Saturday, December 18, 2010

So, yeah, Christmas Cards....

That's something I'm hoping to get to this weekend. I wonder if it will happen?

must. make. it. happen.

My friend TeachinFourth was talking about his Christmas cards and it reminded me that I need to get crack-a-lackin' on mine.

What? You don't know TeachinFourth?

You REALLY should. He tells awesome stories about a certain 4th grader named "Joey" and besides being a kick butt fourth grade teacher he has some amazing photography skills that I may or may not be jealous of.

Okay...I am jealous of them.

Anyhow. You should really check him out. Head over to his blog or his photography site Along the Backroads and ask him

"How YOU doin'?"

You won't regret it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What does one do on December 13th in Utah??

Well if you were like me you went out to the shed and opened it up...

Pulled out the good ol' Yardman mower....
Fired it up and....



MOWED THE LAWN

This is DECEMBER 13!!!!
In UTAH !!!
Check that date stamp on the pictures if you are a non-believer.
On the docket for tomorrow?
Hanging the outside Christmas lights.

Because it's supposed to snow on Wednesday.
And thanks to me those lovely little flakes
will have a pristine lawn to land and pile up on.

And I hope they pile high.

Because I would really like a white Christmas.

And I don't want to pull that mower out again
until sometime in April....
possibly May.




On a side note...
I found these on my back lawn.
We haven't had a dog for a while now.
Should I call CSI??







Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Too many, too soon

The lapse in blogging is because...

Our family has, to yet again, say goodbye. Or as my darling niece put it "This is see you later....I'm not into goodbyes."

She was talking about her mom. My ex-sister-in-law who died unexpectedly on Friday. She was two years younger than me.

And even though she and my brother were divorced they had managed to stay friends. In fact I saw her in the store a few days before she died and we had a nice little chat. I thanked her for being there for Ben and for being a friend to him.

Kodi had a big heart and was willing and wanted to help out those she loved. My heart breaks for the three kids she leaves behind.

Her oldest just got engaged. She is a strong, beautiful, amazing girl. Who, as she sat waiting for her grandpa to come and drive her home from college after receiving the tragic news, thought to herself, "Well, now mom will be able to be there for my wedding." She will be married in the Salt Lake Temple and her mom wouldn't have been able to be there for the ceremony. She is already planning on going to the temple to do the work for her mom when the time comes.

Kodi will be missed. I know her children are in good hands. They have some of the best grandparents anyone could ask for, my mom being one of them. They have many aunts, uncles and cousins who love them dearly and will be there for them in the years to come.

I am concerned for my brother. This has hit him hard and I'm not really sure what I can do, if anything to ease what he is going through. The future is uncertain. I hope and pray that we don't have to say "See you later" to anyone else for a long, long time.

*edited...I put that she died Saturday but it was Friday so I corrected that.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How Shanna Got Her Groove Back..

Crafting Groove that is.

So I do like to do crafty stuff but my crafting mojo has been on the fritz the last little while. But something got me going again. It could be the fact that I'm in charge of my family's Christmas party and therefore went looking for some fun ideas.

Since it's the first day of December I thought I would share with you the advent calendar that I made.

Here is the page that I got the idea from.

I love advent calendars but I don't like to buy the ones from the store because I'm not too impressed with them. This is one that, hopefully, will last through the years. It's not too difficult to make but it is a bit time consuming.

In the directions it says to use "strong and regular adhesive (SNAIL and Terrific Tape)". I had no idea where to find those so I used Mod Podge instead and it worked really well...I did try to use hot glue... that did not go well.

I got my tins from PaperMart.com. I thought that the price was pretty reasonable and they came in lots of 24...just the amount I needed. They are a little bit shallow but you can put notes of activities that you can do as a family rather than treats. I didn't have time to sit down and figure out what days would be best for us to do the different activities so I just put in chocolate.

Also instead of stamping the numbers I just found a font that I liked on my computer and printed them out and then cut them out.

Here's how it turned out for me.



