying to be honest here!) so my first thoughts about these awesome dogs are: is this really a safe and humane thing to be doing? Should we really be sending dogs out to war? But the reality is this: we send men and women out to war, it's not safe or even really humane for them either, but they go. And really, when I think about it a bit more, I bet these dogs are having a blast. They have a job to do, and in my experience, a dog with a job is a happy dog.

Anyways, I just wanted to share the pictures and article with you in case you haven't seen it, you can read it here.

What do you think about dogs in war?
You know me, I love to hear your thoughts =)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Most Rockin' Mom of All

The Most Rockin' Mom of All

We were born to rock
My mom knew this
All 4 of us girls
Just had that special "gift."
She made us instruments
out of cardboard
She popped in the Neil Diamond
and we were all floored.
"Today!" we jumped and screamed along
For that one was our favorite song.
 Us girls still talk about those funfilled days
How could we not?
We had the most rockin' mom of all.

My rockin' mom, and awesome dad, me (with the huge smile and closed eyes next to my dad) and my super great 3 sisters.
(linked up with Mama Kat)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

It's been way busy around here, so besides these words right here (and maybe a caption or two), I'm going wordless to show you just how busy we've been =)

first haircut!

first raised bed! Garden here we come!