Friday, January 29, 2010

So Long Green Lantern...You served us well

Yesterday we bought a new van. It looks like our current is also a Dodge Grand Caravan. It is however 5 years newer and my favorite color, RED! We got a very nice deal on it from a very honest and reputable salesman (when our former Bishop/current Stake President was there "just to chat" when we returned from the test drive, we believed him when he said the guy was honest).

Why the need for 2 vans you ask? My Geo Prizm/ the green car aka. The Green Lantern has officially died. Ryan was driving it home from church a month or 2 ago and the engine "blew up" in the no fire way but the lots of black smoke and no longer working way. It has needed a new transmission for a long time. When we moved to Colorado it started acting weird causing us to turn around and attach a dolly to the back of the moving truck for the Green Lantern--at the time our one and only vehicle. The transmission was going out and it needed to be replaced way back then.

Needless to say we have had it parked in front of the house since before Christmas wondering what we should do with it. Donate it. That is our conclusion. But before it goes I wanted to wish it a fond farewell with some great memories.

I bought the Geo, Lucy, as I called her back then right after I graduated from college in 98. It was a 96 and had only 25,000 miles on it. She and I went through many a Salt Lake City commute together. The name really never stuck and when I moved to Island Park in 99 everyone started calling it the Green Car. I know real original, but it had a personality to it and it was said with lots of affection since it was one of the few vehicles we had access too.

While in Island Park Gertie, Tammy and I used to take it for drives and listen to the radio REALLY LOUD. Whenever we heard Livin' La Vida Loca we would stop the car, get out and have a little dance party right where we were. It also took us on many a midnight run to "West" for late night snacks after we got off work.

When I started dating Ryan, we took the geo on several trips to Arizona to meet his family, for Nick's wedding then to Oregon for Trent's wedding after we got married. We loved that little car and I tried as hard as I could to teach Ry how to drive a stick...

It served us well all through ISU, living close enough for Ry to walk to school if needed so we could still live with only one vehicle. When we moved to Colorado we took her with heard that part already.

The students on Ry's yearbook made him a Green Lantern symbol the first semester he was there, he put it in the back window and the name stuck. Soon after we found out we were pregnant with Luke. Try as we might we could NOT fit a third car seat in the back of that car. So we went shopping, found the Supervan and it officially became Ryan's car.

We have had that car for 12 years. It is the first car I ever bought. The only car I owned all by myself, even if it was for only a couple years.

I am really sad about letting it go. I feel like a piece of me is being thrown out too. My RED van makes me feel better, even if it is a van. Someday I won't need such a large like 18 years. Maybe my next car can be an SUV and I can graduate from the minivan.

"Not on a teachers salary."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I need a new computer

When I try to load photos on my blog I get a connection error. Sometimes while I am checking my email I get a stack overload error. It also asks me a lot if I want to continue running scripts on the page because the memory is too low and it might close. Not to mention when it tells me it can't open a program because there are too many running, but nothing is open and I just started the computer.

This is how I know I need a new one. Our memory is not sufficient for our needs. We don't have enough RAM. I have all but given up on trying to blog because it never lets me post...consider yourself lucky to be reading this.

I heard the sweetest words the other day.

"Maybe we should use our tax return to buy us a couple of Netbooks."

This from my husband who wants to put every penny in savings for our house. We are supposed to have it by Feb 5. Maybe next month I will be doing a lot more blogging. We can only hope!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My dream...

I have a dream that one day my kids will be able to replicate a clean room. Quickly and quietly with no whining.

I have a dream that I won't care so much if wax spills on the carpet because it is my carpet to worry about.

I have a dream that people will realize that 10% is not a generous tip and they are not doing me a favor.

I have a dream that deadlines are more like future guidelines to look to, but never miss.

I have a dream of a restful night with no interruptions by children and especially not barking dogs.

I have a dream of peaceful days with lots of compromise and no arguing over toys or messes or the last bag of fruit snacks.

I have a dream of short and concise meetings.

I have a dream of a smaller, more energetic version of myself.

I have a dream of college education, mission calls and temple marriages.

I have a dream of far away lands just waiting to be explored.