There you have it! If you have any questions feel free to ask.
I'll do my best to answer.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh No She Di'int

Because my niece asked....
and because there's a bunch of stuff I have haven't done lately....

I give you the latest rendition of...

Oh No She Di'int
I am am NOT blogging right now instead of working on stuff for two, count em, two parties that I am am NOT in charge of this coming weekend.

I did did NOT plan both my family party and my ward party one right after another. That would just be insane.

I did did NOT stop at a red light look left and right and then, treat said red light like a stop sign.

My daughter was was NOT in the passenger seat at the time.

I was was NOT so tired and not feeling well that she looked at me and said "You realized you just ran a red light don't you?"

I did did NOT think she was pulling my leg.

I did did NOT buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows tickets online for 15 minutes after my son's Egyptian Funeral Procession was going to take place.

I had had NOT helped him work on his costume for said funeral procession just hours before so I knew did NOT know what time it was going to be.

Then I did did NOT drive over to the theater and then proceed to exchange the tickets for a time that would make us late to the program where my daughter was receiving another award for her Reflections project.

Therefore making me have to NOT have to exchange the tickets a second time.

I'm sure the workers there did did NOT think I was slightly off my rocker.

I did did NOT upend a fully loaded flour container onto my kitchen floor.

I also did did NOT spill a large bowl of soup onto the seat of my Durango because the people I was taking dinner to wouldn't answer the door.

I then did did NOT proceed to scoop the soup off of my leather seat and place it back into the bowl for possible later consumption.

And like I said at the first...

I am am NOT sitting here blogging and procrastinating when I should be working on stuff for those two parties.

If procrastination was an Olympic sport I would would NOT be a Gold Medalist.

Is there anything you would like NOT like to fess up too?

They say confession is good for the soul.

Who "they" are? I have no idea. Do you know?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm not Buying That

So my thankful a day posts here on the blog have fallen sadly behind. And I'm tired and not feeling well so I'll hopefully start back up again in a few days.

For today I'm sharing with you a few commercials that make me NOT want to buy what it is they are advertising. It's not that they aren't good commercials with cute kids but they just bug me for some reason or another and when they come on I think "I'm not buying that!"

First commercial is for a Christmas countdown ornament. Why? Why would any parent choose to buy this and put themselves through anything close to what the commercial portrays. It's bad enough counting down the days.


Next we have a Toyota Highlander Commercial. Guess what? What I drive doesn't define me. I know that for much of the world this is not true, but I really and truly dislike this commercial. Or any form of advertising that says "If you don't have our stuff you must be lame." And what annoys me even more is the fact that they this seems to be more geared towards the kids so that they will bug their parents and tell them how uncool they are if they don't buy this. Gah.


Any commercials that make you not want to buy whatever it is they are advertising?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Food

today I am thankful for food.


I'm sure that this is a fairly obvious statement if you know me or have seen pictures of me. I love food. I really do.

I don't necessarily like to prepare food but I do enjoy partaking of it.

And this time of year I am able to partake in some of my favorite foods.

There really is nothing better for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving than cold turkey on a buttered roll and a slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

What are some of your favorite foods?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You

is thankful today for the men and women of the armed services who have served
and who continue to serve our country.

Two small words.

Thank. You.

It doesn't seem enough really.

But it is what I offer.

Thank you to all of the men and women who have stood

"Between their loved homes and war's desolation"

These are pictures of a few of the names of people
on the Veteran's memorial in my home town.
Three are my great uncles.

One is a great uncle of my husband.

One is a dear family friend.

One is an uncle of my husband.

One is the grandfather of my husband and the
great-grandfather to my children,
he served on Iwo Jima.
One is my brother-in-law who is an air force recruiter

And one is my father-in-law who served in a the Army
Tank division in Germany during Viet Nam and
then served in the Air Force Reserves
.

