Monday, August 31, 2009
She's awesome. Jenny also gave me an upgraded version of photoshop, so I had fun playing around with a photo of Renee. I promised not to post it though, so I'll have to do photoshop some other ones to post. This new version has so many features that my old (at least 9 year old) photoshop program didn't have. Like the googly eye feature! Haha. poor cat
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Today I had been kind of unproductive/lazy, and I was feeling bored/cabin fever after dinner. So I asked Joe what would be a good 2-hour project we could do. We have so many projects around here, it's not even funny. All the home-improvement stuff takes longer than 2 hours, so he settled on trimming the bushes. Our house has boxwood bushes all the way around the house. Not my favorite kind of shrub, but I'm not about to rip out perfectly fine landscaping either. Since trimming the bushes really is a one-person job, I settled on washing outside windows. The weather was pleasant, even with a breeze.
I am not a fan of washing windows. Of course you would know that, if you had ever visited my house, and witnessed all the cobwebs. It really was disgusting though, and I'm glad I got ..... drumroll please.... 5 whole windows done (yeah, it took 2 hours!). So, that means I "only" have 15 more to go. Argghh. Stupid spiders! (and wasps, and dirt) I did decide that washing outside windows is easier than from the inside. You can use a ton of water, spray guns, and soapy water. The windows that are clean from the outside, now have more spiderwebs on the inside than out. Natural light is great in a home, but they sure have their drawbacks. You know, high electricity bill, glare, and Work.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The past few months I have struggled to get my important stones in my bucket. I haven't hardly touched the harp. I haven't been reading with Ginger. My scriptures have been stored, neglected in a drawer. My workout videos have been wondering why I bought them, and my ab muscles forgot they were supposed to exist. All the windows are housing plenty of spiders (inside and out), dust has long since settled on the light fixtures, etc, etc.
My schedule has all those stones on it, as well as some extras. I made it a point to print it out, laminated it, and hang it on the fridge. That way, it stays in the front of my mind. I have even scheduled eating times in. Tiffani is on a plan where she eats small meals every 2-3 hours. Since we spent all of last week together, she got me on that plan too. At first, I never felt satisfied after any of the meals. My stomach was used to getting stuffed to the max about 3 times a day, instead of 80% filled 6 times a day. It took some adjusting, but it's gotten a lot easier already. I also clearly noticed my withdrawal symptoms when I cut back the amount of sugar I was eating. Don't get me wrong, put me with a bag of chocolate, and I'll still be tempted to eat the whole bag. However, while doing something else, I won't stop, and wish I was eating sweets.
Another thing I learned at education week, is that we all have a hard time changing behaviors because of our crucial moments. A crucial moment is the moment that defines whether or not you will succeed. For me, it's putting my workout clothes on as soon as the kids get on the bus. I don't put them on, and I probably won't exercise that day. I dont' exercise, and I will probably be less conscious of the food I eat. See, by just putting on those clothes, I set myself up for success. Oh, another crucial moment: 10.3o pm. That is my bedtime. If I don't get to bed on time, I'll be too tired to workout in the morning, etc.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Poor Ginger, with her October birthday, has to stay home for another 2 years. She'll probably go to a little preschool next year, but that's just not the same. No cool school bus. Only one or two days a week, and shorter days as well.
School brings a lot of freedom for me. I have much more time to get stuff done around the house, which I really need right now to catch up. I feel behind on my cleaning, gardening, pool care, and feel totally out of touch with my chicken family. Somehow I have to keep remember that it will take longer than 1 day to catch up, after a month of vacation.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I have learned so many new things, that I can't even remember any of them. Just kidding. I have taken pages and pages of notes, and will have to read over those notes to fully reap the benefits of all the knowledge. Education week offers classes on so many subjects, too many to even think about. We have mainly focused on parenting, marriage, and self-improvement. We have been armed with techniques to teach our children to become independent, responsible adults. I enjoyed 2 hours of wonderful music by Michael Ballam. Some teachers have tried to explain how to influence the people around me, especially my husband (wink wink). While other teachers flat out taught me that I can NEVER change anyone else. (they have to WANT to change themselves)
Last night was really fun. After classes, we met up with my good friend Jill Simmons. We chatted and chatted, talked about her fun upcoming adventure to Germany, and before we knew it, it was 10pm. I love how I can go 2 years without seeing a friend, and it seems like we just saw each other last week. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of us, ... so I guess I'll have to try and remember what we all looked like that night.
When we leave a place of residence, it's amazing how fast we forget the details. Details like street names, locations of businesses, and on campus, the names of buildings. It's even more amazing how quickly it all comes back, when you submerse yourself back into that environment. You remember little details, like the back way out of a building, or a better located bathroom on the next floor etc.
A social experiment should be conducted, in regards to human behavior. When 700 people try to leave a room, and things get congested, how many people will just stand there? How many will stand there, and wait for 15 minutes until they can finally get out? And which people will look behind them, and realize that if they just walk to the front of the room, and around, they can get out of the building immediately? Same with bathrooms. How many people just stand in line, with 20 people in front of them, while they could just go up a flight of stairs, and have no wait whatsoever? I've learned something new about myself this week: I am one of those people, who looks for alternatives. I don't want to be part of THAT croud.