I have a dream of long days of just me and Ry doing whatever our heart desires...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Turnaround is Fair Play

Hey. This is Ryan. When I got home from church at noon today, I had the unique opportunity to lay in bed and laugh with my wife. "What?" you're asking. "You don't talk with your wife in bed about everything and love each other and blah, blah, blah?"

No. I sleep in my bed and I have a job that drains every ounce of energy out of me, four children that apparently require every milisecond of every hour of every day, a Facebook addiction and a yearbook deadline that will, I'm sure, be responsible for my early death and so I'm exhausted by the time we decide to plop into bed and pass out for about four hours before Clark starts screaming, "me need boob."

Anyway, this conversation that we had reminded me why I fell in love with her. She's funny and thinks I'm hilarious -- which probably was the real draw, if I'm honest. She laughs at what I say and it makes me feel good.

We started talking about our children and their ... um ... quirks. Is that a nice way to say it? Basically, we were trashing on our kids and what bugged us most about them.

We have four wonderful children whom we love and support and all that mushy parent stuff but let's face it. We have lived in an 800-square-foot house for almost three years (and other tiny domiciles for most of our 10 years together). We know each other. Real well. And because of our one bathroom with a door that doesn't quite shut, everyone has a little too much knowledge. Do other parents have to teach their children to shut the door to pee? Or is that just something we have to do because of our familiar comfort zone and close quarters?

So, do you wanna hear what we were saying? You know you do. Here goes: Ally is drama. All the time. When she's not crying (we're talking literal tears) about some injustice done ("I forgot my spelling words and I'm gonna fail. FAIL! Do you HEAR ME?! FAIL!"), she's butting into everyone's business and mothering them to death.

Emma is a space cadet. She willfully ignores us and when we tell her for the THOUSANDTH time to please pick her coat off of the floor, she continues to stare at her dolls and mumble some curse, I'm sure, on either Lish or me. She is a pig which bugs the crap out of Ally because they will spend all day screaming at each other and "cleaning" their room and two hours later, Emma will have rediscovered all her toys and destroyed it once again.

Luke is defiant and automatically answers "no" to any and all requests. When he doesn't want to take out the trash, pick up his toys or change his clothes, he rolls on the floor and whines like he has kidney stones until Lisha finally uses the "I'll-tell-Dad" threat. And he pees his pants when he's playing Nintendo which results in being grounded for weeks. Which also makes him whine.

Clark, as mentioned before, is still nursing. This causes all kinds of problems like causing Lish to cry out in pain as he chews on her nipples or waking up to get some milk at 4 a.m. He's also taken to hitting Lish when he's frustrated but runs around the corner and hits the first person he sees when I tell him "no."

As we discussed these character flaws and the fact we desperately need a new, larger house, we suddenly sobered as it dawned on both of us that we are reaping what we sowed. In other words, we were the same punks to our parents that our kids are to us. And now our parents were having revenge and probably sitting back giggling with satisfied laughter at the same stuff that drove them crazy.

"I can't wait until they have kids," Lish said after we had told each other our kiddy quirks. "I am going to invite them over, sugar them up with pop and candy, then you'll shake them up until, when we send them home to their parents, they explode all over the place. Then, we'll laugh and laugh and scream, 'YOU DESERVE IT!' Right. In. Their. Faces."

"It is how God intended it, after all," I concurred.

How about you? We know you love your kids, but are you waiting for that day when you can smugly look into their eyes and say, "You were the exact same way. Suffer!"? You know you are.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Free for All

I love to read. I have mentioned that before. My friend Sandi told me about a site where I could get free books in exchange for reviewing them on my blog. You can sign up on their site here if you are interested in some free reading material too.

So here goes my first installment.

What's Age Got To Do with It? Living your healthiest and happiest life

by Robin McGraw

Ever wonder how some women look like they have never aged, no matter how long it has been since you last saw them? I do, and I want to know their secrets! In this book on how to take care of yourself, inside and out, Robyn McGraw does just that: gives us all the inside secrets to how she stays young looking and fit despite the ticking of the clock. One of my favorite sections is on watching what you eat. Not just for weight loss but for total health. Eating with a purpose in mind of getting those essential nutrients that will help you maintain the youthful skin, healthy muscles and energy needed to continue to feel young as we mature.