And there are so many more in my life...
A nephew who serves in the Marine Corps
Cousins, both mine and Tyran's, who have flown
many missions for the Air Force
The young man that lives across the street who just returned from service
Another brother-in-law who served in the Air Force Reserve

Both of my sons have expressed an interest in serving their country.
I would be honored as a mother if this is the path they choose.

To all of you who put your lives on the line

Again, I know it's not much but know it is
heart felt and sincere when I say,

Thank you.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On being a mother

Thankful today for the challenge and the blessing it is to be a mother.


Sixteen years ago today a little, okay...not so little (9 lbs 8 oz) boy was laid on my chest, and in that moment I became a mother.

The years that have followed have found me blessed beyond measure with three other children.

I find it a little strange that in that one moment. The moment my firstborn took his first breath that the title of mother was bestowed upon me. Just like that.

In all honesty I do not always feel comfortable in the skin that is motherhood. Often I feel too self centered and hard hearted. I'm impatient and I yell more than I should. I hear or read about other women and the feelings and experiences they have had as mothers and, more often than not, I feel slightly left of center. I'm learning that feeling that way is okay.

Because what it all comes down to is... I love my kids.
This is what a mother does.
Loves.

It is a love that is difficult to put into words.

It is a love that
grows
and
changes
and
expands
with each child that is added, with each day, hour, minute, second that passes.

There is a book that I love called Just In Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado.. I want to post an excerpt because it captures so well some of the feelings I have as a mother.
So, after lots of looking for just the right family, God
sent you to me. And I'm so glad he did.

I'll never forget the first time I saw you...
your eyes were closed,
your fingers were curled in two little fists,
your cheeks were puffy and round.
I knew in my heart God had sent someone very wonderful for me to take care of.

Your first night with me I heard every sound you made:
I heard you gurgle,
I heard you sniff,
I heard your little lips smack,
I heard you cry when you wanted to eat and I fed you.

You're bigger now and do more things.
You can walk and run.
You can play and talk.
You can eat an sing and look at books.
You're not a little baby anymore.

But as you grow and change, some things will stay the same.
I'll always love you.
I'll always hug you.
I'll always be on your side.
And I want you to know that...just in case you ever wonder.
I am so very thankful for the four beautiful spirits that have been entrusted to me. Who make me laugh and cry, smile and scream...sometimes all in the same day.

They are the reason that I am a mother.

And as I attempt to shape, mold and teach them as they grow,
they in turn shape and mold me into a better mother,
into a better person.
And I've learned far more from them than I could ever have imagined.

I look forward forward to years of shared laughter and tears. Shared joys and sorrows. Triumphs and trials. I look forward not without little trepidation but I also know I'm not in this alone. I've got their wonderful father by my side and a direct line to God for direction and inspiration.

These are, after all His children too, and He wants what is best for them. If I look to Him, trust in Him, lean on Him I'm sure I'll become more comfortable in my own skin.

And in doing so I'll become the best mother I can be.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Talents

today I am thankful for the talents that have been given to me.


In some ways a post such as this feels a little bit "Braggity Anne" (as my friend Crash would say. BTW if you haven't voted for her in the Sam-e Good Mood Gig could you click that little button over there on the right and do so please??)

Yet I am so very thankful for my talents. You see if it weren't for my talents I wouldn't have been able to go to San Fransisco my Senior year in high school and sing "These Boots are Made for Walking" in front of random strangers in California. I love San Fransisco and can't wait to go back.

I would also not have received a scholarship to attend the University of Utah.

My talents give me an outlet for my creativity and I am thankful for that. Everyone needs an outlet.

When I was younger it seems that I was more sure of myself. More sure of who I was and what my talents were. Somewhere, along this road that supposedly leads to maturity I've lost some of that confidence and conviction. I've let that little voice of doubt and insecurity sneak in. And some days, that voice? It's not so little any more. Some days it's a giant roar of negativity inside my head.

Recently I went to a fireside where the stake president spoke. It was for the youth of our stake and he was speaking to them, I was just along for the ride. But what he said tugged at a part of me. A part that obviously needed to hear those words. I wish I had written down what it was but I didn't so I'm going by memory here.