I don't know how many people attend education week.... It's got to be at least 15,000. That's a lot of people on one campus. Especially when 3,000 of those people want to attend the same lecture, while only 500 can fit in the lecture room. Some speakers, such as John Bytheway, are very popular. He has also been lecturing in a fairly small auditorium (500 cap). What does this mean? It means that people start lining up, for over an hour before the lecture even begins. (this picture was taken a full 45 minutes before the class started, and you can't really see, but the line was all the way around the building!) Also, when the hosting staff isn't doing their jobs well, things can get ugly between all those ladies in line. The first day, the hosters were snaking the line back and forth inside. The line went back and forth about 20 times, and this is before the previous class even gets out. As soon as the round of classes got out, things got really crazy! Thousands of ladies (and a few men) come in the building, think they see the end of the line, but then are quickly corrected by the other thousands of women who have been standing in the snake-line for the past hour. No... this is not the end of the line... that's about 10 rows over!
We have just one more day of classes left, and then it's on to applying all these wonderful lessons in my life.
I will never get angry at my kids again.
My time will be organized, and effectively used.
I will give consequences to my kids.
I will influence others around me.
I will understand the gospel better.
I will keep the Sabbath day holy
I will be a better listener.
I will communicate better
I will... oh never mind.... I hope to be able to accomplish all these things, but I really can't say for sure that I'll actually be successful! All I can do is try the best I can, and periodically review the lessons I am learning. And of course,.... come back next year, to learn even more!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This week I'll be spending with my friend Tiffani. Tiffani and I were very pregnant with our 3rd child at the same time. We had the same midwife, and generally became best friends real quick. I spent time with her at Disney, so it hadn't been too long since we saw each other, and we connected right back. Tiffani is from a family of 13 kids. We went to her parents' house for dinner. She expected me to be overwhelmed, but honestly after just spending time at a Benac reunion, this family get together didn't seem that crazy at all. So now we are winding down for the day, and getting ready for a full week of adult education and fun. Oh how I love the mountains, and the gorgeous sunset. (we were going 75 down the freeway, or else I would have taken a picture to share)
By the way: Many thanks to you, Joe!!! I love you, and you can't know how much I appreciate this time off!
Thursday night I was telling Joe that everytime we got out of the pool, my scalp was itchy. He became a little concerned, because Winter had said the same thing. I figured something must be wrong with the pool water, and kind of wrote it off. Joe did do a quick sweep of my scalp, just to make sure I didn't have any unwanted visitors. He didn't find any. Fast forward to today. While I was taking care of grandma, and Joe was working with a friend in Dallas, our kids were playing at that friends house with the wife. I guess Winter had complained to her about her rapidly worse itching head, and she found what no one wants to find: Lice! Of course, this news alone made me itch all over. Since I was still at Joe's parents' house, Liz was nice enough to do what no other mother-in-law should ever have to do. She checked me for lice. Sure enough... she found a nit. I ran to the pharmacy down the street (a nice feature when you live in town), got some treatment, and mom spent the next 2 hours treating and combing my hair. So much for my nice professionally blowdried hair! What should have been a relaxing movie night, and easy Sunday morning, has turned into a lot of cleaning, laundry, boiling, vacuuming, and treating hair. Tomorrow morning, instead of enjoying church, and then taking off on my personal vacation, I will have to buy some more treatment, clean my car, drive home, treat the kids, clean the house, and then drive all the way back to the airport, to THEN start my relaxing vacation. And oh... never mind the emotional agony I must go through, visiting/sleeping at other people's houses. The worry that I didn't kill all the lice, and they'll be spread all over the US.
The only question remains: where did we pick up these little buggers? Was it at the dirty Motel 6 we stayed on, on our way home from DC? Or did we pick them up at the reunion? (anyone else have any symptoms?) Or did we pick them up at church last Sunday? There's really no way to tell. But I do know, that I don't EVER want to get those nasty buggers again! Gross.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
1 med. eggplant (1 lb.)
5 tbsp. salad oil
1 c. thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 (2 lb. 3 oz.) can tomatoes
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1 bay leaf
1 flank steak (2 1/2 lb.)
1 tbsp. salad oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
2. Wash eggplant. Do not peel. Cut lengthwise into quarters. Slice crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. In 3 tablespoons hot oil in 5 quart Dutch oven or kettle, saute green peppers, onion, and 1 clove garlic until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove to medium bowl.
4. In same kettle, saute eggplant in 2 tablespoons oil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Return pepper mixture to kettle. Add undrained tomatoes, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, rosemary, and bay leaf; simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
5. Trim excess fat from steak. Wipe steak with damp paper towels. Combine oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic.
6. Place steak on broiler rack; brush with half of oil mixture. Broil, 4 inches from heat, 5 minutes. Turn; brush with remaining oil mixture. Broil 4 to 5 minutes longer.
7. Slice very thinly on the diagonal and across the grain. Add to vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 8 servings.
Note: If desired, prepare peppers and eggplant day before; refrigerate. Reheat to bubbling just before adding meat.
a few ice cubes
spinach (one large handful)
strawberries, or mixed frozen berries -about 1/4 cup
1 Tbsp Orange juice concentrate
Blend all the ingredients together, and enjoy.
Remember, none of these measurements are scientific. In fact, I do it different every time. I am actually thinking about blending in some other veggies in the future... like red bell peppers... or cucumber...
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Winter really latched onto this game, and accumulated a whopping 50 tickmarks. With a little guidance, she picked out a sketchpad and art pencil kit. She wanted to start drawing right away, and her first art is a drawing of the nations capitol building. She has talent!So thanks a ton to our personal Docent Barbara, for some great cultural enlightenment.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
President Obama attended this parade just a week ago. Couldn't he have waited one more week? After the parade was over, Winter and Sterling did get to meet the marine's mascot, Chesty, almost as good as meeting Obama.