I am in my mid thirties and have to admit I was a little annoyed about this book at first. I didn't want to read it, but the information is vital to women my age, even if at first glance it does not seem so. Most of the routines McGraw has formed over the years, she started when she was very young. Using her advice in my life now will help me have the results I want 20 or 30 years from now. I only wish I had had this book to guide me 10 years ago. I recommend not only reading this book, but keeping if as a reference guide for the lifestyle changes I want to make. I did read it straight through, but it may not be necessary to understand what each section is teaching.

One of the most comforting things I discovered when reading this book; no one is perfect and it is not going to take thousands of dollars to make you look and feel better. But we have to start making changes and taking time for ourselves. Most of the suggestions McGraw gives are simple routine changes we can make in our everyday life. If change is what you are looking for, McGraw will help you understand a few ways you can make those changes. Do it for yourself and for you future.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A few things to say...

First off I want to say Happy Birthday and Happy Baptism Day to my nephew...Yogs. We celebrated his special day last night and it was great. How lucky is he to have them all on the same day? By the way, he is Ally's "twin" and Luke's best friend. He only lives a quick 45 minutes away so we see him lots.

Second I want to tell you about my new goal. I have a "pile" of boxes in the boys room that needs to be organized, re boxed (in my handy Rubbermaid's I bought) and a new home found for them. So that is what I will be working on this week. I am a little nervous about completing this one in a week, but I am not going to give myself more time or I will procrastinate it for another 2 1/2 years. Wish me luck. The pile is high and the task is daunting.

Third the girls are loving piano lessons! I am so excited and so are they. I hope it stays fun for them. Any tips on that? Ally played through Emma's entire book last week. It has become a privilege to get to practice piano. I certainly don't remember it being like this when I was young, but maybe I didn't love it as much as they do. hmmm...

Fourth speaking of the girls, they both perform this Friday night at the IF JV game. You are all invited! They will be doing some of their competition dances that they are getting ready. So cute and fun! The costumes this year are awesome! Good job Gertie!

Fifth I went to the gym 3 times last week. Yea ME! Today was crazy so I didn't make it, but I will go tomorrow. On the first day I thought I was going to die. By the third day it was not so bad and the timer went off before I was dying to stop.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Not A Diet

Let's face it. Diets are crap. They are no fun and the only thing I do when I am on one is wish for the day I will be "done". But we are never done because as soon as we quit we put on more weight and then we have to start the whole thing over again. It sucks.

So here is my plan.

I am working out. My goal is 3 times a week but I am pushing for more. I gotta make working in that dumb day care worth my time! Did I ever tell you how much I hate to baby sit? Another day perhaps.

I am watching what I eat. Tonight at 10:30 when I really wanted Alfredo sauce and 5 bread sticks, I ate a salad. Yes I ate a bread stick too, but it filled me up and saved me like 800 calories. The key to this: I am going to eat what I want so I don't fell deprived. I am just not going to eat as much of it as often as I usually do.

I am not making this a goal or a resolution or a deadline type deal in any way, shape or form. That is just setting me up for failure, which I am not good with.

What I am doing is making it my habit. Our country is full of fat people. I don't want to be one of them anymore. I don't want my kids to become one of them either. It is pretty much certain if we continue doing what we are doing that we will stay fat.

I have no distinct weight in mind or time limit on when I will get there. When I can feel confident in my skin and run around with my kids without aching or getting winded I will know I am there.

I am not unrealistic about the body I want. I have stretch marks in crazy places. I have lots of spider veins. I even am starting to wrinkle in places... mostly from smiling. My boobs are sagging..but I did breast feed 4 babies. I know who I am. I would just like to not have excess fat underneath it all anymore. I can change that part. So I am going to.

I am a work in progress and I will never be "done". The moment I think I am is the moment I start to go the opposite direction I want to go.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just wanted to share...

...a few things I am enjoying right now.

I love to read and I recently read Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. The first book, The Lightening Thief, will be released as a movie in Feb. If you even kind of like Harry Potter you will love this series. It is smart and action packed. Really good for young readers too.