He said that we all have the ability to hear that still small voice. And that voice is the voice of Deity. It is God speaking to us. Wanting us to listen. To hear what He has to say to us. But there are other voices that are pushing in and over powering this voice and we need to take control and tell those negative voices to be quiet. Not only do we need to tell them to be quiet but we need to effectively "Shut the door" on them.

I think maybe I was more in tune with the still small voice when I was younger, or I was stronger at pushing the negative voices aside.

At any rate, since hearing those words that night I have worked hard shutting the door on the negative thoughts and listening for that good voice. That gentle voice. That still, small voice. The voice that tells me
"You can do it."
"You are amazing."
"You are beautiful."
"You are talented."

So today I will listen to that voice and say, I am thankful for the talents that have been given me. They are my treasures. I hope that I can do them justice.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm Rainy Day People

Today I am thankful for rain.
Rainy day people all know there's no sorrow they can't rise above.


I know that not many people like rain.

I, however, do.

I love the sound of rain. I love the smell of rain. I love the feel of rain on my face.

Pretty sure I would love living up in Oregon or Washington (and it would have nothing to do with snow baby vampires)

I also have a feeling that I would get along well across the pond in England, Ireland or Scotland.

As long as the people there came with subtitles.

If it wasn't for rain we wouldn't have the beautiful green grasses that grow or flowers or trees.

Or any of the other plants that we use to sustain life. You know...food? I happen to like food.

Oh and water. I like drinking water. A nice big glass of ice water. Mmmmmmmm.... Without rain we would get mighty thirsty, mighty fast. And I really hate being thirsty. It's one of my least favorite things to be.

I live in a desert so maybe that gives me more of an appreciation for the rain.

Without rain I wouldn't be able to capture images like these.

Besides, if it wasn't for the rain what would Milli Vanilli blame things on??


(Dang those guys were good looking, even if they couldn't sing.)

Inquiring Minds Want to Know


When you take a shower or a bath,
when you get done drying off,
do you you hang the towel up to use again the next time
or
is the use of towel a one time deal at your house?

And if you do re-use the towel how many times do you re-use it?

My kids think that towels are a one time use.
I'm trying to disabuse them of this idea.

As for me I re-use it until it starts smelling funky.
Don't judge.
I hate laundry.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm Fallin' Back

today I am grateful for sleep. And the extra hour I got of it last night.



Some people say that sleep is over rated.
I am not one of those people.
I love my sleep.

Things get kind of crazy when my mind won't shut down.

So when it comes time to Fall Back....
I enjoy it.



Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Know that my Redeemer Lives

today I am thankful for my savior and redeemer Jesus Christ. And for the testimony that I have of Him.
Painting by Simon Dewey - "I am the Way"

I'm getting to this a little late today. It seems like things have conspired to keep me away from the computer and me posting this. I should have written it earlier and set it to Auto post but I didn't.

Of all the things that I am thankful for this is at the very, very top.

I have a Testimony of Jesus Christ.
He is my Older Brother.
We knew each other before this world began.

He loves me.
He loves me so much that He was willing
to take all of my faults,
all of my sorrows,
all of my sins
upon Him.

He hurt beyond measure....for me.
He bled in the Garden...for me.
He suffered insults and indignities....for me.
He suffered pain on the cross... for me.
He died for me.

For three days He lay in a tomb.
On the third day...
He arose.
He overcame death....for me.

He knows me.

He loves me.

This I know above all else.
I have felt His love woven
throughout my entire life.
I have felt Him beside me during
some of the darkest moments of my life.
And also during moments of indescribable Joy.

He loves me.

And He loves you too.

This I know.

And for this I am Thankful.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm Thankful for this guy...

Today I'm thankful for my main man.


A pictorial post of why I am Thankful for my man.