Just rented Julie and Julia. What an amazing movie! It is 2 stories told together and how they intertwine. Meryl Streep is, of course, awesome. Amy Adams is really great in it too. I am liking her a lot lately. Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian was better than the first largely because of her.

Knitting has become a habit again as of late. I took a hiatus for a while from it, but decided to make some Christmas gifts for the girls and have since been back in the habit. I just realized I misplaced several sets of DPN's and circulars though so I am frantically tearing the house apart.

In related news, I purchased lots of Christmas merchandise for 75% off including 7 new Rubbermaid totes to help with Project: Organization. Hopefully this will aid in finding my missing needles.

I keep looking at the scrapbook supplies and am getting antsy to use them. Who knew I would ever want to do that again. I do though and one of these nights I will actually pull them out. I better print some pictures first.

TV on DVD has got to be the best way to watch a series I can think of. Lately I have been watching season 1 of Alias. I love that show! Action packed ending? Teaser for next week? Just pop in the next disc and you have the resolution right away. Plus you don't have to remember the reference from 8 episodes (or 2 months) ago. It was just last week that you watched that episode--or better yet, pull it out and see it again to refresh your memory.

I am currently reading Catching Fire, the sequel to Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Call me crazy, but I love these books. Something inside tells me I really shouldn't. The whole premise is gross and appalling, but the story is compelling and impossible to put down.

The new cover designs on the church magazines. Very clean and modern. Plus, President Monson's stories are amazing. I love how you can tell he truly loves each of us by the care and concern he gives to every individual.

Christmas Candy. I love making new things and trying new recipes. This year I made English Toffee, which I had never tried before and it was delicious! I also made caramel's, fudge and peanut brittle. I ate way too much of everything!

So now, I really like my gym...I went and worked out this morning and I feel good. Plus, the daycare is familiar to Clark so dropping him off was easy as pie. (I work there once a week in exchange for a membership) Not to mention, they have nice pools, hot tubs and a women's only workout area.

Internet deals! I got a Little People's Nativity Set for only $24 (regularly $40-$65) in December. Just today I got a flight for only $38 to go visit my BFF in Ft. Collins in February. The return flight was only $52 as well. Got to love the deals!

Christmas Cards from long lost friends. They seem to keep trickling in. (BTW mine are going out this week. :) Better late then never right?)It is fun to see everyone with their family and how they are growing. Kids are getting bigger and I feel like I am finally a legit parent. Even though in my head I am still in my early twenties and in college. Ry is still 16 in his head. Does that make me a cradle robber? I prefer cougar I think.

What are some of your favorite things right now? Feel free to share.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolve this

So how did you do on your resolutions last year? I did not do so well.

The thing about resolutions is you have to be reminding yourself about them all the time to make them a realistic goal. I do not do that and really could not remember more than 2 before I went back to the list I made.

I know I wanted to lose a bunch of weight...which I did, but gained back when LA Weight Loss went bankrupt or whatever happened to make them close all the centers with no notice to us.

TheVisiting Teaching was going GREAT, until they dissolved our ward and put us in a new one, with new companions and new people to visit.

The house decluttering I did pretty well at. We have less then a dozen boxes of random things stacked in the boys room now...mostly baby clothes. Then Christmas came and added back into the piles of stuff.

The dishes were sporadic at best. More done than not on most days, but I did start a job and am not home all the time anymore.

Keeping in touch is becoming easier with facebook, but still not where I want it to be--especially with my sister in laws.

I did not run in the race. I have not been running hardly at all.

So there are my excuses. I know it is a new start, but how realistic are resolutions? Are we setting ourselves up for a February Failure by creating these goal for ourselves that we really have no intention of accomplishing?

The gym was packed this long will that last really? I think a short term goal is a better way to work on something. At least for me it is. So here is my short term goal.

*Clean out the front room by putting all the decorations from Christmas away, in storage, and get the new piano set up.

Knowing me, this could take a month. So my deadline is Friday. I will return and report when I am done and set a new goal at that time. Who wants to join my 1 resolution at a time? Set a goal for yourself you know you can accomplish in under a month, a week preferably. Then when you achieve it, you will have that much more confidence to set and reach another one!

Good luck!

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