He's good with kids.
He can deal with unusual situations
He carries his own weight and often times the weight of others.
He loves Christmas
He is contemplative
He looks good in waders.
He provides for our family and does it well.
He has a fabulous smile
He can rock a rock climbing harness and helmet
He follows his dream no matter where it might take him.
He is steady and strong like a tree
Did I mention he's good with kids??

Oh and the number one reason that I'm thankful for my husband?

He loves me.
He loves me.
He loves me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Please don't squeeze the Charmin

I'm thankful today for toilet paper and indoor plumbing. Oh yes I am.
Yes. Toilet paper is what I am thankful for today. And indoor plumbing.

I went onto the interwebs to see what I could find out about the history of toilet paper. Here is what I found.

Different things that people have used for toilet paper...
  • corncobs (in the movie Babies a corncob is used to wipe a babies bum)
  • sponges on the ends of sticks that were kept in jars of salt water
  • rocks
  • leaves
  • fur
  • mussel shells
  • the left hand. (There is a scene in the movie Outsourced where the guy is looking for toilet paper and is basically instructed to use his left hand.)
  • Pages from catalogs such as Sears and Robuck and the Farmers Almanac.
I am so thankful that I have that lovely soft, white paper.

Honestly there is a good part of the world that does not have this luxury (see the first example of corn cob usage).

Did you know that back in the day one of the selling points for a specific type of TP was that it was "Splinter Free"????
(I found the above fascinating info HERE)

Did you know that according to a Kimberly Clark Survey when it comes to how we use toilet paper that women are "wadders" and men are "folders"? (You can find this and a bunch more interesting facts about TP HERE.)

Plus if we didn't have TP then we wouldn't have all those awesome TP rolls to get all crafty with, now would we??

These heads made by French artist Junior Jacqeut are pretty cool
Go HERE to see more.

And these amazing works of art by another French artist
Anastassia Elias.
Check HERE to see others.
And finally this tree crafted from aTP roll by Artist Yuken Teruya
(Who I'm thankful is not French so I didn't make an unfair observation.)
I am also very thankful for indoor plumbing because it means when I feel the call of nature in the middle of the night or in the middle of winter I don't have to haul myself out to one of these.....
and have a constant fear of being attacked by The Flukeman.

Instead I get to use this awesome Avocado green toilet.
P.S. I know that the debate
"Over vs. Under"
rages on in bathrooms around the world.

My vote?

ON!

I don't care if it rolls over or under.
Just replace the roll!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I got all my sisters and me

Today I'm grateful for all of the strong, beautiful, amazing,
talented, smart and kind women who have influenced my life.

I am so very thankful for the women who have surrounded me with their love and strength and their examples. My life would have been so empty and difficult without them.

Let's be honest....without my mom (or my grandmothers or their grandmothers and so on) I wouldn't even be here.

There are also my sisters. My 8 amazing and beautiful sisters. Two who are my sisters by blood and six who are my sisters because they married my brothers and my brothers in law.

My wonderful second mother, who gave me my husband and treats me like her own daughter.

The lovely grandmothers, aunts and cousins who welcomed me with open arms (and continue to welcome me) to the family I married into.

My aunts who watched me grow and learn and my many, many cousins. Some who grew up with me and were close and some who were further away.

My incredible nieces who I've had the privilege to watch grow up.

The many teachers.

The women in my church.

And the friends....oh the friends.

Childhood friends who moved away never to be heard from again, but remembered in the far recesses of my mind.

Childhood friends who moved away but somehow we managed to keep in touch.

Childhood friends who stayed and who grew up by my side. Some that stayed by my side and some who I pushed away.

The High School friends. The college friends.

And the online friends.

Each of them have had joys and triumphs. Some, of which, I've been blessed to have taken part in.

Each of these women have faced their own difficulties and struggles. A few of which I am aware. Most, I'm sure, of which I am not.

As I look at the women who have surrounded me in the past and who surround me today I am continually amazed at their warmth, their wit, their strength, their many and varied talents and most importantly their love.

Without each of them I, myself, wouldn't be the woman that I am today.

So my heart is full of thanks today for these...

My sisters.